Gerald confesses to stealing:
"As a child I had an obsession
with radio and electricity
which I think
I must have been born with.
It didn't really fit in with the family
because we were all penpushers
or basically bank, insurance or clergy
according to how brilliant they were.
I was certainly an odd bod.
And I suppose trouble really started
when it was about wartime.
I was a boy
at St Joseph's College at that time,
Croydon did get quite a bashing,
lots of buildings were damaged.
And I used to go out
doing wireless repairs in the evening
in the blackout on my bicycle.
And also used to go round
looking for bombed properties,
rescuing as I called it,
light fittings, and switches, and bulbs
and bits of radio sets
that I thought might be useful,
and I'd take them home
in a carrier bag on my bicycle.
And then I discovered
a nice new air raid shelter
at the top of Downs View Road
where it joins onto Beulah Hill,
they'd just built it
and I went in
and systematically removed
every single piece of electric wiring
and light fitting out of it
and took it all back to my shed
at the bottom of the garden
and played with it."
"The local vicarage was empty,
so I thought
I will empty it still further,
I will remove all the light fittings,
and anything I can lay my hands on
out of that as well,
and I got up in the middle of the night
with my pair of cutters
and my little bag and my screwdriver,
and I go round to this vicarage
and remove everything.
I did it over several nights
and finally I did get caught.
It was straight off to remand home
where I was held
until an approved school
could be found for me."