Former gang boss Terry Adams loses bid to escape confiscation bill

The Clock Tower in Napsbury Park

The Clock Tower in Napsbury Park - Credit: Archant

A notorious crime boss has failed in his bid to escape a £650,000 confiscation bill after a top judge refused to believe he was almost penniless.

Terry Adams, 58, of London Colney, had been accused at the High Court of using sham “loans” as a device to feed back to him his own money while he claimed he was broke and in debt.

Adams was jailed for money laundering offences and given a £750,000 confiscation bill in 2007.

Although warned he would serve an extra four years behind bars if he failed to pay up, Adams has paid back only about £365,000 seven years on.

Adams sought a court-approved “certificate of inadequacy” to show that he did not have sufficient assets to pay back the money sought by the Crown Prosecution Service under the confiscation order.

The high profile criminal asked the court to let him off the rest of the bill, claiming to be facing a life of poverty in his old age.

But Mrs Justice Nicola Davies today (Monday) refused to accept that Adams and his wife, Ruth, were living on just £200-a-week and handouts from friends and family.

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The couple’s lifestyle - including eating out at restaurants, buying designer clothes, having costly dental treatment and enjoying nights out at the opera - revealed their “liking for the more expensive items of life”, the judge said.

Refusing to let Adams off his confiscation bill which now stands at £651,611 - and to which interest is being added at a rate of £83 per day - the judge said the former crime lord still had a reserve of hidden funds that he could call upon.

She said: “Even allowing for ‘loans’ from family or friends, the nature of the spending points to the fact that there is a reserve of funds which can be and is utilised by Terence and Ruth Adams.”

His lawyers had said the Adams’ family home had been sold at the bottom of the market and receivers had seized all his other trappings of wealth.

Adams had tried to find work in the jewellery trade, but no-one wanted to work with him.

During the civil hearing the court was told that far from the riches he once enjoyed as head of a thriving criminal network, Adams and his wife were now living in a one-bedroom flat and surviving on Ruth Adams’ meagre income from her work as a designer and occasional loans from family and friends.

But Mrs Justice Davies concluded: “I am not satisfied that Terence Adams has provided full and candid disclosure to the court as to the assets held in July 2014 which fund his life and that of his wife.

“I believe that there are financial matters known peculiarly to Terence Adams which are not before the court.

“I am not satisfied that the current assets of Terence Adams are worth less than the outstanding balance of the confiscation order.

“Accordingly, this application is refused.”

It is understood that N1 Angel Ltd, Mrs Adams’ clothing label, is registered to a flat at The Clock Tower, Goldring Way, in London Colney.

Adams has been described in the courts as once heading one of the most feared organised criminal gangs in the UK.