Prisoner turned evangelist John Lawson to speak at Park Ridge

SCOTTISH speaker and author John Lawson who became an evangelist after being released from prison in 2007 will visit churches at Alexandra Hills and Park Ridge next week.

In his youth, Mr Lawson was involved in burglary, theft and violence. He went on to become part of a biker gang and bodyguard who became embroiled in crime.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for extortion but his life changed dramatically while in prison.

Mr Lawson lives in East Sussex with his wife Carolyn and travels to prisons around the world to share his story.

He has written about his life in a book called If a Wicked Man.

Born in Glasgow in 1966, Mr Lawson emigrated to South Africa at the age of three with his parents.

His mother and brother later returned to the United Kingdom to take care of his grandfather while Mr Lawson stayed in South Africa with his father.

One day his dad locked Mr Lawson, then aged 10, inside their apartment, saying he had to work late but never returned.

Mr Lawson returned to the United Kingdom where he lived with his mother and brother in a council flat on an housing estate that was known at the time as the worst in Europe.

Mr Lawson will speak at Thunder Road Bikers Church, Parklands Christian Centre, 1 Hillcrest Road, Park Ridge on Tuesday, October 9 at 6.30pm.

He will also speak at the Salvation Army Bayside Community Church, corner Macarthur Street and McDonald Road, Alexandra Hills on Monday, October 8 at 6.30pm.