Letter: An artful way of using their hands

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your letters on Faginism (19 and 21 August) remind me of the experience I had at a special school.

A 14-year-old boy on his first day at this school came up to my desk to have his sums marked. Later I found he had taken the silver pen and wallet from the inside pocket of my jacket. He told how from the age of seven years he was trained by his father to pickpocket on a dummy with electric bells attached: 'If I rang a bell, father'd give me a clip under the ear.'

Asking him on his last day at the school about his future job, he assured me his father had already trained him for that.

Yours faithfully,




24 August