Episode 2

Bangers and mash: football and boxing

Last time: The Cable unmasked Andy Baker as one of Britain's most elusive crime bosses who used his connection with one of the capital’s most successful crime families to build a network along the M4 corridor to Bristol. Justice finally caught up with him after detectives  bugged his car and that of his loose-lipped enforcer. As is the way with these things, what finally did for the Cornerman was a relatively minor crime by his standards - a cocaine deal and blackmail conspiracy against Bristol businessmen.  

In this exclusive series the Cable reveals the rise and fall of a gangster whose whispered name induced fear from London’s glitzy West End to the West Country. 

North London

Section 01

Inspiration

2018 was the year that hoped to find the next Harry Kane. It was a new direction and opportunity for the gangster to trouser large amounts of “bangers and mash” (cash) as an agent for promising young players of the beautiful game. 

Football and boxing have long been of interest to British organised crime figures - and not just as a way of making clean money from gambling and match fixing. 

As an apprentice thug for the Adams crime family in the mid-nineties, Baker would have seen how the sponsored British world boxing champions, including Chris Eubank, who wore the name of their club, Beluga, on his trademark gold shorts.

The north London crime family had an interest in the London Arena and buying up property around Tottenham Hotspur’s old ground. They also loved to entertain thirsty Arsenal footballers at their Islington bar and in 2002, soon after his release for organising a massive cannabis importation, Tommy Adams was invited by former Liverpool legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish, to a meeting between two rival agents in dispute over Wayne Rooney’s contract. 

So it was that while organising a cocaine deal last year Andy Baker courted leading figures in the world of sport hoping to become an agent. “I thought it was a good idea … It was my project for the year,” the 52-year-old told the jury during his recent drugs trial. 

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Andrew Baker:Oi,oi,Adspushedusoutthefuckingwayandgotupquickly,weweresittingatthetable,IwastalkingtoAdIturntospeaktosomebodyelseandmypalwent‘where’shegoing?’,Adwasintheringholdingthebelt,youwouldhavethoughthejustwonthefight!

For months, detectives secretly watched and listened as Baker put together the cocaine deal with London associate . Both men were Crystal Palace fans and Baker was hoping that his first big signing as an agent would be two of Gordon’s talented relatives. 

Everyone’s chasing the Pogbas, the Ronaldos, the Harry Kanes. I was looking to try and get grassroots football, non-league football, Division 2 football

Andrew Baker

The idea of becoming an agent came to the Cornerman from studying the success of Will Salthouse, whose agency, Unique Sports Management, had close connections to his beloved Crystal Palace and Wilfried Zaha and Harry Kane on its books.

“He’s got a very, very good business plan and he’s made himself a very wealthy man through doing what he loves which is watching football,” Baker told the jury. “Well, I thought I could mirror it at a smaller scale because the top end is saturated with agents. Everyone’s chasing the Pogbas, the Ronaldos, the Harry Kanes. I was looking to try and get grassroots football, non-league football, Division 2 football, try and see if you can find the new Harry Kane.”

The Cornerman told the court he wanted to sound out Salthouse about Gordon’s son, who had just debuted for the England under-16s team. He was also looking for advice about getting Gordon’s nephew, who was with Leyton Orient, a trial at Weston-Super-Mare FC.

Baker claimed to know someone at the National League South football club and told the court that in the past he’d taken some Albanian prospects there and the brother of Scott Sinclair, a former Bristol Rovers player now with Celtic.

Salthouse’s lawyers confirmed that the sports agent knew Baker but not Gordon and had no idea about their criminal background or activities. “Our client met Andrew Baker on three occasions over a period of two years at football matches during which Mr Baker approached Mr Salthouse … He does not have and has never had any business or personal dealings with Mr Baker. There are no links whatsoever between Mr Salthouse and Mr Baker or any of his associates.” the lawyers said.

In a further clarification on the meetings, the lawyers said: “Mr Salthouse was in the company of his son. Mr Baker attended those matches with his own young son, who is a fan of Wilfried Zaha. Mr Zaha is managed by our client’s agency, and the conversations focused on him. Our client did not discuss, let alone give any advice to Mr Baker in relation to any footballing prospect.”

