Glasgow Gangster Paul Ferris
Born in Glasgow in 1963, Paul Ferris claimed in one of his books that he became a gangster because he was bullied as a child. He was ruthlessly tormented by the Welsh family, the same family that was a thorn in the side of gangster Arthur Thompson, the Godfather.
The Welsh family have immediately piqued my interest, but so far I have been unable to find out much about them except that they were a family of out and out rogues who stole what they wanted and stabbed those who got in their way.
Aside from that, they don’t seem to have left their mark as there seems to be no web pages dedicated to them, and seeing as any reference to them came from real rogues, it might all be lies.
Paul Ferris claims he developed the skin condition psoriasis, a complaint that he has suffered from all of his life, thanks to a nervous condition brought on by the bullying he suffered as a child.
At some point in young Paul’s life, he turned, and became worse than the Welsh brothers ever could be, stabbing, maiming, knee-capping and just generally being a thug of the worst kind.
Early Life of Paul Ferris
Brought up in Blackhill, one of Glasgow’s smaller housing schemes, Ferris’s first taste of prison life happened in 1980 when aged just 17, he was remanded to Longriggend Remand Centre, which was an institution on the outskirts of Glasgow designed to contain young men awaiting trial.
When he was released on bail from there he led a police chase while driving a car full of weapons - shotguns and knives. He made his escape and went on the run for several weeks, but was eventually caught and returned to Longriggend. At court he was sentenced to 3 months in Glenochil Young Offenders Institution, with a further 1 year for the car chase.
Within weeks of his release, he was caught trying to rob a jewellers store and returned to Longriggend, which has since being closed after prison inspectors described it as a “breeding ground for criminals”.
Paul Ferris the Gangster
On his release he continued his life of crime, and it was at this point he became an enforcer for Arthur Thompson, the Godfather, who lived round the corner.
Still aged only 19, Paul Ferris was a thoroughly nasty piece of work, frequently taking part in knee-cappings (a favourite punishment of the IRA, which involved damaging someone’s kneecaps so that they became permanently incapacitated), blindings, stabbings and slashings (usually across the face with a razor blade to scar someone for life).
A year later he was accused of attempting to murder four members of the Devlin family as they returned home one night from a pub, by firing bullets at them, hitting one in the thigh. At his court case he was found ‘not proven’ which is Scottish legal speak for “we know you did it, we just can’t prove it”.
Interview with Paul Ferris
At age 21, Ferris was again arrested after pickaxe handles and knives were found in his car.
While out on bail (why did they keep giving this guy bail when he was obviously a danger to society?) he stabbed a motorist who, it was claimed, owed the Godfather drugs money, and also the dog who came to his master’s rescue. This was in the street in front of many witnesses, and Ferris fled to the Godfather's holiday hideaway on a Scottish island.
While there, police were tipped off as to his location and arrested him, finding class A drug heroin and yet more weapons in his possession. At court he was found “not guilty” on the drugs charges (his lawyer successfully argued that the police could have planted the drugs), but found guilty for having offensive weapons and jailed for 18 months.
The attempted murder charge was dropped by the victim; such was the power of the drugs barons in Glasgow. No doubt his family were threatened should he continue the prosecution of the perpetrator.
This was the turning point for Ferris as it was widely believed that the Godfather himself tipped off police as to his location. Perhaps even he felt that Ferris was a loose cannon, out of control.
Prison for Paul Ferris
Ferris served his time, and when he came out of prison he did not return to work for the Godfather. Instead he set up his own company selling double glazing and conservatories (where did the money come from?)
This would have been around 1986 and on the front of everything Paul Ferris was a respectable businessman, yet still active in the criminal underground, dealing class A drugs and supplying guns and weapons.
The murder of Fatboy Thompson
In 1991 Arthur Thomson Junior, known as “Fatboy” and son of Arthur Thompson a.k.a The Godfather was brutally gunned down outside his parent’s home in Blackhill.
Paul Ferris was suspected of having taken part in the murder and was detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure to await trial.
