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The rat race...



Britain's first 'supergrass' changed forever the honour that had existed among thieves.
 
And today it is not only the unlawful who 'tell all'...
 
"Thou shalt not grass" used to be the 11th commandment for criminals. It might be a cliche, but there was indeed a time in Britain where there was honour among thieves and a robber would rather spend 20 years in jail than rat on his mates.

That all changed in 1972 with a character called Bertie Smalls, who is the subject next week of a documentary that charts the emergence of the supergrass in modern criminal life. Once Smalls, a big-time armed robber from the aristocracy of London crime, had "turned", dozens more followed suit.

Now, it seems, the acceptance of the informer has not just affected the criminal world but is a feature of society at large. From being a land where betraying a trust was regarded as unforgivable, Britain has become a nation of grasses and sneaks who are able to rationalise their behaviour on the grounds that "everyone else does it".

Derek Creighton "Bertie" Smalls is always credited with being the first "supergrass" in Britain, the first to give the police name after name of his associates and provide the evidence that would send dozens of them to prison to serve long sentences. Criminal historians may dispute this as there have been informers of one kind or another ever since there has been crime - the Kray twins, after all, were partly sunk three years earlier by their one-time adviser, Leslie Payne, who spilled the beans on them. But certainly Smalls represented change in legal thinking on the subject.

An agreement was drawn up with the then director of public prosecutions, Sir Norman Skelhorn, that gave Smalls complete immunity from prosecution in exchange for his help. He duly assisted the authorities in obtaining convictions against 21 of his former associates and saw them dispatched to jail for a total of 308 years. As he concluded his evidence against some of his former friends in one of the committal hearings, they sang to him: "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

His help to the police had an immediate effect. The number of armed robberies dropped from 65 in 1972 to 26 the following year. The taboo was broken and, suddenly, all the "staunchest" criminals were lining up to give evidence in exchange for short sentences and a new life.

The rules had changed and, crucially, the arrival of the supergrass coincided with the cleaning up of Scotland Yard by the then commissioner, Robert Mark, at a time when many detectives were bent and when the sort of coppering seen in the recent television series, Life on Mars, was fact, not fiction.

Some of the informers wrote books justifying their exploits. Maurice O'Mahoney, who called himself and his memoirs King Squealer, had a high old time as an informer, living in what became known as "the grass-house" in Chiswick police station and boozing away on brandy and beer with his girlfriend while he came up with the names of his old mates. For a while, everyone seemed to be at it - until it became clear that some very unsavoury characters were using the supergrass system to settle old scores, and their evidence became less and less credible to juries. People still inform, but there is no longer the frenzy of the supergrass era around it.

Having to hide...

Last week, I bumped into a former armed robber from those days and we spoke about Smalls and all the other supergrasses. "But was it worth it for them?" he asked. "Everyone they gave evidence against is out now - if they're still alive - and all the supergrasses are still having to hide. They can't go back to their old manors, they can't see their old friends. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but who wants to live that sort of life?"

Which is perhaps a question that the new breed of people who inform on their friends by selling stories about them to the newspapers might ponder.

Years ago, it was a very odd "friend" who sold a story to the media about a former lover or an ex-wife. Now they, too, queue up to sell the inside story of what was once a close relationship - just like Smalls and King Squealer did. Where once such behaviour was regarded as unacceptable, now it is justified on the same grounds that the people who followed Smalls used: "Everyone else does it."

So, in exchange for money - usually much smaller sums than they are promised - people are prepared to become the social equivalent of the supergrass, equally unaware of the fact that, while they may do some damage to the person on whom they inform, they will probably be doing just as much damage to themselves in the long term. Who wants to hang around with someone who might one day rat on them?

Informing on our neighbours and colleagues is also encouraged now in a variety of other ways. Know of someone not declaring all their earnings, or claiming disability benefits to which they are not entitled? Ring this number. Know of someone watering their lawn when there is a hosepipe ban? Ring this number. And it's amazing how many people did during last summer's hot spell.

