Notes from an Armed Robber — Gone Straight

  • Gillian Evans


Patrick is a middle-aged Bermondsey man, born and bred. Now in his late forties, he once served eleven years of a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery. Patrick is sure that going to prison was the best thing that ever happened to him because, he says, ‘If it weren’t for that I’d be dead by now.’ The scar which runs from Patrick’s temple to the middle of his left cheek gives testimony to a precarious past in which he was stabbed on three different occasions and shot at three times during one altercation with a rival East End firm. Explaining his past, Patrick says, ‘When I was growin’ up all the people who ’ad nice stuff, BMW car and all that, was armed robbers. Trouble is,’ Patrick says, ‘gangsters f[th]ink they can buy prestige.’ The armed robber buys prestige with big money and spends it in the place where it matters who sees it and takes note — in the pub. The man with the wad of notes as fat as a fist makes it sound easy and has no qualms about explaining to younger men, like Patrick, how an armed robbery is done and who has to be seen to get what’s needed for the job.


Left Cheek Armed Robbery Race Hate Late Forty Educational Failure 
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© Gillian Evans 2006

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  • Gillian Evans

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