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How Armed Robber And Heroin Addict Became A Pastor

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A former drug dealer and prisoner who said he was so evil he was ‘like the antichrist’ has ditched his life of crime to become a church pastor.

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Darrell Tunningley began his criminal career at the age of 11 by stealing badges off expensive cars.

By the age of 16 he was selling heroin and cocaine and funding a £300-a-day heroin habit before being jailed for five-and-a-half years for being the driver in an armed robbery.

Now Mr Tunningley, 35, who is married with two children, has been appointed senior pastor alongside his father-in-law at Hope Corner Community Church in Runcorn, Cheshire, where he preaches and discusses his former life.

The pastor, who grew up on the Warwick estate in Knottingley, Leeds, said: ‘I wasn’t far off being an antichrist – I just didn’t care at all.

‘I genuinely felt dead on the inside and didn’t feel anything apart from hate and anger and guilt.

‘Where I was knocking about and the people I was hanging round crime was everywhere and everybody was doing it, so it was only a matter of time before I got involved.’

He said: ‘I got into drugs like cannabis, LSD and solvents and when the drugs trend moved on to the rave scene and ecstasy came about I got into that.

‘We were going out to all the illegal raves taking drugs, selling drugs so I could cover whatever I was taking.

‘Then my drug habit escalated and with that the come downs were so bad I would smoke heroin to help me feel more normal.’

‘At worst when I was around 16 I was using an 8th of heroin a day which is around £250 to £300 so started debt collecting for dealers to fund my habit.’

A friend recruited him to steal a car and be the driver for an armed robbery at a wages depot but after the raid, one of their accomplices turned them in to police when he was held on a serious assault charge.

Mr Tunningley was sent to HMP Wolds in Brough, East Yorkshire, where he set out to be ‘the best kind of bad’ he could possibly be

 

He said: ‘Even in prison I would go looking for opportunities to cement my reputation.

‘I would do violent things for no reason – I put a lad in hospital after setting about him with a snooker ball in a sock because I thought he looked at me in the wring way and I even assaulted a prison officer who I thought was being disrespectful.’

He continued to sell drugs and spent time in segregation for the assaults.

But an encounter in the welding workshop, where another prisoner was signing people up to a meeting in the prison chapel – which meant an afternoon out of his cell as well as free coffee and biscuits.

Mr Tunningley said: ‘There were two nuns and I gave them a load of abuse but they were very patient and seemed to listen to what I had to say.’

He said the nuns responded with compassion and were ‘love bombs’.

‘I thought I would never have the capacity to feel any kind of love again – but the way they treated me stopped me in my tracks.’

That night he said a prayer and vowed to devote his life to God if He would take away his demons.

The next morning, he threw away his tobacco and cannabis after trying to smoke it made him feel sick, and began walking away from fights.

He was visited in prison by Mark Finch – who would eventually become his father-in-law.

Mr Tunningley said: ‘He spoke to me and said that the church would be a really good place for me to go after I was released.

‘I knew that it was the right place to go so I went back to his house and met his two children and his wife.’

Mr Tunningley joined the Hope Corner Community Church in August 2000 and after a few years of friendship with Mr Finch’s social worker daughter Rebekah, 26, they began dating.

The couple married seven years ago and have two children, Benjamin, four, and Lydia-Grace, 18 months.

‘I’ve never been so happy in my life,’ he said. ‘I love doing what I do and I hope those listen to what I have to say and like it too.

‘Previously what I did could have ruined lives yet what I hope I do now will very much enrich them.’

Mr Tunningley is now a senior paster at the church, alongside his father-in-law. He also helped found Hope Corner Academy last summer – a church-run special educational needs school.

Mr Finch said: “Darrell is not the same person that went into prison for sure.

‘He’s matured greatly since he’s been with us, and to be honest if you met him you would never guess the kind of life that he was involved with. It’s a radical change.

‘He’s enhanced all our community work – especially the drug awareness course.

‘It’s one thing getting information about a subject but it’s another thing when it comes from someone who has experienced it.

‘Young people get to understand what drugs can do because there’s someone standing there telling you what happened to them.’

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

Donald Trump

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.

President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”

Also Read: US election: Trump says Biden won but again refuses to concede

This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”

The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.

However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.

US election: Trump claims victory hours after saying Biden won

 

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

Jerry Rawlings

Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.

The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.

Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.

Also Read: FG Owes 3,504 Contractors, Fashola Tells National Assembly

Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to concede after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, secured the required number of electoral college votes to win the presidential race.

Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”

“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.

Also Read: Joe Biden Defeats Trump To Win US Presidential Election

“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.

“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.

 

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