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5 June 2006

A CLAMPDOWN on jail security was called for yesterday after files naming police informants were found at a gangster's home.

MSPs have demanded Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson step in following the serious security breach.

Two prison guards have been suspended after the confidential papers were discovered during a police raid.

They included the names of informers and details of their families and their addresses.

Computer printouts were traced to the Greenock Prison jailers.

The papers were discovered when serious crime squad officers raided the gangster's home in Clydebank, near Glasgow, last month.


Tory justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell joined calls for Jamieson to intervene. She said: "People who have been informants and then jailed have a right to expect to be safe behind bars. Police gain their intelligence through informants and if this process is being put at risk by people abusing their position then Cathy Jamieson has to urgently get a grip of the situation."

She added: "The Justice Minister should be holding an inquiry into this unacceptable breach."

The SNP's justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill said anyone found guilty of passing on such secrets should be jailed.

He said: "It is an attempt to pervert the course of justice and expose the protection of those who have been part of the law enforcement process.

"If it is found to be true, then these officers must not only be dismissed but be prosecuted."

A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that following a police operation officers removed a computer from Greenock Prison.

"Two males, aged 38 and 41, have been interviewed in connection with the incident.

"No person has been charged with any offence at this time.

"Inquiries are ongoing."

Greenock's most high-profile inmate is Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, serving life for blowing up PanAm flight 103, killing 270, in 1988.




'Squeal deals' for police informants aimed at netting crime bosses...

CRIMINALS who inform on their friends could be given FBI-style "squeal deal" incentives by police in an effort to crackdown on the bosses behind big-time organised crime.

Under new police plans, criminals could be given written contracts guaranteeing a reduced sentence if they give information that could lead to the prosecution of others.


They must first plead guilty to qualify, and will receive reduced sentences in return, in a move similar to that offered by the FBI in America.

The measures are part of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill that could come into force as early as June. Ministers hope the formal plea bargains, which are being offered by the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency and the new Serious and Organised Crime Agency, will encourage criminals to co-operate.

Only one per cent of offenders in drug trafficking cases in Britain turn Queen's evidence, while in America criminals help in 26 per cent of cases.

Under the deal, an offender will win a reduced sentence if he has an "assistance agreement" from a prosecutor.

In deciding the length of sentence, courts will take into account the extent and nature of the assistance. Similar provisions will be introduced in England and Wales on 3 April, under the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

However, some legal experts believe it will lead to more miscarriages of justice, with fears that criminals could offload the blame on to others.

Bill Aitken, MSP, the Conservatives' justice spokesman, questioned the need to make the practice formal, when it had been used by prosecutors in Scotland "for years".

Mr Aitken said: "This government cannot leave anything alone. It is absolutely amazing what has to be written into law these days because, basically, those at the top level have no experience of life.

"This should not be included in the act and it will further highlight those who cooperate with prosecutors and will lead to them being the subject of further reprisals," Mr Aitken added.

Related topics


Just how far will the Police go to protect a valuable source of information?


When an informant who has given the Police information over a number of years does that mean they can kill innocent people?


Here is a brief example:

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland); 8/12/2001


             Byline: MARION SCOTT EXCLUSIVE


One retired officer, who was close to the original investigation, told: "The man behind the Doyle murders was highly prized as a 'grass'.

"There is no question high-ranking officers kept him out of the frame, and fitted up others to take the rap. In those days, fitting up was a way of life.

"If I had to go in the witness box and tell the truth, I'd be sweating. In a fit-up job, we never sweated because it was all planned out before we ever saw the inside of a court."

Confirming the notorious criminal's role in ordering the murders, he said: "He's like the Teflon Don - ruthless, and without any trace of human conscience.

"He has put more guys behind bars than I ever did and I was in the job for more than 20 years.

"He'd turn in rivals to the police one by one until he emerged as a main player.

"His links grew Europe-wide, but every time any attempt was made to catch him red-handed, he mysteriously seemed to know what was coming."

The former cop revealed that the gangster was desperate to remove the Doyle family from the lucrative ice cream routes in Glasgow.

He said: "He was too greedy and a family was wiped out. On the night before the fire, he approached two junkies to start the blaze. They took fright and refused.

"The day after the fire, they got a personal visit and a gun was literally held to their heads until they conveniently suffered amnesia."

Instead, Steele, a petty crook who had no convictions for violence, and Tommy 'TC' Campbell, a prominent member of the feared Barlanark Team, a gang of post office robbers, have spent most of their adult lives behind bars for a crime they swear they did not commit.

They were foot soldiers in escalating Ice Cream Wars, a vicious turf battle over lucrative runs through the housing schemes of Glasgow's East End, where drugs were sold from confectionery vans.

In the early 1980s, opposing families fought to retain their patches, earning thousands of pounds a week per van.

A key player in the turf wars was Tam McGraw, later nicknamed The Licensee.

Also a member of the Barlanark Team, McGraw was named in an indictment in May 1984.

He was accused, along with five others, of attempting to murder one of the Doyle family, Andrew, and plotting violence against him and a teenage girl who worked on one of his vans.

Shotgun bullets had blasted through Andrew's ice-cream van on February 20, 1984, as it went on its round.

McGraw, then aged 32, left the court a hated man when the Crown dropped the charges against him.

Days later, he was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull following a vicious street beating.


Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland); August 12, 2001; 1,577 Words



Former informer admits killing solicitor Finucane

Birmingham Post; 9/14/2004; Deric Henderson

Birmingham Post


A former police special branch informer yesterdayn admitted the murder of prominent Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Ken Barrett (41) looked tense as he pleaded guilty in the dock at Belfast Crown Court.

Barrett was one of two gunmen who broke into Mr Finucane's north Belfast home in February 1989 and shot him 14 times in front of his wife Geraldine and their three children.

He is expected to be sentenced on Friday.

Barrett, who was a member of the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association at the time, was working as an informant for police Special Branch and the killing has been at the centre of a 15-year inquiry into collusion between Protestantparamilitaries and the security forces in Northern Ireland.

His admission of guilt yesterday is likely to heighten demand by Mr Finucane's family for a full-scale judicial public inquiry into one of the most controversial of all shootings in the 30 years of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.

Barrett, from North Belfast, was arrested in London in May last year and brought back to Northern Ireland where he has been held in an isolated cell at the top security Maghaberry Prison, near Lisburn, Co. Antrim.

When he appeared in the dock yesterday, he just nodded when asked to confirm his identity, but when a series of charges, including Mr Finucane's murder, were put to him, he replied quietly: 'Guilty.'

He also admitted the attempted murder of Mrs Finucane, possessing weapons with intent to endanger life, membership of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), wounding with intent and the theft of a huge consignment of Armyowned guns in August 1987.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, Barrett will be entitled to early release from jail, and having served almost 18 months will be able to apply to the Life Sentence Review Body in a move to be set free.

He became a police informer in 1991 after he was stripped of his post as a commander of the loyalist paramilitary organisation in North Belfast for allegedly stealing money obtained through racketeering. It was then that Barrett vowed to seek revengeagainst the UDA leadership.

Two of his former associates, who were also allegedly part of the team involved in the Finucane shooting, have since died.

William Stobie, who provided one of the weapons used in the killing, was shot dead by loyalists at his home in December 2001 and Brian Nelson, who helped provide information on Mr Finucane's whereabouts, died of lung cancer in Wales last April.

Both Nelson and Stobie were also working as informers for the police and military intelligence and it was Nelson who warned his handlers in advance of the Finucane killing that a shooting was about to take place. But nothing was done to prevent it.