Bristol

Section 02

Putting people together

 The Cornerman had already earned a tidy sum from land deals before deciding to venture into sports management. In fact, it was through property and construction that Baker made good contacts with some of the key businessmen behind football in the Bristol area. One of them, he told the jury, was Terry Hosier, the chairman of Lancer Scott, a construction company that was the shirt sponsor of Bristol City FC until last season. Baker claimed that he sometimes met Hosier for a cup of tea by the Ashton Gate ground. Hosier, however, declined to comment.

“I do venture into a little bit of property development,” Baker explained at court. “I’m quite good at putting people together. I do a lot of work with different builders; different companies and I’ve got people that are looking for sites.”

For example, when Longwell Green Football Club came up for sale, the Cornerman was looking to put the owner with a buyer willing to redevelop the stadium. Baker charged a finder’s fee for this service, the size of which depended on the size of the site for sale and ranged from a few grand to tens of thousands of pounds, he said.

Baker approached entrepreneur Paul O’Brien over the Longwell Green site. The court heard that O’Brien helped find an office for the Cornerman’s new sports agency.  

“I didn't know Andy Baker for too long really, I only knew him for a couple of months. Might have been a bit longer. He's quite well known and obviously comes across a lot of deals and basically put a few to me. He did mention that he was setting up a sports management company and was talking to various sportsmen. He knew quite a few people high up in boxing and in football,” said O’Brien, who was not suspected of any involvement in Baker’s criminal activities. “He's quite a nice bloke to be honest … He used to bring land to me because he knew a lot of people. He brought opportunities … The fee I was paying him was as an introduction to property.”

Kent

Section 03

Seed money

 On 15 January 2018, a £30,000 cheque from Prestige Properties Developments was deposited into Baker’s personal bank account. Baker claimed at court that Ian Brown, the Bristol-based owner of the company, was another “ friend” happy to provide “seed money” for his legitimate “business ventures”. 

The Cable wanted to ask Brown about the five-figure cheque but he did not respond to our call and email.

Baker’s bank statements revealed another large deposit, this time for £25,000, which came from a property and betting entrepreneur who definitely was involved in the sports agency.

Andrew Baker talks into the ear of Jon Gordon at Thurrock Services

It was a bitterly cold day on 3 January 2018 when Baker set off in a red jaguar from Bristol to meet Trevor Spellman at his Kent home. On the way, Baker stopped at Thurrock service station to iron out a few logistics with John ‘the barber’ Gordon about the one-kilo of high purity cocaine his friend was about to have couriered up the M4 to Bristol.

Neither man had any idea that surveillance detectives from the South West branch of the Regional Organised Crime Unit were filming the meeting and then followed Baker to Spellman’s home.

Their sports agency was going to be called AMTT after the first names of Baker, , one of his co-conspirator in the cocaine deal, Spellman and Spellman’s business partner, who was also called Trevor.

However, the venture was cut short because in February and March Baker, Sellars and others involved in the M4 cocaine conspiracy were arrested. 

Although not involved in the drug deal, detectives later took a statement from Spellman about his association with Baker. Attempts by the Cable to contact the entrepreneur were unsuccessful.

The evidence amassed from bugs in cars, cell siting of various mobile phones and video surveillance was good, but it was by no means certain that the police would get a result. Baker had benefited from some spectacular acquittals in the past, none more so than one involving an audacious incident with a gun and the significant shareholder of championship side Queens Park Rangers.

Armed police arrived at half-time and stormed the executive box

Loftus Road

Section 04

‘Like something out of a gangster film’

 Just before the first game of QPR’s 2005 season kicked off, Gianni Paladini, a club director and significant shareholder, said he was surrounded by a group of heavies in an executive suite at the Loftus Road stadium in West London and forced at gunpoint to write his own resignation letter and surrender his 14.7 % shares. “Sign or we will kill you,” he recalled one of the thugs shouting at him.

Paladini fled the room in tears and sounded the alarm. Armed police arrived at half time and stormed the executive box of David Morris, a 2% shareholder, who had allegedly lured Palladini into the room where the heavies were waiting. A screwed up piece of paper purportedly with the Italian’s shaky handwriting was seized. Five others in the executive box were arrested, including Andy Baker.

