I knew Norman as hard working, articulate, confident, considerate, positive, likeable, resourceful and enterprising rogue. He was even humble and teachable to a degree. Yes, he loaned money without authority to do so, but it was never a secret as far as I remember. They were short term loans made to a few desperate individuals until the next pay day. He saw it as offering a helping hand rather than anything more sinister and would struggle to get his money back. He also offered a gift wrapping service in the run-up to Christmas as well as trying to establish his office cleaning business.
I liked him. I still like him. He's more honest than most in my opinion and certainly a person not deserving of this article which is a touch misleading. If Norman says someone was lying, I would tend to believe him...but who would believe a loan shark?
I'm not condoning the practice of money lending registered or not, nor of Norman's actions. I'm merely pointing out that you shouldn't believe all you read. Everyone that knew him saw an indefatigably happy, helpful, smiling and positive individual. Rarely would you see him like this photograph...unless he felt aggrieved.
I once had an accountant who fleeced us for a lot of money for services I later found out to be nothing to do with our type of business. He knew he was charging for such services. Yes, there are real criminals who are licensed to fleece us and they are often well respected. There are others that I have had personal experience with that should be locked up... but not Norman. I trust my instincts and can usually recognise if a person is hardcore criminal and evil to boot...not Norman. Give the man a break.
It makes you wonder who else the press hang out to dry.
On a separate note, but still with crime...I finished this book last week...
The only time I found myself drifting was during references to the great crime writers of the time, even though one of them was a certain Mr Charles Dickens. Mr Dickens had his own suspicions regarding this crime.
I think this is the first book I've read which is of a specific murder and, strangely enough, I would recommend it.
Todays little painting...