THE A-Z OF LAW AND DISORDER
EX-BOUNCER / CRIMINAL TURNED crusader against injustice, Bernard O'Mahoney is one of our favourite crime writers. We called him up and asked him if he'd write us a guide to Law and Order and he wrote this for us. These are his views.
A is for ARMED RESPONSE UNIT (POLICE)
This is a special section of the police set up for those who have a strange desire to have constant access to loaded guns. Should you wish to join and are asked to attend an interview, present your strong points. Emphasise that you have no fear of death because Jesus will protect you. If you want to get hold of real guns in the meantime, I'd suggest joining the regular army. They will give you lots of guns, and you'll be allowed to give them names and sleep with them when on exercises.
B is for BORSTAL
First set up at Borstal Prison, Kent, in October 1902 to house delinquent boys aged between 16 and 21. These institutions were supposed to offer education, regular work and discipline but more often than not they were breeding grounds for bullies and psychopaths. They were finally abolished with the 1982 Criminal Justice Act.
C is for CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Hanging was abolished in the UK in 1969 and I believe it was a sad day for justice. Child killers, Huntley, Whiting, Brady and numerous other scumbags should have hanged for their vile crimes.
D is for DRUGS
These were the root cause of the numerous murders, beatings and betrayals carried out by and amongst my friends during the reign of our Essex Boys firm.
E is for ESSEX POLICE
This is the force that investigated the murder of my three former associates who had their brains blown out while sitting in a Range Rover. It is my belief Essex police arrested the wrong men. Mick Steele and Jack Whomes have served ten years in prison to date for these murders.
F is for FIREARMS
Recent cases support my view that the police should not be armed. 27-year-old Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head by police at Stockwell tube station after they "thought" he may be a suicide bomber. I didn't trust the bastards when they just had truncheons, never mind AR-15s with shell catchers and laser beams.
G is for GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM
These are words I do not enjoy hearing, particularly when spoken by a police officer that is charging me. There are two types of GBH: Section 18 and 20. Section 18 is by far the most serious as it carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while the maximum for Section 20 is five years. The difference is that the prosecution must prove that you intended to cause serious bodily harm under Section 18, whereas they need only show that you acted recklessly under Section 20. I have been charged with section 18 on four occasions. I was found not guilty twice and imprisoned twice.
H is for HAVING IT ON YOUR TOES
I had it away on my toes in 1984 whilst awaiting trial for wounding. I fled to South Africa where I was later imprisoned for another wounding charge. I had it on my toes back to England where I was arrested and imprisoned for the original wounding offence.
I is for INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION (IPCC)
This was set up in 2004 to make sure complaints against the police were dealt with effectively. If they are truly independent then I am a virgin and the father of three kids.
J is for JURY
I always have great respect for the jury. Throughout my numerous trials I always tried to appear angelic to these wonderful human beings.
K is for KRAYS
Twins Ronnie and Reggie terrorised gangland rivals in the East End of London during the 1960s. Eventually Ron, Reg and their elder brother Charlie were grassed by members of their own firm for two murders. While serving their sentences I became friends with the brothers. The once powerful trio died penniless. It reinforced my belief that crime does not pay, in the long run.
L is for LINCOLN PRISON
This was my home for most of last summer when I was remanded in custody for blackmail and making threats to kill. Conditions do not seem to have changed much since the jail first opened in 1872.
M is for MANCHESTER PRISON / STRANGEWAYS
This is the scene of the worst prison riots this country has ever known. On April 1, 1990, inmates at the jail went on the rampage attacking prison officers and beating sex offenders. One inmate and one prison officer died.
N is for NOT GUILTY
This is my favourite saying. These days it's rarely heard at the end of criminal trials since the introduction of previous offences being allowed to be disclosed to the jury.
O is for O'MAHONEY
This is a name too familiar to many police officers. It is a name I wish they would all forget.
P is for PAEDOPHILE
In my opinion they are the vilest creatures ever to set foot on this earth. Not everyone agrees. When recently asked about Ian Huntley who murdered two children in Soham, Britain's most senior police officer, Sir Ian Blair said, "If we look at the murders in Soham almost nobody can understand why that dreadful story became the biggest story in Britain." A man obviously out of touch with the people he is in office to protect.
Q is for QUEEN'S EVIDENCE
This is when a criminal agrees to assist the police by giving evidence against his associates in order to secure themselves a lenient sentence.
R is for RANBY PRISON
This wonderful prison is in Nottinghamshire was converted in the early 1970s from its original use as an Army camp. I was captured by officers whilst trying to escape from there in the 1980s. It houses mainly petty crooks serving short sentences.
S is for STAFFORD PRISON
This is known amongst cons as the "dustbin". It is so called because prisoners believe all the violent lost causes within the prison system are sent there. I have served two sentences there. In 1986 I was present when the prison was sealed off as rioting inmates took to the roof in protest at a prison officers' dispute.
T is for TRUNCHEON
This is a weapon carried by all police officers. I have had one wrapped around my head on more than one occasion but would still prefer police to carry them instead of guns.
U is for UNDERWORLD
This is the name of Mike Baldwin's lingerie factory on Coronation Street but also the name for those in our society who are engaged in and organised for the purpose of crime and vice.
V is for VIOLENCE
At least ten people I know have died looking down the barrel of a gun or in a pool of blood after being stabbed. I have seen a lot of this first hand and I know now that violence is not the way to resolve one's differences.
W is for WINSON GREEN
Based in Birmingham, this is a penal dustbin I have had the misfortune to lodge at on four occasions. Inmate Barry Prosser, aged 32, was kicked to death in its healthcare centre in the 1980s. Many call it the worst prison in Britain.
X is for X-FRIENDS
This one goes out to my ex friends and enemies who were murdered or imprisoned during the 1980s and 1990s when my career as a criminal was in full swing. Young, foolish men who should still be here today but took ridiculous chances to save face or to appear to be a somebody.
Y is for YARDIES
While working at the Ministry of Sound nightclub in south London, myself and the other door staff were subjected to regular attacks from Yardie-style gangs. I was stabbed in one incident.
Z is for Z-CARS
This is the innovative, long-running BBC police series of the 1960s, of which they programmed more episodes (667) than any other weekly crime programme on British television. I grew up watching this programme; sadly so too did many other kids who went on to be policemen. As in the TV series, us bad guys never get to keep the money or evade justice.