DOMINIC Mills admits it himself – he was not a nice person to know.
The former Fartown High School pupil had got in with the wrong crowd in his teens.
But a two-year sentence in jail changed all that.
And now Dominic, the father of a 20-month-old daughter, wants to prevent others from making the same sort of mistakes.
He has got involved with the Prince’s Trust and is hoping to take a leading role in a new creative project aimed at young people.
ITV Fixers, which profiles the project and Dominic, will be screened today on ITV1 at 6pm.
“I was wrong. I was the sort of person I now don’t want to know,’’ he said.
“I admit it, I seriously hurt some people. I had been arrested a few times for minor things but was then taken to court for a very nasty street robbery.
“I was desperate for money and I didn’t want to depend on my mother. I know it’s wrong but I was desperate.
“I had hung around with the wrong sort of people since my early teens. I was bad but quiet at school. I hardly bothered turning up for lessons, instead meeting up with others like me and hanging out.
“Now I regret all those missed opportunities.”
Dominic, now 26, lived in Deighton and in Fartown. He has written a film script about his life to highlight the problems of gang culture.
He said: “I want to show young people in a different light. People say young people do drugs but they don’t know the reasons why. There needs to be more understanding of that, especially from a northern point of view.
“When I was younger I was a hard-headed young person.
“I got mixed up in the wrong kind of people. The area I come from has a high rate of crime and I used to hang around the shops in Deighton and get up to no good. It led me to prison – two years for street robbery.
“I don’t want people to go down that path, and to make the most of their lives in as good a way as possible and avoid going to prison.”
Filmmaker Wayne G Saunders, creator of the reggae film Crunch, appears in the broadcast tonight offering advice to Dominic.
He said of Dominic’s script: “It needs a little bit of fine tuning and that but it’s good.
“I’m getting positive vibes from him and we’re getting creative, things are bouncing back and forth, so it’s a good thing.”
Dominic has already studied music and video skills since coming out of jail and has been working with young people through the Prince’s Trust.
ITV Fixers is a campaign created by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, giving young people between the ages of 16-25 the opportunity to tackle any issue that they feel strongly about.
They are given all the resources they need to make their chosen project a success, with creative help from media professionals to make their own promotional material, from DVDs to websites.