HATTON Garden heist mastermind Brian Reader has been released from jail after serving just over three years for the giant jewellery raid.

The 79-year-old — leader of the gang of villains dubbed the Diamond Wheezers — left Belmarsh prison in London last week.

Reader, who has suffered prostate cancer and a series of strokes, was released with remission after half of the six-year, three-month sentence he got for the £14million safe deposit box centre break-in.

He has since been enjoying the summer sunshine in the garden of his home in Dartford, Kent, alongside relatives and friends.

He was also driven on outings in his son Paul’s red Porsche sports car.

But there was anger he was not kept in jail over the millions of pounds worth of gems, bullion and cash still outstanding.

Reader had faced a further seven-year term if he could not pay a £6.5million confiscation order imposed on him and three other ringleaders of the 2015 Easter bank holiday heist.

He should have faced a return to jail at the end of this month when the pay-back time limit expires.

But the villain has been given leave by the Court of Appeal to challenge the order and it is understood he will remain free until that is settled.

No date has been set for an appeal hearing.

Former Flying Squad commander John O’Connor said: “He ruined people’s lives and until he pays back that money, or tells the police what happened to it, he should stay in jail.”

Due to his health, Reader received a sentence seven months shorter than his fellow Hatton Garden ringleaders.

Last year he appeared in court in a wheelchair for a confiscation hearing — and he still walks aided by sticks.

A family member said this year: “He can’t see properly, can’t hear, he is very weak and is down to 8st.”

One source said of his release: “Brian is hugely relieved to be out and believed he’d die inside.

"He’s not a well man but is taking one day at a time and enjoying himself with his family.”