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I Didn't Belong: Chapter Twelve - Plan B

Ronnie Cook hitches a lift after a night out in Sheffield, then discovers that the car in which he is riding has been stolen. He is arrested and charged, which ends his hopes of a career in the Army.

To read Ronnie's frank and moving account of his turbulent and eventually inspiring life click on I Didn't Belong in the menu on this page. His book is available from www.amazon.co.uk Type Ronnie's name in the Amazon search box.

During the week I took as a holiday before I
went into the Army I went to Sheffield for a night
out on the Saturday. Inevitably I ended up in a
nightclub, knowing full well that I couldn’t get
home till the following morning when the buses
started running again. I couldn’t afford the taxi
fare, and I didn’t want to steal a car as I was going
into the Army.

I left the nightclub on my own and
kept getting moved on from the bus station, so out
of boredom I decided that I could quite easily start
walking towards Doncaster and get the bus when it
came along. I managed to get to the motorway and
decided to thumb a lift whilst I walked along. When
a car stopped I ran up to it to find two lads that I
knew. I told them to get lost but eventually I gave
in and accepted a lift from them after deciding it
would be highly unlikely we would even see a police
car, let alone get stopped by one if it was stolen.

Which was fine until we got to the Balby
roundabout, when we were stopped and arrested.
I was charged with allowing myself to be carried in a
stolen motor vehicle. I pleaded with them not to
charge me as I was joining the Army on Monday,
along with, at the time I didn’t know the car was
stolen until we were stopped and they were
charged with taking without the owner’s consent. It was
only then that I agreed that the car must be stolen
and I had allowed myself to be carried in it.

As far as the law was concerned I was guilty, so I was
charged. The CID came to the cells and took great
pleasure in having a dig and promised me I
wouldn’t get into the Army. But they could
guarantee the only thing I would be doing was time
as they would guarantee I would be locked up.

I can honestly say that I can think of no other
reason for this persecution other than my brother
and my dad’s criminal activities, along with the fact
I was a gypo and not wanted in Doncaster. After all
I had kept myself off drugs, had a job to go to,
kept out of trouble and would be away from
Doncaster in a matter of days. In later years I
found it had happened to other members of my
family as well.

On the Monday morning I went to
the Army offices to sign up but also to keep quiet
about my arrest. As my theory was that once I was
in the army I would be dealt with by means of the
army through both the civilian courts and be
punished by the army. But at least I would have a
new life and career away from the life I was
leading, which at the time and still now would be a
good option.

However, the inevitable happened, I
made the mistake of telling DC Wheatley that I
had an appointment on Monday morning to sign up
for the army, a man who for some reason had it in
for me. I can understand it from a criminal
viewpoint, but this man took it serious on a
personal level. He had actually informed the army
during the night that I had been arrested, so when I
turned up they told me that they had been
informed of my predicament and who had told
them. So that was the end of that idea for me.

Plan B, there is always a plan B. I started to get
in touch with some of my old associates and went
on the rampage, back to drug dealing etc. I found
out by whatever means (nothing is sacred and has
a price) what DC Wheatley’s shift pattern was and the area he
was working, all about him. And I went to town -
robberies, burglaries, street robberies, fighting in
public, causing problems in pubs - either by causing
trouble or tuning them into places where you could
guarantee you could buy drugs.

There was even a
time when one of the police cars his shift were
using as part of his duties was stolen the word
‘police’ painted out and replaced with the word ‘pig’,
in small letters I must add. And then to top it off, it
was put back into the car park outside the new
police station. Ironically it was there for months
before they found it; then they had to have it
pointed out to them.

Looking back we may have
made him look stupid, but we gave him lots of
overtime. There was even a police car (CID) stolen
from out Nottinghamshire way, one of those old
grey Cortinas and parked outside his house. He
thought it good to keep trying to ruin my life for
reasons best known to himself. The way I saw it
and to some extent still do was that I am not Frank
or my dad, but he pushed me into a retaliatory
situation. This I believe was more of a cultural
thing. Because if I hadn’t done anything wrong why,
therefore, was I being persecuted. So the answer is
to retaliate.

I saw him again in the 90s and he was
still a common DC. I know I shouldn’t gloat, but it
was a pleasure to see that he had not progressed
from that day either.


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