EXCLUSIVE By Jon Clarke

MOVING regularly and with the help of an unsuspecting expat girlfriend.

This is how dangerous wanted criminal James Tomkins lived for the four years he was being sought on the run in Spain, a British detective has told the Olive Press.

“He was moving quite a bit up and down the costas from Alicante to Malaga,” DI Mark Lawson revealed following Tomkins’ arrest in Puerto Banus a fortnight ago.

“We know he had been in Denia, near Alicante as well as various different addresses on the way down to Marbella.”

Incredibly police believe he had been living a relatively hand-to mouth existence, even perhaps surviving from handouts from an English girlfriend he met in Spain.

“He certainly didn’t have shedloads of money and he doesn’t seem to have got involved in any major crime in Spain,” added the detective who has led the investigation from London for the last year.

“It was his girlfriend, who appears to have been propping them up financially.”

The Englishwoman, who Tomkins met initially in Alicante, appeared happy to move up and down the coast with him.

“But apparently she knew nothing about his past at all,” continued Lawson.

“She was pretty surprised.”

The detective added that Tomkins was an old-school villain like “something out of the Sweeney”.

“Spain is well rid of him,” he continued. “He was a true professional villain, one of the last of his kind in terms of his attitude and his offences.

“I don’t suppose he will tell us anything. He is not looking for a deal. He is from the generation that believes in honour among thieves and will probably just quietly do his time.”

The detective admitted that police still do not have a motive for the slaying of Rocky Dawson who was shot as he got out of his car with his children in May 2006.

“We don’t even know if Rocky was his intended target and we don’t think he is likely to tell us.”

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