James Boyle was a Glasgow criminal. I read his book – A sense of freedom. He grew up poor but that is no excuse. Many grew up poor and went straight. He was a thief from his early years. His thieving went way beyond getting his necessaries. He stole huge amounts. He never saved it sensibly but spent it – going on big benders with booze and drugs.
He was convicted of the murder of a rival mobster. He maintains he is not guilty but was never cleared on appeal.
I lately saw the film about him. The actor playing him was much too old at the beginning. Boyle was 23 when he was sent down for murder. I thought the 15 year minimum before parole was too soft. He was no first time offender. He was a hard man as he liked to say. He revelled in his notoriety – Scotland’s most violent man.
In prison he could not be good. He was offensive towards prison officers and he attacked them. He was so damn stupid. He could have served his time easily by being good. He spent months in solitary. He merited all the suffering. He was a very nasty piece of work and society had to be safeguarded from a scumbag like him. His dirty protest – putting shit on the wall – showed what a beast he was. If I were the police gloating over his imprisonment for life I would tell Boyle – tonight I am going to bone my wife, go to the pub with my mates, go to the cinema – I am going on hols to Spain soon. You are not going to do any of that again – ever.
He was released from prison eventually.