beating and the man responsible must have been a professional because he knew exactly where to inflict the most damage.’
“Mr Bertram, are you saying that this man was a boxer?
“Yes I am, the injuries that that both men sustained are consistent with a professional boxer.
“What about the head injury?’
“That was done after he received the beating. It was done by a left handed man given the angle of the injury that cracked open Mr Smiths cranium and with severe force.
They walked through to a private ward where a police officer in uniform stood to attention when Rob approached.
“At ease constable; has anyone been to seen this man since he was admitted/’
“Just his wife Carol sir.’
“Where is she now?’
She’s having a cigarette in the day room sir.’
“Right you two go speak with her and find out anything you can. Kipper come with me. They entered the ward where Gordon Philips was lying down.
He had a chest drain and an oxygen mask on his nose and mouth.’
Hello Gordon I am detective sergeant Robert Black from the Manchester Constabulary.’ Do you mind if I ask you a few questions.’
Gordon reached up slowly and removed his mask.’
“Go ahead he whispered.’
“Did you recognise any of the men who attacked you?
“No they were all wearing Planet of the Ape’s masks.’
Kipper was writing all of this down as Gordon spoke.’
“Were any names mentioned, “you know like here Bob hand me that bag?’
“No but the accents were definitely Geordie.’
“What made you say that?
Well the big bugger who beat the crap out of both Graeme and I was shouting out the time as they were unloading the van.’
“Would you say that this big man was a boxer?’
“I tell you that I’ve never been hit like that before so yes.’
“What about Graeme how is he as one of them clobbered him will a jemmy.’
“Not the big man then.’
“No it was another one of the bastards.’
“How many men were there?’
“Four, no five of them because there was this bony faced man sitting in the jag.’
“Jag you say?
Yeah 1968 model but it had been souped up.
“You getting this down Kipper.’
“Look Gordon your mate Graeme didn’t make it; he died a few minutes ago.’
“Bastards, the Bastards, Gordon cried out.’
“Is there anything else that you can tell us?’
Look I’m going to get someone to come over and ask you to describe the man driving the jag. Keep his face in your mind every little detail; scars, tattoo’s that kind of thing.
“Yes I remember he had a tattoo on each hand near his thumb. It was a bird; it was swallow on each hand I saw them as he turned the steering wheel into us and forced us off the road into Brook Hill.’
“Well done Gordon you have been a great help.’