“Do you wanna come creepin’ tonight?” Asked Will, as he drove the stylish BMW.
“Creepin’?” Asked Peter, then added, “I don’t do crime no more man.”
“Don’t you need money?”
“Yeah an’ no,” Answered Peter.
Then Will said, “I just thought that if you earned some money with me you could buy yerself some camera equipment and editing stuff. You told me at yer 23rd birthday party that you wanna start a business makin’ music videos.”
“Yeah I do,” Answered Peter, “That’s why I’m studying filmmaking at college.”
Will, who was 29, then said, “Well listen man. You can come out with me tonight. You know I only creep rich peoples houses…An’ I usually earn at least a few grand when I’ve sold their jewellery and things.”
Peter tilted up the peak of his baseball cap and said, “I can’t do that anymore man. I can’t risk goin’ back to prison. I’ve only been out nine months, an’ Kerry’s six months pregnant.”
Will pulled up the BMW behind a car that had stopped at the traffic lights, and he turned to look at Peter, who was short and slightly chubby looking and handsome with piercing blue eyes, and Will said, “Well maybe you should come creepin’. Put a bit of money aside for when the baby’s born…Babies cost money man. Believe me, they’re bloody expensive.”
“I dunno man…I dunno if I wanna risk being nicked.”
“Suit yerself then,” Said Will, as he pulled away when the traffic light changed. Then he added, “Its easy money. If you don’t wanna earn though its up to you. I’ve probably made fifty grand in the past six months…Easily.”
Peter looked at Will, who was also wearing a baseball cap. And Will was also good looking. He was tall, athletically built, with dark cropped hair, dark stubble and a deep scar running from the corner of his mouth to the bottom of his chin. Will had got the scar after being glassed during a pub fight when he was a teenager.
Peter then asked Will, “So what you spent fifty grand on?”
“You know what I’ve spent it on. I’ve spent most of it on crack, ecstasy, clothes, night clubs, an putting food on the table for Jenny an’ our kids.”
Peter adjusted his baseball cap nervously and said, “Its not what I’d spend it on. I’d put some money away for when the baby’s born…An’ like you said, I wanna get some camera equipment and start my own business.”
“Well I wouldn’t tell you what to spend it your money on. Do what you want with it. But all I’m saying is that I earn easy money, an’ I thought of you cos your my pal an’ I know you need money.”
Peter paused a moment in thought, then asked, “So where would we go creepin’ then?”
“Anywhere,” Will replied, “Wimbledon, Chelsea, Richmond. Anywhere there’s rich people…You wanna come or not?”
“I dunno man,” Peter replied, then after a pause he added, “Ok man. Just this once.”
Will looked at him and smiled, before turning back to the road ahead and said, “Cool man. You won’t regret it.”
It was three’o’clock in the morning when Will parked the BMW in a leafy street in Richmond. Will switched off the engine and lit up a cigarette and suddenly said, “You know what, I dunno if we should do this now. Maybe we should come another night…I don’t feel right.”
Peter adjusted his baseball cap nervously, “Lets just do it. We’re here now.”
Will flicked cigarette ash out of the window and said, “Come on then, lets go.”
They both got out of the car and looked at the houses.
Will said, “Nice drums ain’t they?”
“Beautiful,” Peter replied, “Big as well. Probably at least five bedrooms, all detached, big drives, big gardens. They probably all cost at least a couple of million each.”
“I told you man. I only rob rich people.”
Peter and Will started creeping around the houses, climbing in back gardens and looking for unlocked back doors and windows. After nearly an hour, Will spotted something and said to Peter, “Look.”
“There’s an open window above that flat roof extension.”
“Oh yeah,” Said Peter.
“Looks like a bathroom window or something,” Said Will, “I’ll climb in and let you in…Wait by the front door.”
Will climbed up onto the extension roof and just about managed to squeeze through the open bathroom window. Then a minute later he unlocked the front door and said to Peter, “we’re in.”
Will then looked around the hallway and said, “Keep yer baseball cap pulled low an’ take one of them scarves from the coat rack. Tie it round the bottom of yer face to mask yerself. I’ll do the same.”
