COMMENTS ON AMAZON.COM ‘REVIEW’ BY PETER RISDON
THE EVOLUTION OF THE EXCUSE
This ‘review’ by Peter Risdon on Amazon.com, in which he uses the pseudonym ‘Unforgiven’, is interesting in that it represents the first time – fourteen years after the events in question – that Risdon comes up with the suggestion that he had somehow been ‘framed’ rather than simply duped by DG and BM.
Accordingly, it should be read in the context of a series of ham-fisted excuses that Risdon puts forward over the years in an attempt to justify his role in the DG/BM New York heist and his subsequent grassing.
In particular, it should be cross-referred to Exhibit 62, where Risdon develops the line that he had been “framed” using the most embarrassingly ludicrous arguments.
The central problem that faced Peter Risdon from the moment he decided to turn informer against DG and BM after his arrest by officers from the Regional Crime Squad 9 was: “What excuse do I give for partaking in the robbery of almost 2 Million Pounds worth of gemstones in a New York hotel room?”
Once the trial of DG and BM had come to an end and Risdon had been exposed nation-wide as a cowardly rat, a new, related and just as urgent question was added: “Now what reason do I give for having squealed?”
The excuses given in order to respond to these questions have evolved over the years on a trajectory so absurd that only Peter Risdon could have dreamt them up and the reader can trace for himself their progress through a reading of the material presented in this site.
However, here is a brief summary:
- Having been arrested attempting an insurance fraud involving a large uncut diamond, in order not to be charged himself in connection with the events in which he had participated in New York one year previously, Risdon made the two following comments in his statement to police (May 1991):
“I believed that it (the robbery) was part of a £25,000 book-keeping exercise”
“The events surrounding my arrest have given me the opportunity to meet police officers from Scotland Yard and, therefore, the chance to explain exactly what happened in New York.”
At this stage, therefore, Risdon’s excuse is not quite one of “I woz framed” but more “I was duped. And I’m glad that I’ve now been given the opportunity to unburden my conscience.”
- The “I’m an innocent dupe” line is the one he maintains throughout DG and BM’s trial. At no stage during the trial did either the prosecution or Risdon himself even suggest that DG and BM had attempted to ‘frame’ him.
- The day after the verdict, Risdon’s ‘story’ appears in the News of the World (14th February 1993, see Exhibit 56). Here it is a question of Risdon ‘doing his civic duty’ by turning DG and BM in to the police. Bearing in mind DG’s increasingly dangerous behaviour which, according to Risdon’s fantasies, included keeping a gun in the glove compartment of his car and pointing it at drivers when they were stopped at traffic lights and a plan to hijack an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and sell the oil to Iran, Peter Risdon had decided to stop DG in a bid to protect the public.
At this stage, therefore, ridiculous as his accounts have been, there is still no mention of his “I woz framed” excuse, nor is there mention of such an excuse in any of the countless comments he gives to the media around this time.
- Three years later in 1996, at the time of the appearance of DG’s book ‘Roll the Dice’, Risdon writes a ‘review’ of DG’s book in the Daily Express (see Exhibit 48). Gone is the primitive, unsubtle approach deserving of a News of the World readership. Now instead the readership of the Daily Express are treated to a more humble, self-effacing and ashamed Peter Risdon.
He is still an ‘innocent dupe’ of course, but this time he writes:
“But then a month later (ie. a month after the New York heist which took place in March 1990) … I did a lot of soul-searching, reached some unflattering conclusions about myself and decided to turn Guppy in to the Police.”
As we have seen, this is a patent lie (see Exhibit 48 and comments thereon) and one so easy to prove as a lie that its most staggering aspect is that Risdon came up with it at all.
Again, there is still no mention anywhere at this stage of the “I woz framed” line; just ‘I was an innocent dupe and as soon as I realized what a terrible crime I had unwittingly been involved in I did my civic duty and handed the culprits over to the police.’
Nor is there any mention of his past of petty criminality, nor of the fact that he only “turned DG in to the Police” one year after the New York heist and when he had been caught red-handed attempting to commit an insurance fraud in a bank.
- By the time of the exhibit which concerns us here, however, namely Risdon’s Amazon.com ‘review’ of DG’s book ‘Roll the Dice’ (using the pseudonym
‘Unforgiven’), Peter Risdon has had a full 14 years to ponder things and to dazzle us with his brilliance.
As the reader will see, it is here, for the first time, that we are introduced to the ‘I woz framed!’ excuse.
