'For almost all my life, I've been the person you crossed the street to avoid. I had nothing in my life but that need, that empty space I could only fill with more drugs, with more drink. That was my aim - steal by day, get wasted by night...' Peter Woolf is 50 and has spent half his life in and out of jail. A heroin addict at fourteen he went on to become a notorious career criminal with close links to the London crime underworld. Yet, amazingly, today Peter is clean and has not reoffended since a life-changing meeting in 2002 when he came face to face with some of his victims. Born in 1957 into one of London's leading crime families - the Nashes - Peter was regularly beaten by his stepfather and by the woman he thought was his mother (though he found out later in life that his mother was in fact Alice, whom he had always thought was his elder sister).He saw his first dead body when he was six, and when he was twelve he was sent to a juvenile detention centre for assaulting his teacher. On his release his life became an endless cycle of drugs, violent crimes to pay for drugs, then prison.
This is a searingly honest and gritty portrayal of a man ensconced in a world of violence and depravity who, against the odds, managed to turn his life around.
Peter Woolf is fifty and was a career criminal until five years ago. He is now married and lives in Norfolk. He regularly gives lectures to police forces and other groups up and down the country on Restorative Justice. He is employed by the Metropolitan Police as a Restorative consultant, working in North London with prolific and priority offenders.