Former Gateforth prisoner John the Hat's book of revenge
A WEALTHY businessman who served time for illegally importing Viagra has written a book – A Stiff Sentence – "to get back at the government".
John Keenan, a Pontefract man with a house in Gateforth, said he felt cheated because he claims he had a letter of approval for the business from the Home Office, who then allowed him to continue the trade. What he hadn't realised was he needed a pharmaceutical licence.
Now legally importing air-conditioning units into India from South Korea and Taiwan, he said the 'sex drug' business – Viagra is used for erectile dysfunction – was "a licence to print money". It brought in up to 50,000 a day, but he believed it was all above board and was even paying tax on the proceeds.
Known as 'John the Hat' because he has been wearing a trilby for the past 20 years, he started writing the 340-page book, being published next week by a Wakefield firm at 9.99, while serving his 18-month sentence at Lindholme Prison, near Doncaster. He was released in 2005 after four-and-a-half months and was also fined 400,000, which he soon settled.
Subtitled Memoirs of a Sex Drug Smuggler, the book is "a damn good read," 46-year-old John assures us, adding: "I've made a fool of myself to write the book, but I'm telling the truth.
"It's mainly about me and 'corruption' in government. And it's my way of getting back at the government."
John has employed professional 'ghost-writers' to help him, but insists it's not about making money – he owns eight houses worth a total of 2.5 million and in fact plans to put part of the profits towards a marquee for a church-related charity being organised at his local pub, the George and Dragon at West Haddlesey.
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