In fact, so outraged was Peter Risdon at having been “framed” by DG and BM that he is able to dovetail his excuse for being a supergrass and a crook with an excuse for an equally reprehensible act on his part, namely his illegal tapping of DG’s phone and his obtaining of The Johnson Tapes – over which he has sought to capitalize so dishonourably and so endlessly over the years.
In this way, it was only in order to protect himself after he had discovered that he had been cunningly ‘framed’ by DG and BM that he had planted bugs in DG’s home and car and was able to obtain the Johnson Tapes – fortuitously, from a financial viewpoint, as it happens. (He sold the tapes to the Newspapers having hawked them round the whole of Fleet Street.).
Needless to say, no mention is made in this rather angry review of the fact that he would regularly bug his clients’ phones (and not just DG’s) in the hope of being able to blackmail them subsequently, something over which he was charged and cautioned. Nor is any mention made of his arrest by officers of the Regional Crime Squad for, in essence, attempting to imitate DG and BM’s New York heist (see also Comments on Exhibit 57, sub-paragraph 4). Likewise, the awkward detail of his selling the tapes he made while bugging DG’s house to The News of the World is simply ignored.
Instead he writes: “the man wasn’t even charged with any offences.” (!)
As with nearly all Risdon’s lies this is so demonstrably false that one can only wonder whether he was smoking an extremely fat joint at the time of writing it.
Other factual errors:
Two years later, in 2006, having organized the somewhat disappointing ‘March for Freedom of Expression’ and concerned that his past as a criminal and police informer would be exposed sooner or later, Peter Risdon opts for a pre-emptive strike and writes an ‘explanataion’ blog on his ‘Freeborn John’ website in an attempt to limit possible fallout.
- DG was in fact never bankrupted in law. An order that had been made against him was annulled by the High Court, in effect wiping the slate clean. This is typical of Peter Risdon’s hypocrisy, for in fact the only relevant ‘bankruptcies’ of which the authors of this site are aware pertain to Risdon himself! At least four on the last count: in respect of his management of ETS, Ptarmigan, the Circle Squared and Glasir), the last two of these bankruptcies leading to his disqualification as a company director! (See Exhibits 50 & Exhibit 51)
- Not a single milligram of gold belonging to DG was ever intercepted going to India as was made clear at the trial. Risdon is simply referring in typically dishonest style to an incident in which he had introduced a certain BH (one of his associates also known to DG) to an Indian contact of DG’s who was smuggling gold to India. Risdon then used information gleaned from BH to grass up the Indian contact to the police and two small shipments of gold which had nothing to do with DG were intercepted – not, as stated, owing to clever detective work, but simply owing to Risdon grassing up yet someone else. (See also Comments on Exhibit 56 regarding ID).
- The presiding Judge’s comments on sentencing DG and BM were: “…The offences were in my view extremely well planned and very carefully executed enterprises.” (His Honour, Judge Brooks, Sentencing Transcript, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 25th March 1993). Similar comments were made by the Prosecution in their opening and closing statements as was extensively reported upon in the press at the time and by the police themselves in, for example, DG’s interview under caution (see Exhibit 57). Risdon is simply projecting his own incompetence – as is obvious in the evidence produced in this website – onto others.
- In this regard it should be remembered that DG and BM were successfully paid out almost £2 Million in record time by Lloyds of London. In their interview of DG in which DG maintains his right to silence (July 1991), the chief investigating officer tells DG: “This was a very, very complicated cleverly thought-out conspiracy, It was done in such a way that everybody would have been fooled… But at the end of the day you paid Risdon thousands of pounds. Peter Risdon has decided to tell the full and frank truth about being your accomplice.”
(See Exhibit 57 - Note the use of the word “accomplice.” Not: “You duped poor Peter Risdon who thought he was simply participating in a £25,000 bookkeeping exercise.” Nor “You framed poor Peter Risdon”, either).
- The Loss Adjustors report makes clear: “We have confirmed with the police that in their mind, there is no doubt that this is a genuine loss” and it is inconceivable that an insurance company – and insurance companies are notorious throughout world for using any excuse not to pay up - would have done so had there been any doubt about the authenticity of the claim. And indeed Lloyds of London paid out within a mere six weeks of the gems heist in New York having occurred (see Exhibit 55). In fact, as we have seen, it was only one year later, having got away with their scheme, and because they were grassed up by Peter Risdon, a paid police informer, that they were caught at all. Far from considering them ‘incompetent’ Risdon was so impressed that he tried to imitate them! (See also Comments on Exhibit 57, sub paragraph 4). But his plan was so poorly conceived and so asininely executed that he was caught at the first stage and squealed within no time. Needless to say this is immediately obvious from the evidence presented in this website.
