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Thursday, April 2, 1998 Published at 01:09 GMT 02:09 UK


Kray - no way out
image: [ Reggie Kray (left) with his brother during a 1965 TV interview ]
Reggie Kray (left) with his brother during a 1965 TV interview

Reggie Kray, one of the twins who ruled London's underworld in the 1960s, has reportedly been told he will not be considered for release for at least two years.

Kray has served nearly 30 years of a life sentence for the murder of gangland figure Jack "the Hat" McVitie. He had hoped to be released on parole or moved to an open prison in preparation for his release.

But prison sources say the parole board, which heard his case last month, has vetoed his application.

[ image: Reggie Kray greets well wishers at his brother's funeral]
Reggie Kray greets well wishers at his brother's funeral
The board will not reconsider his case for a further two years, the sources say.

Kray's friends have been campaigning for his release for several years. Kray, 64, hopes to eventually settle in East Anglia with his wife Roberta, 38, whom he married in Maidstone Prison.

When he was transferred to Wayland Prison, Norfolk, last August she moved to the county to be near him and the pair plan to run a recording studio after his release.

Kray's case was reviewed because next month he will complete the minimum 30-year term which the trial judge recommended he serve.

The minimum term was imposed for "retribution and deterrence" at Kray's trial in 1969 - but it ends next month because the gangster was arrested in 1968.

[ image: Straw: could have vetoed any release]
Straw: could have vetoed any release
Members of the Parole Board are believed to have studied psychiatrists' and probation officers' reports which suggested Mr Kray represented a minimal risk if released.

Their reasons for rejecting his application have been given in writing. But even if parole or a move to an open prison had been recommended, the final decision would rest with Home Secretary Jack Straw.

In 1969, Kray and his twin brother Ronnie were sentenced to life for the murder of Jack McVitie and George Cornell.

Ronnie Kray died of a heart attack three years ago at Broadmoor top security hospital. His brother, accompanied by prison officers, was allowed out of prison to attend the funeral in the east end of London.

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