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Thursday, 7 May, 1998, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Kray decision attacked
Reggie Kray at his brother Ronnie's funeral
Reggie Kray at his brother Ronnie's funeral in 1995
The decision to refuse parole for Reggie Kray has been sharply attacked by the lawyer for the former gangland killer.

Trevor Linn's outspoken comments are published in a letter to the Times on Thursday morning.

Reggie Kray pictured at his brother's funeral
Reggie Kray has now served 30 years in prison
Mr Linn, the 64-year-old's solicitor, says the reasons given by the parole board for refusing Kray's release or transfer to an open prison are "factually incorrect".

According to Mr Linn, the board said they could not give Kray parole because he had only recently become a low-risk category C prisoner, had resisted this change of status, had failed to refrain from drinking alcohol in prison, had failed to complete "relevant offending behaviour work" or to undertake a full psychological assessment, and because there were concerns that he was "manipulative and devious".

"In reality Mr Kray is unable to resist any prison transfer as that is a matter solely within the remit of the Prison Service," Mr Linn's letter says.

He continues: "He has no disciplinary findings recorded against him in respect of alcohol; he has indicated a willingness to complete any course or work required of him ... and he was assessed by two psychiatrists and two psychologists specifically for the purposes of this parole review.

"The concerns that Mr Kray was manipulative and devious were made without any basis in evidence."

Blood feud

Reggie Kray and his twin brother Ronnie, who died in jail of a heart attack in 1995, were arrested on May 8, 1968.

A year later, an Old Bailey jury was told that in a feud with a rival gang, Ronnie shot George Cornell dead in the saloon bar of the Blind Beggar pub in the Mile End Road, east London, and Reggie stabbed Jack "The Hat" McVitie to death in a flat in Stoke Newington, north London, because he had threatened his brother.

The twins were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that they serve not less than 30 years.

At midnight on Friday, Kray will have spent 30 years in jail.

Trial judge Mr Justice Melford Stevenson told them: "In my view, society has earned a rest from your activities."

Eight in 10 people questioned in a survey organised by BBC Look East TV last month said Kray, now housed at Wayland Prison near Watton, Norfolk, should be paroled.

His wife Roberta, 39, whom he married in prison, is leading the campaign for his release.

"The judge recommended that he serve 30 years in jail. Those 30 years are now complete and he should be freed on parole," said Mrs Kray, who lives in Watton.

"Society has had its retribution and Reggie is no longer a threat. He will not reoffend. All we want to do is live quietly. It is not fair if he is not being released.

"I think the authorities are simply hoping that the problem will go away if they do nothing."

'Mad' Frankie Fraser
'Mad' Frankie Fraser: "society has had its retribution"
She has been backed by one of Britain's most famous ex-criminals, "Mad" Frankie Fraser, 75, a gangland enforcer in 1960s London, who said 95% of the British public would support Kray being released on parole.

"Mr Justice Melford Stevenson said 30 years. He didn't say 31 years or 32 years. And that 30 years is up now. What more does anyone want?

"Society has had its retribution. Reg isn't going to offend again, of course he isn't. They never hurt anyone but their own kind anyway. They never raped women or killed children. Yet you see the likes of that paedophile Sidney Cooke coming out in no time.

See also:

02 Apr 98 | UK
Kray - no way out
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