A crime family boss has been jailed for nine years after he shot a long-time sidekick for being a “grass”.
Patrick “Patsy” Adams, 60, of the notorious Adams family, shot Paul Tiernan in the chest in Islington on December 22, 2013 with a .45 caliber pistol.
Adams admitted shooting Tiernan in Clerkenwell, after spotting the victim while on a walk with his wife that morning.
The infamous family’s second-in-command was caught in Holland after the shooting sparked an international manhunt to find him and his wife, Constance, 56.
But he was cleared of attempted murder after Tiernan refused to press charges, claiming “loyalty is everything”.
Woolwich Crown Court heard the two men were close friends who lived by “the same code” and days before the shooting the victim had complained that Adams had called him a “grass”.
Searching Adams’ flat in the days following the shooting, police found a handwritten note from Mr Tiernan, 54, which said “I ain’t no f****** grass” and challenged his former ally to “face me”.
Sentencing, Judge Christopher Kinch said: “It was Patrick Adams who chose to make use of the loaded firearm when it was in his hands.
“That was a momentous decision.
“You are a man who has had some experience with firearms and have some understanding of their power.
“You took steps to dispose of evidence in this case, including the weapon.
“You also made sustained efforts to evade arrest, leaving the country and seeking refuge in the Netherlands.”
James Scobie QC, defending, said Tiernan had originally been holding the gun, and Adams, “fearing for his life and the life of his wife”, had acted in self-defence.
He said: “Pat Adams and his wife were walking lawfully down the road close to their home.
“Tiernan came to him.
“The fact is he had to act in self-defence – the actual window of opportunity when this incident could have occurred is four seconds.
“A four-second wrestle and the gun went off in the car.”
The location of the shooting.
Mr Scobie said the Adams acted “out of character”, and “regrets” his actions and accepted they were “not reasonable”.
The weapon has not yet been recovered.
Mr Tiernan is believed to have made a full recovery after spending a month in hospital, in which a part of his intestine was removed due to the shooting.
He refused to co-operate with the police throughout the investigation, claiming he did not know who shot him.