Kevin ‘Mad Dog’ Mudford, one of New Zealand’s most notorious jail birds in the 1970s will be sharing his remarkable story with the people of Grenfell at the Grenfell Family Church this Sunday, February 4 at 10am.
Kevin has been on the road for nearly 36 years telling his story.
He has most recently visited Condobolin and Gilgandra and will speak in Young on Sunday afternoon, following his Grenfell visit.
Earlier this week he set up outside IGA in Main Street, spreading his message with his wife Dee Dee.
In the 1960s Kevin was born in a little town called Isdale just north of Napier.
Growing up in a broken home with an abusive father, Kevin discovered the notorious Mongrel Mob, which he said was just starting out.
“I ran with all the street kids there. Police trouble, burglary, stealing cars, that’s the world I was in.”
Living in six boys’ homes by the age of 15 in, Kevin landed himself in a borstal in Invercargill in 1971.
Kevin has spent nine years in institutions, seven of those in New Zealand prisons.
Kevin says a major alcohol problem was the root of most of his “dramas”.
“Drink was the killer. I didn’t want to give it up, that was it.”
“And drugs later – glue, petrol, bottles of cough mixture, shooting up, smoking heroin, bashing policemen, prison wardens, smash and grabs, you name it,” Kevin said.
Like a lot of people from his background, Kevin said he came to the end of the road and face to face with his demons.
“It was all sticking plasters, and I had to confront that.
“At 26 years old I was in Auckland and I found one psychiatric hospital that would have me, Oakley in South Auckland.
Kevin said he had met a lot of “God bothering” people in his travels, but it wasn’t until his brother became a Christian after joining Alcoholics Anonymous that he started to look into it.
“He was blood I suppose and he was the real deal, simple as that.”
“Even in AA the first principle is admit you have a problem, second is come to a belief, third principle is hand your life over.”
“I admitted I had a problem and I came to believe a loving God could change my life."
“I handed my life over in 1981. The church gave me structure, and it gave me friends that didn’t smoke, drink, or swear,” he laughed.
Kevin said he divorced himself from “alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gutter mouth, friends, the whole deal”.
After pouring his life into young people, Kevin moved to the bush with just a mattress in his car, preaching the gospel to people he met.
“I went back to every boys home, every jail telling my story.”