Trigger Warning: Contains coarse language, sex, drug use with paraphernalia and homelessness.
I grab a box of vodka, and I’m off home to get smashed with my new partner in crime, the hammer.
About 2 weeks later, me and my old mate Shane said he would like to come on my next adventure with the hammer. So we go to the shop thinking ‘easy as fook’, the bricks are new so hopefully “no danger” to smash them out. However, as we found out, about 2 hours later, while totally fucked, the shopkeeper has put a sheet of wood on the other side wedged with wooden stakes.
We get in anyway and away we go, fags down our tops and grab as much booze you can carry. Shane starts shouting “it’s on top, go go go”. I look through through the hole and a meat wagon with 10 hungry coppers is looking at me through the gate at the back of the shop. So on to the roof we go, me and Shane, our shirts full of fags, flying out all over the place, the chase was on.
I’m hiding in a front garden, every car was old bill, so I looked up at eye level to the floor, I see a can of Carling Black Label.
I drop off the roof, dropping everything that I had managed to hold on to from the shop, over a fence of a kids playground. I can hear the radio of the police hunting me down, I’m over the next fence, I can hear a helicopter somewhere above. The next fence is back gardens, I’m over the first few quite easy but I can hear crashing and banging from the coppers that are after me. I hear one copper scream out loud, he must have hit that washing line that I just missed a few gardens back.
I find the gully in between the houses and change tactics. The chopper is above and the show is in full swing, with their spotlight, but I see it’s moving so must be on Shane’s ass. He’s off up to the Hawksley Estate to sanctuary at his girlfriend’s house. I’m hiding in a front garden, every car was old bill, so I looked up at eye level to the floor, I see a can of Carling Black Label.
I take off my dark blue Stone Island jumper and Reebok cap, I’ve got a white jumper and cap, stand up, pick up the empty can of Carling and started staggering all the way down Shannon Road. It’s 2 o’clock in the morning, I’ve got my can in hand, pretending I’m just another pisshead off the estate. Lovely jubbly, I get to my mom’s maisonette home and dry.
He turns, falling in the bath, with his own piss, so I’m now pissing myself laughing with Jake in my bath and me on the floor and my bedroom alight.
I go to the top floor, the drying area, when we were kids we used to make dens up here. My first sexual exploitations were done here, who needs biology and sex education up here! I got inside a double bed base. That was in the drying area. The upstairs neighbour comes out the fire door and says ‘What the fuck you up to?’. I say ‘It’s me, Leon’.
She’s looking over my shoulder and says ‘Them lot aren’t after you are they?’. I look around the Greenwood car park, it’s a sea of blue-white colours, must have been 30 coppers and the helicopter. I’ve got away again and my mate Shane got to his girlfriend’s house and hid under the bed until she had got him a shower to jump in, because of the helicopter. He got away as well. I think I might have to slow down on the moonshine.
One night we get some Irish Poteen (extremely high volume alcohol) off my mom, someone says ‘It’s flammable this stuff is’. So my bedroom goes up in flames. I go to get some water from the bathroom to find Jake pissing in my bath. I shout ‘What the fook you doing pissing in the bath?’. He turns, falling in the bath, with his own piss, so I’m now pissing myself laughing with Jake in my bath and me on the floor and my bedroom alight.
Five blokes, a bin full of fags and a cabinet as long as the car. No way this was all going in this Fiesta.
We run out of drugs and drink so we have a brainstorm to go robbing anyone of anything. First stop is the drug dealer, we have to put Jake in the boot of the car, because there was no room and he stank of piss. So we get to the block of flats, up the Maypole. I think as we are getting out the lift, I say where’s Jake? He’s still locked in the boot of the car, so we all go back down to the car park, open the boot to find him fast asleep.
So we get him out and go get what we come for which is to rob ya man. Then we can get high and rob the fag shop down the road later. This is where I should bring the other ‘Leon’ to the show, my best mate and robbing partner since we were kids. Me and him had been through some wild adventures robbing anything that wasn’t nailed down. But that’s another ‘short story’.
But he knows how to get through metal doors with a tool and now we don’t have to smash windows. So the play is this; Leon opens the door, me and him on the big black bin we have ready to fill with fags after I pop this shutter lock. I’m on top of the chocolate getting all the top fags in the cabinet, my two friends just crowbar the cabinet where the 200 boxes are stored, shutter won’t open, so we can just carry the cabinet and the bin around the corner in the car and go!
