Gangster Ronnie Kray had a butler behind bars at Broadmoor, TV show claims

·2-min read
London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray at home having a cup of tea (Photo by William Lovelace/Getty Images)
London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray at home having a cup of tea (Photo by William Lovelace/Getty Images)

Ronnie Kray lived a pampered life behind bars at Broadmoor, a TV documentary will reveal tonight.

His room at the high security psychiatric hospital was so plush it was compared to a hotel.

Dubbed “Duke of Broadmoor”, Kray lived his final years in luxury and enjoyed perks that included a fellow patient acting as butler, regular visits from a tailor and culinary delicacies.

His biographer Fred Dinenage, 78, is one of the few outsiders to explore its wards.

The TV presenter discusses Kray’s penchant for floral furnishings, opera and gardening.

Kray - serving life for shooting fellow gangster George Cornell in 1966 - even got married twice at Broadmoor.

Channel 5
Channel 5

He was at the hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire for 16 years until he died in 1995 aged 61.

Channel 5 also reveals the fascinating workings of Broadmoor, treatments, shocking acts of violence and patients’ bizarre lives.

Around 200 of Britain’s most dangerous men have called it home including Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Rachel Nickell’s murderer Robert Napper, cannibal Robert Maudsley and violent prisoner Charles Bronson.

Sutcliffe, who died last November aged 74, spent 32 years at Broadmoor but many believe he faked schizophrenia to trick his way in.

Once inside, he could barely keep on top of fan mail and visiting requests from young female admirers.

The documentary will broadcast details of Sutcliffe’s letters and his taped calls.

Napper, described as “quiet and shy”, would spend time feeding the chickens.

Dr Sohom Das, an ex-consultant forensic psychiatrist at Broadmoor, told the Standard: “When I first arrived, I was expecting it to be a frantic environment. But what strikes you is how docile the hospital is.

“If felt safe there.

Mirrorpix/Getty
Mirrorpix/Getty

“In the high dependency unit, the patients were so disturbed and had the potential for violence, there was a lot of long-term seclusion. They are kept inside their rooms for 22 hours a day.

“The people I worked with were really stuck in Broadmoor. Their mental illnesses were so severe that even with years and combinations of antipsychotic medication, they really weren’t improving.

“Some will probably never leave.”

Channel 5
Channel 5

Dr Das said despite the gloomy atmosphere, staff managed to have a positive approach.

He added: “In term of forensic psychiatry, it’s the most interesting place I have worked.

“You see the most dangerous people who have the most complicated mental illnesses and horrific backgrounds.”

Broadmoor: Serial Killers & High Security is on Channel 5 at 9pm on Wednesday, May 26.

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