Gordon Kerr QC, prosecuting, told the court how Detective Johnston 'Jonty' Brown first met Barrett in October, 1991, after receiving a message that the loyalist wanted to talk.

In a meeting which was covertly taped the officer says he asked Barrett who murdered Mr Finucane.

Referring to Mr Brown's account of the discussions the barrister said Brown was told 'hypothetically me'. Barrett went on to tell the detective how he bound his victim in the kitchen and told him: 'We are Provos. We're here for your car.'

But just before the gunmen opened fire the solicitor told them: 'You're here to take me out', according to Barrett's first confession.

Mr Brown recalled the killer telling him of firing several shots into Mr Finucane's head.

Again reading from the retired policeman's statement Mr Kerr told the court: 'He said: 'You never tire of doing this, Jonty'.

'He said he killed Mr Finucane so quickly that he still had a fork in his hand as he was lying on the floor.'

Barrett told police he was the Ulster Freedom Fighters' commander for West Belfast when he came to them and offered information about the organisation's activities.

As he probed him for more information on the Finucane shooting, Mr Brown was told that Barrett had become angry and agitated with the driver of the getaway car.

'Barrett said 'If you don't drive I'll f****** shoot you and I'll drive',' the court heard.

But even though the damning confessions were recorded by Mr Brown, the tape went missing and was never recovered.

Further meetings took place between the two men but Barrett never again admitted to the killing, Mr Kerr said.

As he was an agent for the intelligence services, no arrest was made and prosecutors were never alerted to the confession, the court heard.

Eight years later, when Sir John Stevens launched his third inquiry into the Finucane affair, Barrett was arrested and interviewed about a number of murders, including that of the lawyer.

But it was only after the terrorist again revealed his role in the crime to the BBC Panorama team in August 2001 that police were able to set in place an operation that would lead to his capture. Paid pounds 300 in cash, he agreed to meet investigativejournalist John Ware and his editor in the car park of the Culloden Hotel near Belfast, where he disclosed details of police involvement in setting up Loyalist hits.


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Note that "anonymity" is encouraged with this scheme and such shcemes
were used in the past by the UK police.


The Independent, Police turn to the internet with secure website for
informants, By Severin Carrell, 5 May 2000

Police informants and the general public could soon be using the
internet to tell police about alleged drug dealers, racists and kerb-

A pilot scheme asking the public to inform on alleged criminals using
a specially designed secure website was unveiled by police in
Bradford, West Yorkshire, yesterday. 

The Bradford Crimebeat initiative, the first of its kind in Britain,
asks the public to fill out a confidential online form, giving the
police details of the alleged offence or suspect and the location of
the crime and the name of the suspect. The site is at 

The scheme is the latest development in a well-established trend to
use the media to appeal for tip-offs on alleged criminals, after the
success of programmes such as Crimewatch UK and the Crimestoppers
campaign. Chief Superintendent Stuart Hyde, who has been involved in
setting up the site, said: "We want to provide every means possible
for people to inform us about criminal activity that they're aware

"If they've got suspicions about people and know about people dealing
drugs, breaking into people's houses or stealing cars, then we would
like to know about it. We know that the site will get rubbish on it
but I'm hoping for the little gems of information that will get

However, Professor Patrick Dunleavy, from the London School of
Economics, warned that the service could have little significant use.
He said an internet-based service for naming alleged benefit
fraudsters was launched last year by the Department of Social
Security, but little had since been heard of it. He said: "Anonymised
e-mail might well be seen as more secure than a phone call but I
wouldn't have thought the prospects for large-scale use are all that

The Bradford scheme was inspired by a well-established police
initiative in the United States, called and based in
Boston, Massachussets, which was unavailable online yesterday. Ch
Supt Hyde said colleges in the city, particularly the University of
Bradford, had sought ways to send information by e-mail to the force
about kerb-crawling and stalking around their campuses. 

In several areas of the city, street prostitution is endemic and
leads to harassment of female students. "This just provides us with
another way of dealing with it," he said. The initiative has already
generated one "promising" tip-off from the handful of "hits" the site
received in the week before it was publicised formally yesterday. 

At present, the scheme is restricted to the greater Bradford area. If
it succeeds it could be spread to cover the full West Yorkshire
police area, which includes Leeds, Wakefield, Keighley and part of
the Yorkshire Dales. The website, which includes 60 pages of
information and advice on crime preventionschemes, also warns that
the force will investigate malicious tip-offs, and could prosecute
anyone who makes them. 

But Ch Supt Hyde said that the force would accept anonymous tip-offs
and confirmed that some informants could use portable and untraceable
e-mail addresses.
Mr. Yaman Akdeniz,
Director, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
Tel: +44 (0) 498 865116
PGP Fingerprint:
075A 1640 8F7A 0273 6C24  B9C3 551F A9F1 0397 F663



MARKED MAN!; The jailed conman who turned police informer faces prison hell... 

CONMAN Paul Dawes will be a marked man behind bars after being branded a police informer, the Sunday Mercury can reveal today.

Dawes - known as The Fat Man because he once weighed 28 stone - was jailed for five years at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard he masterminded a 'well-executed sting' in which he promised to sell luxury cars at knock-down prices - and then fled the country with pounds 670,000.

Smooth-talking Dawes is now suffering from multiple sclerosis and his barrister said his swindling days are over.

Defender Benjamin Nicholls tried to save his client from a jail sentence by handing to Judge John Cavell a copy of an article in the satirical magazine Private Eye.

He said it was published after his previous court appearance five weeks ago, at which he pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud and deception.

Mr Nicholls said copies of the article were circulating in Gloucester Prison where Dawes had been held following his arrest last Christmas, adding: 'You know the potential risk to people said to fall into that category.

'They should not have to suffer extra-judicial punishment.'

The article was not read out in open court, but the Sunday Mercury has learned it alleged that Dawes was a police informer.

West Midlands Police, who brought Dawes to justice, said: 'We never publicly comment on whether a named person is, or is not, a police informant.'



LONDON (AFP) - Crime pays in new ways in southeast England where police are rewarding informants with 10 pounds (14 euros, 18 dollars) in mobile phone credits for useful tip-offs via text messaging.

Sussex Police have set up a special number to take information on crimes from members of the public via SMS messaging, under a pilot scheme called "Textme" that is aimed at young people.

"We log the information from each text we receive and subject them to proper investigation," said inspector Mark Piper, who thought up the idea.

"If the information proves useful, we respond with a thank you and tell them we would like to give them 10 pounds credit" -- worth about 100 text messages on the typical pay-as-you-go cellphone.

"The great thing about this scheme is that you could be walking down the street and text in about a crime without anyone knowing."

Nine text messages were received on the first day of Textme this week, including information on car crime and possible drug dealing. Police will only try to trace informants in case of serious crime such as murder.



£20,000 prize to kill grass.(News) 

Supergrass Dennis Woodman sneaked into hiding yesterday.

It came after Britain's underworld slapped a pounds 20,000 contract on his head.

The 40-year-old went to the top of their hit list the moment he walked free from Peterhead Prison.

Gangland bosses have ordered his killing as payback for confessions he invented against a string of hardened crooks.

Woodman, who has a record of sickening sex crimes, had served three-quarters of an eight-year sentence for kidnapping a Dumfries farmer.

He became notorious five years ago when he testified as a key prosecution witness in the trial of Glasgow hardman Paul Ferris over the murder of drug baron Arthur Thompson Jnr.

Ferris walked clear after Woodman was found to have lied on evidence.

He was given cash and new identities from three English forces after making up confessions from 20 remand prisoners.

