When the long arm of the law caught up with career criminal Michael Emmett in a £13m drugs bust, he knew that his life needed to change. And it certainly has…
WHEN he was caught by police in one of the largest drugs raids of its time, career criminal Michael Emmett says he felt a huge weight lift off his shoulders.
“I’ll be honest with you when I got arrested, I was relieved,” says Michael, 62. “That might sound bizarre, but I was. I used to look for excitement all the time because of the inbred addict that I was.
“I was always trying to achieve a high when I went to work with my father. There was this constant crime buzz. No matter what I’d done or how much we earned or how much we smuggled I always wanted more.
“But by then I was just exhausted and I was relieved it was over.”
Raised in London by a career criminal with links to the infamous Kray twins, it seemed inevitable that Michael would follow in his father’s footsteps and join the family business as an international drug smuggler.
At just 16, Michael started working for his father and entered the dangerous world of organised crime.
By the time Michael was in his 20s, he was living a life defined by drugs, sex and violence.
Michael embraced this lifestyle with open arms – despite multiple convictions and the toll his behaviour was taking on his mental health.
From partying with his Page Three model girlfriend to smuggling drugs with some of the biggest names in the criminal world, it seemed the high would never end.
But the law finally caught up with him in a £13 million drugs bust, and Michael was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
At this point it seemed like his addictive lifestyle had trapped him in a cell once and for all.
But it was while in prison that he experienced true freedom thanks to a visit by a team from London church, Holy Trinity Brompton.
“I had asked Jesus into my life during a chapel service just a week before this visit, but I hadn’t understood what I was doing. There were about 20 of us there, all heavy criminals including my dad. And this guy came forward and he just said, ‘Come Holy Spirit.’
“It was a life-changing moment for me. Everyone was crying and then we were all full of joy as we prayed together and then my dad fell on his back. You could feel this incredible atmosphere of God’s love in the room.
“At that moment God touched me in my innermost being which was full of so much dirty, rotten stuff. So that was the start of me being introduced to Jesus in my life. It was beautiful.”
Thanks to Michael’s good behaviour following this powerful encounter his sentence was reduced to nine years.
Not long after his release it seemed like his life was coming together as he established a successful business empire. But his old lifestyle started to creep back on him and everything fell apart.
“I think God uses everything to change us. So, the ego that was in Michael allowed me to build something that I thought was good, worthwhile and financially blessed.
But it was built on sand. And because I didn’t know about reaping and sowing and tithing, I didn’t understand that the business was God’s. I thought it was mine.
“So, I said a dangerous prayer one day asking God to take everything from me. This became the beginning of the real transformation for me.”
After losing everything, including the nice cars, clothes and expensive homes, Michael finally found peace and contentment while living in a modest flat in London. At that point he decided to serve as part of Holy Trinity Brompton’s homeless ministry. “I think God was showing me humility, and I know I had a message for these guys. I just think it was something that began to help me put my own life back together.”
As part of that restoration in his own life Michael also went on to help pioneer Alpha Prisons through his involvement with Holy Trinity Brompton church.
The course has seen countless broken lives transformed in prisons across the UK and beyond. Now he is hoping to impact even more lives through his biography called Sins Of Fathers.
Michael said: “It’s all about inspiring broken people that everything they need in the world is in Christ.
I think God wants to use my story of restoration to help others who have also gone through trauma and disasters. So that’s where I am today, doing one day at a time and embracing my future at the tender age of 62!”