Has anyone tried to murder you?

Me: twice

once a few years ago in a hit and run, never caught

once last year when I came back to the U.K. in a hit and run. This time round police caught the guy, I did a virtual line up a computer  and couldn’t identify before going back home, but they took him anyway as he apparently made some confessions, and he has recently pled guilty.

Needless to say I survived both. Weight lifting = increased bone density.

Have you been playing Grand Theft Auto a bit too much lad? Or Wot?

I refuse to believe that only 2 people have tried to murder you

Long time ago I acted in litigation against a Russian man. He had defrauded my client, a UK listed company. They had got involved with him as a venture capital provider in a really unsuitable deal in that way that privatised utility companies all did when released into the wild of the market. He shafted them every way he could but they chased him down. He lost at trial. It was a very attritional few years. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Paris and refused to pay the judgment debt and costs bill. Two days after the judgment I got a voicemal in a Russian accent saying ‘make your peace with the Almighty and provide for your wife and children.’ I reported this to the Police. The next day I was sitting at work and a bullet passed through the top corner of my office window and shot out the ceiling light, stopped from going through to the anus of the chap above by an aircon pipe above the tiles.  This was investigated. The angle suggested a shot from the ground. 

those were odd days - i moved to an inside office without a window. I got no protection and we just carried on. My car was smashed into when parked and set alight. 

Bleddy hell muttley was it in the UK where you got shot at?

Biggie doesn't sound like they were trying to kill you- they just hit you?

You're lucky they didn't hire tecco. He would not have missed.

The IRA, twice.  Although they probably weren't trying to get me personally, just anyone in the area.

What Scep Tick said. I didn't take it personally either.

No, don't be daft.

I've been mugged, which resulted in a lot of blood loss and 17 stitches in my head at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary, where the very pleasant young Registrar took me under her wing.  

"he next day I was sitting at work and a bullet passed through the top corner of my office window and shot out the ceiling light, stopped from going through to the anus of the chap above by an aircon pipe above the tiles."

Jeez! That is sooo cool, but also pretty scary at the same time. 

Wow mutters.

The only time I thought we may was when my brother and I got chased by a bloke in a car down London side streets all because my brother had misjudged turning when the car was coming down a street and although didn’t nearly hit him I guess he could have done. This guy was absolutely mental and immediately turned down the street we went down abs began beeping his horn and bumping our car. my brother stupidly stuck his finger up. Anyway some weird chase happened  - we locked the doors as he chased us down the mean streets of Wimbledon (!) and cornered us. He then came running to my brothers car to try and unlock the door while my brother did a reverse and we somehow got away. The man was so full of rage and looked completely possessed and in some sort of drug stupor I reckon (was driving some white 4x4). I think he’d have dragged him out and knifed him. 

It took them AGES to replace the window. Reckon we had tape over the hole for months.

Jesus that is harrowing 

Don’t ever do litigation, but seriously that’s harrowing

Jesus Christ to the second too!

was what happened with me. I was walking along minding my own business and some guy started screaming at the top of his lungs, incomprehensible abuse, full of rage. He got into his car and turned around drove away and turned back to ramp up speed to hit me. Don’t know if he thought I was someone else or if he thought I had said something to him, I don’t know, but when I came down iti the ground he turned his car and drove it to hit me again as I got up and jumped over a (short 5 footish maybe a tad less) wall. He smashed into the wall and the drove off.


I think we all face moments in life that looking back seem to be giant but at the time we just take them as they come

The chap upstairs was a right aunt in tax and I spent many years wishing that it had gone up his anus

You’re inhumanly unflappable Muttley

I wish I had that attitude. I get very annoyed at little things and sweat the small stuff, probably why I am transactional not contentious 

I guess I have lived as the youngest one in a family full of high achieving diva flapping lunatics and perhaps as I made it through the next 40 years I haven’t yet seen anything that’s made me really lose my shit

Dawg, I'm new here but have you thought of moving to Dubai?  Apparently it has so much going for it that I'm sure it would calm you down.

Blimey, Mutters, that’s insane. But also heh at the dig at the tax aunt. 

Visions of Dawg strolling into the road dreaming about what he’s going to lift next and getting run down.

Guy once asked me for money and when I politely declined he offered to get his knife but no knife appeared and eventually I wandered off as he carried on rambling about needing £3.67 and getting his knife.

On the way back from a student party with my mate Dave. Bloke walking the other way carrying a machete. My much more street-wise mate says 'don't look at him', but of course I just stared and he chased us down the street, machete aloft.

I'm not sure how seriously Plod took my account of the incident, given while still wearing my rugby shirt with a massive Murphys stain down the front. 

Couple of times.

