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4.7 out of 5 stars
A Fair Cop
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2008
This is the story of an injustice resulting in a fight for survival. Prison is the most awful place for a young man of good character with a promising career, but prison for a young police officer is just beyond what most people could imagine. The story gives an insight into this most hostile of places. It gives an insight into the feelings and cause of constant intense fear, the unimaginable loneliness, the absolute hopelessness, and the serious physical and mental persecution of a police officer in prison. A story of horror, immense courage and eventual triumph. A disturbing but brilliant read. Di.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2008
This is one of my favourite types of books. The genre has many different names; a true life story, an autobiography, a memoir, non fiction and so on.

A Fair Cop is all of those and more. I fear this review will not do it justice. I have struggled to get into words the impact it has had on me.

Michael Bunting is a very skilled writer, the story grabbed hold of me from the first page and held me engrossed till the very last word. I wanted to read it all in one sitting but the words in A Fair Cop reminded me that it is important to let life get in the way of a book, no matter how interesting the reading may be.

A Fair Cop made me reassess my priorities, revaluate all the things that I held most dear. By the time I finished reading this magnificent book I had a strong urge to hold those I love nice and close but I also felt cleansed and somehow renewed.

Although this book contains one of the most harrowing, shocking tales I have read in the past few years, it is also filled with a raw insight into the ability of the power of 'good' to tuck itself away in places you'd least expect.

Michael Bunting had his eyes opened to this remarkable quality by being stripped of most things that he cherished. In this memoir he shares his new found insight.

Between the covers of this book are some twisted, crazy angry people, many painful insights into the raw emotional and physical brutality of human nature but also and most importantly there are unexpectedly beautiful insights into life, fear, love, hope and kindness.

There are some amazing characters in this book and the most impressive of all is the the author himself with this display of unpretentious inner strength. I suspect that he would want to disagree with that statement as what comes across on every page is the humility of this very talented author.

I am amazed that this is his debut novel and look forward to reading anything else he chooses to write.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 March 2010
Every cops worst nightmare.

I had not heard of the case before I came across the book.

I was slightly reluctant to read it as I thought it might be an attempt at a whitewash for a policeman who are not the natural ally of the working man.

The first half of the book is about his life as a policeman and how he got involved in the incident that put him in jail.

The trouble is these days that you may be in a comfortable job and you may kid yourself that when the chips are down that you will get help. We are all just a couple of steps away from complete meltdown. In his case he was beaten up by a criminal even got compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board but the criminal who did it complained and he was charged with common assault.

This resulted in a Crown court trial and the judge sending him down for a short custodial sentence.

This was vastly in excess of what the crime deserved because as a policeman he was liable to be killed by the prison inmates.

The second half of the book is harrowing as he lives in fear of retribution and actually receives some.

It is ironic that the system that convicted him and put him inside for a minor common assault which resulted in no injury to the person assaulted was then not able to protect him from being assaulted on numerous occasions.

I am only a minor player in the legal process but I tell my clients there is no fairness or justice in the British legal system . All you can hope for his a compromise and coming out in one piece. If the full might of the law is applied against you no amount of whining and demanding your rights is going to help you no matter who you htink you are.

He was part of the establishment and then the establishment decided to punish him and he got a good beating.

One of the quotes on the cover is every cops worse nightmare is is everybody's worse night mare.,

I learnt that there are four different statuses in prison ; basic,standard,enhanced and super enhanced the officers keep order by knowing that prisoners want privileges and that keeps order.

He said he as seen people get a bigger fine for a motoring offence than a house burglary those who have the most to lose like motorists are effected but habitual criminals think court sentences are meaningless and has little effect on them.

His assailant got a community service order but magistrates would soon change their tune if they had their teeth knocked out .

In his cell he would read a book slowly and savoured it to block out the world He said in his view prison does not rehabilitate offenders.He had to learn to face bullies and he said that in his experience they back off.he comtemplated suicide on a number of occasions

Although only covered briefly at the end he did rebuilt his life as a fitness instructor and lecturer. that part of the book I enjoyed as at least he hasn't become a professional complainer spending the rest of his life in an attempt to clear his name.

