I don't know where it started to go wrong for my family. We didn't have any money, but property prices were spiralling up and up, and getting a mortgage to buy a bigger place for ourselves just seemed the sensible thing to do. You couldn't lose. So out family got ourselves mortgaged up to the hilt, and deep in debt on credit cards as we bought new furniture and electronic gadgets. We spent even more money employing painters, gardeners, child minders and cleaners.
It's easy to look back today and blame the bank for enticing us into debt with all those mortgage and credit-card offers. Perhaps we should have been aware that when a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. We found ourselves deep in debt, but we still had lots of financial commitments we couldn't get out of, like the hugely expensive medical care plan we promised ourselves in the good times. And lots of the people that we took on for one thing and another still depended on us for all or some of their livelihood.
Desperate, I took to robbing the company. I thought they would not notice if I dipped in and helped myself to a little bit of cash on a regular basis. But as our problems mounted, I started to take out bigger and bigger amounts. Before long the company itself started to stutter and have financial problems, then I found it just wasn't making enough to satisfy our need for cash.
Things got even worse. I started up a Ponzi scheme, promising customers wonderful benefits today – but using the investments of customers tomorrow to pay for them. But even that wasn't enough to support my family's lifestyle. Eventually I robbed a couple of banks. I even resorted to forging currency, trying to print my way out of my debt hole.
Now I'm facing charges of fraud and embezzlement, but I still can't admit my guilt. I was just trying to provide a good life for myself and my family. And the large amounts I spent helped create jobs for other people in our community, who had debt problems of their own. Everyone tells me that, if only I had lived within my means, my life would be very different and my family would not be in this awful position. But they just don't understand how overwhelming was the pressure on me to spend and spend, so as to maintain the pretence that everything was going well. Or how big my needs were. After all, mine is a big family, some 61m strong.
Dictated by the accused G Brown at Cannon Row Police Station, April 2011.