Search

Ilford’s London Electricity Board robbery features in new crime book by Kent author

08:20 20 May 2014

George Davis leaves the High Court on the first day of his appeal. Photo credit: Ian Nicholson

George Davis leaves the High Court on the first day of his appeal. Photo credit: Ian Nicholson

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The incredible story of George Davis and the notorious 1974 armed robbery of Ilford’s London Electricity Board has been relived in a new crime book.

Mike GrayMike Gray

Part-time author Mike Gray, 56, of Rainham, Kent, vividly remembers the 1975 Ashes Test match being abandoned after Davis’ supporters dug up the pitch at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds.

After writing four previous crime books, the estate agent - a friend of Ronnie Biggs for more than 30 years - decided to chronicle the exploits of the most memorable crimes this nation has ever seen, including those of “The Wembley Mob”, led by Bertie Smalls, who robbed Barclays Bank in High Road, Ilford in 1970. The book is called 101 Interesting Facts on Britain’s True Life Crimes.

“With this book I just wanted to remember the crimes going on when I was growing up,” said cricket fan Mr Gray.

“With Davis I remember the pitch being dug up because of the George Davis campaign.

“Most of the facts I have had in my head over the years,” he added.

Each of Mr Gray’s books took him just a week to write, thanks to his knowledge of the crime.

Davis’ campaign became part of criminal folklore after he was jailed over a raid in April 1974 at the London Electricity Board.

In 2011, after a campaign lasting decades to try quash his conviction, Davis won an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

His case attracted attention from all levels of society and punk band Sham 69 even wrote a song about him.

However, he was arrested again in 1977 and pleaded guilty to involvement in an armed robbery at the Bank of Cyprus in London. He was sentenced to 15 years, reduced to 11 years on appeal.

“The Bank of Cyprus robbery made his wife, who had been campaigning too, and his loyal supporters look a bit stupid,” added Mr Gray.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Madhia Liaquat, 13, has raised money for Great Ormond Street hostpital by baking, 5k runs, and gets support from local businesses. She is also an ambassador for autism and goes out and about in the local community to raise awareness (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

A kind-hearted girl who has always tried to help those less fortunate has been nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Award.

Yesterday, 18:06

The A406 between Ilford and Redbridge Roundabout is gridlocked following an earlier accident.

Yesterday, 16:14

A 56-year-old man who exposed himself in a churchyard has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.

Yesterday, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition