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Inquiry plea after police helped gun suspect in PC murder case get soft sentence

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Scotland Yard helped a snitch get a light sentence – despite suspecting him of supplying the guns used to murder one of their own officers and a security guard.

Gangland informant Brynmor Lindop was arrested with enough firearms to “equip a small army” by detectives probing the shooting of PC Patrick Dunne and civilian William Danso, 31.

But the Sunday Mirror can reveal that Lindop was sentenced to just two years after his Metropolitan Police handler briefed a trial judge that he was a valued “snout”.

The handler had run Lindop for four years by then.

As a result of our findings, Mr Danso’s family has called for Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to launch a full independent public inquiry.

PC Dunne, 44 – a mature recruit to the Met – was attending a domestic incident in Clapham, South London, on his bicycle when he heard gunshots across the street on October 20, 1993.

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Flowers at the Funeral for PC Patrick Dunne who was murdered in Clapham South London
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Daily Mirror)

Gary Nelson, then 23, had shot Mr Danso on his doorstep and was fleeing with two other men when he shot PC Dunne in the chest and left him to die.

Witnesses heard Nelson laughing as he fled and the brutal killings caused shockwaves across Britain.

Officers discovered Lindop had worked with a retired police dog handler to supply the weapons used by Nelson – but never pursued the investigation. Instead, he faced separate charges of possessing a huge cache of guns and ammo – which earned him the two-year jail term.

Lindop told one source that he had feared a lengthy sentence.

Mr Danso’s family said: “We are deeply distressed to hear evidence that suggests that a corrupt [retired] Metropolitan officer and a police informant supplied the guns used to murder our father.

The murder scene in Clapham
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“Our family calls on Dame Cressida Dick to refer this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for independent investigation, with full support and co-operation of the MPS, and to account to us and the public as to whether there has been an institutional cover-up.”

Retired Met detective sergeant Steve Morris, who confirmed Lindop’s link to the Dunne murder weapons, echoed the family’s sentiments.

He said: “I find it repugnant that Lindop was never brought to justice for supplying the weapon that killed PC Dunne and Mr Danso.

“What message does this send to those risking all on the frontline of policing? The only way to resolve this very serious issue is to have a full independent public inquiry with teeth into the actions of the Metropolitan Police.”

Mr Morris said it “was an open secret” that Lindop was supplying guns but police “took no action”.

PC Dunne was a former maths teacher who had retrained just four years before he was shot dead.

A Tanfoglio pistol, one of a number of guns, found at Wandsworth cemetery
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As well as hearing Nelson laughing, witnesses reported seeing him firing shots into the air “in apparent triumph” after the killings.

The hitman – nicknamed Tyson after US boxing legend Mike because he shared his physique and notorious short fuse – was arrested weeks later.

In November 1993, Richard Watts, 34, was charged with the two murders. Nelson and Anthony Francis, 28, were accused of conspiracy to murder Mr Danso.

The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence in February 1994 – though justice would eventually catch up with Nelson.

Around the same time a Browning semi-automatic and an Italian-made Tanfoglio self-loading pistol used in the attack were discovered in a Wandsworth cemetery, close to Nelson’s home.

A Browning gun belonging to Gary Nelson
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Detectives claimed they had received an anonymous tip-off from a woman and were guided to the stash by lipstick crosses on gravestones.

Separately, Finchley Flying Squad was working on Operation Carlagg – a probe into the guns.

Officers raided Lindop’s yard in Dagenham, East London, in March 1994. Lindop and his friend, former police driver Norman Fallows, later pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the possession of 10 illegal firearms.

But according to court documents the pair were caught with far more.

Fallows, 51, also feared a long sentence but was jailed for just 15 months despite possessing assault rifles, telescopic sights and silencers and 44 boxes of ammo. He also took detectives to three Smith and Wesson revolvers and a semiautomatic pistol hidden in a stream in Hainault Country Park, East London, the papers reveal.

PC Patrick Dunne who was shot dead
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Nightclub doorman William Danso who was also shot dead
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Lindop, then 46, had a loaded handgun in his pocket when he was arrested.

At home were 11 assault rifles, three revolvers, three shotguns, three pistols and 3,451 rounds of ammunition. He also had telescopic sights, silencers and body armour, all favoured tools of the hitman.

But when jailing Lindop and Fallows – after being briefed by police – Judge Neil Denison said neither of the men intended to supply criminals.

Lindop had been recruited by the regional crime squad and had earned “fortunes” providing information on organised crime, his police handler revealed to the Mirror.

Gunman Gary Nelson who was found guilty of the murders
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Byrnmor Lindop had an arsenal of weapons

Documents revealed by a source show Lindop, a former doorman and convicted armed robber, was authorised by top brass at Scotland Yard to take part in police stings against drug gangs in London and Liverpool.

Four months after arresting Lindop, in July 1994, the Flying Squad raided the three-bedroom home of former police dog handler Sydney Wink in Ilford, East London. His tea was still warm but there was no sign of Wink when police arrived at 5.30am.

He shot himself in the head down an alleyway a few days later shortly before he was due to be quizzed.

Police believed Wink was part of a racket where illegal firearms were rendered useless and then legally registered before being reactivated and sold on the black market by Lindop, through a third man.

“His house was full of deactivated, reactivated firearms. It was an arsenal,” said a senior former Flying Squad detective. Wink, 66, had been selling weapons for 18 years after retiring from the Met in 1975 following 25 years of service.

Ex-cop Steve Morris wants a public inquiry
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Steve Morris)

A police spokesman denied reports in 1994 that he had supplied the guns used to kill PC Dunne. But the Mirror has had it confirmed that he was involved by five sources, including three former officers.

One said it was known Wink had converted the Tanfoglio used by Nelson because of distinctive markings made by a tool he used to remove serial numbers.

The source said: “There was a mechanical fit between a punch recovered from Wink’s workshop and the gun.”

Wink was reportedly suspected of reactivating at least 270 guns, of which 150 made it into the hands of criminals.

He left a suicide note for his wife, which stated: “I am very sorry for what I have done.”

Police on the scene after the murder of William Danso
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Lindop was murdered outside his home in Goodmayes, East London, eight years later, aged 55. He had been getting out of his black M-reg Range Rover Discovery when he was shot four times, including in the head and mouth, in January 2002.

The Mirror revealed last year that the unsolved murder is one of seven allegedly tainted by police corruption.

Nelson was finally jailed in 2006 for a minimum of 35 years for murdering PC Dunne and Mr Danso.

Watts got 10 years for a separate firearm offence.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “No complaint has been received in respect of this matter.

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Timeline

1993 Octoberr 20: PC Patrick Dunne and William Danso are shot dead.

November 29: Richard Watts is charged with both murders. Gary Nelson and Anthony Francis are charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Danso.

1994 February: CPS drops the charges due to lack of evidence.

March: Lindop and Fallows arrested by officers from the Finchley Flying Squad.

July: Ex-police dog handler Sydney Wink shoots himself dead after his home is raided by police.

December: It is reported police had recovered two guns used in the murders “some months ago”.

1995 February: Lindop is jailed for two years for possession of firearms.

2001: Police reopen the double murder investigation.

2002 January: Lindop is murdered outside his home in Goodmayes, East London. The case remains unsolved.

2006 February: Nelson is finally jailed for life, with a minimum of 35 years, for the murders.

2022 January: Sunday Mirror reveals soft sentence for Lindop. Family of Nelson’s victim Mr Danso demand answers from Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick

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