Venue. Knowle Chamber
Noel (Razor) Smith was in prison on and off from the age of 14 years. By the time he was 17 he was a hardened criminal well used to the prison regime. During those periods when he was not in custody, he became a highly notorious armed robber of banks and other institutions all over London. He was a violent gangster who gave as good as he got.
His first book, written while in prison, A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun was a graphic account of his life living it up on the proceeds of his robberies in between long stretches of incarceration, often in solitary confinement as punishment for his violence to both fellow prisoners and to prison staff.
Then his eldest son died in HMP Feltham and he was forbidden from attending the funeral. This was the moment when he realised how much of his life he had wasted and how much his actions had impinged on his family. From that moment on, he determined to prove to everyone that he could revert to being a responsible citizen.
Noel began a long period of rehabilitation helped through his writing and encouraged by the journalist Will Self. As a result he was eventually released and since then has been on the editorial board of Inside Times, the in-house journal for prisoners. He has also written three more books and is a well known and highly respected commentator on TV and radio about our judicial system. He is a brilliant speaker.
Noel has a new book The Criminal Alphabet £6.99.The ultimate guide to the criminal world through its slang - from insults to terms of respect, weapons to injuries, crimes to punishment 'I have spent almost 33 of the last 53 years in and out of prison, but mainly in. I was a juvenile offender back in the mid 1970s and went on to become an adult prisoner in the 1980s and beyond. My shortest prison sentence was 7 days (for criminal damage) and my longest sentence was life (for bank robbery and possession of firearms).
I have 58 criminal convictions for everything from attempted theft to armed robbery and prison escape, and I was a career criminal for most of my life. What I do not know about criminal and prison slang could be written on the back of a postage stamp and still leave room for The Lord's Prayer ...' From ex-professional bank robber and best-selling author Noel Smith, this is the most authoritative dictionary of criminal slang out there - and an absorbing journey, through words, into the heart of the criminal world.