Day 1: Archer's brush with the law

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The Independent Online

They were the very words guaranteed to chill the spine of former prisoner FF8282. Seven hours after Jeffrey Archer was driven out of a Suffolk jail, having had two years and two days of Her Majesty's enforced hospitality, PC LX466 told him: "I'm sorry but you can't do that. It's illegal."

Fortunately, the misdemeanour had nothing to do with using prostitutes or lying under oath but leaving his gleaming BMW in a "red zone" while the 63-year-old millionaire author sat in the sparse probation service office in Brixton, south London.

He had to push through a crowd of TV cameras and photographers before a 70-minutes talk on his future, interrupted by the police warning. Before his son, William, 31, drove the BMW away, one Brixton resident said: "Hey, he's one of us now."