The notable one was in a CAB clinic where the client did not like the legal position and started waving broken beer bottle at me and the clinic lady. He was imminently losing a roof over his head. 

The tax fella was a sort of not funny Mr Bean type. His trainee told me that every day he ate a turkeyham sandwich on white bread with crusts off which was cut in quarters. Accompanying that was a packet of plain crisps which he opened with scissors… across the top and sown the side and along the bottom, then laying out the silver foil crisp  picnic rug. Then he sorted the crisps from small to large in a row, starting the feast by pressing a licked, skinny finger probe onto chippings then building through the broken ones to the massive crescendo of whole, large crisps. Then he licked the packet clean, like a dog. Then the sandwich. Then and only then the drink - Ribena. 

Every day. Forever. Never changing the ritual at all. 

The scissors had a label in dymo tape on the handle ‘crisp scissors’. I guess that avoided contamination of the crisps by use of the pubic trimmage scissors. 

On reflection he was probably the far greater risk, in terms of close danger of murder, for all of us. A Muscovite rifleman doing a drive-by was the lesser worry. 

I wonder which maximum security establishment he is in now. Running the library, I should think. Late returns run risk of the head-severing ritual, acid disposal etc. or being savaged by the appropriately dymo’d ‘punishment scissors’. 

Not close to being murdered by I was once on a case with some absolute thugs on the other side and there was a recording of them listing the people they were planning to do in on our side…and they included me(!)

Nearly fell off my chair when I got to that bit of the recording.

It was just big talk though - no bullets up tax lawyers’ arses, sadly.

Occasionally wondered what the DVD reel of "near misses" of my life would be and how many I knew about. 

On this topic, I've had a couple of instances when I was younger when I was chased after (once by a marine), but probably more for a kicking than anything else.  Generally woman related.

My  two near "near misses" both involve drunkenness rather than Russian gangsters - once fell off a harbour 20 ft into water missing by inches hitting my head on a boat on the way down and second fell collapsed dead drunk in the snow in a park late at night -10C weather in only a t shirt, was found and woken up after about 20 mins and already hypothermic.

I've been the victim of a hit and stop.  Drunkenly stumbled in front of a taxi and the driver stopped to make sure I was ok and to talk to the police who inevitably turned up.  I limped off with scraped and bruises and no further action was taken against the driver.

No one has ever tried to murder me, although I received my fair share of threats when working in Child Protection. The only one I ever took remotely seriously was also from a Russian, funnily enough. She had a history of violence - s.18 GBH (glassing) and a bladed article (threatening an off duty police officer with a kitchen knife in the street - very unlucky to have picked him as her victim) and became very mentally unwell as proceedings progressed.

I first came across her as a litigant in person in a Private Children (contact) case, and she was very aggressive, but a couple of months later there was an incident with a gun which resulted in her children going into care. I was still representing Dad in the Public law proceedings. The threats varied from "you will burn in hell" to "you die", so ones that I would normally brush off but she was incredibly unpredictable. Her giving evidence at various points in proceedings lives long in the memories of everyone who was present as she would run around the court screaming at everyone. Long after those proceedings had concluded, I ran into her outside court, where she was having to attend for some other criminal matter. She told me that she loved me. Life at the Bar was a wee bit stressful, but seldom dull.

golly, mutts

did you move house?

slightly astonishing your firm didn't get you any protection

Sort of.

Out with friends who are having a wizz up an alley. Dude off his face comes strutting past and shouts something at me. I absent-mindedly just kind of reply "huh?' and he launches into me, knocks me to the ground and starts to repetedly kick my head against the kerb. I don't think he was completely in control of his faculties but I reckon he could have easily killed me if he hadn't been pulled away by a friend. He also got his teeth smashed in for his troubles. The nutter then ran off and chucked a paving slab through a pub window.

I dont think so, but I did get arrested for murder in DXB which was very worrying at the time. Fortunately it very quickly ( like about 2 very long hours) became obvious it was a case of mistaken identity.

I think my situation was certainly helped by having the business card of the ex Minister of the Interior for the UAE in my wallet.

They were obviously looking for someone who looked like me as the previous day I was stopped (twice) on the metro by a plain clothes police guy and and another in uniform.


As it happened we were moving house at around that time anyway and we did take steps to secure the confidentiality arrangements around our move - our solicitor wrote to the agent saying purchase was conditional on the non-disclosure of our identities to any party not entitled to know as a matter of law (e.g. bank, local authority, Land Registry etc) and no disclosure should be made to third party enquiries. We explained this to the buyer and gave them pre-paid forwarding envelopes to a PO Box address with a forwarding arrangement from there. Small things to reduce conspicuity. 