But last night, liar Woodman was understood to be changing his identity in a bid to hide from the hitmen.

An underworld source said: "There are at least three contracts on his head - one is for pounds 20,000.

"Basically, Dennis Woodman is a dead man."

A police insider added: "There is no doubt that many people now want him dead for the lies and trouble he has caused."


DEATH OF THE SUPERGRASS; Human rights law turns police informers into covert human intelligence sources.(News)

THE day of the supergrass in Scotland is coming to an end because of tough new rules on human rights.

Detectives are to be barred from directly handling information from the touts in a bid to cut out corruption and comply with European law.

The move has been forced on them by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill.

It sets out a detailed framework for police practices on the handling of informants to bring Scotland into line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Under the new rules, the informants, will be re-named Covert Human Intelligence Sources, CHISES for short.

The new law demands informants have to fill in a ten-page document, detailing their code name, which officer deals with their information and at which station the cop is based.

Each form is numbered so the authorities can keep track of the flow of information and how much they have been paid.

The document even records the informant's nickname. Weird names such as Finger and Thumb have been used by the grasses.

All police forces in Scotland have been told to set up central units staffed by specially-trained officers, who will deal with existing informants, take their information and pay them.

But last night, top cops told how they feared the new rules would drive grasses away from giving vital information and lead to an upsurge in serious crime.

In the past, the grass or tout has been a traditional way for police to get information. Usually a criminal, he or she sells information on serious crimes in return for lucrative cash payments.

The arrangement is an informal one in which copper and crook meet in a bar, snooker hall or car park to carry out the exchange of information and money.

But now that cosy relationship between officers and criminals is set to end.

One of the objections to this arrangement was that crooks were often allowed to carry on a life of crime unhindered while they continued to inform the police.

However, the move to tighten up the handling of touts has horrified many officers. They say CHISES will not want to deal with strangers and will then stop coming forward with information.

One senior detective with Strathclyde Police, who is opposed to the new rules, told the Sunday Mail: "I know the system had its faults, but relationships with informants are built up by an individual officer over years and a bond of trust develops.

"Informants face potentially serious consequences for informing on other criminals and they are not going to talk to just anyone."

Touts can earn up to pounds 5000 for top-class information leading to conviction, but routine amounts tend to vary from pounds 50 to pounds 500.

Detectives fear payments will not be high enough to persuade touts to sign up to the new system.

Traditionally, a supergrass would be put on a register and assigned a handler, usually one of Detective Constable rank.

If he had information then he would contact the detective and a meeting would be arranged at a discreet location.

Payment would be made in cash normally only if the information resulted in an arrest. The hand-over of cash would involve the detective and a senior colleague, usually of sergeant or inspector rank, to act as a witness.

It was not unusual for police and informants to meet for drinks or meals or a game of snooker.

One retired Strathclyde detective told the Sunday Mail that he often invited his best informant and his wife to his house for dinner.

But under the new system, the police officer and his informant will have next to no contact.

Once an officer has identified someone willing to be a tout, he will hand the name to a central unit at his police HQ, staffed by specially-trained officers. They will then deal with the informer, who will have no contact with other officers.

Each new informant will have to be registered on the 10-page form. Any meetings and cash payments will be strictly logged and informal contacts will be discouraged.

It is believed that there are 1500 registered informants in Scotland, with the majority in Strathclyde and Lothian and Borders.

Superintendent Fred McManus, of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, is very concerned about the new proposals and says it could hinder the ability of the police to solve crime.

He said: "The new guidelines are very bureaucratic. Detectives will be reluctant to enlist informants for the new units because of the red tape involved.

"Inevitably, this will lead to the loss of valuable information on serious crime."

Informants often tend to be lower- level criminals who have the ear of bigger figures.

But some are themselves leading criminals who use the police to eliminate their crime rivals while at the same time feathering their own nests.

Father and son team Roderick McLean, snr and jnr, are believed to have sent scores of crooks to jails over the years with their information to police.

They were part of a gang who were sentenced to a total of 128 years in jail for their part in a pounds 10 million cannabis-smuggling operation that was foiled by customs officers in the north of Scotland.

McLean snr is serving a 21- year sentence, while his son was given 12 years.

Before his arrest, outwardly- respectable businessman Roderick McLean snr, 60, was a man thieves trusted as the fence who would buy their stolen property.

The McLeans ran a shop in busy Leith Walk, Edinburgh, whose motto was: "We buy and sell anything".

It was a magnet to petty thieves who traded the proceeds of housebreaking for cash.

The crooks flocked to the premises, unaware that its owners were living up to its motto - especially when it came to selling police details about their criminal activities.

Cops knew they could get information from McLean, information that, over the years, led to scores of criminals going to jail. Many of the thieves progressed up the criminal ladder and the shop's owners continued to mix with them and then supply the police with tips on far bigger crimes.

It has been alleged that police in Edinburgh turned a blind eye to their reset activities, something which they have always denied.

They certainly did not suspect there was another side to McLean - one that was fully exposed when he was convicted for his part in masterminding the pounds 10million cannabis shipment in 1997.

Despite opposition from rank and file police officers, the new rules on informers have the support of The Scottish Human Rights Centre and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland).

A spokesman for the Scottish Human Rights Centre said: "As we have seen, the alleged misuse of police informants has already led to allegations of corruption against certain detectives in one police force.

"The new regulations will ensure that the police are not tempted to overstep the relationship between them and the informer."

But one tout said: "These rules will scare off lots of guys."


DENNIS WOODMAN, 40, is believed to have helped put away more than 20 fellow crooks.

He was the subject of an investigation by the then Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, in the 1980s after complaints about his use by police to get convictions.

In 1992, he was a key witness in the trial of Paul Ferris, who was cleared of murdering Glasgow drugs dealer Arthur Thompson jnr.

Woodman claimed Ferris had confessed to him in jail, but was exposed as a phoney.

On release, Woodman was given a new identity, but hitmen traced him to southern England, where he and his girlfriend survived a gun and knife attack.

He is now believed to be living somewhere in London.


WILLIAM LYLE was murdered in the east end of Glasgow in 1996 over claims he was a police informant.

He was stabbed and clubbed to death in broad daylight near Celtic Park.

One of the killers, who was masked, was spotted giving passers- by a victory salute.

But a man charged with his murder walked free because of a lack of evidence.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that days before the killing, graffiti had been daubed on tenement walls saying: "Willie Lyle supergrass, your time is up, bye bye."

Lyle, 36, who had almost 50 convictions, some for violent crime, survived six attempts on his life.

His family always denied he was a grass.


ROBERT BEATSON, 62, is at the centre of one of Scotland's biggest police corruption probes.

He became a registered informant, known as The Man from Portobello, eight years ago.

His information led to the conviction of scores of Edinburgh criminals.

In January 1999, he accused detectives of supplying him with drugs to set up dealers who were later arrested.

Beatson also claimed that money he was due for information was withheld.

A team of officers from Strathclyde Police have spent more than a year checking evidence at a cost of more than pounds 1.5 million.

Their 88-volume report has now been submitted to the Crown Office.

Beatson has now been placed in a safe house and can never return to his Craigmillar home.


ANOTHER crook turned informer is 42- year-old William Gillen.

He was placed under police protection after he, too, agreed to give evidence against Paul Ferris during his murder trial in 1992.

For six months, Gillen lived in hotels, boarding houses and flats, guarded around the clock by police.

Even while he slept, police watched him from another room on a special monitor.

He alleged that Ferris and two men shot him in the legs in a lay-by at Loganswell, Ayrshire. He claimed he was shot by Ferris because he had failed to provide information on a gangland rival.