We were minted, but with a crack and smack habit, we were on a path to a long time in prison or dying. Those were the only real options we had back then.
I will tell you now, it was a fiesta 1.1 bag of shit, that my mark had blagged off his girlfriend. Five blokes, a bin full of fags and a cabinet as long as the car. No way this was all going in this Fiesta, so at the back of the shops there are some big wheelie bins, so we hide the fags in there, saying we will come back later. Back to Primrose Tower it is. We lose all the fags from that job. Back to the drawing board for me and Leon.
At this time we are going out of town, robbing golf clubs, the fruit machines and the lockers. Anything that we could nick we were nicking. Laptops, phones, cars, anything. Me and Cobbly were unstoppable at one time. Cobbly had a 650 Kawasaki Ninja, 650 Suzuki Jizca, VW Corolla car. Minted. We were minted, but with a crack and smack habit, we were on a path to a long time in prison or dying. Those were the only real options we had back then.
I didn’t think I had a problem though. So, off we go on our own journeys of smack addiction, but I say to myself, I’m only smoking it… (yeah yeah, for now) I hook up with two of the best shoplifters in Birmingham. Bally and Kelly, legends of taking what the fook they like from anywhere. I’ve seen them walk straight out the supermarket with £500 worth of drink and we just put the trolley and the drunk in the van and off we go, trolley as well, with the look of amazement on the security guard’s face.
I was in a crackhouse one night and don’t ask me where the two bunny rabbits come from, in a crack house. I say ‘I’ll have one of them off ya’. I take her (or he?) into a Tesco carrier bag and off to the bus stop I go and call her Angel.
Food in the kitchen and money in my hip, ready for a pipe and a pin, but this is one codependent relationship. They would argue, fight, shout all day long. It done my head in one day. I kicked the pair of them up the ass and told them both about themselves. So they didn’t pick me up to go grafting with them. So my habit is back to a bag or two a day… some come down from smoking 1/8th crack and 1/10th of gear a night. I was well pissed off. So it’s back to Primrose Tower.
I had a rabbit called Angel in my flat. I was in a crackhouse one night and don’t ask me where the two bunny rabbits come from, in a crack house on Long Nuke Road, Northfield. So I shag the bird and say what you doing with the rabbits, she says ‘have the dirty, shitty things if ya want them’, I say ‘I’ll have one of them off ya’. I take her (or he? I don’t know and this crackhead hasn’t got a clue who she is) into a Tesco carrier bag and off to the bus stop I go and call her Angel.
So as we are asleep, super fucking bunny comes like a bat out of hell off the floor.
She was right, the little bastard shit all over the gaff, but I did have a balcony. One night I was coming back from the Primrose pub and Kathy was at mine waiting for my late drunk ass to stumble through the door. I pass past one of the most lovely Rose gardens (yes, in the middle of Primrose Estate) and I start picking some roses for my love back home with my beloved rabbit Angel. A head pops out the bedroom window shouting at me for being in his garden ripping up his roses.
I say ‘Hello my friend! You have such a wonderful rose garden, I was just taking some for my rose at home’ and I thanked him for looking after God’s garden for him, waving my bunch of roses at him. So I get home and find a pint glass for the roses that I put on the fireplace where my bed has been living for the winter months. Kathy is happy with the flowers, off to bed we go.
Angel has seen the roses and she wants a taste of them, but they are on the fireplace just above our heads in a half-full pint glass. So as we are asleep, super fucking bunny comes like a bat out of hell off the floor, on to Kathy’s tits, scratching them and bouncing off her head to get these roses.
Rule number number two was ‘no shagging the bail hostel residents’
Bang, the rabbits hit the wall and glass of roses. There’s water all over me and the rabbit’s ass is on my chest. Kathy’s screaming with blood on her chest, I’m soaking wet, the bed is wet and I’m up with my machete chasing the rabbit around my flat at 1 o’clock in the morning, shouting, ‘she’s going in the pot!.’
She was a lucky rabbit that she wasn’t on the menu tomorrow.
