The One Punch Killer

This is another true story from my time on the murder squad. As always, reader discretion advised...

Croydon. A place of broken dreams, a barren heartland to the south. A place to get proper pissed. Our victim had taken a bucket load of drugs, which he’d blended with a lovely selection of seasonal wines, beers and spirits. The lab are still analysing his blood samples some fifteen years later. The initial scientist on the case was driven to madness and became a hermit living in a cave. In Birmingham.

Our man had been asked to remove himself forthwith from a licensed establishment by large gentlemen in formal wear after spitting at the chap who tries to spray you with aftershave when you're urinating. Offering unparalleled service, they carried him from the bar to save fatigue on his legs. 

As one does when properly bingoed, he sought out the hardest man in Croydon to have a roll around with. He met Big Geordie. Big Geordie was a big Geordie who sought to improve his physique and mental health through the use of steroids. He was a man on edge, and in no mood to debate with our victim when offered out.

 Rather than taking a chance on love and going for a kebab and maybe a glass of wine together, Big Geordie punched our unfortunate victim, knocking him off his feet. He feel to the floor, his skull crashing onto a kerb leading to his untimely death. A man was dead as our Detective Inspector, Robin the Destroyer of Worlds,  was keen on saying, 

The hunt was on. We gave Big Geordie a ring, but he wasn’t having any of it. He hung up straight away, even though we called him Mr Big Geordie out of courtesy. His real name was Adrian le Coq. 

A surveillance team were mustered, but we couldn’t find them, so that was a non starter. Our Detective Chief Inspector, Mr Snugglepants, had taken the day off to go to the seaside, so Detective Inspector Uncle Scrooge was in charge. He came over to Croydon and pulled at his penis for the local press. It was one of his odd habits. His face twitched as well. When he got really excited, his face became a blur. 

Norman was a Detective Sergeant who was in charge of the incident room. He arranged a seance. DI Robin the Destroyer of Worlds ended up pinned to the ceiling speaking in tongues. He told us that Big Geordie was working in a gym in some place called Newcastle, and wasn't from Geordie after all. After that he kept insisting he wasn’t Regan, and said ego te absolvo a lot. His head started to spin round, which was yucky, so we all slipped out, except Norman who had been glued to his chair, so he just pretended that nothing was going on and read the paper.

I was chosen to travel to Newcastle. The DS who’s girlfriend looked like a man came as well. His name was Victor Willis, which unfortunately was the name of the policeman in the Village People, so he used the nickname Winnie the Pooh. We took the Crime Scene Manager Larry Mullen Jnr with us because he was an ace dancer and had been outside the M25 once. 

Norman had seen a documentary about Newcastle on the Discovery Channel, and made the excellent suggestion that we took an interpreter. Uncle Scrooge instructed the office Glaswegian to travel with us in that capacity. His name was DC Liberace as his mum was a big fan. He took many beatings growing up, but was a fabulous pianist. He often played in the office while Mr Snugglepants sat on the piano and Larry Mullen Jnr did some body-popping. 

As we were murder squad detectives, we got to fly EasyJet. The colour scheme matched Larry Mullen Jnr’s face. Uncle Scrooge told us not to buy peanuts or aftershave, and no jokes about hostage taking or explosives. 

We arrived in Newcastle and collected our hire car. It was a purple Lamborghini. Winnie the Pooh insisted on driving, and went nuts when Liberace sat in the driver’s seat when he was inside paying for petrol. We found the hotel, and settled into the honeymoon suite. I wanted to go to the petting zoo, but Winnie the Pooh punched me in the neck and said he wanted to go to fucking Jungle Jacks. We discussed getting recommendations from the bloke on reception, but he talked like Jimmy Nail on speed, so we gave up on that idea.

Mr Snugglepants phoned up, and we put him on speakerphone. He got really cross when nobody would admit to making the farting noises, so he shouted at us making Larry Mullen Jnr cry. We were told to go to the local police station and give it the billy big bollocks to the Geordie police. We all put on our sharpest suits and practised our Cockney wanker accents. Larry Mullen Jnr was in a Star Wars onesie as he was police staff, not a police officer.

We found the police station, and were met by an enormously fat man who claimed to be the Detective Inspector. We went inside, walking like proper geezers to impress everyone. The language was strange, almost sing song. We saw some people in grass skirts peek out from doorways. One of them had a huge plate in his mouth. He was hiding from Sting. There was a dead DS glued to a chair in one of the corridors.

The DI took us to his office, and passed round the Newcastle Brown ale. We gave him some Prince Charles deely boppers and a pair of Chelsea Pensioner pants. Liberace tried to communicate with him, but it turned out they spoke a different dialect, so all we heard was 'whey hey!', with Liberace saying ‘I dinnae ken’ a lot. Luckily, Norman had called ahead, and arranged for the only English speaking officer in Northumbria Police to be attached to us for the duration of the stay. 

