|For most of his adult life, Paul Derry has been exploiting other career criminals as a paid police informant. Only he had immunity when he sold drugs and ran guns.|
He got the biggest pass of his life in 2000, when he was spared charges for his key role in a Hells Angels contract killing in Halifax. He did what he did best and went to work for the police, and wore a wire when he visited one of the accused in jail.
HA member Neil Smith and murder victim Sean Simmons
|The other people involved in the killing — Hells Angels member Neil Smith, drug dealer Wayne James and gunman Dean Kelsie — are all serving life sentences. Derry’s testimony put away three men, including the Hells Angel who ordered the hit on a rumour that the target had an affair with a Hells Angels mistress. In the Crown’s opening remarks, Kennedy said James and Paul Derry owed money to Smith, a member of the Hells Angels who supplied them with drugs to sell.|
“An opportunity presented itself for that drug debt to be cleared, and that opportunity was the murder of Sean Simmons,” the prosecutor said.
|Steven Gareau didn’t squeeze the trigger, the Ottawa man was branded in court as the man who tracked down the target and brought the killers with him. Gareau was condemned to life in prison but earlier this year he won a new trial after filing a handwritten appeal from his prison cell.|
In February, he was convicted again on the strength of star witness Derry.
|Derry claims he tried to sell information about the killing to police before it happened. In his book, Treacherous: How the RCMP Allowed a Hells Angel to Kill, he says the RCMP has to accept some responsibility for the shooting.|
Simmons, 31, died Oct. 3, 2000, after he was shot in the head while in the lobby of an apartment building in Dartmouth. Derry drove the getaway car and hid the gun. In exchange for his testimony, he was never charged.