If You Ask... Shane
I’m proud of changing my life round after growing up in the life I’ve had. I’ve calmed down and am just trying to get a job and sort my life out.
People describe me as loud, happy. I’m a box of fireworks waiting to go off. I’m not the kind of guy that picks a fight. I used to have the whole place scared of me – but I’ve been through all that - I’m too old, though I’m only 20. I want to be respected and live my life. Civil.
I like all kinds of music: up-to-date stuff, Motown, UB40.
I don’t have many early memories – no family ones. My parents taught me to be hard and to fight. My childhood wasn’t good, so I don’t remember it. My earliest memory is meeting my girl six years ago.
My biggest fear is heights – I hate them. That’s my only fear.
I’d give up my life for my family, that’s it. I’ve taken jail for people, but I’ve realised that’s pointless and they’re not there for you. It’s only family that are there for you. For me, it’s my brother’s side and my mum.
Waking up in the morning makes me happy. It’s another day.
My girlfriend makes me happy. We’ve been together for six years, since we were 15. We’ve been through some hard patches - she’s stuck by me the whole time, through jail. I love everything about her.
Girls love money – but when the money runs out, you realise it wasn’t real. So money can’t buy you love.
I can tell whether someone’s got dough from their clothes. It’s also about self-respect – taking pride in yourself. Girls clock your trainers and look up. If you haven’t got nice trainers, you’re not getting a girl!
It’s good to have money, but respect is the main thing. That’s me having respect for you and you having respect for me.
My biggest birthday was when I was 18. I was out of jail, I had a bit of dough and I celebrated hard. I celebrated my 21st at the same time, while I had the money!
My happiest moment was coming out of jail – walking out the gates and not being wanted by the police. All my life I’ve been looking over my shoulder, running from police. When I’d done my sentence and paid my dues, I could feel the air – I’m smiling just thinking about it.
The police make me nervous. I’m a PPO [priority prolific offender]. Before I was 18, I was a one-man crime-wave. I’m dealing with that now and getting out of it. But the police still think of me as an offender and stick to me. It’s starting to cool off now, but it’s there.
If I got the chance to start my life over, I would, no hesitation. I’d try to stay at home longer. I was booted out when I was 13 and have been from sofa to sofa from then on, on the streets. Getting into mischief, making money, eating, sleeping, living.
I’m proud of changing my life round after growing up in the life I’ve had. I’ve calmed down and am just trying to get a job and sort my life out. I’ve stopped crime and stopped mixing with the older lot who got me to where I was. I’ve got my NVQ in multi-skills, CSCs. Before I went to jail I had nothing.
Thinking how quickly everything can be taken away from me makes me sad – everything I’ve worked for. Where I am now, I don’t want to spoil it. By going to rob someone for £150, I could lose everything – my girlfriend, my nephew, my brother. My brother says that if I go back to jail he doesn’t want to know me.
My brother is my hero. He was in the gutter, like I was. He’s got a kid now, and one on the way, a fiancée, a nice house and a job. That’s where I want to be. Friends, a little family, a home – what else do you need? I don’t even need friends, just a little family – friends can come and go.