EXCLUSIVE: Gangster with 'motive' for killing bouncer 19 years ago and form for similar exec
UNSOLVED: No one has been arrested over the murder of Ronald Fuller in 19 years (Essex Police) DETECTIVES have never arrested the gun toting gangster prime suspect in an unsolved murder case despite him having a clear motive, a conviction for a similar killing, and another police force having intelligence that he did it, we can exclusively reveal. Serious questions are being raised over Essex Police's apparent lack of action during investigations into the death of bouncer Ronald Fuller nearly 19 years ago after the case and a suspect were referenced in a corruption inquiry by the Met Police. Canning Town gangster Christopher Pearman, 67, is the chief suspect in the doorstep gunshot execution of Mr Fuller outside his home in Grays, Essex, in August 2000, according to the Met Police, we can reveal. The Met Police secret corruption report Operation Tiberius, seen by this website, says Scotland Yard has intelligence that "Pearman killed Fuller." Yet neighbouring force Essex Police has admitted it has never arrested or questioned him, or anyone else during a series of investigations and reviews into the cold case. Our revelation has fuelled calls for a full-scale corruption inquiry into Essex Police due to Pearman having links to organised criminals identified in Tiberius as being suspected of utilising corrupt serving and retired police officers to obtain information about investigations into them.
SUSPECT: Christopher Pearman has never been arrested over the Fuller murder (Met Police)
Operation Tiberius says Pearman killed Mr Fuller in retribution after the doorman killed his son Darren Pearman, 27. But at the time of Fuller's killing, Essex Police said it did not believe the deaths to be linked. And, the Met Police, which investigated Pearman's death, and Essex Police have never officially confirmed they believed there were any connections. Pearman junior was killed after a group of men he was with attacked Mr Fuller and other door men as they worked on the door of the Epping Forest Country Club, near Chigwell, Essex, on October 3 1999. According to sources, Pearman and Fuller had come to blows before over a girl with the latter previously ejecting the former from another club. On the night Pearman died he went to the country club with a gang allegedly to settle the score. Our sources said that Pearman junior's gang had hidden weapons including machetes inside sofas inside the country club which were later produced to attack the door staff. However, during fighting Pearman was stabbed with one of the gang's own weapons and fatally wounded.
SCENE: The pool area of the country club in 1999, the year Pearman was killed (Funkydancenights.co.uk)
Mr Fuller and another bouncer from the club were initially charged with violent disorder after Pearman junior died, but the CPS later dropped the charges saying they had acted in self defence, as we exclusively revealed in January. Fuller later moved home to Grays in a bid to escape any reprisals. However, just ten months after Pearman's death, on Tuesday, August 20 2000, Mr Fuller, then aged 30, was murdered. It was as he was setting off for work from his home in Parkside, Grays, at just after 7.30am. An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "A man dressed in a black motorcycle-style coat rode into Parkside and shot him several times before riding off towards the old A13 via King Edward Drive. "The scooter was described as black sporting “L” plates at the front and rear. "An extensive investigation was carried out into Mr Fuller’s death and a number of lines of enquiry were considered." At the time of Mr Fuller's murder Essex Police ruled out a link to Pearman's death, however, the force said it has since been "considered as a line of enquiry."
SECRET: Operation Tiberius is providing an eye opener into the ganglands of Essex and London
Yet, the Operation Tiberius report states it as fact that Pearman senior killed Mr Fuller as a direct result of his son's death. It said: "It is believed that Pearman's own life is under threat as a result of a long running feud which originated with the fatal stabbing of his son Darren at the Epping Forest Country Club some time ago. "Evidently Darren was killed by four bouncers at the club, one being a man called (Ronnie) Fuller. "In spite of taking extensive precautions to avoid the inevitable retaliation Fuller was subsequently shot dead by Pearman and the remaining three bouncers have made it clear that they now intend to kill Pearman." Essex Police is likely to have been aware of the intelligence about Pearman senior and known about his potential motive, giving grounds for his arrest or interview under caution, according to a former Met Police detective. The Tiberius intelligence also appears to back up a theory about links between Pearman and Fuller's deaths by former Essex Boys gang member-turned author, Bernard O'Mahoney, in his 2004 book Wannabe in my Gang?: From the Krays to the Essex Boys.
