The hard-hitting memoir of a childhood tainted by violence, sexual abuse and crime, and of a life rehabilitated
When Caspar Walsh was three years old his father became his primary carer. But Caspar's father wasn't classic dad material. He robbed banks, he dealt drugs and made his living from deception and violence. He loved his son but not enough to change his criminal lifestyle. Despite all this Caspar trusted him, loved him and looked up to him. When he grew up, he wanted to be just like his dad. Caspar got what he wanted.
CRIMINAL is the harrowing story of a wild childhood punctuated by drugs, violence, sexual abuse and the frequent absences of a father in prison. It's the story of how Caspar inevitably became part of his father's world: doing drugs, dealing drugs, doing time. And how, eventually, as a young man, Caspar dragged himself out of the gutter, out of prison and out of crime and made the decision to rehabilitate himself and, by coming full circle to work with offenders, help change the lives of others like him.
An extraordinary autobiography. Vibrantly written with one of the most compelling characters in Caspar's father that I've come across in a long time. It's a masterful portrayal of the two sides of a man and demonstrayes with absolute clarity how confusing love can be within an abusive relationship - Minette Walters
This is a fine, unsparing book... If you want to understand why our prisons are bulging, and where some hope for the future may lie, read this book. Caspar strips his own life back to the bone - Helen Dunmore
A surprisingly touching, beautifully written tale... While peppered with hair-raising accounts of scrapes with the cops, violence and abuse, Criminal never loses its sense of optimism - News of the World
Caspar Walsh is a regular writer for BBC Radio 4, with broadcasts including the sixties gangster story Vincent Vice's Rainbow. The Prison Father, a critically acclaimed feature length docudrama, and the young offender docudrama, Inside Out, were based on his prison life experience. As a workshop facilitator in and out of prisons, he helps fathers and their families to rehabilitate by using his own experiences as an inspiration.