James "Jimmy" Lakewell was a former solicitor and friend of Nick Huntley.
He and Nick Huntley studied law at university together, and became close friends. However, Nick went into corporate law whereas Jimmy sided with criminal defense.
Despite being offered placement in Witness Protection, Lakewell declines, citing there are members of the Organised Crime Group that he will not be able to escape from. At trial in Crown Court he pleads guilty to perverting the course of justice, and is imprisoned in HMP Blackthorn.
Specialist Technician Amanda Yao of the Cyber Crime Unit discovers an uncorrupted audio file on an MN News office computer that was used by Gail Vella. The clip is of Vella speaking on the telephone with an unidentified man, who tells her about the procedural irregularities behind Operation Trapdoor. He is identified as Lakewell by DI Steve Arnott when he repeats a line talking about Balaclava Man.
Arnott and DC Chloe Bishop visit Lakewell at HMP Blackthorn and question him about why he made contact with Vella, despite wanting to stay quiet and not face the wrath of the Organised Crime Group. Lakewell reveals that due to him not "snitching" and remaining quiet inside, he has been treated well by the criminal elements within the prison. He declines to provide much information to the detectives, but subtly hints this is due to the SecuritVite officer who is present in the room with him. Back at the AC-12 Building, Arnott discusses with Superintendent Ted Hastings how the OCG keeps people quiet on the inside by bribing prison officers (such as in the cases of Lindsay Denton and Farida Jatri), and suggests an alternative plan to convince Lakewell to speak with them.
The next day Lakewell is collected from HMP Blackthorn by convoy led by DI Steve Arnott. It contains an armoured van and two Armed Response Vehicles manned by Authorised Firearms Officer's from AC-12 led by PS Jones. The convoy departs from the prison immediately after Lakewell is placed in the back of the armoured van. Arnott shows him copies of documents that have been provided by the Crown Prosecution Service and Central Police again offering him immunity from prosecution and witness protection, if he is willing to tell them about the activities of the Organised Crime Group. Lakewell responds by claiming it is not enough, and involvement from a much higher authority level (such as the Ministry of Justice) would be needed. Arnott retorts that he believes Lakewell will change his mind, as being is prison for four years has reminded him of the lavish lifestyle as a high earning lawyer he threw away. Struggling to hide his desire to be free, Lakewell reminds Arnott that any information provided to him at the current time would not be evidential.
As the convoy travels down Moss Heath Avenue, DC Chloe Bishop noticed a suspicious SUV has started following. Before she can check its information on the Police National Computer, the front ARV and van carrying Lakewell and Arnott is disabled by a spike strip. The driver of the van loses control and the vehicle flips onto its side. A gunfight erupts, with Authorised Firearms Officer's led by PS Ruby Jones returning fire. The vans armour plating prevents the bullets from piercing the roof. Arnott uncuffs a terrified Lakewell and lies on top of him to protect him. DC Chloe Bishop moves to evacuate the two from the incapacitated van, which is approved by Arnott. When Bishop is unable to reach the door release, Jones takes over and is able to open it. However, before she can evacuate Lakewell and Arnott she is shot dead by a sniper from the Organised Crime Group who emerges from an office building overlooking the ambush. Jones is pronounced dead, but due to the actions of Arnott, PC 8883 and the other armed officers, all the attacking gunmen are neutralised.
Later in the day, Lakewell is taken to secure custody in Decker Avenue Station, where he is represented by his solicitor Simon Ogden. He is joined by Arnott, Bishop and Superintendent Ted Hastings of AC-12, but immediately tells them that due to the attack he is again withdrawing his cooperation. When Arnott implies that he isn't likely to be safer back in prison, Lakewell argues that since he "didn't talk" despite the offer, he believes he will be left alone. It is subtly implied that he may actually have said something to Arnott in the van, however. Returned to HMP Blackthorn, Lakewell is escorted to his cell only to discover former DSU Ian Buckells (arrested for perverting the course of justice) is also in there. Confused, Buckells tries to explain that they are being made to share the cell due to overcrowding and his bunk is being brought in, however Lakewell notices he is shaking. The cell door then opens again and a corrupt SecuritVite officer lets Lee Banks enter, who immediately begins strangling Lakewell with a cord. Making direct eye contact with Buckells, Banks tells him "watch what happens to a rat". PC Ryan Pilkington later reveals to DCI Joanne Davidson that Lakewell is dead, also reiterating it was for "being a rat".