Darryl Laycock tells his story.
Darryl Laycock was lucky to survive one of the most violent periods in Manchester's criminal history. After being shot over 20 times and spending half his life behind bars, Darryl has now dedicated the rest of it to keeping others off the same path he took when he was younger.
Darryl grew up in Moss Side in the seventies and eighties, in a house where his dad battered his mum.
By the age of nine, he was seeing a child psychologist because he smashed a chair over a classmate in primary school.
At 13, he was hanging around the streets of Moss Side , causing trouble and stealing cigarettes to sell. Within a year, he was dealing heroin around Alexandra Park.
Soon after, he was mixed up in a gang war that would earn Manchester its infamous ‘Gunchester’ nickname.
As the tit-for-tat dispute escalated, Darryl watched his friend get gunned down in a bakery, killed by a bullet to the head. Throughout the 1990s, there were tit-for-tat fights, stabbings, shootings and murders in Moss Side. In the space of five years, 27 people were killed and around 250 were injured.
Darryl says, in the course of the whole dispute, he lost over 30 friends and family to murder.
In the course of the dispute, Darryl says he was charged with numerous murders, attempt murders, conspiracy to murder, and section 18 assault.
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