I kidded myself that I would be fine and that I would not go to prison, after all prisons are for rapists, paedophiles and murderers aren’t they? Neither I nor my family were prepared for what happened and the stress that this put upon us was intolerable. It was worse for my family, they were trying to cope and put on a brave face for my benefit but they were suffering. My children had to go to school and face their friends, my wife had to face the neighbours all the time trying to find out what was happening to me and what was going to happen next. I assumed that being a white collar offence that I would go straight to open prison, how wrong I was. Open prison in not a right but a privilege which like everything else in prison has to be earned, except no one explains to you what you should do to gain these earned privileges. In fact no one told me anything, I was shown to my cell, there was a cell mate, I had a bed pack some well-worn prison clothes, the door was shut and that was it…..being prepared would have helped greatly, I would have had a plan. It would have taken away a lot of the stress and strain on my family and my progression would have been so much quicker.
I was absolutely terrified about the prospect of prison, I lived in denial throughout the whole process of being on bail and trial at court. When I arrived in prison it was almost like an out of body experience. All of a sudden I had to exist in a world that was completely alien, the noise, the smell, the filth and the constant feeling of impending danger no one prepared me for, other than my solicitor telling me to ‘keep your head down’ which actually turned out to be bad advice. It took me a long time to adjust and I made some mistakes which could have slowed my progression. I was used to being in control of my life and all of a sudden I found that I had no control, I was a number and was treated like all the others no matter what the offences were.