Terry Adams free: Two minders and a woman greet gangster outside jail

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By Stephen Wright
Last updated at 11:02 AM on 24th June 2010

Terry Adams, Britain’s most feared gangster, yesterday walked to freedom after serving just half of a seven-year sentence for money laundering.

In what could have been a scene from The Godfather, he was greeted by a glamorous brunette in black and two sidekicks.

Wearing an open-necked white shirt tucked into khaki trousers, Adams looked relaxed as the attractive young woman stepped out of a £60,000 black Range Rover wearing dark glasses, a black skirt and jacket and high heels. 

Feared: Terry Adams and, right, leaving Spring Hill Open Prison in Buckinghamshire today

Feared: Terry Adams leaves Spring Hill Open Prison in Buckinghamshire after serving just half of his seven-year sentence


Escort: Adams was met by a glamorous brunette in black and two men

She was joined by two powerfully built men in an £80,000 red Porsche Cayenne 4x4, who whisked the mobster away when he appeared in the car park at Spring Hill Open Prison near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire at breakfast-time.

Adams, 55, built up an estimated fortune of £200million through a vast racketeering and drug trafficking empire, which has been linked to 25 murders.


  • Terry Adams and his brothers Patsy and Tommy started in petty crime before moving on to armed robbery and then drugs.
  • By the late 1980s, they were in charge of most of the cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine coming into London.
  • One of their ‘enforcers’ Gilbert Wynter, disappeared in 1998. He is believed to have double-crossed the family and his remains are said to be in the footings of the Millennium Dome.
  • A drug dealer known as ‘Manchester John’, who borrowed £100,000 and could not repay it, is also thought to have been killed.
  • Financier David McKenzie, who lost £1.5million of Adams money in bad investments, had three of his ribs broken and his face slashed.
  • In the late 1990s Adams was recorded by police boasting: ‘When I hit someone with something I do them damage. And I went to the geezer and I went crack. On my baby’s life…his knee cap come right out there.’
  • The brothers were so feared they could franchise out the Adams name so lesser criminals could say they were working with or for them.
  • Adams spent his cash on antiques, jewellery and educating his daughter privately.
  • It was claimed that anyone who opposed him was knee-capped, ‘opened up like a bag of crisps’ or killed.

Potential witnesses have been too terrified to testify against the gangster but he was jailed for seven years in March 2007 for the relatively minor charge of money laundering.

Despite his years of incarceration, officials at Britain’s version of the FBI, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, still regard him as one of the country’s top gangsters and will monitor his activities closely.

A witness who saw his release said: ‘At just before 8am a stunning woman dressed all in black like she was going to a funeral swept into the car park in a Range Rover.

‘She was carrying an umbrella even though it was clear blue skies and very hot. A minute later these two sinister looking heavies turned up in a Porsche Cayenne as if to act as her minder.

‘They stood around giving menacing stares to prison staff who were arriving for their day shift.

‘When Adams appeared they hurried him into the Porsche and sped off.’

According to jail insiders, Adams was given a rousing farewell from fellow lags as he left in time to watch England’s World Cup game against Slovenia.

One said: ‘It was reminiscent of when the gangster Ronnie Knight packed his bags and left here a few years ago. The boys were shouting “good luck, Tel”.’

On his release in 1998, Knight, former husband of the actress Barbara Windsor, remarked of Spring Hill: ‘If you want to do any bird (prison), do it here because they look after you’.

There was no opportunity for the Daily Mail to ask Adams about his views on the establishment as he was whisked away to celebrate his release at a secret location.

But given his reputation as the head of the notorious Adams crime family, known as the A Team, it is highly unlikely he was given a hard time by prison staff, let alone inmates, during his three and a half years there.

Police say the North London Adams family make the Krays look like minnows.

At an Old Bailey sentencing in March 2007, prosecutor Andrew Mitchell QC said Adams was one of Britain’s ‘most feared organised criminals’.

Last night it emerged the authorities have been able to recover only a fraction of Adams’s fortune.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: ‘Adams was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £750,000. The CPS has been able to recover £364,489.60.’

Feared : Adams built up a fortune of £200million through a vast racketeering and drugs empire. His wife Ruth (right) supported him throughout his Old Bailey trial


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What about the other 199,635,510.40?

- Shire-Reeve, Abroad, 24/6/2010 09:12

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Can hear the words ringing in my ears "tough on crime tough on the causes of crime " if this man could not prove his money was gained legally why has he still got it? meanwhile for the third year running i will pay the under £1 underpayment of my annual income tax they have demanded,

- David, malaga, 24/6/2010 09:09

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I understand that he was convicted of money laundering and nothing else, but, given that apparently he has been responsible for the huge drugs problem in London, I do think he should have served the full seven years - especially since the authorities have only been able to recover a small proportion of the fortune he has built up through his miserable business. I loathe and detest the people who bring drugs to our streets.

- Anne, Manchester, 24/6/2010 09:05

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How about indefinately for all those crimes??

- David Forde, Jersey, 24/6/2010 09:04

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This is what you get, when spineless people make the laws.

- james, kingswinford, 24/6/2010 08:59

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Well they could have started with his cars, antiques and his bank accounts.
No doubt he's going to a big house that can't be touched. The justice system in the UK is a joke. 25 mureders, time to bring back the death penalty.

The mind boggles that so many companies can take money direct from bank accounts with direct debits etc yet the Police can't find any money from someone who has a £200 million fortune.

This also shows why it is time to change the drugs laws which allow such people to make fortunes form the misery of others.

- Tom, Aldershot, UK, 24/6/2010 08:55

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