In The News
Greater Manchester Police continue to investigate the gangland assassination of notorious Salford criminal and violent ‘anti-fascist’ Paul Massey, one week after his death in a hail of bullets outside his home.
For the past year Massey had been an outspoken supporter of UKIP, a fact which H&D understands might owe less to ideological conviction and more to the family connections of a local UKIP candidate. We trust that the mainstream press will summon up the courage to investigate these connections, and the much longer story of Massey’s ‘anti-fascist’ ties.
Detectives investigating the Massey case will no doubt have the assistance of MI5, who began investigating his organised crime empire at least twenty years ago. One important informant was Ben Alagha, a former spy for the Shah of Iran’s notorious secret service SAVAK. Alagha had taken refuge in London after the Iranian revolution and became a full-time criminal, eventually marrying the daughter of London mobster Henry Suttee.
In May 1997 Suttee was observed by a police surveillance team at the home of a North London arms dealer, in a car driven by Paul Massey’s cousin Connie Howarth. Swooping on the car, police found three Ingram MAC-10 submachine guns and 360 rounds of ammunition. Another passenger in the car was Glasgow godfather Paul Ferris, a close associate of Paul Massey who (like the Salford ‘Mr Big’) ran a security company.
Some months earlier police had been gifted a connection to Ferris when one of his company’s employees got blind drunk on the Euston-Glasgow train. Railway police boarded the train at Preston to deal with this drunken Glaswegian and found he was carrying a Ceska pistol with silencer and ammunition.
The Glasgow-Manchester axis also had a Dublin connection: unsurprisingly Ferris was a Celtic supporter and Massey a devoted Manchester United fan. They were among the large section of fans at both clubs with strong Irish Republican sympathies.
In March 2006, while Paul Massey was serving a prison sentence, one of his criminal cronies Bobby Spiers, a director of Massey’s Salford security firm PMS, planned a gangland murder from an exclusive hospitality box at United’s Old Trafford stadium.
During half-time at the Man Utd – Newcastle match, thinking he had the perfect alibi, Spiers coordinated with Massey’s cousin Connie Howarth, who was acting as his spotter inside a Salford pub, the Brass Handles. Once she gave the word that target David Totton was inside the pub, Spiers instructed his hired gunmen (two members of a black gang controlling the heroin trade in Manchester’s West Indian ghetto, Moss Side) to move in.
They shot Totton in the face and chest but failed to kill him. Other gangsters in the pub then overpowered the bungling would-be assassins and shot them dead with their own guns.
Last week’s killer didn’t botch his job. It would not be surprising to learn that the chosen weapon was a reactivated MAC-10, which fires a thirty-round clip in only two seconds.
Manchester’s chief constable Sir Peter Fahy (due to retire in October and already seen as a lame duck) insists that his force has a grip on local gang crime, but suggests that there are at least three brutal gang wars under way on his patch, one of them over ‘respect’ or lack of it between rivals.
The late Mr Massey had recently shown little respect for his former ally in ‘anti-fascism’ and crime, Dominic Noonan, accusing Noonan of involvement in rape, gay paedophilia and being a police informer.
Not much honour it seems among ‘anti-fascists’, gunmen or thieves.
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