When I was 16 years of age I was passionately interested in cars. Whenever I had a spare moment I used to get on my motorcycle, go to Uxbridge, visit each car park in turn and examine the cars to try to work out which make and model of car I was going to buy when I was 17. One day I was examining the cars in the car park behind the 'Middlesex Advertiser' office when I was-approached by a plain-clothes copper. He told me that he found my movements suspicious, that he thought I was stealing goods from the cars, and he asked me to empty my pockets. I told him in no uncertain terms to get stuffed. An argument then ensued, with him trying to get my name and address, and me trying to get him to show his identity card so that I could get his name (I was unsuccessful but I later found out his name was D. C. Frank). After about half-an-hour it became obvious to Frank that he was not going to get any information out of me so he gave up and went away.
I thought no more of the incident until 6 months later when, having purchased a car, I drove into Uxbridge one Saturday afternoon to do some shopping. I decided to park the car in the Middlesex Advertiser' car park and, as I was parking, Frank spotted me and came over and started talking. He told me that, after the incident, he had made enquiries and found out that I was a pupil at Greenway Secondary Modem School in Uxbridge so he had visited the school in order to obtain some biographical details. He had had a word with the deputy head teacher, Mr Davis, and he had told him that I had built up quite a reputation for myself at the school -I was considered to be very intelligent (I had gained 6 '0' levels which was the highest number out of all the fifth formers); I was considered to be a bit of a character as I possessed an unusual and individual sense of humour and was always initiating or taking part in practical jokes with the teachers and pupils; I was considered to be the premier prefect who carried out his duties with just the right combination of paternalism, benevolence and despotism to give rise to feelings of admiration and respect in the pupils of good character, and to engender feelings of fear, awe and respect in the pupils of ill-repute which meant I was the only prefect who could control the 4th formers who were common yobbos and vicious thugs.
Frank said that from what Mr Davis had told him, I possessed all the qualities required to make a good police officer and he suggested I join the Force. I curtly told him that I hated and detested coppers and the system they helped to maintain and that there was no way I was going to join the police force. Needless to say Frank was not pleased with this reaction so he made further enquiries and he found out that I was not just an ordinary, run of the mill, working-class dissenter. He discovered that there were other exceptional and extraordinary factors involved which made me unique, and made me the most dangerous working-class dissenter this country has ever had and is ever likely to have. This unnerved Frank so he tried to make sure I couldn't cause any trouble by keeping a close eye on me. However, he encountered a problem in that he couldn't have too much contact otherwise it would become obvious to the public that the police were trying to sit on me.
He found a solution to this problem when, in 1967, the local newspaper (the 'Middlesex Advertiser') published a story containing a list of amusing incidents involving pupils and teachers at Greenway Secondary Modern, and the general public in and around Uxbridge (the list was so long that it covered the whole of the front page and double inside pages - the newspaper gave me the nickname of'The Local Wag'). Frank noticed that, as a result of this publicity, I had gained quite a following among the local inhabitants and it occurred to him that if he pretended to be my friend and set up, what the public would consider to be, amusing situations, whenever a member of public saw an Uxbridge copper associating with me they would think that just another harmless prank was taking place.
His devious scheme worked very well and the oppression intensified. It got so bad, and my contacts with the police became so frequent, that the verbal abuse I was giving them sometimes made them lose their temper and they physically assaulted me. Although I gave a good account of myself in the resulting fights, it was obvious that I could not defeat the entire Metropolitan Police Force by physical force and that the only way I was going to get rid of Frank and friends was by going to law. So, as I had no money and it costs a great deal to employ the services of a solicitor, I resolved to spend all my time working and to save every penny I earned until I had sufficient capital to enable me to take Frank to court.
Unfortunately Frank was aware of what I was trying to do so he deliberately obstructed my attempts to make money. After a while it became obvious that, thanks to Frank's efforts, I was not going to be able to make money in sufficient quantity whilst living in Uxbridge so, in April 1968, I moved to London. I rented a room in Earls Court, under an assumed name, and proceeded to work and accumulate money. I was doing famously until, in 1969, Frank discovered my whereabouts.
