"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"


13. 13

“Out to a friend’s house.’

“I’ve got you a bit of work down the yard this weekend, do you want it?

“How much?

“Five quid.’

“What time do I start?

“Early, it’s a cargo ship coming in. You are going to help dock the ship whilst me and your brothers are going to help ourselves to the cargo he winked.

Still small fry Edward thought. He went to his bedroom and took off his shoes, placed the mug of tea on the bedside table and sat on his bed.

He lit a Woodbine cigarette then placed the ashtray on his chest. He inhaled the smoke deep into his lungs then exhaled. Edward planned the robbery in his mind, every detail to perfection. Nothing would be left to chance.

Edward went about his business unobserved. He did the weekend job for his father and he and his brothers got away with catering tins of food, and other house hold items from the ship that they sold on in their local pub.

The town was a rush with people buying things for Christmas it was 1946 and another year was nearly at an end. His mother was trying to scrape enough money together to put on a decent Christmas as she always did. Some of the catering food stolen would go to feed them over the Christmas period. The turkey came in a large tin packed in jelly, along with large tins of corned beef and stewed steak, cheeses, in fact everything was catered for. They would be made into pies for New Year’s Eve. Crates of beer, champagne, and spirits pilfered from the Hook of Holland would ensure that Christmas and New Year would be celebrated in style. Food items and luxuries were still being Rationed continued so luxury food was as scarce. Edward Senior puffed on a large cigar, letting out a satisfied cloud of smoke from one of many boxes that they’d stolen.

“You’d think he’d robbed Fort Knox.


Edward met Billy the next weekend where he went over the plans of the council. All the alarms were clearly marked and Edward memorised them all. He told Billy to burn the blueprint so nothing would link him to the robbery.

At eleven o’clock on New Year’s Eve the whole of Britain was celebrating and waiting for 1947 to begin. Edward dressed in a black jumper, trousers, and a black balaclava. He cut through the fence at the back of the council offices. He was told by Billy, that one of the windows on the fourth floor could be opened from the outside. The catch was broken. It could be closed but not locked. It had been like that sometime now.  Billy informed him that it had not been fixed.

Edward scaled up a drain pipe after climbing onto the roof of the outside toilets he placed his foot along the edge of the window sill whilst holding onto the metal guttering. Once he had two feet on the sill he tried to slide the window open. It wouldn’t budge and Edward thought that the job would be scuppered before it had even begun. He tried again and this time it opened a crack. He was able to get one hand inside and force the window open. He nearly fell as the window moved suddenly. He’d certainly would have been killed if he had fallen because he was some thirty feet up and there was nothing but a concrete yard below. Once the window was open he was able to climb inside. He closed the window in case an off- duty copper noticed it, not that there would be anyone patrolling tonight he thought. Not on New Year’s Eve, they would be all dealing with drunks or getting drunk themselves at midnight. He was carrying a bag strapped to his back and he set it down on the red carpet. He used the street light to see inside the hold all until he found his torch. Turning it on he scanned the room. He was wearing gloves so there would be no finger prints. He visualised the plans that Billy had done for him in his head and knew exactly where he was.

He felt good knowing he was going to pull off the biggest job ever. His father and his brothers would never have guessed that their baby brother could do a job of this magnitude. Especially alone.

No one would ever suspect him, there was only Billy who knew and he wasn’t going to say anything.

Edward walked along the passage each locked door had pressure pads underneath so if someone stepped on them it would activate the alarm system and he would have only three minutes to make his escape before the police arrived. There was no sensor alarms or laser beams to negotiate. This was like taking candy from a baby he thought. All the money from the rent and rates was brought here and kept in the safe. Because of the Christmas holiday’s the money collected from every borough had been brought to the main office. hadn’t been taken to Lloyds Bank where it was usually taken. He shone the torch along the passage until he came to a set of stairs. Billy told him there was pressure pads underneath the carpet at the top and bottom of the stairs so he stepped onto the third step and then walked steadily down the second flight again he stepped carefully down then on the last flight he jumped clear near the bottom. There were three locked doors. He didn’t have to go searching for the door, it was clearly marked to tell employees where to bring the cash boxes. Taking a set of skeleton keys from his pocket he found one that would open the door. With a click the door sprang open. Edward stepped over the pressure pad then entered the room. There wasn’t much in the room apart from a desk and chair and in the corner of the room, the safe.

The safe made by Assa Abloy, was one of the finest safes in the world. Edward set his tools on the desk then took out a sturdy wooden tripod. He had adapted it so it could hold a drill. Edward fixed the clamps around the drill so there was little movement as the bit had to cut through the four inches of steel. He then placed a diamond tipped ¾ inch drill bit to the drill then looked around for a socket. Fortunately, there was one just a few feet away and Edward walked over to it and plugged it in. He set it away in position near the combination dial.

Edward thought the noise would be excessive and that he’d be caught stealing the money. But there was that many people shouting and screaming as the stroke of twelve arrived that the sound of the drill seemed insignificant, fireworks were being set off outside too so that helped his cause.

Edward poured a fluid onto the drill bit as it heated whilst cutting through the steel casing. He used a receptacle to collect the metal filings in case they set fire to the carpet.

He sat on the chair in the office and waited. The drill was cutting through an inch every five minutes so it was going take twenty minutes to drill through. He kept pouring more cooling fluid onto the bit. Slowly it cut through two inches. He moved the tripod closer as the drill went around. He wondered what his father and brothers were doing now. he felt like Robin Hood who was relieving the Sheriff of Nottingham of taxes.

The last inch seemed to take the longest, Edward was patient though, this robbery had taken over eight months of planning and he wasn’t going to mess up now.

After twenty- two minutes of drilling the bit had done its job. He turned it off then poured more cooling fluid around the recess that he’d created. He then shone his torch inside to see the locking mechanism.  taking out a stethoscope from his holdall he fixed it to his ears then used the sounding device on the door near the combination dial.

He turned the dial five turns clock wise until he heard a click then turned it seven right and it clicked again. Looking inside he saw that two of the keys had moved, he kept turning the dial left then right until each one clicked. there was only two left now, Edward turned four revolutions anti clock wise and it clicked then he turned the dial fully clockwise until he heard a different sound as the cogs inside released and that meant the safe could now be opened.

He turned the large cross-dial clockwise and the door sprang open.

He shone the torch inside and let out a soft whistle. In front of him was more money than he’d ever seen in his life.

He grabbed the twenty- pound notes all in bundles of five hundred pounds. Then there was bundles of five hundred pounds in ten pound notes and then bundles of one hundred pounds in pound notes and ten- shilling notes. He placed them into the bag with the tripod and drill.

He saw several bags with half crowns, shillings, and pennies. He picked up two heavy bags with one hundred pounds in half crowns and placed them on top of the notes then did the bag up and strapped it to his back. It was heavy, heavier than he expected. Edward locked the door of the safe then stepped over the pressure pads and locked the door he made his way back up the stairs careful not to step on any pressure pads and then opened the window and climbed out. He stood up and closed the window. He edged his way along the guttering until he reached the pipe then carefully climbed down onto the toilet roof. He was then able to lower himself to the ground. He moved the wire mesh fence that he’d cut earlier, once out onto the street he pushed it back into place. Calmly he walked up the street, the car he’d stolen was parked in the next street. The sound of partying from houses along the street filled his ears. One man wished him happy New Year drunkenly, Edward wished him the same then crossed the road. The robbery wouldn’t be discovered until the Wednesday morning because New Year had fallen on Monday so the 

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