This is the concluding part to Johnny Mack’s Betrayal story involving the counterfeit / snide money. It’s a cracker and brings the story to his realisation that he has now been fully betrayed by his co-defendant and friend Nigel, but successfully escapes police custody so as to get to the bottom of this betrayal.
Click on the link here for those who missed part one Johnny Mack – The Betrayal
Betrayal Part Two
As I said in last week’s blog I was left sitting in a hotel with a whole parcel of snide twenty pound notes. The operation I had been involved in had gone skew-whiff whereby the main men had been nicked.
I had arranged for Nigel to meet me in Southampton, where we went on a massive spending spree all along the South coast of the UK.
While on our spree we took a break by popping over to the Isle of Wight to visit my mother and father. But while we were there, we absolutely caned the place, hitting every store, pub imaginable.
The Island is one huge holiday resort, awash with leisure camps to cater for the influx of summer holidaymakers. We had caned every single one of these camps during the two days we were there. We got so confident that we hit some of the camps two or three times. You see, even though it had come on top for the firm I was working for. All this spending we were doing was happening within only a few days of them getting nicked. The news of their arrests had not yet hit the main tabloid newspapers, so we took full advantage of the situation.
Anyway I decided we had done enough on the Island and suggested to Nigel that we went out for a celebration piss-up. After all it was our last night on the Island and seeing we had been working flat out for four days, we deserved a break.
We went to one of the holiday resorts that we had hit that day. It had a cabaret on and was packed to the gunnels. Because it was the weekend, I knew that the snide money we had passed had not yet been banked. As I keep saying the notes were pucker but unbeknown to us at that time the serial numbers on the notes were limited to ten different sets of numbers. Where we had been using them along the South coast some of the notes had already reached the banks. The banks info on the numbered notes was passed on to the police. And because there was no news coverage, only a few, mainly large corporations’ were informed of the numbers. Unfortunately for us some of the large Island tourist resorts knew to look out for certain numbers on the twenty-pound notes that had been passed.
I had told Nigel not to take any snide notes with us on our night out on the piss because they could quite easily get mixed up with the good ones.
Around 10pm I was high as a kite from a cocktail of drink and drugs and found myself propping up the bar at this resort. Nigel was not a drug taker but he did like a drink. We had gone to the upstairs bar because the lower bars were crammed packed with punters. The cabaret was in full swing and everyone was enjoying them selves. The lower area at the back was full of tables occupied by families and couples all having a ball of an evening.
I was drinking large pernods’ (An aniseed flavored drink) at the rate of six per hour. What with that lot going down my neck added by line after line of cocaine going up my nose, I was in a bit of a state to say the least. It was at that time when Nigel asks me if I wanted a cheeseburger from the resort takeaway that was situated downstairs. I thought why not because I hadn’t eaten all day because of the coke I was taking suppressed my appetite. As I watched him go down the stairs towards the burger bar, I had a gut feeling that Nigel was about to fuck up. I moved to the glass window that overlooked the entertainment area and watched Nigel pay for the two burgers. That gut feeling of mine was about to reveal itself and I just knew he had used a snide note.
As he came walking towards the stairs that led up to where I was, I noticed two geezers following behind him. They were keeping their distance so as not to attract Nigel’s attention. But from where I was standing I had full view of all three of them and seeing I had been a gangster for most of my life, I could sense a copper from a mile away. I moved to the end of the bar as Nigel came up the stairs; there was only one way in and out of the bar and that was via the stairs. When he entered the bar he came marching towards me with his hand outstretched holding the burger. Within seconds the two geezers who had followed him came into the bar. As Nigel got closer to me, I was trying to give him hand signals that he was being followed. But because he was pissed he just walked right up to me saying what were all the moody hand signals for?
The two geezers approached us and made themselves known as police officers and said we fitted the description of two people they were looking for. After trying to blag my way out of it by saying that I had only just met Nigel, they produced the note that he had paid for the burgers. Cut to the chase they asked us to come outside with them so that we could sort things out. If looks could kill then Nigel would have been struck dead on the spot, especially after me telling the idiot not to use any more notes.
Once outside we were standing by the swimming pool, I noticed that they never had radios. With that a security guy came over whereby they asked him to phone the local police station for assistance. You be surprised how quickly you sober up when something like this happens because I gave the familiar nod to Nigel for us to have it away on our toes. He just stood there like a fucking lemon with the two burgers still in his hand. Without any warning one of the cozzers’ went flying through the air straight into the pool. The other one I thought Nigel would have taken care of, but the last I saw of Nigel was him just standing there. I gave the other cozzer a warning that he would follow his partner if he tried to stop me and had it away on my toes.
