His time in prison allowed him to reflect on why he had become so involved in crime. He thought about the void in his life after the army, the difficulty in making the transition to civilian life, and the lack of support available to him at the time.
Ultimately, Rich said, he ended up chasing the same adrenaline and excitement highs from the military in ordinary life; he became addicted to the buzz of the prospect of doing some dangerous and being in life-threatening situations.
Hearing testimonies from inmates with similar histories and positions as him, he focused his efforts on writing a course designed to help veterans during their transition out of the forces, and when he was released in 2019, took these step-by-step points and delivered them in speeches across the country. He has also written a book, Charlie Four Kilo, recounting those lost four kilos and the stress and allure of working in the dark criminal underworld.
More recently, Rich appeared on Channel 4’s new series, Banged Up, in which reformed convicts share a prison with celebrities, including the likes of writer Peter Hitchens, former Tory MP Neil Parish, and EastEnders legend Sid Owen.
“Going back inside was weird, and as soon as you get in there you’re already sizing people up,” he said. “It was an interesting experience, and it was good to talk to the celebrities about reform.
“I’m just glad there was a way to veterans in custody because there’s a lot of veterans in prison across the country, some 4,000, and I was trying to show how we do things in there, that we’re just quiet and in the background.”
Channel 4’s Banged Up is on tonight at 9.15pm.
Charlie Four Kilo, written by Rich Jones, is available to buy here.