But the attempted murder charge against Ferris was found not proven.

Cops 'benefit in long run'

JOHN SCOTT, the chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, says the new rules should benefit police in the long term.

He believes they will result in fewer challenges in the appeal courts to convictions of criminals through evidence of informants.

Mr Scott said the measures will seem cumbersome to the police at first.

He said: "I can understand detectives being unhappy at the prospect of filling out all these forms.

"But it will also make it easier for officers to get arrest warrants if they identify a registered informant as their source."


This story is five years old, obviously the snitch-ocracy situation is much worse today...



Associated Press
June 3, 2000

Police Informants: Has a Vital Crime-Busting Tool Become a 'Snitch-ocracy' Run Wild?


NEW YORK (AP) -- The informant's secretly recorded tapes -- exhibits 7A and 7B, as introduced by the prosecution -- incriminated the four "gangstas" charged with the attempted murder of a Bronx police captain.

The defendants listened closely as the tapes were played in a pretrial hearing. As the sound of their "confessions" filled the courtroom, recalled defense attorney Lynne Stewart, two of the defendants began laughing.

"Both of them said, `That's not my voice,"' Stewart recalled. They were right: an FBI expert soon determined all the "voices" belonged to informant Julio "Tuco" Caraballo, a career criminal with a rap sheet longer than the 10-minute tape.

The doctored tapes provided by the would-be impressionist led to the swift release of three of the defendants on the eve of their April trial. (The fourth was already doing time on an unrelated case.)

"No one has ever heard an informant story that comes up to this level," said Stewart, attorney for one of the suspects. "This guy was a real grifter."

Yet in the ever-expanding brotherhood of CIs -- lawspeak for confidential informants -- tales of sweet deals for bad guys with worse intent are fairly commonplace.

The legal world is rife with stories of informant abuse: the mob turncoat who fatally stabbed a coke dealer while under federal witness protection, or the crackhead crook who tried to ruin a decorated detective in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Altruism is rarely an informant's motive; self-preservation generally works. Caraballo hoped to duck drug charges and a lengthy jail term when he went to work for police.

"They are many more informants than ever before," said Gerry Lefcourt of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "They cut deals to save themselves. And they have to make evidence up if they don't have it."


Draconian sentencing statutes with mandatory minimum terms have encouraged more criminals to testify, defense lawyers say. Judges have no room for discretionary sentences; they can only show leniency if the prosecutor requests it in a form letter called a 5K-1.

"Every informant wants that 5K-1 letter," said veteran criminal attorney Ron Kuby.

Informants, in many ways, remain the lifeblood of law enforcement. Not even the harshest government critics advocate their elimination.

Informants helped take down the American Mafia, played key roles in infiltrating white supremacist groups and militias, and assisted in cracking the World Trade Center bombing case (where the informant collected a reported $1 million).

But some critics, including an ex-federal agent who handled scores of informants during a 25-year career, complain that the current system -- which has grown into a multimillion dollar government business -- has become heavily flawed.

"Criminal justice has now turned into a snitch-ocracy," Kuby said. "There is wholesale reliance on the worst people, with the meanest of motives, to secure justice for all."

Kuby's observation comes from experience. In 1995, Malcolm X's daughter Qubilah Shabazz was arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in revenge for his alleged role in the 1965 assassination of her father.

Shabazz was implicated by informant Michael Fitzpatrick in return for a $45,000 payment. But Fitzpatrick had a history of his own.

Once a bomber with Rabbi Meir Kahane's violent Jewish Defense League, Fitzpatrick turned on his cohorts, became an informant and was relocated to Minneapolis. Once there, he had three trips to rehab for cocaine abuse. He was facing drug charges when he opted to flip against Shabazz, a high school classmate.

Federal prosecutors offered 40 taped phone calls between Fitzpatrick and Shabazz. The defense noted that 38 of them were initiated by the informant. Entrapment, shouted Shabazz's lawyer (and Kuby's late partner), William Kunstler, describing Fitzpatrick as "evil and immoral." Even the case prosecutor labeled Fitzpatrick a "very unsympathetic" witness.

Faced with Fitzpatrick's credibility woes, prosecutors struck a plea bargain to keep him off the stand. In 1997, a judge simply dropped the charges against Shabazz.

Yet Fitzpatrick's story was no anomaly.

Nicholas Mitola was a New Jersey mobster who flipped in 1987, testifying against his cohorts in the Lucchese crime family. The Witness Protection Program moved him to Spokane, Wash.

Once west, Mitola returned to his old ways: gambling and dealing drugs. On Feb. 20, 1991, after a cocaine buy went bad, Mitola fatally stabbed a drug dealer and stuffed his body into a car trunk.

Mitola did barely 28 months for the slaying before his release on Aug. 13, 1997. He then opened an espresso company that never produced a single cup of joe, using it as cover for a $5 million a year gambling ring, authorities said.

In a nice twist, Mitola was indicted March 8 with the help of an informant -- his estranged girlfriend.

In another humiliation for law enforcement, a Fortune 500 executive was shot by members of a federal task force's SWAT team during an early-morning raid on his San Diego home in 1993. A confidential informant had told authorities that the 45-year-old executive had 5,000 pounds of cocaine in his garage, with four armed Colombians guarding the stash. There was no other corroborating evidence.

When the gunsmoke cleared, the invading feds recovered nothing. The executive survived three gunshot wounds, sued the federal government and collected $2.75 million.

A more recent case involves Zaher Zahrey, a decorated undercover detective in Brooklyn with 11 years on the job. A drug-addicted serial mugger, looking to beat a life sentence, implicated him as a member of "The Supreme Crew," a murderous drug gang.

Worse, a police investigator was captured on tape promising the criminal, Sidney "Bubba" Quick, "a very, very, very sweet deal" if he could further implicate the policeman.

Quick soon did. Based solely on his testimony, Zahrey was indicted on multiple corruption charges. He was jailed for six months pending trial, separated from his wife and three children.

A Brooklyn federal jury acquitted him in five minutes on June 27, 1997.

His career derailed, Zahrey now pounds a beat at the police tow pound, and awaits resolution of a wrongful prosecution lawsuit against the city.

During depositions for the civil suit, several prosecutors and police officers acknowledged they had no training in the proper handling of an informant, according to Zahrey's attorney, Joel Rudin.

Meanwhile, in April, former Black Panthers leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt received a $4.5 million settlement from the FBI and the city of Los Angeles for false imprisonment. Pratt, 53, spent 25 years in prison until his conviction for murdering a California school teacher was overturned in 1997.

Pratt accused the FBI and police of hiding exculpatory evidence. But the judge who finally granted Pratt a new trial cited the credibility of a key government witness, Julius Butler.

The witness, who claimed that Pratt confessed to him, was a police informant.

Mike Levine, a retired federal agent who spent a quarter-century handling informants, remembered the only instruction he ever received for dealing with the folks he now dismissively calls "rats."

"Every undercover is told the same thing: Do not trust an informant. They are habitual, congenital liars," Levine recalled. "And then an assistant U.S. attorney stands up and tells a jury, `Believe this witness."'

In the Bronx case, Caraballo was the unlikeliest prosecution witness since Sammy "The Bull" Gravano and his 19 murders mesmerized courtrooms eight years ago. (Gravano's recent arrest on Arizona drug charges scuttled a pending jury-tampering case involving mob boss John Gotti.)

Caraballo's rap sheet was 36 pages long. It covered 30 years of crime, and featured 26 convictions.

