Aaron Chapman was naughty by nature and, as the hip hop group's song goes, down with OPP. The 23-year-old fooled around with many women, including the girlfriend of an inmate at the prison where he worked as a guard.
But his bosses at HMP High Down in Surrey suspected Chapman was corrupt in other ways and seized on the opportunity to suspend him when he was caught moonlighting as a bouncer.
The gym nut didn’t seem to care and spent the days banging weights ahead of his discipline hearing. Then, one evening in December 2002, he was stabbed to death after a frenzied attack on his doorstep.
Murder detectives discovered that Chapman had messed with the wrong woman, whose best friend was the daughter of a major South London villain.
Chris McCormack, a former soldier, operated from a pub in the Sutton area and was known as ‘the Commander’ for his expertise planning cash-in-transit robberies.
He also enjoyed good relations with the and only three years earlier was acquitted of the Reservoir Dogs style torturing of a financier suspected of stealing their money.
Police intelligence had it that in 2002 McCormack, then 48, was putting together a weapons deal with and, as a favour, had asked the Cornerman to stripe (cut) Chapman for taking liberties with his daughter’s best friend.
Baker sent three of his closest associates but Chapman fought back and died the next day of multiple stab wounds. The suspects were Baker’s childhood friend James ‘the weasel’ Pearson and doorman , both of whom were already involved in the weapons deal, and , who knew Robocop from debt collecting and door work.
The Metropolitan police targeted Baker and were surprised at the reach of the organised crime group he’d built along the M4 corridor while providing security for ‘the plums’ – that group of posh nightclub entrepreneurs with links to the royals.
However, between 2003 and 2006 thirteen people – including former associates and his first wife – were taken into the witness protection scheme and started spilling the beans.
The information they supplied, revealed here for the first time, confirmed police intelligence linking the Cornerman to two notorious gangland murders and a hole in the ground up north.
A major break in the Aaron Chapman case came six months after the murder when was rushed into witness protection. The police had received intelligence in June 2003 that the Cornerman was sending Mark ‘Robocop’ Dorling to kill him.
Duff had started his professional life as an ambitious property solicitor from an establishment Scottish family. In 1987, he partnered with David Rowland, the Tory donor and former party treasurer, to buy Hibernian Football Club, but three years later was cast somewhere between saviour and sell-out when the owner of rivals, Hearts, made a hostile bid for the Edinburgh club.
Kicked into touch by Scottish football, in 1992 Duff was found guilty of mortgage fraud and struck off as a solicitor. He emerged from prison with a taste for further financial skulduggery and, with the help of a group of Bristol licensing agents, in 1996 acquired Lindford Studios in south London and Baker as a self-imposed partner in the club business.
“Baker was bright as a button, personable, not a psycho, but considered,” Duff told the Cable. “He introduced me to , who was a perfect gentleman for an Adams enforcer and who I got to agree not to kill me!”
Duff was willingly drawn into the Adams crime family as a legal adviser and enjoyed socialising with gangsters as much as garage artists from his successful music business.
However, by the beginning of 2003, he and Baker had started to fall out. It was the usual triggers: Money and women. Baker was plotting to take the assets of the ex-girlfriend of one of his drug-dealing associates. But Duff fell for her and frustrated the plan, much to Baker’s annoyance.
Separately, the Cornerman wanted Duff to give him £50,000 to pay legal bills for a trial he was facing for kidnap and extortion. The victim, Graeme Hammond, a printer, had newly acquired clubs in Ipswich, Romford and Manchester that Baker was trying to absorb into his empire.
Duff was told to either pay the £50,000 or ‘Robocop’ would be round to collect. However, detectives were already alive to the threat and on 23 June took Duff and eight others into witness protection. A Met risk assessment that day described Baker and his associates as having “a history of violence and suspected involvement in large scale cocaine supply and obtaining money by menaces.” It also said he was suspected of involvement in “murder and firearms” and had “the capability to seriously harm members of the public.”
The jury in the kidnap and extortion trial were of course unaware of these goings-on and three days later acquitted Baker, David Davenport and Delaney Smart.
Undeterred, detectives began debriefing Duff about the Chapman murder. Duff revealed that hours after the killing, Dorling and Pearson then Baker arrived at his flat in a panic. “My secretary was there and she had to bandage a bad cut on Robo’s arm,” Duff recalled. The secretary confirmed this to the police and was also taken into witness protection.
