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Document Sent to John Whomes - Re O'Mahoney as Rettendon Murder Suspect 1996
A document sent to John Whomes
Rettendon the undisclosed evidence. Page 1 2
It is beyond belief that the Police failed to fully investigate Bernard OMahoney in connection with the Rettendon murders.It is equally of concern that the very same Police Officers chose not to interview him over the death of Leah Betts. Documentary evidence proves both he and Tony Tucker were suspects in the Betts enquiry. O'Mahoney was the Head Doorman at the Nightclub where Leahs teenage friends obtained the pill that killed her.
Tuckers Security Company fronted the operation for O'Mahoney. The Police were building a case around both men but Tucker was murdered before it could mature. For the Police, getting a result on the Leah Betts enquiry was of paramount importance. Kamal Ahmed writing in the Guardian (March 0lst 1997) appears to have got it right. 'After a year of investigation by 35 officers, the only people found guilty of supplying the drug that led to a girls death are three teenagers.
Did the Police go for easy targets instead of the big dealers ?" The whole country was incensed by what happend to Leah Betts, even the Prime Minister voiced his opinion, yet , the obvious man to question, the man controlling the door, was never troubled by the 35 Officers seeking the guilty parties. The day after the Rettendon murders had been reported , D.I. Storey decided to charge two of Leahs friends with supplying her. He is quoted in the press as saying, "We are continuing with our investigation and lines of enquiry to get a little bit further along the drugs chain". "There wont be other arrests in the short term but tommorow a new piece of information may change that situation completely."
D.I. Storey knew there would be no further charges , O'Mahoney had already told him he would not be willing to name the dealers in the Club and the next link in the chain was OMahoney himself. In his book, "So this is Ecstasy ?" he makes no secret of the fact he was actively involved in controlling the sale of drugs in the Club. D.I. Storey had a serious dilema, OMahoney was also in the frame for murdering the Rettendon trio. Storey knew if OMahoney was lent on by Officers from either the Betts or Rettendon enquiries, he would clam up and go to ground. The Police decided OMahoney would be embraced as their star witness in the Betts trial. Detectives eager to keep him on board, ignored powerfull evidence that linked him to the Rettendon murders and in an effort to cover up the fact, failed to disclose it to the defence team of the two men who were later convicted of the triple murders.
A clear policy was adopted by the Police, any evidence linking OMahoney to either or both enquiries would be ignored. Ivan Dibley is quoted in the Daily Express on Saturday the 09th of December 1995 as saying, "There is nothing factual to link these men with the tragedy of Leah Betts. I must say this is pure speculation by the media. I would appreciate it if the connection between Leah Betts and this triple murder is dropped. At this moment in time there is nothing to suggest they had distributed drugs to Leah Betts or any of her associates". The media knew the men were linked to the Betts enquiry, documents published by the Police prove Tucker was a suspect with OMahoney, Stephen Packman, one of the Teenagers charged (and acquitted) of supplying Leah said after his trial, (Daily Star , Saturday , March 0lst 1997)"I have kept quiet for 15 months. Now i must clear my name.
I was made the scapegoat by the Police. The biggest supplier at Raquels,was Pat Tate. "Everyone it seems knew of the link, so why did the Police ask people to dismiss it ? Was it because it led to OMahoney, their star witness in the wings ? When you consider the history and type of man OMahoney is and how he was treated,you have to have serious doubts about the entire Rettendon enquiry.Lawyers for Michael Steele and Jack Whomes have always argued a syndicate was responsible for the murders,much of the evidence against OMahoney would have supported this,but it was kept from the defence and the jurors.Not once in six months did the Police "officially"interview OMahoney.Despite the fact he was a proven suspect.
Nor did they interview Steele,a man they later claimed was "in the frame from day one."The Police appeared to be,not that interested.Ivan Dibley told London Weekend Television after the trial,"Everyone deserves their life,wether they be a criminal or whatever else,thats not to say however that the general public,in this particular case,will shed many tears because of their demise,a lot of the public will say,well,good riddance." His contempt for Tucker,Tate and Rolfe is apparent.On the other hand,the desire to get a result on the Betts enquiry was all consuming.Leah after all,was the Daughter of an ex Essex Police Inspector,the media,the Government,everybody demanded a result.
OMahoney was the key to that result.As interest in the Rettendon murders diminished,Dibley retired,but then Police informant Darren Nicholls,a man who knew OMahoney,was arrested with a large shipment of drugs.In a bid to save himself from a lengthy prison sentence,he named names in a story laced with 'theories' the Police had aired in the media since the murders. Steele and Whomes were the men who were named,they were later convicted on the say so of a proven liar who was backed by Police Officers who deliberately shielded another suspect from the defence and more importantly,the jury...
O'MAHONEY, BERNARD PATRICK BERNARD O'MAHONEY, A.K.A. BERNARD KING, BERNARD LAWSON, PATRICK SCANLON.
Convictions: Robbery, Wounding, Firearms, Offensive Weapons, Deception
O'Mahoney literally fought hard to gain control of Raquels Nightclub in Basildon. After a few false starts with local men, he went into partnership with Tony Tucker. O'Mahoney was 'the man on the ground', Tucker provided V.A.T. Registered invoices, drugs and additional muscle if and when required. As far as we know things between the two went reasonably well. Not only was Raquels a sense of achievement for O'Mahoney, he had washed up in Basildon three or four years earlier after being released from Prison where he had served a sentence for wounding, it was also a very lucrative business. O'Mahoney readily admits in his book, 'SO THIS IS ECSTASY ?" page 83. One deal alone was netting him £500 per week. Illicit debt collection, (see G.Q. article attached, "Cash on demand') Drug money and his hard earned wages amounted to quite a substantial income for three five hour shifts per week.
It was not a business O'Mahoney wanted to lose for financial or face saving reasons. It has never been disputed that O'Mahoney disliked Craig Rolfe and Craig Rolfe disliked O'Mahoney. (Its fair to say that nobody living within a fifteen mile radius of Basildon has fond memories of O'Mahoney, outside that radius, few actually know him.) On pages 60 to 66 O'Mahoney describes the ill feeling between himself and Rolfe. When Patrick Tate initially came out of prison Tucker latched on to him in a big way much to the annoyance of O'Mahoney and others who enjoyed a leading role in Tuckers operation. O'Mahoney resented Tates intrusion into what had been a fairly slick set up. O'Mahoney was further incensed when he learned his close friend Chris Wheatley, (currently serving seven years for drug offences, 08.08.98.) had not only been sacked from his post as Head Doorman at Club Art in Southend-on-Sea, he had been threatened on the say so of a drugged up Tate. (see page 81) This caused the first rows between Tucker and O'Mahoney.
