Education makes the impossible, possible.

The recent report from Ofsted shows that education in prison is still not being taken seriously enough. This is my reaction to the report, specifically in relation to prison.

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The figures show an overall decline in education within our prisons and that should be of concern, not just to those involved within education, but also to society as a whole.  I take a look at four key points, that are specific to prison from the report. The recent Ofsted report, in relation to prisons and the forthcoming, planned, autonomy of prison budgets which is being given to governors from next year also concerns me deeply, which I also explain.

As revealed last year, the number of people in prison participating on level 3 courses has been in decline, dropping from a peak of 2,400 in 12/13 to a low of 100 in latest published data.

This is an area of particular concern to me, especially with prisons becoming self-governing from early next year. I am aware that maths, English and ICT on the national prison curriculum are being ring-fenced in respect of budget, it will then be down to each individual governor to decide how much of the available budget, outside of ring-fencing, that goes into other educational course provision and that is a worrying position. However, as the high majority of prisons only provide courses to level 2, it will be down to the individual learner, with support from the prison, securing external funding to study above level 2, this is where my concern lies. Will governors, that may have an inclination against education, provide the necessary budget for the inclusion of extra subjects on the curriculum, and/or provide the resources into higher education study, or will they use the supplementary budget elsewhere?

I have studied all levels in prison, from entry level through level’s 1 and 2, I was fortunate enough, on two separate occasions, to study at level 3; once in HMP Wayland in 2009 where I completed a City&Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (P.T.L.L.S). Then in 2016, at HMP Norwich, I successfully completed a level 3 City&Guilds Certificate in Advice and Guidance. Whilst in HMP Norwich, again, in 2016, through funding secured from the Prisoner’s Education Trust, I successfully completed an Access Module in Understanding People, Work and Society via The Open University (OU). In October 2016 I began a Bsc Hons Degree in criminology and psychological studies, again, through the OU, for which, I took out a student loan. Ironic really, as HMP Norwich is an inner-city prison. Back in the day most inner-city jails were known as debtors prisons, which were placed in prominent positions to deter people from not paying their dues in life and here I was in prison committing myself to an overall student loan of a little over £20,000. “Education, education, education”, this mantra used by Tony Blair in 1997, is as relevant now as it was then. Education does and can change lives. The feelings of pride and self-worth, along with the belief in myself and personal achievement I have had from my incredible learning journey, have all been the catalyst for the successful life choices and decisions I am currently enjoying. Along with the small addition of one less to be included in the re-offending rate figures, you’re welcome.

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“Urgent action is needed to ensure that prisons – and more specifically, under-performing ones –are helped to improve” – @Ofstednews call for action in their annual report.

I am not sure how true a reflection this report actually gives, staffing levels have been so low, that all purposeful activity has suffered as a direct consequence. However, Education has to be the bedrock from which foundations are built in order for an individual to change their lives and, just as important, to cease offending. The course facilitators I have come in contact with over the years, in my own prison learning journey, are some of the most committed and dedicated individuals that I have met in my life. The job they do can be viewed as a thankless task, being put under constant pressure by the private companies that run the education system, who in my opinion do so for the simple process of making money and not for rehabilitation. You have prisoners classed as high risk that should not be anywhere near a classroom. However, the current scheme of bums on seats for maximum profits over safety makes this more common than it should be. Learners are being put in classes that they have no interest in whatsoever, again to fill spaces so that shareholders can buy the expensive Christmas present for their spouses. All the time the education system in prison is used as a cash cow for private companies, bottom line will always be more important than reducing re-offending rates. Does one, therefore feed the other? Private companies can’t make a profit if our prisons are empty #justsaying.

41 prisons and YOI’s inspected this reporting year, @Ofstednews judged 39% to be good for the overall effectiveness of education, skills & work. None were outstanding. This is 17 percentage points lower than the proportion judged good or outstanding last year.

39% is exactly why I have concerns as voiced above. To gain employment, education is a must. The education levels of those entering our prisons make for grim reading. The data shows that 85 percent of the country’s population have literacy skills at L1 or L2 compared to only 50 percent of prisoners. At lesser levels of education, the gap between national literacy levels and prison literacy levels steadily increase from just a couple of percent at Entry level 1 to over 30 percent difference between those achieving level 2 in prison compared to those achieving level 2 nationally. (Skills for Life national survey conducted by BIS in 2012). This has to change.