There is a fine line here. What, you might ask, is the difference between being a supergrass and being the much more benign "whistleblower" on whom the Guardian so often relies?

The distinction is that the supergrass is carrying out their trade for selfish reasons - to keep themselves out of prison, get revenge on a former friend, make some money - while the whistleblower should be engaged in what they are doing for the better of society and to expose a real wrong.

In prison, informers are still kept apart from other inmates, along with paedophiles and ex-police officers. In the wider society, people are often unaware of who has informed on them - always seen as one of the most disturbing elements of living under a totalitarian government. There have been a couple of murders of supergrasses over the years, but such killings are rare and crop up more often in American movies than in real life.

So does Smalls - if he is still with us - ever wonder whether he made the right choice in deciding to "talk and walk"? And do all the other people who got such satisfaction at the time from informing on much lesser offenders, or on their former pals, wonder in those dark nights if the betrayal was really worth it in the end?


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SUPERGRASS Sunday 13th May 9pm BBC2 (rpt Friday 18th May 1.55am BBC 1)

London in the 70's was awash with gangs, and the Flying Squad seemed to be fighting a losing battle. But then they got a new weapon - The Supergrass. Gangster Boss Bertie Smalls decided to inform on his criminal friends and associates, earning immunity from prosecution in the process. Soon more gangsters would follow his example. But it wasn't long before the system began to be abused by criminals and police alike for their own ends. Smalls and former police officer Tony Lundy -who ran the whole system - both tell their stories in this one-off docudrama.

This docudrama traces the emergence of some of the most infamous supergrasses, including Bertie Smalls, and looks at how getting too cosy with the criminals would ultimately leave the police in chaos.


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IRA 'Supergrass' is still a target'...

MI5 has told a spy who infiltrated the Provisional IRA that he still faces assassination, despite the success of the Northern Ireland peace process and the declaration by Sinn Fein of support for the police. Martin McGartland disrupted dozens of IRA operations in the province during the late Eighties and early Nineties and was regarded by the Royal Ulster Constabulary special branch as one of its most important informers inside the IRA's Belfast brigade.
 
He fled Northern Ireland in 1991 after being unmasked as an informer by the Provos and was given a new identity and a home in the north-east of England. Eight years ago he was forced to move again after surviving an assassination attempt by two gunmen who had tracked him down.

Now McGartland, known to his handlers as Agent Carol, has been told by detectives that it is still not safe for him to return to Northumberland. Police refuse to say where the latest threat is coming from, claiming that the information is classified.

In a letter to McGartland, Detective Superintendent David Borrie of Northumbria Police's crime operations department wrote: 'In essence, a series of risk assessments have been conducted and it has been concluded it would be unsafe to return to the force area. The police would not be able to support your return by the provision of protective security. Equally I am advised that the security services (MI5) do not support your return to the north-east area.'

Speaking from a secret location in England last night, McGartland said he would be asking Northern Ireland's new First Minister, Ian Paisley, to take up his case and find out where the new threat to his life comes from. As a privy councillor at Westminster, Paisley has the right to be briefed on sensitive intelligence matters.

McGartland said: 'I have asked the police "who is the threat from?", and they say they can't say, because the information is contained in documents belonging to MI5.'

He was determined to uncover why the investigation into the assassination attempt had 'gone dead' and suspected political interference. 'Two known IRA men were arrested for trying to kill me, and despite assurances they were released without charge. I am convinced that the IRA tried to kill me.'

After the attempt on McGartland's life in Whitley Bay, MI5 took over responsibility for his personal security from the police. The security service relocated him to another English address. Mail is redirected to MI5 headquarters in London, where it is screened before being passed on to the former agent.

A spokesman said Northumbria Police were keeping an open mind about the identity of McGartland's attacker or attackers in 1999 and could not comment on the security arrangements of an individual or on operational matters.