Tucker and Tate had become inseparable, neither seemed to care who they upset. Within months of Tate's release he picked on another man O'Mahoney considered a friend. Tate, Tucker and Rolfe bullied Steve 'Nipper' Ellis so much, that in a moment of blind panic, he shot Tate. Tucker and Tate planned to shoot Ellis in a revenge attack. Tate had secreted a handgun in his Hospital bed and a message was sent out to Ellis to ask him to visit Tate so that they could sort out a "misunderstanding. "The plan was, when Ellis walked through the door and up to Tate's bedside, Tate was going to shoot him. Prior to Tate being shot, Tate and Rolfe had asked O'Mahoney to help them catch Ellis but he refused. (See page 109) When O'Mahoney heard about the plot to murder Ellis, he rang his friend and warned him to stay well away from Tucker, Tate and Rolfe. He gave Ellis his word that if it came to the crunch, he would back Ellis against, 'those three'. Steve Ellis would be able to confirm all of this. Fortunately for the law abiding majority in Basildon, Tate was caught in possession of the gun and promptly returned to prison.
Even whilst within the confines of H.M.P. Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, Tate and O'Mahoney managed to increase the tension and void that had grown between them. Bradley Alladyce, a prison friend of Reggie Kray was moved rather unexpectedly from Reggie's side in Maidstone to the rather more daunting confines of Whitemoor. Fearing for his naive friend, Kray asked O'Mahoney to ask Tate if he would 'look out' for the slightly built Bradley Alladyce. O'Mahoney agreed. Alladyce turned out to be a thorn in Tate's side, (see p. 149). Words between OMahoney and Tate were exchanged and the gulf separating the men expanded. On the 30th of March 1995 O'Mahoney was arrested for possessing C.S.Gas and a hand gun. He knew that in eight or twelve months when he appeared before the Courts, he would be convicted and as a result of that conviction, he would lose his contract at Raquels. (A Door Registration scheme is in operation in Basildon and persons convicted of such offences are prohibited from working on the Door.)
O'Mahoney made no secret of the fact, he did not want his partner, Tony Tucker to succeed him. O'Mahoney approached a man named David Lawrence, (Employed at Marshals Toyota, 398 London Road, South 2, Essex, SS7 1AX. Telephone 01268 754412, Mobile. 0860 481092.) and asked him to front a Door Staff Agency. O'Mahoney told Lawrence he wanted to "get rid of Tucker" and control Raquels and other premises from "behind the scenes." Lawrence was initially keen to assist and even looked into the possibility of setting up an 'off shore' Company so O'Mahoney could avoid future Tax payments. Lawrence became concerned about any merger with O'Mahoney when O'Mahoney revealed to Lawrence he was considering killing a man in Cornwall for £10,000. O'Mahoney said the man had fled Essex but those who had a grievance with him had located him and they approached O'Mahoney to carry out their dirty work.
Lawrence, quite naturally lost his initial enthusiasm and stalled O'Mahoney until future events destroyed all hopes of O'Mahoneys plans. O'Mahoney had made an offer on a house which was in excess of £100,000. He now realised, by the time the sale had gone through he would be without an income. He was desperate to arrange anything that could prevent him from effectively ending up homeless and broke. According to O'Mahoney, (see page 156) by August 1995, relations between himself, his associates and others were dire. He writes there was an "atmosphere of evil" induced by paranoia, drugs and mistrust. This "atmosphere of evil" he talks of, resulted in members Of their "gang" using violence not on just those who crossed them, but on each other. The once slick operation, was falling down around them. Tucker was threatening to kill Mark Murray a man who peddled Tuckers drugs in the Clubs where Tucker ran the door.
O'Mahoney was conspiring to oust Tucker and beating up other gang members who had done nothing more than stoke his paranoia with innocent remarks or even laughter, (see page 157 .page, 122.) O'Mahoneys house purchase was completed on the very date (31.10.95) Tate came out of prison following his arrest for the gun in Basildon Hospital. O'Mahoney must have known if he had problems before, Tate was now going to increase them tenfold. O'Mahoney obviously had some long term plan, (what, only he knows) but he lied to everybody about where his new home was). He told Tucker and everybody else, he had moved to Saffron Walden, (see page 13) but we have since learned he moved to (Mayland House, Mill Road, Mayland, Chelmsford, Essex.). This is approximately five miles from the murder scene at Rettendon) Tucker had arranged a welcome home party for Tate at a Dagenham Snooker Hall, but O'Mahoney, much to Tucker and Tate's annoyance, snubbed it. (see page 162.) By his own admission O'Mahoney discussed visiting Rettendon with Tucker and Tate that week. (See page 162) The purpose for that visit, according to O'Mahoney, was to look for £500,000 worth of Cannabis that had been dropped in a lake in that area.
The Police had recovered it, but O'Mahoney claims Tate thought there may be more which lay undiscovered. Detective Inspector Ivan Dibley claimed, (page 32,Essex Evening Chronicle 3rd of January 1998) "I strongly believe that there was a connection between the Cannabis in West Hanningfield and this (Rettendon) case." We only have O'Mahoneys word that he never visited the area with Tucker, Tate or Rolfe. We know in other areas he has misled people in his book. (O'Mahoneys reference to his new home for instance) O'Mahoney also admits (see page 163) he was called to a meeting shortly before the murders with Tucker and Tate. They discussed robbing a large shipment of drugs, O'Mahoney claims he declined their offer. We only have his word for this also. O'Mahoney has never disclosed the details of that robbery which is odd when you consider that he has disclosed details of murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and other crimes he and his associates were involved in. With the other participants in the robbery dead, non disclosure may indicate he is protecting himself. On page 149 O'Mahoney talks about Tate "lining something big up for the Firm inside." O'Mahoney says Tate was in Whitemoor Prison at that time, Steele and Whomes were elsewhere. Could the "something big" Tate was lining up in Whitemoor be the robbery O'Mahoney was invited to assist with?