Having been employed in prison as an education mentor with many years’ experience, I have been in the fortunate and privileged position to witness the power of education on rehabilitation. One such personal case study springs to mind:

Whilst serving in HMP Blundeston, I, along with another prisoner and an officer, introduced the Toe By Toe (as it was then, now known as Turning Pages) reading scheme provided by The Shannon Trust. One of my learners, who we used to call, not in a derogatory way, ‘Billy the Broom’ one of the best wing cleaners I had ever met, kept it spotless, hence the moniker.‘Billy’ had some difficulties when it came to read and writing. So, I began mentoring him on the reading scheme. On a visit a few months later, whilst being visited by my partner and children, “Billy’s” family were visiting him at the same time. After a while an officer came over with “Billy’s” mum, saying she would like a quick word. What followed will live with me forever. His mum gave me the biggest, tightest hug, and with tears in her eyes thanked me because a few days prior to visit day “Billy” had written a letter to his mum for the first time ever. Now, tell me education is not important in all aspects of our lives.

The proportion of prisons and YOI’s judged good or outstanding by @Ofstednews at their most recent inspection increased by six percentage points, from 42% on 31 Aug 2017 to 48%on 31 Aug 2018.

So, taking on board the last point, we know that no prison received outstanding by Ofsted. To look at this another way, it means that there are still over 50% of prisons receiving; grade 3 (requires improvement) or, grade 4 (inadequate). If this was comparable with our schools in society, there would be a public outcry. Yet, hardly an eyebrow is raised outside of the prison system. Unfortunately, this would also seem the case for inside the system as well. In respect of YOI’s specifically this is a very worrying set of figures. In a Whitney Houston song it states “the children are our future”, without even the basic of educational skills it would be almost impossible for a YOI to rebuild their future. In any young person/adult custody environment, education has to be the foundation from which to begin to rebuild their lives. Along with any non-serious offences, committed before the age of 18, to be completely removed from their records. Once you find yourself in the revolving doors of the penal system, one thing you have to grasp on to is hope. What chance do YOI’s have in adult life if hope has already been taking away at a young age.

 

Alumniating

Tuesday the 4th September 2018 will be a day that I will never forget.

I will find the evening difficult to describe/explain without overusing superlatives. Okay, let’s get the basics out of the way. There was a good turn-out, there was a buffet laid on, a free bar, to everyone’s delight, the level and choice of music was right and the staff at the venue were ever so friendly and helpful. The facilities in which the venue was held were excellent. That’s that bit out of the way.

The following is from a post that I wrote on Facebook the following day….” I was fortunate last night to have spent the evening with a group of incredible people whom, I may add, are not only ex-prisoners but most like me still on licence from prison. The inspiration, desire and passion to not just change ourselves but to use our experiences while standing up to be counted in a concerted effort to influence change, for my sake, my peer’s sake, for your sake and for the sake of Society as a whole, was amazing to witness. Surely no one can argue against wanting a prison system fit for purpose. People make mistakes, we will always have crime but please remember everyone has a story to tell. The sentence is the punishment, everything else should be geared to change not continued judgement. I also have to say that I saw more degrees than there would be at Three degrees tribute act competition. I am honoured to be an Alumni for the Prisoners Education Trust and an associate member of the Prisoners Learning Alliance.”….

I came away from the evening feeling like a somebody, that my years of experience will now not be wasted, as I, and my fellow Alumni will be able to have a direct influence over education policy in prisons. It makes total sense that the best people to assist in improving areas of life are those who have seen and lived the harsher and darker side of that life.

There were many highlights for me of the evening, the poetry that was read live by its author Jamal was spine tingling, his words spoke to your very soul. To see a probation officer, travel all the way from Cumbria to watch her client pick up an award gave me hope that the good ones do still exist. I was also fortunate enough to interview, on camera, the Media, Communications & Alumni manager Katy Oglethorpe. Katy’s passion and dedication to the PET’s is unwavering, which benefits the prisoner who uses the education system in prison immensely and I cannot thank Katy and the team at PET enough for that. It was great experience to be able to interview Katy. To me, however, the highlight of the evening was to be able to interview the President of the PET, Mr. John Samuels. In his previous life, Mr. Samuels was a London judge and to be able to sit and discuss prison issues with someone at the total opposite end of the criminal justice system was an incredible experience for me. To listen to Mr. Samuels vision for the future of sentencing, prison and the PET fills me with hope that there are better times ahead for real change and for real prison reform.

Rehabilitation?