Will then said, “Let’s go in the kitchen and get some sharp knives…Then we’ll take the bedrooms.”
They got two large carving knives and crept up the stairs. Then Will switched on the light in the master bedroom and said loudly, “Wake up.”
Malcolm, a middle aged man sat up in bed shocked and said, “Oh my God. What are you doing in my house?”
Malcolm’s wife Patricia also stirred and sat up half asleep and said, “Jesus.”
“Just behave yerselves,” Will said firmly, “An’ you won’t get hurt…Have you got a safe?”
“No I haven’t,” Said Malcolm, struggling to comprehend what was happening, “What are you doing in my house?”
Will ignored the question then asked, “Who else is in the house?”
“Just our two daughters,” Answered Malcolm.
Will looked at Peter and said, “I’m gonna get them.”
“Please don’t hurt them,” Said Patricia, “They’re only teenagers.”
Will looked at Peter again and said, “Watch these two.”
A short time later, Will was back in the master bedroom with the two frightened half asleep girls. The youngest of them, thirteen year old Michaela, burst into tears when she looked at her father and asked, “What’s going on daddy?”
“We’re being robbed darling.”
Will then said firmly, “I’m only gonna ask you one more time…Where’s yer safe? If you don’t tell me I’m gonna kill both yer daughters.”
Susan, the older of the two girls also suddenly burst into tears and said, “Tell them daddy.”
“Ok,” Said Malcolm, “Its in the floor of the walk in wardrobe. I’ll open it and just take what you want and go you bloody animals.”
Will started up the BMW and as he pulled away he said, “We’ve had a result man. Gold and diamond Jewellery. One Rolex and two Cartier watches an’ eight hundred pound in cash…You pleased?”
“Yeah…I feel a bit bad though.”
“Don’t feel bad. They’re bloody rich,” Said Will, “They’ll just claim it back on their insurance.”
“I know. But it can’t be nice being woken up in yer own home…An’ they looked really frightened when you said you’d kill their girls.”
Will didn’t speak for a moment, then said, “You know I didn’t mean that. I just said that to get them to open their safe…You know I’d never really harm women and kids.”
Peter didn’t speak, then Will asked, “You ‘ungry?”
“I’ll stop at the garage an’ get us something to munch.”
Will pulled up the car at a twenty-four hour petrol station and put thirty pounds of petrol in the car, then he opened the drivers door and said to Peter, “I’ll get you a meat pasty. Do you want anythin’ else?”
“Yeah, can you get me some cheese an’ onion crisps and a can of coke.”
Will walked to the service window. Just then a police car pulled into the garage and stopped behind Will’s car. Peter looked at the rear view mirror tensely and watched two policemen exit the car.
One of the policemen went over and spoke to Will, while the second policeman, Brian, tapped Peter’s passenger side window and Peter nervously opened it. Brian said, “Can you step out of the car please.”
Peter stepped out and Peter became aware that the officer had body armour on and a handgun in a holster.
“Can you tell me what you’re doing out this time of the morning?” Brian asked.
“We’ve just come from a nightclub,” Peter said nervously.
“Ok…Have you got any drugs on you?”
Brian studied Peter’s facial expression intensely then said, “I’m going to search your car then search you.”
Peter swallowed nervously, “Ok.”
Brian opened the passenger door and immediately found the carrier bag where Peter’s feet were and he asked Peter, “Who’s bag is this, and where’s all this jewellery and cash come from?”
“What do you mean you don’t know? You were sitting there. Is it yours?”
“Is it your mates?”
Peter swallowed nervously again and answered, “I dunno.”
“You don’t know much do you?” Brian said sarcastically, “My instincts tell me that its stolen, so I’m going to bring you to the station and make some enquiries.”
Peter made eye contact with Will across the petrol station forecourt, and the other policeman was leading Will to the police car by holding Will’s arm. Brian then grabbed Peter’s arm and started walking him to the police car as well. Peter suddenly yanked his arm free and started running. And seconds later Brian pulled the gun out of its holster and chased after Peter.
“Stop or I’ll shoot,” Brian shouted, but Peter just kept running while Brian gave chase and shouted again, “I said stop or I’ll shoot.”