I’ve got a 12 months community order off the court that twice a week we had to go to Jerry’s workshop next door to the all women’s bail hostel down Selly Oak. Jerry was the old loveable chippy, that was a straight-talking Irish man. There were three rules to his workshop.
- No fighting especially with weapons.
- No shagging the bail hostel residents
- Leave his tools alone (No robbing from the workshop)
Ok, sounds easy, I say ‘Can I make a rabbit hutch for Angel?’. I get a lock of horror off Terry and the rest of the blokes were laughing their heads off! I say I’m serious, I want to make a hutch. Jerry says you better start drawing up the plans for this zoo you’re after. Funny fat cunt, I’ll show him about working with wood.
He had a mate, Jerry has to help out with us lot. He was an old bloke from Hawksley and he drove a 3 wheeler ‘car’. When we were kids we used to roll them over, leave them outside their houses on their roof. Funny as fook. So he has a 3 wheeler that he calls ‘my motor’ but he talks about it like it’s his fucking missus.
So we go exploring the church, we made hot passionate love up the front door of the church at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
One day we bounce his ‘motor’ around the corner where we were trying to hide it. But he clocked us. He hit the roof and went fucking mad. He wanted us all back in court for nicking his motor but Jerry calmed him down and we all had to be on best behaviour for a week or two. My eye was getting attracted to Yvonne, the girl in the hostel, from Coventry, on a section 18 charge. So I say to her, ‘Want to come to church, we can confess our sins’.
The church is at the bottom of the garden where the workshop is. So we go exploring the church, we made hot passionate love up the front door of the church at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. So we were in love (yeah right) and on the run, she has a 7 o’clock curfew tag on her leg. We get the bus into town, she sucks my cock until the Raddison Hotel in town. Next, we are on the train to Cov, in the bog we go. Then we get to her Mom’s house and made use of her sister’s bed.
I go to the money box on the TV, it’s minted. Two butter knives and I can jiggle it upside down and the pound coins drop out through the gap. Lovely jubbly. About £15 in the kitty. Then she says the washing machine has a cash box on it. I look at it, I ask if she has a screwdriver, Phillips one. So she comes back with her Dad’s toolbox.
I hope her sex drive is as big as the cleanup drive is, because me and Angel have been a pair of dirty tramps living in a room with rabbit’s shit everywhere.
I take the 4 screws out the back, off the box and BINGO £33 with the £15 out of the TV. We got £48 and she’s got clean clothes. It’s back to Primrose Tower because she’s coming to stay at mine, I hope her sex drive is as big as the cleanup drive is, because me and Angel have been a pair of dirty tramps living in a room with rabbit’s shit everywhere.
Thankfully, Yvonne wasn’t choosy about where she lay her head. So I think this relationship lasted until the £48 was spent and I needed more adventure. She got nicked a few days later as one of her friends at the hostel was very keen to tell me. ‘Mad Yvonne’ as she said, is out the picture. ‘So fancy some of me?’ She’s a peroxide blonde and 6 months pregnant.
I say I’m already in the shit with Jerry, when I fooked off with Yvonne. So I say when I’m finished I’ll meet you in the greenhouse full of cucumbers. Well, that’s what Jerry’s garden gang said, but I think all the girls from the hostel had nicked them all for company on them lonely evenings in the hostel of hormones. So I meet this ‘bird’ as I will call her, can’t remember her name but I blessed the baby and she was back to the hostel of hormones.
I end up in the Police Station for 5 days, being questioned on murder and attempted murder…
Back to Primrose Tower with Angel and her shit. Vacuums weren’t invented in my world, but she had her rabbit hutch on the 5th floor of Primrose Tower, she has a brilliant view of the estate on top of her hutch. One day me and my old friend was smoking crack and as he looks through the glass door to the balcony he sees Angel have a cardiac arrest. She just froze and dropped off the top of her hutch.
By the time we finished off the crack, she was stiff as a board. My mate says put her in the pot, make a lovely rabbit stew. RIP Angel.
Then one night on a drink and drug binge, I go to rob a drug dealer. I end up in the Police Station for 5 days, being questioned on murder and attempted murder and I was charged with both… and so, it was goodbye to Primrose Tower.
You can follow Leon’s journey of the madness of his addiction and how he found his way back in his other stories:
You can also see Leon’s Art Gallery by clicking here.