Martin Baggoley was born in Eccles . He spent several years working in London and Salford as a civil servant, before qualifying as a probation officer in 1976. Since then, he has worked in the Greater Manchester area, and during this period gained a masters degree in criminology. He has written for a number of UK and American professional journals on criminal justice issues. His main interest is the history of crime and punishment and for this book, he has combind his professional experience and academic expertise with his interest in local history.