Macintyre’s Underworld

macintyre’s underworld
lucky tucker

In tonight’s edition of the investigative documentary series , Donal MacIntyre meets Ian ‘Lucky’ Tucker, a famous name in the Kent underworld. Despite numerous accusations, Tucker has never been convicted of a serious offence – but with an upcoming trial for firearm possession, is his trademark good fortune about to change?

A former doorman, debt collector and minder to the Kray twins, Ian Tucker was once dubbed one of the UK’s most wanted men and has been under the watchful eye of the Kent police for years. When MacIntyre asks him what his police file says, Tucker replies with a wry smile: “Six foot two; scar above left eye; approach with caution”.

Tucker’s turf, known as the ‘corridor of crime’, is a stretch of road along the Thames Estuary linking the gangs of southeast London with the lucrative docks of north Kent. Here, Tucker has carved out a niche specialising in resolving underworld disputes. In the 1990s, he teamed up with ‘celebrity gangster’ Dave Courtney to create a formidable debt-collecting partnership. The pair soon became inseparable, providing muscle at West End nightclubs, making cameo appearances in ‘The Bill’ and promoting clubs. Their status in the underworld reached dizzying heights in 1995 when Reggie Kray asked them to organise security for the funeral of his brother Ronnie.

Despite Tucker’s claims that he now has a regular job, his past has a way of catching up with him – as he discovered when he became a suspect in the murder of ‘Crimewatch’ presenter Jill Dando. After he was featured on the programme in connection with an armed robbery and kidnapping, his lucrative café business suffered and Tucker went on the run – but the charges were dropped nine months later. Holding a personal grudge against the show meant that Tucker was a prime suspect in Dando’s murder, but he was released without charge thanks to a cast-iron alibi: he was elsewhere, “recovering some vehicles”.

Often asked to repossess cars, Tucker is partial to a fast vehicle and frequently finds himself in trouble for driving offences. He is surprised to escape the latest charge with little more than a £300 fine, but driving convictions are currently the least of his worries. Tucker is currently facing eight years in jail for possession of a loaded firearm found in his house. He claims that the gun belongs to his friend Sidney – who confessed to that effect –but the prosecution thinks that Sidney is taking the rap for Tucker and is willing to do prison time for him. Tucker’s trial has collapsed twice, but the prosecution is determined to get its man in a third attempt. Tucker is convinvced that the police are out to get him, and when MacIntyre asks of what he believes the police suspect him, he replies: “Everything and more. Pearl Harbor, Titanic – it was all my fault. If something happens… near me, I’ll get a visit.”

Tucker’s latest trial suffers a setback when he is injured in a motorcycle accident, breaking four bones in his foot and requiring convalescence after surgery. He believes that his memory was also affected in the accident and that he is unfit to stand trial, but the prosecution is unconvinced. Tucker is quietly confident that he is going to escape conviction – but he is relying on Sidney’s testimony.

Unfortunately for Tucker, the prosecution lawyers have questioned Sidney’s credibility due to his criminal record, drug problems and the fact that he was drunk when he confessed – and Sidney then fails to turn up in court. “I can’t be doing with it anymore,” fumes Tucker, desperate to see an end to this trial one way or another. “It’s killing me.” His best friend and righthand man, Doug, steps up in Sidney’s place, but will his testimony do the job and keep ‘Lucky’ Tucker out of jail yet again?

macintyre’s underworld
mad dog and nazi nick

Two years after profiling exiled terrorist Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre returns to find out what happened when Adair met up with a reformed neo-Nazi in search of a new cause.

After serving prison time for directing acts of terrorism, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair was living in exile in Scotland, forced out of Northern Ireland by his own people, when he got a message from a man he had never met: Nick Greger, the head of a neo-Nazi group in Dresden, Germany. While in prison for plotting an act of terror, Greger had heard that his idol Adair was vulnerable from attack by his enemies and organised a team of bodyguards to protect him and his family. Now, two years later, Greger has been released from prison and has big plans for himself and the man he idolises.

Greger’s fascination with Adair developed while he was in prison. Paroled after two years, Greger ended up in South Africa where he aligned himself with the AWB white power group to get what he describes as “a paramiliatary education”. He says that heading to Angola to buy weapons to use in the race war, Greger encountered someone who would change everything. After picking up a black hitch-hiker, Greger met the man’s sister and was awed by her beauty. “One day I couldn’t hear my own Nazi music,” he explains. When he eventually returned to Germany, he was thrown back into jail – but found that his experiences had shaken his Nazi convictions to the core. Looking for new inspiration, Greger found it in the charismatic Adair and became infatuated with him, creating a cult of similarly star-struck fans in Dresden.

“He’s a good guy,” says Adair of his number one fan, “but above all he’s a loyal guy.” Adair never forgot the loyalty Greger showed when he sent his friends to look out for him, and professes to be “proud and excited” at the thought of being a role model to the men.

When Adair meets up with Greger in Dresden, the two men talk about what their futures hold. They both know that the world they knew has now left them behind, and they need a new purpose. To this end, Greger tells Adair about his new plan. He claims to have renounced his Nazi past and become a born-again Christian, and tells Adair that he had a vision telling him to go to Uganda and build an orphanage. He wants to name it after Adair’s C Company cell of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, and hopes that he will be involved in the project – but it later transpires that there may be more to his trip than helping the children and giving “something back”. The last time Greger was in Uganda, he says he was involved in arms dealing and dabbled in blood diamonds.

