At the age of 11, Mini became the subject of an award-winning documentary by Franc Roddam, which was aired on the BBC in 1975 and provoked strong public reaction and widespread outrage. The film offered a window into the everyday life of the children society would rather forget, and gave Mini the chance for his own voice to be heard by a wider audience.
When he was thrust into the adult world some years later, with diminished academic skills and no experience of life within the bounds of society, Mini remained an outsider. His attempts at pursuing the very basic dignities of everyday life seemed doomed. Support from the authorities continued to be punitive and his state of mind inevitably suffered. However, he was able to reconnect with Franc, whose belief and support became crucial to him.
Following the breakup of a disastrous relationship, Mini set his final fire at a drinks factory, for which he received a life sentence. Yet, with this move from the juvenile detention system to the adult one an inevitable pattern appeared to have been broken. He finally won his battle for freedom from custody when he was released on life license in 2002 at the age of 39.
For more than 30 years Franc and Mini have been friends, with Franc encouraging and supporting Mini, and contributing to his well-being. When Franc told Mini that he should document his journey, he promised that if Mini finished the book, he would publish it.
The result is Mini & Me. Now, at last, Mini is free to tell his story in his own words.