I can recall Chris, his gang and me all talking; then Frank and Norman left. Chris and I then caught a bus to Croydon. On the bus, he handed me a knife and a knuckle-duster, which I never even used! I wasn’t planning on using them either! I should not have accepted them from Chris. I should have said ‘no’ right then. I guess I was under peer pressure then. I remember Chris carrying a revolver and a sheath knife. We got off the bus at West Croydon station. Chris’ intention that night was to rob a butcher’s shop, and if need be, use the lethal weapons. That was the purpose of him carrying them. We went down Tamworth Road. As we saw a light and heard sounds inside the shop, we had a change of plan, and so went away. This time we were headed for a sweet shop. I can remember that I was still looking inside the shop to see if anyone was there, while Chris had already climbed over the 6ft iron-gate. I should have not gone up with him. It was my last possible chance to escape from this ‘fatal plan’, and I unfortunately blew it! I should have realised there would be consequences like this maybe, and also that there could have been witnesses such as the Wares, watching. I was caught red-handed!
I don’t want to die; I still have lots to live for. I’m only 19 years old for Christ’s sake! People these days should show some mercy! Not even a quarter of my life has passed yet! My life has definitely gone to waste. I’m dying for no reason! I wonder how it feels whilst being hung and dying?! Will it hurt? What happens afterwards? Will I be sent to Heaven or Hell, or is there no such place? How long will it take for me to die? I’m not frightened of death at all. Just nervous and curious. I’d told dad that too. The time seems to pass so fast! Only forty-five minutes to go now!
I wonder what the hell Chris is doing now? What does he think of all this? Whether he is regretting everything? Whether he’s thinking about me, and what I’m doing? And what about his family? His parents? Do they care as much about Chris as mine do for me? What do they think about me? Do they realise or even care that my sentence is unfair? Do they know and care that I’m dying because of him?! I do hope they realise that it should be Chris who is sentenced to death instead of me! It should be him being hung in less than forty minutes from now!
I wouldn’t want to be Chris. I’d prefer to be myself and die rather than be him. I would hate to live with a guilty conscience, knowing someone’s dead because of a crime that I’d committed. I would simply hate to live a life like that! The clock’s ticking fast. I’m living my last half hour.
I’ll certainly miss my family. I want to be with them now, and see them again. I’m more anxious about leaving them more than anything else. I’d do anything and give away every possession I have just so that I could live to see and be with my family. I hope they clear my name. I really do. How do they feel about his situation that I’m in now? Are they petrified? Worried? Nervous? Angry? Are they thinking anything at all?
I would like to wish them good luck for everything in the future. I want to thank mum and dad for raising me, and Iris for supporting me and being a great sister throughout my life. I hope my younger brother listens to mum and dad and does what he’s told. I wouldn’t like to think that he grows up to be someone like me! A betrayer to my parents, but most of all a traitor to the family name. I know I have made a bad impression and have been a bad influence on my younger brother, but I hope he learns from it; I’ve, without doubt, learnt from my mistakes in the past, and I know I can’s redeem myself now as it’s too late; but my younger brother can still fulfil mum and dad’s wishes by becoming good and by doing as he’s told.
At least all is not lost for my parents. As a result of me not listening to mum and dad, look how I’ve ended up! I am so repentant and most of all ashamed of myself! I would have liked to be someone everyone younger could look up to, not like this! Not a criminal! I’m sure mum and dad would have wanted that as well; some sort of role model, as it were. I do hope indeed that they forgive me for everything bad I’ve committed.
Anyway, I want my family to keep their chin up, and to look after each other, and all the animals in the house. I wish I could tell them this myself in person, and also that I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you all ever so much for what you’ve done for me. You’ve all always been there for me, especially for when I needed you.
In the end, I reckon the truth will eventually come out. Justice will prevail. People will know I am not the bad guy. JUST FIFTEEN MINUTES TO GO! Only just fifteen minutes left of my wasted life!
I’m more fearful of how my family will be treated after I’ve been hanged. Thinking of what position my family will be in actually makes me terrified. Think about how people will treat them. Will they feel sorry for them because of my loss? Will they be spiteful and malicious towards them? How will people remember me? A fully-fledged criminal or an innocent 19 year old who was wrongly accused of murder and therefore hung?
I believe the guards are coming in now. I can hear their footsteps. Shall I wait for them to enter? Shall I plan to retaliate as soon as they come in? Oh, what shall I do?! I think I’ll wait. I’m waiting for death. Mum, dad, please forgive me! God, please forgive my sins. I’m extremely remorseful for anything I have done that goes against your will. Oh God, they’re here! I don’t know what to do! They are getting me up. It’s all happening too fast! It’s very hard for me to think this, but I am in fact breathing my last few breaths now! I don’t believe this is happening! NO!
They are treating me very roughly. I wonder what was in that drink they gave me. It didn’t taste nice at all. They’re taking me somewhere. I can see the very last thing that will ever touch my throat. The guard just said it won’t hurt. I’ll take his word; at least it will clam me down a little.
Daylight’s gone. I shall never see light again. This is the last time I’ll ever see the world. I’m in complete darkness now. This is it. I feel my legs tightening ever so hard. OUCH! Now I can hear the loud noises of chains rattling. This is the first time I’m actually feeling horrified since I was sentenced. I want to panic, but I cannot go anywhere. I want my mum. I want her to hug me one last time. I want to hold my family and kiss them all goodbye. I can hear my heart pounding violently. God save me! Goodbye Derek…….....