By Paul Warwick
SOME of The Bible is written by murderers. This may shock some people and enlighten
others, as they will see the redemptive nature of God. A God who can change the worst of
sinners into the greatest of saints. Quite simply, God can make bad people become good.
In 2007 Daz appeared at The Old Baily and was found guilty of manslaughter on the
grounds of diminished responsibility. He was subsequently locked up for four years. And
now at the age of 27, he is a Christian, married and is a father to a one year old boy. He has
two jobs, and runs two Bible study groups called The Freedom Forum. One of the groups is
at Christ Church Anerley, in South East London, and the other is at Christ Church Sidcup.
The groups are for people who’ve been in prison, psychiatric hospitals or trouble with the
police. Six of the people who attend the group at Anerley are schizophrenics. And three of
the people who attend this group have killed someone, including one guy who’d spent many
years in Broadmoore.
Daz became fixated with violence from a very young age. His uncle had taken him to see
a Millwall v Manchester City football match. He remembers being hyped up and excited by
the crowd, and he witnessed football fans ripping up seats and throwing them into the
stands of rival supporters. And even though Daz was a little kid, he was gripped by these
images, and years later he became a violent football thug supporting Millwall.
Daz followed Millwall to other towns and cities, and would cause trouble, fighting other
fans, smashing windows and generally going on the rampage, and there were times when
he got arrested.
At this stage in Daz’s life, he was fascinated by violent criminals and programs like Crime
Watch, and it made him want to be like the violent people who were portrayed in the
program, and he thought that if people feared him he would have respect, which was
something Daz always craved and wanted.
One Friday night he’d been hanging around the streets with a gang of teenage friends
and drinking alcohol. A man had then verbally had a go at Daz and made him look silly in
front of his friends. Daz then ran all the way home and got a hammer and then he found
the guy who’d made him look small, and Daz then smashed him over the head with the
hammer. Incidences like this gave Daz a reputation and made people fear him, and this was
what Daz wanted.
One day Daz decided that he needed to start carrying a knife and he bought five Stanley
knives for him and his friends to take to another Millwall match up North. During a fight
between both sets of fans, Daz used his Stanley knife to slash some ones face.
On the train back to London Daz and his Millwall friends were hyped up and buzzing as
they talked about the violence they’d committed. But after a while the mood changed and
it went quiet, and Daz suddenly felt as sense of emptiness, like something was missing from
Daz then started dating a girl who is now his wife. When he started going out with her,
he felt very protective, obsessive and paranoid about her. He heard one night that a club
bouncer had made a sexual comment to her. A couple of days later Daz was drinking in the
club and a fight broke out with Daz and his friends fighting the bouncers. Daz and his
friends then rushed off from the club to get weapons, then when they returned a fight
broke out again and Daz was armed with a garden pitch fork and was trying to stab a
bouncer in the face with it.
A little while after that, Daz’s girlfriend started asking him to come to church, and that
really baffled him. For one, he didn’t believe in God, and he thought that if God did exist,
‘Why would he want to know a scum bag like me?’
The only dealing that Daz had had with a church before, was when he burgled one and
stole the DJ equipment that they used for a club there.
Daz’s girlfriend kept asking him to come to church and persuaded him to attend an Alpha
course, where he could learn the basics about Christianity and ask questions. Daz had then
said to his girlfriend, ‘If I do the Alpha course, and I find out that there’s no God, I don’t ever
want you to mention God to me again, and I will never ever come to church with you again’.
As the Alpha course was still going on, Daz was still continuing to get into trouble. One
night he stabbed a guy in the intestines and the guy was in hospital for a week, and Daz was
charged with GBH and was due to appear at Woolwich Crown Court at a later date.
Daz was really happy when it got to the last day of the Alpha course, and he thought that
he’d never have to set foot in a church again, and he’d only been attending the course to
keep his girlfriend happy, and he still didn’t believe in God.
On the last day of the Alpha course, a couple who are now Daz’s friends, asked him if he
wanted prayer to receive The Holy Spirit. Daz then started giggling and rolling his eyes back,
thinking, ‘These people are crazy’.
After the couple had asked Daz if they could pray for him, Daz simply said, ‘No thanks’,
and he started walking towards the door. His girlfriend then stopped him and said, ‘Daz if
you don’t go up and get prayer, how are you ever going to know if God is real or not?’
Daz then very reluctantly went forward for prayer and he stood there for about five
minutes and in his own words he said, ‘He felt like a right plum’. And he felt embarrassed,
imagining what his friends would think to see him standing in a church waiting for prayer.
Daz says he wasn’t really listening to what the couple were praying for him and he was
just about to open his eyes and turn around and say to his girlfriend, ‘That’s it. I told you it
was a load of crap. God is not real’.
Then all of a sudden Daz felt this incredible force surging through his body. It was the
most incredible physical presence he’d ever felt. It was so overpowering, and after a while
he snapped himself out of it and said to the couple praying for him, ‘I don’t need any more
evidence. I know God exists now’.
Daz says that it was exactly what he needed. He needed God to show him that he’s real.
And that’s exactly what he did. Daz had felt the presence of God in an unmistakeable and
For about the next two weeks Daz felt like his life was transformed. He stopped carrying
a knife and he felt an overwhelming sense of love. He no longer felt that something was
missing in his life, and he felt like God had filled the emptiness in his heart.
One night though Daz went to a nightclub with his old friends and him and his mates got
into a fight with some other guys, and Daz had stabbed one of them in the face with a
broken bottle. A couple of months later he ended up being charged with murder, after
another guy he’d stabbed died. Daz was 19 years old.
Daz was then locked up for four years, and during this time he was blown away by the
amount of support he received from people at his now fiancé’s church. And whilst he was
locked up he had a lot of time to study The Bible and think about God, and the guards
commented to Daz that he seemed to have real sense of peace about him.
Whilst Daz was locked up, he also studied to get his first two qualifications, two A levels,
and since he’s been released he’s passed another A level, gaining an A grade.
Daz was released in 2011 and in the summer of 2012 he married his fiancé, and in
January 2014 their son was born.
If you met Daz today, you would find it hard to believe that he was once a violent killer.
He is now 27 years old. He is tall and slim with cropped dark hair. He speaks articulately
with a strong cockney accent. And one of the first things you notice about him is that he has
a calm and gentle spirit. And its hard to believe that God can change someone so much.
But he has. Daz has changed extraordinarily, thanks to the power of a loving Jesus.
Daz’s pastor Mathew Fitter at Christ Church Anerley says about him, “Daz is now an
incredible blessing to the church, as a preacher and leader of The Freedom Forum for ex
And Daz says, “If God can change me he can change anyone. He has helped me rebuild
my life and have a love in my heart that is indescribable.”