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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
Charlie: The quiet Kray
Charlie Kray
Charlie Kray: Hugs his mother (right)
Charlie Kray never shared his brothers' fearsome reputation for violence - but it was his brain that was believed to have helped The Firm build their criminal empire.

His death leaves Reggie as the only survivor of the infamous brothers who formed one of the most notorious criminal associations of modern times.

Seven years older than the twins, Charlie was said not to like violence but turned his business brain to crime fully aware he was a part of a savage underworld.

Reggie Kray
Reggie Kray: Survives his two brothers
As The Firm targeted bookmakers, pubs, drinking clubs and gambling bosses, Charlie was seen as the quiet Kray.

The detective who convicted all three brothers in the late 1960s, Leonard "Nipper" Read, once said: "He was well and truly part of the Kray firm."

He said Charlie Kray was clever, but never violent. "All he had to say was that he was Charlie Kray. People looked over his shoulder and wondered where the twins were."

In June 1997, he was found guilty of masterminding a 39m cocaine plot and jailed for 12 years.

He was convicted of offering to supply the drug to undercover police officers and also of supplying 2kg of the drug worth 63,500.

He claimed he was a victim of police entrapment.

In 1998 he had an appeal for early release turned down by the High Court.

Maureen Flanagan, a close friend and one of Britain's first Page Three girls, said at the time that she feared he would die in jail.

'Lifelong criminal'

Charlie was one of the many suspects brought in after the murders of Jack 'The Hat' McVitie and George Cornell in the 1960s.

He always claimed he did not take part in any operation to dispose of McVitie but was convicted in 1969 of helping the brothers get rid of the body and jailed for 10 years.

Released from prison in 1975, he found life difficult, saying his name made him "unemployable".

He tried to run a pop group, sold silver cutlery on a stall at the Ideal Home Exhibition, and tried his hand as a theatrical agent.

He lived in Benidorm for some time, tried property development and had a minor coup when he was hired as a consultant for a film about the Krays.

Police believed, though, that he was a lifelong criminal, and that he was linked variously to amphetamine production, counterfeit videotapes and fake pound coins, while underworld whispers connected him to protection rackets.

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12 Feb 99 | UK
Kray's appeal rejected
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