Brought up in the East End of London, son of a policeman, John was already dabbling in crime by his early teens, ending up in a young offenders institute and then a borstal. He’d left home at 15 and the only occupation he knew was theft. He landed a job doing security at concerts for stars such as Simply Red, Queen and Bruce Springsteen and was lured deeper into the world of drugs and crime.
By his 20s he was well-acquainted with the capital’s criminal underworld. Thanks to drug dealing and racketeering he lived the classic gangster life of loads of cash, women, sports cars, designer clothes and a penthouse flat. Violence became a way of life, with his jackets tailored to hold his machete, knuckledusters and CS gas. One night he beat up a guy outside a nightclub, fleeing the scene thinking he’d killed the man. Thankfully the victim survived but John finally had to confront the reality of the life he was leading and something extraordinary happened….
Greg Watts is a journalist, broadcaster and author. He has written for a range of publications, including The Times faith page, The Catholic Times, The Universe, The Evening Standard and the National Catholic Register. His previous books include Catholic Lives, From Gangland to Promised Land and Released: Journeys from Prison to Faith and Hope. He lives in London.