It doesn't matter whether you think he is guilty or not because the punishment was far too severe and he lost too much. He showed his resilience by coming out of the it the other end a better person and rebuilding his life.

The book is written in an easy to read style and was very effective in making you think how you would cope in the circumstances.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book as a gift for my partner who has an interest in real life / auto biography policing books such as this. Having limited time, it generally takes him a few weeks to read a book and I bought this one becuase he has just finished one I bought him at Christmas (3 months ago). The book arrived 4 days ago and he has finished it already! He simply could not put it down and felt compelled to follow me round the house giving me step by step updates!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2010
I purchased this book for my husband who is a police officer. It had been recommended to him by colleagues. He found it compelling yet disturbing, and on occasions felt that 'there but for the grace of god go I'. It is a sad indictment of our society and should be read by every magistrate, judge and prosecutor in this country. For the layman, put yourself in the authors shoes!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2008
If you like true crime and you like to read something that makes you feel like your living the experiance then this is for you.

I struggle sometimes to find a good true crime book that gives you enough detail. Ive read other books that are just too vague which causes me to lose interest. You'll be pleased to know this isnt one of them.

I've only just started reading this book and must admit i feel the emotion of the author pass through to me.

I strongly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2010
Being a police officer myself, I read with interest the harrowing account from Michael Hunting.

It is worrying that someone who is an upstanding member of the community could be tarnished as a common criminal just by the vagrancies of the UK justice system.

The book is well written, however I would have liked more background details -mainly why the Sergeant on the night of the assault didn't back him in court.

Bunting certainly puts on paper how he felt and some parts of the book brought tears to my eyes as he relays what has happened to him, and maybe more importantly - what he feels may happen to him and how he feels.

Not the best book in the world, but a good read and worryingly a true story!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2010
The true story of PC Michael Bunting, sentenced to time in prison for common assault while acting in self defence against a violent drunk he was trying to arrest.

As a debut writer, Michael Bunting shows some skill, keeping a good pace throughout and clearly and concisely describing life on the inside. The second half of the book - dealing with his sentence - is a lot stronger than the first, which concerns his life as a police officer. I managed to read this book in just a couple of days, which is testament to his writing.

The story is a truly breathtaking and sometimes harrowing account of a miscarriage of justice. It does beg belief that the CPS could convict on such flimsy and contradicting evidence, a medical report stated that the man PC Bunting was alleged to have assaulted, sustained no injury, while PC Bunting sustanined a concussion, broken teeth and blurred vision, yet his attacker was only given community service! Britain is supposed to have a criminal justice system that is the envy of the world, this book does wonder if that is the case.

Everyone involved in the criminal justice system should read this book and hang there heads in shame.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2009
Honest copper goes to prison in astonishing miscarriage of justice.....

Michael Bunting was convicted of assault, despite the fact he was himself injured and the evidence did not stack up. This is his story of his time in the Yorkshire Police and then the incident, followed by his time in prison. The worst fear of any police officer must be to be put alongside the very people they had arrested!

This is an interesting tale of the way the system that should protect can also get it so very wrong. Be warned that this is all about the experience, there is very little about any campaigns or appeals, this is told from a very personal level. It's compelling stuff and you can imagine how horrific it must have been - imagine being put amongst people who would love to discover who you are and then hurt you. Imagine having to lie to everyone about who you are and why you are in there, imagine needing protection but knowing that asking for it might expose you....

Horrific experience and horrific miscarriage of justice. I hope he gets his name cleared.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2010
I write this review as a former police officer with extensive experience of being 'put through the mill' myself.

Michael was severely stitched up by his former employer who showed no support to him whatsoever. The book is exceptionally well written and details well what he went through and the effect that this had on his mental and physical well being. As well as a good book, this story represents an informative piece of literature that reflects well the current situation on internal police use of force investigations. Police officers are, to this day, being presumed guilty by their employer the moment a complaint is made. Today's PSD departments are a law unto themselves, they are supported by the law to bully at the highest level, the effects on their victims and their families last a lifetime.

"Who polices the police that police the police?" - PC Jack LUCAS 2010
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