Police 'taking precautions' after Youtuber who named 'murder suspects' received online death threats
EXCLUSIVE: POLICE are taking precautions after a YouTuber, who has been naming alleged murder and other crime suspects online, received a series of direct death threats from gangland figures.
Paul Hendry (above), from Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, has named a number of alleged suspects for murders and other crimes in the Liverpool area in his YouTube podcasts.
In one case he named an alleged murder suspect who went on to be charged with the murder.
It has led to his own arrest and also threats to his life from the Merseyside underworld.
Sussex Police is aware of the threats.
A force spokesman said: "Sussex Police is aware and has taken the appropriate precautions. We do not comment further on individual cases and operational matters."
It came after one individual messaged a series of threats to Mr Hendry and his address was published online.
Mr Hendry has continued to broadcast his podcasts nightly despite the threats and the arrest.
He claims Merseyside Police turned his home upside down in November and seized electronic devices and arrested him on suspicion of harassment after they travelled the nearly 300 miles from Liverpool for the dawn raid.
It was after he posted claims alleging that a Merseyside businessman was involved in organised crime. Mr Hendry , 58, does the live podcasts on Youtube and tweets about organised crime under the name Art Hostage.
It is due to his past as a reformed art thief and fraudster.
His blog of the same name has received more than 1.5 million views.
He has also named people who he claims are suspects in the murders of Ashley Dale, 28, (above) and Sam Rimmer, 22, (below) who were both shot dead in the same week in August in unconnected attacks.
No one has been charged in connection with their murders.
So far 12 people have been arrested in the Ashley Dale probe, including four on suspicion of murder. All have since been bailed or released pending further investigation.
So far four men, aged between 17 and 23, have been arrested on suspicion of murder in the Sam Rimmer case and released on bail.
Mr Hendry has named who he claims have been arrested on suspicion of both of their murders. It was after his podcasts built up a huge following among the city's underworld, which has also led to the death threats after he was labelled a "grass". However, his arrest followed his naming of a Merseyside businessman as allegedly being involved in organised crime in a video and series of Twitter tweets. Mr Hendry, who studied for an MA in Contemporary History and a BA (Hons) in American Social Studies at Sussex university as a mature student (below), was awoken by two Merseyside Police officers and a search team of four officers from Sussex Police on the morning of November 24.
He said: "They said they were arresting me for harassing him and they told me not to do any more posts about him. Thing is, I have had no complaints from YouTube and the video is still up. Isn't this a civil matter? "I'm furious. Why did they send six police to turn my house upside down, when they could have just interviewed me under caution. They wrote to me before and told me to take down the videos naming suspects because of contempt of court and I cooperated, so why the need for all this? "They took all my electronic devices and all my passwords. I think it is because they want to access my contacts because one of the officers said I had better contacts than them." Under his police bail conditions he is banned from discussing his arrest or the investigation on social media and making any more online posts about the complainant. Mr Hendry said police found an old dried piece of cannabis leaf in a drawer from when he used to smoke it and he accepted a caution for possession.
However, he was also warned his life is in danger from some members of the Liverpool underworld who are not happy with his disclosures. He has received threatening messages, including images showing the street where he lives and claims he is a grass and will be targeted. Mr Hendry started the YouTube podcast to talk about art theft, but it soon widened to cover all aspects of organised crime and snowballed after Liverpool's August murder spate. His own links to the underworld stretch back to the 1970s when he started out as a "knocker" in Brighton aged 12. He went door-to-door trying to get people to sell him art and antiques for far less than it was worth, before becoming involved in the theft of art. In 1993 he turned his back on crime and began helping police forces recover stolen art for a fee. A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that Merseyside Police officers, assisted by officers from Sussex Police, conducted a warrant following a criminal complaint. "The warrant was carried out at an address in Pevensey Bay on Thursday November 24 and a 58-year-old man was detained. "He was arrested on suspicion of harassment and possession of a class B drug, was interviewed and has been conditionally bailed pending further enquiries. "He was cautioned for possession of a class B drug." A Sussex Police spokesman added: "Merseyside Police arrested a 58-year-old man at an address in Pevensey Bay, on November 24, supported by local officers."