4 Audio clip 1: John
In this first clip, Julia Johnson, from the Open University, talks to John, who had been sleeping rough in the city and living in an abandoned van in a car park for three weeks.
At the time of the interview, John was 43. He was born in a town near Swansea, but had spent much of his life in institutions. His childhood was spent in a large ‘mental handicap’ hospital, which has now closed. Some years after his discharge, he and his brother were arrested, and subsequently imprisoned for murder. After several years in prison, John’s case went to appeal. He and his brother were released on the grounds of a miscarriage of justice and wrongful imprisonment.
Interviewing John, next to a broken-down van in a car park in the pouring rain, was not easy, as you will detect from the interview. Nevertheless, the snapshots he gives us demonstrate how he survived on the streets. At the time of the interview, John was drinking wine, and sheltering an acquaintance in the van who was due to collect his benefit the following day.