I was like a bullet fired from a gun and headed for the dinning area of the building jumping tables like a racehorse does over hurdles. I ended up on the beach and because the tide was out I walked as far as I could to the waters edge. I must have been a mile or so off shore and seeing it was a moonless night I was invisible to the police who were searching for me along the beach area. After about an hour or so the police and their dogs had moved away from the area. I walked back to the shore about mile up from where the police had been originally looking for me. I was a bit disorientated from the drink and drugs and found it hard to focus on where I was. So I decided to head to a wooded area that ran parallel to the resort I was just at. On entering the woods I made my way along a shingle path that led to the back of a school. I recognised the school from when we had been driving around, so I knew I was close to my mother’s house. It was now getting pretty late as I made my way through the school grounds. As I reached the entrance, I vaulted the gate and found myself on the main road. Just my luck; as I took about six steps, a police dog patrol van comes round the corner. The police van passed me then slowed and done a u-turn and pulled alongside me. This big fat copper gets out of the van and calls to me to come over to the van. I’m thinking shall I have it on my toes or front it out, lucky for me I fronted it out. When he asks me who I am, I replied in a Bristol accent a dodgy name and instantly he apologises for giving me a tug and than tells me he’s looking for a cockney geezer. Thank God I’m good with my accents because if I spoke normally I reckon I would have had to knock him out as well. Knocking one cozzer into a swimming pool was bad enough let alone having to whack another in the space of a couple of hours wouldn’t go down too well.
Eventually I made it to my mother’s house where there was no sign of Nigel. As soon as I entered she was on my case with the what’s and why’s and to be honest I was exhausted and went straight to bed. The following morning there was still no sign of Nigel and I decided to come clean to my father. He was more understanding than my mum and advised me to get the hell off the Island because I was all over the radio.
I made a few calls back to London to find out if Nigel had made it home. His wife tells me he has been arrested and is being held at the local police station on the Island. Cut a long story short a good pal drove up from London to collect me. We made it through the roadblocks set up at the ferry ports and got off the Island and home in the boot of my pals’ car.
I totally trusted Nigel and never in a million years thought he would’ve grassed me up. After all I had about £20,000 of his money, his share from all the work we had done over the last few days. One thing bothered me though and that was why didn’t take the opportunity to leg it after I knocked the cozzer into the pool? The other one was shit scared and made no attempt to apprehend us, so Nigel could have easily got away, but the fool let himself get nicked.
My wife at that time was more than happy I made it home especially with the dough I brought with me.
For obvious reasons over the next few days I stayed clear of Nigel’s house. The old bill was all over it looking for more notes. He had only got caught with the one and that was the one he passed to buy the burgers. But as I’ve already said, get caught on one, you get caught for the lot.
I put the dough we made in a safe place and waited on Nigel’s wife to let me know the full SP on what was happening to him. I was really angry with him for letting him-self get nicked because there was no need for it. The cozzers who arrested us were only young; the one who ended up in the pool was no more than 22 years of age and the other 19-20.
I had found out how it all came on top back in London; apparently one of the top geezers was moving £ 4,000,000 in the boot of his Rolls Royce. He gets a tug from the old bill for speeding and low and behold they happen to look in his boot. If you ask me that was just a cover story so the police could get the geezer bang to rights with the notes. There had to have been a grass inside the little firm that were making the notes.
Getting back to Nigel, his wife travels to the Island to see him because the court had remanded him for extra time. They could only hold you for three days before charging you, but they could take you to court to ask for an extension. I thought she would fill me in once she had seen him, then I could arrange for her to get a London brief (Solicitor) for him so he could get bail. Anyway I went out on the Saturday night for a session of drink and cocaine and got home in the early hours. I pulled a few grams of Charlie out of my stash and put it at the side of my bed for when I woke up. At that time I needed a livener to get me up and about especially in the mornings. Sad thing to have to do I know, but I’m being honest when I say that was how it was back then.
Where I had consumed a lot of alcohol the night before, even with the coke I was flaked out and slept like a log. I don’t know what it is about me but since I was a kid, when danger is closing in on me, my gut feeling comes into play. Well in this instance I woke up and shot up as if I just had a 240-volt shock. My bed was up against the wall under the window and what with the sun shining I saw a shadow on the opposite wall. The thing was the shadow was of a man with a gun in his hand. His silhouette was so clear I could even see his hair blowing in the breeze. Completely naked I jumped straight out of bed and made for the bedroom door heading for my hidey-hole where I had a revolver stashed. Before I got to the door, it burst open and there in front of me was a Flying squad officer his smith and Wesson gun pointed at my head. Before I knew it my place was flooded with armed police searching for anything incriminating.
I asked what am I being arrested for and the detective inspector smugly said “Armed bank robbery Johnny Boy” Well I thought, I hadn’t done any blags (Robberies) in a while so there was no way they had anything on me.
It’s then the charade begins as I go into self-preservation mode. I had been arrested so many times before that this type of raid became familiar, almost normal for me. But for my wife and kids it was a different story because for them it must have been a terrifying ordeal. I’ll always regret those times in my life because it was my fault they went through that crap. I have apologized many times to my family for what I was back then. Believe me when I say a lot of tears have flowed since I went straight. Also I have felt the full force that humility brings when you get honest, especially with yourself.
