Clifford Hobbs country's "premier league" gangsters

Clifford Hobbs, 47, had been on the run for almost five years after escaping from a Securicor prison van in June 2003 by armed men who had posed as postmen who ambushed it as it waited for the court gates to open.
He had been due to attend court after the theft of 1.5 million pounds from another Securicor van earlier that year.
Hobbs, described by news media as one of the country's "premier league" gangsters, had fled to Spain's Costa del Sol.
The area, along the country's southern coast, has long attracted Britons seeking sun and sand alongside British-style pubs and fish and chip shops -- including those fleeing justice.
Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency and Spanish authorities have recently tried to crack down on British criminals living there, publishing details of the most wanted, including their prominent scars and tattoos.
Hobbs, described by London police headquarters as one of the country's most wanted, now faces up to 18 years in jail for possessing a firearm, his escape and conspiracy to steal.
"For years Hobbs has tried to run from us but today's outcome demonstrates that you can't run forever," Scotland Yard's Flying Squad head, Detective Superintendent Bob Cummings, said. He also thanked his Spanish counterparts.
The van driver was shot in the knee during the breakout and the prisoner escort pistol-whipped, police said.
Two other men also escaped -- Hobbs's alleged accomplice Noel Cunningham and a third unconnected prisoner who later gave himself up.
"As the court has heard, Hobbs is a violent and dangerous offender who was intrinsically part of the plot for his escape," Cummings said. "Extreme violence was dispensed to the prison driver and escort and I'm pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of his crimes."
The original Securicor van robbery was observed by undercover Flying Squad officers. After a high-speed chase, Hobbs gave himself up to armed police.
"It's been a bad day," Hobbs said after police read him his rights. Cunningham remains on the run, while the two men who ambushed the prison van were never identified or traced.

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