Things were going well in Aigburth a little too well, to be honest so fate decided to intervene.
I had settled in well at Saint Michael’s school and had made some great friends.
John Bailey had been released from prison and in his letters to Carol, he had been understandably pissed off that she had left but he had been very amicable about everything.
I think in hindsight Carol should have seen it as a huge red flag because whatever she was saying he was just agreeing with without argument.
I know all of you are thinking about what’s the problem with that but if you knew John he always had to be right and he always had to have it his way.
His ego and his refusal to listen to others is what made so many people stop working with him when it came out Mo was a police informer.
Like an idiot, he defended Mo for so long and wouldn’t even consider this to be true. Some would say his loyalty was impressive but he was loyal to all the wrong people at the worst possible times.
So he began to come to see me and pick me up and we would go and sit in our old house in Isac street.
It was nice to be back in touch and I feel in his own way he liked it as well but it was all fueled by hatred and his ego was fucking with him big time.
He couldn’t let anything go like most addicts and the more drugs he took the more twisted he became.
It should be noted now he had an empty house he did not have to hide his Heroin addiction or act like he wasn’t fucked up so he spent many a night chasing that dragon.
So John has been out of jail ten minutes he’s back using drugs and back to his old tricks to get money.
while he was away had made a lot of new contacts so he started to get involved with some nasty people.
John was lucky to get locked up because back in the early 80s drugs was not as rampant in the prison system.
You could still get anything you wanted but a lot of people just used to smoke weed and relax.
There are many ways how drugs get into the prison which I will talk about in later blogs.
However in 1996 disaster unwittingly hit the prison system.
Some genius in parliament decided to introduce mandatory drug testing into the penal system.
Now, in theory, this is a good idea but in reality, it made everything so much worse. The reason it was worse is most people started testing positive for Cannabis which can be detected in your urine up to 28 days after smoking it.
Heroin is out of your system in a day and cocaine roughly three days depending on your metabolism. So many prisoners started taking Heroin when these new measures were introduced and this sent many people into a cycle of addiction and crime.
See the below links for further information regarding the system in place and many of the issues faced.
It all came to a head a couple of weeks later when I was at my dad’s. He had got himself a new girlfriend and she was looking after me so I heard about this incident some years later.
John was walking down Mill street and walking opposite to him be chance is Carol.
God only knows what triggered him that day or what had happened earlier but he saw her and flipped out.
He starts screaming at her chasing her up the road she runs into one of the shops terrified and runs behind the counter.
He’s screaming that he’s going to kill her and she’s fucking dead and all other lovely stuff in the middle of a crowded shop.
The shop owner managed to keep John from coming behind the counter but still, he won’t calm down. The police arrive to try to defuse the situation and make it ten times worse.
It should be noted what happened next really would never happen in today’s world but this is the mid-eighties it was a world apart from the modern-day.
The police calm John down and he starts pointing the finger at Carol and blaming her for all his shortcomings.
He argued that Carol had left him with bare floorboards and absolutely no furniture.
He had come home to nothing, not even a note.
Now we know this is all bullshit but the police are believing everything he says without question.
So he tells the police straight Carol can fuck off she’s not getting her son back he’s staying with me.
Now the police wherein a mixture of three emotions firstly didn’t want to be in Toxteth as even years after the riots they were not welcomed by the community.
Secondly, they couldn’t be arsed with all of this nor the paperwork they would have to do, and third and most important they wanted to get back to the station quickly so they could have a cup of tea.
If this had happened now social services would have been involved a lot quicker but back then the system was a lot more broken than it is today.
The officers were telling Carol that there was nothing they could do as apparently the law was on his side.
John not content with this and not wanting the responsibility of his son only wanted to inflict his poison and spread his hatred because if everyone would just listen to him things would be ok.
So the police are trying to find a middle ground and then they came up with an amazing plan. They would escort John Bailey back to Parkfield Road and he would come into our home and take whatever furniture he wanted because after all, it was only fair.
Carol was devastated as she had hardly taken anything from Isac street and she was already struggling big time and bringing me up without any financial support but he was adamant he had nothing and she had everything.
Considering that John lived one hundred meters away you would think that these clowns in uniform would have the common sense to go and check his house to see if what he was saying was true.
That’s impossible without a warrant one of the police answered.
So the police take John inside and he starts picking up chairs, tables, and other bits of furniture.
Then he starts asking the police to help him carry stuff downstairs. They won’t help him with it and he flips out because he thinks he’s the wronged party.