We told the English speaking officer that we were looking for a large white bloke with a shaven head called Big Geordie. It turned out that this name was much more common than we’d suspected, and that being white with a shaven head was a craze sweeping the north east at that time. We were taken to meet the police Sergeant that dealt with informants. Unusually, he worked in full uniform, making him what I believe to be the only high visibility informant handler in England and Wales. 

We were given the name and address of an informant to visit, which again was unusual. We fired up the wheels and headed off to see him. It turned out the informant was one of the hardest men in Britain, and didn’t give a flying fuck who knew he gave information to the police for money. 

He told us to take our shoes off which we did. He then lobbed them into the neighbour’s garden to test our resolve. We all pretended we hadn’t noticed and just talked about the weather. He told us to take off all our clothes and slip into Teletubbies  outfits. We had no choice - we needed his help. He took photos of us kissing. He said it was for insurance purposes.

Despite the language barrier, we persevered. He kept talking about ‘Le Coq’, which got Larry Mullen Jnr really worried as he was Tinky Winky and the photos on the wall showed that he was our host’s favourite. It turned out that he was talking about Adrian Le Coq and wasn't intending to have his way with us.

We drove back to the police station and found the English speaking officer who was having a cup of tea with the bloke with a plate in his mouth. It was going everywhere. Some local uniformed officers were taking the piss out of our Teletubbies outfits, so Winnie the Pooh had a proper stand up with them. We told the English speaker what we'd learned, and he promised to do all our work for us so we could get on the piss. 

The next day, the Geordie police arrested our suspect. He was found walking his dog on the green outside the police station. He responded straight away when they shouted 'Big Geordie!', so we were happy we had our man. He was given a skin full of steroids to keep him going, and we were escorted to the airport. 

Uncle Scrooge phoned up and was really excited. I was told he nearly pulled his penis off. We told a little white lie and said we’d worked really hard. He said that he’d send up a couple of dull detectives to escort our man back to London, and that we could have a night out on him. We kept Big Geordie calm until the dullards arrived, then yelled out something about steroid users having small cocks as he was walking up the steps to the plane. The dullards went mental, as did Big Geordie, but they managed to bundle him onto the plane. They ended up having to make an emergency landing in Nottingham, but everyone was alright. 

Big Geordie was sentenced to a long stretch in prison. He is in segregation because of his silly name. 


The Darkness of the City

It was the darkness that got to me. The creeping blackness that came with the downing of the light. The sun falling like a punch in the guts. The sewer crawlers sucking at the air, looking at the crescent moon and laughing. I couldn't get the noise out of my head - The sound of her dying. 


The Big Man from the North East

This is the true account of a real life murder investigation. Don't have nightmares. 

I was a murder squad detective. Dark days. Dark places. Staring into the depths of the soul, reaching for life but finding death. Everywhere. 

We were based at a secret location in south London. There was swingball in the yard. The boss was a Detective Chief Inspector. The Senior Investigating Officer. He was Mr Snugglepants. He had a painting of Helen Mirren as The Queen on the wall. 


Polishing the Truncheon - The Secretive World of Police Training

I trained to become a police officer. We were taken to a secret location and made to wear big pointy hats and flares. We were each given an en-suite room. In the old sense. Nowadays it would be described as a sink. Most of my class were on the same floor, so we would shower together and iron each others trousers. We also leaned to ball our boots, an expression which still makes me chuckle in a schoolboy fashion.


A Man is Dead


I was a real life murder squad detective once. Which was nice. I still have nightmares. Please read on, but be aware this is based on real life. This is the real deal. This is a rough draft from my forthcoming book. Sleep well. 

 A Man is Dead

If you are murdered you get a team of elite detectives on the case led by a Detective Chief Inspector who is known as the Senior Investigating Officer. SIOs are issued with half-moon glasses to peer over. They sit in dimly lit rooms late at night. It is a little known fact that SIOs are also responsible for feeding the electric meter, hence the low level of lighting like on the telly. Most prefer to spend the money on drink which they imbibe in their single bedsits where they’ve lived since their wives left them because they were married to the job.


Death Message

What's it like to tell someone of the death of a loved one? 

You don't want to do it. Nobody does. You were called in. Not suitable for the radio. Nobody else can be expected to do it.

You sit down and read the text of the message. Dry words. Dry words with a great meaning. A life-changing meaning. The briefest details and a contact number. The barest indication of what has happened.

You drive to the road. Try to distract yourself by thinking about other things. Thank fuck it isn't a kid.The drive to the road is the slowest you've ever done it. Want to make sure you are fully prepared on the way. Think through all the scenarios. Hope they take it alright. What if they don't? What do I say? What do I actually say?

