Hatton Garden robbery – who is Michael 'Basil' Seed and how was the ringleader of the heist caught?

HATTON Garden robber Michael Seed was locked up for his part in the heist which raided safe deposit boxes in central London.

But who was the man who was simply known as ‘Basil’?

Who is Michael ‘Basil’ Seed?

Seed is a 58-year-old electronics expert who took part in the infamous heist on security deposit boxes in London’s diamond district Hatton Garden over the Easter bank holiday weekend in April 2015.

It is thought the robbers got away with around £14million worth of jewellery and cash from the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company.

Seed was simply known as ‘Basil’ by the other robbers and it is thought he let himself into the building in Hatton Garden using a set of keys before managing to disable the alarm system.

He was one of two men who climbed into the vault through a hole drilled through a thick wall to loot 73 deposit boxes.

The judge in Seed’s trial, Judge Christopher Kinch QC said: “Your role was a central one. You were at the heart of the core activities that had to be carried out.

"You were not just there to fetch and carry. In my judgement this must rank among the worst offences of its type."

Seed was living less than two miles away in a council flat in Islington but police failed to catch him for three years.

At his trial the former Nottingham university student told the jury at Woolwich Crown Court he was not the man known as ‘Basil’ and could have been on a family holiday or visiting his elderly mum in Cambridge at the time of the robbery.

Seed was cleared 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.

He had previously been behind bars in the 1980s for drugs offences and it was revealed he had never paid any tax, never claimed any benefits and had no obvious source of income.

Seed was raised in Cambridge, the son of a university professor and went on to study physics and electronics after gaining four A-levels in maths, physics, chemistry and geology.

Hatton Garden ringleaders Brian Reader, 80, John "Kenny" Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 64, and Terry Perkins, who died in prison last year aged 69, were all jailed in 2016.

How was the ringleader of the heist caught?

Seed managed to evade being caught by the cops for three years but was finally caught in2018.

During the raid he was disguised in a ginger wig, facemask and hat and left no forensic trace at the scene.

Cops offered a £20,000 reward in 2016, saying they had no idea who the man was.

Police are believed to have identified Seed in November 2015 but waited until March 2018 to arrest him when they could catch him red-handed.

When cops did finally catch up with him they found £143,000 worth of gold ingots, gems and jewellery in his bedroom.

It is thought he was melting down gold and breaking up jewellery from the hoard on his bedroom workbench.

He became the tenth person to be convicted in connection with the heist in March 2019 when he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

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