69 years of press coverage for Ray ‘The Cat’ Jones…

Over the past year I’ve devoted a number of blogs to my first cousin once removed Ray ‘The Cat’ Jones. Having talked to various people about Ray and located assorted print references to him made after he’d retired from being the greatest cat burglar in the world, I thought it was time to dig back into the past. Old newspaper reports of Ray’s court appearances verify much of what he had to say about his life, clarify various matters, and show that more recent accounts of his famous jail break have been distorted by those retelling the tale. Doing a quick search through national newspapers, I found no reports of Ray’s boxing career, and the earliest press coverage I could locate was dated 8 March 1940. The Daily Mirror put things this way:

“Thief Celebrated With 21 Suits

“A man living on the proceeds of house breaking once had so much money that he bought 21 suits and had £50 in his pockets. And for two years his fists kept him free.

“The police stated this at the Old Bailey yesterday when Raymond Jones, 23, described as a labourer of King Edward Walk, Lambeth, London, was sentenced to two years imprisonments for causing grievous bodily harm to a constable who tried to arrest him at the Marble Arch in December 1937, and for attempted theft from a car.

“He was arrested in Lambeth last month.

“A detective said Jones admitted assaulting numerous police officers to escape arrest in the last two years and he had been living on the proceeds of house breaking.”

There was an equally biased report in The Times also of 8 March 1940:

“Caught After Two Years. Labourer’s Savage Attack On Policeman.

“After being at liberty for over two years a man who twice escaped from police in 1937, on both occasions leaving a police officer unconscious on the ground and was not recaptured until early this year at Lambeth Walk, appeared in the dock at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

“He is Raymond Jones, 23, a labourer of King Edward Walk, and he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to one of the two constables, and attempted theft from a motor-car.

“Detective Hope said the prisoner admitted assaulting several police officers in order to escape arrest in the past two years. He had been living on the proceeds of house-breaking. On one occasion he had so much money he bought 21 suits and had £50 in his pocket.

“Judge Beazley, in sentencing Jones, said he had been guilty of a savage attack.”

On the basis of these reports, the press should be in the dock, charged with spreading unctuous bullshit. As I hope I’ve made clear in my earlier blogs, Ray was not guilty, he was fitted-up. The papers, taking their cue from the Old Bill and a slimeball judge report him as being guilty of numerous assaults on cops, but he was found guilty on just one count! And in this instance, he acted in self-defence after being violently assaulted by a bully dressed in blue.

Ray’s 1952 appearance at the Old Bailey was also widely covered by the press under headlines such as Alleged Complicity In Fur Coats Theft (Times April 25 1952), £4000 Fur’s Theft, Six And A Half Year Sentence (Times 24 June 1952), and Police Kept Watch From ‘Q Van’ He Says (Daily Mirror 21 June 1952). This need not detain us, although the swiping of guests’ coats during a swanky New Year party thrown by Colonel Martin Charteris for his upper-class chums is an amusing tale; and it is also worth noting that in his evidence Ray mentioned a feud between his family and notorious 1950s gangster Billy Hill and that to defend his brother who’d been stabbed, Ray punched out the Mister Big of the London crime world. But let’s move on to Ray’s famous jail break. The Times of 18 October 1958 described it thus:

“Two Escape At Pentonville. Others Fail In Attempt.

“Five men took part in an escape attempt from Pentonville Prison last light. Three were recaptured, but two others got away. They were the first men to break out of the prison since it was reopened in 1946. A full scale search of the area was carried out.

“The men who got out of the prison were Raymond Jones, aged 42, serving 8 years preventative detention, who Scotland Yard said might be violent, and John Rider, aged 28, serving 5 years imprisonment.

“The escape was made during the period given over to evening classes. Jones and Rider found ladders being used during the repair of the prison roof, and took them to scale the 20ft wall of the prison.

