Series 1 - Episode 1: Soldiers Behind Bars

Soldiers Behind Bars

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Chris Terrill meets a number of ex-servicemen guilty of serious violent crimes. Military veterans now constitute the largest occupational group in the British prison system. Travelling to two of Scotland's most notorious prisons, HMP Shotts and YOI Polmont, Chris talks to a number of inmates from the Forces.

First, Chris meets Darren, an 18-year-old who joined the army to escape Glasgow's gang culture. He became an army boxing champion, but he's now serving three years for putting someone in a coma after a fight.

Chris also meets Mickey, who became depressed after leaving the army, but he felt unable to ask anyone for help and is now serving 18 years for shooting a passenger in his car. He also talks to Tom who was drawn into a drinking culture in the army, but left when he became an alcoholic. Tom's life fell apart and he ended up seriously injuring the mother of his children.

Finally, Chris talks to Keith, serving life for killing his drinking partner. While in prison Keith discovered an extraordinary talent for painting and is able to express his guilt and remorse through his art. By coincidence, Keith also discovered a former colleague from the army is also at the prison...

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Comments (53)

  • Demand_FIVE

    1 year ago

    Demand_FIVE

    Sorry, due to a legal issue this episode of Battle Scarred is not available to watch on Demand 5.

  • Sara

    5 months ago

    Sara

    I don't know why anyone would ever want to join the army. You're just a puppet. Used and then thrown out. Called a 'hero' for killing for money. Nothing heroic about that.

  • joy

    12 months ago

    joy

    I found the second episode helpful but so sad. My son has suffered 8 years after returning from Iraq. He's took qn overdose and self harming saying its what he deserves .it affects all the family. I've engaged a support worker for myself and got combat stress involved.

  • john

    12 months ago

    john

    hi im a wife of a ptsd sufferer and and I can relate to all use guys, myself and my kids lives have been turned upside down. but watching this program alongwith other stuff I have learn use have been let down so much, I honestly wish theywould continue with this program it actually might help other ptsd sufferers.

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  • Rab Imrie

    1 year ago

    Rab Imrie

    Disappointed that apparantley Ch5 have pulled the plug on the last 2 part's of this good documentary !!! It has made Joe Public aware of what happen's to some who have served their country when they enter Civvy Street. Not good !!

  • Steve

    1 year ago

    Steve

    For those suffering with PTSD or similar symptoms look up Talking2Minds on google, these guys are ex forces and really understand

  • Ali Martin

    1 year ago

    Ali Martin

    All my best friend sadly past away 2 years ago and his wife has just released a book, called served in faith forgotten in haste, written before he died, most of it while in Iraqi. Compelling read, about his life after the war, with PTSD, he was a chef and won an BEM. It's on sale online at waterstones, and amozan. Murray "Charlie" Brown.

  • Stewart

    1 year ago

    Stewart

    What really makes me sick is the fact that the government- who instead of helping people who are native to & fighting for & have fought for this country- are more willing to help foreigners get into this country instead.

  • michael courts

    1 year ago

    michael courts

    I have ptsd after being blown up on my 1st tour of afgahn and survived and i was not taken very seriously. Ive had to deploy on a second tour where i was injured this properly this time. Ive been left to it my unit doesnt care if it wasnt for the great work the personal recovery unit do id be left to help myself were all just a number no body cares

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  • S-M Hearmon

    1 year ago

    S-M Hearmon

    Words fail me at how terribly bad this country treats their Armed Forces personnel. Both serving and discharged.

  • cheryl warburton

    1 year ago

    cheryl warburton

    very moved by this programme, i have 100% empathy with the ex soldiers who face difficulty in life once leaving the army, and yes as some have commented they have committed murder, but to what degree are the army responsible for this, they strip them of there previous beliefs and train them to kill, then once they leave they do not strip them of there army training

  • Neil

    1 year ago

    Neil

    One of the best documentaries that I have seen on C5, that highlights how easy one can go down the wrong path.

  • Kevin Oaten

    1 year ago

    Kevin Oaten

    An excellent programme which not only highlighted the plight of servicemen and the lack of post service help they receieve but also but also showed the value of having understanding ex servicemen as prison officers. Prisons are about striking a balance between punishment and rehabilitation and those best placed to aid rehabilitation are the very people who can establish a rapport through experience and understanding. I thought the prison staff were excellent and openly honest about how their own experience helps them understand the problems that exist.. I understand that the Prison service itself isnt too impressed with its staff from last nights programme...........the should get real and stop being Oh So PC, life is what it is, the best people for the best job!