Senior detectives and MI5 officers regarded Agent Carol as one of their best assets within the IRA. Ian Phoenix, the senior RUC special branch officer killed in the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre, believed McGartland saved dozens of lives.

One of McGartland's skills was to render useless IRA guns and explosives. Agent Carol was so meticulous that, when he brought his handlers, police and British Army technical officers to IRA hides, he would first use a Polaroid camera to photograph the location and the way arms or explosives had been secreted. McGartland later told The Observer he did this so no one in charge of an arms dump would notice weapons or explosives had been moved.

His successes, which led to the jailing of key IRA activists, raised Provo suspicions. Sixteen years ago McGartland was 'arrested' by the IRA in west Belfast and taken to a flat in the Twinbrook area. When he asked to go to the lavatory, he noticed the bath had been filled with water - a sign the IRA was planning 'water torture' to extract a confession from him. He then leapt several storeys from the flat and ran off to the nearest police station.

McGartland's book on his exploits, 50 Dead Men Walking, is to be turned into a film, with production due to start in Dublin early next year. Ben Kingsley has been approached to play Felix, McGartland's special branch handler.


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Reply with quote  #64 
In Scotland we have Tam The Licensee Mcgraw as an example of high ranking police informants.
 
Charrington is as close as you will get to a McGraw, here's why-:
 

 
 

BRIAN CHARRINGTON, car dealer, police informant and convicted drug smuggler, could be said to have have enjoyed a remarkably charmed life.

As he sits in the sun, in the surroundings of his luxurious Spanish seaside villa, he can reflect on the fact that he has faced allegations in two of the biggest drugs cases in British criminal history, after investigations by police and Customs which have cost British taxpapers tens of millions of pounds. Yet he has no drugs convictions in Britain.

In the first case, in 1993, brought by Customs after investigations into some of the largest cocaine smuggling activities seen in Britain, the charges against him were dropped after it was disclosed that he had been a police informant. One seizure of cocaine had totalled £150 million.

In the second case, which crashed yesterday at Bristol Crown Court amid criticism of Customs, he was alleged to be the mastermind behind a massive amount of cannabis on a yacht, Simon de Danser, boarded by Customs and the Special Boat Squadron, in international waters off the coast of Spain.

The collapse of the case, however, forced the Crown Prosecution Service to announce that it would no longer seek Charrington's extradition from Spain over the Simon de Danser.

In Spain Charrington, 41, is on £100,000 bail facing drug charges unrelated to the yacht. A father of two teenage children, he was arrested in May 1997 at his villa near Calpe, on the south-east coast, after an Anglo-Spanish operation.

He was accused by the investigating magistrate of being involved in drug runs from Spain. The amount and exactly what role Charrington played has not been revealed. The case was referred to the National Criminal Court in Madrid and he was bailed after six months on remand. He has to report three times a week to the authorities in Calpe. No date has been set for his trial and he lives in his villa. British police, including the Cleveland force, where he was an informant, remain ready to help the Spanish.

Charrington has been convicted in his absence in France of involvement in cannabis after a yacht was seized by the French in 1995. So far, there seems to have been no move by the French to enforce the conviction.

The 1993 case spurred two inquiries into Charrington's links with police - one an investigation by Thames Valley police, supervised by the Police Complaints Authority. It has been decided that no criminal or disciplinary proceedings will be taken against any police officers.


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Reply with quote  #65 
[In Scotland we have Tam The Licensee Mcgraw as an example of high ranking police informants.
 
Charrington is as close as you will get to a McGraw, here's why-: ]
 
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The growing power of police informers, many of them hardened criminals, has led to a ban on secret backhanders and a clampdown on soft jail terms in exchange for information.

In future, "grasses" must pay tax on their fees ­ which previously went undeclared ­ and agree to their names being placed a special register.

The clampdown follows a government investigation into the relationship between the police and informers, who have in the past included such gangland figures as Kenneth Noye, the road-rage murderer of Stephen Cameron. Noye had a long career as an informer and collected large sums for pointing police in the direction of villains ­ many of whom were rivals he simply wanted out of the way.

