MEMOIRS by a reformed criminal from Dewsbury have topped book charts just a week after being released.
Dave Ginnelly, 61, has written a frank account of his life called Wellies and Warders.
It details the fall and rise of a good Catholic boy from Westtown expected to pass the 11-plus and go to grammar school.
Instead Dave, now of Nuneaton, ended up homeless, in prison and psychiatric hospitals.
Over the years he was convicted of more than 20 offences – from muggings to violence and drugs.
But he went on to become a union steward at British Steel in the 1980s and is now a community youth worker.
Dave, who apologises to all of his victims in the foreword, found salvation inside.
He studied Russian classics and said: "One thing you've got in institutions is access to the best education in the world.
"Once the doors close you've got to find something to do. And it could've been easy to punt for menial labour.
"But there were other things that, being a bright kid, caught my attention and helped me."
Dave, who grew up on High Street, Westtown, was in trouble from an early age.
He ended up homeless, first in London at the age of 14 after making a failed search for the mother who abandoned him.
Having returned north he slept rough in Dewsbury in the public toilets, at the town hall and the former ABC Cinema on Crackenedge Lane.
He said: "There was no security and you could sneak in through the toilet windows.
"I'd then stay there all night and would climb back out the same way early in the morning before the cleaners came."
His book topped the Kindle True Crime Biographies category on Amazon within days of publication.
Wellies and Warders is available online and as a paperback. See amazon.co.uk for more details.