Noel Smith was born in South London in 1960. He has 58 criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. While in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from the London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. Author of four books, he has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has written for numerous major publications. He left prison for good in 2010 and is the Editor at Inside Time magazine.