But he was willing to help solve the wounding of Bronx police Capt. Steven Plavnick, shot on Oct. 19, 1996, allegedly by gang members retaliating for the choking death of a Bronx man by a city police officer.

Caraballo, 55, was under drug indictment when he volunteered to identify Plavnick's shooters in return for leniency.

"Then he went out and made tapes," defense attorney Stewart says. "And I mean quite literally, he MADE them."

According to Stewart, the prosecution case was inextricably tied to the tapes, which were unquestionably doctored. One tape was erased, a la Rosemary Woods, to delete a section that would have exonerated the suspects. On another tape, Caraballo did the voices for himself and two suspects.

Prosecutors proceeded anyway, right up until the FBI itself called the tapes bogus.

"Law enforcement thinks anybody who comes to them must be truthful. The informant's been shown the error of his ways, and reformed," Stewart said.

"Obviously not."

Lefcourt's national defense lawyers' group has asked Congress to enact a corroboration statute, ensuring that defendants cannot be convicted solely on accomplice testimony.

That hasn't happened yet, so cases like Detective Zahrey's continue to reach trial despite a dearth of evidence.

The prosecution's comments? Most often, there is no comment when cases blow up in their faces, creating a public relations disaster.

The Bronx district attorney's office did not return a call about the Caraballo case, although the maladroit snitch could face perjury charges. And ex-U.S. Attorney Andrew Maloney, whose office brokered the Gravano deal, was just as close-mouthed when his star snitch was busted in Arizona for allegedly running a drug ring.

"He will not be speaking," his secretary said in a 10-second phone call, "about Sammy Gravano."


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Reply with quote  #3 

Hi Admin2... thanks for all the excellent information and articles with regards to the topic of 'Police Informants' - all of it interesting, most of it shocking and some of it downright unbelievable.


First of all, with regards to the list of police informants found in the home of a criminal and which have been allegedly provided by staff of Greenock Prison, I wonder (a) how the system is going to cover this one up, because of course, they will try, and (b) how much the staff pocketed as a result of providing such information, if of course, they did provide the aforementioned information....


As for Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson saying that "police gain their intelligence through informants", again, this throws up several points in my mind, those being that (a) I wasn't aware the police had that much intelligence to start with, and (b) WHY DON'T THEY GO AND DO THEIR BLOODY JOBS THEMSELVES INSTEAD OF RELYING ON BENT & IN SOME CASES VERY SICK INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD FIT UP THEIR OWN MOTHER????


The story relating to "squeal deals" for police informants, in which  offenders will WIN a reduced sentence if he has an "assistance agreement" from a prosecutor, I am inclined to think that this will only encourage more people to fit-up other people in an attempt to avoid or reduce a custodial sentence.  Call me a cynic, but we all know (and THEY know) that there are some evil b**tards out there who would go to any lengths to put innocent people behind bars.  A nice 'official' contract which offers someone an out if they squeal may just be too tempting for all the low life out there to resist.  And as for "winning" a reduced sentence - is this a game of playing with people's lives?


With regards to the Sunday Mail article, we don't have to look very far, or think very hard about the fact that some police informers do indeed, have a license to do whatever the hell they like.  And the most sickening thing about it is, is that they get away with it too.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #4 

Tip-off by police informer led to Forest Gate raid

British Muslims fear lasting damage to relations with police as 'series of mistakes' is investigated

By Sophie Goodchild and Francis Elliott

Published: 11 June 2006

Officers were acting on a tip-off from a known British-based informant, who had contacted Scotland Yard directly, when they carried out their massive raid in Forest Gate nine days ago.

It is understood that the two men arrested in the raid knew the informant, and that an MI5 handler checked out his story as "plausible". This contradicts previous reports which suggested that the information came from foreign sources and was received by the intelligence services.

There was growing criticism yesterday of the police operation after they released the two men they had been holding under anti-terrorism laws.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar and Abul Koyair were in police custody for a week after being detained in a dawn raid on their house in east London. The original raid involved 250 officers who had been told to search for a chemical bomb.

Lawyers acting for the two men said that they were now trying to put their ordeal behind them. "There is a lot of recovering to be done," said Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce and Partners. "Abul Koyair should really be recovering in a hospital."

The police could face a huge compensation claim from the two men, especially Mr Koyair who was shot and injured. There is also considerable damage to their house, which was taken apart by officers.

Murad Qureshi, from the Metropolitan Police Authority, said that the Met needed to learn from a "series of mistakes".

He said: "They cover everything from the collection of intelligence and how you corroborate that, to the nature of the surveillance of suspects, through to how the suspects are actually dealt with, particularly in this case - how we find ourselves with one of the brothers shot and quite a lot of the slander that has been out in the press."

There are many questions which have yet to be answered, such as how did one of the suspects get shot and why police did not take more time checking the veracity of the intelligence that they received.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is carrying out an investigation into the discharge of a single shot. It is expected to take several weeks before the results of forensic tests are known.

The most plausible theory is that the gun went off accidentally during a struggle on the narrow stairs and during the confusion that followed the raid.

Police have defended the pre-dawn raid by almost 250 officers, saying that they were responding to "specific intelligence" that one of the men had built an explosive device.

The Metropolitan Police has been quick to apologise for the anger they have caused to the Muslim community for what have been described as heavy-handed tactics.

Muslim residents in Forest Gate who know the two men have warned that the raid has caused lasting damage. Rizwan Aslam, a neighbour, said: "I heard Kahar was in prison before, but after that he changed completely and is a very nice guy. I think they were raided because they are Muslims with beards."

Additional reporting by Martin Hodgson


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Reply with quote  #5 

The confidential report seen by the Telegraph
POLICE corruption in Britain is now so widespread it may have reached levels which normally only occur in unstable Third World countries, according to a confidential document obtained by The Telegraph.

The growth of the international drugs trade and the massive amounts of money available to criminals to offer as bribes are identified as the key cause.

The document, the minutes of a meeting organised by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), and attended by 10 of Britain's most senior officers and policy makers, states that "corrupt officers exist throughout the UK police service". NCIS's Director of Intelligence said that corruption may have reached "level 2: the situation which occurs in some Third World Countries".

Police are so concerned they say that drug testing and lie detector tests for detectives should be considered as options in the fight against corruption.

The document, the minutes of a meeting organised by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), and attended by 10 of Britain's most senior officers and policy makers, states that "corrupt officers exist throughout the UK police service".

NCIS's Director of Intelligence indicated that corruption had become "pervasive" and may have reached "level 2: the situation which occurs in some Third World countries".

But the facts about police corruption in Britain today are being deliberately concealed from the public. The confidential document suggests the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) formulates a strategy for dealing with "adverse publicity". A month after the NCIS meeting, David Blakey, the president of ACPO, formally stated that he and his collegues believed "the true level of corruption in the modern police service is extremely low".

The NCIS minutes state that "common activities" of corrupt officers include theft of property and drugs during searches, planting of drugs or stolen property on individuals, supplying details of operations to subjects, providing tip-offs to criminal associates, and destroying evidence.

It adds that "in severe cases, this also includes the committing of serious crimes including armed robbery and drug dealing, or the licensing and organising of such crimes".

The meeting decided that police corruption was so serious that NCIS should be given the role of co-ordinating intelligence on corrupt officers in every force in the country. MI5 and ACPO had both agreed to that proposal. Regional forces should follow the Metropolitan Police rules and establish hot lines so that honest officers could inform on their corrupt colleagues in confidence.

The informant/handler relationship is identified as one which is frequently used by corrupt officers to disguise what is in reality a straightforwardly criminal liaison. "Many criminals believe that by becoming informants they. . . are given an opportunity to corrupt an officer."