O'Mahoney we know, had a financial nightmare looming, he was due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on the 27th of November 1995, less than four weeks after Tate's release. Considering his demeanour and his track record, its incredible he turned down such an offer from Tucker and Tate. The fact he kept the details to himself, makes it even more unlikely. On November 11th 1995 Leah Betts collapsed after taking drugs that had been obtained in Raquels. O'Mahoneys previous problems were about to pale in comparison to the problems the Betts inquiry was going to cause him. Documentary evidence published by the Police and evidence given by the Police at the Betts Trial, proves O'Mahoney and Tucker were suspected of being involved in supplying the pill that killed Leah. O'Mahoney has claimed that he refused to get involved in whatever robbery Tucker and Tate were involved with in the weeks before their deaths. It seems odd therefore, that he was willing to divert Police and media attention away from Raquels on Tuckers say so,following Leah's death, (see page 15) O'Mahoney admits after discussing the situation with Tucker, he would lure one of Leah's friends, Steven Packman to a meeting where he would be exposed as the man who supplied Leah. Packman told Norwich Crown Court he "was so scared, he told O'Mahoney what he thought he wanted to hear."
He also said somebody claiming to represent O'Mahoney had visited his home in Pound Lane Basildon and warned him, "if you implicate O'Mahoney he will break your legs and burn down your house."(see The Times, Home News, page 3, Friday December 13th 1996.) *Despite "confessing" to O'Mahoney on tape, the Jury believed Packman and he was acquitted. Unfortunately for O'Mahoney, nothing went according to plan, his involvement was reported to the Police by a Journalist. O'Mahoney could see the curtain falling, a showdown with Tucker and his sidekick Tate was unavoidable. O'Mahoney, still floundering in a financial mire, sold an expose about the availability of drugs in Raquels to the Daily Express for £8,000. (published Monday 20th llth 1995, double page spread, "Club turns blind eye to Ecstasy peril.") O'Mahoney then walked out of Raquels after five years claiming he was sickened by what happened to Leah.
Before leaving, he handed control of the Club over to a fellow Doorman named Maurice Golding because he was still at pains to prevent Tucker from taking over. (Maurice Golding 0585 325342/01272 5691892. The same night he bumped into Tucker and Tate in a Southend Nightclub called Ad Lib. He claims in his book (page 167) that he went outside to speak with Tucker and he lent against the drivers door of the Range Rover the bodies were later discovered in. Why would O'Mahoney add such detail? Friends of the murdered men are adamant Tucker and Tate were not in that vehicle that night. Was O'Mahoney trying to account for any Forensic evidence that may have been found on the Range Rover? The Police should have checked whether or not Tucker and Tate were in that vehicle that night and if not, looked into why O'Mahoney was so keen to deceive. On Sunday the 19th of November 1995,Steven Packman and Mark Murray appeared in The News of The World.
It was an expose identifying the men alleged to have supplied Leah Betts. This was a direct result of O'Mahoneys meeting with Packman which he had planned with Tucker and had hoped would divert attention away from them both. Although Tucker is not mentioned in O'Mahoneys Police statement, he does reveal Tuckers involvement in the plot in his book, (page 14) There are quotes in The Maldon and Burnham Standard p.3. February 27th 1997 from the Leah Betts trial. "David Sims, (Manager of Raquels) said, "a man called Anthony Tucker was in charge of Security at the Club and Bernard, the then Doorman, was Tuckers right hand man." It goes on to quote O'Mahoneys evidence; He (0'Mahoney)agreed he wasn't happy Raquels Nightclub had been drawn into the Leah Betts investigation and he was under some pressure from his business partner Tony Tucker to sort it out." Tucker blamed O'Mahoney for including Murray in the News of the World article but O'Mahoney vehemently denied this.
(In his Police statement he denies even knowing Murray to the Journalist) O'Mahoney was certainly not in fear of Tucker and Tate. The following day the article he cooperated with for the Daily Express was published. It was as if he was goading Tucker, he was certainly, openly defying him. On page 169 of O'Mahoneys book, he writes Tucker left a message on his answering machine saying, I'm going to fucking do you." Williams and Draper had made similar threats in the past, they survived O'Mahoneys attempts to kill them, (pages,93 and 128) The same day that the Daily Express article was published (20th llth 1995) we know O'Mahoney booked into the Thomas Kemble Hotel in Runwell Road. This is less than one mile from the murder scene at Rettendon. O'Mahoney used his partners surname King. In the morning he was in a foul mood, the Staff were threatened over the services provided and O'Mahoney was given a full refund which was sent to his address at 24 Curling Tye, Fryerns, Basildon, Essex. In his book (page 169) O'Mahoney claims he stayed at the Hotel because of his concerns over Tucker turning up at his home.
If this is true it seems odd that O'Mahoney felt confident enough to arm himself and go down to Raquels to see Tucker about money he was owed four days later, (page 169) We have actually learned O'Mahoney did not move out of his Basildon home until the 2nd of December 1995. Four days before the killings at Rettendon. Why would O'Mahoney book into a Hotel when his home was only 3 or 4 miles away? Why Rettendon, when there are several Hotels in Basildon? Between Monday the 20th of llth 1995 and Friday the 24th of llth 1995,Tucker went to see David Simms the Raquels Manager. (David Simms now manages a club in Cardiff for European Leisure, the same company who owned Raquels). Tucker convinced Simms to reverse the arrangements O'Mahoney had made. The door was took off O'Mahoneys choice,Maurice Golding, and given to Tucker. O'Mahoney telephoned Golding and rowed with him for letting Tucker take it.
On Friday the 24th llth 1995,the Doormen told O'Mahoney that . Simms had been dancing with joy now that he had gone and Tucker had taken control. O'Mahoney armed himself (see page 169) and went down to confront Tucker at the club. Tucker had obviously foreseen this and arrived with several of his friends "in-tow". One of these men was Michael Bowman. Bowman was later arrested in connection with a machine gun Tucker and Tate had allegedly asked for to "Kill" someone. In the Daily Mirror Dec 8th 95 a C.I.D. source(Talking about Rettendon) is quoted as saying "it was a brilliantly executed assassination. The victims were lured to the lane to discuss having someone else hit, but the tables were turned on them. We had excellent information that Rolfe and Tate had been trying to hire a killer to rub out a rival drug dealer, but it seems the intended victim got his shot in first. Their intended victim pushed ecstasy in Raquels Nightclub in Basildon."