Recently on Twitter I was involved in a discussion regarding rehabilitation. Someone had written a blog on how rehabilitation can benefit society. It was then mentioned how good it would have been to have had some comments from an ex-prisoner about what rehabilitation means to them. So, it gave me the idea for this blog, about what rehabilitation means to me.

Rehabilitation has many meanings to many people, it also has many definitions. As I am writing from a criminal justice perspective I feel that the following definition is the most relevant.

rehabilitation – ‘the action of restoring someone to former privileges or reputation after a period of disfavour’

Who feels that is happening?

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As someone with a few sentences behind him, spread over a number of decades, from the age of 15 to now, from the age of ten if we take my first involvement with the criminal justice system rather than my first sentence at the age of 15 where subsequently I spent my sixteenth birthday, two years later I was to also spend my eighteenth birthday in jail as well. I’m not asking for sympathy as I deserved everything I got, but what my purpose of highlighting of those facts I hope will serve, is that readers will hopefully understand that I may know a thing or two, good and bad, about the system. So much so that I put all those years of experience together on my last prison sentence in order to utilise what I knew was out there, but also knew, from in prison, I would have to do the majority of it myself. Rather than myself explain it all again please read Through my eyes. A blog I wrote a while back explaining my reasons for going back to prison and how I orchestrated the subsequent hearings to my advantage, again done in order to turn my life around, as was risking a life prison sentence so I can achieve my aims.

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My holistic and individual rehabilitation started the day I was driven through the prison gates on day one of my remand. A lot happened on my last sentence, I’m happy to report only one negative which I learnt from, as a good friend, Rob said to me once “You can never lose, you either win or you learn. I embarked on a degree in criminology and psychological studies with the Open University. I did this for three main reasons. The first was because I could and I wanted to, plain and simple as that. Due to my lack of school education I was advised to take an access module first , applied for and received funding from the excellent Prisoners Education Trust. The second reason was I wanted something worthwhile to fill up my time as I knew, even though I had yet to go further than a virtual court, I was looking at a long time and set about preparing for it. The third will take a little bit more explaining. I knew what I want to achieve in my future from that day, no one could say anything about my experience, it’s there in black and white for all to see. However, one thing that could have been thrown in my face, as I look to improve my life, is, okay you have the experience but what qualifications do you have so you can use that experience in the right way, ta daaaaaaa!!!!

You see the point I am trying to make is that no matter what I do, did or will do, society will never fully allow me or people like me, to feel as if we are rehabilitated. The main purpose of prison is to hold people who have been punished in order for them to take a look at their life and choose to change it or face further consequences. I agree, in the words of ‘Porridge’, “some see prison as an occupational hazard”, I did!, and no doubt will never change, although I am. Which brings me onto another issue. If you followed my timeline in life, I would hand on heart say you would notice a complete change in my thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It is as plain as the nose on the end of your face that I have been genuine from day one in my claims.

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I can’t deny how fortunate I was that my local prison, HMP Norwich believed in me from day one also, in fact on my arrival I had a brief meeting with the duty governor to outline my plans for my future. This same governor approached me one day, seven months later, and said how refreshing it was that he is hearing good things about my name, he respected I was a man of my word, especially in that environment. I am ashamed to say that I took his words with a heavy heart, because although my intentions at the start of my sentence were still progressing, I had stupidly saw an opportunity to make money using my many roles within the prison. I had purposely gotten myself involved with drug trafficking within the prison. As anything in prison, you only get a temporary run however much your ego tells you that you won’t be caught, you will, one way or the other. It’s the law of averages plus added to that you have to be lucky every single time, they only have to be lucky once.

So here I was, halfway through my sentence and totally messed it all up due to greed and ego. I’m not going to say exactly what I was up to but believe me when I say people were never reluctant to come to me to see something through. I was an arse, what had I done. To make matters worse, the day it came on top, I had received my D cat, which bizarrely wasn’t conducive to what I was trying to achieve, that point was now mute as I was transferred back to B cat conditions and placed on Basic regime for 5 weeks. I was devastated, I hated myself and lay in my cell for days. An officer from the safer custody department came and had a very long, emotional chat with me, I explained the situation and that I just wish I could have another opportunity, I was stupid, I was biting the hand that I had chosen to feed me, it taught me one huge lesson, you can’t be a hare and a hound.

