Former drug dealer who served time in notorious American jail gives stark warning to Hackney pupils
A FORMER stock market millionaire and drug dealer who served time in a notorious American jail is set to share shared his incredible tale with Stoke Newington pupils this week.
Author of one of the first ever prison blogs, Shaun Attwood, 42, will visit Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form on Tuesday to share his harrowing story, urging youngsters to learn from his mistakes.
Originally from Cheshire, Shaun moved to Arizona in 1991, becoming a millionaire stockbroker in the profitable ‘dot.com’ era.
But Shaun was also leading a double life, dealing drugs in the rave scene.
One day in May 2002 a SWAT team smashed down his door and he was on remand for two years, later being sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for money laundering and drug offences and serving almost six.
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Now a public speaker and author of new book Hard Time, due out in August, Shaun visits schools telling them about his time in Maricopa County Jail – a jail with the highest death rate in America.
Shaun told the Gazette: “It was run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who prided himself on being the toughest in the country.
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“I take full responsibility for putting myself there. But the conditions were illegal – it was an insect-infested environment which rats in the food.
“A guard said ‘the world has no idea what goes on in here,’ and I said ‘well, I’m going to change that.’”
Shaun smuggled his journal out to his visiting aunt who posted it on the internet, attracting international media attention.
Shaun claims his school visits are more effective at deterring kids from drugs because he is living proof of the harrowing consequences.
He added: “I had one student say she was going to do a law degree after hearing my story.
“It does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.”