A dad of 5 who stole tens of millions in ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ heists says getting arrested was the ‘best thing to ever happen to him’.
Terry Ellis, 54, fell into a lifetime of crime when he was a teen and would costume as a policeman to steal items price as much as £four million at a time.
However after 28 years of crime, the armed robber was lastly caught by police whereas on the run and compelled to admit all to his kids.
He has now fully turned his life round and is supporting a brand new marketing campaign known as Extra Than My Previous that goals to indicate that ex-offenders and recovering addicts are ‘more than the labels provided to them’.
Terry was put into care when he was 11, however was eliminated when he received a woman pregnant at 14.
Authorities ‘washed their hands’ of him and he spent the subsequent 5 years stealing cash from constructing websites and put up workplaces after getting concerned with a bunch of older males he shared a London flat with.
Terry informed Metro.co.uk: ‘These had been the folks I regarded as much as. They had been older, that they had cash, they sorted me.
‘Everybody I met was a prison, so I normalised criminality. It was good to do robberies and get away with it.
‘It was only bad if you got caught, so you learned not to get caught.’
After spending six years in a younger offenders establishment for theft, Terry’s crimes escalated and he spent years trafficking medication throughout Europe and partying 24/7.
With against the law squad scorching on his heels, he was pressured to briefly cease, however quickly sufficient he’d give you a plan to steal more cash than ever.
‘Ocean’s Eleven’ heists noticed him and 4 others disguise themselves as policemen and head to bonded warehouses to trick guards.
Talking about one heist in Kings Cross, Terry mentioned: ‘We just walked through the front door wearing police uniforms with some ID and we took our own ‘police’ canine.
‘We said we’d been knowledgeable there was a theft and somebody was getting in by the roof.
‘They let us in and we told them we’d wish to cuff everybody till we discovered who it was.
‘After we cuffed them, we nicked about £4 million pounds worth of motherboards computer chips.’
However after years of creating tens of millions, the robber’s lies lastly crashed down on him.
In 2008, he was strolling down a ‘quiet road’ that ‘came alive’ with police who arrested him.
His home was raided and he was pressured to admit his crimes to his teenage kids, who had believed their dad had a ‘normal’ job.
He mentioned: ‘It was a reasonably traumatic time for the ladies. They simply noticed me as their dad who offered and went out to work on daily basis, by no means had a clue what I used to be doing.
‘My biggest regret is not being there for them and not being the father they thought I was. That comes back to haunt me quite a bit.’
Terry was sentenced to 16 years in jail, however regardless of his burgeoning remorse, he nonetheless tried to flee and took on eight officers in a brutal battle.
He mentioned: ‘In my head there were two voices, one wanting to get away and one saying ‘stop it, you’re caught now’.
‘There was this bad part of me that was really reckless and didn’t give a monkey’s.’
The dad lastly discovered peace when he was despatched to HMP Grendon in Buckinghamshire, the one jail within the UK run completely as a democratic therapeutic group.
After spending two years in remedy alongside baby murderers, intercourse offenders and serial killers, he lastly dealt along with his points.
He mentioned: ‘That was the moment I realised I’d normalised going to jail, normalised going into care, normalised my life, however I used to be truly fairly a tousled particular person.
‘As I talked, I felt a little bit of relief, understanding.’
‘After therapy, I didn’t have to take medication anymore. I’m now 14 years with out drink, medication, cigarettes and nonetheless counting on daily basis as a blessing.
‘That’s actually simply from understanding who I used to be. I believe you need to grow to be a sufferer earlier than you may take care of your troubles. I discovered me for the primary time.’
After spending 15 years of his life in custody general, Terry left jail and was helped again on his ft by family members.
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He has since arrange his personal social enterprise to assist ex-offenders to seek out jobs, based a platform for the folks of Camden to deal with violence and runs the Camden department of charity A Band of Brothers that gives mentors for younger males within the prison justice system.
The previous armed robber additionally helps Extra Than My Previous, a marketing campaign that goals to problem the stigma ex-offenders and recovering addicts – who’re the 2 teams that organisations are least more likely to make use of – discover themselves up towards.
Terry says he’s by no means as soon as missed his lifetime of crime and advises younger folks in his scenario to choose their position fashions properly.
He mentioned: ‘Don’t choose somebody who’s a villain, who’s doing the straightforward cash.
‘Pick someone like your dad who’s working, choose somebody like the varsity trainer, the fireman, the policeman and attempt to educate your self out of the mess.’
‘Remember, if you sleep with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.’