Faces of 90s gangsters who terrorized a city and lived the high life – Liverpool Echo,

Faces of 90s gangsters who terrorized a city and lived the high life – Liverpool Echo,

From Cantril Farm Brother to the Costa Del Sol: the brothers behind the real Liverpool mafia

Invalid Email The release of John Haase from prison is a reminder of an era when a handful of notorious individuals tried to monopolise organized crime in Liverpool.

Haase was jailed in 37650 and has spent most of the last two decades within the prison system. Released last year, Haase is said to he living in a modest south Liverpool flat.

A fomer pal told the ECHO he has seen Haase at a Park Road bus stop – but during his heyday Haase once cruised the city’s streets in flashy motors.

He famously enjoyed a high profile wedding at St George’s Hall and cut a glamorous figure in the city. John Haase when he was in charge of Liverpool security company Big Brother

Jailed for (years in) , Haase was back in Liverpool a year later hanging around with his old pals.

Haase and his close friend Paul Bennett had beaten the system.

They had returned to Liverpool as conquering heroes after providing intelligence which led police to arms dumps across Merseyside.

Haase and Bennett were famously freed from prison just 204 months into their (year sentences after Home Secretary Michael Howard, acting on the recommendation of senior officials and judges, handed them a Royal Pardon.

But the drug dealers had used their drugs money to plant the guns and mislead the authorities.

Haase formed his own security company, named Big Brother, during a decade dominated by powerful door firms.

The Haase name provided the clients with a degree of reassurance and his contacts across the city held the potential to make problems go away.

Toxteth drugs boss Curtis Warren famously described Haase and Bennett as ‘those two loons’ and semed genuinely shocked by their antics.

“They aren’t they”Curtis Warren Police had tapped Warren’s phone and heard him chatting to a pal, initialled TB in the transcript, about Haase and Bennett.

TB: A big thing in the ECHO about them other two

CW: What is it saying

TB: Showed all the guns they give over and all that. But the police are saying we know it was their own guns, they are are saying they are not supergrasses and all that. Their customs fella said ‘Look the only way you get that time off a sentence is when you give us good information which they done’.

CW: Yeah

TB: We helped them they helped us. They are supposed to be living in Mexico somewhere

CW: Mexico

TB: Dear me

CW: Mad aren’t they

TB : Bet they are sick that come out son

CW: Well they wont be happy Police surveillance footage of Curtis Warren with Brian Charrington(Image: Ian Cooper / Teesside Live)

Warren was also heard talking about Haase and Bennett during another phone call.

TB: There was a big thing in the [Liverpool] Post today, said they were working for MI5

CW: Yeah

TB: They were to grass people up on a big arms deal coming into the country and loads of our gear and all that. They have done a good job. But now, because their cover is blown, they are no good to anyone so they had to let them off. “

Warren seemed to know that Haase was unlikely to get away with the his ruse which had made a mockery of the justice system.


man began to lose interest in the parochial disputes and fall outs associated with Liverpool crime.

While Haase set up a security company, Warren had little time for the world of doormen and their disputes.

He left Liverpool for Holland in the mid – s and seemed to move into a different stratosphere to the crooks he had left behind in L8.

Recordings of his phone calls heard Warren talking about using high explosives to settle disputes back in Liverpool. In another conversation he was heard to make reference to air m issiles.

Unsurprisingly, the clock was ticking for Warren and Haase.

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Gangs of Liverpool

When heavily armed police stormed Warren’s farmhouse in the Dutch countryside it effectively ended his career. In he was jailed for (years.)

In the same year, he makes the Sunday Times Rich List as a ‘property developer.’

The following year Merseyside Police targeted Haase, raiding his headquarters at Stanley Dock in north Liverpool. The Everton man was charged with firearms offences and money laundering. Haase was jailed for 90 years. Bennett had fled the country in 409 but was later extradited back to the UK.