...like something out of a gangster film

David Williams QC

At their trial over the summer of 2006 for conspiracy to commit blackmail, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm, prosecutor, David Williams QC, asked the jury if they watched the US television drama The Sopranos. The case before them, said the barrister “is like something out of a gangster film.” According to a senior police source, the judge had refused a request for jury protection.

It emerged during the trial that not all at financially troubled QPR had welcomed Palladini’s arrival at the club. The jury heard that Morris was part of a power struggle to unseat the Italian former football agent and had asked Baker to recruit a gang of his doormen, who included David Davenport, Aaron Lacey and Michael Reynolds.

Andrew Baker leaves court, credit: Andrew Parsons/PA

By then, Baker was an established “security consultant” collecting cash envelopes every weekend from nightclubs, bars and lap dance venues in London and along the M4 corridor. He gave no comment on his arrest, but in the witness box Baker claimed Morris’s brother had invited him and the others to the club to bid for a lucrative stewarding contract. As for the £7,000 found in his hooded top, the Cornerman said it was wages for his doormen and "to grease some wheels at QPR."

Baker was particularly camera shy when leaving Blackfriars Crown Court and took to wearing a balaclava with his hood up. In June 2006 he and the other defendants were acquitted. Days later, the Met received some alarming intelligence they had no choice but to act on. 

According to a police source involved in what followed, Baker was plotting to have Palladini shot and would be on holiday in Valencia when it happened. The Met gave the Italian a formal notification, known as an Osman warning, of the threat to his life. 

At the same time, Avon & Somerset police visited Baker in Bristol where he was living with his new partner and gave him what is known as a reverse Osman warning not to do anything to the Italian. 

Adam Hoddinnot trains with Tony Rhino Giles

Credit: CPG Photography
Bristol

Section 05

Two Gypsy fighters in a ring

Baker’s ambition to become a sports agent in 2018 involved flattering Matt Sellars to join AMTT as a partner. The former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) British lightweight champion would hopefully spot cage-fighting talent and manage the office while Baker was networking. 

Sellars, 40, had stacked on the pounds since his fighting heyday in 2012. Now he was desperate for cash after the failure of his Chasers nightclub business and was expecting payment from the cocaine deal for helping out , Baker’s local henchman, who had asked for the gear at £36,000 wholesale.

Baker saw in Sellars a “kiddie” with a degree in law and chemistry that didn’t talk cockney and had a rich businessman father who he felt might come in handy later. For his part, Sellars was surprised at the many “influential” business people Baker already knew and was able to charm with his south London banter.

Paul O’Brien, the entrepreneur who paid Baker a finder’s fee for land deals, co-owned the Trojan Gym in Bristol. Baker, he said, dropped by offering to raise the gym’s profile by having fighters train there who had large Instagram followings. 

The man he had in mind was Gypsy fighter, Tony ‘the Rhino’ Giles, a middleweight champion MMA fighter. Giles, the former brother-in-law of EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace, was also famous for what he got up to outside the ring. He starred in the TV reality show, The Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and made the news in 2016 when he was shot in the face, apparently the result of a long running feud.

He was a really nice person, we was all laughing, he was a right character

Tony 'Rhino' Giles

Baker paid for the Rhino to train at the Trojan gym ahead of a big fight in London. “He was a really nice person, we was all laughing, he was a right character,” the Rhino told the Cable.

Baker, Sellars and Hoddinott wanted to attract professional MMA fighters to train in Bristol. But after his visit, the Rhino felt the gym they had in mind wasn’t cut out for the job, “I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass, its got too many weights in it,” he told them.

However, during a training session in front of a private film crew, the Rhino was blown away by 48-year-old Hoddinott’s strength. “For the size and the age of him, I won't forget that to the day that I die … He climbed a 20ft rope just with his hands. The whole gym was clapping him.

“He [Hoddinott] is definitely a secret squirrel because when I was down there all it was to do was with training.”

Hoddinott, Giles and Sinclair

After the training session, Baker treated the Rhino to a meal at his favourite restaurant, The Italian Kitchen, in Hanham. Baker said he knew the owner and coached football with his son. 

Keen to impress, Baker had then Bristol Rovers midfielder, Stuart Sinclair, join them. But as always, the Cornerman lingered out of shot as the footballer and cage fighter were snapped alongside his grinning enforcer.

On another occasion, Baker drove to East London to watch the Rhino defend his title and the bald 20-stone frame of Hoddinott climbed into the ring to pose next to the champ after a knockout win.

