Published: 03:54 EDT, 9 October 2020 | Updated: 05:54 EDT, 9 October 2020
Shamed former Gladiator Mike Ahearne was caught by police with shopping bags full of steroids and CS spray canisters, a court has heard.
The 59-year-old was a huge TV star as Warrior in the hit Saturday night show Gladiators on ITV in the 1990s.
But he fell from grace after he was jailed over a police corruption plot involving drug baron Curtis Warren and a detective chief inspector.
On Thursday, Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard police raided the former bodybuilder’s home in leafy Rose Mount, Oxton, Wirral on January 23, 2018.
They retrieved a large stash of various anabolic steroids, contained in a plastic Tesco shopping bag, another carrier bag and two boxes.
Former Gladiator Mike Ahearne was caught by police with shopping bags full of steroids and CS spray canisters
Police retrieved a large stash of various anabolic steroids, contained in a plastic Tesco shopping bag, another carrier bag and two boxes from his home
Ahearne was arrested on suspicion of possessing the Class C drugs with intent to supply, but no charges were brought over the haul.
But he was charged over the CS spray and admitted three counts of possessing a weapon ‘designed or adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid’.
He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, at Liverpool Crown Court in October 2018 for these offences.
Merseyside Police on Thursday applied to the magistrates’ court for the steroids to be destroyed, under the The Police Property Act 1897.
Ahearne wasn’t required to attend the hearing, having previously indicated that he did not wish for the property to be returned.
Ahearne was arrested on suspicion of possessing the Class C drugs with intent to supply, but no charges were brought over the haul
He was charged over the CS spray and admitted three counts of possessing a weapon ‘designed or adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid’
Ahearne, who played rugby union for England at youth level and represented Great Britain at Mr Universe, was a household name in the prime of his career.
Standing at 6ft 4in, the ex-doorman was one of the best known faces in Gladiators, as the programme attracted viewing figures as high as 14m at its peak.
But after seven years earning up to £100,000-a-year, his world of celebrity and luxury came crashing down, when he was linked to a corruption scandal.
He was arrested on the afternoon of Thursday, March 13, 1997 and accused of involvement in a plot to foil the prosecution of Philip Glennon Jnr.
Glennon Jnr had been accused of firing a handgun at a bouncer and then a police officer outside a Liverpool nightclub in 1996 and was charged with attempted murder.
Ahearne, who played rugby union for England at youth level and represented Great Britain at Mr Universe, was a household name in the prime of his career
Glennon Jnr is the brother-in-law of Liverpool drugs baron Curtis Warren, who tried to foil the investigation by paying corrupt officer Detective Chief Inspector Elmore ‘Elly’ Davies £10,000, to pass on details of what the police knew about the incident, when a doorman was also shot.
Ahearne had passed money from Warren to his friend Davies – then head of Merseyside’s drugs squad – for information about the case.
Following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in 1998, at which Ahearne decided not to give evidence, the TV star was convicted of an act with tendency to pervert the course of justice and jailed for 15 months.
Davies, also from Oxton, was jailed for five years, while a third man was jailed for three years.
Standing at 6ft 4in, the ex-doorman was one of the best known faces in Gladiators, as the programme attracted viewing figures as high as 14m at its peak
The trial heard Mr Ahearne had been an avid charity supporter, with the Variety Club of Great Britain’s regional chairman issuing a statement in which he said: ‘If every celebrity in the country could do half as much as Mike for the children we would be a stronger organisation.’
Mr Ahearne was released from prison after just six months, having impressed bosses at Wealstun jail in West Yorkshire.
He returned to his home in Wirral, where he was the subject of an electronic tag.
Originally from St Helens, he had once been a member at the town’s Sherdley Park Golf Club.
In 2004, he opened his own exclusive golf bar – On The Green, in New Brighton – after pumping £250,000 into the venture.
He then ran Mike Ahearne’s Pro Gym in Birkenhead, but in August 2017 was cornered by four gangsters, who threatened to stab him and demanded money.
He was previously arrested in 1997 and accused of involvement in a plot to foil the prosecution of Philip Glennon Jnr
A court heard Ahearne was told ‘I will do you in if I do not get the money’ by one of either Scott Monaghan or Carl Morgan at Ruben’s Coffee Shop in Birkenhead.
The two men were joined by Alan and Peter Maddocks, who also made demands for cash, with Alan Maddocks kicking Ahearne in the shin and producing a Stanley knife.
He said ‘I’ll stab you in the f***ing neck’, while his brother, who gave Ahearne the impression he had a blade in his pocket, said: ‘I’ll stab you in the other side of the neck.’
CCTV footage showed all four men ‘stood around Ahearne gesticulating in a threatening manner’ before the cafe closed up and the argument continued outside.
The group told him to move onto a field known as the Arno, but by chance Ahearne’s wife, Gemma, drove past and noticed the men surrounding her husband.
She approached the group out of concern he would be kidnapped and Ahearne sat and talked with Morgan in his van, but made sure the door remained open.
The court heard the debt related to a relatively large amount of money provided to a friend of Ahearne as an investment.
Monaghan, 28, Carl Morgan, 45, Alan Maddocks, 40, and Peter Maddocks, 42, admitted affray after prosecutors dropped a charge of blackmail in 2018.
Alan and Peter Maddocks were jailed for 56 weeks, while Morgan and Monaghan each received 52 weeks in prison.
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Michael Ahearne, Gladiators, Anabolic steroid, Gladiator
World news – GB – Gladiators star Mike Ahearne caught with Tesco bags full of steroids