- The passage beginning “he was scammed, burned, conned and tricked at every turn” is again, pure fabrication. There is no evidence to suggest this anywhere – neither in the prosecution’s evidence nor in any court transcript and we challenge Risdon to prove otherwise.
- The remark that “he (DG) was busted for every crime he committed” is
again, unsubstantiated and contradicted by other statements he has made elsewhere. In one recent blog, for example, Risdon describes DG as a “career criminal” - (see Exhibit 52) - again, without providing the slightest evidence to substantiate his claim. Moreover, he can’t have it both ways: either he is lying or, if he is telling the truth and we bear in mind that DG has not in fact been “busted” for a single crime since the events in question, then DG must be a pretty remarkable ‘criminal.’
- As has been extensively reported upon in the press, DG can hardly be said to have “run away from Britain”, never to return. We leave it for the reader to decide for themselves whether such an attitude would be in keeping with DG’s character. Moreover, bearing in mind the less than heroic qualities displayed by Peter Risdon in the evidence produced in this site, the reader will have little difficulty concluding that “running away” is in fact far more Peter Risdon’s style than anyone else’s.
- The chronology is perhaps of relevance here. This Amazon review was written by Peter Risdon in 2004. His companies have recently failed; he has been prosecuted by the DTI; he has been disqualified as a company director; he has narrowly missed criminal prosecution for reasons about which one can only speculate, and his marriage has collapsed. Peter Risdon desperately needs to believe these things in order to prevent psychological meltdown and projects his own inadequacies onto others.
In this blog, which Risdon goes back and edits on several occasions as new evidence about his past emerges on the Internet, Risdon writes the following:
“Luckily, for him, he had a fallback plan. He had given the N.Y. police my description, from which they had produced an artist's impression of me - without a moustache. That was why he had asked me to shave. His plan was to say he had really been robbed by a slight acquaintance to whom he had mentioned the N.Y trip but who he didn't know well enough to recognise without his moustache. Yes, his fallback plan was to frame me for robbing him, to disappear to another country while I was arrested and convicted, then reappear a few years later when there had already been a conviction and the appetite to investigate him would meet with budgetary obstacles. That was a difficult situation. I decided on maximum retaliation. Not only did I go to the police and tell them what had happened, I also sold the News Of The World one of the tapes I had made, on which Guppy could be heard discussing a plan to beat up a Screws journalist. The tape, which subsequently was serialised by the Guardian Diary and splashed by The Daily Mail, included conversations between Guppy and the prospective assailants, and also with a journalist Guppy knew at Oxford, who had a line on the home address of the target. The journalist was called Boris Johnson.”
This latest excuse is so ludicrous that it hardly deserves comment.
As with his Daily Express and Amazon.com ‘reviews’ (See Exhibits 48 & 49), there is of course no mention of certain inconvenient facts, in particular:
-that he did not decide to “go to the police and tell them what happened” after he had discovered that he had been “framed.” Quite the contrary, the police had in fact ‘gone to him’ and arrested him red-handed with a false passport in the Midland Bank attempting an insurance fraud involving a large uncut diamond and it was only at that stage, a full year after acting as the gunman in DG and BM’s New York heist, that he had decided to unburden his conscience.
-that he had in fact made it his business to bug a number of his clients’ offices – and not just DG’s - for no other reason than to blackmail them subsequently.
Risdon’s allegation regarding the photofit (see Exhibit 47) is equally stupid. As can be seen, the photofit looks nothing like Risdon. In fact DG and BM had anticipated being interviewed separately by police after they had been ‘robbed’ and would need to come up with a similar description of their ‘robbers.’ To this end they did what any vaguely intelligent person would do - they thought of the first mutual acquaintance that came to mind and agreed on describing that person, their chief ‘assailant’, so that their descriptions would match. (It would hardly look convincing if one of them described a six foot four, eighteen stone, body builder with a beard and the other a five foot two, eight stone, clean-shaven jockey). And so they thought of someone they had both known at University and who would be unknown to police. In fact, Risdon even knew the identity of this person, whose name was first revealed in an article in Vanity Fair with which he had himself collaborated in 1993. (Indeed, he even names this person himself on the internet See para 7 below and Exhibit 52).
It should be remembered that by the time of this blog Risdon has had a full 16 years to dream up an excuse. The best he can come up with, however, is that DG and BM’s cunning scheme, having gone to all the trouble they did, having paid him a hefty fee for his services and all his expenses, and having been paid out by Lloyds of London to the tune of almost £2 Million pounds, would be to devise a “back up plan” of fleeing the country and when confronted by police as they rub themselves with Ambre Solaire on Copa Cabana beach to tell them: “Oh Yes, officers! We forgot to mention to you that it was in fact Peter Risdon who robbed us after all. We didn’t recognise him at the time but just look at the photofit and you’ll see that it’s him there minus the moustache! That just proves we’re
innocent, doesn’t it, Guv?”
