The Dane 'Morph' Crook Interview.

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The Dane ‘Morph’ Crook Interview.

Talking drug dealing, addiction, life in HMP Pentonville and more.

I’ve written and rewritten this intro more times than I can care to remember, so – for your sake as well as my own – I’ll keep this simple and brief.

For over a decade now, Dane ‘Morph’ Crook has been a camera-wielding mainstay of UK skateboarding. Starting out as a young lad in his native and beloved Walthamstow, over the course of the last 15 years, Morph went from putting out self-produced scene videos to filming for companies such as Blueprint, Palace, Vans and Yes Fam, and contributing footage to pretty much every UK release of note that appeared across that time. A funny fucker with a razor sharp wit, a big personality and an even bigger heart, Morph’s presence would instantly improve any trip, any session or any premiere.

It was no secret that Morph was involved with drug dealing. During the early days it was quite a low-key weed orientated operation that he ran alongside his filming, but over the space of a few years he got deeper and deeper involved; the variety of drugs he was in regular contact with continued to diversify, and the amounts he was working with grew alongside them. Dealing and filming became harder to balance, and much to the dismay of every skateboarder around him, it was his filming that gradually took the proverbial backseat.

Morph’s increasing absence from London skateboarding was obviously noted, but no one ever expected that earlier this year his house would be raided and he’d be ultimately be sentenced to 6 years and 8 months in prison.

Back in August, I visited Morph in HMP Pentonville where he’s currently serving his sentence. He was clean, clear minded and looking the healthiest I’ve ever seen him, probably owing to the fact that his notoriously bad diet has been forced into submission and he now has to eat more than chicken, chips and pizza on a daily basis. He spoke then about us getting an interview together, getting his story out there and hopefully delivering something of a wake up call to other people who might be on a similar path to the one that he took.

It’s obviously taken a few months of back and forth over various forms of communication to get this interview into shape, but, without further unjustified ado, here’s Morph’s story…

Photo: CJ.

OK then Morph, lets start this off – for the sake of those who may be unaware, where are you right now?
Where am I right now? Well, I’m in HMP Pentonville in North London.

How long have you been there?
I’ve been here about six months now, coming up to six months.

And what was it that landed you there in the first place?
I got arrested for drugs, for possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin, and I got caught with 250 rounds of ammunition, a pill press, a hydraulics press…so quite a lot of things (laughs).

Taking it back to the very beginning – as a young lad growing up in Walthamstow, how did you get involved in drugs? Were drugs something you were aware of from a young age, did you discover them through skating or first come across them in later life…?
I’ll be honest, people get into drugs quite early on, but for me it wasn’t until I was like 14 or 15 that I even started seeing people smoke weed, and that was the only thing that I was exposed to really. All of the older Walthamstow skaters, they’d smoke a lot of weed, but apart from that really there wasn’t a lot going on. When I was about 17 or 18 I kind of grew up and started finding out about other drugs, but it wasn’t early on like some people might think. I only really started smoking weed regularly when I was around 17. I think I picked up the first time for myself when I was 17, so it wasn’t an early on thing for me, you know?

Ever since I first met you, you were always the lad who had a bit of weed to sell on him, but it seemed like the amounts you were dealing with grew pretty rapidly…when and how did selling weed become a thing for you?
So when I was 17 I started smoking, I got quickly into it because I was living with Jak (Pietryga) and I was buying it, but I couldn’t really afford to spend as much money as I wanted to on it. The easiest thing was for me to get weed then sell it to my mates, because we’d all be buying it off random guys anyway, and if people were happier to come to me to buy it instead then it made things a lot easier.

Taking a trip out to Brighton, Morph puts down the camera to noseslide this wanton electrical box. Photo: Buddle.