Another gangland figure to benefit from the informer system was Curtis Warren, whose criminal empire was so vast that he was dubbed "Target One" by Interpol. However, a case against him was dropped because his co-accused, Brian Charrington, was a valuable police informer.

Warren is now in jail but only after making an estimated £180m from drug dealing.

Customs routinely pay up to £1,000 per kilo of heroin or cocaine recovered and payments of £250,000 or more are relatively common to informers. This is considered a worthwhile investment in return for the number of man hours saved on investigations.

The practice of early release for prisoners who have informed on criminal gangs, under special pardon known as the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, is to be curbed. It is thought that many informers take advantage of such deals to commit fresh crimes.


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I have just finished watching the SUPERGRASS program on TV regarding Bertie Smalls & others.
 
It is utterly reprehensible that men like smalls were not performing a public service, they were saving their own skin.
 
The police were obviously happy with the rise of the supergrass as a new weapon, but was it watertight? and more importantly were the police themselves corrupt in the way matters were dealt with?
 
Here is a very useful link that I found, in particular QUEENS EVIDENCE page 9./   


http://www.justice.org.uk/images/pdfs/orgcr.pdf


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Reply with quote  #68 

Fantastic link for this section oldbill,thank you...


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Supergrass case killer extradited to Italy.

A COMPUTER engineer was extradited from Britain to Italy yesterday to start a 26-year prison sentence for the kidnap and murder of a wealthy Italian aristocrat 30 years ago.

Enrico Mariotti, 66, was taken by police to Heathrow Airport for a flight to Italy.

The grandfather-of-four was implicated by a "supergrass" in the abduction and killing of Massimiliano Grazioli, who was snatched from his car by a gang outside Rome in November 1977.

Duke Grazioli had substantial media interests and his family had been millers to the Vatican.

After the kidnapping, his family received a ransom demand for 10 billion lire (£5 million).

Following four months of negotiations with the kidnappers, his son, Giulio, paid 1.5 billion lire (£750,000) in March 1978, throwing the cash in a bag from a motorway bridge after the gang below gave agreed codewords.

But the duke was nonetheless killed, having apparently recognised the face of one of his kidnappers. His body has never been found.

Mariotti, an Italian national who has lived in the UK since 1993, was accused of supplying inside information about the aristocrat and his family and orchestrating the kidnapping.

The computer engineer, of Burgess Hill, West Sussex, denied involvement but was convicted in his absence to 24 years' imprisonment by the Italian authorities in 1995 on the strength of testimony by a "supergrass".

His jail sentence was increased to 26 years following a review in 2000.

 


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Thomas McGraw...

Thomas "The Licensee" McGraw (b. 1953) is an organized crime figure involved in extortion, narcotics and drug trafficking in Glasgow, Scotland. One of the wealthiest businessmen in Glasgow, he owns numerous businesses including securities companies and taxi firms as well as properties throughout Scotland and Ireland with an estimated worth of £10 million. His drug trafficking activities are worth an estimated £14 million.

Contents:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

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Find A Grass?
 
Murderers and convicted criminals are using the Freedom of Information Act to try to identify the police informers who helped to jail them.

Offenders are also contacting the police and Home Office asking for details of how the authorities caught them. This includes information about undercover police operations and forensic science techniques used to recover their DNA.

Police suspect that more than 100 convicted criminals have conducted searches and they fear that the lives of informants could be put at risk if any details about their identity are released. They also believe that criminals are trying to learn from their mistakes so that they do not get caught the same way next time.

In some cases, the criminals use aliases, or get their friends and family to make the requests. Most of the offenders causing police concern are still serving jail sentences. They include many murderers.

The Home Office said it was aware of five to 10 convicted criminals making Freedom of Information requests to the department.

Since January last year, public bodies have been under a duty to disclose previously withheld information whenever possible. But police stressed that "abusive" requests such as those from criminals made up only a tiny proportion of the 22,000 applications for information the police dealt with in England and Wales last year.


