Again my court date was looming, and Linsey had booked a double visit in order to go through all the details of the case. This time when I went through the visits protocol, I found that we had been given a private room so were able to spread everything out over the desks. She was worried that there was quite a bit of evidence which didn’t look good. The prosecution had not been able to access my phones, so they had ordered transcripts of text messages from my service provider, and I had to admit they were pretty damning.
Previously they had tried to squeeze my phone passwords out of me, by insinuating that I was guilty by not providing them, claiming that if I had nothing to hide, I should hand them over, but in fact I had a lot to hide — namely my credit card numbers, celebrity friends’ phone numbers, internet banking details, and most importantly, the naked pictures of almost every chem-sex friendly Queen from throughout the Greater London London region and beyond, including a few, in flagrante, of some of their colleagues! So no, I was not prepared to just hand over the passwords for all in sundry throughout the metropolitan police to ogle over, and in fact, this had of course been why it had taken them so long to gather the evidence and they were now hell bent on making something stick.
A couple of the texts had mentioned drugs in a vague sort of way, and I reasoned with Linsey that just because we had talked about them, it didn’t mean I had bought or sold any, but she didn’t think it would wash. There were some 989 pages of evidence, partly statements from the police and the so called drug experts who had over inflated the value of the drugs they had found, by taking the average purity of those found on the street, and then estimating what mine would have been worth if it had been cut to the same strength, which was completely unfair, but of course if I tried to argue this, I would look like I knew a hell of a lot about dealing drugs, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid.
For the first time Linsey mooted the idea of pleading guilty, but I was horrified at this. I needed to get out of prison at the earliest available opportunity, and the way I saw it at this stage, admitting guilt was not they way to accomplish that end! We talked about it at length. They were trying to paint me out as the wicked villain in the whole process, and I was confident that if it went to trial, I could make the judge and jury see that in fact I had been rather naïve and silly, and not the hardened criminal the Crown prosecution were painting me out as, at the very least!
Over the next few days I talked about it at length with Mark and he was obviously of the opinion that I should fight it, having been stitched up so badly in his own case, and it was obvious, he said, that lawyers and prosecutors could not be trusted. On the other hand I kept doing the figures in my head, and I reasoned that if they were realistic, and classified me as a category 3 lesser role, the starting point would be three years, six months. I would get a third off if I was to plead guilty, bringing the total down to two years four months, of which I would serve half, bringing the time inside down to fourteen months, and I already had two months credit for time on tag, and had already served two months on remand, so I could be out in twelve more months, so it didn’t seem too bad. The advantage to pleading guilty also, as Linsey had pointed out, was that I would avoid a media frenzy over it, and the possibility of being sued by networks and cast members of my television projects for damages, were the case to be exposed.
I just didn’t know what to do, but I had decided that if the Prosecution were going to insist that I was a leading role, I would have no choice but to fight it. Again no one had told us this, but we were permitted to have our own clothes sent in during the first month we were in prison, and again after six months. This was extremely important to my confidence and self esteem. I was determined that I wasn’t going to become institutionalised and conform to the regulation Prison Greens. I had always hated track suits, and only ever wore them at the gym, so I was damned if I was going to start slopping around in them all day in here! I might have been in Prison, but I still had standards!
Therefore I had booked another visit for Edd and he was coordinating with Tom to bring in enough supplies to conform to the regulations, but at the same time give me a mix and match wardrobe, but this was not without its troubles. Both of them seemed to be insanely jealous of each other, and neither seemed to want to compromise. They were both as stubborn as each other as well, so Tom was insisting that Edd drive over and collect the clothes, and Edd wanted them delivered, so I was stuck in the middle.
In the end Edd gave in, and when he arrived, Tom was not in, but had left a bag of items with his house guest, and once he’d got them home and inspected them, it was a rather random selection of probably the most worn, ill-fitting and garish items I owned. Edd was furious and quick to point out that he had played no part in the selection process, however this was only the beginning of the drama.
Mark had also been experiencing troubles with getting access to his clothing and belongings. When he had first been brought in, they had thought he was suicidal as he’d been so upset, so had placed him on an ACCT order or Assessment, Care in Custody order, usually for clinically depressed, which basically meant they would take away everything you could possibly use to harm yourself, including shoelaces, razor blades, even haircombs, but certainly all of your personal clothing. This usually lasted for 14 days, and by then he had been transferred to my cell, so if he’d wanted to suicide he could just as easily have slit his wrists with my razor blades!
Anyway, his clothes had been placed in property, and after the 14 days, when the ACCT was lifted, they said he could have them back, but there was always some reason why it couldn’t happen that day. They were either short staffed, or there was no one in property, or the paperwork hadn’t come through, and the list went on… In short it was simply that they were too tired and lazy to walk the 200m across to reception to collect it, so instead of doing it once and that being the end of it, they spent the next 25 days inventing lies to prevent them having to exert the effort needed to walk there and back.