Early on, it seemed like selling a bit of weed was the way you could fund being a filmer. As in, having no set hours to work or anyone to really answer to meant you could be out there filming pretty much most of the day; it seemed like you had a lot of freedom to some degree – was that the case?
I was working for a lot of the time, you know? I was working in the nursery in Walthamstow and that kind of stopped me from going on trips and stuff, but it was mainly when I got working for Blueprint (in 2008) that I stopped working full time. Obviously no company at that time could afford to pay a filmer the same as what you’d be getting paid working a full time job, so I would sell weed and other things on the side. At that time it was still early on; I was only selling weed and it wasn’t to the scale where I couldn’t go on a trip or something because of it, it was only because I needed to earn money alongside what I was getting paid for filming in order to get by.

When and how did you move on from only selling weed? I know at one point you were quite into acid and made those blotters with the Morph cartoon character on them – was acid then next thing you got into selling? I guess the demand for acid isn’t quite as high as it is for weed these days…
You know what? Back then, I didn’t really take any of the classes into consideration; if I could buy something and make money from it then I would do it. So with the acid, a bottle came about, everyone I knew wanted to try it, so I just grabbed a bottle instead of getting four or five (trips) and have some people missing out and not getting it. It was one of them ones; I did it so everyone I knew could try it because it was the one recreational drug that most people hadn’t tried. I grabbed that bottle and was selling loads of acid just because I had loads of it to sell, you know (laughs). I mean obviously the demand for acid is very, very small in comparison to the demand for weed. You’re not going to become a millionaire off selling acid, unless you’re making it in a lab or something.

Moving on a bit then – when did cocaine enter the picture? Did it start out as a recreational thing for you, or were you really introduced to it when you started selling it?
It’s funny because when I first started selling weed, my cousin was always saying, “do you want to take some coke as well, do you know anyone who takes coke?” – back then, I didn’t know no one, not one person, who did. I couldn’t get rid of coke to save my life, so I never took it on. Then I started getting older and I realised that if I went to a skate thing, in the daytime I could be selling my weed, but by the evening time when everyone is drunk, that’s when you could get rid of your coke. But I never knew that, that was almost like an older crowd thing.
Like I would walk into a skate event, or a bar where all the skaters were or loads of the older dudes were, if I tried selling weed they’d be like “fuck off mate, we’re all getting drunk”, but then if I said I had a bit of coke on me they’d be like “yeah go on, give us a bump then”, you know what I mean? That’s when I realised a lot of people do take coke; it isn’t outlandish like weed, if someone’s doing coke, you can’t smell him next to you, so you can’t really think “this guy does coke, this guy does coke and this guy does coke” people keep it to themselves, it’s not as noticeable if people are doing it. Because I’d never sold it before I’d never clocked onto it. With weed you can clock someone who’s smoking weed because they have to take time to skin up, and they don’t mind skinning up in front of everyone or smoking in front of everyone; no one’s really going to start standing on top of the ramp at NASS and start doing bumps…well, some people would do (laughs). It’s not as acceptable and people aren’t doing it in everyone’s faces, but it’s still there. I didn’t really notice it and think “I could make a load of money selling that” but I gradually started taking it myself, and having it around, people would always be like “oh you’ve got a bit? Give us a bit” and slowly, before you know it, you’re fucking selling coke.
It was a pretty mental transition. To be honest, when I first started, I wasn’t even really a coke man; I used to love MD and all of those things, but you can’t really go to bars in Dalston buzzing off pills these days, you know what I mean? Having the barman asking if you’re alright when you’re sweating and gurning your face off trying to order a beer. People would be looking at you and asking, “what’s up with you mate?” At least coke is a little bit subtler, you know? I had to stop doing the pills and that and got into the coke a bit more so I could have a conversation with people and not be pinging in the bar if I was out on a Friday night.