You pass the address and park up a little way down the street. More time to think. Get out the car. Straighten the tie. Put on the hat. Pick up the bit of paper. You hold the paper like a comfort blanket. The paper knows the truth. The paper will help you. Hat on or hat off?

You stand in front of the door for a few seconds longer than normal. How do you find out whether the person behind the door is who you want? Do you speak in the past tense straight away? First names? Mrs? Miss? Sir? Christ.


The Legend of the Village Bobby

A sentimental story with a sting in the tale

The Constable pushed his bicycle down the path towards the little wooden gate. He brushed past the blossoming lavender, buds catching on his freshly pressed trousers. The spring morning saw mists clearing across fields of swaying crops as birds soared from the ancient trees at the bottom of the meadow. 

The Constable leaned his bicycle against the dry stone wall which separated the police house from the Post Office next door. He tightened the chin strap under his helmet, and ran his fingers across his sideburns. His fingers ran down his tunic, checking each shiny button one by one. A last glance up and down the street and he set off.

An approaching tractor lifted dust from the roadway, the low roar of it's engine joining the sound of the cattle being moved between fields beyond the village boundary. The farmhand gazed at the cycling Constable who waved good morning. The farmhand drove on, offering his middle finger in reply. 


Through the Eyes of a Child

This is a short story for World Mental Health Day

I held up my coat by the hood. Mummy was running her fingers around the seams. It was long. The bottom nearly reached to the floor. It covered nearly all of my school shoes except for the ends. My school shoes were new. They were black and had my name written on stickers on the inside. Mummy was having a no cuddles day. Some days she would cuddle me all day and make me late for school. Other days, she’d flinch when I held her hand so I knew that was the sign that it was a no cuddle day. My little brother Jimmy didn’t understand this as he was still in nappies and only went to nursery. He’d grab at her clothes which really made her mad. Once she pushed him over. Luckily he banged his head on the rug and not the hard wooden floor. She got really upset about that and screamed for a bit. 


What happens when you get arrested?

"Please Sir, what happens when you get arrested?"

"That's an interesting question Timmy! Why do you ask?"

"I have questionable Internet habits so it's only a matter of time Sir!"


"Timmy, There are many ways to get arrested. You can go straight for the money shot and punch a policeman in the face. Don't go for a fat one or they might not catch you. Or you could get along to the Changing of the Guard and shout, 'Bomb! I've got a fucking bomb!' Some people prefer the convenience of the Internet with the option to either hack the Pentagon or simply call your girlfriend's mum a slag on Facebook backed up with a picture of your penis."


An Introduction to the Police

This is a quick guide to the different roles within the police.  

The police contain two sorts of people - men and women. I have worked with both during my career. Police officers can be readily identified by other police officers. The trick is to look for the ones balancing a silly pointy hat on their head. Others will have a variety of pips and crowns or stripes on their shoulders designating rank. The higher the rank, the higher the level of self-regard. You are promoted by people with even higher levels of self-regard than your own.

In London, the rank structure is slightly different to elsewhere. We have Commanders. Nobody knows what Commanders do, but they all live together at headquarters. Above Commanders are Deputy Assistant Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and the head honcho, the Commissioner. All these people want to be the Commissioner, so they spy on each other and tell the Commissioner tales to get one up on each other. Commanders and above get their own cars with a driver. When they get promoted, they are given a shiny catalogue and model cars to push around to help them choose. The cars are fitted with blue lights hidden in the front grills and two tone horns in case anyone ever needs a Commander on the hurry up. Nobody ever needs a Commander on the hurry up.


Resurrection I tell you!

Hello! He screamed like a man possessed, a renewed man, a man of the people. 

I've decided to start blogging again. Whether that is a good thing or not only time will tell. As people change over time, so will this blog, I've not been through my old posts as I imagine some are a little embarrassing or ill thought out. I've left them there though. 

The main reason to start again is purely selfish. I'm writing a book about my up and down career in the police which I'd dearly like to publish, so I need all the help I can get. I'll be putting extracts on the blog in between other inane ramblings so you can be rude about them. I imagine most of my dear old followers have gone on to pastures new, but you never know! 

Keep marching fellows...

Image result for funny british police


A Common Faith in Humanity

Night comes, and the world turns. There is something profoundly different about the inner city. The nocturnal emerge, the moral compass switches, police and thieves mingle with the drunk and drugged. Street lights illuminate the swaggering hoards pouring from the buses and trains into the pubs and clubs as the hooded stare from the shadows. Those in the care of the community scuttle between traffic, watched by the sexual predators muttering 'mincab? minicab?' to groups of tottering teenage girls.