This move probably saved his life, as on the morning of Fatboy’s funeral, his two co-accused, Robert Glover and Joe Hanlon were both found dead in a car on the funeral route in the East end of Glasgow, each with a single bullet wound to the head.
When the case went to trial, it lasted a total of 54 days and cost a total of £4 million, the most expensive criminal trial in Scottish legal history.
At the end of it, a shocked public heard the court hand out a ‘not guilty’ verdict to Paul Ferris.
A broken man, Arthur Thompson senior died at home of natural causes just 3 years later.
The murder of Fatboy Thompson
Paul Ferris jailed at last
Meanwhile, Paul Ferris went from strength to strength, opening car dealerships and security firms with multi-million pound turnovers.
While he continued building his criminal empire he was in court once more in 1994 where he was given a £250 fine for having crack cocaine on his possession. He successfully argued in court that crack cocaine helped his psoriasis. It beggars belief that a court of law believed him and gave him such a paltry fine.
For those who don’t know, crack cocaine is arguably more addictive then heroin and is possibly the worst drug ever to hit our cities’ streets. An addict desperate for their next ‘hit’ of crack will do anything to get it, including carrying out acts of extreme violence that would normally be completely out of character.
The good life was coming to an end of Paul Ferris. In 1995, British Police sought the help of MI5 to bring him to justice. Two years later, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to deal in firearms and possessing explosives, and at the Old Bailey in 1998, he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail. This sentence was later reduced to 7 years by London’s Court of Appeal.
Paul Ferris books
Paul Ferris married and super-rich
While in jail, Paul Ferris co-authored his book “The Ferris Conspiracy” with crime author Reg McKay, which sold 20,000 copies while he was still banged up.
Paul Ferris was released from prison in June 2002, less than 4 years after being sentenced.
You wonder what on Earth the authorities were thinking of, giving this man’s extremely violent history. Since then he has co-authored 3 more books - Deadly Divisions, Vendetta and Villains.
Since his release, Paul Ferris has started yet more companies, one being Frontline Security which has strangely managed to secure contracts from the police to guard speed cameras on the M8 motorway and contracts to guard Dumbarton Sheriff Court among others.
Frontline Security were also guarding Rosepark Nursing Home at the time of a fire outbreak which killed 14 pensioners, which just goes to show how good they really were.
He has also since become something of a TV celebrity, appearing on several shows, and now a film is in the planning to be made of his life.
Ferris has even found himself a beautiful young wife (daughter of a retired police officer!), and has two small children. The newspapers openly describe him as a multi-millionaire who owns several upmarket properties, and he is to all intents and purposes a respectable business and family man.
Paul Ferris had nothing to do with heroin
* Since originally publishing this article in 2010, Paul Ferris has been in touch with me to deny ever having anything to do with heroin.
Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris - crime pays
Let us not forget that this man has been responsible for ruining thousands of young lives the length and breadth of Britain.
By introducing heroin, or for being an enforcer for those who introduced heroin, he must take the responsibility for the shattered lives left behind as addiction took its hold and left children without parents and parents without children.
The drugs trade is horrendous. New addicts are entrapped by the handing out of free samples at school gates, thereby insidiously ensnaring young users into a life of addiction and death.
Those behind it should never be allowed to profit from their crimes. Yet here is one Paul Ferris, who was born into a working class family in a depressed area of the city, who helped establish Glasgow’s bad reputation as a city of violent criminals, and who has sentenced a generation of its youngsters to a life of drug addiction and poverty, walking away a multi-millionaire and a butter-wouldn’t-melt expression on his face.
The word “scum” doesn’t even begin to describe him.
Efforts are being made to stop people like Paul Ferris profiting from their crimes by writing books about them
More by this Author
Every city in the world has its gangsters, the ones who control the drug dealing, prostitution and general law-breaking. This article is about Glasgow gangsters.
Now deceased, Glasgow's very own Godfather, Arthur Thompson, was one of the most vicious and ruthless gangsters Glasgow had ever seen.
- EDITOR'S CHOICE211
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