“Once on top of the wall, they jumped into an alley that skirts the side of the prison and one turned left, the other right… Tracker dogs, police cars, wardens, uniformed and plain clothes police with torches toured streets around Caledonian Road.”

The Daily Mirror (18 October 1958) used Gaol Break 2 Men Hunted as its headline, and this front page story contained the following information not provided by The Times: “Two of the other three men perched on the top of the wall then dropped back into the goal yard. The third fell and was injured.”  Rider enjoyed just 24 hours freedom, as The Times reported on 20 October 1958:

“John Rider aged 34, one of two men who escaped from Pentonville Prison, London, on Friday night, was recaptured on Saturday while he was asleep on a sofa in an unoccupied home at Antler Hill, Chingford, Essex.

“The search continues for the other prisoner Raymond Jones aged 42, who was serving a sentence of eight years preventative detention. Scotland Yard issued a warning he might be violent.”

The idea that Ray was potentially violent was just a cop smear designed to justify the filth’s 1940 fit-up; Ray never carried weapons, although he would defend himself with his fists if attacked. Ray also knew how to run and hide, having spent the whole of 1938 and 1939 on his toes… When he was finally recaptured The Daily Express (24 November 1960) put the story on the front page and reported it this way:

“Two-Year Escaper Caught

“Pentonville’s record escaper, Raymond Jones, was recaptured in Staines, Middlesex, last night.

He went ‘over the wall’ two years ago – the longest time a fugitive has been on the run from the jail.

“A tip-off at lunch-time sent the police to Staines. They waited six hours to seize him at a house.

“Jones, a 42 year old Welshman, was serving eight years preventative detention.”

So there you have it, plenty of contemporary documentation to confirm just why Ray ‘The Cat’ Jones is a legend! And this is also why as recently as November this year Wales On Sunday devoted yet another page to this famous criminal, the closest thing the 20th century ever produced to a new Robin Hood!

And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!

About mistertrippy

Stewart Home was born in south London in 1962. His mother Julia Callan-Thompson was a showgirl and club hostess. He has never held down a regular job for more than a few months at a time. On those rare occasions when he's been forced to work, Home has taken employment as a factory labourer, agricultural labourer, shop assistant, office clerk and art class model. Deciding he didn't like working in factories as a teenager, Home pursued cultural and political interests, writing many books and participating in even more gallery exhibitions.
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74 thoughts on “69 years of press coverage for Ray ‘The Cat’ Jones…

  1. Zen Master K says:

    I ran into a Sophia Loren lookalike the other day, but only about 21 years old and with plenty of modelling and ‘acting’ work to keep her busy. We hopped into bed and she wanted to 69, but after I got in place she farted in my face, so I got up. She asked me why I’d got up and I told her I wasn’t going to lie down for another 68 of her farts!

  2. fi says:

    I’m your cousin twice removed, I think

  3. 21 suits is a pretty good celebration, but I’m more of a 21 sluts man myself! Ha ha!

  4. fiona says:

    btw- I didn’t say that.
    Who on earth is it that wants to be me?? [and why on earth]
    Whoever it is, you are welcome- I bored myself stupid ages ago & can’t wait to be some one else. Again.

  5. I ran into a Sophia Loren lookalike the other day, but only about 21 years old and with plenty of modelling and ‘acting’ work to keep her busy. We hopped into bed and she wanted to 69, but after I got in place she farted in my face, so I got up. She asked me why I’d got up and I told her I wasn’t going to lie down for another 68 of her farts!

    My 21 suits weren’t stolen, merely appropriated.

  6. Q: What comes after 69?

    A: Mouthwash.

  7. What is a 6.9?

    A 69 interupted by a period.

  8. Q: Why do greedy business people like 89 better than 69?

    A: Because it’s a score more.

  9. The cost of eating out has gone up! A couple going down on each other simultaneously ain’t called 69 anymore, coz of inflation from now on it’s known as 96!