David Duff:RoboandPearsoncameroundtothehouse,Robobleedingbadly,andoneofmyfriendswhowastherebandagedhimup.ThentheystayedintheroomandBakercameabouthalfanhourlatertookmyselfandthepeopleIwaswithintotheroomandtoldusweweren’ttosayanythingandnobodyhadbeenthere.Theexcusehehadgivenwasthathe [Dorling]hadfallenoverandhadhurthimselfonabin.Butaccordingtowhatmyfriendsaiditwasclearlyaknifewound,andadeepknifewound.
The Met’s murder suppression team put Dorling under surveillance for months and finally arrested him in November 2003 in possession of firearms, which were believed to be part of the deal that Baker had struck with McCormack.
Dorling was jailed for the firearms in April 2004 which is when his girlfriend also entered into the Met’s witness protection programme after telling detectives that ‘Robocop’ had admitted his involvement in Chapman’s murder.
For strategic reasons, Baker was not charged at the same time as Pearson, Dorling and Gordon who stood trial in 2006. Duff, his secretary and Dorling’s girlfriend gave evidence against the three defendants and were corroborated in key parts when Pearson turned on Dorling and contradicted his claim to be walking the dog at the time of the attack on Chapman. Only Gordon was acquitted, despite having gone to hospital on the night of the murder with a stab wound to his leg.
The sentencing was sobering. Dorling was given life for wielding the knife while Pearson got thirteen years as the getaway driver who lured Chapman to open his front door. The weasel separately admitted firearm offences believed to be connected to McCormack’s deal with Baker.
A hole in the ground
Met detectives had always been interested in what David Duff knew about Baker’s links to the Adams crime family, who were the target of a long range bugging and surveillance operation since the mid-nineties.
The Cornerman, said Duff, had boasted in detail about his involvement in two unsolved murders of Gilbert Wynter, the crime family’s enforcer, and their money launderer, both occurring within six months of each other in 1998.
Baker claimed to have got rid of 37-year-old Wynter to stop him killing Howard Spooner, a nightclub entrepreneur he felt owed him money from Embargo and Leopard Lounge, two lucrative high society West London venues.
“Wynter wanted a weekly payment in cash. When it didn’t happen, he snapped and came to the club and told Baker to get Spooner into the car so he could put one in him. Baker told me he persuaded Wynter not to do it that night and he would bring him the whole takings to a flat where Wynter was staying in Chelsea Harbour. Instead, Baker told me he and James Pearson went to the flat and shot Wynter. Terry Adams was none the wiser and even asked Baker to find out what happened to Wynter.”
David Duff:He [Baker]tooktheaction,wenttotheflatinChelseaHarbourwithPearsonandtheykilledhimandburiedhimoutsideapparently,butmovedthebodylaterbecauseitbegantosmell.Iguesstheycheckedonitandmovedittoascrapyard,anditwassquashedtoapulpandneverfound.
Duff said he was also told that Wynter’s body had been crushed at a south London scrap metal yard and deep sixed.
On 27 November 1998, Nahome, then 48, was shot as he arrived home. The bugs in Terry Adams’ home showed the assassination was a surprise and blow to the crime boss.
Duff told his debriefers about a curious incident when Baker claimed Nahome had been shot one week before it actually happened. Duff said Baker later confirmed that he knew Nahome was going to be killed.
At the time of the shooting Duff was working with Nahome on a £370,000 deal to buy the lease for the Connaught Rooms in central London from Terry Adams.
Baker, however, was brazenly skimming money off the regular cash payments and dismissed Duff’s concern that Nahome would suss that the envelope was consistently light. He told Duff not to worry because Nahome would soon be dead.
The story Duff told the Met chimed with the intelligence picture that detectives had developed around Baker. He was already a significant suspect in the disappearance of Wynter and the conspiracy to murder Nahome.
A police briefing document seen by the Cable linked the two deaths and gave details of the main motive – a fall out over a land deal. The Hanging Chadder Quarry project was situated between Rochdale and Oldham. Investors planed to sell the excavated sand to builders and fill the hole with waste from the forthcoming 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. When paved, the land would become a lorry park cash business to launder money. But the project was beset with objections from the local community and by November 1998 the Adams wanted their £300,000 investment back.
following the murder he received a phone call to tell him that ‘the accountant is dead’
Nahome was supposed to meet the Manchester businessman fronting the deal on the day he was shot. The businessman told the police he had cancelled the meeting and was on the phone to his solicitor when two men on a motorbike gunned down Nahome that Friday.
However, according to the police report, detectives discovered that the businessman regularly hired a single room in Weston-Super-Mare over the weekend but on the weekend of the murder had booked two single rooms. They couldn’t identify whom the other room was for and wondered if the businessman’s bodyguard had driven the killer there from London.
