The Men In The Shadows ( Part 13)

Jake. pic

Ten years had passed since Jake was convicted of murdering the Russian. He’d desperately tried to explain to the police how the three amigos had blackmailed him, but there was simply no evidence to substantiate his story.
The Police could find no evidence of Squashed Nose, Karate Kid or Quiet Man. The Railway Arch where they met was empty and according to Railtrak, who owned it, had been empty for years. No one had ever seen Jake with them and no one could remember seeing a blue Bentley in the area.
And, of course, it was all on CCTV. He’d watched the whole thing in court along with everyone else. Including his Mum and Dad. The video didn’t lie. Jake was seen pulling a gun from his overalls and then shooting the Russian in the back four times before being shot himself by one of the bodyguards.
His mates Stevie and Gerry had done him no favours either. Both told the Police that they thought he’d been acting strange in the weeks leading up to the shooting. Stevie even went further and told the Police that he thought Jake might be on drugs.
His Mum and Dad told the Police about Jakes “winnings” and the Police found another two thousand pounds in Jakes bedroom. The accusation was that he was secretly dealing drugs as well as using them.
The Police didn’t believe his story and had no intention of trying to find these “mysterious strangers.” They just wanted a quick ending to what was a straightforward shooting. It was easier for them to go with the story that Jake had shot the Russian while he was high on drugs. The fact that there was no trace of any drugs in Jakes system when he was tested in hospital was put down to the fact that he’d lost a lot of blood and had very quickly been given a blood transfusion. The pure facts of the case were very clear, Jake killed the Russian.
Even Jake himself couldn’t deny that.
He kept thinking how clever the three amigos were. They’d managed to get the Russian killed yet had played no part in it whatsoever. It was all a scam. They’d obviously been well paid for the REMOVAL and walked away free men. In some way he even admired their technique. They’d simply frightened a poor young teenager into doing a job for them. It was the perfect crime.
Jake pleaded guilty to murder and was given a life sentence. As he was only nineteen, he was given “Custody for Life” with a minimum tariff of ten years.
Jake was quite relaxed about the whole thing, he accepted his fate, he had to, he HAD killed someone and would have to pay the consequences. His main concern was his Mum and Dad, he could still see their faces when the judge sentenced him to life, Mum broke down, Dad tried to console her but in the end he was sobbing more than she was. But they visited him once a month, no matter where he was.
The first three years of his sentence were tough. He was in Wandsworth Prison, a large, damp, over crowded, Victorian building. He shared a cell with Terry Wells.
Terry owned a chip shop in Lewisham. A number of factories in the area closed and the shop was losing money. Terry decided to burn it down for the insurance money. Unfortunately it was in a row of five shops and all five burned down. Terry was serving fifteen years for arson. Terry was in his forties and took Jake under his wing. He had a son around Jakes age and virtually “adopted” Jake. Terry was a martial arts fanatic who’d represented Great Britain at Judo in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He studied every form of combat, Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, no one messed with Terry in Wandsworth. He once saw Terry take on three much bigger guys in the laundry room. They were all on the floor within seconds. It was impressive to watch. Terry looked like he was dancing around them, then suddenly bang, he would connect with either hand or foot and they’d drop like flies. He learned a lot in those three years with Terry. Skills that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
He was moved in 2008 to Chelmsford. Once again he had to share a cell, this time with a professional criminal called Peter Blakely. Pete had been inside longer than he’d been out. He was a burglar, forger, getaway driver, anything really that he could earn a few bob from. On day one Pete tried to bully him, let him know who was boss. Jake was only twenty three but had been taught well by Terry. Pete quickly found himself on the floor from a punch that he never saw coming. He apologised for any “misunderstanding”. After that they became firm friends. He learned a whole different set of skills from Pete.
In 2012 he was moved to Littlehey Prison near Peterborough. He had his own cell and as it was a “Cat C.” prison, it meant that he had a certain amount of freedom. He’d worked on a local farm for the past twelve months looking after cattle and sheep before they went to slaughter. He liked the work, he liked being outdoors. The farmer was a good bloke and fed him well every lunch time. He had to be back at Littlehey every day at four o’clock. After a quick shower he was then banged up for an hour before dinner at six. Two hours recreation afterwards then banged up again from eight thirty through till seven the next morning.
A month ago he got the news he’d been hoping for. He was being released on licence. He would have to report to the authorities on a regular basis, he would have to attend certain “meetings” from time to time, but he would be OUT.”
When he told Mum and Dad they were thrilled. Dad had aged a lot in nine years. He was still only in his fifties but looked ten years older. Mum had a cancer scare a few years back but seemed to be fine now. They needed him more than ever.
Today was the big day, he was leaving Littlehey and going home. Neither Mum nor Dad had a car so they’d asked his Uncle Tom to pick him up.
At exactly twelve O’clock he walked out of the gates of Littlehey and breathed the air for the first time in ten years as a free man. He was a boy when he went in and now he was a man. A big, strong, fit man.
His uncle Tom was parked a short distance from the prison gates and was standing beside the car. Jake saw him waive and headed towards the car.
There is a saying amongst Prisoners, “Just do your time”. He’d done his time. He was told early on that in prison you get a choice of two things, education or religion. He didn’t much care for any religion, but he had got educated. Terry and Pete had both taught him well. His time away had not been wasted. It had given him time to think, time to plan and most importantly time to organise and get ready for the most important thing in his life.
To hunt down the three amigos one by one and take his revenge.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s really good, Joe. Makes me on edge, gritty with punch.

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