Peter Scott

Peter Scott.

Peter Craig Gulston, more generally known as Peter Scott, began his life in crime even before he left the Academy. Born into a military family who lived on the Antrim Road, he had a reputation at school in the 1930s as an able pupil, but one wholly uninterested in the business of passing examinations. He therefore, absented himself to burgle some of the better off homes in the neighbourhood, stashing his loot in a rugby bag. When the police presence on the Antrim Road became too oppressive, he moved his activities to South Belfast. Caught by the police in 1952, Scott was sentenced to six months in Crumlin Road Gaol. On his release, he moved to London, where he teamed up with a fellow-villain, George Chatham, and indulged himself in what he later described as "an obscene passion for larceny". His victims included ‘A’ List actresses Shirley MacLaine, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. He later claimed to have relieved the Shah of Iran, and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, of some of their jewellery. 

The self-described, gentleman thief, always wore a different suit for each 'job' and insisted that he was never violent. It was reported that on one occasion, when a resident heard him downstairs in her home, Scott shouted up, "It's only me".  

Scott's life was the basis of a 1965 film, 'He Who Rides a Tiger', featuring Tom Bell and Judi Dench. The central character was however in prison when the film was released. In 2004 he was a participant in a Chanel 4 panel game called The Heist, in which staged robberies were carried out. Scott spent 14 years of his life in prison, and when he died in 2013 he was living on benefits in a local authority flat in Islington.