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It was to turn out to be one of the best conversations throughout my sentence I had , Miss S, thank you I will never forget it, .I was given another chance and neither myself nor the prison looked back. I stayed in B cat conditions until my release and actually got my D cat back 9 months later but asked not to be given it due to the detriment it would have on my progression at that stage, plus I was also co-working on a new curriculum for the education department, and also working on a resettlement programme based on the work I had done myself.

Like I said the prison system, well HMP Norwich were fantastic in the support that they provided me with, I say support it was more allowing to crack on with what I was doing.

Everything was running well at this stage, my progression, the curriculum and the new course I had designed. My degree was progressing nicely with some impressive scores on my assignments, so much so, I am running a collective score of 84%, with the OU it’s 85% for a 1:1. I had also signed up to a radio resettlement course with an outside agency who visited the prison to facilitate the 5 day course. Future Projects, especially the operations director Laura Bloomfield had and have since been an integral part of my successes. It was agreed at the completion of the course that Future will provide a through the gate service for me.

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This was despite the probation service dumping me in a hostel a few hundred miles away from where I have my support network, I have said more than enough previously about all that. My point about probation is basically they treated me as David Breakspear the man who went to prison and not David Breakspear the man that was being released from prison, and not someone who just talked a good game either, as some of the pictures I have included point out. It felt as if all my hard work to rehabilitate myself had not only gone unnoticed but also meant nothing, was that fair considering what I had achieved? Yeah I had messed up half way through but this was nothing to do with that and I had shown by my actions that I had learnt.

I was released from prison on the 9th June 2017 am I rehabilitated according to the definition at the start of this blog? It’s Thursday 2nd August, 2:15pm to be precise and I am writing this blog from my room at a move on hostel where I reside, and have done since the 26th August 2017. One way for me to get accommodation I have been told, is to see out the maximum time of 2 years here, be evicted, become homeless and hope the council will help. Everything I have been doing has all been to achieve my own rehabilitation goals, apart from Future Projects and, ironically, the prison no one seems interested in rehabilitation.

The problem with the system is that there is no synergy and everyone involved appear to be working towards their own agenda or the agenda of their paymasters. In order for rehabilitation to be able to take proper effect, it has to include all.

Does prison work? yes it does, does rehabilitation work? given the right resources, the motivation and the environment to do so then yes but only if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, which includes the media and society as a whole.

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Bad move lady!!

Alan and Maria Lindbloom.

Two people that in a very short time have come to mean a lot to me and my life. The reasons for this are private. However, I can share that Alan is kind of like a mentor to me in a lot of aspects as well as a close friend. Now, I’d like to think I was loyal to my friends, some might say fiercely. Before I go on I’d like to share a link to Alan’s ‘To be a King ‘ novels, trust me you’ll thank me.

https://www.gunnerdetroit.com/to-be-a-king

The main reason for my writing this particular blog is an unfortunate one. Unfortunate!! That is for one Sophie Castan Zammit, or as I like to call her Miss.Pell., Sophie is in control, ahem, of ‘Zorba Productions’ and ‘ Auto Rehab’.

Before I continue if you get to read this blog Sophie, feel free to sue me for slander as I call you a con artist, a scammer, a fraudster, a cheat, a liar, a thief and last but not least life wrecker. I would say bitch bit I’m bigger than that.

Now, I’m sure I can say that as a friend of the family, my views may be considered as biased and on Alan and Maria’s side regardless. Fair comment, I’d say. So, what I will do is share a link to the website that contains all the irrefutable proof you need and therefore will not need to take my word. Maria Lindbloom has gone to a lot of trouble putting the website together and has done a fantastic job of basically giving this Sophie Zammi nowhere to hide. It’s not being done out of spite and only a click on the link at the bottom will show you the full picture.

I have, however, showed you some screenshots of what is contained on the website to show you what a devious, manipulating, scum bag this Sophie Castan Zammit is.

Again Sophie feel free to sue me for defamation or slander anytime you wish.

I should let people know that Maria, Alan’s amazing wife, gave up her career and $100,000 a year sales executive position to put her time and effort into this project.

This Zammit woman has to be stopped. She, metaphorically, knocked on the wrong door this time. Feel free to share and here’s the link.

Click here for the Full Story.

Paisans across the Pond!!!

 

First of all I would like to apologise to those that follow my blog for the length of time I have taken to write again, there is a good reason for this, and, as is my life, one that will make for good reading and has a good moral……………..

