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Monday, 21 January, 2002, 10:29 GMT
Ex-gangster out of jail
Paul Ferris in car
Ferris is driven away from the jail
A Glasgow gun-runner who wrote a book while serving a seven-year sentence has been released from prison.

Paul Ferris, 38, has previously said he will turn his back on crime.

Ferris, whose "Ferris Conspiracy" sold 20,000 copies while he was in Frankland Prison, County Durham, was driven to an unknown destination in a dark green Mercedes driven by co-author Reg McKay.

The former gangster was jailed for 10 years, two-thirds of which he served, at the Old Bailey in 1995. Two co-accused were each given five years.

We are determined to make crime fiction as realistic as possible

Reg McKay
Outside the prison, Ferris said: "I would like to thank my family and friends and supporters who stood by me.

"There have been quite a few significant events - most importantly the compilation of The Ferris Conspiracy with Reg McKay.

"There are other issues I will be willing to talk about but obviously I have to get back to Glasgow to see the probation officer and we will get a chance to speak some other time but today's not appropriate."

'Lacks authenticity'

Before Ferris's release, Mr McKay said the pair had several books in draft form. The second, titled Deadly Divisions, is due out in March.

Mr McKay went on: "Paul has said goodbye to being a criminal and wants to draw on his experiences and his knowledge of the underworld to write about crime instead.

"He feels, as I do, that a lot of crime fiction is fabricated. Although there is a lot of good crime fiction around, much of it lacks authenticity.

"We are determined to make crime fiction as realistic as possible."

Mr Ferris was once an enforcer for the notorious Thompson crime family in Glasgow.

See also:

07 Aug 00 | Scotland
Second man held over Thompson attack
23 Jul 98 | UK
Gun-running trio jailed
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