Michael Seed was jailed for 10 years in March 2019 after becoming the 10th person to be convicted in connection with the 2015 Easter Bank Holiday weekend heist
One of the Hatton Garden robbers today won a partial victory at the Court of Appeal against an order to pay back £۶million from the heist – but was told he still has to pay £۶۰۰,۰۰۰ or serve another seven years in jail.
Michael Seed, known as ‘Basil the Ghost’, was jailed for 10 years in March 2019 for his role in the £۱۳٫۶ million heist.
The alarm specialist was one of two men who climbed into the vault to loot 73 safe Deposit Pocketoption boxes after a gang of ageing criminals drilled through the thick concrete wall over the 2015 Easter bank holiday weekend.
In October 2020, Seed, now 60, was ordered to pay back £۵,۹۹۷,۶۸۴٫۹۳ from the raid or serve an extra seven years in jail under a law to confiscate criminals’ ill-gotten gains.
At the Court of Appeal earlier this month, he brought a legal challenge against part of the repayment order covering hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.
The court heard that around £۴ million in jewellery was stolen in the Hatton Garden raid, with all but around £۶۹۰,۰۰۰ worth returned to its owners.
During their confiscation proceedings, Seed’s five co-raiders had agreed that the remaining jewellery – which had either been dismantled or was too generic to be identified – would be sold by police.
A long-running police investigation found Seed was the mystery gang member called ‘Basil’
His lawyers argued that the judge who made the confiscation order had ‘overstated’ the amount Seed had available to him by including the value of some of the unclaimed jewellery – which had not been in his possession.
In a judgment today, Lord Justice Dingemans granted part of Seed’s appeal.
He said: ‘The confiscation order against the five men was made on the basis that the jewellery would be sold by the police with the consent of the five men.’
Lord Justice Dingemans, sitting with Mr Justice Soole and Judge Michael Chambers QC, said the confiscation order was overstated by more than £۳۰۰,۰۰۰ and should be reduced.
Seed was seen with fellow Hatton Garden member John ‘Kenny’ Collins before other members of the gang were arrested.
It took a long-running surveillance operation to establish he was the missing member of the gang
The judge concluded: ‘The inclusion of the £۳۱۸,۳۸۶ as an available amount for Mr Seed in the confiscation order was therefore wrong because it was not available to Mr Seed after the five men had consented to the sale of that jewellery.’
However, he said the order was not overstated in relation to a second set of unclaimed jewellery, with a value of around £۶۶,۰۰۰٫
The seven-year prison sentence, which Seed will have to serve if he does not pay, was also reduced by 136 days.