Watch out, he's out! In his final column from inside, Peter Wayne looks back on 3,172 days in prisonby Peter Wayne / March 20, 1998 / Leave a comment
Published in March 1998 issue of Prospect Magazine
For many months now, I have impatiently anticipated writing this: the last thousand words of my sentence. The time has finally come to reflect on the past 3,172 days, served under five home secretaries, in 12 different prisons. It seems an eternity since it first began, back in 1988, when the prison population stood at a mere 48,000 (it’s now more than 62,000) and Margaret Thatcher still lived in Downing Street.
The Flying Squad arrested me at gunpoint for a series of robberies on a string of bank and building societies. I had committed these during a summer of madness, foolishly imagining I would never be caught. The sentencing judge gave me a meagre seven years in the first instance, prompting the police to comment that I had had “a right result” when they came to see me deep in the bowels of the Old Bailey after my case had been heard. I disagreed; and seven months later escaped from my “medium security” prison, dressed in a home-made clergyman’s outfit.
I managed two months at large before I felt the long arm of the law on my shoulder once again. I was given another three years before being dispatched-in luminous yellow stripes-to top security Long Lartin prison where I stayed for the next three years.