A man accused of being the “final participant” in the Hatton Garden heist has a walk, or gait, similar to the suspect nicknamed ‘Basil’ identified in burglary CCTV, a court has heard.
Michael Seed, 58, is described by prosecutors as having a “leading role” in the burglary carried out over the 2015 Easter bank holiday weekend.
An estimated £13.7m of gold, cash, jewellery and other valuable items were stolen from 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit.
At the time it was the largest burglary in English legal history.
Prosecutor Philip Evans QC told a jury that an expert had found consistencies between Seed’s appearance and gait, and that of “Basil” in the burglary CCTV footage.
He said that footage of Seed and “Basil” had been reviewed by an expert chiropodist who concluded that both showed “an abnormality” in the right leg, with “a particular habitual walk”.
A jury at Woolwich Crown Court heard Seed described as a “ringleader” who was primarily responsible for the disabling of the alarm system at the site.
More than 1,000 items of jewellery, watches, precious stones and gold were discovered in Mr Seed’s bedroom in Islington, North London, following a raid in March last year.
Specialised equipment such as a work bench, precision drills and a smelting machine were also discovered at his apartment.
Officers found electronic items that could be linked to the burglary including a 2G signal blocker as well as hi-viz tops from BT and Royal Mail.
The prosecutor said there was surveillance footage showing Seed meeting with one of the convicted burglars in the weeks after the crime was committed.
Covert recordings of conversations between other burglars also show them talking about “Basil” in “a manner consistent with it being Mr Seed”.
Five men who were there on the night – Brian Reader, 79, John Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 61, Carl Wood, 61, and Terry Perkins, who died last year aged 69 – have been convicted of conspiring to carry out the burglary.
Seed denies all charges including two of conspiracy to commit burglary and one of conspiracy to convert or transfer criminal property.
The trial continues.
(c) Sky News 2019: Hatton Garden accused has gait similar to ‘Basil’ suspect