27th August 1984

Oliver Reed was jailed in Guernsey

Oliver Reed moved to Guernsey in the late 1970s so he could avoid paying high taxes back on the mainland. He took up residence at the Duke of Normandie Hotel in St Peter Port.

He already had a reputation for drinking by then, and it was this habit that ultimately got him into trouble with the authorities.

Explaining what had happened to Channel Television, he related how a friend of his had visited Guernsey and Reed, not being used to what he was drinking, had got “fairly merry”. His friend was staying at the Duke of Normandie, where the 46-year-old Reed was also staying with his 20-year-old girlfriend Josephine Burge. In an attempt to talk to his friend, Reed put his hand through one of the hotel windows while wearing only his underwear.

Wrong window

Reed had been outside at the time and the window had not been open. To make matters worse, the window he’d broken wasn’t in the room his friend was staying in, but one of the staff bedrooms.

When the police arrived, they gave Reed several warnings to go inside and stay there. When he ignored them, they had taken him into custody to await a magistrates court appearance on charges of criminal damage and behaving in a disorderly manner while drunk.

The police kept him in custody for a couple of days. Upon his release, Reed said that he had been treated very well, although the food could have been better.

Life after the Duke of Normandie

Reed married Josephine Burge in 1985, and famously drank 106 pints of beer in the two days running up to the wedding. After a year at the Duke of Normandie, the two settled on Guernsey for the next 15 years. She was widowed in 1999 when he died of a heart attack while filming Gladiator in Malta. By then, he had left Guernsey and settled in Churchtown, Ireland.


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Other events that occured in August

The Saumarez Memorial foundation stone was laid 1st
Guernsey won double-silver at the Commonwealth Games 2nd
Earl Grey was appointed Governor of Guernsey 3rd
A boy scout fell 250ft over a Torteval Cliff 4th
Jethou tenant was rescued from an up-turned boat 5th
A tomato ship and a tanker collided 6th
Human remains were found on Lihou 7th
The Beatles played at Candie Gardens 8th
The RAF bombed Guernsey Airport 9th
Guernesiais linguist Marie de Garis died 10th
Alderney experienced a total eclipse of the sun 11th
A minister was found dead at Icart Point 12th
Guernsey steam tramway is granted its concession 13th
Police found a bomb in Bluebell Wood 14th
Hanois Lighthouse’s foundation stone was laid 15th
Charlie Chaplin played in St Peter Port 16th
St Peter Port inundated with fish 17th
A royal visit… of sorts
The Rolling Stones played St Peter Port 18th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was published 19th
Archaeologist Crystal Bennet was born 20th
Mapmaking geologist John MacCulloch died 21st
St Sampson pensioner was buried in a landslide 22nd
Trident VI ran aground on its return from Herm 23rd
Queen Victoria visited Guernsey 24th
The post-Occupation military government was disbanded 25th
Wesleyans celebrated 100 years on Guernsey 26th
Oliver Reed was jailed in Guernsey 27th
Guernsey’s Reform Law was enacted 28th
Winston Churchill visited Guernsey with his wife 29th
Philip de Saumarez was discharged as a Jurat 30th
Jersey swimmers set a round-Guernsey record 31st