Well I don’t know who has been anticipating the publication of this continuing story of johnny’s the most this week. London Boy fans, Me, or the Hampshire police constabulary? What I do know is that this second instalment is not to be missed. You also get a word from the London Boy himself, as Johnny introduces personally this week by video. Enjoy….
There are slight timing issues with this video and for that all of us at London Boy apologise. However you’ll be glad to know that nothing is lost and the passion for this story to be told and heard still shines through.
There I was, now living on the Island (The Rock) with my family starting afresh and away from crime and drugs. Back in London the false rumour of me being stabbed and dying over in Spain had worked a treat. There was only one person who knew of my whereabouts and that person was family. It was that person who kept their ear to the ground for what was going around on the criminal grapevine. Then promptly let me know the score that my plan worked.
I had no choice but to go to these extreme measures because, me quitting the criminal fraternity wasn’t an option. You see; with regard the firms illicit dealings, I’d been around so long that I knew way too much about what had gone down. Over the years I had witnessed so many things that me leaving would make some of them very nervous. But more importantly if for some reason in the distant future I had decided to go rogue. I would have been in a position to name everybody that was involved in everything. In the firms eyes it would be much safer to run me out to Epping Forest. There waiting for me would have been a pre-dug grave where I would receive my pension award; a bullet to the head.
But of course I would not dream of such a thing because these people were like family to me. I had known most of them since I was that cocky 10 year old that they took under their wings. They taught me everything I needed to know to be able to survive in the harsh world of the criminal fraternity. Included in their teachings was the real value of the word respect and believe me they taught me well because respect, I had plenty of.
But I had broken all the rules by having and hiding the fact that I had a big drug problem. I became paranoid that they would find out about it and if that happened, I’ll be dead in hours of them getting wind of the news. I had been playing with fire back then and knew it only too well. But even knowing what would happen to me if they found out about my problem. My addictive personality was so strong in me that it was beating my will power hands down. I just couldn’t stop myself so it would have only been a matter of time before the shit hit the fan. So when my then wife took my kids away to the rock, it took her doing that to gain the strength I needed to get myself clean.
Spreading that rumour about my death may have worked for most people. I knew the firm wouldn’t have accepted it hook line and sinker. No far from it, because they would have been too sceptical to swallow it straight away. The more time I stayed away off the radar the more they would come to terms with it.
But now I was clean off the drugs and away from the mayhem that crime produces. For the first time in my life I felt alive and free with the added bonus of no more looking over my shoulder. Once I accepted the fact that there was no going back, I tried to live the life of a law-abiding citizen. Though we were skint and living in what resembled a shed where the only heating was a hole in the wall masquerading itself as a tiny coal fire, I was happy. We had 2.2 kids, meaning my youngest son Danny was just a baby. The place was so cold at night that ice formed on the inside of the windows. Some nights we would wheel his cot into the tiny kitchen and light the gas stove just so he could be kept warm.
During the daytime I found myself beach combing and collecting firewood for the fire, real survival shit. The things I would find on a beach especially after a big storm hitting out in the channel was amazing. Some of the stuff was re-saleable and some I would keep for myself. I was now living a life that only a little while ago was totally alien to me. and adjusting to it, I knew would be a huge challenge.
My second autobiography “Landed on the Moon” which is all about my life on the Isle of Wight was named appropriately. Basically because they were the first words to pass my lips when I arrived here on the rock. And don’t get it in your head and think that the book is boring and all about red necks and vegetables because you would be well wrong. Part of this story is published in that book with the highlight of the storyline being me seeing the light that completely changed my life.
I got myself a job at the local shipyard still working under an alias. But because I didn’t have proof of my national insurance number I had to pay at an emergency income tax rate, being one third of my wages. I couldn’t believe I was working 50-60 hours per week for less money then I would spend on a normal night out at a pub back in London. So every penny I earned went on food and coal (Lots of it ha ha) By the end of the winter I had burnt everything that could be burnt from the inside of the shed, doors, cabinets, even the fucking wardrobes. Out in the garden I cut down the whole surrounding 6ft x 3ft hedge, including the apple & plum trees and burnt the fucking lot for warmth. If you are a tree huger then I’m sorry if I’ve upset you by that comment, but where needs be, needs must. But once the summer came along it was a different story. The shed now seemed to take on a different aura because minus that hedge it now had a sea view with lots of sunshine making it a cool place to live.
Cut to the chase after a year or so the local council offered us a top floor three bedrooms flat in a town called Ryde. When I mentioned the location of my new future abode, the locals in my pub pulled long faces and started shaking theirs heads in disapproval. I’m thinking what the fuck is it with my new address that makes these red necks react like this? They go on to tell me that my new flat is situated in a really bad area and on a very bad housing estate that has a very bad reputation. “Scum bags and criminals only get to live there” one local tells me. At that moment in time the very thought of being wrapped around scum bags and criminals almost felt desirable. Since I arrived on the rock I had been wrapped around these local vegetable loving inbred red necks and if I’m to be honest, they were doing my nut in! So when they offered us the flat I thought I would take a quick look at the place before we were officially meant to. The idea being was to see if there was any credibility to the local’s claims about the place.
