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Final Hatton Garden raider ‘Basil’ guilty of conspiracy to burgle

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Julia Quenzler

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Michael Seed’s defence lawyers denied he was the mystery Hatton Garden raider known as “Basil”

The last suspect in the Hatton Garden heist has been found guilty of conspiracy to burgle.

Michael Seed, 58, from Islington, nick-named “Basil”, played a key role in the £14m safe deposit raid in 2015.

Seed, an alarm specialist who denied the charges, was also found guilty of conspiring to hide the proceeds.

Jurors at Woolwich Crown Court had been deliberating for more than a week and returned a majority verdict earlier of 10-2 on the first charge.

Evaded capture

The convictions come four years after the infamous heist.

Seed is believed to have let himself in to the building in London’s diamond district using a set of keys before defeating the security system.

He was one of two men who climbed into the vault to loot 73 safe deposit boxes after the gang of ageing criminals drilled through the thick concrete wall over the 2015 Easter bank holiday weekend.

Seed – who pays no taxes, claims no benefits and rarely uses a bank account – evaded capture for three years before police raided his flat, in Islington, north London – located about two miles away from Hatton Garden – on 27 March last year.

The electronics expert confidently told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court he was not the man nicknamed “Basil” by the rest of the gang.

Bedroom jewellery stash

But on Friday he became the tenth person to be convicted in connection with the crime when he was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company.

Jurors returned a unanimous guilty verdict for the second charge of conspiracy to handle the proceeds after £143,000 worth of gold ingots, gems and jewellery was found in his bedroom.

He was cleared though of conspiracy to burgle the high-end Chatila jewellery store in Bond Street over the late August bank holiday weekend in 2010 with members of the same gang.

Prosecutors had alleged he posed as a BT engineer to tamper with the security system before the burglary, then used a 2G mobile phone jammer to block the alarm signal.


On that occasion thieves failed to drill into a safe containing £40 million worth of gems but made off with £1 million worth of jewellery from the shop’s display cabinets.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for 35 hours and 35 minutes before returning their verdicts.

Well-spoken Seed, who grew up in Cambridge, appeared expressionless moments after the verdicts were returned.

He will be sentenced later.

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