Adair believes Greger is sincere about the orphanage, and voices his concerns that the authorities may make things difficult for his friend. There are other dangers in this unstable region, especially as Greger appeared to have rekindled links with Russian mafia contacts and Congo warlords. When Adair arrives in Uganda, he becomes concerned about the lack of contact with his friend – has he been arrested or perhaps crossed the wrong people?

After a few days, Greger finally answers his phone. Adair’s relief turns to surprise when he learns that Greger has had to flee to Tanzania due to “problems” in Uganda – and has become engaged to a young Tanzanian woman he just met. Things have certainly changed since Greger spent his time attacking black people and immigrants on the German streets.

These two former terrorists may have moved on from their murderous campaigns, but it appears they can still see opportunities in war-torn Africa.

macintyre’s underworld
wayne’s world
monday, 22.00–23.00

Donal MacIntyre returns with a new run of the documentary series that delves into the murky depths of Britain’s underworld. In this opening edition, Donal heads back to the Midlands to follow up his award-winning investigation into Nottingham drug dealer Wayne Hardy, ten years after his original ‘World in Action’ report.

A decade ago, Donal spent 12 months working undercover in Nottingham, secretly filming the illegal activities of the fearsome Wayne Hardy. The evidence he gathered put Wayne behind bars for three and a half years and damaged the gangster’s reputation in the underworld. Now, after a period spent living in fear because of death threats from the Hardy gang, Donal is back in the city, this time with open access to his subject’s life. Wayne claims to have changed his ways, but does his world still revolve around drugs, money and death?

After a first meeting in which Wayne lets Donal know exactly how he felt about being set up ten years earlier, the two bury the past. Wayne, while still a formidable figure, shows signs of vulnerability and remorse: “It’s not a nice life –having to watch over your shoulder all the time,” he says. But glimmers of the old gangster are never far away: “It was reckless of your employees to put you in that situation,” he says of Donal’s initial investigation. “I don’t suggest you do it again.”

Wayne and his brother Dean were born into a working-class family of Irish extraction. While working at their father’s scrapyard, the boys developed a passion for fast cars and learned the work ethic that would eventually make them successful gangsters. Known to the police from an early age, the Hardys quickly rose through the criminal ranks such that, by the time they reached their twenties, they were Nottingham’s biggest suppliers of recreational drugs, and enjoyed the high life that came with notoriety and wealth.

Today, however, Wayne Hardy’s life is very different. A father of five, Wayne spends much of his time looking after his youngest son who suffers from a serious illness; while his eldest daughter, Kylie, battles with heroin addiction and has been in and out of prison with prostitution, theft and drug offences. “Do you think you’re in some way responsible for the road in life Kylie has taken?” asks Donal. “Yes, I do,” replies Wayne. “I have a cross to bear and I think some responsibility for it is mine.”

But Wayne has yet more reason to regret his past. While he was serving time in Lincoln prison, his girlfriend visited him with their 11-month-old daughter, Sunny, to tell him that they loved him. That was the last time Wayne saw his daughter – on returning home, his girlfriend, then suffering from severe postnatal depression, killed herself and Sunny. “If I’d have been there, it wouldn’t have happened,” admits a clearly upset Wayne.

During filming of this documentary, yet another tragedy befalls Wayne Hardy as Dean is killed in a freak road accident. A huge funeral is organised, with friends, family and underworld associates from across Britain and Ireland gathering to celebrate Dean’s life. With Hardy’s eldest daughter addicted to heroin, another dead along with her mother, a son with a life-threatening condition and now a brother killed, Donal is prompted to remark: “Wayne’s world is falling apart.”

Despite all his hardship, Wayne finds comfort in the most unlikely of places. While in prison, he experienced what his then prison chaplain describes as a “road to Damascus moment” which has led to a strong Christian faith. “I suppose in the end I’m a God-fearing gangster,’ laughs Wayne. While Wayne still enjoys the benefits of wealth and success, which he claims were all gained through legitimate means, it is clear to Donal that tragedy has followed Wayne throughout his life. However, the ultimate question still remains: does crime pay?


macintyre’s underworld

Donal MacIntyre returns with a new run of the programme that delves into Britain’s underworld. In this new series, Donal follows up his awardwinning investigation into Nottingham drug dealer Wayne Hardy, ten years after his original ‘World in Action’ report.

Donal once again takes personal risks to revisit Hardy’s gang and interview the charismatic criminal. He finds out how Hardy has fared in the intervening years and poses the ultimate question: does crime pay? The resulting film shows that Hardy has had to deal with human tragedies along with the wealth that his activities appear to have brought him.

Also in this series, Donal finds out about the next generation of criminals, with an investigation into an underworld crime family. Four years of filming culminates in a frank and disturbing picture of the teenagers in the clan as they face jail, puberty, electronic tagging and life on the run. The series also incudes a profile of Ian ‘Lucky’ Tucker, a Kent criminal with a fearsome reputation, while another episode follows former terrorist Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair and Nick ‘The Nazi’ Greger as they join forces on a trip to open an orphanage in Uganda. Along the way, the unlikely pair must confront their former prejudices and resist the temptation to revert to illegal ways.

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