FRIENDS: Bernard O'Mahoney (centre) in a group with Darren Pearman (Bernard O'Mahoney)
He wrote that Darren Pearman and another gangster were forcibly ejected from Charlie Chan's nightclub in Chingford, east London, by Fuller who was on the door, after a fight broke out. Mr O'Mahoney, who knew both Pearman and Fuller, described the events. He wrote: "Darren Pearman was a member of the Canning Town Firm, probably the best little outfit in London. It was all part of the same group of people as the Inter City Firm, which was centred on the West Ham fans' gang. They were all very violent. If someone stamped on their foot, they got murdered. "Darren was a space job. He wore cardigans and had his hair in a side parting. He looked like a boffin but he was a raging lunatic. He was friends with Dave King and, a couple of years ago, they were in Charlie Chan's nightclub." "There was a fight in which a man was cut by a bottle or glass. "The glassing kicked off a big fight and the doormen got involved. One of them was an ex-wrestler called Ronnie Fuller. Ronnie didn't know the rules. If you're a doorman and you grab people like Pearman and King, you're going to get it as well, because they have to keep their front.
THEORY: Bernard O'Mahoney wrote of the Fuller and Pearman murders in 2004 book (Bernard O'Mahoney)
"A few weeks later, they clashed with him again outside the Epping Forest Country Club. Pearman was stabbed and pronounced dead by the time he rolled up to Whipps Cross Hospital in the back of a cab. "Later, a motorbike hitman shot Ronnie twice in the head and three times in the chest, killing him outside his home in Grays, Essex, in front of his wife." Mr Fuller moved around 20 miles from Loughton, near to the country club, to Grays, after Pearman's death, but it had "not been nearly far enough," wrote Mr O'Mahoney. Further grounds to arrest Pearman came in January 2007 when he was convicted for his part in the murder of Rocky Dawson, 24, on May 2 2006. Rocky was shot several times in the back as he put his two children, a girl, then aged six, and a boy aged two, in his car in Hornchurch, east London. It is believed to have been a contract killing, but a case of mistaken identity. Pearman senior and James Tomkins, 69, carried out the murder in an almost identical manner to the slaying of Mr Fuller, except a 4WD vehicle was used instead of a motorbike. Pearman drove the Land Rover Freelander while Tomkins fired shots from a window before they dumped it and burnt it out nearby.
EXECUTED: Rocky Dawson (Met Police)
Pearman, then of Deer Park Way, Waltham Abbey, Essex, who has several burglary convictions and two for importing cannabis, pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life, with a minimum sentence of 23 years. Tomkins fled to Spain but was extradited and jailed for life for murder in April 2011 and ordered to serve a minimum of 33 years. Essex Police confirmed it had recently reviewed the Fuller case, which was also looked at again in 2010 and 2012. During all three reviews it was known that Pearman was convicted of a similar offence (Rocky Dawson), had previous firearms involvement, had a motive to kill Mr Fuller, and there was also the Met Police intelligence available suggesting he was the killer, yet he was still never questioned at any point. According to Tiberius, Christopher Pearman was found in possession of a firearm eight months after Fuller's murder in April 2001. He appeared to be under threat of assassination, in what may have been an unrelated feud to Mr Fuller, after an associate was murdered and he and another associate faced similar attempts on their lives.
KILLER: James Tomkins got 33 years for the Rocky Dawson murder
The report said that on April 6 2001 Pearman was arrested near the Hippodrome Nightclub in Leicester Square after threatening a cab driver with a gun. He was found to be wearing covert body armour and carrying a five shot snub-nosed revolver and a lock knife, while accompanied by another man. There is no record of him being charged and the Met Police said the case was too old to say what happened following the arrests. Tiberius said that a previous attempt was made on Pearman's life when shots were fired into his car after one of the tyres was deflated. It did not detail when this happened, but said the attack was identical to the method used on another of his named associate's, an enforcer from the Isle of Dogs, now 60, we are calling Jeremy, was shot and wounded in his car parked outside flats on the Isle of Dogs on the evening of March 20 2001. The tyre had already been deflated and as Jeremy got into the car a number of shots were fired at him through the driver's window. He was hit in the face and neck by two .32" caliber bullets which lodged in the roof of his mouth and against his spine. Despite the similarities, Tiberius said "it is not clear if the two incidents are connected." Tiberius said that Christopher Pearman, Jeremy, who was considered a "psychopath" and firearms danger by police, and a criminal called John Donovan, from Byng Street, Isle Of Dogs, were running cocaine for an East End crime family into Scotland. Jeremy was said to have recovered after his attack with a known Glasgow gangster who was receiving the drugs.
