News flashback: August 1956 – Kray twins in the dock over stabbing
PUBLISHED: 11:28 01 September 2016 | UPDATED: 13:39 01 September 2016
Every week the Gazette will delve into its archives to see what was happening in Hackney 30 and 60 years ago. This week features an early court date for the Kray twins, back in 1956.
"Be careful sir. It’s loaded"
Ronald and Reginald Kray, then-unknown 22-year-old twins of Vallance Road, Bethnal Green, were among four defendants accused of causing GBH with intent at the Britannia pub in Chapman Street, Stepney.
They were said to have been armed with a leaded revolver, a bayonet, a machete and a crowbar when they attacked and stabbed Terrence Martin.
The other two men accused were dockers Denis Ramsey, 34, of Myrtle Street, Shoreditch, and William Jones, 44, of Tarling Street, Stepney.
Ronald Kray was also charged with possessing a loaded “Young America” revolver without lawful authority or reasonable excuse at Morgan Street, Bow, on the morning of his court appearance.
Det Insp James Mackay said Martin was in hospital suffering from stab wounds to the chest and head injuries. He believed Jones was the instigator.
Arresting officer Det Sgt Walter Cooper said he stopped a Buick driven by Ramsey with Ronald Kray in the passenger seat at the junction of Grove Road and Morgan Street on August 28. He told them he had reason to believe they had been concerned in the stabbing of Martin outside the Britannia pub in Chapman Street that night. Ramsey told him: “I don’t know the Britannia.”
The officer searched the car and found a bayonet and a machete in the front seat and a two-foot bloodstained crowbar in the boot.
Det Sgt Cooper said he took a six-chamber revolver from Ronald Kray’s pocket at the police station, to which Kray replied: “Be careful sir. It’s loaded.”
Kray allegedly added: “I keep it for when I am in the billiard hall for when it gets rough.” The gun contained four live rounds with the noses filed flat, turning them into dum-dums.
At 1.05am he saw Reginald Kray and Jones at the station and told them the nature of his inquiries. Kray told him: “I have been with Ramsey all night. We were in the billiard hall, but went out once or twice for a drink.”
The same night, blood was found on the cuffs of Ronald Kray and Ramsey.
It is believed to be fhe first time the former was jailed.