'UK's scariest debt collector' has got himself off antipsychotics after jail and attempts on his life
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A man who earned the nickname ‘the world’s scariest debt collector’ has opened up about how he managed to get off antipsychotic drugs in prison, as well as surviving a number of attempts on his life.
Shaun Smith made his name as the enforcer and debt collector for a Liverpool-based crime gang, and was known as someone who ‘sprayed up houses with machine guns, tortured people and used homemade napalm to firebomb his enemies’.
Not a guy to f*** with, in short.
However, a five-year stint in prison for firearms offences made Smith reconsider his life and he decided to go straight.
He actually got a job as a debt collector, legally this time, before getting into fitness and opening a gym in Warrington, as well as taking part in bare-knuckle boxing.
Now, Shaun has spoken about the time in prison that shaped him and changed his life around, including his time on antipsychotic medication, and why he eventually decided to get off them for the sake of his wife.
Whilst inside, Shaun was put on a cocktail of drugs for his mental health.
Talking to Matt Legg on his YouTube channel, Shaun said: “Because I got that bad, coming out of jail, the car bombings, the shootings – look – we’re not f***ing robots, are we?
Shaun’s life certainly wasn’t, as people were actively out to harm him, and potentially worse.
When he stopped drugs and drug dealers getting into nightclubs, 'the fireworks started' and attempts on Shaun's life started, too.
He explained: “Because we wouldn’t let them in to sell drugs in our big venues, they started targeting my business, petrol bombing my business, then started targeting me.
“I don’t give a f*** how big you are, I’m not standing for that."
He continued: “I’ve got five daughters, I don’t wanna see my kids having drugs.
“It takes that one night when they’re out…they’re on it – hooked.
“I didn’t wanna do that, so I wouldn’t let them into the clubs selling it, and a f***ing war started.
“That went on for – truthfully – about three f***ing years.
“It was f***ing horrific.
“I wore a bulletproof vest for 18 months of my life, permanently.
“I’ve had four attempts on my life, there was five grand put on my head in jail, then it went to 25 grand put on my head in jail, not to swill me with hot water and sugar, to cut my f***ing throat.”
It's scary stuff, and it took a toll on his mental health.
Shaun elaborated: “I [was] working on doors and going home on my own.
“Your car is getting rammed with four or five lads in it, shooting f***ing guns at you.
“I’m not going to say I’m King Kong or weren’t arsed – I was f***ing s****ing myself!
“No-one can fight a gun!
“It weren’t a normal life, and it f***ed my head up.”
After meeting a psychiatrist for his suspected PTSD and paranoia, Shaun started on the drugs, which he then took for years.
In total, he was taking 750mg of medication each day for his various issues, but eventually realised that he needed to get off them after experiencing a psychotic episode.
After having an aural hallucination, Shaun became aggressive and paranoid while at his holiday home, leading him to be put into an ambulance.
When he was eventually released from hospital, he didn’t remember anything, and that’s when he decided to get off the drugs.
“I want to get straight again,” he said.
Shaun put it down to post traumatic stress, thinking he just went into a ‘protect mode’.
It happened another time, but this time in his own house.
“When your wife says to you, ‘start sleeping in that room’ and I’ve seen my wife getting a bit scared…
“I started to sleep in another room….
“I thought ‘I can’t f***ing live like this, I just can’t.'
“So I started weaning myself off the medication, started training a bit more, but it’s so hard.
“I’d been on this medication for seven/eight years, you can’t just come off this medication.”
Now, he’s trying to offer another perspective on mental health, one that perhaps is different to that of a doctor.
Not to say you shouldn’t listen to the doctor, too.
However, his experience is lived and experienced, rather than studied.
On his experience with the drugs, he said: “All that I’ve been through in my life has given me that [experience],
“To me, those drugs – yeah – they did work, but when your wife sends you to live in another room and you’re living with your own family and they don’t trust you…
“I haven’t taken none of those tablets for 18 maybe 20 months, and I feel f***ing great.”
Obviously, you should talk to your doctor properly before you take anything at all, and before you come off drugs.
What works for Shaun might not work for you.
Still, it seems as if he’s in a much better place than he was before.
If you want friendly, confidential advice about drugs, you can talk to FRANK. You can call 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or contact through their website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or livechat from 2pm-6pm any day of the week
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/MattLegg Vice
Topics: UK News, Crime, Mental Health, Health, Drugs