Just over six weeks before the attack on Jeremy, Donovan was found dead on a deserted stretch of dual carriageway outside Aberdeen with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. His car had been left on the opposite side of the road and a shotgun was lying near to the body. Tiberius said: "Donovan was known to have been involved with (Jeremy) in delivering consignments of cocaine from London to Scotland, probably on behalf of the (name removed) organisation." Officers from Grampian Police travelled to London and made enquiries, including interviews with (Jeremy) and the crime gang. Tiberius added: "It is understood that Grampian CID eventually wrote-off the incident as a suicide." Frank Matthews is the online pseudonym of a former Met Police Detective Sargent who was heavily involved in investigating organised crime before the Operation Tiberius report was compiled. He said he arrested Pearman senior with others in the late 1980s for street level drug dealing. Matthews said corruption at the time could have protected criminals like Pearman from prosecution.
WHISTLEBLOWER: 'Frank Matthews,' ID obscured interviewed by Panorama on police corruption (BBC)
He said: "At the time Operation Tiberius covers there was an incredible lack of sharing of intelligence and any Villain worth his salt was a registered informant. "That way they were able to protect their interests by having either a corrupt or naive detective on board. "While the police are left relatively unchecked issues like this and more will continue." After learning of our revelations about the Fuller murder he said Pearman should be questioned at the very least and the case should be reviewed. He said: "As a former murder squad detective I can say that this information, had it been known to the (Essex) squad, would definitely have been a strong line of inquiry for development.
"Pearman should be interviewed and produced to a police station if necessary. "However if he declines to answer the questions they need to have other evidence to charge. "It must be reviewed by Essex Police and the Met should divulge all their intelligence in relation to Chris Pearman and his associates. "Intelligence is power and still to this day there is not a free flow between departments let alone other forces."
INTELLIGENCE: Extract from Operation Tiberius about Pearman and Fuller (Met Police)
We asked Essex Police if and when it became aware of the Met Police intelligence that Pearman senior "killed Fuller." We also asked why he was never arrested or interviewed about the killing, particularly during the 2010 or subsequent reviews of the case after which it had emerged he was involved in the 2007 doorstep murder of Rocky Dawson. The force was also asked to say if Essex Police had ever carried out any corruption enquiries concerning the Fuller murder. An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "We cannot comment on intelligence that may or may not be held by Essex Police or other forces in relation to individuals or particular cases. "Intelligence is by its very nature sensitive and cannot be publicly disclosed. "An extensive investigation was carried out into Mr Fuller’s death and a number of lines of enquiry were considered. We cannot comment on the alleged involvement of particular individuals. "We periodically review our unsolved cases. If new evidence comes to light to give us grounds to interview an individual as a suspect then we will act on that." Sources have made unconfirmed suggestions that a corrupt Essex Police officer was able to show CCTV from the country club to Pearman senior, showing his son being killed, and this is what lead to Fuller being murdered. In respect of any possible corruption involved in the case, the spokeswoman added: "We cannot comment on these claims."
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PROTECT & SERVE: Essex Police's handling of the Fuller murder is under the spotlight (Essex Police)
However, it is understood the Essex Police professional standards department is looking into the Fuller murder as a result of our revelations. The spokeswoman added: "As with all unsolved cases, the murder has also been periodically reviewed by our Cold Case Review Team including just recently as well as in 2010 and 2012. She refused to be drawn on whether Mr Fuller had been issued with any Osman Warnings - which are official police notifications that someone's life is in danger - after the death of Pearman junior, or if the force had been involved in moving the doorman to Grays before he was killed. Despite criticism of Essex Police's handling of the Ronald Fuller murder, the spokeswoman insisted the force is determined to crack the case. The spokeswoman added: "It has now been 19-years since Mr Fuller’s murder and the family he left behind would still like to see justice for the brutal killing of their loved one. "Over time allegiances change, but the pain of losing someone never goes away. "If people have information about this murder we would urge them to contact us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."