Who this C.I.D. source is,is unclear, but 'their desire to murder someone involved in the sale of drugs in Raquels' ties in with events surrounding O'Mahoney. Everybody, including the Police, knew death threats were being made against O'Mahoney, he confirms this in his book. (page 172, 174, 176) It is common knowledge what O'Mahoneys views are on people who claim to be looking for him. You certainly do not have to ask Draper or Williams, (Page 91, 92, 95, 127, 128) The Daily Express Friday Dec 8th 95 also had received the same type of information as the Mirror. "The gangster allegedly ordered their assassination after he was tipped off that they were planning to kill him for being a Police informant. The man who has links with the Kray's and another gangland family, was accused of revealing the trios drug dealing activities". The following day, Saturday 26.11.95 Tate and Rolfe went looking for O'Mahoney in the Buzz Bar which is an annex of Raquels Nightclub. (see page 170.) On Monday 28.11.95 O'Mahoney appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court for possessing C.S Gas and a hand gun, the case was adjourned after he pleaded guilty. Reports were requested before he could be sentenced. Tuesday 29.11.95, the police are still trying to build a case against O'Mahoney.
They seize the interview tapes from the Daily Express, "Club turns a blind eye to Ecstasy peril" with Express journalist lan Cobain. O'Mahoney had again, been clever not to implicate himself or others on the tapes. (Ian Cobain 0836 232964 or 0171 9386395) Wednesday 30.11.95 O'Mahoney appears at Chelmsford Crown Court again. He claims in his book the police paved the way for him getting a "soft sentence" (see page 171). He was given 6 months imprisonment suspended for one year and £150.00 costs. Why were the Police so keen to appease O'Mahoney? The Betts case was getting nowhere and, nobody would talk through fear. The Police knew about the Tucker / O'Mahoney rift. They knew O'Mahoney had spoken to the press, perhaps if matters escalated he would talk to them? Thursday 01.12.95 O'Mahoney claims Police warn him Tucker was planning to shoot him.(page 172) Friday 02.12.95 . Leah Betts Funeral takes place. Saturday 03.12.95 O'Mahoney moved out of Basildon to his new home near Rettendon. We have also learned that this weekend O'Mahoney hired a vehicle from "Tavern Hire" in Maldon Essex, this despite the fact that he owns at least 3 vehicles of his own. (page173) .O'Mahoney rows with Tucker on the telephone,he tells Tucker,"i dont give a fuck about people,i'm out of it." Sunday December 4th 95 O'Mahoney tells friends he spent the day in Birmingham.
Monday December 5th 95 O'Mahoney claims the Police once more warn him about Tucker threatening to shoot him. O'Mahoney, rather than the Police sets the time and day for a meeting with them about the Packman tape,(which has been handed to the Police by a journalist) and his problems with Tucker, Tate and Rolfe. (see page 174) Tuesday December 6th 95. Between 2pm and approximately 4pm. O'Mahoney has the perfect alibi, he is with D.I Storey at South Woodham Ferrers Police Station. He claims in his book (see page 175) they discuss him making a statement about the Packman H tape, and he is warned once more about the threats from Tucker. At no stage does O'Mahoney ever acknowledge fear from the men he knows have already committed one murder (Whittaker) and are,[he knows], extremely violent. He claims (see page 176) he left Woodham at about 4pm and arrived at his partners Mothers at approximately 5pm.
We know that she lives at 2 Yeddo Cottages, Bowers Gifford, Pitsea, Essex. The journey from Woodham Police Station would take approximately 10 minutes. Why was O'Mahoney so keen to lie about his timings ? There are approximately 50 missing minutes spent near the murder scene,did he meet somebody ? He goes on to say ( see page 177) that at approximately 6.30pm he was driving along the same road as the murdered trio less than one mile from the murder scene, (he claims he was at the Rettendon Turnpike) He does not say whether or not their paths crossed nor does he say how he knew they were there. Darren Nicholls claims he was at Rettendon around this time, it is a tiny village, neither O'Mahoney or Nicholls confess or mention seeing one another. A call was made to Tuckers mobile phone that afternoon from a Village in Suffolk.We have learned that O'Mahoney,using the name King,had visited a house in Great Blakenham three or four times prior to the murders with a view to exchanging his Basildon home with the occupants.O'Mahoney regulary visited Suffolk with Tucker who ran the door at Hollywoods Nightclub in Ipswich.O'Mahoney admits He had shown Tucker the house in Gt Blakenham he was considering moving into.
O'Mahoney had the perfect alibi,he had arranged to see the Police at the time the call was being made.Could he have arranged for an accomplice,Darren Nicholls perhaps,to make the call from an area he obviously knew well knowing it would baffle Police as Tucker had no known connection with that immediate area ? In the Evening Echo,January 15th 1995, Pat Tate's Mother is quoted as saying, "Pat was warned about going to that meeting in Rettendon. But he went to protect Tony, because he was such a big man he thought nothing could happen to him." It is clear from Marie Tate, she had been told Tony Tucker was the man who was in confrontation with someone? Why did Tucker receive the most gun shot wounds, was he the centre of the assassins aggression? When Tucker and O'Mahoney had fallen out around the time of Tate's second release, 31.10.95. Tucker had purchased a new home, Brymount Lodge, High Road, Fobbing, Essex, approximately 2 miles from O'Mahoneys, (24 Curling Tye, Fryerns, Basildon, Essex. ) Prior to this Tucker had lived several miles away (approx 15) at 5 Diamond Close, Chafford hundred, Essex. Whether or not Tucker felt vulnerable in his new home we shall never know, but he applied to Basildon Police six weeks before his death, for a shotgun licence. He had no convictions and therefore we assume he would have been granted one. It is odd he applied for a weapons licence even before Tates release and any alledged association with Steele had commenced.
