Thursday, 14 September 2023

I've been a little quiet recently. Here's why...

I've been busy publishing books and preparing even more books for publication. 

Working with the amazing performance chef and former athlete, Zena Weeks, we have brought out the recipe book Recipes for Performance Sports.

It has been carefully crafted for performance athletes but in actual fact the recipes are so healthy and nutritious, they are great for everyone. 

You can order your copy by clicking on the link above. 

Thursday, 31 August 2023

The Crown Series 4...

Let me start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of period drama. I watched quite a bit of it when I was in my teens and the choice of TV viewing was limited to what broadcasters decided to transmit, so up until now I have only dipped in and out of series 1-3 of The Crown. But Series 4 came with the promise of a period of history I actually knew about first-hand. I had lived though it, so my curiosity was aroused. I'd seen the sumptuousness of previous episodes of the show and the stellar performances of the cast in a variety of other roles so my expectations were high.

Any dramatisation of real events is made by merging the representation of the facts and the interpretation of them by the writer, the director and the producers. So in order not to be swayed in my judgement of the series by my memories of that time, I watched an episode and then the real footage before and again after, for comparison.

What struck me straight away was that The Crown has been made with the advantage (it could be argued, disadvantage) of very long-reaching hindsight. As such it represents key figures - Charles and Diana - as equally complicit in creating a fiction for the nation. In particular, it portrays Diana both as fundamentally dim and/or naïve, whilst also being manipulative and cunning. In truth it's difficult to see how she could be both dim and cunning simultaneously. 

I was a teenager when Charles and Diana married and these scenarios played out in real life. Whilst I've never been particularly interested in the monarchy, nor a fan of them in general or of Diana in particular, like every young girl of the time I followed the romancing of the Princess-to-be and watched the royal wedding. I saw the camera footage that captured Diana's doe-eyed gaze upon her future husband, the seemingly shy girl who was still willing smile for everyone she met. And I saw the way Charles seemed genuinely taken by her. 

In The Crown, Diana's coyness is over-egged. Forced even. She appears to already know her eventual fate of readily discarded and unloved wife, not to mention the legacy she will leave behind her with her premature death. Every scene is over-played for more than it's worth... and then some. 

For younger viewers or those who have no first-hand recollection of this period, and in particular for those not residing in the UK, it might seem that the writing was on the wall. Indeed in many scenes the viewer almost feels as if there must surely be a violinist waiting in the wings for a grand entrance. Whilst I am no real fan of the monarchy, I admit to feeling uneasy that  Diana is made out to be a simpering, cunning yet whimpering ingenue, whilst Charles seems torn between his heart and his duty. 

What is represented on screen is a duplicitous relationship where both parties seek only to fulfil their own needs and wants. And in that, perhaps in truth  it is no different to any real courtship. Except for one thing. Re-watching the real archive footage I couldn't help but believe both Charles and Diana entered into marriage in the belief that they could make it work. Yes, we all know in hindsight that Charles still had a dalliance (for lack of a better word) with the very married Camilla going on at the time, but let's face it, he wouldn't have been the first man to believe that he could get over one woman by getting under another...

The script has been well written, the dialogue realistic and all too plausible and I cannot fault the amazing performances by the excellent cast, which includes Olivia Coleman. Therefore I feel the fault is in the direction. The too-simpering coy looks of Diana, the hesitant, falseness of Charles, the almost tally ho attitude of Camilla's every scene. 

It's not the words they speak to one another that rings so untrue, it's the tilt of their heads, the arch of their backs, the tell-tale signs that they don't believe a word they utter. And that, dear friends is what happens when you already know the ending of a story. Charles couldn't fall in love with Diana because he couldn't fall out of love with Camilla. Diana died. The rest, very literally, is now history and Camilla is now Queen Consort. 

But did this little triangle of human beings know that's how things would turn out? Could they have had any inkling? Of course not. Sad to say that if the direction had been played differently I would be raving about The Crown Series 4. Unfortunately it wasn't, and I'm not. 

Thursday, 17 August 2023


Recently I was asked to write a few lines about what libraries meant to me as a child, for a publication. This is what I wrote: 

I was a voracious reader as a child, and tackled books that were far beyond expectations for my age. 

Libraries were my salvation. There, amongst the scent of wood and polish, the librarians with their hair held tightly back in a bun and stacks of books that never judged me for the poverty that prevented me from buying fresh, crisp books, I lost, and found myself.  

