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This is a question I witnessed a crime

Freddy Woo writes, "A group of us once staggered home so insensible with drink that we failed to notice someone being killed and buried in a shallow grave not more than 50 yards away. A crime unsolved to this day."

Have you witnessed a crime and done bugger all about it? Or are you a have-a-go hero?
Whatever. Tell us about it...

(, Thu 14 Feb 2008, 11:53)
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Good Cop, Bad Cop
Emvee's tale of chav harassment reminded me of this one. Names haven't been changed for once. It was how we dealt with a mate who was being victimised.

Long ago and far away, when the moon was red and the rocks were soft I lived in Manchester, in Hulme. I was pottering around one day when a mate arrived, in a bit of a state. He'd been robbed.

He lived alone in the infamous Crescents and he been woken by the sound of his balcony door being forced. Grabbing some clothes he ran downstairs to confront the burglar - although what he expected to do was anyone's guess as he was an unhealthy Vegan who couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag. The noise he made coming down the stairs alerted the thief who legged it back onto the balcony and then jumped onto the neighbouring flat's balcony, which was deserted and derelict, and then stood there laughing at Pat and taunting him.

"I can fucking come round and rob you anytime I fucking want and there's fuck all you can do about it" giggled the thief. Who was, predictably, a smack addict. Pat recognised him - he was a bloke who lived a couple of floors down and was known in the area as nasty piece of work. And Pat realised he was right. There was nothing he could do. Hulme in those days was pretty much a no-go area for the police and, besides, it was Pats word against the smackheads. Bringing the law in would have just resulted in being seen as a grass and wouldn't have achieved anything. So Pat came to see me with another close mate of ours Jon.

So the three of us had a cup of tea and decided what to do. Intimidation.

I went to my weapons stash at the front door (hey, this was Hulme. Everyone has some sort of self defence kit propped up by the front door) and selected my favourite equaliser, Rottie. So called because it was big, it looked mean and it would really fuck you up if you pissed it's owner off. It was an old oaken table leg. Nice round knobbly bit at the bottom coming up to a big square bit at the action end where I'd screwed in a few round headed bolts. It was a work of art.

So the four of us, me and Rottie and Jon and Pat headed off to mete out justice, Hulme style. We hardly needed to discuss our roles and Jon and I had done this in the past. It was to be classic Good Cop, Bad Cop.

And so we arrived at the smackhead's flat and knocked. No answer. So Jon tried calling through the letter box. Still no answer.

Now we knew he was in 'cos we'd seen movement at the kitchen window but old smackhead had decided that we weren't the sort of callers he wanted that morning and was lying low. Time for plan B.

I stepped back a couple of paces and launched myself at the door. My boot hammered into the lock with my full weight behind it and the door shivered. It was reinforced like a lot of flats in Hulme. Someone had fitted a decent solid door and locked it with what we called Swastica bolts. A central handle that controlled four bolts that went into the door frame at both sides and the top and the bottom. I looked at Jon.

"Doubt if I can get through this mate - we might need an axe"

"Give it another go" says Jon.

So I took another few paces back and launched myself again.


The lock and the door held but the door frame didn't. The whole thing tore from the surrounding wall and crashed into the flat and landed right at the feet of a dazed looking smackhead. Another couple of inches and it would have crushed his toes.

So there he was. 7 feet away from me and holding a wicked Rambo style knife. Grabbing Rottie I jumped inside and swept the knife out of his hand. I was roaring like a roary thing (note to self: must work on metaphors) and he backed away from me and scuttled into the front room with me right on his back. A sweep of Rottie took out his stair rails and a back sweep smashed his telly with a satisfying explosion of glass.

"Come here you ugly fucker, I've got a message for you" I yelled.

"Legless!!" barked Jon. "Leave him. Let me talk to him first"

I backed off growling and then smashed Rottie into a nearbye table.

"Say what you have to then leave him to me" I slavered.

Pat then came into the front room.

"Where's my fucking money you twat!!" he screamed "I want it all back or I'm letting Legless loose on you..

Smackhead was in shock now. His quiet morning shooting up the proceeds of last nights robbery wasn't meant to go like this. I mean, every time he'd robbed someone in the past he'd gotten away with it. This couldn't be happening.

Jon was talking to him now, quietly explaining that if the money wasn't handed over, right now, he and Pat were leaving and he'd be left alone with me.

"I haven't got it!!" smackhead wept "I spent it last night..."

Then I burst back into the front room.

"Tie the fucker down" I snapped at Jon. "I've found a car battery. I'll pour the acid all over his hands. That'll stop the thieving shit."