How and where the trio died ,bore a remarkable resemblance to an attack O'Mahoney carried out on Steve Woods, the victim of a shooting (with a shotgun) by one of O'Mahoneys friends (see page 98) . Woods had made a statement about O'Mahoney's friend after he was shot in his own home in front of his wife. Initially agreeing to withdraw his statement, Woods changed his mind and O'Mahoney decided to shoot him. O'Mahoney used a man named Billy Gillings to take Woods to a remote area,Gillings was told to tell Woods to get out of his car and then drive off. Woods still on crutches from the initial shooting, would then be shot by O'Mahoney. Gillings took Woods to the rendezvous,but he could not go through with it. O'Mahoney assured Woods there was no problem and told Woods to get into his car. Woods was driven off to a farmers field, the gun was produced and Woods was led to a ditch. Woods pleaded for his life and agreed to retract his statement, which he did do. The Rettendon Murders were executed,in very similar circumstances.Despite never holding a fire arms licence ,we know O'Mahoney has always owned guns, including shotguns, (see photos)(O'Mahoney is also ex Military,[Army],he has served in Northern Ireland and is fully versed in tactical ambush and the use of weapons.) The morning after the murders O'Mahoney crops up in London at his solicitors, the perfect place to be for a man needing to account for his movements, (no doubt arranged by him again)
He claims that he rang home to see if he had any messages, (from whom he was expecting a message he does not say) The Police he says had left a message asking him to contact them urgently. When he did, he says they told him of the murders, (see page 178) What O'Mahoney does not say in his book is that early that morning (certainly before 11am)he telephoned Sue wood's and her boyfriend Gavin and told them the trio were dead but not to tell anybody else. O'Mahoney told them the Police had told him, but this was before the times he claims in his book.O'Mahoneys appointment was 10.a.m. the call was made prior to him reaching his destination. O'Mahoneys book was ghost written by Magazine Journalist Simon Hills. Hills wrote the GQ article "Hit and Mystery" (attached) in which the details of the victims injuries and their body positions were exact. O'Mahoney readily admits he co-operated with his Co-author on the GQ article, how did O'Mahoney know such fine detail? Hills now works for the Times Magazine. (0800 181790) Hills and O'Mahoney worked on "Cash on demand" and 'Hard Graft' together for G.Q. O'Mahoney is identified by his tattoos in Hard Graft (which also proves his drug dealing activities at Raquels two or three weeks before Leahs death)his hands and darkened image identify him in the Cash on demand article.
On page 184 of O'Mahoneys book, he is at pains to point out he didn't know where the murder scene was. However, he goes on to say, once the police had completed their search, he drove down there. He doesn't explain how he suddenly "found" or learned of such a remote place. On page 187 he readily admits to visiting the graves of Tate and Rolfe but he cannot bring himself to visit Tuckers grave. This also indicates his grievance or problem,lay with Tucker more so than with Rolfe and Tate.
Document Sent to John Whomes - Re O'Mahoney as Rettendon Murder Suspect 1996
A document sent to John Whomes
Rettendon the undisclosed evidence. Page 1 2
When you consider O'Mahoneys violent history, his all consuming desire to "settle scores" with anybody who crosses his path and his self confessed state of mind at that time, he cannot and should not,have been disregarded as a serious suspect. We know through Police computer print cuts he was a suspect, yet the Police never once interviewed him on record. The same amount of damaging evidence glares at him in the Leah Betts case, and again we know he was a suspect. In the second part of this document, we will highlight events after the murders which catapulted O'Mahoney from suspect to star witness.
THE RETTENDON ENQUIRY
The Police considered O'Mahoney a suspect from the moment the Rettendon murders were discovered. On page 179 of his book he describes his partner Debra, being met at school with their children by Detectives and being taken away. He also describes being met off the train from London, ironically without prompting from the Police, he offers up the sports bag he is carrying to be searched.("I had a bag with me.I opened it and said,'Do you want to search it ?"He said,'No." How would O'Mahoney know at such an early stage, the significance of a sports bag or hold all? He claims he spent the day walking around London in "a daze". From what we know of O'Mahoney, this is nonsense. Where in London was he and was he alone? These questions and others such as did you travel to London the night before, (i.e night of the murders) because he was certainly there early the next day, have never been put to him and should have been.
The very next day after the trios bodies were discovered D.I Brian Storey charged two of Leah's friends with supplying her. Tucker was dead, O'Mahoney , the suspect they had never questioned,had spoken to the press, the Police knew he would be under threat from Tuckers associates (as we know he had already been threatened by Tucker) and so its seems they decided to "groom him" for their forthcoming high profile trial,in the hope he would help them,rather than put the evidence they had against him,to him. On December 12th 1995, O'Mahoney's rivals (see page 185) took over the door at Raquels and for a man who professed to walking out "of that way of life", O'Mahoney acted oddly. He went to the Club and threatened the Door staff with a knife effectively "putting them out". Their Company withdrew two days later. O'Mahoney's old door staff were reinstated. This goes totally against the grain of a man who claims he gave Raquels up to escape a way of life laced with criminal activity. Further evidence of his desire to hang on to his lucrative business takes place on January 17th 1996 (page 186) when he appears before Basildon Council to Appeal against their decision to revoke his door licence. On January 19th 1996 O'Mahoney loses his appeal.
He claims he didn't care, but he rang Dave Britt an Environmental Health Officer on Basildon Council and was very abusive, threatening to "take the matter further". O'Mahoney had no visible income and an expensive house to pay for.Tucker his first hurdle,had now been taken out of the situation.Still O'Mahoney could do nothing.Despite his efforts to sway the Council he realised he was losing his grip on the lucrative Raquels Club. Fate finally took a hand and the Club closed through lack of popularity following the bad publicity over Leah and the Rettendon murders. During December and January the Police continued to warn O'Mahoney his life was in danger .(see page!76) Was this a ruse to put pressure on O'Mahoney ? We know that Essex Police are capable of setting up the most elaborate tricks to scare potential witnesses into divulging information.Maybe the Police thought if they squeezed O'Mahoney enough,he would go to them for help,they would then ask him to scratch their back. On January 9th 1998 O'Mahoney attacked a man named Robert Chiltern who works for a Company called "Eclipse".
