A documentary about notorious gangster Colin Gunn and a detective’s part in his downfall ‘Murder by the Sea’ was shown on CBS Reality on Monday.
We take a look at 10 key figures in Gunn’s story From his family to his criminal associates.
Colin Gunn’s brother, David.
During David Gunn’s court case in 2006 - where he admitted conspiracy to supply amphetamine - his barrister said there was a “distinction in character” between Colin and David.
And he said that “by virtue of his name and association with his brother Colin, it is plain that he has achieved a certain level of notoriety”.
However, David Gunn - the older of the two – had already done enough to earn his own share of notoriety.
The pair grew up in Eastwood but the family then moved to Bestwood, with David attending Henry Whipple Junior School - where he met his future wife - and then Padstow Comprehensive School.
The brothers played Sunday league football for the Scots Grey pub in Bulwell, where there was an early indication of their willingness to intimidate.
A police officer told the Post: “I remember one match down at the Bulwell Hall Farm pitches around 15 years ago. They arranged to put a pig’s head in the visiting team’s dressing room. The opposition turned up, and let’s just say they weren’t up for the match from that point.”
The pair became involved in criminality on the Bestwood Estate, with extortion their primary money-raising activity - threatening shopkeepers, businesses and pubs and clubs.
A former detective said: “Their modus operandi was to visit a business and ask to see the gaffer. Colin would point out to the boss that his security was not very good and for a hundred quid a week he would make sure they were safe.
“Often the businessmen would just shrug off the initial visit and send them packing. The same evening something would happen to the business – it was either burgled or the windows would be shot up. “
The Gunn brothers expanded their operation to Bulwell and Arnold, and David Gunn moved to Bulwell in 2001.
But their activities had inevitably attracted the attention of police, and in 2004 and 2005 officer’s listening devices were placed in the cars and properties of David Gunn and his second-in-command Terence Witts.
David Gunn was recorded on his mobile phone, saying: “The police are trying to get to the little lieutenants, but they cannot get to us, the colonels and the captains.”
When he was arrested and appeared at Derby Crown Court in 2006, the court was told he was the leader of an “organised crime group” and at the heart of a massive trade in amphetamine.
He got eight-and-a-half years, but was released from Lowdham Grange prison in 2009 - and was banned from setting foot in Notts.
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Board ranked him as a high-risk offender and ordered him to live at a bail hostel near Northampton – 70 miles from his home, six children and three grandchildren.
Later in 2009 he was sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence after a judge ruled he had breached the terms of his parole.
At the end of August in 2003, 22-year-old Marvyn Bradshaw went for a drink with his best friend at the Sporting Chance pub in Bulwell.
The two friends were inseparable and were familiar faces at this and several other city pubs, including The Potters, The Scots Grey and The Lime Kiln.
hey enjoyed a lock-in at the pub in Kersall Drive, and eventually left at 3.45am.
Marvyn, from the Bestwood Estate, was a clean-living shopfitter who wasn’t involved in any criminality.
He had not been drinking that night, and was driving the car giving a lift to his friend and two other men when they left the pub.
As they left the car park, a gunman standing in the glare of the car headlights fired into the car - and Marvyn was fatally shot.
There was widespread shock and grief at the shooting, and around 700 people were in St Mary’s Church in Bulwell for his funeral - with more outside.
Marvyn was an entirely innocent victim. It later emerged that there was clear evidence the shot had been intended for his best friend, the man who was sitting with him in the car - Colin Gunn’s nephew Jamie Gunn.
Jamie Gunn was in the back of the car, and cradled Marvyn Bradshaw in his arms after he was fatally shot.
But he could do nothing to save his friend’s life. And it was that moment, his friends and family believe, that he started the downward spiral which would end his own life.
Jamie, a former Padstow Comprehensive School pupil who lived on Bestwood Estate, started drinking heavily and not eating properly. He would disappear for days, he lost weight, and looked pale and drawn.
In the spring of 2004, he learnt that he was to be a father - but even that wasn’t enough to save him.
