FROM BANGERS TO BUL­LION

JOHN PALMER WENT FROM SELL­ING SEC­OND- HAND CARS TO SMELT­ING GOLD STOLEN DUR­ING BRI­TAIN’S BIG­GEST RAID, BUT HIS BIG EARNER WAS TIME­SHARE

Real Crime - - Married To The Goldfinger Gangster -

“Palmer started with noth­ing and rose to the top by liv­ing on his wits,” wrote Tom Mor­gan, Marnie Palmer’s col­lab­o­ra­tor on her book, Goldfin­ger And Me. He was one of seven sib­lings who grew up hun­gry in their freez­ing home in the West Midlands. He started work­ing for his broth­ers do­ing roofing and work­ing on mar­kets, be­fore mov­ing to Bris­tol, where he set up a num­ber of com­pa­nies, sell­ing sec­ond- hand cars, car­pets, an­tiques, bric- a- brac and even­tu­ally gold.

“Sil­ver- tongued and cun­ning, he was a nat­u­ral en­tre­pre­neur,” wrote Mor­gan. He was well on his way to be­ing a mil­lion­aire by the age of 25. But it was his brain­wave of smelt­ing down gold that led to the cash com­ing quickly. “The smelter was an in­stant money- mak­ing ma­chine,” wrote Marnie Palmer. After Brink’s Mat, fence Ken­neth Noye con­tacted Palmer about smelt­ing the stolen bul­lion. “Noye started off by send­ing a few in­gots,” wrote Marnie “Soon it was com­ing down the M4 thick and fast.”

One of the gang­sters was said to be car­ry­ing brief­cases full of bul­lion on the train from Lon­don to Bris­tol for John Palmer to smelt. 70 per cent of the Brink’s Mat haul has still never been traced.

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