London

Crime boss Terry Adams pays £50,000 to avoid jail

The former head of a notorious crime gang paid nearly £50,000 in court costs to avoid going to prison - hours after claiming he was broke.

Terry Adams, 64, who was associated with the north London "Adams family", initially pleaded poverty and offered to pay back what he owed at £15 a week.

At this point the judge ordered him to serve the "default term" of 12 months.

The Judicial Office said within three hours of the hearing Adams had paid up the £46,258 he owed in costs.

Adams's lawyers had told Westminster Magistrates' Court he was living in a council flat and unemployed.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service argued there was a strong case the 64-year-old from Bloomsbury had "substantial undisclosed assets".

District Judge Michael Snow said Adams's £15-a-week offer meant his debt would take "many decades to settle" and gave him a 12-month jail sentence for his "wilful refusal" to pay.

However, he added that Adams "doesn't have to spend a single day in custody because if he settles the order in full he will be released immediately".

Giving evidence in court on Monday, Adams accused the authorities of carrying out a "witch-hunt" that "has never stopped and will never stop".

The former crime boss previously paid nearly £730,000 to avoid spending more time in prison having been jailed in 2007 for money laundering.


The 'A-Team'

  • The Adams family crime syndicate operated in London's underworld throughout the 1980s and 90s
  • The gang started off in petty crime and went on to armed robbery before diversifying into drug trafficking
  • At the height of their power, in the late 1980s, they were in charge of most of the cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine coming into the capital
  • In 2016 Patrick Adams was jailed for nine years for shooting an associate he suspected of being a "grass"
  • In 2007 Adams's older brother Terry was jailed for seven years for money-laundering
  • Last year Michael Adams was jailed for 38 months for cheating his way out of about £300,000 in tax

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