Measuring out life in punches and beer cans
Wednesday 14 September 1994
John now begs all day with his friends on the streets of London. He turned to drink to counteract his loneliness and to help him face the hardship.
'If I get the price of two cans, I'll stop and sit down . . . Once the cans have run out we come back and beg the price of another two. We beg until the off-licence closes.' At first he was embarrassed to beg but now he cannot imagine any other life.
The past week has been 'terrible, real bad'. He constantly faces verbal abuse and physical violence. 'Quite a few times people have punched me in the face . . . I could hurt them back but I am the one who is going to get the backlash.
'The police keep you in for about four hours, then they throw you out. I always plead guilty. It's a fine or a day's imprisonment, so if you've been in a night you are OK.' He wonders why the police do not help him more.
John has not seen his family since he arrived in London, and his real wish is to see his mother again. But he feels too bad to go back and see her. He just cannot see his way out of his present situation. 'I've gone past that stage sweetheart, you know what I mean?'
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 3 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Edward Heath 'raped 12 year-old boy at Mayfair flat'
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist personal injury...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An experienced TLO is required to manage, deli...