Ex-convict give pupils a tough talk on pitfalls of drug crime

Merissa Chowara, Ben Mashiter and Shaun Attwood
Merissa Chowara, Ben Mashiter and Shaun Attwood

Cockroaches, dead rats in food, and guards killing inmates.

These were just some of the horrifying images former millionaire Shaun Attwood spoke to pupils about at Holy Trinity School in Gossops Green on Wednesday (January 30) in a bid to warn them of the pitfalls of getting involved in drugs and crime.

Shaun, 42, served time in a jail , which had the highest death rate in America, for six years after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for money laundering and drug offences. The millionaire had moved to America in 1991 where he became a top stockbroker. However, as he built his fortune he also led a double life throwing raves and distributing ecstasy. But his so called ‘glamorous’ life style came crashing down when in 2002 a SWAT team smashed his door down and arrested him.

He told pupils how he had witnessed several murders, fighting, dead rats in his dinner and cockroaches creeping out of the walls at night and crawling over his body.

Shaun said he suffered from bed sores and itchy skin but the blistering heat was such that scratching meant sheets of his own skin came off in his hands.

The talk was part of Year 9s PSHE programme and was designed to warn pupils about the horrifying consequences of crime . Pupils Nerissa Chowara, 15, from Broadfield, and Ben Mashiter, 14, from Langley Green, said the talk certainly did the trick.

Nerissa said: “It makes you realise the consequences and makes you think about what path to take in life.”

Ben added: “It was quite inspiring to see how he had turned his life around.”

Teacher Katrina Casterton said: “I think it is extremely important to hold talks like this. I think it sends the right message to pupils to think about their life choices and their futures and the effect this has on their life.”

Shaun told pupils: “I went to my parents at Christmas and I can still see the hurt and pain in their faces that I have caused. People say to me you have lived this crazy and wild lifestyle would you take any of it back.

“I would take the pain off their faces. I have to live with that for the rest of my life. It might start out as fun, but it will eventually ruin your life.”