There’s a lot of controversy about cop- killer Harry Roberts being released soon. Some might remember that he shot dead 3 policemen during a robbery in Shepherds Bush in the 1960’s. Well, I was mistaken for Roberts during that time he was on the run; (he was subsequently discovered hiding out in Epping Forest). I was working in Barnet – quite close to Epping forest- in a pub and one day found myself surrounded by armed police in the public bar. Someone had reported they had seen Harry Roberts in the bar! Of course when they saw me and checked me out they realised it was a mistake. One of them said to me before they left, ‘don’t worry too much but you just saved yourself from being shot’! I needed a stiff drink after that I can tell you!
Oddly enough that wasn’t the end of the matter. In the late 1980’s, when I was living in Leytonstone in East London, I worked with a guy named John Roberts, and in the course of a conversation with him in the pub after work one evening he told me that Harry Roberts was his uncle. It’s a small world.
THE SHOOTING SEASON
“Let the slag have it Harry”, said Jack
“The bullet hit him just below the eye;
He slumped to the ground;
I could hear my heart thumping;
The air was electric”.
Those callous words are B movie speech
Yet the episode is of immense distress
A policeman – one of three-
Gunned down in broad daylight
On a street near Wormwood Scrubs
On August the twelfth
The glorious twelfth
The first day of the shooting season.