It recommends that MI5-style security officers be appointed to oversee handlers and informants.

Roger Gaspar, NCIS director of intelligence, suggested that internal police investigation units were needed to mount covert operations against the force's own officers. They should intercept communications, tap phones, and use hidden microphones and cameras to gain evidence. At the same time they should introduce rigorous new security techniques to ensure that they themselves were not infiltrated by corrupt officers.

The task is made difficult because "some of the most overtly honest officers have actually been extremely corrupt".

The meeting had no doubt about the cause of the corruption crisis: the multi-million pound drug trade. "The enormous volume of money that is available to criminals, especially to drug importers and dealers means that very large sums can be offered to corrupt officers. Criminals are willing to pay to ensure their ability to operate."

The meeting emphasised that combating corruption should include investigating sources of leaks to the media. "Many officers do not regard contact with the media. . . as corrupt."

The minutes also noted, without any apparent irony, that one of the controls on corruption is "a vigorous, uncensored media".



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14 June 2006

A POLICE informant who disappeared after returning to Scotland was murdered, a court has heard.

Small-time crook Michael Doran travelled from England with an associate but never came back.

Fellow Glaswegian Stephen McColl is accused of killing the 22-year-old.

He is also accused of killing Phillip Noakes, 30, another criminal whose body was found in a shallow grave.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday heard that although the murders took place almost three years apart, they were connected.

McColl, 38, is on trial along with another Scot, 23-year-old Daniel Henson, who is charged only with murdering Noakes.


Both men deny all charges against them.

The court was told both men, of Salford, Greater Manchester, were armed robbers with access to a shotgun.

Prosecutor Peter Wright said both victims had come to be regarded as a "liability" by McColl.

He said that Doran, a drug addict, began to act oddly after becoming a police informant.

This made him a liability to McColl and on March 23, 2001, the two men drove to Scotland but only one came back.

The court was told that Noakes was an associate of McColl's and he too disappeared after crossing the Scot.

On November 1, 2003, Noakes was seen with both the accused close to his home on Salford's Ordsall estate.

Noakes's body was later found close to woods by the side of the M60 in Manchester by a man walking his dog.

Mr Wright said Noakes had been shot then his body had been stripped and mutilated.

The case continues.


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Reply with quote  #7 

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005





71     Assistance by offender: immunity from prosecution
      (1) If a specified prosecutor thinks that for the purposes of the investigation or prosecution of any offence it is appropriate to offer any person immunity from prosecution he may give the person a written notice under this subsection (an "immunity notice").
      (2) If a person is given an immunity notice, no proceedings for an offence of a description specified in the notice may be brought against that person in England and Wales or Northern Ireland except in circumstances specified in the notice.
      (3) An immunity notice ceases to have effect in relation to the person to whom it is given if the person fails to comply with any conditions specified in the notice.

72     Assistance by offender: undertakings as to use of evidence
      (1) If a specified prosecutor thinks that for the purposes of the investigation or prosecution of any offence it is appropriate to offer any person an undertaking that information of any description will not be used against the person in any proceedings to which this section applies he may give the person a written notice under this subsection (a "restricted use undertaking").


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Reply with quote  #8 

Hi Magpie & Admin2... thanks for your posts with regards to 'Police Informants'.


Magpie's post with regards to the article highlighting the tip off by police informer that led to the Forest Gate raid, and the  post on Serious Organised Crime & Police Act, including the link, was very informative.


With regards to Admin2's post and subsequent link contained within the post to the report, 'The Shameful Truth About Police Corruption' - excellent post and very interesting reading, as was the post in relation to the informer who vanished off the face of the earth... 


As the saying goes, you fly with the craws, you get shot with the craws.


However, with regards to the Forest Gate raid, perhaps the police should have checked out their 'intelligence' much better than they obviously did.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #9 

IRA insists victim was informer
Jean McConville was a mother of ten children
Jean McConville was abducted and murdered in 1972
IRA murder victim Jean McConville did pass information to security forces, the IRA has claimed in a statement.

Mrs McConville was abducted, murdered and secretly buried in 1972.

In a statement, the IRA insisted a "thorough investigation" confirmed that the mother of 10 "was working as an informer for the British army".

Her daughter said the IRA statement had only caused them more pain. A police ombudsman inquiry found no evidence Mrs McConville had ever been an informer.

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said on Friday they had extensively examined intelligence available at the time and found no evidence Mrs McConville had ever passed information to the security forces.

Jean McConville's daughter, Helen McKendry
They can't put a statement out saying they murdered an innocent woman, so this is their way of justifying what they did,
Helen McKendry
Jean McConville's daughter

This was welcomed by Mrs McConville's family, including her daughter, Helen McKendry, who said the ombudsman had confirmed what the family had always known - that their mother was an innocent woman.

However, after the IRA released its statement on Saturday, she said she was not surprised at their insistence her mother was an informer.

"They can't put a statement out saying they murdered an innocent woman, so this is their way of justifying what they did," she said.

"We thought things would die down and we could get grieving and get some sort of peace but there's always something brings it back."

Jean McConville's remains were found on a County Louth beach
Jean McConville's remains were found on a County Louth beach
The IRA said its inquiry was in response to a "public request" from Mrs McConville's family.

It said the conclusion had been reported to her son, Michael.

"The IRA accepts that he rejects this conclusion," it added.

"The IRA regrets the suffering of all the families whose loved ones were killed and buried by the IRA."

Remains found

In 1999, the IRA admitted they had killed Mrs McConville and several other of the "Disappeared", but alleged some of them had been informers.

No real credibility will be attached to (the IRA's) continued attempts to malign the memory of Jean McConville
Mark Durkan
SDLP leader
Mrs McConville, who was a widow, was killed after she went to the aid of a fatally wounded British soldier outside her home in west Belfast's Divis flats.

Her remains were finally found at Shelling Hill beach in County Louth in the Irish Republic in August 2003.

In response to the IRA statement, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said "no real credibility will be attached to (the IRA's) continued attempts to malign the memory of Jean McConville".

He added: "I hope the McConville family can take comfort from the fact that decent people fully accept the verdict from the police ombudsman and are likely to be cynical about another self-serving version of events from the IRA."

On Friday, the police ombudsman said it was not her normal role to confirm or deny the identity of people working as agents for the security services.

"However, this situation is unique. Jean McConville left an orphaned family, the youngest of whom were six-year-old boys," Mrs O'Loan said.

"The family have suffered extensively over the years, as we all know, and that suffering has only been made worse by allegations that their mother was an informant."

The bodies of four of the "Disappeared" - people abducted and murdered by the IRA - have been recovered. Five more have not been found.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Nod Nod & Wink Wink:


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Reply with quote  #11 
16 July 2006

A CIVIL servant has been accused of leaking information about a police supergrass to a gangland boss.

Lyndsey Pollock, 36, was arrested and charged with data protection offences and putting a vulnerable witness at risk.

The grass was supposed to be in a safe house with a new identity and national insurance number under  Scotland's witness protection programme.

He was due to give evidence against the mobster in a major drugs trial.

The man, who we are not naming, was stunned when the gangland boss turned up at his house to WAVE at him through the living room window.

He pressed a panic button installed by police and moments later the gang boss was arrested.

The incident led to a police probe into how the mobster was able to find the grass. He was supposed to be in the safe custody of the witness protection programme - the only one of its kind in Scotland.

Last weekend police arrested Pollock, who works at the Jobcentre Plus office in Parkhead, Glasgow.

