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'An extremely violent criminal with homosexual tendencies who will not hesitate to kill in any circumstances... and his eyebrows meet over the nose' Amazing find shows the police's view of gangster Ronnie Kray.

Byline: Kerry Wood

THE criminal history of one Britain's most notorious villains has been discovered gathering dust in County Durham. More than 40 years after he was jailed Ronnie Kray's police record has been uncovered during an office move at Durham Police headquarters.

In the document, which dates back to 1950, the murderous twin is described as a dog breeder, wardrobe dealer and club owner who will not hesitate to kill in any circumstances.

Included in the file, from the then North Eastern Criminal Record Office, are three never-before-released black and white photos of Kray believed to have been taken at Durham Jail.

It describes him as being "5ft 7.5in tall with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair".

Under a section on "peculiarities" it says his "eyebrows meet over nose". Along with twin brother Reggie and members of their gang, the 35-year-old Kray was sent to the prison's high security E Wing following his life conviction in March 1969 for murdering George Cornell, who was shot in the head, and Jack 'The Hat' McVitie, who was stabbed repeatedly. Durham Police spokesman Charlie Westburg said: "The record was in an old box filled with photos of officers from the 1930s.

"It was tucked away at the bottom. It would have been sent to police when he was serving at Durham Prison, but we don't know why it was still there or who put it there.

"It is a unique document and details his life of crime and what type of person he was. It has caused a great deal of interest both within and outside of the force."

The record dates back to October 1950 when Kray's criminal tendencies started just days after his seventeenth birthday. Appearing at juvenile court he was sentenced to one day in police detention for attempting to take and drive away a motor car without consent. He appeared at magistrates courts on a couple of charges of assaulting police and in the Old Bailey in London accused of wounding with intent and possessing a loaded revolver.

In a brutal character assessment the report said: "Ronald Kray has been the leader of a ruthless and terrible gang for a number of years... he has strong homosexual tendencies and an uncontrollable temper and has been able to generate terror not only in the lesser minions of his gang, but also in the close and trusted members.

"He would brook no incompetence or interference from anyone and was very conscious not only of his own public image but also that of his underlings. For this reason he used to like to set an example and enjoyed the name of 'the Colonel' amongst his subordinates."

It added: "He is an extremely violent criminal with homosexual tendencies who will not hesitate to kill in any circumstances."

The record goes on to list his occupations as club owner, labourer, dog breeder, billiard hall keeper, wardrobe dealer and soldier. It covers his recruitment into the Royal Fusiliers at the Tower of London and his desertion less than five months later.

Other court appearances include attempting to bribe a police officer, unlawful gaming, and being found in a common gaming house.

Talk of the Krays' visit to the North East during the 1960s has become legend in Tyneside's clubland with tales of them being unable to crack Newcastle.

But reports from police dating back to 1969 claim the pair "visited Newcastle in 1966, thought to be on reconnaissance visits to Manchester and Tyneside. They behaved themselves and moved off."

Durham Police say they will be finding a suitable home for the historic criminal file, possibly a museum.

Ronnie Kray was moved out of the Durham jail in 1970 when he was transferred to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight.

He was later moved to Broadmoor where he remained until he died on March 17, 1995 after collapsing in prison.


LIFE OF CRIME The police record of Ronnie Kray, and above, with his twin brother Reggie
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 3, 2010
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