Colin Martin was born in Liverpool, England and worked all over the world as a welder before going to Thailand. On arrival in Bangkok he was swindled out of half a million pounds. Martin didn't go home however, and began searching for the conman. When he eventually tracked him down a fight took place and a member of the gang was killed. Martin ended up being arrested for murder, denied a fair trial and spent 8 years in prison.
It was Michael Bunting's life ambition to follow in his father's footsteps and become a police officer. But six years after his family watch him pass out and begin his life's dream, he is serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit. This is his story.
Beaten almost senseless as he tried to arrest a violent criminal, the 23-year-old PC was left with head injuries and blurred vision that took him months to recover from. Back at work he was astounded to learn that his attacker had filed a complaint against him and that the Police Discipline and Complaints Department were following up the allegation.
Two years later he was found guilty of common assault against his assailant and received a prison sentence that left him living his devastated life amongst the criminals he had previously sought to keep off the streets. Hard-hitting and at times heart-breaking the book is a graphic account of life behind bars for a policeman in one of England's hardest prisons.
An extract from A Fair Cop:
"The prisoner arrived once more with the trolley and placed the plate of food on to my hatch. 'Bunting,' he shouted pleasantly. I wasn't fooled. 'Thanks,' I said, as I walked across the cell to collect it. As I put my hand out to reach for the plate he snatched it away. He held it up to the hatch and peered through at me. 'PC Bunting, isn't it?' he asked, and then took a deep breath to muster as much saliva from the back of his throat as he could. With one swift movement he spat a big glob in to the middle of the food. The white phlegm floated around in brown gravy. 'Hey lads, I'm feeding the pig,' he said. With this, two other prisoners came to my cell hatch. They looked at me, sniggering. They then spat in my food too. The first prisoner put the plate on the hatch and gestured for me to come closer. 'You're in our territory now, you f***ing filth, and we're gonna f***ing carve you up.'
In 1969 Bernie Matthews was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 10 years. A serial escapee, prison authorities soon classified Matthews as an intractable prisoner and he was transferred to the Alcatraz of the NSW prison system at Grafton. There, life was a routine series of bashings and solitary confinement, and as the systematic brutality of Grafton became a political scandal, Matthews and other prisoners found themselves transferred to a fresh hell in 1975 - Katingal Special Security Unit inside Sydney's Long Bay Jail, Australia's first super-max prison.
A concrete bunker with no natural light or fresh air, Katingal replaced Grafton's bashings with sensory deprivation and psychological control. Suicide attempts and self-harm followed. One of the longest serving and surviving Katingal inmates, Matthews did not see daylight for two years, eight months.
Intractable is not only a shocking story of what it's like to do time but also a history of one of the great political scandals of the 70s from a unique perspective (Katingal was pulled down this year). It's also the eye-opening story of a man who managed to turn his life around in the worst of Australia's prisons to become a writer and prison activist.
The Damage Done takes you behind the bars of a Bangkok prison. A place where sewer rats and cockroaches are the only nutritious food, where autocratic prison guards giggle as they deliver pulverising blows and where the worst punishment by far is the khun deo - solitary confinement, Thai style.
Brutally honest and repentant of his initial crime, Warren talks about the decade of his life he lost in leg irons. The Damage Done is a brave and compelling book that poses harrowing questions on the nature of justice.
'Not a book for the fainthearted...A gut-wrenching confessional of endless days and nights in purgatory.' HERALD SUN
'Exceptionally readable' THE AUSTRALIAN