Gold Chain Godfather

By Londonist Last edited 142 months ago
Gold Chain Godfather

If Mr. T had a jibba jabbering British equivalent, what might he do if he and his trusty sidekicks were busted and broken apart? Terry Adams, leader of the notorious Adams crime family (aka the ‘A Team’), might be able to tell us – from prison. On Friday, Adams was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to seven years in the clink.

At the height of their power, in the late 1980s, they were in charge of most of the cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine coming into the capital and the money was rolling in. Mr Mitchell said Terry Adams had made so much money from crime he was able to retire at the age of 35. From then on the former meat porter sat back and set about laundering his ill-gotten gains, estimated at up to £11m.

It doesn’t really say much for his character, does it? He was obviously only in it for the money and not the glory, to retire at age 35 like that. Sheesh.

Adams has been suspected of participating in other unsavoury behaviour such as Godfather-esque executions, attempted murder in public places and the “mysterious” disappearance of a former A Team member who reportedly double crossed the mob boss, but evidence was insufficient to convict on anything but the charge of laundering. It makes you wonder how good MI5 are at their jobs. They only seem to get these gangsters on tax evasion and other boring money-related crimes. Why not give the calculators and auditors a break and try a little spying, guys?

This case has also sparked interest in those wistful fans of “old fashioned gangland crime.”

The fall of Terry Adams has unleashed a wave of speculation - nostalgia even - that the era of the home-grown, family-based gang is finally over.

Where once the likes of the Krays and the Richardsons ruled their manors unopposed, the argument runs, violent young street gangs and ethnic-minority gangsters have taken over.

Are the people speculating and arguing over this Daily Mail readers? Because if you read between the lines they’re basically saying “It’s these pesky kids and those damn immigrants fault we haven’t got a decent British gangster anymore. It used to be such a classy, family-oriented affair, crime. These yobbos are sure to muck it up.

We pity the fool.

Words by Amity Reed. Picture by Colonel Decker. Possibly.

Last Updated 12 March 2007