I could honestly say that I had never in my entire 50 years, met a group of people so bone idle, and I’d like to say that it was limited to just those locally, but it was the same at every prison I went to, and throughout the writing of this book I have received similar reports from other inmates at other prisons all over the country, so it’s no wonder the system is at breaking point!
My experience in getting access to mine was similar. From the day Edd had brought them in, I had waited over two weeks before finally in total exasperation one of the officers gave in and begrudgingly went for a walk. It took him less than 10 minutes for the round trip!
When I did finally receive them however, I was bitterly disappointed. Tom normally had impeccable taste in clothes, and had also known that we only had a very small window in which to have them delivered. He also knew how important it was to me to look good, so it felt like a double kick in the guts! When I asked him on the phone about his choices, he had said that he didn’t want to send anything of value to me because he knew it would get wrecked in prison anyway, but that was not the point and it was not his call to make, I was secretly furious, and couldn’t understand why he would deliberately countermand my wishes, but more about that later!
My court date was looming again and I was still unsure which way I would jump. Linsey came to visit one last time and urged me to plead guilty, but I was in two minds. In the end I told her that if the prosecution would agree to recommending that I was category three, lesser role, I would plead, but otherwise I would fight it, because I was sure that the very least I would have them feeling sorry for me by the end of the trial.
Trial day came, and Alistair met with me before the case was to be heard. I was still undecided but he was pretty sure that pleading guilty would be the right idea as he was worried I would be roasted in the press. He had spoken with the crown prosecutor and had been assured that they were not out for blood but that they would be recommending that I be classed as Category three significant role. By this time I was exhausted, and had almost got to the point that I just wanted it to be over, however I was still mortified at the thought of a possible 6 year, 6 month sentence.
We were still talking when Linsey joined us. ‘The Fat Policeman is outside!’ she cried. ‘He is desperate to talk to you. He has never seen drugs as pure as yours in his entire 35 years on the drug squad, and says that if you were to cooperate with him and let him know where to find the suppliers, he has the power to significantly reduce your sentence!’
This was something I hadn’t factored in, but I reasoned that it might be worth hearing what he had to say. The ‘fat policeman’ incidentally had been my term for him since the day he had tried to con me at the prison. I certainly didn’t have anything to lose by hearing what he had to say, so I agreed to see him. ‘We seem to have got off on the wrong foot’ He opened standing up to greet me as I entered the meeting room. I remained silent. ‘What I was trying to tell you, before you left, was that I have the power to recommend to the judge a reduction of your sentence by up to 60% if you cooperate with us and tell us who your suppliers are.’ This was more like it and I began to listen. ‘Of course it would mean we would have to actually make an arrest.’ he continued, ‘and of course you wouldn’t be able to say a word about it to anyone, not even your lawyer, because otherwise you would be in danger if anyone found out you told us. You are an ideal candidate because you worked alone and don’t have any co-defendants…’
This could well be my ticket out of here and I was already doing the figures. He started again ‘All it would take is for you to give us the names and addresses of your key suppliers, and we’ll have a word to the judge, and make sure he delays sentencing for a further 6 weeks to allow us time to catch them, and providing your information is correct, you could be walking out of here in a matter of a couple of months.’ I couldn’t give them the details of Rick, or Alan, or Alex, they were my friends and I would never sell them out. That Black Cunt, Harrison on the other hand, and the Iranians who had raped me at gun point? fuck them, I had no allegiance to them and would quite happily throw them under a bus. I only hoped that when they were arrested, they would be sent here so I could watch them squirm in their Prison Greens!
It looked like I was pleading guilty. I spilled the beans to him, recalling everything I could about the layout of Harrison’s house and the houses we had visited that day in Walthamstowe, and funnily enough, I’d thought I’d blocked them both out, but when I thought about it, I had quite a memory. The Fat Policeman waddled off to talk to the Judge, and I went back to my counsel to tell them my decision.
Once in court, I stood up in the dock and plead guilty to 8 counts of possession with intent, but not guilty to the stupid little count of money laundering for the £1400 they had confiscated during the first arrest, and the judge started at first, but then moved to strike the charge from the record. They had their main convictions, and I was further remanded until a month later for sentencing.
Now I was back to waiting again Three days before the trial, the Fat Policeman phoned Linsey to tell her to pass on a message, that he had made a significant breakthrough and I would be looking at a significant sentence reduction. The night before the court case, I was supremely confident, even daring to think that I might even be home this time tomorrow night, as with all these discounts, and the time already served, I had calculated that the worst I could get was another couple of months of incarceration. It was now May, so I was sure I would be out by September, at worst case scenario. Obviously things were looking good if the Fat Policeman had gone out of his way to ring and advise me, weren’t they?
