Unsolved Murders

Alan P Decabral

Age: 40

Sex: male

Date: 15 Oct 2000

Place: Warren Retail Park, Ashford, Kent

Alan Decabral was shot while sat in his son’s car in the car park of Halfords in Ashford, Kent.

He was an antiques dealer and car trader and had been involved in the court case against Kenneth Noye who was convicted of the murder of a man that he stabbed on a motorway

He was noted for weighing over 20 stone and had three children. He had lived in Pluckley, 8-miles from Ashford. He was described as a hard-core Hell's Angels biker and having had a long list of enemies that would have been willing to kill him.

The police said that his murder could have been associated with the court case he had been involved with, but that it could also have been linked to a war between bike gangs for drugs, or a number of other things stemming from his personal life.

Alan Decabral had given evidence in the murder trial of Kenneth Noye who was charged with the murder of Stephen Cameron on the M25 motorway and convicted. He had seen Kenneth Noye stab Stephen Cameron on a slip road on the M25 motorway in May 1996.

Alan Decabral had been driving a Rolls-Royce at the time and said that he saw Kenneth Noye hide a knife behind his back before stabbing Stephen Cameron in the chest. Alan Decabral had said 'I saw a bright flash and I realised it was a knife because I could see the sun glinting off the blade.'. He also said, 'I saw the knife go into his chest, I saw the blood, I'll never forget his face.'.

It was heard that he had death threats in relation to the case, but he had ignored them. He said that he had been ordered by gangsters to 'shut up or we will shut you up', and said that he later had three bullets pushed through his letterbox with another warning. It was noted that he had been offered police protection but had rejected it, which was thought to have been because of his own shady business dealings which would have meant that police protection would have been bad for business.

At the time of the trial he had been running a vintage motorbike shop in Acton, west London but shut it down because of the stress associated with the trial. A little later he also separated from his wife.

He was shot at 1.37pm in the front passenger seat of his son's black Peugeot 206 car which was parked between two other vehicles at the Warren Retail Park in Ashford, Kent. The car had been parked outside a Halfords store. A witness said that they heard Alan Decabral cry out 'Please don't kill me, please don't shoot'. However, the police said that it was unlikely that Alan Decabral saw the person who shot him before he was shot.

It was said that a man had walked up to the black Peugeot 206 car and pulled out a handgun and shot him in the side of his head and then run off. The man was described as being in his early twenties and wearing a light green jacket.

Alan Decabral was said to have died instantly.

Alan Decabral's son had been in a Halford's store at the time buying something and came out to find Alan Decabral bleeding from a his head wound.

The police said, 'It was all over very quickly and the gunman was seen sprinting away from the scene. He fired a single shot through an open passenger window hitting his victim in the side of the head. We are still waiting for confirmation of the type of weapon used but we believe it could have been a self-loading pistol, revolver or rifle'.

After the trial that he had been a juror on was over Alan Decabral had said, 'I look over my shoulder every time I go into Sainsbury's'.

After his death, Alan Decabral's wife said that Alan Decabral had lied in court at the trial and had embellished his story in an attempt to get police to stop a drugs and firearms investigation that he was involved in. It was noted that his wife left Alan Decabral due to the stress related to the murder trial.

It was reported that Alan Decabral had been involved in large scale drug dealing linked to the Hell's Angels and it was noted that two weeks before his murder an investigative journalist in Montreal, Canada was also shot by a masked man as he was getting out of his car outsde the office of Le Journal de Montreal. The investigative journalist was shot five times but survived and it was suggested that their murders were connected to the same international drugs ring and drugs war between biker gangs. It was said that the investigative journalist had that morning written a major exposé about criminal activity in biker gangs.

It was suggested that Alan Decabral might have crossed a member of a Canadian biker gang in a drugs deal. It was noted that at the time there had been a string of drugs related murders in Canada linked to the Canadian Hell's Angels with over 150 bikers having been killed in the previous six years.

During the investigation into Alan Decabral's murder it was said that it was initially thought that it was connected with his role in the Kenneth Noye murder trial, but that it was later thought that it was more likely due to his involvement in other criminal activities. It was further noted that his murder was not in the interests of Kenneth Noye's defence team who it was said were planning to appeal his murder conviction after the police carried out several raids on his home in the 18-months before his murder.

Following a raid in July 2000 Alan Decabral was convicted of possessing a prohibited weapon and 38mg of cocaine. However, the police noted that whilst the raid had been a large scale operation, they had not found anything serious.

Alan Decabral, who weighed over 20 stone was said to have had a distinctive beard and hair style and to have been well-known in his village and elsewhere and that his notoriety grew more after he was banned from a local pub, the Blacksmiths Arms, for fighting with another customer.

The landlord said, 'He was well-known for having a shady past and didn't make any secret of the fact that most of his friends were in prison. I think everyone round here thought he was a pretty shady character, although people were shocked when they heard he had been murdered. I was forced to ban him from my pub after he started arguing with another customer. It was over something trivial like a spilled beer but Mr Decabral turned nasty and it upset some of my other customers. I told him he was not welcome anymore'.

It was said that he had dealt with both drugs, guns and was involved with money laundering and also ran a team of bootleggers who brought back illicit booze and tobacco from Europe.

It was reported that he was found to have had 56 firearms in his house, including machine guns and automatic pistols, which it were thought to be associated with his trade in vintage guns.

It was noted that his semi-detached house in Pluckley was worth £350,000 and that he had paid for it in cash without a mortgage and that it was considered that he had found a way to make crime pay. When the police raided his house a few months before his murder they found £100,000 in cash made up in £50 notes.

He was also said to have owned a number of cars, including a Rolls-Royce and a Jaguar.

It was heard that whilst many members of the Hell's Angels and people that associated with that interest were merely collectors and motorcycle enthusiasts, Alan Decabral was described as a hard-core member of the Hells Angels and ranked with other members that were tracked globally around the world with organisations such as the FBI and the National Criminal Intelligence Service for their involvement in international drug trafficking, protection and prostitution and it was reported that Alan Decabral was a key member.

It was suggested that one reason for his murder was that he had been trying to sell drugs and guns to rival biker gangs. Another theory was that he had been trying to sell sub-standard products at over-inflated prices. It was also suggested that he might have been murdered because of a love interest. Alan Decabral was said to have had a a string of women on the go and was described as being something of a playboy and it was thought that he might have been seeing the girlfriend of another high-level biker.

It was reported that Alan Decabral had known all along who was after him but that because of his criminal activities he had been unable to go to the police as that would have made matters worse and that instead he went to the press. It was suggested that his story about having had three bullets put through his letter box was made up with the intention of hoping that the increased publicity surrounding him would deter any potential assassin. It was additionally said that none of his friends or family recalled the incident regarding the three bullets as having happened.

The Halfords Store in the Warren Retail Park in Simone Weil Avenue was later demolishe dsometime after 2007 when the Sainsbury's store there was extended.

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