Tuesday, November 9th, 1999

 

A DUFF STATEMENT

That nasty verbal bully the former boxing matchmaker, Mickey Duff, born Monek Prager and self-renamed after a James Cagney movie character, kept faith with his reputation when in a TV interview he said that Reggie Kray should never be allowed out of prison.

When bigots like Duff make a statement of that order it is clear evidence that authorities are terribly wrong to keep Reggie in prison.

Justice is only just when it is balanced with compassion. Reggie is unquestionably being denied compassion and I challenge the Home Office to give their reason for keeping his 66-years-old senior citizen in prison. What do they expect to achieve by prolonging his incarceration? Could it be they are waiting for Reggie to die in a prison cell?

Reggie killed a fellow gangster Jack McVitie 32 years ago and the notorious hard-line Judge that passed the mandatory sentence recommended he serve 30 years.

I knew Jack McVitie as well as anyone. In October '59 in Exeter Jail he had a 'straightener' with a 'screw' who challenged him. McVitie ko'd the 'screw'. Later the 'heavy mob' went into the cell of McVitie and with their sticks badly beat him up. The next day we plotted revenge and with a friend of mine, Jimmy Andrews we set a trap for the Governor and the Chief Officer and ko'd them both.

We were both later badly beaten up by the 'heavy mob' but we had won a moral victory. As a young man McVitie was a genuine member of 'The Chaps', loyal, tough and reliable. However, he became a victim of the curse of the cocktail of drugs, alcohol and mug influences. In fact not long after I was sentenced to ten years for the fantasy 'Torture Trial' events McVitie took an outrageous liberty and tried to muscle in on a business interest of mine and slashed the face of a non-violent friend who was taking care of my interest.

For this act of treachery he was later chased out of a West End club by friends of mine but escaped. Nevertheless, there were parts of London, and elsewhere, where he dare not enter. McVitie knew that he would have to answer to me at some later time and it was only the action by Reggie Kray over an entirely different matter that denied me the opportunity to confront McVitie.

During the period when Reggie Kray was a gangster not one member of the general public had cause to complain against him or his twin brother. The only complaints came from fraudsters and fellow villains.

How enormously different this is to the victims of muggers, rapists and fraudsters who target the elderly? These members of the lowlife community only target the vulnerable members of society yet the punishment they receive rarely exceeds, and often is very much less, leaving aside most rape cases, the three years Reggie has spent in excess of the recommended sentence of the hard-line Judge.

If Reggie and Ronnie had stayed as residents in Bethnal Green, East London that area, and other nearby areas, would be no-go areas for the lowlife muggers and no elderly person from these neighbourhood's would have had to worry about fraudsters taking their meagre life savings.

It is well known that the Krays were a close family, yet during his long, long time in prison Reggie has had to mourn the deaths from his prison cell of his father, his mother and his twin brother Ronnie who died in Broadmoor Mental Hospital. This begs the question: when does reasonable punishment breach its boundaries and become brutal torture?

Whether it be mental or otherwise, torture cruelly spread over decades is torture and is degrading to society because it will achieve nothing.

That reprobate Mickey Duff, the son of a rabbi, claims that members of his family died in a Nazi concentration camp and when Anglo-German relations were on the mend he made a vow that he would never forgive and no German boxer would appear on any of the promotions in which was associated. In the circumstances such a spirited stand was understandable.

However, when the money was right he was content to walk with German Karl Mildenberger, behind the German flag when the German heavyweight fought Muhammad Ali. He also formed business associations to make money with German boxing promoters, managers and boxers over many tears.

Duff is also responsible for making the match at Shoreditch Town in East London between Joe Bugner and Ulric Regis. The unfortunate Ulric was an opponent for the then up- and-coming giant heavyweight Joe Bugner. It was the last fight Ulric fought. He was kayoed and died. Duff was also instrumental in making the match in Mexico for Welshman Johnny Owen that resulted in Johnny becoming a fatal statistic.

Duff claims that the sole boxer he now manages Billy Schwer will be his 20th champion. Who were the other 19? It is recognised in boxing circles that the only people who may legitimately lay claim to be responsible for guiding a boxer to a world title are the manager, the regular promoter and the trainer, full stop!

The Express newspaper described Terry Downes, 'as the first champion of Duff '. If Duff is claiming that Terry Downes, the former 60's middleweight champion was his first champion then he is a liar. The truth is Terry was managed by Sam Burns and promoted by Harry Levene. It is also fact that the boxing knowledge of Terry Downes of his potential opponents and insight of general boxing matters of his period were unmatched by any of his advisors.

World champions John Conteh, John H. Stracey, Alan Minter, Frank Bruno, Maurice Hope, were never managed or trained by Duff. John H. won his title in Mexico and Frank Warren promoted Frank Bruno when he won his championship belt. Charlie Magri won his world title when managed and trained by Terry Lawless.

Despite having a reputation as being litigious Duff never sued the Sunday Times when he was accused by the newspaper of being the third man in a cartel that operated in British boxing.

He was made a figure of ridicule by Private Eye when they christened him with the nickname of 'Duffel Bag' and again he kept his lawyers quiet. It is well known in boxing circles that there are a number of former boxers, including former world champions, who did business with Duff, that Duff would be foolish to give as referee's should he need a character reference. If the media wants a true character reading of Mickey Duff why don't they ask former boxer's and boxing people who have had dealings with him and then print their comments - and be damned.

According to the The Express he slags off Frank Bruno for the manner in which Frank was advised by his lawyer to end his relationship with Duff and did not give notice of the break over a restaurant dinner table. Probably, Frank knew who would be landed with the restaurant bill and did not want to pay to have dinner with the verbal bully Duff. The important question is not that Frank split from Duff but why?

It would take an unpleasant person like Mickey Duff to suggest that Reggie Kray should never be released but then you should expect nothing less from a creature of his kind.

The sentence of 30 years that was recommended by the stone-hearted Judge to be served by Reggie Kray was passed 18 months ago. During his 31 years of incarceration Reggie has seen numerous hated child killers, despised serial rapists and other lowlifes given their freedom. Some have re-offended and are now back serving long sentences.

It is a disgraceful fact that the mother of democracy Great Britain has appeared in the dock at The European Court of Human Rights on more occasions than any member country of the European Union and has more previous convictions than any other fellow member. While there are people in power in this country who believe it is right to keep a man in prison for no reason that makes sense to a reasonable person the list of GB's previous convictions will continue to rise.

It is a contradiction for a nation to call itself democratic when by its action it is exposed that it has no egalitarian principles and retains policies that are more suited to a dictatorship. To continue to detain Reggie Kray in prison is monstrous and shames the British people. There has to be a sinister reason why this is happening. Like anything sinister it is evil and without just cause.

Reggie committed the crime and has served the time. He has paid in full his debt to society and to detain him any longer means that he is in the clutches of people with the mentality of usurious moneylenders who only want a debt to end when the person dies. If in the name of the people the indignity of dying in a prison cell is forced upon Reggie Kray then the whole of society will be shamed.

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