Geoff Tesson mentions that when Roy Bailey (obituary, 22 November) was about five his mother married John Bailey, “a Manchester bookmaker”. Roy’s stepfather was in fact “Manchester Ted”, a wellknown East End villain who had started out as a street bookmaker in the north-west of England but who went straight after the birth of Roy’s half-brother Ron. He kept it up for more than 30 years, but late in life did a minor bit of thieving.
As a young barrister I was sent to Reading to defend him. To my astonishment the detective who had nicked him said Ted was the most remarkable offender he had ever encountered, and he was certain this was an isolated lapse. It was left to me to tell the bench about Roy’s academic stardom. They gave his dad an absolute discharge.