Peter just kept running and he was terrified, expecting to get a bullet in the back at any moment.
“I’m not going to tell you again,” Shouted Brian between gasps of heavy breathing, “I said stop or I’ll shoot.”
But Peter just kept running in blind panic, and he ran into a block of garages with just one exit in and the same exit to get out. He was trapped and turned around to face Brian who’d stopped and pointed his gun at Peter.
“Get on your knees and put your hands in the air.” Brian shouted.
“Ok,” Said Peter lowering himself to his knees and raising his arms in the air, “Don’t shoot me please. I’m unarmed.”
Brian continued pointing the gun at Peter and said, “Now lay face down on the floor and put your hands behind your back.”
Peter did as Brian instructed and moments later Brian roughly snapped a pair of handcuffs on Peter and said, “You’re nicked.”
Will and Peter sat in the dock at South Western Magistrates court. In the public gallery were Will’s girlfriend Jenny and Peter’s pregnant girlfriend Kerry. Both women looked tired and drained. They hadn’t slept properly since they’d learned that Will and Peter had been arrested the morning before.
The prosecutor said to the magistrate, “Your honour, I now present to you a case of aggravated burglary involving defendants William Morris, aged 29, or Earlsfield Road, South West 18. And Peter Philips, aged 23, of Garrett Lane, South West 18.
“At approximately 4 A.M on Tuesday 29th of August, 2004, the two defendants entered the premises of 14 Welbeck Road, Richmond, Surrey, and woke up the occupants and stole approximately forty-thousand pounds worth of Jewellery and eight-hundred pounds in cash.
“During the burglary the defendants threatened the victims with knives and the defendant William Morris threatened to kill two teenage girls if their father didn’t open a safe for him.”
The magistrate peered above the top of his horn-rimmed glasses and asked the prosecutor, “I see, is there an application for bail?”
“There is your honour,” The prosecutor continued, “Both the defendants are applying for bail, but the police are strongly contesting this and want the defendants to be remanded in custody.
“Both the defendants have recently been released from prison, William Morris just six months ago was released after serving a Four and a half year sentence, again for aggravated burglary and possession of crack cocaine.
“And Peter Philips was released from prison nine months ago after serving a two year sentence for burglary, handling stolen goods and possession of cannabis.
“Police are opposing bail due to the serious nature of the offence, and the likelihood that an inevitable long custodial sentence would cause the defendants to flee and not attend court.
“Both the defendants have a serious criminal record, dating back to offences committed when they were teenagers.
“The police also fear that the defendants would try to interfere with the victims and try to persuade them not to give evidence, and Peter Philips also failed to appear at court on a burglary charge four years ago, and as I’ve already mentioned, its likely that he would fail to appear again, knowing he is looking at a long custodial sentence.
“Its also felt that William Morris would fail to attend court for similar reasons, and he has a history of escaping, having escaped twice from custody. Once when he smuggled himself out of prison in a lorry after he concealed himself in a laundry sack, covered by dirty clothes and sheets etc, that were being taken to an outside laundry for cleaning. On another occasion William Morris also walked out of an open prison when he was nearing the end of his sentence.
“The police also fear that if the defendants were released on bail they would commit further offences, especially William Morris, as he has a history of crack cocaine addiction.”
Will and Peter’s solicitors tried to state a case why they should be given bail, but the magistrate was for the police. And Peter’s solicitor had stated that Peter was studying filmmaking at college and his girlfriend was pregnant, but the magistrate had no sympathy.
The magistrate looked at Will and Peter sternly and said, “I’ve listened to the prosecution and your defence solicitors, and I’ve decided to remand you both in custody. You will appear at this court again in two weeks for committal proceedings, then your case due to its serious nature will be transferred to The Old Baily.”
The magistrate then looked at the two prison officers in the dock with Will and Peter and said, “Officers…Take them down.”
Peter looked helplessly at his girlfriend Kerry in the public gallery and Kerry put her hand on her pregnant stomach and burst into tears.
Will also looked at his girlfriend Jenny and she smiled painfully and said loudly, “I love you babe.”
Will smiled back and blew her a kiss, then moments later the prison officers took Will and Peter down to the cells.
TO BE CONTINUED