MORAL OF THE STORY:
- Don’t grass.
- Don’t be a total incompetent.
- Don’t smoke cannabis. If ever living proof was required of the detrimental effects cannabis has on cogent thought, rationality and will-power, Peter Risdon definitely provides it.
- Having grassed, don’t dig yourself into an even deeper hole by coming up with all manner of such patently absurd excuses and ‘explanations’ that all you end up doing is proving how embarrassed of yourself you are.
- Rather than inventing things about people on the Internet – which any fool can do – be a man. If you have a problem with someone then go and knock on their door and sort it out face to face.
Peter Risdon’s is a salutary tale. He appreciates perfectly well that the greatest error of his life was to lack any spine or honour at the crucial moment.
In essence Risdon gambled that DG and BM would be like him. Since his world view was one of dishonour, ratting on friends and associates and of betraying even members of his own family, he assumed that such behaviour would hold true of others.
However, DG and BM were not like him. They did not cave in to the police but kept their heads and kept quiet, implicating no-one else, despite the suspicion on the part of the Police that others may have been involved, especially in liquidating gems and hiding money. Moreover, they remained loyal to each other and did not scuttle like rats from a sinking ship. In his summing up at their trial, Prosecuting Counsel referred to the pair as “standing shoulder to shoulder.” At the time of the verdict, as was reported extensively in the press at the time, DG in particular showed no emotion. During their incarceration they got on with their fellow prisoners and served their time like men. Again, despite being driven from prison on at least half a dozen occasions to the High Court and being threatened with an additional three years in prison for contempt of court for refusing to co-operate in civil proceedings brought by Lloyds of London, DG once more kept his mouth firmly shut and refused to co-operate.
Such indeed was DG and BM’s attitude that the prosecution’s grudging respect was revealed in their opening words when summing up at the trial: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, you have just witnessed two strong men in the dock.”
Needless to say, the comportment of DG and BM throughout their ordeal simply threw Risdon’s own undignified and rat-like behaviour into sharp relief.
And Risdon didn’t like it.
Obviously deeply ashamed, he came up with excuses so embarrassing that they only added to his unhappiness.
Peter Risdon has not had a nice life and blames DG - in particular for exposing him - but deep down, even in his delusion, he knows that only he is the author of his own misfortunes.
Nor, indeed, does Peter Risdon’s character seem to have improved over the years. The Johnson tapes being a point in question.
Thus, in recent times, Risdon has lost no opportunity to brag about being the man who obtained these tapes on a number of blogs on the internet. Again, the impression is of someone so desperate for recognition that he revels in even the slightest attention, however negative. The reality is in fact somewhat mundane. Peter Risdon obtained the tapes by chance more than anything else. As his business partner (BMcL) makes clear (See Exhibits 2 & 3) Risdon regularly bugged his clients’ premises in the hope of being able to blackmail those clients at some future date. When he originally made the tapes, Risdon had no idea that the people speaking on them would one day be well-known for whatever reason. He just obtained the tapes and, with the increasing profiles of the people speaking in them, they eventually became worth something. And it was at that point that Peter Risdon sought to sell them to the highest bidder and brag about it.
DG’s behaviour provides an interesting contrast. He was far better connected than Risdon and could presumably have made a fortune by doing a Risdon and ratting on his high profile friends. And it seems extremely probable that he will have been approached on numerous occasions by the media to do just that. Instead, a search of the internet and newspapers’ archives shows DG not to have breathed a single word to the media. In fact, since the publication of his book and the publicity that surrounded it he has not even provided a single quote to a newspaper. And indeed, when it came to publishing his book (‘Roll the Dice’) upon his release from jail, DG insisted upon it being a condition of his dealings with his publishers that he would not be obliged to say anything that could be considered disparaging about his friends, in particular the Spencer family. Moreover, as was reported at the time (1997), such was DG’s refusal to cave in to pressure to spill the beans on his friends that he fell out with his publishers; they delayed some payments owing to him and he sued them, even freezing their bank account.
The contrast with Risdon’s behaviour could not be greater.
Perhaps the supreme irony is that had Peter Risdon demonstrated a little bit of backbone and honour, it is highly probable that nothing would have happened to him in any case since his colleagues in his failed South African diamond scam were, unlike him, not prepared to squeal. And even if he had gone down he would have served a few months, the experience would have made a man of him, he would have earned respect – including from the police themselves – people would quickly have forgotten about it, he would have been able to get on with his life and, the greatest irony of them all, he would actually have appeared more honest!
Instead, in typical Norman Risdon style he has ruined his own life, is known as a filthy little snitch and coward throughout the land, has no friends, lives in a lonely squat in the Fens, is considered a weirdo by his neighbours, has failed in everything he has put his hand to, and – to boot – is still considered a total crook.
Of course, better than anyone else, ‘Freeborn John’ knows all this himself.
Which is why he’s so bitter.