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy — a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the 12th instalment in the serialisation.
We want to hear your opinion
“I was walking straight into a trap…”
Finally my Imaging software session had come around, and dear old Louisa greeted me like a long lost friend. I had hoped to make the most of my three hour session, unsure when I would next get another opportunity, but alas t’was not the case. Once she had set her five students up on their computers, she motioned for me to sit down at her desk. “I wanted to ask you, as a businessman, what your thoughts were on the way I’ve been treated?” she started. I assumed she had not been successful in her interview for the position as deputy head of education. “If I was so shit at my job…” she continued, “why the hell did they leave me on my own to cover the job of two people, and promise me that it would only be a rubber stamp to make it permanent? I’ve been used!” “So who got the job then?” I asked “There was another guy who applied for it at the same time as me, but they couldn’t give it to him because he’s got formal complaints against him, but he’s fucking Pam, the Head of education, so she’s recommended him, and they put me in the job over the summer, and have now re-interviewed both of us, and given it to him.” Oh dear, now she was getting nasty, and I was pretty sure that the prison would have had something to say about this line of conversation between a member of staff and an inmate.
Evidently, Pam, the acting Head of education was already employed full time at another prison, so in effect both positions had been available, so now they had promised her that within six months if both of them worked out OK, the new guy would be promoted to head of Education, and she would finally get her deputies position. At this stage though she was extremely bitter over the entire process, and I had to admit, they had treated her rather shoddily, however even I’d had a pretty good idea from the onset that she wouldn’t be successful. She had completely neglected her teaching commitments throughout the entire probation period, and even in absentia, the hierarchy must have been able to see that, from the student numbers registered for a start. Then it dawned on me,and I felt quite sorry for the poor dear. She had absolutely no idea why she was in this situation, and I realised at the moment that the majority of the staff in these establishments were in the same predicament. A wise old man had once coined a phrase which I had remembered for some thirty years - Sooner or later we all rise to our own level of incompetence! And it was never truer than in this situation.
Suddenly it all made sense. I had been giving these people far more credit than they deserved. I had mistakenly imagined that they were all deliberately out to get me, to grind me down and stop me from succeeding in any activity I attempted, but when I really thought about it, I kicked myself for not recognising the facts sooner. In order to plot to deliberately sabotage something, one has to have the intellect to plan it. The real issue here was that these people were just too stupid to realise that they had risen as far as they were ever going to go, and were not capable of anything more. I suddenly realised that throughout my entire life I had never ever been exposed to a demographic of people with such little mental capacity, and aspiration, much less had to deal with them on a daily basis! I had never even stopped to consider that this calibre of person even existed.
Up until now I had almost prided myself in the fact that I could communicate on almost any level, and of course I had come across people in my life who worked in different fields or had different goals, and different expectations from life, but that was just it, even those people had actually had goals and expectations. These people had none! The majority of them had become completely institutionalised, and their whole life goal was to work their way up to be senior prison workers on a maximum of £44,000 per annum, after which they would retire on their government pension of £142.00 per fortnight and live out their days in abject poverty.
It was as if we had been travelling in different lanes on the highway of life. The majority of friends and associates I mixed with were entrepreneurs, and most were extremely wealthy by comparison but that was not the point. Absolutely each and every one of them was incredibly goal driven, and I could pretty much guarantee that none of them had relied on government hand-outs at any stage of their lives, and certainly wouldn’t be in retirement! I realised that I had been altogether too harsh on the staff in these establishments. I had credited them all with far too much intelligence, and in actual fact they deserved my pity rather than my regard, much less fear.
Sure, I had made a mistake and I was paying the price, but in less than twelve months now, I would be out of here and would resume my life, where I had left off, in fact, better off than when I had come in here, thanks to self-reflection and with the benefit of at least two book manuscripts ready to publish, but quite aside from that even, pretty much everything I had had prior to my incarceration was all ready and waiting for me on my release, and I would be free to resume my somewhat jet-set lifestyle by comparison. Even in my current situation, I had a lot to be thankful for, not least, that I had been blessed with half a brain, and parents who had given me the best education and grounding possible. Poor old Louisa, and those like her had shackled themselves to a life sentence, with no hope of improvement, simply because they were completely ignorant of their options and opportunities, and lacked the motivation to act on them even if they had stumbled upon them. It made me even more determined not waste a minute more than I had to, to make every minute in here count, and more importantly, to make the most of every card I had been dealt.
