Suffolk

'Fast Eddie' Maher reward paid after £1.2m theft in 1993

Image caption Eddie Maher, pictured on the right in 1993 and on left after his arrest, was jailed for five years in March 2013

A woman who tipped off police about a theft fugitive who fled to the US has been paid a five-figure reward.

Eddie Maher, 59, was given a five-year prison sentence after he admitted stealing a security van holding £1.2m from Felixstowe, Suffolk, in 1993.

His ex-daughter-in-law, Jessica King, claimed a £100,000 reward but the BBC understands she has been paid about £10,000.

Security company G4S said it had rewarded Ms King "proportionately".

"While no money from the robbery was ever returned, we were able to recover some losses through the seizure of some of Maher's remaining assets, which allowed us to reward Ms King proportionately to what was received," said a G4S spokesman.

'Fast Eddie'

"We appreciate Ms King's actions."

Eddie Maher's documents Image copyright Suffolk police
Image caption Maher was also known as Stephen King and Michael Maher during his time on the run
Eddie Maher's houses Image copyright Suffolk police
Image caption "Fast Eddie" Maher splashed out on three houses within three years of arriving in the US

Maher, from South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, was working as a guard when he stole the van from outside Lloyds Bank.

He was dubbed "Fast Eddie" in media reports and spent 19 years on the run.

'Threatened my life'

Ms King had previously claimed on the ITV show Daybreak that she was not motivated by the £100,000 reward offered by Securicor for Maher's capture and return of the money.

She said: "I was in fear for my life and to be honest it was just the right thing to do.

"When Eddie found out I knew, he threatened my life."

Three people arrested as suspected accomplices of Maher were not charged.

The BBC has been unable to contact Ms King.

But Det Ch Insp David Giles, from Suffolk Police, said: "Had she not provided the information to the US Police about the true identity of Edward Maher, he would not have been brought to justice at the time he was.

"We remain thankful for her co-operation."

Graphic: line

Timeline: Fast Eddie's life on the run

Image caption Money was stolen from a security van outside Lloyds Bank in Felixstowe

January 1993: Maher drives away a van containing £1,172,500

February 2012: The ex-London firefighter and pub landlord is arrested over immigration and firearms offences in the US after a tip-off from Ms King. He is later charged with the Felixstowe theft.

March 2013: He admits theft and is jailed for five years.

September 2013: Maher's £129,000 fire service pension is seized under the Criminal Justice Act, with £50,000 paid to G4S and the remaining £79,000 given to insurers Equitas.

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