Home World Europe News Charlie Richardson, London gang leader, dies aged 78

Charlie Richardson, London gang leader, dies aged 78


Former London gangster Charlie Richardson has died at the age of 78.

With his brother Eddie, Charlie Richardson led a criminal gang to rival the Kray twins and during the 1960s there were violent clashes between them.

In 1967, Charlie Richardson was jailed for 25 years for fraud, extortion and assault, after a case known as the “Torture Trial”.

Jurors heard how the gang would nail their opponents to floors, pull out their teeth with pliers, or cut off their fingers and toes.

Charlie Richardson’s death was confirmed by friend Bobby Cummings.

Former London gangster Charlie Richardson has died at the age of 78

Former London gangster Charlie Richardson has died at the age of 78

In a statement, Bobby Cummings said: “It is a great sadness to inform you, as many of you may have already heard, that my dearest friend Charlie Richardson passed away this morning.”

Charlie Richardson always claimed the torture stories heard at his trial were untrue.

He was found guilty of nine charges along with four others; his brother Edward Richardson, Roy Hall, Francis Fraser and Thomas Charles Clark.

In the dock at the Old Bailey Charlie Richardson said he was “completely innocent of these charges”, The Times reported.

One witness told the court that Charlie Richardson “screwed his thumbs in my eyes”, the newspaper said.

“It was very painful and I could not see for some moments. On Mr. Richardson’s instructions, my shoes were removed and my toes were wired up to the generator.”

He said after he was shocked, he was stripped down to his shirt and the shock treatment was repeated.

“As I rolled on the floor Mr. Richardson said the generator wasn’t working very well and orange squash was poured over my feet. Then I was bound and gagged before being given further electric shocks to various parts of my body.”

He added that when he was dressing later, Charlie Richardson pinned his left foot to the floor with a knife.

During the trial, three other men were accused of trying to get at witnesses, while jury members were put under police protection.

Charlie Richardson was finally released from prison in 1984 after serving 17 years.

He later campaigned on behalf of young offenders.

In an interview for a History Channel documentary following his release, Charlie Richardson admitted he had tried to bug Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s phone for a South African intelligence group.

He said: “MI5 went mad. I never realized what I was doing.”

His rivals, the Kray brothers Ronnie and Reggie, created a criminal enterprise that included racketeering, hijacking, armed robbery and arson.

They were jailed for life in 1969, with a recommended sentence of 30 years, for two separate murders in London.

Ronnie Kray died aged 61 at Wexham Park hospital, Berkshire, in 1995 after suffering a heart attack.

Reggie Kray died from cancer at the age of 66 at the Town House Hotel in Norwich in 2000.


Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.