  • Jim Watson

    1 year ago

    Jim Watson

    There were a couple of comments from people above who expressed a wish to buy Keith's art. However, since he is under the care of the Scottish Prison Service such a feat is not possible. Prisoners in Scottish Jails are not allowed to sell their artwork whilst prisoners in jails in England and Wales are. If you want to change this then feel free to write directly to the SPS, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the Convenor of the Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament. The charity Positive Prisons?Positive Futures will be taking up this particular issue at their next meeting with SPS management but every little additional pioece of support helps. As for the programme itself, it gave a clear explanation of the additional problems facing ex-servicemen when they get out of the service and find it difficult to deal with civvie life. I was also quite moved my Keiths remorse, analysis and mechanism for dealing with his crime. I am sure that he will continue to produce great artwork and it will help his successful reintegration back to his community and family.

  • Maggie C

    1 year ago

    Maggie C

    Note to Moderators: Maggie C Why did you remove my comment which was to give support and help and leave comments with some aggressive and insulting language? Would request a reply

  • MJF

    1 year ago

    MJF

    I thought the programme last night was very good at showing the huge problem that ex armed force personnel are up against. I am a mental health professional lucky to be leading a pilot project in my area where I visit all police custody suites and check if anyone is ex armed forces with any mental health problems, if someone is indentified I can help them to get support for their mental health problems/PTSD and liaise with veteran support agencies to help that person get what they need. Also to support them through there time in the criminal justice system. The problem is indentifying the veteran , if you find yourself being arrested and ending up in custody please let the custody sargeant know you are ex armed forces. This will help us to highlight that this role is very important, veterans need help and support and maybe there was a reason a crime was committed! Not just because you were drunk etc but because you have a mental health problem that requires treatment!

  • Lydia

    1 year ago

    Lydia

    Why is it the PTSD is being used here especially in Keith's case?? He openly admitted he has struggled almost all his life, he was in the forces for 6 years. He may have a marvellous talent for Art and be wry intelligent but at the end of the day he murdered someone with an Axe. How do you think the victims family feel about that?

  • J Brackenbury

    1 year ago

    J Brackenbury

    Deeply disturbing and I know because I am there..I cried all the way through because every comment took me back to the causes of my Service related PTSD and I've suffered 40 years.

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  • Andrew H

    1 year ago

    Andrew H

    Was very interested by last nights programme - particularly Kieth's very honest appraisal of his life and his thought provoking art work. However I too was disappointed by the inclusion of Darren Payne - a man who hadn't seen any active army service or even completed training before assaulting 2 people, permanently disabling 1. I am sure there are various psychological reasons why he ended up doing what he did, but attributing this to his small amount of army training is both incredibly unfair to the army and a very lazy piece of journalism. Surely there are hundreds of better examples of soldiers truly scarred by active service? And if not, then make the series one programme shorter rather than offending Payne's victims and their families

  • Gren Gd

    1 year ago

    Gren Gd

    Gren Gd This program is complete and utter rubbish and these idividuals are not battle scarred there just weak social reprebates. id just like to add i am ex services so i know what im talking about.

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  • neilp

    1 year ago

    neilp

    Message to Keith and of course to be delivered by yourself Chris....I am inspired by keith's inspirational foresight, clearly you (keith) live within the envelope of self despair and blame..I myself understand (and suffer...but coping with) PTSD. I am inspired by your artistic approach shown on TV tonight and understand your abstract yet sensitively focused articulacation of your experiences. I would be more than happy to make you an offer for your art works shown on TV tonight (to aid your family, yourself and long lost understanding....albeit acknowledging and respecting your victims plight, which I'm sure you understand) ..your Northern Ireland portrait of yourself juxstaposed against your self 'NOW'...And of course your abstract creative image of yourself being 'hung out to dry after all you have given and sacrificed' and ultiamtely having your 'service' removed through the vultures of 'non understanding' stripped from you. You are a GOOD man, but have been been put in a crass place by things out of your control. Clearly you and I and hopefully the families of the hurt can appreciate my words. Your work can make a difference and hopefully will......let me know what you thibk Keith, my offers stand and I hope through this comment we can make a difference. Kind regards Neil

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  • Will

    1 year ago

    Will

    Having served a full 23 years with the Army I have total empathy for those guys serving in prison and the causes of the criminal activity. In the military you see and do things that civilians will never understand. During my career I saw much death and lost several close friends. Having left in ’97 I found it extremely difficult to integrate into civilian life as an ex-serviceman. I had many mood swings and reverted to violence, was a very poor social person and did not associate easily with family and friends that were non-military. Ultimately I attacked my then partner and was prosecuted in a court of law. This really brought home what I have considered to be PTSD much earlier in my career as a soldier, however there were no opportunities to request medical or psychological help as this was frowned upon and would have ended my operational opportunities. It was only after self-financing over a years’ contact with a psychologist that I was able to turn my life around. I still find it difficult to trust people who have not come from a military background. The Government needs to place greater resources to the ex-military, this is particularly important with the recent redundancy phase where the majority of those will have experienced operations in Iraq or more recently Afghanistan. Come on the coalition get your act together and give us the help that we deserve for the loyalty we have given you during our many years of service and the losses that we have incurred. How many more ex-servicemen have to be imprisoned before you realise that there is a problem with the lack of support that you provide

