Former Adams Family boss faces court inquiry over claims he cannot repay court costs

Mr Adams will need to provide evidence of his financial situation when he attends the inquiry in December 

Sam Blewett
Wednesday 21 November 2018 15:44
The Crown Prosecution Service has warned Mr Adams' "plea of poverty" should be "treated with caution"
The Crown Prosecution Service has warned Mr Adams' "plea of poverty" should be "treated with caution"

A former boss of the notorious "Adams Family" gang is facing a court inquiry to investigate claims he is penniless and unable to pay costs.

Terry Adams, the 64-year-old who once headed the Clerkenwell syndicate, paid back at least £750,000 from his days of crime to avoid a return to jail.

But he has argued he cannot find the funds to cover court costs of £46,258, and a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court said Mr Adams must attend a full means inquiry hearing to prove the claim.

Stephen Gilchrist, representing Mr Adams, said his client has "no money" and asked the judge to drop the action.

But District Judge Gary Lucie read a letter from the Crown Prosecution Service warning that Mr Adams' "plea of poverty" should be "treated with caution".

Mr Gilchrist suggested Mr Adams' human rights had been affected by the protracted legal action, but the judge denied this.

If Mr Adams had "dipped into his pocket a bit earlier" a lot of time could have been saved, the judge said.

He also questioned how, if he was penniless, Mr Adams was affording the fees of his lawyer, who replied that funds were being supplied by a "member of his family".

Judge Lucie ordered the inquiry to be held at Hendon Magistrates' Court on 12 December, and invited the CPS to attend to provide balance to Mr Adams' claims.

The one-time crime lord will have to provide bank statements and attend the hearing to explain his financial situation.

Mr Adams was jailed for seven years for money laundering in 2007 and was told to pay £750,000 in a confiscation order to avoid further time in prison.

He launched a High Court bid after paying back a little over half of the sum, claiming he felt "like a ponce" living off his actress wife Ruth.

The CPS argued there was a strong case Mr Adams had "substantial undisclosed assets".

The court heard evidence he was using his family and associates to pay for a luxury lifestyle including opera visits, meals at top restaurants and spa memberships.

But after being threatened with being sent back to jail an extended family member was said to have supplied the money to pay back the remainder of the confiscation order.

The Adams Family gang, also dubbed the the A-team, were once described by police as "worse than the Krays" while operating out of Islington, north London.

Mr Adams, of Bloomsbury, central London, did not attend Wednesday's hearing.

Press Association