"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


12. 12

“Maybe he has.’

“Well I haven’t, I will never forget it as long as I live.’

’Janet worried about what would happen once Brian saw his daughter. Would he want custody? Lots of little scenarios were being played out in her head  The next day was a restless one she had a hell of a day at work and it would be an even worse night. When Wednesday arrived, Janet was awake before the alarm went off she got up quickly then went to the bathroom and washed her face. She made a good breakfast for them all because it would be a long drive down to Portsmouth. She made a sandwich for lunch and then a large thermos flask of black coffee. She poured milk into an empty bottle with a screw cap and placed some sugar and a spoon into a brown bag and then put them into a cane hamper. Peter was now up and in the bathroom shaving.  He was undecided whether or not to put on his uniform. Instead he chose a civvy suit. At 5.30 a.m. Janet got Deborah Jane up she washed and then put on her new dress that Janet had bought for her. She wore a pair of Clarks painted leather shoes and white socks. Her mother combed her blonde locks then tied a yellow ribbon in it.

They ate breakfast together and her mother placed a towel over her dress in case she spilt something on it and tucked a napkin around her neck. She ate the bacon and eggs cut up by her mother and drank some fresh orange juice with her father. Very little was said that morning. Janet gave Deborah Jane a framed picture of herself to give her father before packing the hamper with lunch in it inside the boot. She said good morning to Mrs Copeland who had come out to collect her milk.

“Nice morning isn’t it, are you going somewhere?

Yes, we are driving down to Portsmouth to visit my parents she lied.

She thought of no reason to tell the old woman her business.

“You have a good day for it anyway. Have a safe journey.’

“Thank you we will.’


 It was a bright fresh kind of day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and Janet was thankful for that.

Going back into the house she put on Deborah Jane’s red duffle coat. She fastened the light brown toggles at the front and placed her mittens in the pocket. She was wearing a fawn coloured coat. She had put her hair up and applied very little make up. She didn’t want to feel overdressed. Even though she looked far better than she did when she was married to Brian.

Peter locked the door on his way out. Deborah Jane was carrying a book and her teddy bear as she walked down the path, they got into the light blue car and Janet drove away. Driving always gave Janet a sense of freedom. Peter lit up a cigarette and opened the window so he could hold it outside so that the smoke would blow outside the car. Janet had given up smoking since she had seen the dangers of people who had been smokers brought into the hospital with incurable lung cancer. She urged Peter to give them up too; but even though he’d tried to cut down he couldn’t give them up completely. When he’d finished he released the nipped cigarette butt into the road then wound up the window. Even though it had been over six months since she’d given up, Janet still craved for a cigarette each time she got a smell of tobacco.

It took all her powers of resistance not to ask Peter for a cigarette especially as she was feeling very stressed today. Driving through Newcastle past the Haymarket. The trams, lorry’s, and delivery vans made their journeys around the town centre, even a Daimler bus dropped off at John Farnham’s store.

Once onto the newly built motorway she would feel better.



After five hours on the road Janet stopped in Birmingham. They parked near the station and went and found a bench where they sat to drink a cup of coffee and eat the sandwiches that she had made. Peter bought Deborah Jane a bottle of Coke and he bought himself another pack of Senior Service cigarettes. They watched people getting on board the steam trains that would take them to London which would be their next port of call. It would take them another two hours to get there then it wasn’t far to Portsmouth from there.

Three hours later and Janet had reached Portsmouth she drove through the familiar streets where she had played as a child growing up. Turning onto Kipling Road she wasn’t far from Doyle Avenue where her parents once lived. Peter also remembered his drunken, abusive father who would often take a belt to his bare buttocks if he stepped out of line. His father was a brute of a man who took to beating his mother if his meals were not put down to him on time. Elizabeth Burton had met Edward Thompson better known as Ted to his friends down at the Red Lion one evening. She was with her friend Molly Ridgway when he came over all swanky and confident and asked if he could buy her a drink. Elizabeth fell for the cocky handsome young man and after two years of courtship they were married. Elizabeth’s father was not happy with the union because he knew that Ted had been in jail for robbery. There were four children in the Thompson family and only one of them had legitimate job; that was their sister Kate. The three men in the family made their way in life the same as their father by thieving.




Elizabeth took in washing and worked in a corner shop called John Brewis’ She brought home only a few shillings a week which Ted took and went on the drink with.

Other times Ted would come in with a few pounds and hand it over. Elizabeth never questioned where the money came from she was just happy to be able to buy food and keep a roof over their heads.

Ted planned his jobs with his sons in “The Argent” it was a pub where he wasn’t known. He got the odd bit of work for his sons down at the docks which was a good cover. Edward Junior, the youngest in the Thompson Family at nineteen couldn’t get work because of his father’s reputation. He didn’t really want to be like his father. He wanted to be different and make his way in the world without crime. Everywhere he went it was the same story. Sorry Son’ there’s no work here.’

He’d been branded a rogue just like his father. He hated it. Eventually he thought. He slipped into the shady world like his father but Edward was not like his father scratting around for nickels and dimes.

Edward wanted to pull just one big job. one that would nett him enough money to retire with and live comfortable for the rest of his life. He was not going to be like his father and brothers who knocked off the local rent collectors for a few quid.

Edward studied hard at school, he was clever, he didn’t want to knock off the rent collector. He wanted the big prize which was the council offices in Guildhall Square. It was there where all the money went from every estate. For eight months Edward watched as the rent collectors brought their money collected to the offices. He knew what time they came and went. How many staff there was. When they took their breaks and even when they went to take a leak in the outside toilets.

He had a class mate called Billy Hogg who was a former employee. He knew the location of the safe and he knew the layout inside and where the alarm systems were.

He had Billy who was now a draughtsman, draw him blueprints of the building. Edward told him to keep his mouth shut and not to inform anyone of the intended job.

“What about your father and your brothers asked Billy?

“Especially them Edward insisted.

“When are you going to pull this job Teddy?

“When they least expect it.’ I will pay you £200 pounds once the job is done, that is enough to buy your own house with or keep you in luxury for a few years.

“Don’t go mad spending it or the rozzers will haul you in. If you grass me up, I’ll be looking for you Billy and you know what will happen.  I will tell everyone about your sordid little life. Do you understand?

“Yes, Teddy I understand.’

Billy Hogg was a homosexual, Edward had caught him with his school teacher in the toilets when he was only thirteen. He now spent his evenings in men’s public lavatories looking to pick up rich barristers and government ministers who paid him for sex.

Homosexuality was still a crime in Britain and the punishment was severe for anyone caught.

Edward got up from the table in the café, he threw a pound note on the table and told him to keep the change. “Get a blue print to me as soon as possible.’

“I will Teddy, this weekend alright?’

Edward nodded then left Kitties Café, he walked down Westwood Road and back to his house.

“Where have you been asked his father when he walked into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of tea.

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