Well, when my old man drives me onto this so-called hostile no-go scum bag only housing estate I couldn’t believe my eyes. To me it looked like a holiday camp with beautiful lush green lawns; beautiful trees and a lovely kid play area including the sand. Back in London a play area like this one would have been dismantled scrapped for metal value and the sand sold on to a builder or whatever. I compared this place to a housing estate back in South London and this place came out with 15 stars +
So when we started to settle in at our new abode it wasn’t too long before the local criminal fraternity began getting nosy. Word had got round the estate that a cockney wide boy had moved in and they wanted to give me the once over to check me out. They wanted to know all about me and where I’m a tight-lipped fucker they got told in no uncertain terms where to go. I had to laugh at some of these lemons because they seemed to be caught in a time warp. Adorning their heads with Mullet style haircuts was supposed to be the in thing. As was drainpipe jeans with big jackboots to match were to them the height of fashion. But the worse thing about most of them was that they were shy of a bar of soap and allergic to water. Those that suffered from this allergy thought getting soaked in a rainstorm was the equivalent of taking their monthly shower.
There was a bonus about living with locals, who were either inbred or slightly backward, especially where crime and drugs were concerned. For instance they hadn’t a clue about organised crime nor did they have any structure with their law breaking. With them it was all about robbing their own, house break-ins and petty theft. When I first met one of the Island’s top faces who was supposed to be the main man for that particular part of the island. My first impression of him was that he was a shilling short of a pound with an ego the size of a house.
When I think back to those days in the mid eighties, If my then wife had not left London with the kids I would definitely have ended up on a mortuary slab. I suppose there is not many ex husbands who can say that they’re ex wife saved their life. Regardless of our differences later on in life I am still indebted to her for making that decision to move out of London. I understand now she didn’t do it so that I would sort myself out, she done it purely for the kids’ welfare. When she moved to the rock taking the kids I managed to find the strength to get clean off the drugs by going cold turkey. I also realised that a life altering change that was within me was now way overdue showing itself.
I made the tough decision to leave the firm, which meant turning my back on crime to live the life of a normal person. My reason for these all important life changes was simple and that was because I loved my kids more than anything.
Every change I’ve made in my life has had a knock-on effect and me giving up crime and drugs done exactly that. Apart from writing novels and screenplays and of course let’s not forget my blog. Today I find myself helping others such as alcoholics/addicts and criminals to turn their lives around. And I do this, not by giving them advice because me giving advice is not a good thing. I do it purely by sharing my own experiences, strengths and hopes with them. Because of my past, most of my clients relate to me when they first meet me. One thing is for sure and that is they can never say that famous phrase “You don’t understand”
After a couple of years living in my no go, scum bags only three bedroom flat, my anonymity was blown when I got a tug by the police while driving my car. By this time I had not touched a drug but found solace at the bottom of a bottle of booze.
I had been on an all day bender when I stupidly decided to drive the half-mile to my home. One of the red necks had grassed me up to the law, not because they were on an anti-drink and drive campaign. No far from it because the geezer who grassed was a frequent drink driver himself. He had done it because he hated “Overners” (People who are born off the Island) and was jealous of our ways and ideas.
Anyway I fell out of the car when they opened the door to arrest me. The blood sample they took from me came back as having one of the highest readings ever recorded on the island. Of course here in the UK drink driving is a criminal offence and that meant a court appearance. Going through the police process of being charged and assessed for court brought to light my true identity.
Within three days of the incident I got an unexpected visit from a couple of police officers. I recognised both of them from my previous exploits on the rock a few years earlier. I was reminded of the warning given to me back then that if I ever stepped foot on the rock my life would be made hell.
Because I had such a high alcohol reading from my blood sample I could have lost my liberty let alone my driving license. So after getting that visit from the local police I knew they were after putting me back inside. I wouldn’t mind because if that happened I would of only got a couple of months and with our sentencing laws here in the UK I would have been out in two to four weeks. My biggest upset was that they knew where I was now. And from experience I knew that they could set me up on more serious charges if they put their mind to it. In this case if it weren’t for the fact that I had saved a family of six in a house fire a few weeks before I appeared at court I would undoubtedly have gone to prison. Because of my heroics I was banned from driving and given a fine.
Because of my driving ban I decided to get rid of my car. After all there was no point having a car sitting out on the driveway for the next couple of years. We were struggling a bit financially and the money got from my car sale dwindled very quickly.
I started to do a bit of work for a local builder, not much just a few hours here and there. To make ends meet I started to buy and sell a few bits and pieces at auctions. It didn’t make a lot of money but it was enough to get us through. Having three kids at that time was quite expensive to feed and clothe them, so all I earned went straight into the kitty.
It was getting close to Christmas and my then wife who was good with money had already bought little presents for the kids throughout the year. This saved us that last minute run-around trying to find the cash to pay for prezzies. Not only did she manage to get all the presents, she also got the food and nibbles, the sort of things you have at Xmas time. So we may not have had money but we had a full larder of food and drink to see us over the festive season.
We was also coming up to out wedding anniversary and for that we never really went too crazy. We would stick to a card or a bunch of flowers with a promise of a belated honeymoon once we got flush again with cash. So as you can gather we were skint but we weren’t going to go hungry. The way we saw it, was providing the kids were catered for at Christmas then we were happy. Most of you that are reading this will understand and relate to having hard times financially at the festive period.
On our wedding anniversary (being 23 Rd December), we were to experience something that would change our lives forever. It came right out the blue and was totally unexpected. I was a reformed villain, having no contact or involvement with other criminals nor was I wanting to. However the powers that be decided that was not the case and decided to make my life hell.
It was around six in the morning when I was woken by the nozzle of a sub-machine gun being jammed into the side of my head. A twenty stone police officer complete with body armour was kneeling on my spine screaming at my wife and me. The duvet covers being thrown back exposing my wife’s and I nakedness in front of six armed police officers. My two-year-old son screaming his head off as he witnesses police with their weapons drawn drag his teenage sister from her bed. My ten –year old son petrified by being held to the floor by two burly coppers.
I’m going to leave it their guys and next week is the name and shame time for the Hampshire Police Constabulary.
So don’t miss it !!
Ta la for now