IT’S not every day the Olive Press receives mail from an Andalucian prison inmate.
At first glance, the letter appeared to be a series of requests, asking for a copy of ‘our esteemed publication’ and whether certain people had received his correspondence.
But what it actually contained was a treasure trove of poems detailing how Nicholas Faulkner, who served on the Rock for much of his life, came to be sentenced to 25 years in an Algeciras jail.
Little has been reported on the case, other than that the former squaddie at the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery ran over and killed a young man from La Linea.
The tragic event unfolded two years ago, outside a strip club in Guadacorte.
The court heard how Faulkner had argued with a group of three men, whom he then ran over with his van. Two of the men escaped serious injury but the third – known as Juan Carlos – died at the scene.
On top of time in prison, the judge ordered Faulkner to pay some €170,000 in compensation the deceased’s mother and sister.
But now, through a selection of poems that can be exclusively revealed by the Olive Press, Faulkner has given his side of the story.
As poignant as they are articulate, one poem entitled GHB tells the story of the night of the incident that would change his life forever while Don’t Have to Lie, written a week before his court date, offers a moving insight into the mind of a man on trial for murder.
Here’s a joke,
For my nephews in Gib,
Into a bar walks uncle Nick,
Near seven hours he just sits there,
Had a couple of vodkas,
Then sat NOT DRINKING, just stared,
Didn’t get noisy or fall down,
Piss off the punters or act the clown,
Didn’t sing sing sing or show them his ring,
Still woke up in a cell,
Not knowing a thing!
Woke up in a cell,
There’s one man dead,
Got no memory in my head,
The drink they say,
It must be true,
‘You’re an alki Nick,’
‘Look at you,’
I’m an alki yes,
But something’s wrong,
Where’s the missing nine hours gone?
Two years pass accepting my fate,
‘You were drunk and driving,
‘Get on with it mate’,
If they had dropped intent,
I was happy to stay,
Secure in prison,
‘Keep me away’,
Mourning the child I killed that night,
Gets to the trial,
What? There wasn’t a fight!
Alcohol too low, no stumbling stuff,
Agreed with the fiscal,
The drink wasn’t enough
Destroyed my defence,
But the jury heard,
How the doorman recognised my truthful word,
Stuck to my guns,
Got 30 years,
Thank our lady for that jury,
For justice only briefly deferred
If I was drinking I would have been weeping lulling about the bar,
All alone again without my children,
The drunks depressingly familiar moan,
Left alone, on of all days my birthday!
The staff would have got me home,
Would have been in bed by 10 O’clock,
Full of sobs,
But with my dogs,
On my own,
In anguished heartbreak,
But at least I still had jobs,
No more money spent,
No families rent
Apart by sudden death,
If the killers hadn’t drugged my vodka,
Juan Carlos would still be alive,
I would be working on my gardens,
And our parents need never have cried,
All victims of a criminal act
Of envy with malicious intent,
Because I escaped his evil clutches
And wasn’t living in a tent,
Now it’s suspended, the prosecution,
While they investigate the cause,
I can hear the little birds tweeting,
Echoes around these prison walls,
I know who spiked the vodka,
Will be no surprise in Jimena town,
Everyone will know who done it,
As soon as word gets round,
How many came before me?
Can we find them all?In time.
I told Pepe I’d planned a garden for Juan Carlos,
We will build a shrine
One lost 600 kilos,
Another a tonne and a half,
Between the Guardia seizing the cargo,
And the documents getting to court,
Illegal trade feeds endemic corruption,
Infecting all political discourse,
Stewed reports and outright lying,
Keep the prohibition ship on course,
Lots of cash and lots of power,
We hand it all to them,
Supply of a non-toxic, non-addictive natural remedy,
Controlled by criminal men,
The ones that benefit mostly,
Are the ones that buy the laws,
A stick with which to beat us,
They twist it in their claws.