Ex-criminal talks tough for Jesus in Norfolk
By Sandie Shirley
2010: At six-foot tall, weighing over 19 stone, ex-policeman Simon Pinchbeck was a force to be reckoned with as a feared, violent criminal, thirsty for money. Today he is a member of Tough Talk – a team of former hard men who have turned soft for Jesus.
With an impressive display of power lifting, Simon is muscling in on his faith with a life-changing global message that included a recent visit to Wymondham, courtesy of the South Norfolk town’s Hope Community Church.
“Now I am a stronger person - I still struggle with everyday issues but when I stumble and fall I have the loving arms of Jesus around me to put me back on track,” he explained.
Most of the 10-man Tough Talk team sent undercurrents of fear across London. Now they are fearless in sharing the beliefs and values that come in the wake of a personal, divine encounter after reaching rock bottom.
Their remedy for a new life came with forgiveness for remorse and a path of light for darkness from the Saviour of the world. The stirring stories of ex-criminals, drug addicts, bouncers and debt collectors are told out across international arenas, prisons, churches and the streets of Europe and America. As a result men, including notorious villains, women and youngsters have found new purpose and peace through a God-winning partnership.
Simon was a member of the police force for 23 years. At the forefront of action, he used riot shields, drove fast cars and patrolled the football terraces to quell the rivalry between violent fans. But he lost his badge and narrowly escaped a prison sentence when he appeared in court on an assault charge.
He was broken and disillusioned with a hard, violent nature. He had also neglected his wife and two boys, turning to drink and good times. To make a living, he resorted to crime.
“I never went out without £500 in my pocket,” he said. “The more money I got, the more I wanted and the more problems I had. I was greedy and never satisfied.”
He pocketed thousands of pounds for one night’s work until he was fleeced by the criminals he worked with and was plunged into debt and intent on revenge.
“My life was out of control but God threw me a life-line,” said Simon. At the gym where he worked out, was a former drug baron who had become a Christian - he was also a former football terrorist who recognized Simon as an ex-policeman.
“He invited me to church and I found immediate peace.” An Alpha course to learn about the Christian faith followed; Simon was hooked and found a personal relationship with Jesus.
For more information visit: www.tough-talk.com
Pictured top is Simon Pinchbeck and, above, the Tough Talk team.