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Fife murder ‘fixer’ died in prison with fatal level of cocaine in system

Deyan Nikolov

A “fixer” who hired a hitman to commit a notorious Fife murder died at a Scottish high security prison with a fatal level of cocaine in his system.

The drugs were found despite Deyan Nikolov previously telling police he had never taken drugs as an adult and repeatedly testing negative for illegal substances.

The 33-year-old was found dead at Glenochil Prison, where he was serving a life sentence for helping arrange the murder of kingdom businessman Toby Siddique.

A fatal accident inquiry heard five bags of cocaine were found in his locked single cell, together with tablets and prescription medication including antidepressants belonging to another prisoner.

A ballpoint pen casing with the cartridge removed, which the inquiry was told was commonly used to snort” cocaine, was also found.

A post mortem revealed Nikolov had died of cocaine toxicity, coupled with coronary artery atheroma.

His body was found at the Clackmannanshire prison at 7.15am on June 11, 2018.

Drug source remains mystery

Detective Constable Jamie Reid, 32, said there were “obvious signs of drug misuse” in Nikolov’s cell but police inquiries never managed to identify the source of the cocaine that killed him.

He said officers searching his cell did find what he called a “Beat the Boss” burner phone – an illegal mobile so small it could be hidden in a wifi speaker – but it was PIN-locked and attempts by forensic examiners to crack it had yielded nothing.

Alan Morrison, depute fiscal at the inquiry, said Nikolov had told police in 2012 he had experimented with drugs as a teenager but never touched them as an adult.

Glenochil Prison
Glenochil Prison

During his period in custody he had been subjected to seven random drug tests and all had been negative.

Prison warder Vicky Hamilton, 35, who was Reid’s personal welfare officer, said she could recall no instances of him being under the influence of drugs and she had noticed no change in his behaviour in the period leading up to his death.

She said before his death, which she described as “extremely unexpected”, he had suffered an assumed assault in the jail gym but had claimed it was an accident.

Sophisticated ‘moonshine’ maker

In a further twist, she revealed that a week before his death, he had been caught with “the most sophisticated” moonshine still she had ever seen in the prison.

Officers raided his cell early in the morning after detecting “a strong smell of hooch” to find he had rigged a bin with heating wires connected to a plug socket.

He was distilling alcohol from a mixture of bread and water so the vapour would travel through a pipe and drip into a plastic bag.

However the device had “exploded” in the night and when officers burst into his cell they found Nikolov still asleep and “hooch” all over his cell floor.

Ms Hamilton said: “It was like an actual contraption that had been engineered.

“I’d never seen anything like it before or since.”

Following the inquiry, at Alloa Sheriff Court, Sheriff Neil Bowie will give his determination in writing at later date.

Arranged for hit on businessman

Nikolov, 33, an ex-bouncer from Kirkcaldy, was a history graduate who initially came to Britain as a student for seasonal farm work in 2005.

He spoke four languages – Russian and Polish, as well as English and his native Bulgarian.

He was jailed for a minimum of 18 years in 2012 – raised to 23 years on appeal – after arranging for hitman Tencho Andonov to kill Mr Siddique at a house in Glenrothes in 2010.

Mohammed Nadeem Siddique, better known as Toby.

He and two other men were found guilty of murder.

The victim’s brother, Mohammed Azam Siddique, 41, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years after hiring Andonov to execute his brother over their business rivalry.

Andonov was also convicted of attempting to murder former security man David Dalgleish, 44, who lived at the flat and had been left for dead.

Tencho Andonov
Tencho Andonov

The trio were eventually caught after Nikolov missed his getaway flight by forgetting his passport.

They were convicted after a four-month trial – one of the longest murder trials in Scottish criminal history.

Links to Perthshire murder victim

In 2019, a Perthshire man with previous links to Nikolov was found dead in a burned-out stolen car in Blantyre, Lanarkshire.

Rafal Lyko, 36, who worked as a landscape gardener, had previously been jailed for four months in 2012 for smuggling a hi-tech spy phone into prison for Nikolov to use while he was on trial for murder.

Nikolov had the tiny smartphone – which looked like an ordinary digital watch – brought to him while he was remanded in maximum security Perth Prison.

Earlier this year it was reported detectives were examining possible links between the 2010 contract killing, Nikolov’s death and Mr Lyko’s murder.