His health continued to deteriorate, his immune system failed, and in August 2004 - only a matter of days after the gunman who murdered Marvyn Bradshaw was sentenced to life - he was found dead at his home. He was 19.
Jamie was buried near to his friend Marvyn Bradshaw in a Bulwell cemetery.
The official cause of death was pneumonia, but there were many who believed that his death would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the shooting a year earlier.
Those people included Colin Gunn, and he was determined to take his revenge on the gunman Michael O’Brien - or his family.
Nicknamed Jay or JJ, O’Brien spent his teenage years in trouble with police and playing truant.
By the age of 20, he was in and out of prison. And it was during a spell inside Moorlands Prison in Doncaster in 2001 that his face was cut by a gang rival. O’Brien needed 60 stitches, the wound running from his temple to his chin.
His attacker, from The Meadows, admitted wounding O’Brien with intent to do him grievous bodily harm — because he was from St Ann’s.
The attack seemed to fuel his bitterness and contempt for people.
On the night that Marvyn Bradshaw was shot in 2003, O’Brien had been looking for trouble.
Earlier that evening, had been refused entry to Obsessions nightclub in Thurland Street, Nottingham, because he was wearing trainers and a hooded tracksuit top, and had threatened to kill a doorman there.
He and his friend Gary Salmon later went to the Sporting Chance pub to pick someone up from a lock-in, but was again refused entry.
There was an altercation and O’Brien, 23, was struck with an ashtray, leaving him with a cut over his eye.
The pair went to Salmon’s home in Bulwell, and changed into dark clothing, gloves and balaclavas.
Salmon produced a single-barreled shotgun wrapped in a coat. O’Brien took it, went back to the pub, and shot Jamie Gunn.
In July 2004 O’Brien, of Aspley, was given life with a minimum tariff of 24 years, later reduced to 18 years. (Three years later, Salmon would be given life with a minimum 18-year-tariff.)
But O’Brien’s response in court only served to increase the hatred others felt towards him.
He threw a cup of water over Marvyn Bradshaw’s family, made a vile remark about his victim, and shouted ‘I’m not bothered, I’m a bad boy, I don’t care’.
Inside prison, he would not be easy to get to. So Colin Gunn decided to take revenge instead on those closest to him.
John Stirland always said his stepson Michael O’Brien had brought trouble to his door.
Mr Stirland had tried to be a father to the 14-year-old, after marrying Michael’s mother Joan following the death of her husband.
But his connection to O’Brien would result in his death.
There is no doubt that the Stirlands suspected they could be targeted in the wake of O’Brien’s arrest for Marvyn Bradshaw’s murder.
But that became a certainty when, on September 14, 2003 - just a week after O’Brien was arrested - shots were fired through the windows of their Carlton home while they were watching television.
Worried they would lose contact with family, they refused witness protection from police, but fled the city the next day.
They moved to Goole, but left there in December that year and moved to Trusthorpe on the Lincolnshire coast.
They could barely have picked a worse spot. David Gunn owned a caravan just 12 miles down the coast.
And the Gunn’s connections were such that they were able to find out where the Stirlands were living from two former British Telecom employees.
The plot to kill them was hatched in David Gunn’s caravan at Kingfisher Caravan Park in Ingoldmells.
On August 8, 2004, Mr Stirland, 55, and his 51-year-old wife were gunned down by two men armed with Beretta pistols.
No-one was convicted of their murder. But in June 2006 Colin Gunn was sentenced to 35 years for conspiring to murder the Stirlands, while John Russell of Northcote Way, Bulwell, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years, and Michael McNee of no fixed address, was jailed for at least 25 years, both for the same offence.
There was a mini riot on Bestwood Estate after the convictions were announced, with a mob of around 30 people attacking police with petrol bombs and bricks.
But that wasn’t the end of the Colin Gunn story. In fact, at the time it wasn’t even part of it at all - Colin Gunn was not named, because he had a further trial coming up relating to police corruption.
And that would reveal how he had been able to stay out of the reach of the law for so long.
Charles Fletcher from Arnold was 19 when he was selected by Colin Gunn to infiltrate Nottinghamshire Police.
