Peterhead Prison has housed some of the most notorious criminals in Scottish penal history
Peterhead : The Inside Story of Scotland’s Toughest Prison
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Peterhead Prison has housed some of the most notorious criminals in Scottish penal history. Down the years it earned the nickname The Hate Factory and made headline news decade after decade with dramatic escapes, hostage taking and rooftop riots. It also held wrongly convicted men for long years, such as Oscar Slater, Paddy Meehan, T C Campbell and Joe Steele. And it made history when the SAS was called in to dramatically rescue a hostage.
The original plan for a prison at Peterhead was conceived in the 1980s, when it was decided that convict labour would be used to build a Harbour of Refuge to provide a safe haven for the fishing fleet and other shipping caught in the wild North Sea gales. It was a humanitarian project that would take decades to complete, and a grim and forbidding prison was built to house the convict labour needed to break stone in the quarries and work on building the huge breakwaters.
It became a brutal, cold and windswept home for such as the Arran murderer John Watson Laurie, safebreaker and war hero Johnny Ramensky, Jimmy Boyle, Glasgow godfathers Walter Norval and Arthur Thompson and wrongdoers from all parts of Scotland. Now, in Peterhead: Scotland’s Toughest Prison, Robert Jeffrey tells the remarkable inside story of a grim institution, its fearsome inhabitants and the men and women charged with keeping the villains securely behind bars for the protection of the public.