A FORMER London gangster will visit Bellshill next week in an effort to steer youngsters away from a life of crime.
John Pridmore will speak at a parish mission being held at St Gerard’s Church from Monday to Friday, September 3-7.
The 46-year-old was a feared enforcer in the London underworld, serving two prison sentences, and the money he made from his life of crime bought him the classic gangster lifestyle of fast cars, designer suits and a string of beautiful women.
But he underwent a dramatic life-changing experience after nearly killing a man outside a nightclub.
Since then he has travelled widely, personally speaking to more than 2.5 million people and warning youngsters about the dangers of gang and drug culture.
At six foot five inches tall and with a shaved head, Pridmore looks more the hard man than motivational speaker - but he leaves a deep impact on the young people he meets.
He has spoken at international conferences in Milan, New York, Chicago, and Florida, undertaken a tour reaching more than 7,000 young people in schools and prisons throughout the UK, spent two months touring Australia and visited Liberia where he reached out to former child soldiers in in the country’s bloody civil war.
He has also met Hollywood producer Paul Kelmenson, who was responsible for the blockbuster ‘Ronin’ and is hoping to bring Pridmore’s story of hope to the big screen.
At the mission there will be morning sessions from Monday to Thursday at 9.30 and evening sessions from Monday to Friday at 7.30.