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Belmarsh Bang-Up [Kindle Edition]

Paddy Kane
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.87
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Book Description

Belmarsh Bang-Up


Inside Britain's Most Secure Prison


Who is Paddy Kane?

At the age of 52 with a previously unblemished record Paddy Kane was sentenced to serve a sentence inside Belmarsh prison. From living a "normal" suburban life as a Husband, Father and Grandfather he went within hours to living inside a world of daily struggles dominated by hardened criminals.

Another bragging prison book?

Forget what you have read by career criminals with the "sexed" up books this is a book written by somebody like you who took the wrong path and paid the price.

Warts and all laid bare!!

This is what life is really like behind bars of Britain's most secure prison. the daily mind games played by the warders enjoying their little time of power and the subsequent games played by prisoners to make life a bit more durable. The ridiculousness of Britain's penal system is laid completely open along with the expense that is paid by the taxpayer ensuring prisoners leave prison in a worse off state than when they started which may at first appeal to some but only until they realise that these prisoners will be released into their neighbourhoods. The final part of the book sees Paddy released and challenging the the system leading to the lies and double standards used by people employed within the system being exposed showing them to be less than capable of running a dog show let alone a prison.

What people have said

Really insightful but lighthearted view of life inside Belmarsh - Ms Appleby

An Informative & Valuable Insight - Miss N. Reece

This is a brilliant book, I thought I would read just the first few chapters before I dropped off to sleep last night, but I had a very sleepless night as I just couldn't put the book down, there are some really funny parts, where you can't help bursting out laughing, but there are also the humane parts - Gayle

I could not put the book down , funny in bits and eye opening in others ,worth a read for the price - Stef

Good honest account and doesn't try to glorify anything. Tells it how it is and the reason why people re-offend is the system failing offenders. -Steuart

All previous formatting issues have been properly dealt with.


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Product Description

About the Author

Paddy Kane was a normal family man until at 53 years of age and with a previous clean record he was sent to Belmarsh Prison. Having gone from being a husband, father and grandfather to a convicted criminal was to have a momentous impact upon Paddy who never thought that he would be someone who could be "banged up". Having worked for years as a market trader supporting his family and being very active in community activity Paddy on his release sought to write a book that could help other people get through what is a harrowing and depressing experience. Following his release he continues to work actively in the community and whilst still a husband, father and grandfather he is largely retired.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opening pick with moving stories. 9 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Belmarsh Bang-Up is a great book for finding out exactly what it is like serving a sentence in Britain's most secure prison. The humour in this book catches you and you cannot help but laugh out loud at some of the descriptions that the author uses to get the story across. This book is a real life book and has not had scenarios added to make it more "sexy" but is a cold hard look at life inside.

As well as being funny the book actually made me stop and think about the whole system and how badly it is run. It appears that the system rather than try and stop the prisoner reoffend when he gets out goes out of its way to ensure that there are a steady stream of people who will be back and locked up again within a short time of release. Paddy Kane does state that to a fair degree it is a form of protectionism on ensuring the system never gets downsized but it does make you wonder if that is what the tax payer is paying for. Why offer education classes if when the time comes to lesson time the person who has chosen to do maths gets put in the cookery class. Not only does it screw up any chance of improvement but it winds the prisoner up as well.

The screws (prison officers) do not come out of this book in a shining light but Paddy does pick out some who are credits to the role and who obviously haven't yet completed their course in perverted mind control. However it does look like the prison service does need to reflect long and hard on itself. Treating people like dirt just means that you release people back in society who have not learnt anything apart from the system stinks. If that is the desired effect then don't change things, if it isn't then maybe people who look into the running of prisons need to read this book as well.
Absolutely worth a five star rating as it ticks so many boxes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By dhd
Format:Kindle Edition
I was given a copy of this book by a friend and it is one of the funniest books that I have read. The man involved, Paddy Kane, is a natural storyteller and he gives some real detail into life inside. What made it so good was the difference is made when the story is told by someone who could literally be your next door neighbour and not a celebrity criminal or politician.

Without spoiling things one of the funniest tales is when Paddy Kane makes a flippant remark to a prison officer about no way to talk to a war hero having forgotten that so many prison staff are ex military. He then has to limp around the yard as his "battle wound" is playing up. This gets him more soft toilet rolls than needed to cope with a dysentry outbreak and even cigarettes off of the warders. It is like a scene right out of porridge but all the funnier for being real life.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SOME TIMES GOOD/SOMETIMES POOR 24 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was extremely readable; I couldn't wait to turn each page. But I found some of the content annoying.

To summarise my feedback:

The pros:

Paddy gives a good overview of the pointlessness of most of the daily routines of prison life.

He also rightly points out that screws have the opportunity to inflict their own prejudices/weaknesses/hatred towards prisoners.

Paddy is at his best when he highlights that the educational programme that is apparently available to all inmates is in fact mostly a farce. This is largely true.

Paddy is very entertaining when he is telling his story

The cons:

Similar to most inmates, Paddy is eager to portray the crime that he committed (smuggling tobacco) is not really a 'real' crime, and he is outraged that he is imprisoned for it. I find this difficult to swallow; it seems to me that here is puts himself in the camp of benefits fraudsters, shoplifters, tax evaders in that they can claim that they aren't robbing individuals, only government/society. This is spurious.

It is a very solipsistic/self-centred account. Apart from references thrown in like 'I worried about how my wife was coping' which seem to be there because he feels they have to be, there is little insight as to how his decisions affected his family and friends.

The class hatred that leads Paddy to frequently rage against middle-class offenders, judges and governors who seem to be unreasonably locking up lower class villains is not that well reasoned and seems to be cheap sour bananas. I would be the first to agree that rich tax offenders should receive exactly the same jail terms as poor tax offenders. But for Paddy to infer that they should get hard sentences, and he should get easy ones, seems unbalanced and ill thought through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another book to be added to my recommended list 9 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was one of my random choices that I often do to try and ensure a selection of books are read as I love reading, especially autobiographies and true stories. I don't usually go for this kind of book as I don't think criminals should profit from their crimes. But this book isn't about that at all. He is not full of himself and arrogant and doesn't try to justify his crime nor pretend he is hard done by for being imprisoned. I think he makes a fair point that the cost of keeping him inside and the trial etc was about 10 times the cost of his crime and that does seem a short sighted stance taken by the authorities but as Paddy alludes to in the book there were many political reasons for his sentence.

The chapter on the prison hospital was outrageous and showed a complete disregard for people's welfare. I am sure if what Paddy writes is correct then there are cases where deaths will have occurred, and Paddy does highlight one, and future issues will happen but obviously given how the system does normally look after itself we may never hear of these until a whole catalogue is apparent.

One thing that I thought about is when Paddy details how prison hooch is made, and that made be of benefit to you but it sounds pretty rough to me but the recipe is in the book for you to follow, and how this is severely frowned upon by the prison staff who make every attempt to find it but then these very same prison staff are happy for the inmates to be kept silent by a complete overuse of medication with a lot of prisoners completing their sentence in a zombie like state. So in effect you can't have a drink but if you didn't go in a drug addict you may come out one courtesy of the state.
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