But writing those few lines made me think. I've spent a lot of time writing books over the past decade and a half, and I've watched prices creep up on everything from petrol to bread. Has it had a knock on effect on my sales? Well yes. But I'm no longer chasing the dream. I don't have to. So instead of raising my prices in line with inflation, I'm going to do the opposite...

On the 15th September the price of Split Decision (ebook) will lower on to 99p and on to $0.99, for a short period of time. Likewise you can now pre-order the 2nd Edition of  The Owners, Volume 2: Storm Clouds for 99p. Cheaper than a 2 for 1 deal!

Happy reading. 

Thursday, 15 June 2023

Why I do what I do

Two weeks ago I released the family drama The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons. It was to be my third book release of 2023. (I wrote about my inspiration and reason for this book which you can find if you scroll down a few posts.)

Somewhere between releasing the dystopian science fiction novel Future Imperfect and The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons I realised I needed help. If you've been following my books, you'll already know that all my profits go to animal charities, animal rescues and children's charities, so paying for advertising has always been contra-intuitive for me. I wanted to be able to give money to the various global charities and rescues, and I couldn't do that if I was spending the money on advertising... But sales were less than great. And little money coming in meant that little money could go to good causes. 

And then a strange thing happened. The interest in The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons was obvious, even before I released the book. This interest has far outweighed any of my other books and the love that I have felt from readers and other authors has taken my breath away. Two in particular have been a great source of information on marketing and advertising, things I'd never really done before. Between them they have advised me on a variety of marketing approaches, all of which I'm trying out. Hopefully the money spent on advertising will generate more money that I can use to help save and improve animal and children's lives. 

So why do I give my profits away? Well I'm naturally frugal (some would go so far as to say tight), but I prefer the term careful. I'm not a shopper, I don't eat meat and I don't like fine wines. I'm generally happy with a Greek salad and a shandy. I don't often go on holiday as I have a low boredom threshold and I miss my pets too much and I have no expensive hobbies. Sounds boring, right? Well it probably is to most folks. 

But it serves my purpose. Back when I published my first few books, I stood in the middle of the Bromsgrove branch of WHSmith and sold signed copies and every penny of profit went to a charity to support a young, disabled local girl. Being able to help her and her family in this small way made me feel a hundred times better than any material possession could ever have done. So it's not an entirely altruistic one-way transaction. I get something from it too. If I can save one cat/dog/squirrel/pigeon or help a child, then my time on this earth will have had a greater purpose. And that's what drives me. 

Since I began writing, I've used my profits to help a number of other charities globally. I've never given more than £50 at a time to any cause, so we're not talking life changing sums of money for them, although I hope one day to be able to do that, but it's enough to help ease their struggle just a little. And sometimes that's the difference between an animal being rescued or not. A life being saved or not. 

Many of my books deal with social issues. Jigsaw Girl (currently reduced to 99p) deals with teenage peer pressure, guilt, self-esteem issues and cutting, Split Decision deals with coming of age insecurities, pressures and dangers, and The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons deals with isolation, lack of understanding, loneliness and a social inability to fit in. They are things that most of us will encounter in one way or another during our lifetime. Life can be tough. My books are not self-help manuals, they are compelling stories that I hope help people make sense of the world around them; that let readers see that they are not alone; and that have the power to make people really stop and think. 

So now that you know all about why and what I write, I do hope you'll take a look at some of my books. Your purchase will help change the world just a little. Doesn't that sound like a good enough reason to buy?


Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Monday, 29 May 2023

About the release of The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons

 A lot of people have asked me why it's taken me so long to release The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons. The answer is simple and yet exceptionally emotionally complex. 

I wrote the book back in 2009 or thereabouts and edited it ready for publication. But I didn't publish it. I couldn't. I wasn't emotionally ready. But I am now. 

The story centres around Lucas Reverential Pertwee - an unusual boy in an unusual situation. Lucas finds and takes in an injured pigeon and in caring for and helping to heal the bird, he manages to emotionally heal himself. The character of Lucas is based upon me and my eldest child, Ryan. We are both raw, bleeding hearts when it comes to animals. 

But the core of the story is actually about my dad. Or rather my step-dad, Gerald McCammick. He took me in as his daughter when I was six and strove to provide a physically safe environment for me. I make the distinction here because ours was not always an easy relationship. Both of us were emotionally scarred by life and there are things that regardless of how hard you try, you never fully recover from. So we trundled along with the occasional drunken rage on his part and teenage truculent slamming of doors on mine. 