I guess it was round about the time that coke seriously entered the picture that you kind of took a step back from filming. As in, you couldn’t just be out filming all of the time, you could make some trips but not others, it seemed like you had to turn down work because there was no one you could trust to handle your dealings for you. Looking back on it now, would you say that gradually became the case? Do you feel you missed out on trips and opportunities within skating because of your responsibilities with dealing?
To start off with I was just selling it so I could live the lifestyle I was used to – just being a skater and having money. When I had a job I was skating and filming at the same time, but after Blueprint went I didn’t have a job so I was trying to make a similar amount of money through filming and selling drugs. It wasn’t until the last three years before I came here that I was so deeply involved that I couldn’t possibly turn around and say, “I’m going away on a trip for two weeks”. By that point, I couldn’t do it; two weeks of money was just too important to me. I didn’t have anyone offering me a grand, or a grand and a half a month to do filming for them and I had to make that money somewhere, so I did start missing out on things, but it was all due to the fact that I had to make money and that was how I’d ended up making a living.
I was doing coke as well but not that much; it was only the last year or so that it really got deep and I wasn’t enjoying myself and I wasn’t going out filming. That’s when it became a problem and I almost pretty much stopped filming. People would see me out filming and be like “fucking hell, what? You’re out?” Honestly, I must’ve had about ten comebacks this last two years – “yeah yeah, I’m back on it boys, I’m back on it!” …then you wouldn’t see me again for another three months. Everyone must’ve been thinking, “for fucks sake, this guy…” you know?

You were still on the road quite a lot throughout the final days of Blueprint, and even after that, you went on a few Vans trips, came on a Rollersnakes tour and went on some Palace trips – was there a point where you realised it was impossible to balance being an almost full time filmer as well as selling the amount of drugs that you were doing? When roughly was that point?
The last three years it would have been. I would still try get on trips though. To be honest, I kind of stopped filming in London; with the Rollernsnakes trip and the Vans stuff I did with you, that was when you guys were trying to pull me out of it and I would be out doing stuff for a little while, and people would be stoked to see me out and I’d be stoked myself, then I would fall back into it again. I’d be back in Walthamstow with people calling my phone again to buy drugs, and that would stop me from going out filming. Usually I’d be out trying to get footage, but then it got to the point where if no one had called me to go out filming, I might as well sit at home and sell drugs. It got stupid; I didn’t have the want to go out and film any more, but when I went away on trips, that was the only time I really got to get away from drugs. I missed out on loads when I look back, but at the time all I was thinking about was taking care of myself and living up to this expectation that everyone and myself thought I had to live up to with selling drugs. Throughout the last couple of years, this vision of mine started to dwindle and turned into something that wasn’t very good.

Photo: CJ.

By the end, you were moving some seriously big amounts of coke, right? Again, how quickly did that escalate for you? Because it seemed like it was just something on the side of the weed to begin with, but it definitely appeared to take over.
You know what? I had a steady thing going for about six or seven years, and then the last three years it just got stupid. My cousin went to jail and he was always picking up the big bits, and I’d just take little bits here and there that I could move, and he’d be giving me a good price. Then as soon as he went I was left with…not all of his responsibility, but there was money to be made there and I just felt like I should step in to help him and help myself. Like I said, my vision became blurred man, this is when I sort of started thinking “I can do this and make this much money” and I got seriously tied up in stupid amounts. I got caught with 14 kilos of heroin and a kilo of cocaine; by anyone’s standards, that’s a lot of gear to get caught with.

