July 22, 2010
Posted by Danny
This month, I make my first – and last – appearance in Take A Break magazine: a best-selling weekly publication for women that’s filled with an array of real-life stories. In the “Summer 2” special issue – out now, priced £1.70 – there is a three-page feature (on pages four to six ) which chronicles, via the perspective of my mother, a profoundly traumatic experience in my family’s history. ANYWAY: it’s not a publication that I ever intended to feature in, BUT there is a very good reason as to why this is so, which I shall explain here.
Nearly seven years ago, a few weeks prior to Christmas, my beloved father Timothy died suddenly of a heart attack, aged just 59. In the immediate aftermath, a man named Jamie Mody – then the boyfriend of my youngest sister – brutally manipulated my mother’s extreme vulnerability to steal approximately £12,000 from her. Allow me to make that explicitly clear: Jamie Mody ruthlessly exploited my father’s death and my family’s shattering grief for blatant financial gain. Mody, who hails from a very wealthy family based in Loughton, Essex (who, in turn, own the highly successful catering firm Gandhi Oriental Foods Ltd, which allegedly has a yearly turnover of around £10m) obviously didn’t need the money – he just felt entitled to it and clearly had no moral problem whatsoever in targeting the weak and using those close to him for personal gain, as opposed to getting it from hard work. In our case, his brutal manipulations caused years of the most painful discord in our small family when we should have been together, supporting each other. Not only that, but the manner of the theft left my mother facing potential financial ruin.
As one might imagine, when I discovered the above, I immediately embarked on what is best described as a ferocious , ceaseless and single-minded campaign of vengeance (a clean one, I add) in an effort to bring him to justice and widely expose him for the malevolent fraud he was. This process was lengthy, convoluted, incredibly stressful and not without its considerable costs, but happily, last December, Jamie Mody was at long last brought to heel at St. Albans Crown Court, where he was convicted of Theft and sentenced to ten months imprisonment (suspended for 18 months) and forced to pay £1000.00 compensation to my mother – many, many times less than what he actually took. So, in truth, he got off very lightly. However, we took solace from the fact that a criminal record is a permanent burden that hinders in a great many ways.
The suitably-journalistic coup de grace of my efforts followed shortly afterwards, when I got Jamie Mody’s local newspaper, the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian, to cover the outcome of the case. This article, “Family slam ‘monster’ who stole from widow” , not only exposed him and his crime to his local community, but, crucially, also to his friends and family – thanks to my very helpful efforts in disseminating said article to all his Facebook friends – whom he would have made the most extreme efforts to hide the reality of his situation. The bonus, of course, was its presence online as well as print, so the facts of his crime would remain available for all to see for perpetuity. The article doubtless caused immense embarrassment and shame to his family – but, seeing as, to date, they have arrogantly dismissed covering Mody’s debts to my mother while conveniently covering his other debts (ie to people who have the financial capability to sue them), their reputation and dignity was, and remains, the very least of my concerns.
And that was that – until a few weeks after that articles’ appearance, my mother received a letter from a Features Agency in Dartford, inviting her to do a more elaborate story on the situation – we didn’t know inititally that it was ultimately for Take A Break magazine. Having completed my aims, I felt no particular need to go any further. However, my mother had never had her say on the matter, having never been required at the court proceedings and, after all the stress, it was felt that it would be cathartic for her to have a platform to describe her feelings about a horrific betrayal of trust that, regrettably, is all too common and, as such, serve as a warning to others.
Obviously, while Take A Break isn’t my cup of tea, it did unquestionably occur to me that it was an absolutely ideal organ with which to further his exposure as a criminal. With a core circulation just a smidgen under a million copies, market research shows that for every one issue sold, four people will read it – a statistic that increases in peak holiday periods like high summer. Ergo, the very-errant Jamie Mody will potentially have his despicable activities ultimately showcased to… a fair few million people nationwide.
You’re quite, quite welcome.
The resulting article is, I must say, an utterly damning piece of naming-and-shaming, which provides an excoriating, personalised picture of the extent of his merciless abuse of trust, his wilful cruelty and his unrepentant greed, committed at the very worst moment of my family’s history. Reading it, there’s no denying that he comes across as a 24-carat c*** – which is very much the truth. It is, furthermore, nothing less than he deserves. He should be in prison, but in the absence of that, his exposure to the harsh, unyielding glare of negative publicity and the subsequent smashing of his carefully-fabricated facade is a satisfying alternative.
(Unlike the local news article, Take A Break do not reprint their articles online. However, they kindly provided me with a PDF of the story, a link to which I have provided in the above and opening paragraphs of this post, making it perpetually available to Mody’s prospective employers, family members, friends, acquaintances and other curious parties who wish to know exactly what kind of a mercenary rat-fuck son-of-a-bitch he really is…)
And if, as expected, the peaceful environs of King’s Place, Loughton are shattered with much weeping, wailing and woe-is-us recriminations at the reading of Take A Break’s article, then I can but offer two pieces of advice: firstly, don’t have a son who rips off recently-bereaved widows and secondly, this is all very much par for the course when you fuck with me and mine… so your cascade of crocodile tears are wasted.