Hoddinnot (centre left) next to Tony "Rhino" Giles

The Regional Organised Crime Unit had bugged the two men’s cars between May 2017 and February 2018. Detectives were surprised when in between preparations for the cocaine delivery they listened in to how Baker planned to recruit a very well known British fighter to his sports agency. Known as the Gypsy King, this boxer was on the comeback trail after losing his world heavyweight crown in a doping scandal.

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Andrew Baker:Igottatellyacosyou’reoneofusyea..I’vejustdoneadealwhichlookslikewe’regonnabedoingalumpofworkwithTysonFury.Wellyeawhatitis,Ispoketohisdadyesterdayandagaintoday,I’mhavinglunchwithhimprobablyMonday,Tuesdaynextweek.Andifitcomesoff,mypalisgoingtobesettinguphistrainingcampanddoingallhisPRforhim.

“I’ve just done a deal which looks like we’re gonna be doing a lump of work with Tyson Fury,” Baker was recorded saying in the car. “I spoke to his dad yesterday and again today, I’m having lunch with him probably Monday, Tuesday next week. And if it comes off, my pal is going to be setting up his training camp and doing all his PR for him.” 

I’ve just done a deal which looks like we’re gonna be doing a lump of work with Tyson Fury

Andrew Baker

The Fury camp did not return calls from the Cable. But Tyson did defeat his drink and drug problems and was reinstated by early February 2018 just as organised crime detectives called in the hit on Baker and took out the cocaine parcel in Bristol and the London couriers heading back on the M4. 

In April, Fury signed a new fight deal and was on his way to a heavyweight title clash and a return to bangers and mash. For Baker it was the prospect of a lot of porridge as he shed pounds waiting for his own clash with the criminal justice system. He lost. A unanimous decision.

Episode 3 out now: The Cable reveals Baker’s link to the former chairman of Hibernian football club who became a gangland lawyer until the Cornerman wanted him dead.

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Name:
Andy Baker
Rank:
Head of South West OCG
Status:
In prison

During his recent trial, Andy Baker, 52, claimed that efforts to become a draughtsman in the building trade were dashed by the recession in the early nineties. Like many criminals, he apprenticed as a doorman in the nightclub business where he rode the coattails of Gilbert Wynter and made contacts with influential entrepreneurs servicing the more genteel clubbers of affluent west London.

Those who worked with the Cornerman said he liked to boast of his involvement in crime, including the murders of Wynter and Nahome. His association with the Adams was another boast used to increase his reputation as he built a security empire along the M4 corridor.

Baker moved to Bideford with his first common law wife, Vanessa Heather, in the late nineties. They had a son together. Heather left Baker, apparently after catching him in bed with a stripper. In 2004 he moved to Bristol with his new partner, Kate, with whom he has six children. Heather is one of at least ten people who the Met police took into witness protection between 2003 and 2009 after giving information or evidence against Baker.

His acquittals in three major trials - for kidnap, blackmail and murder offences - may have encouraged his cocky performance at Bristol Crown Court in 2018 where he often entered the dock singing. One day, Baker was brought to court from prison shackled and in an escape suit after showing off to his barrister in front of a security guard how easy it was to slip his handcuffs.

Some associates suspected that Baker’s charmed criminal career was because he traded information with the police. A former senior police source, however, said Baker was suspected of having corrupt police contacts.

The taxman bankrupted the Cornerman after an investigation into his income tax payments from 1993 to 2013. Baker had to sell a house to pay back taxes. At the time of his arrest in March 2018 he had large five figure deposits in his bank account from well-known businessman and was renovating his family home.

Name:
Adam Hoddinnot
Rank:
Drug dealer and enforcer
Status:
In prison

Bath-based Adam Hoddinott, 48, was Baker’s main enforcer in the south west. He wanted a kilo of cocaine to sell but couldn’t pay £36,000 up front. Jon Gordon agreed to supply the cocaine because Baker said he would act as “guarantor” that Hoddinott, his “extremely muscular, twenty-stone man”, would pay.

Hoddinott was also involved in an ecstasy factory running out of a residential house in Bristol. But his loose lips were in many ways the undoing of the whole criminal network. Unlike Baker, Hoddinott talked freely about criminal activity in his car, which the police had bugged. This and surveillance led him to plead guilty. Hoddinott had 25 prior convictions for violence and drugs and had only recently finished a prison sentence for similar drugs offences.

