Ex-Scots gangster Ian ‘Blink’ MacDonald in rehab for cocaine addiction but vows to turn life around

Former gangster Ian “Blink” MacDonald has revealed he is getting help for cocaine addiction. The convicted bank robber told how his lifestyle spiralled out of control using the drug.

The 61-year-old has regularly attended Cocaine Anonymous meetings for the last four months in an effort to kick his habit. It comes after he was convicted of stealing his girlfriend’s Range Rover following a bust-up at a McDonald’s restaurant in Bellshill, Lanarkshire.

You are reading: Ex-Scots gangster Ian ‘Blink’ MacDonald in rehab for cocaine addiction but vows to turn life around

MacDonald – who had close links to gangland figures Paul Ferris and Arthur Thompson snr – said: “My use of cocaine got out of hand. It got to the stage that socialising didn’t seem worth it unless it was available.

“There was no such thing as having a quiet drink with my pals. Cocaine had to be involved, it just took over everything. Even if I didn’t have it, it was easy to find someone who did. It’s landed me in bother and I know I have to change my ways.

“I took the car in a moment of madness. I took leave of my senses, I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I am no spring chicken. The prospect of going back to prison at my age is a really terrifying thought. Prison is no place for a man in his 60s so I need to stay on the straight and narrow.”

Blink previously served 10 years behind bars
Blink previously served 10 years behind bars

He added: “The people at Cocaine Anonymous have been a great help. They know exactly what I’m going through. I go to two or three meetings every week.”

MacDonald added that being a better dad to the three-year-old daughter he had with his partner Ashley Lurinsky was inspiring him to stick with rehab. He said: “I’ve got a young daughter and I need to be around for her. The craziness has got to stop. I know it’ll end badly if it doesn’t.”

MacDonald was jailed for 16 years over his role in an attempted £6million bank robbery in 1991. He was part of a six-man gang that targeted a NatWest branch in Torquay, Devon. A female worker survived being shot in the head during the raid.

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MacDonald went on the run for several months but was arrested by undercover police in a Chinese restaurant in Glasgow. He served 10 years of his sentence before being released in 2002.

MacDonald added: “My drug abuse really started when I was released from prison. I’ve been a party animal all my life but my ­addiction happened after getting parole. I made the most of being free.”

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MacDonald appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Wednesday. He admitted stealing partner Ashley’s Range Rover after they had a row and dumping it several miles away in Uddingston.

MacDonald also pled guilty to taking the car and threatening Ashley, 35. He also admitted kicking the vehicle after the incident was caught on CCTV in May.

The court heard that the couple were hoping to reconcile following a stormy period in their relationship. A sheriff deferred sentence until next month and ordered a social work report to be prepared.

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MacDonald has also launched his crime podcast Blink And You’ll Miss It which has built a cult following. He said: “I’ve appeared on other people’s podcasts and they were quite popular.

“Some of them have had hundreds of thousands of views so what I’ve got to say must be interesting to some folk. I thought I might as well do my own and see how it goes.

“The feedback has been fairly positive so far. I’ve managed to dodge being trolled but know that might change. Folk can say what they want, I don’t care. I’m just trying to do ­something positive for myself and I enjoy it.

“Some of my stories are quite funny but I often tell younger guys that my life has never been ­something they should want to copy.”

Ashley said: “I’m supporting Ian in his rehabilitation. We want to put the past behind us.”

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