I'm not seeking to trivialise these moments. They were part of our lives. A big part. But they also never really shook the bedrock that our made-family was founded upon. We both knew we loved each other. 

Of course there is much more to this story than I've put down upon this page. But that is for another time. Or perhaps never. 

When I wrote the book I told my dad that I was dedicating it to him. He just smiled and said, "Oh aye, very good Carmen." But I know how much it meant to him. It didn't matter that I couldn't bring myself to publish it for so long. We both knew the dedication was forged in each line of text I'd written. Publishing the book wouldn't give it any more validation than it existing in the first place. And when my dad died a few years ago, it didn't matter that I still hadn't brought out the book. The time wasn't yet right. 

So what made the time right now? I don't honestly know, except that deep inside I recognised the change. I'm 56... and six. I'm still that little girl. I still rescue pigeons. 

The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons is available from June 1st, in time for ordering for Father's Day. Take a look at all my books here.


Monday, 8 May 2023

Monday, 10 April 2023

New release. Future Imperfect


When a young Alpha’s fiancé is injured and declassified to a Delta by ELSA, the dome’s Enhanced Living System Autonomy, she has to set out across the ravaged world to bring him safely back. Luckily Fortitude Smith isn’t just any ordinary Alpha. Unfortunately ELSA isn’t what it appears to be either.
From the author of Split Decision and Ascension, comes a brand new sci-fi novel, Future Imperfect, that will captivate and enthral science fiction readers worldwide.
In this dystopian future, people live according to their birth classes. Beta and lower live in the outside world, whilst Alphas are protected in the dome, watched over by ELSA – the dome’s AI. But ELSA has more than one secret.
Part of a new duology, Future Imperfect is an insight not just into the fruitful imagination of its
author, but highlights a very realistic and plausible future world.
“Technology has moved on in leaps and bounds in my lifetime and the development of artificial intelligence has been simply astounding. I actually wrote this book about 10 years ago and back then AI was almost in its infancy compared to where it’s at now. And so my vision as well as other truly visionary authors is on the cusp of being realised.
There is so much tech in the world that sometimes I fear losing our humanity is inevitable. I can only hope that the world envisaged in Future Imperfect and Future Perfect do not come to pass,” Capuano says.
Capuano is no stranger to conflict within her books and indeed the lives of her characters. Known for her perception and sensitivity to her characters and their situations, Future Imperfect promises to be as perceptive and engrossing as her other books.
Future Imperfect is out now and available now in print and ebook versions from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other reputable online book retailers.
If you enjoyed Split Decision or The Owners by Carmen Capuano then you’ll love Future Imperfect.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

 NEW BOOK, ‘Family: Life’, explores the duality of its themes with passion and rare insight. 

With her latest book, author Carmen Capuano takes the reader on a journey both exciting and insightful.  Delivering a heart-wrenching story about infertility wrapped inside a wider arc of themes of conservation and animal rights, Capuano has the reader swaying from one viewpoint to another, one heartfelt belief to another.

 Adapted from the screenplay of the same name by Paul F. Gorlinsky, Family: Life powerfully examines the desperate need for a child and weighs it up against prevalent contemporary beliefs.

It was important that the reader was able to see all the intricacies of both sides of the story and also to experience it through the eyes of the main character of Barbara Lingorsky,” Capuano says. “Barbara’s desperate need for a child becomes all-encompassing and it’s this which drives her narrative.” 

Capuano is no stranger to conflict within her books and indeed the lives of her characters. Known for her perception and sensitivity to her characters and their situations, Family: Life promises to be no less engrossing and controversial than her other books.

Family: Life is priced at £2.50 (ebook) and £8.50  (paperback) and available now in print and ebook versions from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other reputable online book retailers.

One pair of primate conservationists desperate for a child. One perfect solution.

Primatologists Vlas and Barbara Lingorsky are fully aware of the importance of their work as research scientists in the Rwandan jungle. And of the danger it puts them in.

When poachers kill an infant gorilla, Barbara is forced into consideration of her biological clock and the memory of the loss of her own child. With Barbara now unable to bear a child naturally, events seem to take on a momentum of their own. It’s not too long before her longing for a family overflows into her everyday life, and the perfect solution presents itself…

If you enjoyed Planet of The Apes by Pierre Boulle or The Owners by Carmen Capuano then you’ll love Family: Life.