They have a house maintenance contract with Basildon Council. (01268 416610) O'Mahoney claims Chiltern (an ex friend of Tate's) was saying a group of London Doormen had put a £10.000 contract out on him. O'Mahoney as per usual, ( except of course,in the case of the Rettendon trio,he claims) goes on the offensive. His "new way of life" looking transparently thin by the second. On January 16th 1996 D.C.I Shed seizes the Packman/Betts tape from Gary Jones at the news of the World.[Now with the Daily Mirror .0800 282 591] January 22nd 1996. An unidentified man turns up at Steven Packman's home in Pound Lane, Laindon, Basildon, Essex and "advises" Packman to keep O'Mahoney out of any proceedings. At his trial Packman claimed the man threatened to "burn down his house and break his legs". It does sound like the kind of dialogue O'Mahoney uses when "advising people." Steven Smith, Packmans Co-accused, told Norwich Crown Court, Daily Star,Wednesday,December llth 1996.page 9. "He was scared of the bouncer, Bernie ,who he heard was a friend of the notorious Kray twins. Smith said he 'was as frightened of him as he was of Mike Tyson.' He added, "he was known for being nasty".
O'Mahoney was never questioned about any of these allegations of attempting to pervert the course of justice.The Police it seems, were busy bending over backwards to accommodate him. January 25th 1996 O'Mahoney meets Brian Storey at Maldon Police station, we do not know what is discussed,but again no statement or records are made. January 30th 1996, O'Mahoney finally makes his statement.[a first for him in 36 years of crime,why ?] (attached) What is absolutely incredible,is the fact O'Mahoney never names or implicates the drug dealers in Raquels. He actually confesses to having lied to a reporter earlier,by saying he had never even heard of Mark Murray,[ the dealer who he admits in his book,he and Tucker had an arrangement with".] O'Mahoney also confesses to receiving £500 per week from Murray as "a drink" (page 83) O'Mahoney must have refused to give evidence against his associates,as he would have had to implicate himself and Tucker. Instead, he fingers Packman,but he is acquitted. O'Mahoney goes on to give a sanitised version of his activities and involvement with drugs in his book.
The officer who took O'Mahoney's statement, D.I Storey hadn't taken such an active role with any of the other witnesses. Why did he not ask O'Mahoney about Murray on record, why was he so keen to allow O'Mahoney to escape prosecution? Did the attitude he adopted with O'Mahoney continue when he took the reigns of the Rettendon enquiry? Its painfully clear O'Mahoneys evidence had only one purpose, to convict Packman, the most vulnerable person of all those involved. The Betts enquiry was a weight on Storey's shoulders, everyone was watching,he needed a result at any price. Thats why he led O'Mahoney through such a turbulent time, that is why he dared not to even suggest to O'Mahoney, he was responsible, or played a part in either crime. In the Guardian, Friday December 13th 96.page 11, Detective Sergeant Nichol said that "in the early stages of the Leah inquiry there was information which led Police to suspect that O'Mahoney might also have been involved in drug dealing at Raquels". But he said "further inquiries failed to reveal any evidence of that and no charges were ever brought".
In the East Anglian Daily Times, Thursday December 12th 96, Mr O'Mahoney said he was well aware that drug dealing went on in the Club, but he said he had no involvement in drug dealing and had never been questioned in relation to Leah's death. Proof if ever any was needed, O'Mahoney was suspected, O'Mahoney did at least know all about the drugs in Raquels and O'Mahoney was never questioned once by any of the 35 officers who spent twelve months "seeking the truth". Detective Sergeant Nichol should explain what "Further inquiries" cleared O'Mahoney, if O'Mahoney was never even questioned. On February 12th 1996, Sue Woods, one of the ex promoters at Raquels and girlfriend of O'Mahoneys best friend Gavin was questioned about O'Mahoney and the Rettendon murders at her office FAB Productions. (Woods was also a very good friend of Tucker and his 'Wife' Anna Whitehead.) On February 13th 1996, O'Mahoney claims he went to Workhouse Lane to see where his friends died and he found a live shotgun cartridge. First of all we only have O'Mahoneys word he found the cartridge on this day, secondly, we don't even know if he did find the cartridge, thirdly, we know O'Mahoney had visited the scene half a dozen times prior to this,but after the crime was committed.
February 15th 1996, Michael Bowman, the man who had gone to Raquels with Tucker,'after O'Mahoney' was arrested for possessing a machine gun which was obtained for Tucker and Tate who wanted it to "kill somebody". Ian Hepburn (0800 181 790), a Sun Journalist,wrote in the paper that day " Police believed the killer of the trio, travelled with them, then got out and picked up the weapon hidden nearby while pretending to open a gate." What O'Mahoney did when he read this is extraordinary, he telephoned Ian Hepburn and told him he needed an independent witness to "see over" a matter he was going to report to the Police. O'Mahoney told Hepburn he had been to see where his friends had died and whilst standing at the gate, had disturbed the grass and undergrowth and found a live shotgun cartridge. He said he "picked it up without thinking, panicked when he realised his finger prints would be on it,so had thrown it into an adjacent field by a large Oak Tree.
But he wasn't sure,exactly where. He told Hepburn,if it was found now,he may be implicated, would Hepburn contact the Police, report what he had been told and then meet O'Mahoney with the Police? Hepburn agreed. O'Mahoney later told the Police he thought" the cartridge may have been orange, he has told others since that it was blue. He told the police it hadn't been fired, "it was new, although it had just started to form a thin film of light rust", suggesting it must have been there "about a month or so". The Police should have asked O'Mahoney, what was he doing, or what was he looking for,on the five or six occasions he visited the remote farm track after the murders. He only admitted doing so after he was warned locals had taken the registration numbers of vehicles visiting the track. If he found the cartridge why couldn't he show the Police exactly where he had thrown it? O'Mahoney is an intelligent man, he knew he would need an independent witness to share his version of events,which is why he roped Hepburn in.