God Knows my family and I have not always seen eye to eye, and both my Mother and Father have behaved badly at times in the past, but this light bulb moment had made me eternally grateful, for all the tools with which they had provided me in life. I had been thinking for quite some time about a way I could make a difference. In the past I had never really stopped to think about the circumstances of others. I had seen some terrible suffering and desperation abroad, had written about natural disasters, and the devastation of war torn countries for years and had donated to various charities to support these causes in the past, but prior to coming to prison I had never stopped to think about the needs of those less fortunate than me closer to home. This was mainly because I had never mixed with people in housing estates, and I suspect, like most other people I know, had never even considered the problems and difficulties prison would bring, let alone been aware of the total destruction of peoples lives as a result of this form of punishment.
To a large degree the Government was at fault for this because to the general public, they were constantly feeding propaganda through mainstream media. When we switch on the television, we see news reports of people being gaoled for 16 years for murder, or rape, and we feel smug and comfortable, and content that justice has been served. What we don’t realise is that people are held for sometimes over twelve months on remand, waiting for their trial to even be heard. During this time they will lose everything, On the outside, not being aware of the system, we assume that these people are guilty because they are locked up, but it goes far deeper than that. For many they are arrested and have no time to put their affairs in order beforehand, so everything they own is left in the hands of others. More often than than not, they are not even able to contact someone to make arrangements on their behalf, and by the time they do, everything has either been cleared out and left on the street by landlords, or looted and pilfered by those they know.
I had decided that I wanted to do something to assist in the rehabilitation of some of these people. Having completed my first book, and by now half way through my second, and having read numerous books of a similar genre I was confident that mine would be successful. I had also started to consume every last piece of information I could lay my hands on about PR, social media and book promotion, and was determined to be an expert in these fields also by my release, so if the books weren’t successful to begin with, they bloody well would be by the time I had finished with them! I would make sure of it!
I also realised that I wasn’t really dependant on the income that would be generated from them, and that those funds could be better used for the benefit of others, so over the past month or so, I had conceived a plan to set up a charity, supporting victims of the drug industry into legitimate self employment. There were a number of reasons for this rather tight term of reference. 1. I realised that I would not be able to save everyone! 2. I rationalised that if someone could run a drug dealing business, they could also use the same skills to run a legitimate enterprise. 3. My entire adult working life had been consumed with small businesses of one description or another and I felt I had the necessary skills and experience, but also colleagues and peers which I was sure would help with this, 4. I only wanted to help those who were passionate about helping themselves. Therefore if they had the drive and determination to want to start their own business, I had the means to make them succeed! 5. Throughout my own holdings, I had a myriad of useful resources in a number of different countries that could be utilised, improving the efficiency and speed of the start ups.
There were also a number of obstacles to overcome, particularly since I had now decided to leave the UK. 1. I would be banned from the UK until the end of my entire sentence before I would be able to apply to have my deportation order lifted, so would be unable to personally monitor and assist UK based businesses 2. I would also find it difficult to recruit interns or candidates for the trust from the UK because I would not be able to meet them, and if they were released on licence they would not be able to initially travel abroad, until their licence was expired.
Of course these were not insurmountable, and I knew that I could get around them by either appointing an agent in the UK, or by the use of social media and a good website, together with media promotion through my television and magazine contacts, but still they were issues which needed to be addressed. After my chat with Louisa over her problems I finally got to start work on my book covers, but before long she wheeled herself over on her office chair and continued the conversation, this time about me, and she wanted to know what I was going to do when I got out. By this stage I had pretty much decided that I was going to live in either Aachen, Germany, where I had a property, or Monaco, as my boat was moored in neighbouring Menton, France. She had looked at me as if I was mad!
We then started discussing the books and she wanted to know what they were all about. I was happy to discuss them and also pleased with my concept of the charity that I also shared with her, inadvertently letting my guard down and never for one minute realising that I was walking straight into a trap, and the next question took me completely by surprise. “Can I come and work for you then?” Hmmm, how was I to answer that one. It was one thing to feel sorry for her, but I wasn’t that sorry! Jesus, what on earth could I get her to do? Caught completely unawares, I backtracked, conscious that I was obviously giving her the brush off but not really knowing how to extract myself delicately. “Well it’s going to be a while before there is anything to do.” I answered. “Well I could vet your candidates for you, I could work with the prison service and promote the charity through the education departments. You said you needed a UK agent!” Interesting how she was obviously clever enough to identify an opportunity for self-promotion! Perhaps she was not worthy of my pity after all, perhaps she was merely lazy, as I had already suspected. I agreed to talk about it closer to the time, and turned my attention back to the computer screen, but I was conscious that she was aware she had been given the brush-off.
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy - a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the 27th instalment in the serialisation. Go back to read earlier instalments.
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