Fred the Rat
“AT the end of day Fred was a rat,” said contemporary Paul Burly.
“Around that time I was sent to jail and while I was inside, Fred kind of took over a nightclub of mine and stripped all the equipment from it – the kitchen, the big steel ovens and work surfaces, the fridge etc.
“When I got out, I went to see him and ‘took’ £27,000 back off him, as compensation. I just walked into his place and took however much was there, in cash.
“Fred couldn’t see what he had done wrong. He couldn’t fight me, either, so there was nothing he could do. But at the same time, he wasn’t that bothered. £27,000 was a lot of money back then, but it wasn’t a lot of money to him.”
On other hand, Fred was shrewd and very much a forward-looking villain.
On the demand side, Fred wanted to take drugs out of the cult scene and into the mainstream market – the housing estates and new towns that make up Merseyside’s bomb-cratered post-war topography.
And unlike many of his contemporaries, and drug lords that would follow him, Fred was not afraid of getting his hands dirty.