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TitleTo Live Outside the Law
File Size1.0 MB
Total Pages304
Table of Contents
1 Operation Julie
2 The Abbey
3 Built on sand
4 Summer in the sixties
5 The Julie mob
6 A leaf in God’s forest
7 Bail
8 Electric Eel to Florence
9 On a dirt road in Turkey
10 Trial
11 Prison blues
12 Freaks
13 Indochina
14 Bird
15 Tabbing
16 Mary and cream
17 High inside
18 Distributor head
19 The Timex men
Whatever happened to…?
Glossary of prison slang
Document Text Contents
Page 2

To Live Outside
the Law

A memoir

Leaf Fielding

Page 152

144 Leaf Fielding

would be rattling down. Breakfast, or just before, was the

time to make an application to the governor or report sick.

I joined the queue outside the screws’ office and shuffled

forward as the line shrank in front of me. Then it was my


‘I want to see the governor,’ I said.

‘Why?’ asked the SO, the senior officer.

‘About the food.’

‘Is it a complaint?’


The screw standing right behind me rumbled, ‘You’re

wasting your time… and ours.’ He leaned out the door and

yelled ‘Next.’

‘No, I haven’t finished. I’m entitled to see the governor.’

‘Well, it won’t do you any good,’ the SO said. ‘Let me

give you a word of advice, Fielding. You’ll only be stirring

up trouble for yourself. You’re going to be inside for a

long time and it’s not a good idea to start off on the wrong


‘Even so, I’d like to see the governor.’

After breakfast, instead of going to the workshop, I

waited with the other cons who’d been stubborn or foolish

enough to insist on their rights.

‘Fielding, FO1465!’ the screw barked, when I was standing

in front of the governor.

‘Yes, Fielding…?’ The governor’s enquiring silence

invited me to speak.

‘I have a complaint about the vegetarian diet,’ I said.

‘So I’ve been told,’ he replied, wearily. ‘I’ve got the diet

sheet here,’ he added, giving me a glimpse of the file he

Page 153

To Live Outside the Law 145

was holding. ‘Fielding, you must understand that the men’s

nutritional requirements have been carefully worked out.

Government regulations ensure that the diet is adequate.’

He read me the menu for the previous day. ‘It sounds

pretty good, I must say,’ he commented. ‘I wouldn’t mind

it myself.’

‘It does sound good,’ I agreed. ‘And if that was what I’d

been given, I wouldn’t be standing here. But the potato-

cheese cake you mentioned had no cheese in it. Lunch was

potato cake with potato and cabbage. Governor, I have a

health-food shop – food is my business. I do know what I’m

talking about. The vegetarian diet is deficient in protein,

vitamins, minerals and fibre.’

‘I’ll look into it,’ he said.

As all the cons knew, the kitchen crew commandeered

the best of everything – tea, milk, cheese, eggs and meat.

Most of them had the look of pink porkers being fattened

for slaughter. Apart from gorging on the supplies, they

flogged them off. You could buy tea and milk off some of

the kitchen crew, but it sticks in the throat to pay for stuff

that should already be yours. The lazy bastards were also

throwing away hundredweights of vegetables, dumping

them straight into the bins rather than going to the trouble

of washing and preparing them. I didn’t tell the governor

that. He should have known already.

He did look into my complaint. For a few days the food

improved dramatically, but it soon deteriorated again.

The lack of fibre in the diet made me constipated. Soon I

was suffering from piles. I reported sick, though the hospital

was a place to avoid. My request for bran was treated with

Page 303

To Live Outside the Law 295

Rooyen, Norman and Kathy Sigrist, Smiles, Andy Stewart,

Paul and Polly Timberlake, Dave Tomory, Keith and Glenys

Weymer, Caroline Whittle, John Wickenden, Martin Wise,

Mike and Karyn Willey, Fronza Woods and Geoff Young.

Special thanks to Carol Meaden, confectioner extraordi-

naire, who made the cake of the book.

Last and foremost, my heartfelt thanks to Sue Whatmough.

Page 304

Twenty-nine years on from his release from prison, Leaf

Fielding has been a teacher in Spain and a philanthropist,

setting up a home for orphans in Malawi. He now sells

organic produce in the south of France where he lives.

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