Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 30,000 'Nice Little Earner' Was Paid by Police to Supergrass; Decade-Long Relationship Is Alleged

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 30,000 'Nice Little Earner' Was Paid by Police to Supergrass; Decade-Long Relationship Is Alleged

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

ASUPERGRASS at the centre of a jury nobbling trial has pocketed more than pounds 30,000 from police for information he provided, it has emerged.

Police informant Errol Hay admitted making a late-night phone call to a jury member in the murder trial of Freddie Knights, who was gunned down on his mother's doorstep in 2000.

Hay has claimed he was ordered to make the chilling threat by John Henry Sayers in a bid to ensure his acquittal.

But Sayers' barrister, Jonathon Goldberg QC, has claimed Hay confessed to the crime because rival Paddy Conroy plotted to send Sayers back to prison.

The trial at Woolwich Crown Court has heard that Hay received costly perks for shopping his underworld criminal accomplices.

The 49-year-old turned his home into a drugs den and dealt cocaine in pubs and clubs across Tyneside during a criminal career spanning three decades.

But he was also working as a police informant.

And over a 10-year period he pocketed more than pounds 30,000 from Northumbria Police by turning in his criminal accomplices, the court heard.

And since turning supergrass, he has also secured air fares for his Thai wife to jet across the globe three times and visit him in England, it was claimed.

The police purse has also shelled out more than pounds 5,700 for his family's rent, and is currently paying pounds 30 a month for school fees for the couple's two children to get their education in Pataya, totalling pounds 440, it was said.

When he called claiming he was desperately missing home, his police contacts shipped a box across the globe containing Batchelor cup-a-soups, Colman's mustard and mint sauce, the court was told.

Sayers' barrister, Jonathon Goldberg QC, said: "Your wife receives pounds 300 a month. She gets pounds 3,600 a year sent to Thailand and in that country that value is worth five times what it is worth here."

He added: "It's a nice little earner for you." Hay fled Tyneside in 2005, claiming he feared for his life after becoming embroiled in criminal activities with the Sayers family.

Two years after Mr Knights' killing and following a 10-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, Dale Miller and Eddie Stewart were convicted of manslaughter while Michael Dixon was found guilty of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent. …

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