Anyway let’s get back to the story, now where was I ? Yeah, the old bill drags me down to the police station. I’m left to roast for an hour or two in a stinking Peckham police cell and then they pay me a visit. I’m thinking to myself, “Your sweet here Johnny Boy” after all it couldn’t be the snide notes because these guys were the robbery squad. About four of them came into the cell while I’m laid out on the bunk. Another four were at the cell entrance. This was a form of interrogation I had become accustomed to and they knew it. All at once three of them starting firing questions at me, I had to laugh because it sounded like Swahili. If that don’t work then it’s the one and he’s all-nice and friendly with you and then to finish it off it’s the threats of stitch ups etc. You just sit there and let them get on with it, after all what else can they do, beat you? I’ve had that treatment many times before especially when I was younger. The towel punches were their favorite. They’re wrap a towel around their fists, just like a boxing glove and beat the crap out of you until you signed a confession. Their method was clever but brutal because they never left any bruises and you were beat to a pulp. The other was the rubber mattress, simply four or five of them would steam in the cell and put the mattress over you and jump up and down. As a kid I got a beating everyday so I know the full feeling of pain. They gave that up on me when I was about eighteen because they realized no amount of beatings could open my mouth.
Anyway after an hour or so they fuck off home and leave me banged up for the night. Now I’m feeling sweet now because they’ve fucked off and no one has mentioned the snide money. How wrong was I; the following morning they open the hatch on the door and hand me a bag of fish and chips my good wife had dropped in six hours earlier. She knew they never fed me and sometimes I’ll be in them places for four or five days.
I end up throwing the bag of chips at the cozzer, who is none too pleased as he picks bits of chips off his jacket. I’m expecting a come back of some sort because he was one horrible geezer, a real sadist. But no, this copper just smiles and tells me I can go home. Right at that moment my gut instinct kicks right in and I knew there and then something was not right. He comes back five minutes later dangling his keys, smiles again at me through the hatch and opens the door. I was feeling really apprehensive now because I’m expecting half a dozen of them waiting just outside to beat the crap out of me. I stick my head round the door and to my surprise there’s no one there. I give the copper a bit of a suspicious look and walk very slowly towards the charge room. As I get to the door, I glance behind me and see the copper has not moved an inch. He’s just standing by the open cell door fucking smiling at me; so I know something was going to happen. I’ve been around too long in this game and in all that time I’ve never experienced a departure from a police station from a sadistic copper smiling like a Cheshire cat.
I enter the charge room and there’s the duty sergeant sitting at his desk with pen in hand and all my property in a clear plastic bag in front of him. He calls me over to sign for my gear and tells me I’m free to go. I’m thinking perhaps my gut feeling is wrong this time, but how could it, its never been wrong before?
As soon as I collect my gear, four cozzers appear from a side room. I knew it; I should have never doubted my gut feeling. As I’m focusing on their faces, one of moves right towards me and says ‘remember me?’
It’s the cozzer I chinned who ended up in the swimming pool!
Nigel! Nigel! I knew then that fucking toe-rag had grassed me up and all that shit with the flying squad was just a ploy to get me into the nick. You see, as far as the police were concerned I was a dangerous criminal. Even though I had never been convicted of anything that was considered dangerous. But it was thought by the powers that be, it wouldn’t be wise for four country coppers to come and arrest me alone. So they used the heavy mob to nick me on a dodgy blag and by doing that, it made it all nice and legal didn’t it?
I’m back in that cell within two minutes, with that smiling sadist almost wetting himself. Honestly, sitting back in that cell my heart fell out of my ass. The last thing in the world I expected, just happened and I was gutted.
Four hours later I’m in the back seat of a car handcuffed to two old bill on route to the Isle of Wight. I’m back in self-preservation mode again and just sitting there not saying a word. They gave up after ten minutes and for the next thirty miles nothing was said. Where I had been using the drugs, I began to withdraw from them, which made my stomach unhealthy. I won’t go into detail but they decided I should visit a toilet quickly and skidded to a halt at a burger restaurant. They had to take the cuffs off because the toilet was only a small one with a small window. One of the cozzers checks the small window before letting me in and thought I’d never get through it. How wrong was he? I was out through that window in under a minute and so did the frame! I couldn’t believe it, when I pushed the frame the whole lot was loose. The place was old and damp with plaster coming off the walls and that’s what made the frame rotted. Within an hour I’m driving a car back to London with Nigel on my mind. Now that I’ve escaped, how the fuck can they give him bail? Now as far as I’m concerned this is a blinding story and I want to give you all the full SP otherwise you won’t appreciate its worth.
So I’m going to leave it for this week and for next week you’ll get a blinding ending to another crazy episode that happened in my life.
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