His guilty plea meant a reduced sentence but caused Baker and Gordon serious difficulties as the prosecution no longer had to prove the conspiracy to supply cocaine had taken place. Hoddinott also pleaded guilty to blackmail with Baker of three Bristol businessman. Not the brightest of criminals, he left his name and number on a threatening voicemail to one victim.

Name:
The A-team
Rank:
UK organised crime group (OCG)
Status:
Active

The A-team are an old school family-based organised crime group originally controlled by three brothers from an extended Irish Catholic family who grew up on the Barnsbury Estate in Islington, north London. Terry Adams is oldest and the nominal head of the family, but Patrick and Tommy are equally dedicated crime figures who will operate separately but together became the dominant OCG in 1990s London.

The Adams brothers started out running protection rackets, robbery and fencing stolen goods through Hatton Garden, the capital’s jewellery hub. Detectives watched Tommy outside Farringdon tube station collect what they suspected was gold bullion stolen from the £26m Brinks Mat robbery at Heathrow Airport in 1983. He was acquitted in 1985.

By the nineties, the A-team were moving vast amounts of contraband tobacco, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy into the UK. They formed associations with other UK and international crime groups. 

In 1995, the police began a sustained covert operation (codenamed Trinity) against the crime family after a shoot out with a rival Islington firm. Tommy fell first in 1998 for organising a large cannabis importation from a black cab that he used as an office and which the police had bugged. 

Terry was arrested in 2003 and driven to Bristol for his arraignment because of concerns about police corruption in London. He finally pled guilty to money laundering and was jailed in 2007. 

Patrick was sent down in 2016 after going on the run for shooting an associate. In 2017, Tommy was back in jail for money laundering offences and last year younger brother Michael was convicted of cheating the taxman.

The extent of the A–team’s wealth is impossible to accurately quantify but could run into tens of millions of pound. Some assets are in the names of their wives or associates, but strict financial reporting requirements make it hard for the brothers to access cash. Police intelligence files link the A-team to a number of beatings, shootings and murders but evidence has proved allusive.

Name:
Andrew Wylde
Rank:
Car dealer and debt collector
Status:
In prison

Andrew ‘Ginge’ Wylde, 50, is a second-hand car dealer and garage owner from Bristol. The prosecution described him as “the pleasant face” of the blackmail conspiracy with Baker and Hoddinott. 

Ginge and Baker became friends in 2004 through their common law wives who went to school together in Bristol. Baker visited Ginge’s New Cheltenham Road garage almost every day. 

Ginge’s common law wife, Ellie, is the daughter of John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, and the car dealer used the connection when trying to persuade a businessman to pay up. Another businessman was told that “geezers from London” would come up if he didn’t pay.  

Ginge was furious that Baker “put him in the shit” during his evidence in the blackmail conspiracy trial in November 2018. Ginge was taken to hospital with suspected heart problems just before taking the stand. He returned the next day to give a combative performance and felt afterwards that he had torn the prosecutor “a new one”. But his barrister had to carry out acute reconstruction surgery on her client and told the jury that Baker had “used” Ginge. 

Name:
Carl Newman
Rank:
Drug factory host
Status:
In prison

Carl Newman’s Warmley home was used to store the cocaine brought from London and house the ecstasy factory. Newman, 38, struggled with employment over the years, was brought up in care and became a carer for the mother of his three  children. His barrister said he was “effectively a storeman”. He pleaded guilty to both the ecstasy and cocaine charges.

Name:
Danny Bond
Rank:
Drug courier
Status:
In prison

Scaffolder Danny Bond, 46, of Surrey also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine. Bond, another coke addict, was nicked with Justin Green at Reading services where they stopped for a loo break on the way back to London.

Name:
David Duff
Rank:
Former gangland lawyer
Status:
In Witness protection

David Duff was the former chairman of Hibernians Football Club and business partner of Tory party donor David Rowland. Duff was later struck off the solicitors’ roll after an unrelated conviction for mortgage fraud. On his release from prison in the early nineties, he immersed himself in moody property deals and through a Bristol licencing agent met Gilbert Wynter and Andy Baker. Duff helped Terry Adams, Wynter  and Solly Nahome in the sale of the lease of the Connaught Rooms. He also provided crooked financial advice to Baker’s OCG.

