Masterchef star Jay Tinker discussed drugs
MASTERCHEF star Jay Tinker was recorded by police talking to violent gangster Stephen Clarke about the supply of class A drugs.
Detectives secretly recorded a conversation between Clarke and Mr Tinker, from West Lancashire, during a covert surveillance operation into a serious organised crime group based in Banks.
The conversation formed part of the prosecution's opening on the day when gangsters Stephen and Peter Clarke were sentenced. Although these details were not read out in court, the Crown Prosection Service later released the information to the Advertiser.
The document reveals that on June 25 2012 a hidden listening device in Clarke's car recorded him talking to Mr Tinker about 'supplying Garys'.
The CPS document explains that the term 'Garys' was an abbreviation for the late Liverpool FC and Everton FC player Gary Ablett, whose name was used as rhyming slang for ‘tablets.’
A spokesman for the CPS said the expression 'Garys' was a reference to either ecstasy or MDMA tablets, which are both class A drugs. Although the conversation between Mr Tinker and Stephen Clarke was used as evidence , Mr Tinker was not arrested in relation to the investigation or charged with any offences.
The same CPS document reveals that Mr Tinker and Stephen Clarke also discussed a restaurant called Bellagio which had cost Mr Tinker £100,000 to lease and fit out, although there is nothing to suggest Mr Clarke had any part in the venture.
When the Advertiser presented Mr Tinker with a copy of the document he said 'that has got nothing to do with me.' He then asked the Advertiser to leave his property.
Stephen Clarke and his younger brother Peter were recently jailed at Preston Crown Court for a total of 26 and half years for their part in a multi-million pound drugs supply business, which was backed up with firearms and street violence.
Mr Tinker, from Banks, appeared on BBC Two’s Masterchef programme in 2012. The former doorman impressed millions of viewers and the judges with his skills, and demonstrated a flair for cooking seafood. On one occasion judge and presenter Greg Wallace commented : “He’s pretty much unflappable, but then he’s worked in a pressurised environment doing security. You don’t think of a big man like that, working on the door, being strong and quite imposing, also having a delicate touch.”
The father-of-three launched his own Southport restaurant in 2012 after reaching the quarter finals of the Masterchef competition. He later opened a second restaurant in Aughton, but both both establishments have since closed.
The Clarkes , who were notorious faces in Merseyside's gangland, moved to West Lancashire several years ago after being released from prison. Stephen Clarke’s wife bought their home in Westerdale Drive while her husband was serving a prison sentence for a firearms offence. Stephen Clarke, who has a prolific criminal record and reputation for spectacular violence, joined his wife in Banks on release. Peter Clarke moved to the area after his conviction of murdering Stephen Lawlor was quashed.
Detective Supt Jason Hudson told the Visiter the Clarke’s gang was “at the top echelons of organised crime”. Stephen Clarke,46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B drugs, conspiracy to cause grevious bodily harm to Southport doorman and to battering a teenager outside a Tarleton pub.