We only have O'Mahoneys word he found the cartridge on the 13th February 1996. Is it possible it was lost on the day of the murder? Were O'Mahoneys visits to the scene made in the hope he could recover the "lost" live cartridge? Did Bowman's arrest and Hepburns report, panic O'Mahoney into taking action ? He knew there was a link between him and Bowman, he read the Police believed they knew firearms (and one can surmise, cartridges) had been hidden at the scene in wait for the victims.O'Mahoney says he found the cartridge at the foot of the gate where he read Police believed the weapons were hidden. If O'Mahoney had lost a cartridge with his fingerprints on and he felt the Police had made a step in his direction, this action and this action alone would have covered him if the cartridge was recovered. February 16th 1996, O'Mahoney meets Hepburn, D.C Bob Chappel and D.C Dean Sandford at the murder scene. O'Mahoney claims it was dark when they arrived, he told the Police what he had told Hepburn and they said they would "look for it tomorrow." March 1st 1996, O'Mahoney is questioned by Sandford and Chapel at South Woodham Ferrers Police Station from 09.10am until 11.15am.
That night he goes to Club Art in Southend. This Club was run by Tucker. O'Mahoney tells "Taz" the Head doorman and Tuckers friend,the Police think he may be responsible, he wants Taz and Tuckers associates to know he didn't do it. Three months after the event, this may seem a little belated, had Police interest,the press reports and the cartridge revelation made O'Mahoney panic into thinking the net was closing in on him March 7th 1996. A man named Danny Marlow whom O'Mahoney admits to having threatened over a debt is murdered in Leicester. O'Mahoney had been to his home some months earlier and to his place of work looking for him. (Somebody has been charged with this murder) May 1st 1996. O'Mahoney is once more questioned at South Woodham Ferrers Police Station. O'Mahoney admits he asked the detectives (Chapel and Sandford) if they had found the cartridge and they tell him they had not got around to looking for it properly. "We had a quick look" they add and as far as O'Mahoney was concerned, the subject was closed. On this occasion two detectives from Leicester were also at the Police Station and they questioned him about the murder of Danny Marlow.
O'Mahoney was at South Woodham Ferrers Police station from Mid-day until 3pm. The Leicestershire Officer's then went to O'Mahoneys home to seize some paperwork relating to Danny Marlows debt.. May 12th 1996. Whomes and Steele arrested. May 15th 1996. John Marshall, Tate's ex-partner goes missing. O'Mahoney too knew Marshall,he occasionally recovered debts (in the only way he knew how) for Marshall, (see GO. "Cash on Demand" article re: O'Mahoney) What is odd about the Marshall murder, is the fact Detective Supt Gamble of Basildon Police was given the task of investigating it, yet, the Police are adamant there is no link between it and the Rettendon killings. It is accepted Marshall was murdered in Kent and he was found in a his abandoned Range Rover in Sydenham, South East London. Why would Basildon Police be asked to investigate a crime committed in Kent if there was no link ? The Police,despite not solving the case,are adamant that Marshall was not involved in drugs. We have learned that this is either as a result of poor Police work,or a deliberate attempt to cover up the truth.
Marshall was heavily involved in drugs and he traded on occasion, with his close, life long friend and business partner,Pat Tate. Gary Russo, another man who went into business with Marshall selling cars, quit the partnership when he learned of Marshalls drug dealing activities. We have learned from affidavits filed in a civil case involving Mr Russo, both O'Mahoney and Russo were questioned by Detectives about the Marshall murder. It goes without saying, both "interviews" were informal. Gary Russo can be contacted at Essex Ford, Car Sales, Cherrydown, Basildon, Essex, where he works as a car salesperson.(01268 522744) Basildon Evening Echo,Friday May 24th 1996,page 8. Detective Superintendent Mike Gamble appears in the paper appealing for information about a Grey HEAD Sports bag missing from Mr Marshalls car.
This Sports bag was never found,the motive for taking it never established.Marshalls murder certainly wasn't a Robbery gone wrong.Marshall had left £5000 in cash on the dashboard which his killers chose to ignore.Nearly £2000 in cash was left on the victims at Rettendon.What did Marshall have in that bag that was more valuable than £5000 in ready cash ? Could it have been the proceeds of a deal involving the Rettendon trio ? The evidence was there in the back of the Range Rover at Rettendon.Police found an empty,identical HEAD Sports bag discarded in the boot.Whatever it had contained,was gone.We doubt if the Police tested it for traces of drugs.they knew what they may have found and the link between Rettendon and Marshall would have been forged,they would have had to let Steele and Whomes go.
Mark Hall,a Doorman who worked for O'Mahoney and Tucker at Raquels,used to work for Parcel force delivering packages and parcels. Hall couldn't resist taking items for himself or to sell to his fellow Doormen.One such haul was a consignment of Sports bags which were sold on and distributed through the Door staff at Raquels. Tucker , 0'Mahoney, Marshall and Rolfe all had at least one.On January 09th 1996,in a joint operation between Essex Police and the internal Parcel force Security Department,Hall was arrested.At his home they found stolen parcels and Cocaine and Cannabis which Hall claimed was for his personal use.He was successfully prosecuted by Parcel force but "surprisingly" not by the Essex Police.We do not know when,exactly,but we are told Hall arranged to meet O'Mahoney in the weeks after his arrest at a car park in Pitsea.Essex.We do not know what the two discussed.
A feature linking O'Mahoney and Marshalls murder never pursued by the Police , (as far as we know) is the fact Marshalls Range Rover,with his body still inside,was dumped in Roundhill.Upper Sydenham,S.E.London.This is less than one mile from O'Mahoneys London Flat in Cowden Street,London S.E,6. (number not known.) This link emphasises the concern about O'Mahoneys movements on the night of the Rettendon murders and the day the bodies were found.O'Mahoney admits to being in London early in the morning on the day the Rettendon trio were found.He admits he spent "the whole day walking around London aimlessly" which seems unlikely at best.We dont know where he spent the night of the murders,nor do we know if he had spent any time with Marshall in the area his body was found and the area O'Mahoney supposedly spends a lot of time, wandering aimlessly'. We also know O'Mahoney had a Sports bag with him when the Police met him off the Train on the day the Rettendon murders were discovered.The first thing O'Mahoney did when the Police walked up to him was to offer the Sports bag to the Detectives to be searched.WHY ?
