Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Insight into Life at Heart of the Sayers Scam; HENCHMAN FOUND GUILTY OF PART IN PUBS FRAUD

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Insight into Life at Heart of the Sayers Scam; HENCHMAN FOUND GUILTY OF PART IN PUBS FRAUD

Article excerpt

SEDUCED by John Henry Sayers' twisted charms, he decided to front his scam.

Alan Coe left his respectable job as a brewery area manager to help the hardman create his crooked pub empire.

But far from being the glamorous lifestyle, Coe went on to lose his home, family and, ultimately, his liberty.

Today, as the 46-year-old spends his first full day in a prison cell, the Chronicle gives a chilling insight into his life as Sayers' henchman.

Former soldier Coe was convicted of cheating the public revenue, money laundering and fraudulent trading, all linked to his role as the frontman of Sayers' pub business, which conned the taxman out of pounds 400,000.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how he first went into business with the East End hardman in 2000 after resigning from Scottish & Newcastle to run the John Gilpin and Hillheads pubs for him.

The pair worked together for more than four and a half years, building up a network of up to 30 bars and dodging taxes in the process.

But after Coe was declared bankrupt, things turned sour, with Sayers even suspecting he was stealing from him.

That led to police stepping in to issue a so-called "Osman warning," informing him there were serious suspicions a murder plot against him was being hatched, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Coe was placed in protection with his Tyneside home adapted so officers could keep a constant watch on him.

And the situation worsened after he was arrested, along with Sayers, Sayers' mother Yvonne, accountant Mehmood Mohammed and financial adviser Steven Colwell.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how on May 23 2006, a Volvo owned by Coe's wife was torched.

Days earlier, a Nissan belonging to her parents had its windows smashed and tyres slashed.

And in a series of admissions given to the jury, details were given of orders issued to Coe, even after he had been declared bankrupt and replaced at the helm of Sayers' pub firm by henchman Mark Mennim. …

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