Other drugs stories

Cocaine and piffle in the world of drugs

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, May 23 1988

This is the story of two kings. The first comes from humble origins, a street kid from New York, whose father died when he was a child, who learned to deal and steal for a living and who dreamed that one day he would be rich and powerful, and who finally found himself a throne as one of the world's wealthiest and most successful criminals, the King of Cocaine.

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The difficult truth about the CIA and brainwashing

The Guardian, October 28 1988

Review of 'Journey Into Madness' by Gordon Thomas

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And some seed fell on stoned ground

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, December 12 1988

In Chouteau County, Montana, up by the Canadian border, life can be pretty hard. This is grain farming country. Farmers have to fight their way through every season, through the summer droughts and the huge winter snowfalls, and then they have to hope and pray that grain prices pick themselves up off the floor.

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The tangled case of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith

The Guardian, October 26 1991

Stephen Ronald Jakobi, aged 56, Cambridge graduate, former trial lawyer, leading light of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and expert in personal injury claims, knows a thing or two about the law.

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Official misbehaviour in the case of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith

The Guardian, February 15 1992

The story of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith is, in one sense, simply a story about injustice, in which two daft teenagers are robbed of their youth in a foreign jail, one for being reckless, the other for nothing - merely for being there. But beyond that, it is a story of intrigue and secret manoeuvure, in which almost every party behaves with breath-taking selfishness and in which the simple...

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Losing the war against drugs

The Guardian, July 24 1993
Written after the release from a Thai jail of Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill

Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill are, of course, our enemies. All drug dealers are our enemies. That's the point of the war against drugs. So of course these two young women deserve all the abuse that has been heaped upon them - even if one of them does turn out to be innocent, even if the other one is guilty of nothing more than daftness, and even if they were both exploited first by the dealers...

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Poor People series 1 - the homeless man and the lost girl

The Guardian, August 27 1994

Bob Easton was half asleep the first time he saw her. He was lying in the doorway of the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand, well wrapped up in his sleeping bag and his blankets, and on an ordinary night he would probably have been fast asleep by now. But it was Friday, the worst night of the week on the streets, when you're more likely than ever to get a kick in the ribs from some lager lover, so...

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Poor People series 3 - the legendary Miss Popular

The Guardian, August 30 1994

She was a middle-class white woman with an elegant style and piles of blonde hair. Her husband was an insurance broker with a taste for the good things in life. They had two daughters, aged 14 and 9, and they lived together on the edge of a provincial city in a £250,000 house with two tall poplar trees and a brand new BMW parked in the drive. Often, in the evening, they would go off together to a...

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Poor People series 4 - the thief's tale

The Guardian, August 31 1994

The little thief sits on the old park bench with his chin on his chest and his feet in the dust, wrapping a long blade of grass around the knuckles of his hand and trying to explain his dream. Do you know the thief's dream? He wants to go to college.

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The thief who tried to change

The Guardian, December 1 1994

No one ever said it was going to be easy. Daniel had spent years getting in and out of trouble. He'd been thrown out of school without taking his exams, he'd fallen out with his parents, he'd started thieving for a living in Brixton, he had been taking drugs and then he'd got shot. So when, last summer, at the age of 18, he decided to change his whole life and go to college instead, he knew it was...

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Poor Places series 4- the church

The Guardian, July 20 1995

The Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool is like a mountain. Its great brown bulk soars up over the life below and, high above the houses with the boards across their windows, beyond the sight of the shops with grids of steel across their glass, the summit of its spire is lost in the clouds of a grey English evening. It is the biggest Anglican church on the planet and, tonight, it will be full.

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How detectives shielded a Yardie from justice

The Guardian, November 6 1995

A Jamaican 'Yardie' gangster who committed a spectacular armed robbery in Nottingham was shielded from justice by London detectives who had been using him as an informant. Senior Yard officers even attempted to abort his trial before the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General intervened personally and insisted that it should go ahead.

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Eaton Green - the Yardie grass who was allowed to commit crime

The Guardian, November 6 1995

Just before two o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday July 8, 1993, a slim young black man with a scar across his right cheek was walking down Mandela Road in Newham, east London when a group of detectives surrounded him, handcuffed him and arrested him for possession of firearms and conspiracy to rob. It was, by the standards of policing in the 1990s, an apparently unimportant event.

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Police suppress evidence of murders by their Yardie grass

The Guardian, May 1 1996

A secret police operation to procure a new supergrass has blown up in Scotland Yard's face leaving officers accused of suppressing evidence of serious crimes including murder. They have also opened the door to the release of dangerous gunmen from British prisons.

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Revealed: more Yardie gangsters who came to UK as guests of police

The Guardian, February 3 1997

Police and immigration officers have allowed dangerous foreign gangsters to stay illegally in the United Kingdom in order to persuade them to become informers. In some cases, they have gone on to commit serious crimes against British citizens, including rape, robbery and murder.

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"Almost complete breakdown" in London's response to Yardies

The Guardian, February 3 1997

Marcia Lawes was 24 years old. She lived in a small flat in a quiet street on the edge of Brixton in south London with her two-year-old son, Cassius, and her baby daughter, Malika. She had no work and she had no partner and in the past she had suffered from a crippling depression, but she stayed in touch with her family, particularly with her elder sister, Mercy, and she was beginning to make a...

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A Yardie walks free

The Guardian, May 1 1997

A Jamaican Yardie gunman who was jailed for 14 years for his part in a spectacular armed robbery is expected to walk free from the Court of Appeal today after Scotland Yard conceded that one of their most highly prized informers had lied in evidence against him.

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Crack cocaine and the middle-class addicts

The Daily Express, November 1 1997
Promoting the book 'Dark Heart'

I was sitting in a crack house not far from Kings Cross station in the middle of London. There was Vinnie the pimp, with his bare chest and his cigarette; a skinny blonde prostitute called Beverley who was so broke that she was using margerine for make-up; and Heather, a pick-pocket, who was about to go off to work in the big department stores in the West End.

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Official report on the Yardie informer scandal

The Guardian, February 16 1999

One of the biggest inquiries ever conducted into a complaint against police has confirmed Guardian reports of chaotic management and law-breaking in the relationship between London detectives and Jamaican Yardie gangsters who were working as police informers.

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Disorder in the courts - and the local gang boss walks free

The Guardian, April 15 2004

Joey Ganguli is at it all the time. He lives and breathes and earns his rolls of cash right in the middle of the Asian gang wars which run through criminal life in the East End of London like beach life runs through Blackpool.

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