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Lord Dean of Beswick: My Lords, is the Minister aware that Mr. Noye, who, it is now established, was a police informer used by the police force, was involved in the most brutal murder of Constable Fordham some years ago, for which quite surprisingly he was acquitted?
 
If Mr Noye was at that time on the payroll of the police as an informer and bearing in mind that other officers are now being investigated officially about whether they were releasing information to people such as Mr. Noye, is it not possible that one of Constable Fordham's so-called colleagues tipped off Mr Noye that he was under surveillance by Mr Sanderson with regard to the Brink's-Mat robbery which presented him with the facilities and information to dispose of the policeman and murder him?

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I hope the House will understand that it would be quite improper for me to comment on any individual who might or might not be subject to a possible complaint against the police. Clearly laid down procedures for investigating complaints that the police have acted improperly are contained in Part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

 

The responsibility for ensuring that complaints are thoroughly investigated rests with the chief officers and the independent Police Complaints Authority. If an investigation of a complaint suggested criminal action by an officer, the matter would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether criminal proceedings

23 Jul 1996 : Column 1261
should be brought. I repeat that it would be improper for me to comment in this House on an individual case.

Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, is the noble Baroness aware that the case to which the noble Lord refers was an extremely serious matter and the police officer concerned was rightly convicted and sentenced to a substantial term of imprisonment?

 

Does she agree that the use of informants is a matter of critical importance in dealing with serious crime? Is she further aware that this matter is carefully monitored by both the inspectorate constabulary and chief officers to ensure that no impropriety takes place?

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I agree with the first comment made by the noble Lord and with the second part of the statement in that informants properly employed--I emphasise properly employed--consistent with all the regulations laid down, are essential to criminal investigation and combating crime.

 

It is essential and the police are highly accountable for the way in which they exercise it.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, the Minister was literally right when she replied to my noble friend that the employment of police informers is an operational matter for the police.

 

But that is not the whole story, is it? Is it not the case that the principles which underlie the employment of police informers and the safeguards which are necessary--for example, to ensure that police informers do not also act as agents provocateurs--are matters for the Secretary of State and for the Government?

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, the noble Lord makes an important point. First, the Home Office issued guidelines in 1969 on the use of informants. They have been expanded and were supplemented in 1995 by ACPO.

 

Both the Home Office and ACPO guidelines make it clear that on no account should an informant be permitted to act as agent provocateur, or incite or counsel another to commit an offence. Anyone doing so would himself be liable to prosecution.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I should know the answer to this, but are those guidelines publicly available?

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I am fairly certain that they are and, if they are, I shall let the noble Lord know. They must be available to the police so I am sure that they must be a public document.

Lord Renton: My Lords, is my noble friend aware that the practice in the criminal courts in this country has for years been of such a kind as to prevent people from being wrongly convicted when there have been police informants, and that the courts frown upon agents provocateurs and require corroboration of a police informant's evidence before the jury is told that it is acceptable?

23 Jul 1996 : Column 1262

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, my noble friend is right. The courts of course have a wide measure of discretion in exercising their powers to order the exclusion of evidence or to direct an acquittal where they believe that evidence has been collected in an improper way. That is always in the interests of justice for the person before the court.

Lord Dean of Beswick: My Lords--

Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, I did not want my noble friend to close the debate. I hope that he will have the opportunity to come back in a second. I wanted to ask the Minister whether the guidelines on agents provocateurs apply not just to police informants but to local authorities which are employing children to go into supermarkets and tobacconists to induce retailers to sell cigarettes and drink?

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, that matter is being reviewed. The use of under-age persons in test purchases is a matter for the police or, of course, for trading standards officers. They have to consider that those taking part would also be liable to prosecution.

 

It is clearly important that the law is enforced effectively, but the prime consideration must at all times be the welfare of the juveniles themselves. Again, ACPO guidelines provide guidance on the use of juveniles as informants.