The featured image is the logo for the National Crime Syndicate – The National Crime Syndicate.com was established in 2013, and started off as a knowledge base consisting of a few articles… but in recent years the NCS has grown in presence. Now, the NCS has nearly 100,000 fans across social media from all over the world, and has been a resource for the likes of the New York TimesThe Washington PostForbesThe Chicago Tribune, and Lifehacker. Along with its rapid growth came the need for more admins to help with everything from blog posts, to research and development. With the sole aim to be the main information portal for Mafia related subjects; from quizzes, bio’s, videos, historical timelines, interviews and a host of other trivia and detailed topics. The NCS quickly expanded throughout 2015 and 2016 taking on admins in the UK and across Europe, as well as teaming up with influential writers who specialize in certain areas of mob history. In early 2018 the NCS also had the pleasure of taking over the running of another high-profile page, Classic Gangster Society, after its owners and friend of ours stepped into retirement. I am more than pleased to announce that I am now a regular contributor as an editor for the NCS, with two pieces already published. The first in a series that is titled “The Cradle of Cosa Nostra” and also The Top 10 Mob Boss Mansions.

Of course I didn’t just wake up one day and from nowhere bosh!! I’m writing for the NCS. So!, this is the story of how I ended up writing for them.

On Facebook I co run a few large groups, one of which I mainly run with my good friend Lesley Hughes, the group is called Global Mafia Social Club, which is where we discuss; mobsters, gangsters and the Mafia from around the globe and have some knowledgeable members that also share their experiences. I had decided that we needed to change our cover picture, so, I searched Google for free Mafia images and the picture below came up.

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After a few days of using this pic, I had received a message from a guy in America by the name Rob Bailot Jr., he explained to me that he had been using the picture for a while, not only that, he received permission from the artist who sent Rob a version without a watermark on it, which is how it ended up on Google. The story was plausible and without a second thought I apologised and informed Rob that I will then change the cover pic straight away, we had a further brief conversation. The next day I received a message from Rob, offering me a picture due to it being unfortunate I chose the one above and because of the way I had dealt with things the previous day. Suffice to say that Rob and I have built up a good friendship, Rob asked me to assist with his group Omerta Social Club there are also plans for the future but that’s for the future. Rob is also a colleague of mine at the NCS. This is how Omerta’s cover pic looks.

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Since becoming friends with Rob he has introduced me to others with whom I have also become friends with, one of whom, who is not only also a colleague at the NCS, but also an author in his own right, Alan Gunner Lindbloom. Alan had sent me a digital copy of a series he has been uploading to the NCS site, this series is called The Lindbloom Chronicles and charts Alan’s life as he makes his way through a life that included being a Mafia family enforcer and 13 years in the big house, before turning his life around and becoming the man he is now. It was reading The Lindbloom Chronicles that not only motivated me to change how I was writing my blog but also inspired me to send in a sample piece to the NCS and the rest, as they say, is history. Alan is fast becoming the next Mario Puzo, actually no, Alan is carving his own name out in the field of literature and it will be no surprise to me if Alan’s “TO BE A KING” series sees Alan carve his name out on the big screen as well. Don’t just take my word for it, look at the one of the latest reviews on Amazon about Alan and “TO BE A KING” 

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I personally feel that the morals in this story, of this man only 11 and a half months out of prison, are plain to see. As usual it is not for me to tell you what to think. So once again I shall leave you to decide on whatever message you take from not only this story, but also Alan’s The Lindbloom Chronicles. Though you would be mad not to read Alan’s books.

In closing I would just like to say a massive thank you to all my colleagues at the NCS and love and respect to Rob and Alan for their continued support and motivation, I am fully aware that without these two guys I would not have this latest opportunity.

Thanks my Paisans from across the Pond!!!

 

Part 2 of Chapter four ish!!

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So after being released from Runwell I went back to Canvey, things weren’t the same though, I was out of work, still not feeling great, in a relationship I didn’t care about and started drinking again. It all come to head on Christmas day that year, her family were there, Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother in law, Nan, her three kids and her sisters two. I had cooked a lovely Christmas dinner, roast potatoes best I had ever made them. Her mum and dad were also staying at ours, her Nan at her sisters. Then out of nowhere, I was in the kitchen, she came up to me and said she don’t love me know more and wants me out, there had been no argument, I was getting on fine with everybody, but BOOM!!!!!. I was like, what the fuck am I supposed to do, It’s Christmas Day, my mate who I did a bit of work for lived opposite, so she said to go and ask him if I can stay there, I felt well embarrassed but also felt I had no option, he had people round, I couldn’t do it and instead said I had come round to wish them Happy Christmas, I stayed for about an hour, then went back saying he couldn’t put me up, I was allowed to stay in the converted garage for the night with the promise I’d be gone in the morning. In the morning I managed to find a bed sit for boxing day night. I was in my room drinking, getting more angry with each mouthful. My decision, to go to the local pub and start a fight with the biggest geezer in there and just take a kicking. I followed through with my plan, but this guy must have seen it through, coz we ended up outside talking and I just spilled my guts over a couple of beers and a few joint’s. Funny how life throws these situations up sometimes.