We hardly need spell out to the reader that while this may well be Peter Risdon’s idea of a genius excuse, it certainly isn’t anyone else’s.
Risdon also faces another major difficulty with regard to this latest excuse of his and it concerns the chronology of events.
For, Risdon had in fact bugged DG’s phone and obtained what were to become the Johnson tapes in 1990 and not in 1991. This was at the stage that DG and BM’s company were paid out by Lloyds of London, clearly suggesting that they were not under suspicion of any wrong-doing with respect to their claim. And, indeed, the pair were not to be arrested for another fifteen months or so until after Risdon had grassed to the police having been caught attempting his own insurance sting. By this stage therefore Risdon would have had no idea about any photofits or about having been ‘framed.’
The sequence of what actually occurred is clearly in accord with Risdon’s business partner’s (BMcL) version of events (See Exhibits 2 & Exhibit 3), namely that Risdon in fact bugged DG’s phone because that’s what he liked to do, and would regularly do, to his clients in the hope of being able to blackmail them subsequently. And that, when those tapes eventually became valuable as the people who were speaking in them became more known publicly, Risdon went round Fleet Street knocking on doors until he finally sold them to The News of the World. (See also Comments on Exhibit 59)
One year after this excuse, in 2007, Risdon would provide yet another variant on a blog (See Exhibit 52). This time, not one but three descriptions of their assailants had been given to police by DG and BM, one of which was none other than Risdon’s former business partner ‘Tom!’ (BMcL).
As we have already seen in Exhibits 2 & Exhibit 3, ‘Tom’s’ (BMcL’s) version of events is somewhat different to Peter Risdon’s.
Again, Risdon comes up not only with a lie but with a lie so easy to demonstrate as such that one wonders how he could have dreamt it up in the first place. As all the evidence clearly shows, including the trial itself, DG and BM only ever provided the description of one of their ‘robbers’ and only one photofit was ever produced. As we have seen, that photofit looks nothing like Risdon and as we have also already seen Risdon even names the individual it is supposed to resemble in the same blog.
In this blog, as in the ‘explanation’ given on his Freeborn John website, Risdon makes out that he is ‘glad’ he grassed DG up to the police, the argument being that it had somehow been his moral duty to do so.
Well, if he was so ‘glad’ then why didn’t he do so as soon as he had realised that he had partaken in a robbery of gemstones rather than a mere “book-keeping exercise?”
If he was so ‘glad’ then why did he wait to spill the beans for over a year until he was caught red-handed by police attempting an insurance fraud involving a diamond in a bank?
If he was so ‘glad’ then why didn’t he come clean the minute DG’s name was mentioned during his second interview with police on 12th March 1991? (See Exhibit 9 and comments thereon).
If he was so ‘glad’ then why did he insist on coming clean only in ‘informal context’ after he had been released from Wormwood Scrubs on bail and having attended a number of off the record ‘chats’ with police officers in a pub on the Embankment, ‘chats’ regarding which, mysteriously, either no notes were taken or what notes were made had disappeared by the time of DG and BM’s trial? What did he have to hide? Why not come clean on tape as soon as he was given the opportunity to do so?
To summarise: In order for the reader to come anywhere near accepting Peter Risdon’s various excuses for his criminality and for why he turned supergrass against DG and BM it seems that they would have to believe the most improbable series of events imaginable:
- that Peter Risdon had no real idea why he had been paid to procure a gun in New York, tie up two young men in a hotel room, fire a bullet and make off with £2 Million Pounds worth of gemstones
- that in fact Peter Risdon had been duped by DG and BM into believing that the events in question had merely been part of a “£25,000 book-keeping exercise.”
- that Peter Risdon had been so scandalised upon realising that there may have been slightly more to this “book-keeping exercise” than he had originally believed that he failed to report the matter to the police for a whole year until he was arrested by police and given the opportunity to unburden his conscience
- that it was pure coincidence - and another instance of his being duped - that almost exactly one year after his “book-keeping exercise” in New York, he happened to find himself in a bank attempting to retrieve a large diamond that he had had insured for hundreds of thousands of pounds, using a fake ID in the name of the owner who had himself attempted to pull off an identical scam at a different branch of the same bank only a few months previously.
Does Peter Risdon really believe people are that stupid?