  • Cavas

    1 year ago

    Cavas

    Nobody in civvy street can understand what you go through when in the armed forces I served 13 years in the army and it ultimately led to the breakdown of the relationship with the only woman i've ever loved. She stuck by me through tours of Iraq and Afghan and it was only when I was home and away from this that I became aggressive and angry at the slightest things blaming her when if I'd have been honest with myself there was no-one to blame other than myself. I changed but couldn't admit it and it ultimately led to the downfall of the relationship and I'm still struggling with it to this day I've seen people but nobody has ever been able to help. My anger issues are compounded by my drinking but I don't see a proper way out from it. It all gets on top of me and I build up to a night or day when I lose my rag and just go I alienate anyone who I care about and my self-destruct button is on permanent standby til this happens. Anybody know of someone who can help me get my head together because somedays i feel on top of the world and other days....well you know the story

  • michelle

    1 year ago

    michelle

    Right if all of the guys had been to conflict I could understand but Mr Payne couldnt even finish training as he knocked out a fellow squaddie. ALSO to put the record straight he was not defending himself or his father as their victim was in a phone box calling his 8wks pregnant gf when they started their attack which included the smashing of a vodka bottle over victims head. The victim is one of the quietest guys there is. If anyone should be treated for PTSD surely it should be the victim. Close family and friends have seen worse in conflict and lost close friends and would never blame the army. THEY HAVE MORE RESPECT

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  • Andrew Wallace

    1 year ago

    Andrew Wallace

    I just watched the programme and was really moved and inspired by Keith’s paintings and felt for him as he patiently waits and hopes for the day he is released free to see his family. You can see he is a very thoughtful and artistically talented guy and remorseful of the crime he is paying his sentence for. Having spent some time visiting prisoners and being truly moved by their quality of character, friendship, talent, intelligence and thoughtfulness when previously I had classified them in my naïve ignorance altogether as criminals unworthy of respect. I came to respect some more than I felt led to respect others free in society who seem to portray much less quality of character than those people locked away. I wish Keith and others like him all the help, support and guidance to get him through and for patience diligence to endure their time to the end or earlier, if so granted. I don’t know if there is any visual access to his paintings online or wherever, but I hope it can be found and for him to receive the honour and appreciation due to him for his talent which I’m sure would bring joy and inspiration to many and for him as a person.

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  • Fred

    1 year ago

    Fred

    Hi, After just wtching this program I can fully relate to the storeys told in this programe. I myself was in the armed forces (Army) for 6 years, did a tour of Northern Ireland. Saw things I should have not seen, which inturn made me a really hard person to live with. I was also discharged from the Army under medical conditions which till this day I am still suffering even though I have told no-one what is the real reason for my medical problems. When I was in the army you was told not to be soft and just work your way through any problem. even on my discharge day I was told time to go and not even a thankyou for serving my Queen and country. I could go on and on about this has I feel that the service men of old got a bad deal with no support to help them.

  • steve

    1 year ago

    steve

    it was an interesting program ,am a bit upset that the program never actually mentioned p.t.s.d as one of the main causes of there ending up in prison ,I have been fighting for help for a number of years to get help ,and after ending up in court 4 years ago ,and ending up being refered to combat stress ,and getting diagnosed with p.t.s.d ,and now getting help only after ,loosing my house ,marriage after 31 years ,and nearly all my family ,and ending up homless and living ruff ,and trying to take my own life ,I now am finaly on the road to recovery ,with the help of combat stress ,I also have a mate who I served with who is in prison ,I tried to get help for him ,ie combat stress ,and they will not go into prison to help him because the government wont let them in that environment ,so he has been diagnosed with p.t.s.d. before he went in ,but they wont help him till he gets out ,which he has been in six years on an open licence ,which basically means they can keep him indefanatly ,with very bad p.t,s.d ,whats that all about

  • Richard

    1 year ago

    Richard

    The programs ended saying more details of "how you can help", see the website. There's nothing here. Excepting present company.I'm not really ex army, but had services training as a youngster. I nearly joined from school, but failed selection, so instead went into the heavy construction industry where stress drove me to very heavy drinking, and ultimately a nervous breakdown. Health issues forced me to retire very early. I feel affinity to these men, and would be happy to be some sort of pen pal to the ones featured, especially the artist. I'm disabled now, so don't get out much, but painting has been a like line to me too. I know I didn't see active service, but have seen men die and be horribly mutilated on sites, so share some nightmares I suspect. I'm hoping the programme makers read this, and find some way of contacting me. My other question is where is the SAAFA organization when squadies get out, or British Legion? does anybody notify the area branches when guys from their areas and towns are due to be discharged?