Saturday, 30 July 2022


Today, with big news on the way, we've been working hard to set up the socials for  Emmeline Productions. You can now catch us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook just by searching for Emmeline Productions. 

We have big news coming, so make sure not to miss out! 

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

An audio reading of Split Decision...

With thanks to Wine & Words and the amazing Sarah Jane Rose. 

Listen to the interview and hear the book here. 

Note: the reading follows the interview. 

Happy listening. x

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Who am I?

I'm Carmen Capuano. When I was five years old I saw my father smash my mother’s front teeth right out of her mouth. And the saddest part of that statement, is that I’d already seen it all before.

I’m a survivor.

One of life’s hanger-on’s, a refuser of taking the easy-way out; I’m the one who won’t give up. The one who will keep fighting, even when others would admit defeat. Because if I do, if I actually give up, I’m not sure what will be left for me.

Maybe nothing. So that’s why I write.

I write to prove I’m still alive.

Jigsaw Girl is, I believe, one of the finest and most heart-rending books I have written. Every line of dialogue, every situation she finds herself in, every time she has to fight just for survival, these are the hallmarks of her life. And I understand them so well.

I’m neither black nor Asian, but I was raised in poverty, dragged up in the unforgiving streets of Glasgow, daughter of an Italian, wife-beating, gambling father, and an ineffectual mother. You think misery belongs to the ethnic minorities? I’ll tell you now that it doesn’t.

But I don’t tell you this to garner your pity; I tell you to let you see who I am. These are my qualifications for writing this story, my badges of dishonour.

Look at me, look at my pictures – you will only see what I allow you to. But read my stories and you are let into the depths of my soul. It may not be a nice place to be, but God help me, it’s real. 

To date I have written 27 books, only six of which I have published. They cover most genres because that’s how real life is – hard and gritty but also bizarre and full of unexpected twists and turns.

So why should you chose me, out of all the writers out there? Maybe because I can tell a good story. Maybe because I’m a workaholic. Or just maybe because I’m a tortured soul.

And if there’s one thing human nature loves, it’s vicariously experiencing someone else’s misery - viewed from a safe distance of course.

Roll up, roll up, come see the freak show.

But that’s not all of me. I’m deeper than that, at least.

You will find me charming, honest, hard-working and conscientious. The raw terror at life is hidden, the pain subsumed, condensed, spat out onto the pristine page.

You want to know how real life can get?

The book is open, all you have to do is read…

Welcome to Jigsaw Girl.     


Sunday, 6 June 2021

 Another review for The Owners is just in: -

The Owners: Alone

Carmen Capuano

Carmen Capuano brings us a different kind of sci fi dystopian adventure with The Owners: Alone!  In an effort to save her young hatchling friend’s freewill, fourteen year old Loni sets out on a dangerous journey.  Little do they know, there is someone across the world that shares their reservations about their society, someone that will change their fate forever.  Capuano’s sci fi dystopian drama instantly felt fresh with its interesting world lore and loveable characters!  I especially connected with Loni and Little’s bond and the overall exploration of the value of humanity.  If you love dystopian fiction with depth and a more upbeat message, definitely come check out The Owners: Alone!

Another review for Jigsaw Girl...

 I'm delighted to be able to tell you that Jigsaw Girl is now 37th in its category on Amazon. If you are currently reading it, thank you. 

Please do leave a review on Amazon and don't forget to tell your friends that it and Split Decision are currently free on kindleunlimted, or if you want to purchase them they are below £2.50 each.  

I'm also delighted to see another review for Jigsaw Girl. Keep them coming in! xx

Friday, 4 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Jigsaw Girl

Today I'd like to tell you about Jigsaw Girl. 

It was a story that came to me via its main character - much the same as Split Decision did.  But that's where the similarity ends. Natalie, from Split Decision, was carried along by fate in many ways, whereas Scarlett Clarke (aka Jigsaw Girl) goes as far as to make her own fate. 

I've always been fascinated by the idea of consequence. And I think that comes out fully in most of my stories. It is, after all, the thing that's at the heart of every good tale. And it fills our lives, shaping the course of our individual destinies. 

Scarlett is a character who is taken to the very brink. She feels responsible for the death of the fireman who died trying to save her and unworthy of the sacrifice he gave - his life for hers. During the time I spent telling her tale I felt a voyeur to her pain. I understood her sense of unworthiness the fragility of her. But I was also proud of her, the way she found her strength, the fact that she dragged herself up in order to help her brother Charlie; that she refused to go down without a fight. 