Did anybody ever try talk to you about dealing, try talk you out of it or get you to scale it back so you could focus on filming?
Yeah; obviously yourself, Kev Parrott, Dan Magee, friends of mine…everyone had said it, but you know what it is? Because those people hadn’t lived the life that I was living, I was under the impression that them mans didn’t understand. But now I look back on it, them guys understood more because they saw it from the outside. It’s easy to get caught up in your bubble; it’s easy to think that you’re not being watched, or that people aren’t paying attention to you. It’s easy for you to perceive yourself in a certain way, you don’t understand that people might be saying “we don’t really like how Dane’s moving now”, but in you’re bubble, you’re still this guy – “I’m still Morph; I’m doing this, I’m doing that, I’m filming for these videos…” You take all of that away and I was just another drug dealer, and that’s all it really came down to.
I should’ve listened to what people said because they saw it from an outsider’s perspective, and that’s something that I would never have because selling drugs was such a self-centered thing. I should’ve listened to people, these were people who were close to me and people who wanted to see me get to the position they were in; no one wanted to see me end up in here, or even if I’d have got to the top of my game being a drug dealer, what respect would I have had then? That’s not the respect that I necessarily wanted from anyone; the only respect I ever wanted was the respect from people liking my videos. You get deluded and you get stuck in your bubble and it’s hard to see out; it’s hard to see out when you’re stuck in something as bad as what I was involved in, you know? I wish I listened to people, I wouldn’t be here if I did.

Was there ever a point where you thought, “this is it, I’m done for”, before you actually got arrested? Any close calls or run-ins with the police or anything like that? You were getting brave at one point – I remember we’d be out skating in London and you’d have a backpack full of weed but still wouldn’t think twice about getting cheeky with a policewoman on a horse…
I know…mate, like I said, I was in my bubble. You know what it is? When I was skating and filming and selling drugs, I was almost two different people, so when those people collided, it was hard to differentiate myself. I might sound like I’m a schizophrenic, but if I was out skating with a bag full of weed, I’d still be acting up in the same way as I would if I was just out skating. So if feds start giving you shit, you give them shit straight back; I wouldn’t be thinking “if these two worlds collide right now and they search my bag, I’ll be taken away from all of this”, that didn’t really occur to me.


Did you ever have any memorable close calls with the police?
Yeah I had a couple of close ones. I remember once being on a filming trip, and I had a mouse pad on my laptop that I would hide all my drugs and scales in. You could open up the mouse on the keyboard and stuff everything in there. Everyday, because we were smoking weed in the van and that, I’d put the weed and coke in the car that no one was smoking in. After a couple of days we were getting a bit clumsy; I’d get the weed and coke out of the car and we’d split it up in the van then we’d drive off and I wouldn’t be able to get it back in the other car…I was getting a bit sloppy. One night, we were pulling into this hotel, it was pitch black, it was like Friday night so everyone was drinking booze, you’d open the windows and there’d be clouds of weed smoke, people were doing coke off iPads and shit, and then we pull into the hotel carpark and there was a load of fed cars, and loads of feds just there, in the hotel. We all shat ourselves. I was thinking “I’ve got about an ounce of coke on me, shit loads of weed and coke all broken into bags” I didn’t have enough time to spread it out between everyone and say “everyone take your own shit”, this was me sat there with a pair of scales with shit loads of drugs on me, and the police were there, right in front of us. What do you do? The driver was so panicky that the geezer parked the car up right next to a fucking police car (laughing). I was like “nah, nah, nah! Drive to the other end of the carpark!” so he obviously parked the car, then reversed and drove a hundred meters away from the entrance when there were loads of spaces free (laughs), but luckily nothing happened.
I’ve had loads of little scares, like being in cars and having to put things places and things like that, but I’d never had any serious problems and I think that’s why I got so complacent. I thought I was untouchable. I was a skater, I didn’t really fit the ‘gang’ description as much as what I thought the police were looking for, so I thought I was under the radar, but obviously I wasn’t.

Photo: CJ.