We can only speculate because the Police chose not to investigate,but we know O'Mahoney was asked by Tucker and Tate to act as a back up driver in a big drug deal Robbery,(see page )We only have O'Mahoneys word that he turned their offer down.We know from his track record that it was an unusual decision for O'Mahoney to take,particulary as he was floundering financially at that time.We know from O'Mahoney their Robbery was both successful and lucrative,(see page ) This was obviously not the alleged deal Nicholls talks of in his 'Dud Cannabis' evidence.We know the Rettendon trio were threatening to shoot O'Mahoney,we know in turn,he was neither concerned or the type of man one should threaten.We know he was in Rettendon within thirty minutes of the murders being commited.We know none of these men,who were deeply paranoid kept anything involving drugs in their homes.(see P.C. HYLANDS statement.page 1 ."he,(0'Mahoney) replied,"six times you lot have searched my house.theres nothing there.") Could Tates loyal and trusted friend John Marshall have held part, or all of the heist from the drug robbery, to prevent the Police.who were crawling all over the trio and O'Mahoney following Leahs death,from finding it ?
Part,all,or none of that heist may have been recovered by the killer(s) at Rettendon from the bag found in their Range Rover.(We only know it was empty) Fearing for his own safety,Marshall may have called a meeting to return the trios ill gotten gains,but Marshall would have known too much and he was silenced when he arrived with the Sports bag containing the goods."Evening Echo 25th of April 1997.p.20."Drugs Author living in fear" O'Mahoney confesses he "is living in fear and states,'! couldn't stay in Basildon or anywhere else in Essex for that matter."He goes on to say there are people who would like to see the back of him because of what he had said and done.He also lies about his whereabouts, saying he is living near Portsmouth.Why.one and a half years after the deaths of the Rettendon trio.does O'Mahoney clearly believe there are people who want to see him dead ? We know he is not concerned about Tuckers friends.he went to see them after the murders at the Southend Nightclub,Club Art.We know.nobody but the Rettendon trio had a problem with O'Mahoney ,unless there was something he hadnt disclosed in his book.ls it possible O'Mahoney did take up Tucker and Tates offer to take part in the Robbery ? Is that why he is in fear,is that why he was given armed Police protection ? (see page )
The defence at Steele and Whomes trial claimed Tate had upset a syndicate for not handing over their full share from a Cocaine deal worth thousands of pounds.We have learned 0'Mahoney,a man without any visible income at the time,paid £15000 to £20,000 off his Mortgage in cash in April 1996. There were other links with Kent and South East London. Kenneth Noye,Tates friend is reported to have lost several thousand pounds because of a deal that 'went wrong' involving the Rettendon trio.Noye lived in Kent,Marshall knew him.O'Mahoney had met Noye through his Kray associates at a charity function in Woodford,Essex.Micky Bowman lived in Bromley Kent.two or three miles from O'Mahoneys Cowden street flat.Why was he at Raquels three weeks before the murders apparently backing Tucker and Tate against O'Mahoney ? Bowman,we know, was arrested at his home in Bromley.Yet he was charged by Essex Police and appeared before Basildon Magistrates for possessing a machinse gun.Surely,if there is no link,this was a matter for Kent Police ? Is this why Basildon Police also investigated Marshalls murder which took place in Kent ? The defence also claimed,'Nicholls had something to do with these killings,what it was we will probably never know.
And what his involvement was with this syndicate we shall never know." We do know weeks after the murders,somebody from O'Mahoneys native Birmingham contacted the Police and named Nicholls as the killer.We also know O'Mahoney was named as the killer in anonymous messages and at least one letter, to the Police. Both men had met at least once,at Tates bedside following the shooting by Ellis.lt was here Nicholls was ridiculed by Tate.the man we know O'Mahoney was growing to hate.We know from Ellis a plot was being hatched to lure him to the Hospital so Tate could shoot him.Nicholls must have listend to these people conspiring to lure a man to his death.We know from Tates Mother Marie,Tate was discussing the murder of Whittaker,0'Mahoney claims p. of his book,Tucker told him,'We wont be getting anymore trouble from Mr Whittaker.'Did Nicholls hear this being repeated at the Hospital,because .some may say ironically,he testified in Court,Steeles first words to him after the murders were,"We wont be getting anymore trouble from those three." In The Guardian,March 7th 1996,John Mullins wrote.'some Detectives believe the gunman was in the Range Rover with his victims,others think he stepped out of the shadows after the Range Rovers occupants were lured to Workhouse Lane,others still favour a hybrid,the gunman was indeed waiting,but the man who ordered the murders had hired a professional hitman and arrived with the others in the back seat,a trusted colleague or friend.'
Again,this mirrors the evidence Nicholls gave,is it possible,he too reads the papers or the same Detectives who spoke to John Mullins aired their views to Nicholls ? The most worrying factors about all of this evidence is the fact neither the defendants or the Jury were allowed to consider it,the Police not only with held oral and written evidence,they failed to mention the fact a live shotgun cartridge,with the Fingerprints of a suspect other than the accused was at the murder scene and they hadnt bothered to look for it.Given the evidence we know,and we are sure there is more,the Jury should have been told about the cartridge and the man whose prints were on it.The "missing" or lost cartridge is a relevant, material, piece of evidence for the reasons we have outlined,but also because missing or mislaid cartridges were an issue the Jury were asked to consider and had "all" the evidence been made available to them,they may have reached a different verdict. "Scenes of crimes Officers Detective Inspector Hughes and Detective Constable Peter Bettis combed the area and made a note of all the evidence they collected.
However.the Officers disagreed on where one particular shotgun cartridge was found and despite hundreds of photographs being taken there is not one of a cartridge Detective Constable Bettis claims he recovered from the Range Rovers footwell.He admitted it may have accidentaly been kicked into the position he found it." With Police Officers playing football amongst the carnage with shotgun cartridges in the vehicle,is it beyond doubt,a live shotgun cartridge was dropped or mislaid by the killer(s),was overlooked by the Police and was ignored when it came to light as the fingerprints it bore would have destroyed the case against Whomes and Steele and destroyed the possibility of the Polices star witness appearing at the Betts trial ? Michael Steele and Jack Whomes were convicted of murder on far less evidence,O'Mahoney was not even formerly questioned.lnstead Essex Police and in particular.Detective Inspector Brian Storey,embraced him as their star witness in the Leah Betts trial,gave him armed Police protection and ensured any embarresing links between him.Betts and Rettendon,were severed.
Tony tucker with Pat tate and Bernard o'mahoney.