The Benefits Agency cross-references old National Insurance numbers with new ones given to witnesses forced to change their identities.

So anyone with access to their computer network can tap in an old NI number and be cross-referred to the new one - complete with the new name and address. Officers who run the protection programme were stunned to learn how easy it is to find one of their witnesses.

Jobcentre Plus officials are auditing their systems to check other cases and have also launched their own internal inquiry.

The witness in question has been moved again at enormous cost to the taxpayer. Some witness relocations cost more than £30,000.

A source said: "There is a career criminal in Glasgow who police believe got in touch with this girl.

"He has a major drugs case coming up against him and was desperate to find thiswitness. It's alleged this female accessed the computer. It seems ridiculously easy."

One senior detective said: "This makes a mockery of what we are trying to do. These witnesses will feel violated and terrified that it's so easy for them to be found.

"Everyone involved in the programme is furious that their hard work could be undermined in such a way."

Strathclyde Police said: "We can confirm that a 36-year-old woman is the subject of a report to the fiscal in connection with data protection offences."


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Reply with quote  #12 
31 August 2006

THE jury were not told McColl was already serving a total of 15 years in jail for armed robbery.

He was given six years for his part in a raid on the Bridgewater Tavern in Erskine, Renfrewshire, in 2004.

McColl got away with £15,000 during that incident.

This year, he was given a further nine year sentence after admitting six violent robberies across northwest England.

McColl was also linked to the murder of fireman Ralph Sprott in 1997.

Sprott, 34, was shot twice in the head by a man who escaped on a motorbike at speeds of up to 130mph. And McColl was an early suspect in the Clydebank killing.

But a girlfriend insisted he was with her in Salford at the time of Sprott's death.

McColl was never charged with the murder.

But his name was linked to the case in public when two others, John Ferrier and James Dunn stood trial for the fireman's death.

They walked free after a jury at the High Court in Glasgow returned a not proven verdict.

Despite his reputation as a feared underworld figure, McColl was also a police "grass".

The killer nicknamed "Boom Boom" provided information to Greater Manchester Police - a decision the force later came to regret.

McColl told them all about the activities of rival criminals, while carrying on with his own career as an armed robber.

A source said: "Boom-Boom offered his services as an informant to several Scottish police forces but was turned down because he was too dangerous."

Yesterday, one top Scottish detective said it was "inconceivable" that McColl would have been recruited by any force in Scotland.

Greater Manchester Police were less fussy. And in the wake of McColl's arrest for murder, watchdogs carried out an investigation.

They found "failings" in the informant recruitment system, which has now been overhauled.

Four officer were "given advice" on future conduct but not formally reprimanded.


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Reply with quote  #13 




GRASSES such as hitman Stephen "Boom Boom" McColl are a necessary evil of modern policing, according to some.

Strange then that Scottish cops say they refused to work with him because he was too dangerous.

Paedophiles, drug runners, armed robbers and worse have been registered by them as informants. Where do they draw the line?


(Perhaps the are still delighted with Thomas McGraw then?)

The TRUTH is out there...........

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"What Could I Do?"

While researching a story on John A. "Junior" Gotti the son of the former "Dapper/Teflon Don," currently known as "the imprisoned for life Don" journalist Howard Blum asked his interviewees to "reach out to 'the Bull,' I'd like to talk to him." Blum's wish came true and he was soon contacted by Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.

Sammy Gravano
Sammy "The Bull" Gravano (AP)

In a late night phone call Gravano told Blum that he was "forced out" of the Witness Protection Program by a woman who was stalking him after she learned his true identity while living in Colorado. Blum and Gravano arranged a meeting in a restaurant, "some place west of the Mississippi." During the interview Gravano did his usual crying on the shoulder routine stating, "Sometimes I question how I got to be the way I am. I had a great mother and father. I don't know how I got to be the way I am. No emotion. No feeling. Like fuckin' ice."

Gravano talked freely about the murders he committed. There has always been some confusion regarding Gravano's role in the 19 murders he admitted to. Based on his confessions he pulled the trigger in only one of those killings. While not to diminish his role in the deaths of those individuals, Gravano is not a serial killer as his detractors have labeled him. Gravano acted as the wheelman in some murders and was at the scene in several others. In one killing he was merely involved in the discussion of it. Perhaps his own ego led people to believe he played a larger role. He told Blum, "I never killed in a fit of anger. I'm controlled. A professional. I killed because of my oath."

These don't seem like the words of a man who had done the actual dirty work in only one murder. But that seems to be the pattern Gravano followed, saying and letting people believe one thing, while in reality doing just the opposite. Gravano would have everyone believe that he was being a dedicated soldier in a "society" that had honor at the center of it. He did his job, whether he liked it or not, because those were the rules of his society the society called La Cosa Nostra, which many still refer to as the Mafia.

In 1997 Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia was published. Peter Maas wrote the book with Gravano's help. Gravano is given a golden opportunity to describe his life in the terms he chooses. What the reader needs to understand is that nowhere in the book is Gravano's word challenged. He is allowed to present his own opinions on all the people he dealt with, on both sides of the law. Only Gravano's side of every issue and every murder is discussed.

One of the recurring themes in the book is Gravano crying, "What could I do?" Gravano allows his young brother-in-law to be murdered and all that's left to be buried is a hand. Gravano responds, "What else could I do?" He talks about how "heartbroken" he was when his parents had to sell the home they loved to help out his sister while Sammy has plenty of money. "So what can I do?" he pleads. When ordered to kill a Philadelphia mobster, Gravano spends several hours with the man and learns to respect him. He then orders a subordinate to shoot him in the back of the head. "There was nothing else I could do," claims Gravano in justifying his action. Even when the wife of one of his crewmembers seeks Gravano's help because of her husband's drug problems, Sammy responds by having the man murdered. "But there's nothing I can do about (it). This was the life."

However, when Gravano finds himself cornered and facing trial and a long prison sentence, the honor, the respect and the oath he took as a made member of La Cosa Nostra suddenly become secondary to what's best for Sammy. Gravano quickly figures out the answer to "What could I do?"

1. "What Could I Do?"

2. Bensonhurst Memories

3. Career Choices

4. Making his Bones

5. Glued to the Mob

6. Being Made

7. Living by the Rules

8. Understanding Castellano

9. Business as Usual

10. More Bloodshed

11. The Boss's Days are Numbered

12. Murder of Castellano

13. A New Regime, Another Murder

14. Gotti's Woes and More Killings

15. Promotional Pitfalls

16. More Gravano Notches

17. Dealing with the Gotti Ego

18. His Mouth, His Downfall

19. "The Bull" Becomes "The Rat"

20. Sammy Testifies

21. Honoring a New Commitment

22. Sammy vs "Son of Sam"

23. Life After the WPP

24. Arizona Interview

25. Final Contradiction

26. New Chapter - Chronic Bad Boy

27. Bibliography

28. The Author

<< Previous Chapter 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 >> Next Chapter


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Reply with quote  #15 


A Sleazy And Sordid Affair

I have received a number of requests for my opinion on the Dave Courtney acquittal of the charge of perverting the course of justice. Bizarrely, some of the requests are from associates and 'friends' of 'Dodgy' Dave.

The good news is that he was acquitted.

However, there were a number of serious accusations and counter-accusations, but an undeniable fact is that the case was a sleazy and sordid affair.

The Real Victim

The victim, a hard working young mother and nursery teacher, was 'fitted' up as a Class One drug dealer by her estranged husband, a private eye and a drug addict policeman.


The purpose of the plot was to ensure the estranged husband, a wealthy jeweller, would gain custody of the couples 2 years-old son.