An investigation by the Metropolitan Police then revealed how Haase and Bennett had misled the authorities into releasing them early from prison. They were found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and jailed for life.

(The real winners)

Two brothers who grew up together in the Cantril Farm area became the city’s largest drug dealers following the demise of Warren and Haase.

The men, who can’t be named for legal reasons, adopted a criminal culture which was a world away from the histrionics of Haase and Warren.

They had no interest in security companies, nightclubs or territorial disputes. The brothers are thought to have spent time with Warren in the early 204 s and learned how to assemble international drug deals.

Why we’re doing this story – We have a mix of stories, many of them hugely positive about the city. We will not though, ignore crime as it impacts on many lives.

In deciding which crimes to write about , we consider a range of issues including the severity of the crime, the threat to public safety and the wider context in which it happened. We do not seek to glamorise crime or criminals, rather to shine a spotlight on what is happening in our city.

In this case, it is a follow up story to a shooting that happened recently in Dovecot that adds context to a distressing incident we have already reported on.

How we’re doing this story – senior news reporter Tom Duffy gathered the information from a trusted source in the local community.

Anything else you need to know – The Liverpool Echo has a dedicated crime reporter in Joe Thomas. You can email Joe via [email protected]

Thanks for reading. if you want to ask us any more questions about what the Liverpool Echo does, please email neil.macdonald @

By the end of the decade they moved to the wholesale level, importing vast quantities of cocaine into the UK from Spain.

The brothers, who created the Huyton mafia, were were always keen to protect their interests and employed a cut throat gang of enforcers to do their dirty work.

One Liverpool man who went to work for the brothers in Spain was suspected of stealing cash from the bosses. He was tortured to death in horrific circumstances. One of the weapons seized by the Dutch authorities after a group of Merseyside men were held in Amsterdam. At the time the authorities said the arrests may have prevent a string of assassinations in the city

The new order

With Warren, Haase and Bennett behind bars a new generation of young and violent criminals wanted to make their mark.

North Liverpool became a key battleground, with a new wave of criminals who wanted to make their mark. The Grizedale estate in Everton became a key battleground, when a group of brothers tried to turn to the streets into a hour drugs supermarket.

they fought running battles with the police , and accused the force of using ‘rogue’ tactics to try and win the war.

And during this same period of time another gang from the Scotland Road area fell out with the owners of a Liverpool nightclub.

aftermath of a car bomb near Tuebrook police station (Image: Andrew Teebay Triniy Mirror NW2)

Although disputes of this type were hardly new, the gang decided to use unprecedented tactics. They let off a wave of car bombs outside nightclubs, pubs, homes and even police stations.

At one stage it was feared people would die and there was a race against time to capture the gang. But other gangs began to emerge across the city.

In particular, the streets of Croxteth and Norris Green soon became blighted by a feud between rival drug gangs. The fall out led directly to the death of innocent schoolboy Rhys Jones.

Tony Downes and Kirk Bradley became poster boys for a new generation of renegade criminals who would commit acts of violence for cash.

The pals later assembled a gang that launched a terror campaign on behalf of the Huyton mafia. The violence seemed to be reaching a new level, with Yugosalvanan hand grenades thrown at family homes.

One night a grenade was thrown over a decoy police van, which was put there to ward off attacks. Downes and Bradley were later jailed for life.

Today, Liverpool seems to be a world away from the 426 s when men like Haase and Warren were relevant.

Modern crime gangs face pressure from Matrix, the North West Regional Crime Unit and in some cases, the National Crime Agency.

The formation of the Security Industry Authority has made it much harder for convicted criminals to own or manage security companies.

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And the increased use of CCTV has made criminals think twice about becoming involved in violence – particularly in the city center where there are so many cameras.

The Huyton mafia has proved to be Liverpool’s most durable organized crime group over recent decades, although it has faced close scrutiny in recent years from the NCA.

The transcripts in this story of Curtis Warren were first published in Cocky by Tony Barnes, Richard Elias and Peter Walsh.

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