Forward planning, sophisticated management of complex projects, internet and other research skills, collaborative teamwork, effective communication skills: it would appear that the men alleged to have carried out England’s biggest burglary ever have it all.
They also have experience - plenty of it. This is hardly surprising, given that the ages of the accused men ranges from 42 to 76. They called the 76-year-old ‘The Guv’nor’; he used his 60+ Oyster card to travel for free on the day of the raid.
Addressing the jury at Woolwich Crown Court, Mr Evans said: “These four ringleaders and organisers of this conspiracy, although senior in years, brought with them a great deal of experience in planning and executing sophisticated and serious acquisitive crime not dissimilar to this.
“This offence was to be the largest burglary in English legal history. Two of these men had also been involved in some of the biggest acquisitive crime of the last century, and the other two had for many years in their earlier lives been involved in serious theft.”
Whether or not the men in the dock are guilty is for the jury to decide.
What is certain is that the incident contains a lesson for all employers: do not be naive about the skills of older applicants and employees. Furthermore - do not doubt their audacity and ambition.
Philip Evans, prosecuting, told the jury that despite their advancing years, Brian Reader, 76, John Collins, 74, Daniel Jones, 60, and Terrence Perkins, 67, had all admitted carrying out the Hatton Garden heist. He said they were experienced criminals who had been responsible for some infamous robberies. One of the gang, who entered the Hatton Garden premises via the front door and let in the rest via the fire escape, has never been identified and is known only as Basil, the court heard.