  • terry

    1 year ago

    terry

    How do I go about buying Keiths work ?

  • dee moran

    1 year ago

    dee moran

    So pleased that channal 5 have funded this program but such a shame that the government will continue to do nothing to help soldiers or ex soldierd who suffer with PTSD. Politicians put their own greedy agendas ahead of the mental well being of people they see as expendable.

  • Shell

    1 year ago

    Shell

    Good show!! About time something was brought to attention to those in Civie Street. The MOD harness the anger and violence and use it. Not all are gonna go of the deep end, however some (its obvious the one) need that extra help esp after 22yrs of being told what to do & when, how to dress and confirm etc. My soon to be ex hubby is a violent squaddie and the army have never helped him overcome it, infact they got him to box for them so only enhancing it. However this series I hope will maybe make the way they deal with in house violence and trauma be at least looked at!!

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  • Eileen

    1 year ago

    Eileen

    Veterans are poorly treated the Covenant is a worthless piece of paper! So much more needs done to support and care for our veterans......they don't want handouts, they want their due, a home, a job , decent medical services....and respect! No too much to much to ask!

  • Marc Crane

    1 year ago

    Marc Crane

    My condition is not PTSD, but maybe my condition was the start of the decline of what the government thinks thinks of our "Armed Forces". I joined the service at the age of 15 and served 26 years, the last 3 years in bomb disposal carrying out operational tasks. In the last year I had hearing aids and within 4yrs of leaving the service I was 100% deaf, but I could not claim an increase of war pension due to the changes (1996 Conservative Party) that had been made, it was loosely stated my hearing was due to age, I was 46yrs old. I asked every charity including the Royal British Legion for help but was rejected out of hand. I then asked solicitors for help and again was rejected. I fought my case my myself (a difficult thing to do when you are deaf) attending many tribunals over a period of 8yrs where unfortunately I had 2 heart attacks and a stroke, however I won my case and finally received the increase in pension that I truly believed I was entitled to. Had I lost I do not know what the outcome would have been. I await to see this program tonight, but I will say this all these soldiers "Behind Bars" need help, but who is going to give them help if you are deaf like me where do you go, whom do you ask for help? if the forces charities can't or don't want to help then I believe our society is on very slippery slope. When is our society and the people we vote for going to help? Soldiers only follow orders which will ensure the lives of British citizens and if they need help then it should be given without quarter.

  • George Banks

    1 year ago

    George Banks

    Just been diagnosed took me close to 2 years to get it thought I was going mad. would love to get involved and help others get to treatment faster.Help get our guys off the streets and out of jail they deserve so much more support I have seen lots of GPs adverts on job sites asking for Milatery experience

  • michelle

    1 year ago

    michelle

    YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING THIS COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER AS YOU DID FIGHT FOR IT!! i hope your plight is successful i am sure if it was up to the British public and not the bureacrats you would have everything you need as you have fought and are still fighting for all we have THANK YOU TO YOU ALL I APPRICIATE EVERYTHING Y OU HAVE ALL DONE FOR US AND ARE STILL DOING XX

  • Gary T

    1 year ago

    Gary T

    I am part of a small group of ex forces who have just set up a charity called 'Sefton veterans Council' on Merseyside, our problem at present is linking with civilian support, i.e., we tried with a department who is involved with prisoners in Liverpool, our aim is to make contact with the veterans who are in HMP Liverpool after arranging a meeting to move this on the civilian counterpart has not even been back in contact, no wonder ex forces get demoralised with civvies as they just don't have that or understanding of forces or ex forces knowledge. We have been going for over 300 hundred years and the civilian world has not really moved on to help us. Once we are up and fully running there is going to be some shock coming as our network is getting bigger and bigger on Merseyside, at present there are around an estimated 64000 vets in Merseyside and 4.8 million in the UK so local authorities look out is all I can say, your time with the covenant has run out and so has our patience.

  • Cliff

    1 year ago

    Cliff

    The after care for former squaddies is piss poor. I am about to become a case worker for the Royal British Legion. With over 20 years in the ambulance service, I hope I can be of use..

  • Charles Brindley

    1 year ago

    Charles Brindley

    If you tell me that government never saw this coming and I'll call you a liarLiar

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