"Calm Legless, calm.." said Jon. "You can have him if he doesn't give me the money"

"But I haven't got it" wailed the smackhead. "But I'll get it. I'll get it by tonight"

Pat and Jon had a quick conflab and I smashed a few more items.

"OK. We'll give you one more chance......"


"Back off Legless. We only want the money back. If he doesn't get it by tonight then he's all yours...."

I walked up to Smackhead. I pushed Rottie into his face, gently tapping him back to the wall. Then I held it against his throat. He was shaking like Michael J Fox.

"Look at me" I said. "look very fucking closely at my face because if Pat doesn't get his money back, this will be the last thing you see before I pour battery acid into your eyes."

He couldn't speak, he was just nodding then the smell of piss hit me and I saw a dark stain spreading down his legs.

I walked away. Stopped and smashed Rottie into the wall leaving a big hole.

"I'll be back...."


Then we went up to Pats flat and I dropped Rottie off and we retired to The Spinners for a pint.

"Think he'll get the money?" says Jon.

"Nah" says Pat "But I don't think he'll rob me again so there's a result"

Later that night Pat arrived at my flat lugging a carrier bag full of cans.

"Heh! I got my money back and then some..." says Pat.

Now it turned out that the smackhead had a famous brother. He was a guitarist with the band, The Fall, and Smackhead had called his big brother up and begged for help. The brother had arrived at the Smackheads flat and found him in a hell of a state. Shaking, crying and terrified for his life. Over the next hour the full story had come out. How he'd robbed Pat. How this gang of thugs had broken his door down and beaten him to within an inch of his life (lying fucker - I didn't touch him) and how they were going to come back and blind him with acid.

His brother listened for a while and then made the following offer. He'd go and see Pat and pay him his money and he'd get Pat to call the hounds off but only if Smackhead went into rehab. He'd pay for the treatment but this was his last chance. Fuck up and the next time he'd wash his hands of him. Smackhead agreed and the brother went to see Pat and paid him. They had a spliff together to seal the deal and the brother said:

"You know, this is probably the best thing that could have ever happened to our kid. The way he was going he'd be dead by Christmas...."

Jesus. That was a bit of an epic.

Let the flaming begin......

(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:41, 14 replies)
You did 2 good deeds
recovered the money and saved the smackhead's life. Job well done I'd say.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:48, closed)
Whether or not its true...
I like it. A nice long story that entertains throughout. Clickety-click
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 3:09, closed)
First of all: no motorbikes. Just sad realy.

Second: You didnt actually BREAK the law because, well, there WAS no law, right? So you WERE the law. Kind of like Buford T Pusser.

And B) you did a good thing. Though DECIDEDLY un-British. What got into you?! It sounds like something one of us Yanks would do! :)

Cheers! Always love me a good Legless story!
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 3:10, closed)
Vigilantes are alive and well in Britain and have been for a long time. It's just played down a lot.

My favourite story about rough justice again happened in Manchester but I wasn't involved this time, I just heard about it.

Long story short is that some bloke had been boasting about spiking people with LSD and this rather upset some people. So they grabbed the bloke, took him back to their house in Whalley Range (really big old Victorian houses. Big gardens.) and forced a shitload of LSD down his throat. Then they locked him in the cellar with no lights. Every once in a while, they'd open the door, kick him back downstairs (as he'd be invariably cowering at the top) and then say something like:

"Have some spiders/rats/cockroaches for company mate" and then throw random items into the dark.

Allegedly he screamed his throat raw by the time they dumped him.

Bet he didn't spike anyone else through.

(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 3:53, closed)
positively heart warming
It's nice to be reminded that the good guys sometimes do win
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 8:13, closed)
This is absolutely brilliant, "roary thing" lovely
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 8:37, closed)
One for the good guys
Have a click good sir. Excellent result!

We really must have that beer sometime.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 8:54, closed)
Your a man for all seasons....
One minute your a vigilante thug and the next your the favoured geek of a boss hardman. You'll be telling us you write poetry and do cage fighting in your spare time.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 9:13, closed)
... though being in The Fall doesn't, in fairness, make you famous. I think I'm the only bassist in Manchester not to have been in their line-up at some point.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 9:26, closed)
Damnit, Legless...
...I always promise myself that I won't click so someone else can have a chance at the FP, but your stories are always better than I was expecting, so ... *click*
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 10:20, closed)
A proper feel good story with a happy ending.
I like these, so have a click on me sir.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 10:36, closed)
Interesting Dr Legless
Remind me to drop you a note the next time I want to give up smoking!
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 13:21, closed)
I wish you'd lived around the corner from me :)

(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 14:43, closed)
needs some explosions
and a car chase
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 16:45, closed)

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