Stephen Lawrence murder suspect 'hiding in Spain'

Jamie Acourt is wanted on drugs charges 

Margaret Davis
Thursday 20 October 2016 13:14 BST
Jamie Acourt never stood trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence but was named as a suspect
Jamie Acourt never stood trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence but was named as a suspect (Rex Features)

A suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence who is wanted for drug dealing is among 10 British criminals thought to be hiding in Spain.

Jamie Acourt, 40, from south-east London, was allegedly part of a cannabis-dealing gang between January 2014 and February 2016.

 A police handout picture of Jamie Acourt 

He previously achieved notoriety after he was named as one of the suspects in the investigation into the racist murder of 18-year-old Stephen. The teenager was killed by up to six attackers in 1993, two of whom, David Norris and Gary Dobson, were convicted and are serving life sentences.

Another suspect on the list is Shane O'Brien, 28, accused of murdering 21-year-old Josh Hanson in an unprovoked knife attack in a bar in Hillingdon, west London in October 2015.

The ten British fugitives named as the most wanted in Spain. Top (L-R) Sarah Panitzke, Stephen Carruthers, Jamie Acourt, Simon McGuffie, Jonathon Kelly. Bottom (L-R) Shane O'Brien, Dominic McInally, Mark Quinn, Matthew Sammon, Mark Acklom (NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY / HANDOUT)

Police believe he has "strong links" to Spain, and uses a false identity to evade capture. A second line of investigation is that he may be in Dubai.

The "most wanted" gallery also includes suspected fraudster Mark Acklom, 43, from London, who allegedly posed as a Swiss banker and an MI6 agent as he fleeced a woman, whom he said he would marry, out of £850,000.

Accused conman Acklom convinced her that he needed money to renovate a property, which she later found out that he did not own. The alleged victim, Carolyn Woods, 55, told Sky News: "I was completely devastated, he left me destitute and destroyed my life."

Investigators are also hunting convicted fraudster Sarah Panitzke, 42, from Fulford, North Yorkshire, who laundered £1 billion as part of a massive tax scam and is due to serve an eight-year jail term for conspiracy to acquire criminal property.

Steve Reynolds, Head of International Operations for the National Crime Agency, said: "The fugitives we are hunting are wanted for serious crimes and must be returned to the UK to face justice. We need the support of the public to help us catch them. Be our eyes and ears and tell us if you have any information on the whereabouts of our targets."

The list was unveiled by British and Spanish authorities at a joint press conference in Malaga on Thursday.

It features Jonathan Kelly, 36, from Glasgow, who is wanted for a string of violent crimes including a machete attack that left his victim paralysed; and alleged drugs kingpin Dominic McInally, 25, from Liverpool, who is accused of leading a cocaine-dealing gang that made £1.25 million per month.

Chairman of Crimestoppers Lord Ashcroft said: "These people have managed to evade arrest and avoid justice. We know that with the help of Spanish authorities, along with the public in Spain and the UK, we can find these people."

Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.

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