I know you’re keen to talk about your addictions to drugs, most of which a lot of people won’t know about, but by the time you got arrested you’d become pretty reliant on crack as well as heroin. You were selling heroin as well, right? How did you get caught up in that? Did your using of heroin come from you selling it?
I was never really the guy who went out and sold bits of it, with the heroin I was more of a…what’s the word…’courier’. I was working for these guys and they’d be getting me to collect big amounts of heroin and I’d be keeping it at my house or wherever I was – I was living in Watford at one point – I’d be keeping it, then getting calls and distributing it to people in kilos. I’d never be breaking it down myself; my thing was always the cocaine, making pills, selling weed and Xanax and all of them things, but when it came to the heroin I never started small and went bigger – I went from never touching it to having kilos of it in my house.
My addiction started from basically doing too much gear, too much coke…I was never into coke to the point where I was an addict, but I’d always have a bit of it, and then I learnt to wash it up for the people I was working for, make it into crack, and from that I convinced myself that it was just like coke but you’re smoking it. I smoked it a couple of times and I wasn’t addicted to it, I just smoked it and thought it was a difference experience to sniffing coke.
With the heroin, I started out taking all these meds like tramadol and codeine, and what people don’t realise is that these are mild opiates; heroin is just an opiate, it’s no different to any other opiate, it’s still an opiate, just a stronger one. So all these people drinking codeine and taking tramadol and that, they need to be careful because that’s how I started – I’m not saying that everyone who’s drinking codeine is going to end up a heroin addict, I’m not saying that – but, for me, I started taking those, then I was taking Oxycontin and morphine, all of these strong opiates.
Obviously I had heroin around me, loads of it around me, and to me it was just another opiate, so in my mind doing a bit of heroin wasn’t any different to taking morphine or Oxycontin, apart from the fact that people look down on it. Chemically, I knew it was the same thing.
I smoked brown once and thought to myself “this isn’t even as good as morphine”. Obviously morphine and Oxycontin are harder to get because they’re prescription drugs, so because I had bundles of heroin around me, certain things just tended to happen…
So I started smoking a little bit of heroin thinking, “this is just like codeine or any other opiate”, not thinking too much of it, then my life started going on a downward spiral. I didn’t want to work for these guys any more, I wanted to be out filming, I had everyone telling me that I should be out filming and I shouldn’t be doing this, and I couldn’t go on trips now because I was working for these dudes. After a year or two of working for these dudes, I got to the point where I wasn’t happy with anything any more. I wanted to be filming, all my friends weren’t hanging out with me, no one really hit me up like they did before…I was just a bit of a lost cause, you know? I started washing up coke, smoking it a little bit, and once I did crack, I’d have to do heroin otherwise I’d be smoking crack all night and all day; I’d need to do the heroin to come down off of it.
I wasn’t in a very good place at the time; I wanted to be out filming more, knowing that I was slacking. All of that was like a build up to the point where I knew I was addicted. With heroin it happens very fast; two weeks of using heroin and you can’t get up and not take it because you’ll be violent ill.

Yeah, you become physically addicted to it.
That’s it. So after that, it got to the point where I was smoking it every day for about a year, just to avoid being sick. I was in a bad place, I’m just glad that I’ve come here and I’ve managed to get off it. I’m not taking any methadone to get myself off it, or any of the other things that people take. It’s good to know that I’ve been through it and I’ve come out the other side feeling better for it. Honestly, it wasn’t a good place to be.

Over the last couple of years before you were arrested, how often were you out there filming or skating? You worked on the Yes Fam promo, and I know you were doing filming for Palace too when you could. Is it fair to say you were still out there getting footage?
There’d be times where I’d have a week or two off from selling drugs and there’d be nothing to do so I could go out and get some filming done, and I’d fool myself that I was getting back into it, but I’d film some people at least and it would be fun. I even went on a Yes Fam trip that was meant to be Barcelona to Paris, but I could only go to Barcelona because I needed to be back to work for these dudes again. No one said this to me at the time, but when I was on the trip, people have said I was a nightmare. I’d be sneaking off, going and buying heroin, chilling in the room and smoking it on my own, not talking to anyone then waking up in the morning and not wanting to go filming because I was worried about being sick. I was putting a drain on everyone really. At the time people didn’t want to turn around and say, “what the fuck are you doing?” they just sort of let me get on with it, but since coming back and talking to people they just said I was the worst person ever to go on a trip with. I’d always been told that I’m quite a cool person to go on a trip with, and people liked filming with me and that, so when that happened I knew that I was in bad place, I wasn’t doing anything right.