However, the pair fell out in 2003 and Duff was taken into the witness protection scheme after police received intelligence of a plot to have him killed. He was debriefed about the Cornerman’s criminal activities, the disappearance of Wynter and murder of Nahome and gave evidence against Baker and three others accused of involvement in the fatal stabbing of off-duty prison guard, Aaron Chapman, in December 2002. Duff remains a protected witness.

Name:
David Woolley
Rank:
Drug dealer
Status:
In prison

The one-time head of the infamous Aquila Motorbike club in Plymouth, David Woolley, 54, was jailed for his involvement in the cocaine and ecstasy conspiracy. He planned to shift the drugs in Plymouth. 

He was well known for running a tattoo business in the city and was the annual organiser of the Plymouth Tattoo Convention. Woolley suffered burns when his home was firebombed during a spate of arsons in the city between suspected rival gangs. He was jailed for 9 years in 2015 for repeatedly stabbing a man in the back of a Plymouth taxi.

Woolley befriended Adam Hoddinott in prison, who shared an interest in motorbikes, tattoos and drug dealing. The two worked closely together once released.

Name:
Gilbert Wynter
Rank:
Enforcer
Status:
Missing, presumed dead

Gilbert Wynter was one of the Adams’ main enforcers and a key link to criminals in London’s black communities. Wynter carried a stick after claiming the police caused an injury to his leg.

He lived in Tottenham, north London but sometimes stayed at the Chelsea flat of an Adams associate near to Embargo, the nightclub on the Kings Road. Wynter claimed to be a silent partner of the club’s owners, Rusty Egan, the new romantic Dj, and landlord, Jeremy Norman. Howard Spooner bought the club out of administration in 1994 and inherited Andy Baker as a doorman. Baker was an apprentice to Wynter, who wanted to set up a door security training company.

In 1997, Wynter went to Jamaica to visit his mother and was apparently shot in the head. He survived and spent months convalescing before returning to London. The 37-year-old disappeared in March 1998. His body has never been recovered.

Name:
Justin Green
Rank:
Drug courier
Status:
In prison

Justin Green, 45, of Brentwood, Essex pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine. Adam Hoddinott approached him about buying a kilo and he went to Jon Gordon, who got a guarantee from Andy Baker. Green, a coke addict with 13 convictions, was arrested at Reading service station after delivering the cocaine to Bristol. He refused to give up any names.

Name:
Jon Gordon
Rank:
Drug dealer and enforcer
Status:
In prison

Jon ‘the barber’ Gordon operated in south London and Croydon. He had convictions for violence and blackmail. Baker and Gordon knew each other through door security and a shared love of Crystal Palace football club. Gordon earned his nickname from running a barbershop and for reputedly being good with a knife. He stood trial with Dorling and John Pearson in 2006 for the Chapman murder but was acquitted. Pearson was sentenced to 15 years for a related offence.

In January 2018, Gordon, 47, was observed by the police meeting with Baker at a lorry park in a M25 service station. The men were discussing the supply of one kilo of high purity cocaine to Baker’s enforcer in Bristol. Gordon was found guilty with Baker and others in September 2018.

Name:
John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer
Rank:
Gold dealer, Timeshare shark
Status:
Dead

Palmer moved from Birmingham to Bedminster where he ran Scadlyn Limited, a gold business involved in smelting some of the bullion from the Brink’s Mat heist. He was acquitted in 1987 after telling the jury that he didn’t know it was stolen.

Palmer went on to run a crooked timeshare empire in Tenerife built on fraud and terror until his conviction in 2001. The gangster associated with international criminals and had developed close links with Russian organised crime after the collapse of the Soviet republic.

He left Marnie, his beauty queen wife, and two daughters in Bristol for Christina, who he met through the timeshare business. Palmer lived with her in an Essex mansion, where in 2015 he was shot dead in the garden by a sniper. The murder remains unsolved and is the latest in a long line of killings of key figures associated with the iconic Brinks Mat heist. Essex police bungled the investigation, admitting six days after his death that Palmer, 64, had not died of a heart attack. At the time of his death Palmer was facing trial in Spain connected to his collapsed timeshare business.