He continued to force his attentions on me, to set up the amusing situations (these incidents were reported in the Daily Mirror' - this newspaper gave me another nickname of Mister Moses') and hinder my attempts to make money in large quantities. As well as the old methods of oppression he also started to make use of new techniques he had developed. These new techniques were very effective in their intended purpose of isolating me from people and my contacts with people became fewer and fewer. Then, in 1972, Frank put into effect another idea of his which he hoped would make the isolation complete.
On the 1st January 1972 (8 months before my 25th birthday) Frank convinced me that it was, in fact, the 1st January 1971. He did this, ostensibly, to help me explaining to any interested parties that I was not married and I had no chance of getting married in the next 8 months and that, therefore, the deception would save my life as, when I was a teenager, I had told him that I desperately wanted to get married and that if I was not married by the time I was 25 I would commit suicide. Therefore by convincing me that I was 23 instead of 24, an extra year would be gained in which to find some way of making sure I did not bring about my own demise.
Incredibly, people believed Frank's story and the idea worked very well and succeeded in its objective of totally isolating me from people as, whenever I started talking to a stranger, an Uxbridge copper obviously had to interrupt the conversation, ostensibly to make sure the stranger did not reveal the correct date. The copper would take the stranger to one side, where he would have a quiet word and convince him that it was better if he did not talk to me. The isolation was compounded by the fact that, as I was one year behind, I was also one day behind everyone else, this meant that if I went to an event such as the Bank Holiday Fair on Wormwood Scrubs Common there was nobody there as it was already over.
The intensity of the oppression meant that, if I was to have any sort of life at all, it was vital that I got rid of Frank so I racked my brain in an effort to find a way of obtaining the money required for court action. I could find no solution to the problem until, one day in October 1974, I happened to come across a book in Kensington Public Library entitled Frauds and Hoaxes'. One of the hoaxes related within involved the Queen and the Royal Family. This reminded me of a conversation I had had about the Queen and Princess Anne with a colleague at my old workplace.
In 1971 I was working at Filmatic Laboratories Ltd., Lonsdale Road, London, W1, as a van driver. I used to spend every working day travelling around the West End collecting and delivering cans of film. On certain occasions I was accompanied on my journeys by Mr Thorpe, a fellow driver, it was normal on these occasions for Mr Thorpe and I to have long, but one-sided, conversations as I considered Mr Thorpe to be a simpleton and incredibly gullible so, to amuse myself, I used to make fun of him and try to deceive him.
One day, whilst travelling around, I jokingly said that I wanted to be rich and infamous. I said that when I was 26 years of age I was going to kidnap Princess Anne and demand a huge ransom. In an effort to convince Mr Thorpe I was serious I then launched into a tirade against the Queen and the Royal Family saying, for example, that they were a bloody anachronism and ought to be abolished. My performance was good enough to convince Mr Thorpe that I really was going to kidnap Princess Anne so, to ensure that I would not carry out my threat, he informed Frank of what I had said and then told me that he had done so.
Having recalled all of the above whilst reading the book in Kensington library, it occurred to me that, if I pretended that I was really going to carry out my threat to kidnap Princess Anne, Frank would secretly make sure that I wasn't successful. It would appear to the general public that I had really meant to kidnap Princess Anne. I would go along with this until after the event and the trial. Then, having received the attendant publicity in the newspapers, I would reveal that it had all been a hoax and, as I had committed no crime, be released from prison and publish my autobiography. After I had received the royalties from the book I would be able to take the legal action.
I went ahead and planned the hoax making sure that Frank knew what I was doing by using the unwitting help of Mr Thorpe. To explain how I did this it is necessary to go back to 1971.
After he had been at Filmatics a short while, Mr Thorpe resigned. To maintain contact with me, he used to park his car opposite the exit of Filmatics and when I left, after finishing work, I used to go over and have a chat with him. It was during one of theses conversations that Mr Thorpe told me that he had met Frank and that he had told him I was going to kidnap Princess Anne. During another of these conversations Mr Thorpe indirectly told me that someone had stolen a bank statement that had been sent to me by my bank and passed it on to him. (I was living in a rooming-house and there were 40 other tenants in residence. The post for the whole house was put on a table in the reception area so it was easy for one person to steal another person's letters.) From these conversations I knew that, if I allowed letters relevant to the kidnap to be stolen, they would be passed on to Mr Thorpe and he, in turn, would pass them on to Frank. This would leave Frank in no doubt that I was going to carry out my threat to kidnap Princess Anne.