I think the firm decided that moving me into an internal lightless room was an effective solution and as I cycled to work there was not much that could be done. Not like they were going to put a private security bloke on the door.  This was in the days before the world went mad where we thought there could be an IRA bomb in any pub so never mind crack on.  

there was a London solicitor who was actually murdered, wasn't there, in relation to some Russian litigation?

Yes, but not directly. A terrorist bombing of a bus behind the one I was on.

Also, I was too young to remember, but apparently our group of two British service families were fired upon by troops that had invaded the country we were based in. We hid and weren't discovered. By day I remember hearing the constant rattle of distant musketry and artillery by night which rattled the windows.

But Muttley's experience tops it. Shows our intel services need more resources.

there was a London solicitor who was actually murdered, wasn't there, in relation to some Russian litigation?

Not the same one, but it was a bit startling to get back after a New Year holiday to find emails from the late Tom ap Rhys Pryce.  Sounds clichéd and de mortuis to say he was a nice chap, but he really was.

Not that I know of, and certainly none successfully.

When I was a trainee, someone who worked on the same floor as me got shot at from a nearby building. The bullet went through the first sheet of bombproof glass but was stopped by the second.

I used to work with a woman whose supervising partner was murdered by the angry ex of his client (divorce case)

and where I then worked we all knew of the solicitor who was murdered in Devizes by that nutter he acted for a client against in some kind of land dispute 

Shot at a couple of times in Afghanistan. Not a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination. Had occasion to talk to members of the Taliban who were not shy with the death threats. Also had some rockets fired in my general direction, but those are generally so inaccurate that you would have to be very unlucky.

Muttley how did they know which office you were in? Was there an inside man involved?

I don't know Rex.  I don't think it is that hard to work these things out.  Your name is on the correspondence. You know which department a person is in. You make a couple of calls to a dumb receptionist and say "James Cockpiece has asked me to send him some court documents and stipulated that I must put his room number on the label" and you get an answer. Then you, presumably, sit on a bench nearby with binoculars and scan the window seats and see if you can find a person matching the photo on the website then have a pop.  Alternatively you bribe a security guard.

My name, FAOD, is not James Cockpiece. Most people call me Georgio. 

But Muttley's experience tops it. Shows our intel services need more resources.


It was a long time ago now, late 90s. I am not sure anyone saw this as an intelligence service weakness or even their responsibility. It was a further chapter in the lunacy that was that man's outrageous behaviour. He shouted at the Chancery judge hearing the trial and accused him of being a murderer. His key witness - a Panamanian gangster - lit a massive cigar in the witness box. Lightman J told him to put it out to which he said, "you put it out" which still makes me laugh even now. 

my wife was in the same training cohort as Tom ap Rhys Price

when I was a consultant there was a guy in my peer group who was later murdered in St James’ Park - or Green Park, I forget - by some guys who beat him with a railing

my wife and I agreed that we never really felt London was a dangerous place, yet we both worked with people our age who died in random acts of street violence

Crikey. Was this intimidation whilst the matter was on-going or revenge afterwards?

You seem quiet calm about it but how did your wife take the news? 

Is this something you’ve spoken about before or is talking about this now going to cause PTSD?

ps Did being shot at cause you to no longer be able to sweat?

Coracle Lolling06 Oct 21 10:58

Reply | 


Crikey. Was this intimidation whilst the matter was on-going or revenge afterwards?

You seem quiet calm about it but how did your wife take the news? 

Is this something you’ve spoken about before or is talking about this now going to cause PTSD?

ps Did being shot at cause you to no longer be able to sweat?




Revenge afterwards

It seems larger now than it was then, oddly.  We just thought it was the mess of life and I made little of it.

My wife just wanted to get on with the rest of life. She is like that, half Aussie, half Yorkshire. You know the type. Generous as anything, as long as what you want is to know what you are getting wrong.

I have mentioned it before, yes. But it seems such a nothing. He missed.

I still sweat.

I once had a Russian client who was worried about being murdered.  He asked: "Where is the assassination clause?"  I thought it was a heavy attempt at humour, and laughed, somewhat nervously.  He wasn't joking though.  I did not call it the "assassination clause" though, being concerned about the optics of that in any subsequent due diligence.  Instead, I called it "an event of extreme force majeure", and made damn sure I neve worked for that guy again.  

Being shot at in a contact whilst in the army doesn’t count as murder, so no. But during my involvement in two appeals to the Court of Appeal in IRA bombing cases, I was warned by special branch that both sides would have an interest in killing the lawyers involved and not to stand too close to the tube rail, not to go to any meetings where the venue was unknown previously and to routinely look underneath my car for bombs. I wasn’t too phased but my wife was for a couple of years. Nothing’s happened……..so far. 🙂