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Patsy Adams admits shooting associate amid 'grass' claims

Published 28/11/2016

Patrick Adams, 60, pleaded guilty today to grievous bodily harm with intent at Woolwich Crown Court. (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
Patrick Adams, 60, pleaded guilty today to grievous bodily harm with intent at Woolwich Crown Court. (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
Adams admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent at Woolwich Crown Court

A member of an infamous crime family has admitted shooting a man he had apparently accused of being a "grass", claiming it was in self-defence.

Patrick "Patsy" Adams, 60, one of the Adams family, shot motorist Paul Tiernan in Islington, north London, on December 22 2013 with a .45 calibre gun.

Adams admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent at Woolwich Crown Court.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said the defendant and the victim were long-time associates.

He said: "The prosecution suggest from the circumstances of the shooting in broad daylight and at close range, that what happened would seem to have been personal.

"They had known one another for many years. The prosecution suggest they had much in common.

"They were men of a similar age, they knew a number of the same people, they share a reluctance to cooperate with police and live by the same code, one in which loyalty is everything and either snitching or grassing is contemptible."

The court heard the defendant and his wife Constance Adams, 56, had been spotted on CCTV walking in the area near to their flat in Percival Street, Finsbury, north London, at around 9.30am that day.

As they walked in St Johns Street, in Clerkenwell, Mr Tiernan beckoned Adams towards his car, a dark-coloured BMW, where the defendant claimed he could see the victim had a gun.

"Adams ran to the car and reached into the open window," Mr Aylett said, outlining the defence's version of events.

"Although Mr Tiernan had a gun in his hand he had not shot him. This allowed Patrick Adams to grab hold of the gun.

"Fearing for his safety and that of his wife, he shot Paul Tiernan."

Mr Tiernan, who refused to cooperate with police, was shot in the chest and was later found by officers lying on his back in the road.

Meanwhile, Adams returned home to pick up his car and then drove to the Regent's Canal, where the gun had been thrown into the water.

The victim, who was 51 at the time, spent a month in hospital after suffering complications linked with anabolic steroid withdrawal, the court heard.

He is now thought to have made a full recovery.

Mr Aylett said days after the shooting police found a handwritten note, which had been written by Mr Tiernan and was addressed to Adams, during a search of his London flat.

Reading it to the court, Mr Aylett said: "Pat, I ain't no f****** grass. G (which may be a reference to Mr Adams' son George) could have stopped all this bollocks by telling the truth.

"I've always been there for both of you but no-one is ever there for me.

"We are men. Face me. The truth will hurt."

The court heard that, on the evening of the shooting, two women were seen on CCTV entering Harold Laski House, where the defendant lived, and emerging half an hour later with suitcases.

Mr Aylett said the women were thought to be Adams' daughters and the evidence indicated that the defendant and his wife were not intending to return home and instead fled abroad.

They were later found to be in Amsterdam in April 2014 and were extradited in October last year from the Netherlands on a European arrest warrant sought by the Metropolitan Police during the investigation.

Adams had previously denied a charge of attempted murder and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offered no evidence on that count.

A third charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life would lie on file, Mr Aylett said.

Mrs Adams, who also denied the same charges, was discharged as the CPS offered no evidence against her.

Six dock officers flanked Adams, who wore glasses and a navy blue jumper, and his wife as they appeared in court.

The career criminal, who was first convicted at the age of 12, is the younger brother of Terry Adams, the "retired" head of the north London gang.

Adams was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on Friday.

Detective Inspector Glenn Butler, from the Trident and Area Crime Command, said: "Adams was extradited back to the UK to face charges in connection with this incident, having attempted to evade justice. Today, he has pleaded guilty.

"Detectives carried out a full and thorough investigation and have secured a conviction even though the victim has never co-operated with officers.

"It was clear both men knew each other but the exact nature of the dispute has never been established.

"Adams stated that during the fight with the victim, he took the victim's gun and shot him acting in self-defence, but by pleading guilty today it is clear he has accepted his criminal actions."

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