A FORMER gang member has returned to the estate where he grew up to help steer teenagers away from a life of crime.

John Magee, 37, said he spent most of his teenage years trying to avoid the police, as he took part in crime in the Roman Road and Highercroft areas of Blackburn.

Anti-social behaviour, drink and drug abuse, violence and petty theft became a way of life for John as said he bowed to pressure from his peers.

But now, after succeeding in turning his life around, he has devised a series of workshops to help others do the same.

John, who has adopted the pseudonym ‘Mister Consequence’ for his motivational talks, said: “I grew up on Highercroft when it was one of the most deprived estates in the north and notorious for high levels of crime.

“I got into trouble myself – from taking drugs and stealing, to gang-related crime.

“The turning point was when I saw a relative lying in a coma after a heroin overdose.

“That was when I realised I had to get my life sorted out.”

After turning around his life, John now wants to help others through a series of workshops.

He got the idea after meeting the family of Adam Rogers, who devised the Consequences campaign, backed by the Lancashire Telegraph, to raise awareness of the dangers of senseless violence.

Adam was killed after a ‘single punch’ attack on a night out in Blackburn last year.

With Community and Business Partners, Mr Magee is now launching a scheme in Highercroft.

Workshops will highlight the risks and consequences of drink and drug abuse, gang crime, underage sex, bullying and violence.

The sessions take place through the Highercroft Action Group and the Yo Club in Roman Road.

For more information visit www.misterconsequence.co.uk.