 

That guidance is currently under review, as I said earlier. It is anticipated that more detailed advice on that issue will be produced, I believe by the end of the year.

Lord Dean of Beswick: My Lords, in her detailed reply to me, the Minister missed the main thrust of my question. I said that in a recent trial when an officer was convicted, it was stated that Mr. Noye was on the police payroll as an informant. Was Mr. Noye a paid police informant when he killed Constable Fordham in a most brutal fashion?

 

With him being a paid police informant, is it not possible that someone told him that he was under surveillance, thus resulting in the death of an officer on duty? I am by no means satisfied that the answers I have received cover the point. I think that an innocent officer was butchered by someone who may well have been tipped off at the time.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I have to repeat that it would be difficult for me in this House to go into the details of any particular personal case in the course of answering a Question. The noble Lord, Lord Harris of Greenwich, has already said that that murder was tried in court, the person was found guilty, went to prison and served a sentence.

 

Without referring to the particular details, if the noble Lord is suggesting that the police acted improperly or that the system--

Lord Dean of Beswick: A policeman.

Noble Lords: Order!

23 Jul 1996 : Column 1263

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, whether it is a policeman acting improperly or the police acting improperly, if that forms the basis of a complaint my advice is that a complaint should be made and investigated.


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MacIntyre's Underworld:  Supergrass - Paul Grimes


MacIntyre's Underworld: Supergrass
The story of how small time Liverpool crook Paul Grimes broke the North-West's biggest drugs networks by grassing up his boss ... and his own son.
more...

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ARCHIVE:

Detective sacked after seven-year inquiry into police links to...

A SEVEN-YEAR inquiry into links between a man accused of being one of Britain's most powerful drug barons and the police ended yesterday with one officer being sacked and another having his pay docked.

Detective Sergeant Ian Weedon was found guilty by a police board of a series of disciplinary offences after an investigation was launched into his relationship with Brian Charrington, who police in the UK, France and Germany believe is an international drugs smuggler.

Charrington, 46, a former second-hand car dealer from Middlesbrough, was nicknamed the "Teflon Don" after he walked free from three criminal trials in Britain, the first two of which involved accusations of smuggling millions of pounds worth of drugs in to the UK, and the third where he was accused of obtaining secret police information.

Mr Weedon, who has been sacked from Cleveland Police, was Charrington's former handler. The 47-year-old officer has been suspended since 1997. Last year he was charged, along with two other Cleveland police officers and Charrington, with an alleged conspiracy to obtain sensitive information held by the police. He had been accused of providing Charrington with details of a criminal who owed the alleged drug smuggler pounds 45,000.

The case collapsed at Leeds Crown Court after a judge ruled that key evidence obtained from a telephone tap was inadmissible under legislation passed since the device was used. Mr Weedon's co-accused were Detective Constable Paul Hardy, 43, the second officer to be punished for disciplinary offences by the police board yesterday, and former Detective Sergeant James McSorley, 54, who retired in 1999.

A statement issued yesterday by Cleveland Police said: "Following the completion of ... an investigation that began in 1996 into alleged corruption within Cleveland Police and links with a known drug smuggler, two police officers have appeared before a disciplinary hearing at force headquarters.

"A detective constable who admitted two offences - improper disclosure of information and being an accessory to a discipline offence - was fined a total of 18 days' pay.

"A detective sergeant denied nine offences relating to disobedience of orders, falsehood and prevarication, discreditable conduct and improper disclosure of information. He was found guilty of eight, one was not proved and he was dismissed from the force."

The police and customs have long believed Charrington has direct links with the Colombian cocaine cartels.

The link between Mr Weedon and Charrington emerged in 1993 when the Middlesbrough businessman faced drugs charges at Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court. A consignment of 1,000kg of cocaine hidden in metal ingots and with a street value of pounds 150m was intercepted by customs officers in Stoke-on-Trent. Charrington and the Liverpudlian drugs trafficker Curtis "Cocky" Warren were arrested after detectives found pounds 2m in bank notes with traces of drugs in Charrington's loft.