What was the last clip you filmed before you got arrested? Can you remember?
It was one of the youngers from Walthamstow, we went to this seven set at the Town Hall and he did a 360 pop shove down the set of stairs for this video that I was going to make. I was going to make a VHS video because I’ve got the old VX’s, the VHS ones, I was going to do a video with that, but that’s been put on hold (laughs). All them Walthastow kids that are coming up are good, I was gassed to film them, but…I’ll be back one day.

Photo: Buddle.

So the day you got arrested – can you talk us through it? How did it go down?
I got a call to go pick up a kilo of cocaine, right? I’ve gone to pick it up, I walked home with it, put it on my bed, and the moment I put it down on my bed the police came barging through my house. They arrested me and put me in the front room, then they started going through everything in my house; that was scary, you never expect that the police are going to come into your house like that, but they did and they knew where everything was. I had a lock up, a garage around the corner, and everything – all of the heroin – was in there. Straight away they were asking, “where’s the garage?” As soon as I knew that they knew about that, my heart sank. There was 14 kilos of that stuff in there, and loads of bullets as well. So I got arrested, taken to the nick, got interviewed and then I stayed in the nick for a little bit longer, at which point I was telling them that I was a smackhead and a crackhead to make my case seem a little bit better, so they were piling me with loads of valium and codeine and stuff, so I was just high in a cell (laughs). Then I came to court, they refused me bail and sent me straight to Pentonville, where I’ve been ever since. I waited two months and pled guilty at the first chance I got, because if you plead guilty you get 33% off your sentence, and with all the evidence they had against me there was no point trying to do anything else, so I pled guilty to all the charges. I got charged for possession with intent to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of ammunition, and for letting my house be a place used to produce Class A drugs. So I waited another two months and got sent back to court, they quickly dealt with me and gave me 6 years 8 months for the heroin, 6 years 8 months for the coke, 2 years 4 months for the ammunition, and 2 years for letting my house be used as a place to produce Class A’s. They run all my sentences concurrent, they run them all together, so I only ended up with 6 years 8 months to serve, but I’ll do 3 years 4 months with good behavior, so I’m kind of happy, in a sense.

So what does day-to-day life in prison consist of for you at the moment? You’ve got work haven’t you? And you’ve been doing courses too, right – you’ve got level 2 catering at least…
Yeah I’ve done a few courses. I’ve done this listeners course where people can call on you throughout the night or whenever, you’re on a rota and you go and talk to them about their problems, it’s sort of like being a counselor but you’re called ‘a listener’. That’s with the Samaritans. I’ve done another thing called a Peer Mentor course where you help people out when they first come to jail. I’ve done my level 2 catering course, a health and safety course, English and maths…I’m trying to do everything I can do in here, basically.
As far as a regular day goes, I wake up around 8-ish, I get up and do some work, I clean the wing so I get my mop and broom out and clean my landing, sweep up, clean the showers. I hand all the lunches out, once I’ve done that I get banged up for about an hour and a half then I come out again for association, then everyone gets banged up again but because I’m a cleaner I get to hang around and stay out until dinnertime. At dinnertime I’m on the servery so I hand out all the food…it’s like school, you know, you stand behind the servery just giving out all the hot meals. I’m banged up after that, and then I come out in the evening to clean the servery.
During the times that I’m banged up, I read – I’ve read a lot of stuff recently actually – watch films, just general shit. I talk shit with my mates, we shout out of the windows to each other, try and learn how to get burn (tobacco) from next door without passing it through a wall. The things you do in here are mad, it’s mad. We’ve got this one technique where you get these square mirrors, yeah? And they’ve got holes in each corner, and you tie a bit of string or something to the corner of the mirror and you dash it out onto the landing like a Frisbee underneath your door, and sometimes, and only sometimes, it hits the other side of the landing and it bounces back underneath the other person’s door. Then they put burn and Rizla on it, and then you slowly reel back in to your cell. It’s crazy, it’s crazy the things you do in here, man. People will be smoking cigarettes with Bible paper, and that’s normal (laughs). “Oh, you’ve not got any Rizla? Alright cool, I’ve got Bible paper” (laughs). And that’s normal in here; I don’t do that myself, I always make sure I’ve got what I need.
You know it is? Because you’re banged up in here so much, if you go to your cell and you’ve forgotten something, you’re fucked. The amount of times I’ve walked back when I was meant to get a DVD or something for the evening, and I’ve forgotten to borrow the DVD. The whole evening that I thought I was going to sit there and watch ‘Only Fools And Horses’, I can’t, I’ve fucking forgot it, and everyone’s banged up. You can’t say, “go get us that DVD from over there”, a screw won’t do that; you’re fucked. You’ve got to be on point.