A row of shops off the high street, graffiti stained shutters reflecting the glow of escape from the late-licence drink emporium. He came from the doorway, an easy pace covering a drunken sway. Crossing the road, he stepped carefully towards Alfie sitting in the shadows of the housing offices. Alfie was a smackhead, topped up with the drink. He lived on the street. The man saw that Alfie wasn't moving, and called across to the others. Gradually they started to come over, frightened, looking around them, spreading across the road.

Alfie wasn't moving.

The group gathered together as the man reached forward and shook Alfie by the shoulder. Alfie slid forwards, his head cracking off the wall. The man pulled a mobile out of the hand of the woman they called Shaheen and dialled 999.

And so they came, the flashing of blue lights bringing the people in the flats to the cracks in their curtains, the road blocked as police pushed back the crowd eager to gawp and gaze at the paramedic astride Alfie, pumping at his chest as another forced oxygen into his mouth. A doctor arrived and took over, Alfie lifted onto a stretcher and into the ambulance out of sight, the saviours summonsed by 999 working and working.

The summonsed police stood with the gathering, taking details, checking accounts, asking about Alfie, who he was and where he came from, who would miss him and what did they know. No-one knew about Alfie, or if they did they wouldn't say, until one policeman did a check on his radio, and another somewhere else recognised the name, and Alfie was a rapist of children who had only just been released from prison for raping an eight year old girl. The policeman made a note, and whispered to a colleague as the back door of the ambulance opened and Alfie was dead.

The blue lights were switched off, the fluttering tape removed, the road was opened and the liveried vehicles drove away, off to the next case of human tragedy, until the next night when it would start all over again.

The man joined the group back on the bench and they laughed together, pooling their money for the next round of beers from the off-licence as the world turned and the night went on in the inner city.


February 1981

Early on the morning of 11th February 1981, a cleaner at work in St Mary's church, in Thorpe, Surrey, was surprised to find a smartly dressed woman kneeling in a pew. Not wishing to disturb her, the cleaner went about her work quietly until, sometime later, she realised the woman hadn't moved. She told the vicar, who called an ambulance. A closer inspection found that the woman was dead. She had no identification, was not known locally and her identity - as well as the cause of death - remained unknown.



The Lost

Take a look at these pictures. These are human beings. These are two people who were found dead, possibly following suicide. The pictures were commissioned by police in an attempt to identify them. They remain unknown. All deaths outside hospitals are investigated by police to a certain degree. The main thrust of any investigation is to identify the person, and inform their next of kin. There are currently around 700 people on police databases who have never been identified. That's seven hundred. Seven hundred people who have never been missed, who have not had friends or family report their loss to police, who have never had a landlord or employer wonder what has happened to them. It is desperately sad that there are people in this country who are driven to suicide, and that the first person that cares is an anonymous police officer charged with tracing their lives. Here is the true story of one who was identified. Too late.

Donald grew up in Manchester. He lived in a nice stable home, with a close knit family. He did well at school, and secured a place at university, the first in his family. Unknown to anyone, Donald had developed a drink problem. Rather than face the embarrassment of confessing to his family and friends, Donald disappeared. Donald's family reported him to police, however in those days police did not take reports of missing adults. The family made all the enquiries they could to find him without success. Donald's sister ended up marrying his best friend. They stayed living in the family house in case Donald came home. Twenty-five years later, they received a visitor.

Tara grew up in London. She was the apple of her father's eye. A model student, Tara excelled at school, and finally attended a good university. Her father noticed something though. Through her late teens, Tara began to act oddly. It soon became apparent that she was going through the first stages of mental illness. University saw her final descent, with drug taking and alcohol abuse speeding her journey. She dropped out, and returned to London.

Tara was supported by her father. She became a regular user of mental health services, and was detained for treatment under the Mental Health Act at one point. Upon release, Tara engaged less and less with support agencies. Her drug taking became worse, and she turned to prostitution to feed her habit, roaming the streets of London, defying all attempts by nurses and her family to make her well again.

Tara met an older man. He was nice, and they used to drink together in his bedsit. He didn't abuse her, and she used to visit him often. They would sometimes row, but there was no violence, and the arguing usually descended into a drinking binge. Tara and Donald were a couple. One night Tara went to Donald's flat. She was shown on CCTV entering the block, then coming out an hour later. She tried to sell Donald's phone to a local shop. She then went into a phonebox and dialled 999. She told the operator Donald had been murdered. Donald was found in his flat stabbed to death.

Tara was arrested for murder. Her father came to the police station to see her, and act as her 'Appropriate Adult' due to her mental health issues. I remember the tears in his eyes as he was escorted out later the next day.

Donald's family were traced, and a police officer went to see his sister. Twenty-five years after Donald had disappeared he was found.

Tara was charged with murder, however was found unfit to plead. She was detained without limit of time under the Mental Health Act. Donald's family attended the hearing, and watched as Tara was led away.