I ordered a biography of Princess Anne from the public library. When the letter arrived telling me the book was ready for collection, I left it on the table and it was stolen.
I wrote to several estate agents near Princess Annes' home in Sandhurst asking them for details of secluded houses for rent. When I received the replies, I left the letters on the table and they were stolen. Thus Frank knew where the hide-out was going to be.
I had told Mr Thorpe that I was going to buy the guns in Spain. I wrote to several travel agents asking them to quote a price for an air ticket to Madrid. I also told them the date on which I would be travelling. When I received the replies, I left the letters on the table and they were stolen. Thus Frank knew when and where I was going to buy the guns.
Having alerted Frank I continued to make more solid preparations. I went to Madrid, Spain, and purchased the guns. Immediately I got them home I tested them and they both worked O.K. I then put them in a safety deposit box, in a bank, and left them there for a couple of months. I thought this would give Frank plenty of time to tamper with them.
About a week before the incident I collected the guns from the bank. When I got them home I tested the .22 caliber revolver and I found that, when I fired the gun, only the detonator in the bullet exploded. This confirmed that Frank had taken the gunpowder out of the bullets thereby ensuring that I couldn't injure anyone with them.
Armed with the knowledge that nobody would come to any harm I went ahead with the project. I rented a house in Fleet, Hampshire, to act as the hide-out and I kept watch on Princess Anne's house in nearby Sandhurst. According to the books I had read she went riding every day at Alison Oliver's riding stables in Warfield. I intended to follow her there and, in that locality, perform the drama. However, I waited for a week but there was no sign of Princess Anne. By the 7th day I was bored stiff and I didn't think I could stand any further observation so, as I knew she was attending a function for the Riding for the Disabled Charity that evening at Sudbury House in London, I resolved that the performance should take place there. I drove down to London and arrived there at about 6 0' clock in the evening. During the course of the evening many events took place which helped to prove it was a hoax but I will give only the two easiest to describe.
(1)1 was reconnoitring in the vicinity of Sudbury House and I decided to inspect the underground car park at the rear of the building. Having walked round the car park I started up the access road towards the exit and I was amazed to see a Metropolitan Policeman coming towards me. As he passed I looked at him and I saw that he was looking straight at me with an evil grin on his face. Now this copper couldn't have been on official business as the car park was out of his jurisdiction (the car park was private property belonging to Sudbury House and Sudbury House is in the City of London and the City has its own policemen who, to distinguish them from the Met boys, wear a different distinctive uniform). Therefore, as Frank is a Metropolitan Police Officer, it is obvious that the grinning ape who passed me was an associate of Frank's on a private mission concerning the hoax.
(2) After the royal car left Sudbury House I followed it. When we reached Trafalgar Square I was immediately behind the royal car and I could see that Princess Anne was sitting on the left, with Captain Mark Phillips on her right. We proceeded round Trafalgar Square and as we approached the entrance to The Mall, the cars from the road on the left (Whitehall) came towards me at great speed blowing their horns. To avoid collision I was forced to apply my brakes and swerve to the right. This impediment to my progress made me lose sight of the royal car. I immediately knew that Frank had done this so that he could substitute a dummy for the royal car. I also thought it would help me if I could see the switch so I quickly extricated myself from the traffic jam and entered The Mall. I kept my eyes peeled and I saw the royal car disappearing down the road that leads to Horse Guards Parade. Frank obviously didn't intend me to see this so I pretended I hadn't noticed, continued along The Mall, and eventually caught up with the imitation royal car. As I approached the car I could see that the position of its occupants was reversed - the girl was sitting on the right and the man on the left.
This interchange was designed as a personal test of Frank's - if I hadn't noticed it I obviously didn't know the whole episode was a hoax.
If there was any doubt in my mind that Frank had replaced Princess Anne with another girl it was removed when I stopped the car and conversed with the girl. Her personality was completely different to that of Princess Anne's. Princess Anne is a supercilious, haughty individual with a pronounced upper-class accent. The girl in the car was a normal down to earth person with an ordinary working-class accent.
After conversing with the girl in the car for a few minutes I was jumped
on by three local coppers who arrested me and took me to Cannon Row
police station. I later appeared at the Old Bailey and was sent to Rampton
State Psychiatric Institution, Retford, Notts.