Name:
Liam Waugh
Rank:
Enforcer
Status:
In prison

In August 2017, Liam Waugh, 30, burnt down a newly opened Bath tattoo shop and a barbershop in Saltford. The bodybuilder pled guilty to both attacks and in summer 2018 was jailed for 3 years and 8 months. 

Police surveillance also revealed that Waugh had been also working for Adam Hoddinott as an enforcer and drug distributor. Waugh picked up the cocaine from Green and Bond when they drove up from London. He also met with Woolley, who he knew from prison, to show samples of the ecstasy destined for Plymouth.

Name:
Mark Dorling
Rank:
Enforcer in Baker’s OCG
Status:
In prison

Mark ‘Robocop’ Dorling was a former prison guard who became a doorman and enforcer for Andy Baker. His nickname was due to his physique rather than a dedication to law enforcement. A club manager who knew him said he was a very “angry” man who worked the door at Howard Spooner’s club, the Clapham Grand.

Dorling referred to himself as Baker’s “right-hand man” and collected his cash envelopes from London pubs, clubs and lap dance venues. The 38-year-old was convicted in 2006 of murdering Aaron Chapman. The prosecution case was that Baker had agreed to give Chapman a beating and sent Robocop and two others. But Chapman fought back and later died of multiple stab wounds.

Dorling told the police that Chris McCormack, a feared armed robber and former enforcer for the Adams family, was the man who had approached Baker to hurt Chapman. The prison guard’s crime was to have mistreated the best friend of McCormack’s daughter. Dorling later told the police that the beating was a favour to McCormack, who Baker wanted to impress, and was part of a wider deal to import firearms from Holland.

Dorling claims he was not present when Chapman was stabbed. His appeal against conviction was turned down and in 2015 judges also rejected a referral from the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Name:
Matthew Sellars
Rank:
Former cage fighter and club owner
Status:
In prison

Matthew Sellars, 40, had got into serious financial trouble as owner of Chasers nightclub in Bristol. The chemistry and law graduate and former MMA lightweight British champion was once head doorman of the club.

Andy Baker agreed to help rescue Chasers but also saw an opportunity to take over the city’s nightclubs from a rival security firm whose boss had fallen out with Sellars over this and a jewellery shop in Bristol.

Baker introduced Sellars to influential businessman and took him to meet the Adams crime family in London. But the Conerman eventually tired of Sellars and mocked him behind his back. 

Sellars, a bankrupt, helped in the cocaine conspiracy. Separately, Hoddinott and Baker tried to extort money from a Bristol businessman who had bought the lease of one of Sellars’ nightclubs.

At his trial, Sellars said he had a breakdown because of his financial predicament and blamed his choice of friends for subsequent actions. His barrister told the judge that from 2010 to 2013 Sellars was in the UK Special Forces Reserves based in Newport but never deployed in action.

Name:
Michael Warman
Rank:
Enforcer
Status:
In prison

Michael Warman burnt down the barbershop in Saltford with Liam Waugh. On the same night in August 2017, Waugh firebombed a Bath tattoo parlour but Warman denied having any involvement. Warman was found guilty of the barbershop arson and of possessing an illegal weapon – a stun gun disguised as a torch.

Name:
Solly Nahome
Rank:
Money launderer
Status:
Dead

Solly Nahome, a jeweller in Hatton Garden, laundered the Adams family’s money through a variety of investments with varying success. Operation Trinity had placed a bug in the offices of his company, Pussy Galore. However, a well-placed police source said the bug suddenly went dead, leading detectives to suspect a corrupt cop or cops had tipped off Nahome. The bug had previously captured several detectives offering help to Terry Adams, according to a 2002 Met police intelligence report on corruption in the force. 

Nahome, 48, kept most of the financial information on the Adams’ money in his head. In November 1998 he was shot dead outside his north Finchley home where he lived with his wife, Joanna. The couple were close friends of Terry and Ruth Adams.

Bugs in Terry Adams’ home revealed the crime boss was distressed at the assassination and having to locate his criminal assets. Gilbert Wynter was still missing when Nahome was killed fuelling speculation about a fall out within the Adams family. Alternatively, it was suggested that Wynter and Nahome had fallen out with gangsters outside of London over a real estate deal in Lancashire.  

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