It was alleged by the police that 'Dodgy' Dave was involved in the conspiracy.

Any act of 'fitting-up' is a disgraceful crime and I know of many, many cases. They are all bad!

However to 'fit-up' a young mother, of good character, for the purpose of cheating her out of the custody of her son, and, at the same time, get the young woman a long prison sentence is, probably, the worst case I have come across.

Dodgy' Tommy Mack

However, this sickening scenario doesn't end there for 'Dodgy' Dave because he was denounced in court as a 'grass' by the police and his 'snide' police informer name was said in court to be, Tommy Mack'.

Dodgy's explanation for this is that it was a disguise to cover-up his corrupt relationship with the crooked 'Old Bill'.

I'm glad to say that I don't know what alleged crooked business he was doing with the corrupt policeman, but that which I do know is that if the price of doing the crooked business was to have your name on the Scotland Yard register as an informer then it is a price no respected member of the 'Chaps' would accept.

Alleged KO - Not OK

Far away from the court 'Dodgy' Dave said that after he was charged he saw the crooked policeman in the entrance to the court; he went over to his former police 'friend' and hit him on the chin.

The crooked copper was very lucky. Had he involved any 'one of the Chaps' that I know in such a sickening case there would be no 'right-hander'.

He would probably now be lying in a sealed wooden box, and it wouldn't be to meditate.

Different people have different values.

Crucial Statistic

Remarkably, 'Dodgy' Dave was not nicked for assaulting his former 'friend'.

Despite the location no police or court witnesses came forward, nor were there any photographers present to photograph the incident for posterity, which is unusual when 'Dodgy' is involved in any alleged action.

However be that as it may, the statistic revealed by The Observer newspaper that, "Courtney has made 10 court appearances in the past 15 years and has now received 10 not guilty verdicts", requires explaining.

I'm not sure if this statistic doesn't qualify for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

One additional good reason for the need of an explanation is that if you take 15 years off the age of 'Dodgy', which is 41 years, all the alleged 'bird' he has done must have been served between his coming-of-adult age at 18 and 26 years - 8 years.

Some time ago I invited 'Dodgy' Dave to tell us where he had served his years' in prison, the serious offences with which he was charged, the people he was charged with, the courts that he appeared in, the names of Counsel that defended him, the identity of the senior 'cozzers' that nicked him and the good people with whom he served his time.

Repeat Offer

No details were forthcoming. Perhaps, he has forgotten my offer, so I am repeating it.

He makes no secret of the fact that he works hard at getting publicity. I will make life easy for him. If he will give answers to the questions I will put them on this web site for free, and the whole world will have access to it.


Dodgy' Writ

Apparently 'Dodgy' has issued a writ in which he alleges that the police and the Crown Prosecution Service conspired together to 'Allow a case with no evidence to be brought to the Central Criminal Court for the sole purpose of discrediting the claimants name to the level where it is believed would endanger the claimant and his family's life' - and is said to be seeking £50,000 damages.

Dodgy' is selling himself short.

For being stopped 27 times in his car a young black man is expecting a £1,000,000 payout from the police.

For 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, an 'innocent' man to be charged, brought before the courts, with the worry and aggravation this would cause to him and his family on no less than TEN occasions only to be found not guilty on each occasion, would seem to be very serious police harassment, if harrassment was responsible.

Because 'Dodgy' Dave was involved it has to be presumed they were all serious' charges, and with 'Dodgy's' self-proclaimed bad police record, plus an alleged conspiracy between the police and the CPS, the damages have to be worth a great deal more than being stopped in your car 27 times.

Dodgy' Defence

Dodgy' has said that if he were a 'grass' he would have been shot.

Unfortunately, the man is wrong again. There is no doubt that 'grasses' deserve to be shot like the sick dogs they are, but Bertie Smalls, and other filth like him are still walking around, and 'Dodgy' is well aware of this.

Yes, there are 'grasses' that did receive their just desserts, but that is because they picked the wrong person to inform on. I can personally vouch for the truth of this statement.

Smoke-Shield Writ?

To sue the police and accuse them of being involved in a conspiracy is not difficult.

Cynical people will say that 'Dodgy' Dave has issued his writ against the police and the CPS as a smoke-shield, and it is a ploy to allow time for the statement in court that 'Dodgy' is an informer to fade away, and that nothing will come of it.

To deny the cynics their glory, 'Dodgy' has to ensure that the case does go to the High Court.

If he encounters difficulty in taking the case to the High Court he should consider using the brilliant legal manoeuvre of the late Alfie Hinds who was convicted in 1953 on manufactured evidence by Chief Supt. Bert Sparks, of a major robbery on Maples the former top West End furniture store.

When Chief Supt. Sparks wrote his memoirs Alfie sued him for libel. At the time libel actions were rare.

An impartial jury believed Alfie and awarded him £1,300 damages, a large award in the '50's. The case ruined the retirement of Sparks.

A Serious Defamation

Several newspapers reported that 'Dodgy' Dave was a registered police informer so if 'Dodgy' is really incensed at being unfairly labelled a 'grass' then he has a choice of newspapers to sue for libel.

It is defamatory to wrongly call a person a 'grass'. Lord Archer received £500,000 for a questionable defamation so perhaps 'Dodgy' should consider issuing more writs.

If 'Dodgy' allows the matter to fade into inaction then the cynics will have a field day - and understandably so.




Its just a pity that old Frazer never really knew his 'Scottish' mate Arthur Thompson Snr was a Police Informant and gave evidence against Mr Ferris at the Murder trial of his son FAT BOY.


We are not defending the reputation here of Dave Courtney its about Frazer not wanting to accept the FACTS about Thompson Snr.


The Court records speak for themselves.




"Dodgy" Dave Courtney (born February 17, 1959, Bermondsey, London, UK) is a self-proclaimed former British gangster who has renounced crime and become both an author as well as a rather curious celebrity figure.

He was once referred to as the Yellow Pages of the Underworld due to his knowledge of the criminal underside of London and apparent 'association' with prominent gangsters such as the notorious twins Ronald and Reginald Kray - despite only being 9 when they were arrested. Of course, this was one of their early arrests. At the Kray's funeral, Courtney gained prominence and media attention as he organised the security for the event. Courtney insists he has a lengthy criminal record, and claimed he was once charged with murder but acquitted, yet admitted his guilt afterwards. Former criminal, and author, Bernard O'Mahoney has challenged Courtney's standing as a one time leading London criminal. He has suggested Courtney has fabricated and exaggerated details of his past. Frankie Fraser also considers Courtney a fantasist.

Since renouncing the criminal lifestyle in the 1990s Courtney has written several books, including "Stop The Ride, I Want To Get Off", "The Ride's Back On" and "Dodgy Dave's Little Black Book" and also a magazine column. He runs his own website, is involved in charity work, is currently working on a film called 'Get Courtney', and is even available for after-dinner speeches.

In 1990 he had a small role in the gangster movie "The Krays".

In 1999 he addressed the Oxford Union Society at a speaker meeting of the prestigious student debating society.

In 2003 California punk rock band Rancid featured a song entitled David Courtney on their most recent release, Indestructible.

Courtney's movie Hell to Pay showed at the Cannes Film Festival.

2005 saw the release of "Hell to Pay", described as "Guerrilla film-making at its best." Inspired by, financed by and starring Dave Courtney and Billy Murray (The Bill) as feuding criminal brothers.

He is currently involved with various movie projects in the UK and in (2005) became involved in a development deal with a California film and television production company. He continues to perform his 'Audience with..' events.

The TRUTH is out there...........
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