Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Peter Stockley - Hero or Villain?

Peter Stockley is a familiar name in Liverpool that draws opinions from both sides.  Some see him as a former hardman who has turned vigilante against the tide of violent crime in the city, and there are those who see him as having his own agenda.  This man from Kirkdale in Liverpool, worked first as a doorman and so would have been involved in many violent confrontations with scallies and criminals.  He eventually ran his own club called the QT, but did have many run-ins with protection racketeers, and he was lucky to have avoided running into a man strategically placed with a sawn-off shotgun. He revealed this during a Granada Reports TV special on big time crime in Liverpool.  Others featured included burly doorman Eddie Bean, and the doyen of criminal lawyers in Liverpool, Rex Makin.

    Peter Stockley did serve a seven year prison sentence for shooting at a car that allegedly tried to run him down.  Some years later, he received six years for manslaughter after taking a gun off somebody and during the ensuing argument, it went off and killed the other person.  He was described in the national newspapers as being "The hardman of Liverpool`s gangland!"  Some say that this was an accident but there are others that have disagreed. Later he ran a rough pub in Huyton called The Eagle & Child.  One person described him to me as a "real hard fucker!"  The sort you need to be when you run a rough pub.

    Now he runs a community centre in Dovecot and actually goes out touring the streets, hoping to stop any trouble.  He did receive a severe beating at the hands of six assailants, some using knuckledusters, over a dispute 20 years ago.  Mr Stockley was 65 at the time, but still able to handle himself.  Peter Stockley has written four manuscripts with the first now available as an ebook, telling of his earlier life and the villains he found himself around.  As I said earlier, there are people who do not see him as a sort of local hero, but do they put themselves in the firing line like he has, especially at his age?

    Two things sprang to mind over what I have written.  First, Albert Donoghue, who turned on the Krays after they gallantly expected him to take the rap for the murder of Frank Mitchell, was severely beaten up some years ago.  No doubt the assailant(s) had to wait until he was older and infirmer before doing so. Second, in my home town of Ellesmere Port, the pub The Wheatsheaf(Now a Wetherspoons), was a pub I avoided.  It was full of troublemakers, dickheads who became big men with lots of alcohol in them and a gang behind them, and had an atmosphere that reeked of trouble.  Then, on the two occasions it was managed by one Terry "Bomber" Swan, it changed.  Why?  Because Bomber was a real hard man and everybody was shit scared of him!  Just thought I would drop these in as afterthought.