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Friday, 25 August, 2000, 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
Reggie Kray 'has days to live'
Reggie and Roberta Kray
Reggie Kray with wife Roberta at brother Charlie's funeral
Gangster Reggie Kray's lawyer has appealed to the home secretary to release him from prison as he may have only days to live.

Kray, 67, is being treated for cancer of the bladder at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich.

His lawyer Trevor Linn wrote to Jack Straw to request his release on compassionate grounds to allow him "the dignity to die in peace at home".

Kray is serving a life sentence at Wayland Prison, Norfolk, for the gangland murder of Jack "The Hat" McVitie.

His condition is terminal - the cancer is inoperable and will not respond to chemotherapy

Trevor Linn
Reggie Kray's lawyer
Mr Linn wrote: "I have now been informed by Mr Kray's treating consultant that Mr Kray has cancer of the bladder with other secondary tumours.

"The consultant's opinion is that Mr Kray could have days rather than weeks to live. His condition is terminal. The cancer is inoperable and will not respond to chemotherapy."

A prison service spokeswoman said Mr Straw would consider the request over the weekend.

He is expected to make a decision early next week.

Mr Linn said Kray's wife Roberta, 41, was at his hospital bedside.

"He's in good form. He's cracking jokes. He's a tough old bird," said Mr Linn.

"But he wants to be released and if he could be told that he was free then that would give him such a lift."

Stabbed to death

Mr Linn said if released, Kray would spend his last days at a private address with his wife.

Reggie Kray and his twin brother Ronnie were sentenced in 1969 to not less than 30 years in prison for two murders.

Ronnie was convicted of the murder of George Cornell, who he shot in the Blind Beggar pub in east London.

Reggie stabbed McVitie to death in a north London flat. Ronnie was also convicted of the murder.

Ronnie died of a heart attack, aged 61, in 1995 in Broadmoor.

Reggie was allowed out of prison in handcuffs to attend the funeral.

The twins' elder brother Charlie died in April, aged 73.

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See also:

02 Apr 98 | UK
Kray - no way out
04 Apr 00 | UK
Gangster Charlie Kray dies
07 May 98 | UK
Kray decision attacked
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