Paramount+’s crime series ‘The Gold’ revolves around the infamous 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery, shedding light on the involvement of Kenneth “Kenny” Noye and DCI Brian Boyce’s efforts to capture him. Kenny turned the stolen gold into money and investments through his accomplices Edwyn Cooper and John Palmer. Cooper teams up with Noye to deposit the money he garnered dealing with the stolen gold in Swiss accounts and buy properties across the city of London. As the show explores Cooper’s white-collar crimes, the viewers must be eager to know more about the lawyer.
Edwyn Cooper is Inspired by Real-Life Criminals
Edwyn Cooper is partially based on a real lawyer. There wasn’t a real-life figure named Edwyn Cooper involved in the Brink’s Mat robbery and the subsequent gold and money laundering. According to Dominic Cooper, who plays the lawyer in the series, Cooper is “a composite character inspired by the white collar criminals who worked with the robbers and their intermediaries,” as per Radio Times. Although many real-life figures inspired creator Neil Forsyth to conceive the character, the one that most resembles Cooper is Michael Relton. Like Cooper, Relton was a solicitor.
Relton’s involvement in the case became evident when Boyce and other officials looked into the details of the newly-bought property owned by Kathleen “Kathy” Meacock, one of the robbers Micky McAvoy’s girlfriend, as the paperwork of the same was done by the lawyer. “Relton was a professional. He was a very well-known, highly successful criminal solicitor. His clients were, insofar one can say, the creme de la creme of the criminal fraternity,” Jonathan Goldberg, a barrister, said about him, as per the BBC documentary ‘The Gold: The Inside Story.’
“Relton was arrested, and we found all the papers that related to the purchase of the two properties, which showed Relton providing the money. This was pretty damning evidence. Once this was put to Relton, he broke,” Brian Boyce said about the lawyer, as per the same documentary. In addition to the purchase of properties, on behalf of the robbers, Relton moved money through a “complex web of accounts” across Europe. “Here, we had hard evidence of the movement of the money, the payment for the properties, and the names of the accounts in the Swiss banks where this money was being held,” Boyce added about Relton’s confession.
Relton took “the proceeds of the crime” and made them look like the “proceeds of legitimate business.” He made it possible by investing in several properties in London as Cooper does in the series. “Relton had made very substantial investments, to the tune of some £6 million,” said Roy Ramm, who worked as a detective superintendent at the time of the robbery, in the BBC documentary. As part of Relton’s network, the money involved in the case was channeled out through the Isle of Man, where several companies were set up confusingly to ensure that the same wouldn’t be traced back to Brink’s Mat robbery. According to ‘The Gold: The Inside Story,’ the same money was then sent to Miami.
Where is Edwyn Cooper Now?
After Michael Relton’s arrest, he was eventually tried in court. In July 1988, a 50-year-old Relton was convicted of helping launder proceeds and got sentenced to twelve years in prison. He was described as a “parasite” by the sentencing judge. As per reports, Relton is believed to be currently living in the United States in hiding after the conclusion of his prison time. Nothing more about him is known to the public. After the release of ‘The Gold,’ one of Relton’s associates described Cooper’s obsession with money and social status as “absolute tosh.”