So if you see yourself in her, please take what you can from this story.  We are all of us flawed. We just need to find a way to be the best that we can. 


   “Do you think we’ll get another dog?” he says. 

    I’m so shocked I stop in my tracks. “After Shadow?” Breath catches painfully in my chest and I have to force myself not to scream. “Is that what you would have done if I’d died, Charlie? Ask Mum and Dad to give you another sister?”
      It’s cruel and unfair, especially as the tone it’s delivered in is acidic. None of this is Charlie’s fault and he’s only nine after all. But he can’t be allowed to think that life – any life – is so easily replaceable. That like changing a lightbulb, the light of one life can ever replace the light of another, extinguished one. It doesn’t work like that.
      Not for me anyway.

      But what if the end, wasn’t the end at all? What if it was really only the beginning?

     Because that’s where my beginning started. At the end. 


Happy reading, 


Monday, 31 May 2021

Introducing author Michael Layton, QPM

 Michael and his wife Andry are both authors and friends of mine. Here I take a look at how Michael first became a writer. 

When did you write your first book and how did it come about?


In 2013 I responded to an email from Robert Endeacott who was interested in cases of undercover policing operations relating to football hooligans in the 80s. He is an ardent Leeds fan with no policing background but was a previously published author. We collaborated on a film script for an Operation called ‘RED CARD’ which was completed but remains ‘in waiting’. It is a fictional suspense/thriller film in the mould of hooligan films for that period although in my humble opinion better!     


In the Autumn of 2013 Robert, who I have only physically met on about three occasions, suggested we write a book on the operation. ‘Hunting the Hooligans’ describes how a covert police team brought down one of Britain’s most violent gangs. The true story of ‘Operation Red Card’ undertaken in 1987 to tackle Birmingham City’s football hooligan element – the ‘Zulu Warriors’ was published by MILO.

My first, and ultimately most successful book thus far in terms of sales – was taken on by the first traditional publisher that we approached.

 How do you find the process of writing? (difficult, invigorating?)

 I find writing cathartic and challenging. At my age – nearly 69 years of age, its good to keep the brain cells active. Steve Burrows and I have strongly promoted Birmingham in many of our books as we were both born and worked in the City. We have found this hugely satisfying.

 How true to life are your books and characters?

The factual books speak for themselves in terms of accuracy.   

The series of four historical crime fiction books ‘Made in Birmingham’ – written with a former police colleague and friend Stephen Burrows contain characters and incidents that have elements of truth in them based on our policing history – over seventy years collectively.

Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?

The next four books after ‘Hunting the Hooligans’ were written with different co-authors or on my own and related to police history and published by Amberley. The extensive writing partnership with Stephen Burrows that later followed has resulted in books being published – in the main by way of self-publishing on police history, slang and humour, crime fiction and military history. I have also written a book with my wife Andry Christou-Layton about her life in Cyprus – ‘The Night the Owl Cried – A Taste of Cyprus’.  

When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?

Every book involves a large element of research (Particularly ‘Top Secret Worcestershire I & II’ with Steve Burrows) but in the main I rely on creating a framework of potential chapters and then working to fill them in no particular order. When working with Steve Burrows on the fictional books in particular we relied on some very complex documents relating to the development of fictional storylines and historical facts which were blended together.

Do you have a favourite character and if so/or not, then why?

Rob Docker – the corrupt police officer in ‘Black Over Bill’s Mothers’ – the character reminds me that the Police Service in the UK is renowned for its professionalism and the fact that corruption is rare. The character also reminds me that ‘one bad apple’ can do a lot of damage. His character also explores ‘Noble Cause Corruption’ in the police service.

For Steve Burrows I believe it would be Patrick Quinn – a character based on his experiences in his youth of being a biker.

Which of your books gave you the most pleasure to write?

‘Black Over Bill’s Mothers – a storm is coming’ – a historical crime fiction book (One of the series) 1943 to 2004. Set in Birmingham and elsewhere the book weaves together factual incidents, including the Birmingham Pub Bombings, as well as music and culture – the story involves serious crime, terrorism, and corruption.

How would you describe yourself?

A sensitive autocrat who becomes ‘thoughtful’ at times.

What's next for you? 

‘The Patriot’ – co-written with my wife – the story of her father’s life during a period of conflict and turbulent history in Cyprus.

And another slang book which I would like to somehow link in with people ‘living with dementia’.    

Where can readers purchase your books? 