That night, I spoke to the boys mum and she agreed to let me stay there, it was great to be with my boys again, and Reece was only just over two months old, but Canvey left a feeling of unfinished business behind, I hated the feeling. Just before new year I started talking to the one in Canvey again, she said she was sorry and about trying again and build things up slowly. I honestly believe it was because of the feeling I had because I didn’t love this girl, out of her three daughters, only the eldest liked me, the other two made it as difficult as possible, so what was I going back to, especially being with my two boys. I’m afraid that curiosity always wins, or I think the grass is greener. I stayed on the sofa while I was there and got a job with Argos, on nights, on the reach trucks in the massive Basildon Warehouse, it didn’t work out, too many available scams, suspicion was enough. I then got a job back in the double glazing game, with a company in Benfleet, I then managed to get a cheap room in one of the biggest move mistakes ever in my life, and I have had a few moves. The house was run by this geezer in his late sixties, I did not like him at all, but it was cheap and I needed out. It would not surprise me if he’s still alive that he’s in jail for being a nonce. I really started to hit the drink bad, I was buying beer to its calorific value as I had convinced myself I was getting the nutrients I needed from the beer and didn’t need to waste my money buying too much food, I was in a terrible state, whilst trying to hold down a job. Also at the time I was still on community service, I was spending 7 hours up at a school in Benfleet, every Sunday. I had met this guy Peter on there, we got on well, told him about the place I was staying, he went on to tell me that he has got this caravan on a site but it don’t open till March, March till November can stay there. He proper bigged it up. so, come March I jog the old geezer on for rent and make my way to this amazing caravan with Peter. As we were getting close I should have taken the sight of an old Morris Car, with a black and white number plate, as a sign. I honestly thought I had gone back in time, this caravan, and the fucking state of it, would not have looked out-of-place on the set of ‘Heartbeat’. We had electric but only one thing at a time could be plugged in or it blew the fuse, it was a nightmare. On night three I got a call from the boys mum, I told her my situation and she told me she would come and pick me up the next morning, which she did. Things improved for a while for us. I had transferred my community service back to East London, I was working at the Beckton sports centre, in fact that’s where I watched England win the 2003 Rugby world cup, with the awesome drop goal from our Jonny Wilkinson, what a game!!. Later on that year, 2003, my mates wife was allegedly raped by the caretaker from the local school, he, if he did it, got away with it. It was summer 2004, I had recently copped a common assault charge for a fight I had outside the Funky Buddha Club up West, I got proper stung, two-year probation, Aggression Replacement Therapy and a 56 day tag. I was redecorating the bathroom and had to stop as I had a probation appointment in Stratford. I went to my appointment and bumped into a mate, we went for a quick drink, half nine that night I got off the bus pissed near mine, my curfew was ten. I had enough time to go to the offy and get the boys mum a bottle of wine as a half arsed attempt at an apology. As I cut through, lo and behold, there was this rapist and his uncle working on their car. They looked up at me, I just turned round and said “What you looking at you dirty rapist”, they both got in my face, then the uncle whacks me in the side with a brick, cracking a rib I later found out, with that the rapist has dived at and grabbed my legs, taking me to the floor. The uncle has then got his knee on my chest, the silly fucker then had his arm right near my mouth, I took about a two-inch chunk out of his arm, that’s what the paperwork and photos showed at the subsequent trial. He moved sharpish, then I felt the brick, grabbed it and started hitting the rapist whose still wrapped round my legs, I then managed to get up, a few more digs got thrown and I walked off, had to get back before my curfew, on the way home I noticed blood on my hands and wanted to get it off before getting home, I stopped at my mates, I was only there 5 minutes if that and the old bill turned up. I got nicked for two GBH Sec 18’s, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage. The outcome of which is a story for another time. I got remanded to HMP Pentonville for this one. The catalyst for 14 months being the longest amount of time I spent out of prison from then, July 2004 until my release June 09th 2017.

I do not write to glorify my life merely it is and was my life.