He honestly could care less that I lived there it was all about at this moment and to prove a point. So he’s walking out of the house pointing at things saying I’m coming back for that and that and that and that make sure it’s ready for me or there will be fucking murder.
Both of the police conveniently didn’t hear any of the threats even though they were stood opposite him so he left pleased with himself and returned an hour later smug as fuck as he dropped him off at my mum’s.
I remember coming home and Carol had a story about how it was the landlord’s furniture and we were getting new better stuff sent to us.
I was a kid and didn’t know any better and just believed it without question.
Life went on and Carol did a good job of hiding it from me and she somehow slowly but surely started to get little bits of people.
Gorden helped with a couple of things and so did a few of her friends its times like this you find out who your friends are. Quite quickly most of the stuff was replaced.
A few days later there was a call from John Bailey all pleased with himself talking about the electricity meter.
When Carol had moved out she didn’t have the money to pay it so she just left. Now bear in mind this was the eighties and this happened all the time.
All John had to say is it was my ex and she has left I’ve no idea where she has gone and they would have wiped it clean.
Obviously, in modern times it’s a lot harder to do this but back then it happened all the time.
To do this to anyone is probably the lowest you can go but for him to do this is ten times worse.
He’s spent his life breaking the law and nobody knows better than him that a grass is the worst scumbag of all.
None of what had happened with Mo even registered it was all about winning the fight.
Carol pointed out to him well you have not just hurt me you’ve hurt Arlo.
No, I haven’t I done this to fuck you over you fucking rat.
How can you not see the bigger picture here John?
I have done this to hurt you nothing to do with our son.
But John you have not given us a penny towards food or his clothes and now I have to find this money as well as buy new furniture to which John thought this was hilarious and put the phone down.
Carol at this stage must have been at breaking point and she realized it was not going to get better anytime soon.
The John she knew and once loved had died years ago he had been consumed by the that almighty heroin dragon and it seems he was lost forever.
He couldn’t be reasoned with he could not see more than ten seconds into the future and it was all about the next high or the next lot of money or the next job.
Due to growing up in such a destructive environment, he didn’t realize just how out of control his life had become.
He was on a runaway train with no brakes heading down shit street at 100 miles per hour.
He lost interest for a while as he had no more dirt on Carol he still hated her with a passion but he had no other cards up his sleeve yet.
I found out that he went and told the same lies to the local council about having no furniture and he was given a 400-pound grant which he didn’t have to pay back so he could buy more furniture as he claimed he was on bare floorboards.
He got the money band went on a bender then did a few other jobs and decided he wanted to be back in my life again.
He got some paperwork sent through the family court which said that Carol had to let him see me.
The court did take Carol’s side but if she didn’t allow him access she would be in serious trouble. So he started picking me up again.
I had started to dread going to see him because he would always cause a huge argument in front of the house and it was horrible to see that as a kid.
I was too young to know it was all drug-fueled but I know that man was not my dad anymore it’s like he had been possessed.
I didn’t realize until years later how obvious this was and ill explain it to you now.
I would come home and always be bored because we would never go anywhere as John would just fall asleep in front of the TV.
He would always say he was broke and didn’t have a penny to his name then we would usually go to a huge derelict block of flats where he would give a guy a load of money and then back to his so he could get fucked up.
There were blocks of flats like this all over Liverpool as the rampant drug use will not go away by itself and with funding being very scarce the problem continued to fester.
See the two links below which show both the landscape of Liverpool during the early 80s and the damage done by Heroin to the city in more detail
It may sound obvious to the reader that he was buying drugs but it’s not so obvious when it’s your dad and it’s right in front of you.
There is no excuse for his behavior but he must had have so much pain to behave in this way.
I started seeing him and soon enough the fun and games started again he would right Carol and tell her to fuck off that Arlo is staying with me and she would have to call the police.
There were many times when I was at my dad’s at the street would fill with blue lights and police.
He would say to me come on son your mum is making you go home.
I would go into the street with all the neighbors watching and then I would disappear into the night in a police car.
Carol would then have to make food for me as he would never have anything in. A lot of heroin addicts have no appetite and he didn’t think about anyone except himself.
He knew he was losing the game and he had to figure out a way to get back in the game and spread some hurt. So he disappeared off the scene for a little while.
He sold Isac street and the shop and then he was solvent again and started to rent a flat off Ullet road which was even closer to me.
The fun had only just begun and it got worse before it got better.