But the case collapsed when Det Sgt Weedon and his colleague, Det Insp Harry Knaggs, revealed that Charrington had been working as a police informer - which customs were unaware of.

In 1996 an inquiry, codenamed Operation Teak and overseen by the Police Complaints Authority, was set up to investigate the relationship between Charrington and Cleveland officers.

Charrington's second acquittal also came in 1996. Police believed he was planning to smuggle four tons of hashish worth pounds 80m into the West Country by ship. His vessel, the Simon de Danser, was stopped off the coast of Portugal by customs and the Royal Marines and Charrington was arrested. But the trial collapsed at Bristol Crown Court in 1999 when the judge ruled that customs had boarded the ship illegally.

Charrington then returned to Spain. During that time, he was sentenced in his absence in France to two years in prison for drugs offences.

Attempts to have him extradited from Spain to Britain failed, but he was arrested in Devon in September 2001. He had sneaked back in to the UK for fear that he was about to be deported from Spain to Germany to face drugs charges.

He was back in the dock in Leeds Crown Court last year with the three police officers accused of conspiracy to obtain sensitive police information - the detectives were accused of providing sensitive information from police computer files - charges they all denied. The trial collapsed.

After the trial, Charrington remained in the UK and began an extradition battle with the German authorities. But in December he was sent to Germany, where he now faces charges involving alleged cocaine smuggling.


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Very good information on this Charrington and Noye fella. Here is another one about informants & their handlers/
 
The father of a loyalist murder victim who uncovered a web of collusion between UVF killers and the RUC Special Branch is taking legal action after being refused an interview for the post of Victims' Commissioner.
 
Raymond McCord Snr's one-man fight for justice led to the explosive O'Loan report earlier this year, which found collusion between a north Belfast UVF gang and their police handlers. Now McCord has opened up a new front - a judicial review of the decision not to grant him an interview for the new post.
 
In a letter to McCord last month, the Northern Ireland Office informed him he was not eligible on several grounds. These included the NIO's view that 'you do not show enough awareness of the Troubles'. Among six other reasons was that he 'did not show competence in dealing with the media and press'.

Last night McCord confirmed that he is applying for a judicial review in Belfast's High Court. The new power-sharing government at Stormont, led by Ian Paisley, has promised to appoint a Commissioner by early next month.

'As far back as 1992, I was left for dead after a severe beating by a UDA gang that I had crossed. Since I started campaigning for my son, I've had to move out of my family home in Newtownabbey due to death threats. The police informed me the UVF was planning to blow my car up. Relatives have received death threats. The house in which I live now is surrounded by security cameras, sensors, bulletproof windows and doors. So it's a bit of an insult for the NIO to say I don't know anything about the Troubles,' he said.

Raymond McCord Jnr was beaten to death on 9 November 1997 at a quarry on the northern outskirts of Belfast. He had been facing charges of possession of cannabis, which had been provided to him by the UVF commander in the Mount Vernon area of the city. The local UVF boss, named in the Irish parliament as Mark Haddock, blamed McCord Jnr for importing the drugs and, to cover his own back, allegedly dispatched a UVF punishment squad to abduct and kill the 22-year-old.

For the past decade his father has fought a lone campaign to expose his son's killers. In the process he discovered that several members of the gang were informers working for Special Branch. McCord has alleged that their handlers turned a blind eye to keep their 'intelligence assets' intact.

Paul Farrell, McCord's lawyer, said he was confident his client could mount a successful challenge. 'This was a blanket refusal to even consider Raymond and I strongly believe he has good grounds to question their reasoning in court,' said Farrell.

Last night McCord said only one thing would dissuade him. 'If the new devolved government at Stormont decided to give the job to Nuala O'Loan [the police ombudsman], then I would withdraw my action. She stood by me and I think she would stand by every victim of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.'



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