Then the report said this: “Intelligence links [the businessman] to an Andy Baker, who following the disappearance of Wynter took over the running of security at most of the clubs the Adams had an interest in. It is known that following the murder he received a phone call to tell him that ‘the accountant is dead’ and he then in turn contacted [the businessman].
“Baker subsequently received a large amount of cash, which he used as a cash deposit on a house in the West Country. Baker is in turn linked to … a Newcastle based violent criminal who fits the description of the suspect. Baker was in London and has no alibi for the time of the shooting. Subsequent to the murder [the Newcastle man] deposited £5000 in cash into his bank account … Previous to that the account was usually in the red or with minimum funds.”
Credit: Nic Trott
Bigging it up?
Intelligence is not evidence and when David Duff came into the witness protection scheme in 2003 his information about Wynter and Nahome was not enough to charge Baker with their murders.
There are gangsters out there who can’t help bragging, but it crossed some minds that Baker could be bigging it up to create a reputation that subdued rivals in the West Country, where he had moved in 1998 with Vanessa Heather, the mother of his first-born son.
Baker had told me that he’d been involved in Wynter’s murder
Heather was loyal and often gave Baker an alibi when the police came knocking. However, in the summer of 2006 she approached the police wanting to give evidence against Baker for a range of serious crimes including murder.
By all accounts, Heather was spitting feathers about her ex, who she had split from apparently over infidelity and money issues. The Chapman murder trial had just finished without Baker ever having to get in the dock and was followed weeks later by his acquittal over the audacious incident at Queens Park Rangers football club when he led a group of men accused of forcing a director to resign at gunpoint.
During her lengthy debrief in late 2006, Vanessa Heather told detectives that Baker had admitted to her his role in the Wynter, Nahome and Chapman murders.
A secreting smell
Mark ‘Robocop’ Dorling was not far into his minimum 25-year sentence when he wrote an explosive letter to the police still protesting his innocence but pointing the finger firmly at Andy Baker, James Pearson and Chris McCormack.
Dorling said he had kept quiet until now because of visits that thugs had made to his friends and family ahead of the Chapman murder trial.
Dorling admitted being present at a hotel in Chelsea when McCormack gave Baker a brown envelope containing Chapman’s details, but said it was Pearson and an unknown black man who carried out the attack.
According to Dorling, the real purpose of the hotel meeting was to arrange the collection of a Mac 10 machine pistol and handguns that he said were destined for Bristol.
And in a final twist to the letter, Dorling also implicated Baker and Pearson in the murders of Wynter and Nahome, corroborating the independent accounts the police already had from David Duff and Vanessa Heather.
Dorling wrote: “Baker had told me that he’d been involved in Wynter’s murder and Pearson had told me that he’d been left to dispose of the body. This was done in a scrap yard in … Streatham Vale … It was said that at first Wynter’s body had been engulfed in concrete but after 9 months the smell was secreting from it. The concrete block was moved to the scrap yard and Pearson dismantled the block and the body was got rid of. Wynter’s death prompted Baker to move out of the London area to Devon for fear of reprisals from the people Wynters (sic) was close to.”
In November 2009, Baker was finally put on trial for conspiring to cause grievous bodily harm to Aaron Chapman. Other offences, including firearms possession, shooting a rival doorman in Bristol and the threats to David Duff were added to the indictment.
However, Baker’s lawyers argued that the delay in bringing these charges, some dating back ten years, was a “manipulation” and had robbed their client of the possibility of getting a fair trial. The judge agreed and dismissed the case before it got to a jury.
The Cornerman had scored yet another acquittal and returned to Bristol and business as usual.
Two years later in 2011, the Met launched a fresh appeal in the still unsolved cases of Wynter and Nahome. “We are now convinced that the two cases are linked. Nahome and Wynter both associated with the same people and were also well known to each other having been business associates at various times,” the detective in charge told the media.
The twenty-year-old file is still open and a spokesperson for the Met encouraged witnesses to come forward following Baker’s remarkable conviction last December at Bristol Crown Court for drugs and blackmail conspiracies.
The Cornerman declined to answer the Cable’s questions about Wynter and Nahome. Arguably, the time for bigging it up, if that is what he did, was now over but Baker wouldn't even deny any involvement in the two murders.
Terry Adams’ lawyer said his client was not willing to comment - to the media.
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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.
Drug dealer and enforcer
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.
UK organised crime group (OCG)
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.
Car dealer and debt collector
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.
Drug factory host
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.
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.
Former gangland lawyer
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drug dealer and enforcer
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.
John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer
Gold dealer, Timeshare shark
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.
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.
Enforcer in Baker’s OCG
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.
Former cage fighter and club owner
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.
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.
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.