In 1980, DI Sam Tyler arrested conman Paul Thordy in Manchester shortly before Tyler's death. Eventually, Thordy was transferred to the Fenchurch prison where he and Jason Sachs shared a cell together for eight months. (See HM Prison Fenchurch riots and A2A Series 3: Episode 6).

On the day of the Fenchurch riot, Thordy was spotted in Croydon. DCI Hunt sent DS Carling and DC Skelton to arrest him. He attempted to escape through the back of a laundrette but was eventually stopped by Skelton. While being held in Fenchurch East police station, he was assaulted by Hunt in an attempt to get Thordy to tell the truth about Sachs, but he continually lied. While in the cell the following day, DCI Hunt provided Thordy with a plastic bag to help him commit suicide, but that failed. He was interviewed by Alex Drake. Thordy claimed he was Sam Tyler and said that the first riot was a setup and not a protest.

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