Photo: CJ.

Have you been keeping in contact with many people whilst you’ve been in there then? Have you been getting many letters off people?
I’ve had quite a few letters to be honest, not everyone writes back, but neither do I because I’m so busy these days; it is good to hear from people though, you know? That’s the one thing in here that you need to get your head around – you have certain days when you know that everyone is out there enjoying things without you, and you don’t mean it to be a bad thing because you know they haven’t forgotten about you or anything, but they are out there and you’re in here; that’s the hardest part, getting your head around that. At the moment I’m cool because my head is in the space where I’m doing what I’m doing now, I’m doing my thing, trying to make my time here fun, I’ve got a group of friends and I get on well with people so I’m doing my thing, so instead of thinking about what others are doing out there, I’ve got to think about what I’m doing in here and not what I’m missing. That’s the hardest part.
Another hard thing is to accept your punishment. A lot of people in here tell you they’re innocent, or they shouldn’t have got this for this. You know what….you’re here, the only people I want to hear complaining are the lifers. If you’ve got three years, or five years, we’re all going to get our day, that day will come and we’ll get out. No one can tell me that in 2020 on the 8th of August, that I’m not getting out; no one can tell me that. I’ve got my date, and that’s what I’ve got to look forward to. Every day I spend in here, every minute that I spend doing something makes me that much closer to going home.

If you could give any advice to someone reading this who might be heading down a similar path to that you took, what would you say to them?
Oh man, I wouldn’t want to tell anyone not to do anything because we all learn, but what I would say is that if you’re going to do things, make sure you know what you’re doing. So if you’re selling drugs, make sure you know exactly the consequences for what you’re doing. If you’re going to take drugs, know exactly what the drugs are, as best as you can do anyway. If you’re going to take codeine or opiate painkillers or valiums, make sure you know what they are and where they come from…not so much as in the dealer, I mean where they come from. If you know that taking codeine is effectively the same as taking heroin, you might look at it differently. People will probably say that I’m an idiot for saying it, but if you look it up and go and research it, you’ll know the same as I know, that there’s no difference, they’re all synthetic opiates. If you go in blind to these things, you could end up with an addiction and not know how you’ve got it. I’d just say that people need to know what they’re doing. It might seem really easy to make a bit of money on the side whilst we’re skating every day, we’ve all been in that position where we need to make a bit of quick money, but maybe think twice about getting caught up in selling drugs. It might seem like easy money but at some point you will be paying for it, whether it’s with your life, or with an addiction problem or with prison. I see myself as lucky because I’ve made mistakes and I’m paying for them but I now know what those mistakes were. A lot of people might go through life and not see what those mistakes are.

Any final words, for now?
Everyone just hold your head up high and keep skating, because that’s what I would have done if I could have.
Thanks to Leah, Jak, Paco, Buddle, yourself, everyone at Palace, everyone at Sidewalk, Kevin Parrott, Dan Magee, and big up to everyone who’s helped me, who’s seen me at my best and seen me at worst.

Photo: Buddle.


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