For more than six years, PC ‘Charlie’ Fletcher then became Gunn’s eyes and ears within the force - being paid £2,000 a month by Gunn on top of his police salary.
He joined the police in December 1999 and was later stationed at Radford Road CID.
During that time he passed on information on at least five major inquiries. These included the murders of John and Joan Stirland, the murder of Marian Bates in Arnold, a near-fatal assault, and alleged road rage attacks.
While on remand, he wrote a letter to his colleagues at Radford Road, which said: “I do not expect any forgiveness for my actions and do not ask for it. I can only offer my deepest apologies in betraying your trust and confidence in me. Its something I am immeasurably ashamed of and shall have to live with for the rest of my life.
“I feel my greed, vanity and naivety were to blame and the fact I didn’t have the strength or courage to face up to my wrongdoing and tell someone before the inevitable happened. I was blind to the consequences of my actions and chose to ignore them.”
He was sentenced to seven years in October 2006, just a few months after his former boss Colin Gunn was sent to prison. Both he and PC Phil Parr, of Oxclose Lane police station, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct.
The following year, Colin Gunn himself - then 40 and living in Rise Park - was sentenced to nine years for his part in the corruption scandal.
Judge Frank Chapman said: “It is right it is publicly demonstrated the extent to which he managed to undermine the police service in Nottingham.”
While much of the attention about criminal activity was rightly focused on the Gunns and their Bestwood Cartel, there were other drugs lords with links to the gang who were operating elsewhere in the county.
In fact when a teenage Colin Gunn began carrying out burglaries and other criminal activity he was part of a gang run by the Dawes family, who later based themselves in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
John Dawes made £8.3m running his heroin and amphetamine empire in Notts and parts of Derbyshire, but was jailed for 24 years in 2005 for money laundering and conspiracy to deal in drugs.
Last year, having been released from prison, he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court over six vehicles which had been seized as assets of his - and told the court he was working 74 hours a week “just to get my head above water”.
The court heard he was doing agency work, and could not even get a bank account.
Another of the major drugs players in Nottinghamshire at the time was Gary Hardy from Mansfield.
He lived a luxury lifestyle, with sports cars and expensive property - which was unsurprising, as a court heard he had benefited from crime to the tune of £1,983,530.
Police said he owned at least five Ferraris and five Porsches.
He paid his children’s £27,000 school fees in cash.
And he also ran a £1,000-a-ball lottery for Notts’ other major criminals to win his £30,000 Mercedes.
Colin and David Gunn were among the players - with the winner decided on who had the number of that day’s Lotto Bonus Ball.
Hardy was jailed for 20 years in 2008 after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and amphetamines, money laundering and possessing criminal property.
His brother Paul Hardy was also convicted of drugs offences. He died at HMP Lowdham Grange in 2012 while serving a 12-year sentence.
There are many other people who could feature on this list.
Patrick Marshall, for example, who was Gunn’s odd job man - but who got on the wrong side of him after going on a £100,000 cocaine run to Lincolnshire when Gunn had not sanctioned him to go.
Or John McSally, who a court was told Gunn had paid £3,000 to shoot Patrick Marshall in February, 2004, outside the Park Tavern pub in Basford. (McsSally was found guilty of murder; Gunn was never charged in connection with the case.)
But the one case which still has a huge question mark over it is that of James Brodie.
James Brodie, from Bulwell, has been wanted by police since the murder of jeweller Marian Bates during a botched robbery at the Time Centre, in Arnold, on September 30, 2003.
Peter Williams was jailed for 22 years in 2005 after being convicted of her murder.
But Stafford Crown Court heard that, while he had taken part in the robbery, an accomplice - believed to be Brodie - actually fired the fatal shot.
And Williams told police that Colin Gunn was the man behind the raid.
In 2013 police confirmed for the first time they believed that James Brodie was killed, by criminal associates.
Numerous locations have been searched in a bid to find his body, including farmland in Lincolnshire, a fish farm in Leicestershire, flats in Top Valley and Bulwell, and even part of Glasgow.
But his body has never been found.