  10. Why is 77 better than 69? Because you get eight (ate) more!!!!

  11. Alan Wicker says:

    I once asked Russell Brand if he had ever tried 69? He said, “No, but I have done 53 – that’s all the strippers I can screw in one night.”

  12. Tessie Talk says:

    Q: What do elephants use for tampons?

    A. Sheep

  13. After suffering terrible migraines, Russell Brand goes to his doctor. The medic tells him: “I suffered from bad headaches for years. It is caused by a tension in the scalp muscles. This is how I cured it. Every day I would lick my wife out. As she came she’d squeeze her legs together with all her strength and the pressure would relieve the tension in my head. Try that.”

    A month later Jonathan Ross goes to see the same doctor. He says: “Doc, Russell Brand is a new man since he did your migraine treatment! He feels great! He says you’ve got to tell your cute wife to help me with my headaches too.”

  14. A sexually inexperienced short order cook marries a rich and much older widow. On their wedding night the short order cook undresses in the en-suite bathroom at their hotel and then jumps into bed so that his bride doesn’t see too much of him naked. The previously married bride tries to reassure her husband that he doesn’t need to be shy. He replies that he’s not shy and will do anything she wants. “OK,” the widow replies, “let’s start with a 69”. So her new husband picks up the bedside telephone and once he has room service says: “My wife wants a double-egg with chips, and I’d like a cheese sandwich and a glass of milk.”

  15. Q. Do you know what the square root of 69 is?

    A. Ate something.

  16. Q: Why can’t Miss Piggy count to 70?

    A: Because she gets a frog in her throat at 69!

  17. You’ve all heard of the 69 sex position, but do you know how to do a 71? It’s basically a 69 plus two fingers up your partner’s shithole!

  18. Q: What is 69 and 69?

    A: Dinner for four!

  19. Q: What is LXIX?

    A: 69 — the hard way.

  20. Q. What is the speed limit for sex in the Isle of Man XXX Race?

    A. 68, because at 69 you overturn!

  21. Slick Rick says:

    Sex is good, sex is fine, doggy style or 69, just for fun or getting paid everyone loves getting laid….

  22. I once had it off with a cripple, her favorite position was the 69, so when I talked about it on my Radio 2 show we called it Meals on Wheels…

  23. If you want to burn calories during sex rather than going to the gym, then doing 69 standing up is far more effective as a weight loss technique than doing it lying down….

  24. Q: Whats the speed limit of sex?

    A: 68 because at 69 you have to turn around!

  25. Q: What is a 6.9?

    A. Something great messed up by a period.

  26. For you girls.

    Q: Why is 88 better than 69?

    A: You get 8 twice.

  27. A man was having problems with premature ejaculation so he decided to go to the doctor. He asked the doctor what could he do to cure his problem …

    In response the doctor said, “When you feel like you are getting ready to ejaculate try startling yourself”. That same day the man went to the store and bought himself a starter pistol. All excited to try this suggestion out he runs home to his wife.

    At home his wife is in bed, naked and waiting on her husband. As the two begin, they find themselves in the ’69’ position. The man, moments later, feels the sudden urge to come and fires the starter pistol.

    The next day, the man went back to the doctor. The doctor asked, “How did it go?”. The man answered, “Not that well … when I fired the pistol my wife shit on my face, bit 3 inches off my penis and my neighbor came out of the closet with his hands in the air!”

  28. Q. What do you call a Chinese 69?

    A. Two Can Chew!

  29. Two American students were making out in a hire car in the English town of Dorking. Things got really hot, and by the time they were going down on each other they weren’t paying any attention to what was going on outside. All of a sudden a traffic warden was tapping on their window. The warden could hardly contain himself.

    “Do you know that under British law you are not allowed to have sex in public?” he asked the students.

    Despite being embarrassed at getting caught out in this way, they had the foresight to say: “No, sorry, we’re Americans studying here but we won’t do it again.”

