NewsCrime Desk

The murdered mobster, the Costa Cartel and the race-fixing businessmen

Crime DeskBy Nicola Tallant
Sines (left) with Liam Byrne (right) at the funeral
Sines (left) with Liam Byrne (right) at the funeral

They were among the first to arrive at the house in Raleigh Square where the Byrne family were waking their murdered son David.

It was just days after the Regency Hotel shooting and the Kinahan Cartel had closed ranks – only a tight inner circle of friends and comrades were welcome to offer their condolences to veteran criminal James ‘Jaws’ Byrne and his wife Sadie.

Most who arrived at the house where David’s body was laid out were easily recognisable – mob boss Daniel Kinahan, sidekicks Christopher Kinahan Jnr, Liam Byrne, ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Liam Roe, as well as Sean McGovern, Liam’s business partner.

Then came the big man from England, Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh – the husband of Byrne’s sister Joanne.

'Fat' Freddie Thompson and Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh

But there were others who formed part of this intimate family gathering – those not so instantly recognisable but who, on closer inspection, are interesting contacts of the mob.

Maurice Sines and James Crickmore were at Raleigh Square to pay their respects and days later, when the Kinahan mob turned out to bury their fallen comrade with a Mafia-style funeral, they were among the chief mourners.

Interestingly, the Byrne family’s close pals are controversial businessmen who have been involved in a massive race-fixing scam in the U.K. and have been forced to pay up €400,000 in fines and compensation for bullying elderly homeowners.

Bomber Kavanagh, Daniel Kinahan and Liam Roe

The thugs have masqueraded as respectable mobile home site owners for years and have even run charity events. However, they have also been embroiled in dispute after dispute with elderly residents and local planners all over the U.K. for years.

Just a few years ago Sines locked horns with retired bankers, doctors and even singer Elton John, with plans to open a gypsy camp on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The Bentley-driving millionaire, who himself claims Romany heritage, stunned the wealthy residents of Windsor with his plans to turn a plot of land into a ‘gypsy and traveller accommodation site’.

In 2011, both he and Crickmore were at the heart of an investigation into the biggest scandal in British Horseracing history.

James Crickmore and Maurice Sines

Both were banned for 14 years for betting on their own horses to lose and conspiring with others to corrupt races during a complex case that saw four jockeys banned for 66 years from the track.

Kirsty Milczarek, the then girlfriend of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon, was banned for two years for conspiring to commit corrupt acts and for passing on inside information. She later won an appeal against the ban based on evidence given by Fallon.

In 2007, Fallon was acquitted of race fixing accusations when his trial collapsed.

Coincidentally, Daniel Kinahan was named during the course of the trial as travelling from Spain to meet with Fallon during the alleged scam. Then described as a ‘Dublin furniture shop owner’, the court heard that Daniel wanted to meet Fallon in his own home in the early hours of the morning because he had won his race.

Sines and Crickmore have been directly involved in racing since at least 2004, and owned shares in more than a dozen horses.

'Bomber' Thompson, Sines and Liam Byrne at the funeral of David Byrne 

During the 2011 case, the pair were alleged by the British Horseracing Authority to have corrupted jockeys Paul Doe and Greg Fairley, persuading them to ride horses to lose so they could profit on betting exchanges.

Sines was found to have conspired in fixing nine races.

Both he and Crickmore are believed to be very close friends of ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh – a convicted armed robber.

Bomber left Ireland more than 10 years ago and moved to England, apparently penniless. He previously told a court that the CAB were taking his only asset – a three-bed house in Drimnagh, south Dublin.

Richie Thompson and 'Bomber' Kavanagh 

When the Sunday World tracked him down last year as part of our investigations into the Kinahan Cartel, we were surprised what a difference a few years can make.

We discovered that by 2005, Bomber and Joanne had managed to get together enough money to buy a beautiful home on Whitesands Road in Birmingham and within two years they managed to sell it and upgrade to a €1 million gated property in the luxury suburb of Tamworth.

Despite only registering a car sales business in 2010, TK Motors has given them the lifestyle of multi millionaires.

The pair are known to throw lavish bashes, as are the Byrnes back in Dublin, and top of their invite list is Maurice Sines, James Crickmore and their extended family.

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh and his wife Joanne Byrne

Last June, we photographed Sines as he attended a Christening event for Liam Byrne’s new baby with partner Simoan McEnroe.

He travelled over for the function at the Radisson Hotel in Dublin 9, where the Kinahan brothers also attended.

Just two years ago Sines and Crickmore paid up €400,000 after admitting to intimidating residents at a mobile home site they owned in the Isle of Wight.

Leisure Park Real Estate admitted 11 charges of using bullying tactics and Portsmouth Crown Court heard that one homeowner had their water and sewage pipes disconnected, while others were forced to move and sell their homes for low prices.

Sines and Crickmore, who run the firm, had earlier been given personal fines in relation to the allegations.

Residents later told how elderly women in particular were targeted by the thugs.

Sines runs several other mobile home parks across England and in 2005 residents from one of his Oxfordshire sites obtained a court order in which he agreed to stop using threats and abuse.

The pair have also run into trouble with elderly residents, many of whom purchased €300,000 chalets on their sites, then found out they couldn’t live there all year round.