 All current twenty-two titles can be found on ‘Bostin Books’ Facebook Page or ‘Bostin Books’ website. They are all available on Amazon and via traditional publishers.

‘Birmingham’s Front Line’


Michael Layton QPM

(Synopsis re murder of David Harris)


On Monday 26 March 1984 David Harris, aged 36 years, the licensee of the ‘Woodman’ Licensed House in Hockley was stabbed to death in Wells Street by a man described as a West Indian male.

Michael Layton recalls:

“I was at Bridge Street West Police Station at the time, trying to sort out a search warrant, and went straight to the scene to liaise with the detective chief inspector and the detective inspector.

   We co-ordinated an immediate search of the area and later that evening I took a statement from a witness who had rendered first aid at the scene. I hated violence and the futility of it all. Murders meant dropping everything else and putting a total focus into what you were doing as the first twenty-four hours were vital – the so-called ‘golden hours’.

   A murder incident room was set up at Steelhouse Lane Police Station and this was to become home again for a while.

   Next day I was committed to ‘house to house’ enquiries in the area. This was a detailed process that had to be meticulously planned and scrutinised and I worked with a uniform sergeant who I trusted totally to organise it with me. We then started doing the rounds of local pubs looking for any small lead. Leave days were cancelled and we went onto twelve-hour shifts. This was the norm.

   Malcolm Halliday was one of the officers involved in completing ‘house to house’ enquiries and recalls a couple of incidents, “Myself and a DC nicknamed ‘Knuckles’ ,due to his arthritis in his hands, visited one particular flat in Newtown and spoke to a black family. One of the occupants was a Rastafarian guy and something just didn’t seem quite right. Whilst we were chatting a little girl aged about two years handed me a pouch. When I looked inside it was full of cannabis. I told her to “give it back to daddy.” We were looking for a murderer not for drugs, so we let it go but we did mark the form up to the effect that we thought that the occupants were not telling the entire truth. At a later stage of the enquiry it transpired that the guy had been repairing his car outside the block of flats on the day of the murder when the person responsible came running up covered in blood, after the attack, and demanded to be taken out of the area.

   Not long after the murder a woman was attacked by a black youth in the same area. He was intent on robbing her, but she fought back and a load of CID officers who were making enquiries in one of the nearby pubs all ran out and captured him. He had picked the wrong person and the wrong place.”

   After the murder a substantial reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the offender. We also had a photofit picture of the suspect and with each passing day the potential lines of enquiry were increasing. We spent a lot of time getting around the pubs in the area pushing the issue and looking for that small scrap of information that would lead us to the killer.

   On Sunday 1 April 1984 a call was made to the incident room by an individual claiming to know who was responsible for the murder. I met this person later that day with another officer and the suspect was identified as someone called ‘Jakey’ with a possible full name.

   I saw the informant several times over the next few days and the information given was reiterated both to me, and a senior officer, as well as other background information being provided on the suspect.

   There was no contact by the informant then for some time and despite extensive enquiries being made all these enquiries met with a negative result based on the details given.

   On Wednesday 18 April a knife was found in the public toilets at Smethwick magistrates court in the area adjacent to where security officers screened visitors. The knife was subsequently disposed of in accordance with normal procedures. It was later to form part of the evidence chain in the murder of David Harris, although we were not to know it at the time.

   On Tuesday 24 April 1984 acting on a lead in respect of the murder I was despatched in the evening with another officer to Canning Circus Police Station in Nottingham to interview a potential informant. We eventually brought the informant back to Birmingham and identified an address in Handsworth where a potential suspect lived. Shortly after 2am the following morning we hit the address and arrested a twenty-three-year-old on suspicion of involvement. By the time we had searched the address and got back to the station I had done a sixteen-hour shift and it was time to leave it with other officers.

   I had about five hours sleep and was back in the office in the afternoon ready to go again. This was still very much a live enquiry and lots of officers on ‘outside enquiry’ teams were following up different leads. The criminal fraternity never liked these situations because it meant that they would receive additional attention from the police and their activities would be disrupted.

   On Thursday 26 April 1984 a twenty-three-year-old man (Derrick Gordon) was arrested in connection with the murder of Mr Harris. He appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court the following morning. I was not involved in the arrest but went around to the court with the DI to observe the remand. He was a well-built guy who remained composed and listened intently to the proceedings. He was remanded to police cells for three days and subsequently charged with the murder.



Come and see what all the fuss is about...

Read the first part of   Split Decision for free.