    “I will have to write you a ticket.” The warden told them and he reiterated that they better watch their behaviour or he’d call up the old bill and have them arrested.

    After they’d dressed, the girl asked the boy what the traffic warden had written on the ticket. The boy replied, “Doing 69 in a 35 zone.”

  30. Right now, as you read this, 69 Million Europeans are having SEX!
    ……And you’re on the computer!!!

  31. Q. What’s the difference between a 69 and driving in fog?

    A. Driving in fog you can never see the arsehole in front of you.

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  33. Wow, your jokes are like my girlfriend: they both suck!

  34. Anne Desclos says:

    A man and a woman were doing 69 He stopped eating for a second and said: “Do you like the taste of my cock?” She reassured him: “Yes! Your cock is a sea food cocktail suitable for the most delicate of palates. But tell me, do you still dig the flavour of my twat?” The man replied: “Yeah, crabs are my favourite food!”

  35. Q. What comes after 69?

    A. Listerine.

  36. A guy says to his wife, “I’m in the mood for some 69.”

    She says, “It’s that time of the month, but if you don’t care, I don’t care.”

    They go into the bedroom, and are 69’ing like mad dogs when the doorbell rings.

    She says, “Answer the door.”

    He says, “But my face is a mess.”

    She says, “It’s just the postman. Answer the door, and if he says anything, just tell him you were eating a jam sandwich.”

    He opens the door and says, “I’m sorry about my mouth, I was eating a jam sandwich.”

    The mailman says, “I wasn’t looking at the jam on your mouth. I was looking at the peanut butter on your forehead!”

  37. Q: Why is the 69 sex position also known as doing it smokers style?

    A: Because while she is enjoying cigar, he is cleaning ashtray

  38. simon says:

    Q: How do you give a woman an orgasm?

  39. Len Hutton says:

    You’ve probably done a 69 but have you tried a 649?

    In the sport of cricket, a four is a specific type of scoring event, whereby the ball crosses the boundary after touching the ground at least one time, scoring four runs. Because of this the sexual fetish 649 is very popular among cricketers.

    A 649 is when a heterosexual couple do a 69 with the woman on top. As they are doing this a second man dressed in full cricket gear beats the woman on the arse with a cricket bat, after some good strokes, the second man gets behind the woman and has anal sex with her while she is still 69ing the other man. This means that the second man is able to tea-bag (bang his balls against the head of a sexual partner) the first man, while dogging the woman. Ideally, the woman should not let the first man come in her mouth, so that he can have anal sex with the second man while she beats him on the arse with a cricket bat.

  40. Tiger Woods says:

    69 is fun, but I prefer a 404, that’s the error message I get when I thought I was having sex with my wife but actually I put my dick in the wrong hole (that’s is if you see anything wrong with having sex with models and strippers).

    Come on ladies, put a tiger in your tank!

  41. I prefer 68 to 69, my wife goes down on me and I promise to pay her back by performing oral sex on her later! Then if she won’t 68 me the next time, I just go with a hooker.

  42. We might hail from New York but we’re very British in our tastes. For our 3 O’Clock Thrill, we take six teas and nine prostitutes between us!

  43. When Casanova decided to 69 a lady elephant, it led to his only crushing defeat as a sexual althelete.

  44. Al Jolson says:

    Personally, I like doing a 74, that’s a 69 with the two individuals involved giving each other a high five after sex…..

  45. Fascists aren’t into 69, they’re so solipsistic that they prefer to 68, or suck themselves off. One early fascist idiot called Gabriele d’Annunzio even had his bottom ribs removed so that it was easier to suck himself off (obviously he wasn’t born with a big enough cock).

  46. Q. What’s 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69 + 69?

    A. An orgy!

  47. Q. How do you perform 69 backwards?

    A. With difficulty!

  48. Karen Eliot says:

    Q. How do you perform 69 backwards?

    A. With a contortionist!

  49. I did 69 with a dwarf last week and I found it a right pain in the neck.