POLICE hope to prick the conscience of underworld figures and get them to grass on the killer of murdered gangster John "Goldfinger" Palmer five years on from his execution.
Essex Police has launched a fresh appeal for information about the murder of Palmer in the grounds of his Brentwood home after making no further arrests.
Senior investigating officer Det Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings is convinced people within the gangland underworld know what happened and he wants them to break the "no grassing code" and come forward.
Palmer (pictured above), once worth around £300 million, got his nickname after being acquitted of smelting gold bars stolen in the notorious 1983 Brink’s Mat robbery.
Essex News and Investigations has already been given a possible identity for the hit man, who is believed to have stalked Palmer through a hole in his fence before blasting him six times on June 24 2015.
STALKED: A hole believed to have been made in Palmer's fence to spy on him (Essex Police)
Our gangland source claims the hit was organised by the Irish Kinahan crime cartel on behalf of a former associate of Palmer.
The cartel has been linked to around 20 gangland assassinations, as part of a bloody feud with the Hutch gang.
But, only individual hit men, rather than key players in the cartel, have been convicted over any of the murders, of those that have been solved.
The alleged hit man, named in connection with Palmer, is currently in prison in Ireland in connection with another Kinahan hit.
Essex Police has been passed his name, and made enquiries, but has been unable to make an arrest.
Palmer, 65, was at his home in Sandpit Lane in South Weald, Brentwood when he was murdered.
APPEAL: DCI Steve Jennings (YouTube/Essex Police)
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "Five years on from the murder of John Palmer at his Brentwood home, detectives continue to hunt his killer and appeal for information."
"The father, and now grandfather, was burning rubbish in the garden.
"At around 5.30pm it is believed the killer entered the garden over the fence and shot Mr Palmer six times.
"A mortally wounded Mr Palmer managed to walk a short distance towards his house before collapsing.
"He was then discovered by relatives who called for help.
"Mr Palmer died from his injuries."
A hole found in the garden fence of Mr Palmer’s rural home suggests the killer may have been watching him in the days leading up to his death.
Since his murder, detectives have closely examined his history and associations in the UK and abroad; gathered intelligence in the UK and abroad; taken hundreds of witness statements; traced vehicles; examined more than 1,400 documents and pursued more than 700 lines of enquiry.
COURT: Defendants in the Spanish case, including Richard Cashman (right) (Timeshare.net)
In the weeks prior to his death Mr Palmer, and ten others including his former right hand man Richard Anthony Cashman, 53, originally from the north east, were charged with various offences in relation to a multi-million pound timeshare fraud in Tenerife.
That trial, which concluded in May 2019 saw several of those involved found guilty and sentenced.
Cashman was sentenced to two years in connection with the timeshare scam.
However, it is understood Cashman has yet to serve the sentence and remains in Dubai.
Mr Jennings said: “Five years is a long time for John’s family to be left without answers and without anyone facing justice for his cold-blooded murder.
“In the years since his death a lot has changed, particularly within the underworld. The Spanish fraud trial, in which he was due to be a defendant, has concluded with several people sentenced.
UNSOLVED: Steve Jennings has made a plea to the underworld over Palmer's death (Spanish Police)
“Over the years loyalties also change and people who may have information, and once felt unable to come forward, may now feel free to do so.
"If you do have information please, now, do the right thing.
“There has always been speculation and rumour within the media and underworld about Mr Palmer’s connection to organised criminals; specific high profile crimes; that he was a police informant; and that charges brought against him in Spain were about to be dropped.
“Over the years a number of these rumours have been found to be untrue or based wholly in speculation. Regardless of Mr Palmer’s past the reality is that he was much-loved by his family and he was murdered in a calculated, callous killing within the grounds of his own home.
“It is impossible to imagine how his family must feel, without justice and answers, and we continue to do all we can to bring his killer to come forward.
“We know that the key to solving Mr Palmer’s murder lies within the underworld. Loyalties do change and people may now feel able to come forward."
If you have information about the murder of John Palmer call Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 on use their anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.