The Torture Trial
The prosecution’s account:
The so called ‘Torture Trial’ began on the 4th of April 1967.
In the dock stood 17 men and 1 woman.
Amongst them were:
Charlie and Eddie Richardson, Frankie Fraser, Johnny Bradbury, Roy Hall, Tommy Clark, Jean Goodman, Jimmy Moody, Johnny Longman and Alfred Berman.

The trial was to concentrate on the alleged acts of violence inflicted by the Richardsons, Frankie Fraser and others and not on their criminal activities, a point which was made by the Crown prosecution.
It is said that the defendants in the dock tortured their own associates to keep them in line and to stop them from talking.

One of the prosecution witnesses was Jack Duval, ‘The Prince of Fraud or as Charlie put it “a turd that floated down river to my part of London.”
He was the ‘front’ for one of the Richardsons long firm frauds, importing nylon stockings from Italy.
It was claimed that he was not working hard enough for the company and was summoned to the Richardsons headquarters, where, for no apparent reason he was punched and beaten with golf clubs.
On another occasion, while conducting business in Germany, he was recalled to London to a repeat performance but this time he was also robbed of his jewellery and money.
Duval also claims to have witnessed an assault on Alfred Blore, a director of another Richardson company, Common Market Merchants.
He says that Charlie Richardson was picking knives from an arsenal of weapons that they kept in a cupboard and throwing them at Blore, with many of them hitting the target.
Why?….because he questioned the way Charlie was running the business.
Another witness for the prosecution was 38 year old Pole, Bernard Wajcenberg. He sought references from the police about Charlie. This was to be a very big mistake.
Charlie demanded £5,000 from Wajcenberg or suffer the consequences. Knowing Charlie’s reputation, and the death threats he received he managed to scrape together £3,000, which was duly accepted.

Derek, John, Lucien Harris discovered that doing business with Charlie Richardson was an electrifying experience.
He was taken to a warehouse where he was beaten and tortured. He claimed that he was stripped, his shoes removed and his toes wired up to a black box, later described as a hand cranked electrical generator.
He was bound and gagged and tortured repeatedly.
Harris’ left foot was stabbed and pinned to the floor by Richardson.
It was said that he should be taken and dumped on the Marshes.
To his surprise he was cleaned up, given £150 and sent on his way.
However it must be said that the infamous black box itself was never produced in evidence, only a contraption that was considered to be very similar.

Benjamin Coulston claimed that he had been tortured repeatedly for about 6 hours.
He was stripped naked and his teeth torn out with pliers. He was also burnt , by Frankie Fraser and others, with an electrical heater and cigarettes were put out on his body.
He was trussed up in tarpaulins with heavy weights attached, but he too was also cleaned up, released and driven home.
Coulston later had x-rays for a fractured skull, which also would have shown that his teeth were pulled by pliers. The x-rays were never found so could not be produced in evidence.

James Taggart said Frankie Fraser hit him with a hammer, a lump of wood, an umbrella, everything but the kitchen sink.
Another victim had toes broken and he was thrown into a hole in the ground.
Johnny Bradbury while high on drugs admitted to using torture, breaking toes and pulling teeth out with pliers but also claims that it was a case of do it or have it done to you. And goes on to say that these session would continue for so long that breaks for food and drink would be taken in between, while the victims writhed in agony on the floor.

Charlie Richardson insists that the charges against him were a conspiracy to avert attention from their own illegal activities.

Although the jury were heavily protected attempts were made to influence their verdicts.
3 men were arrested:
Leslie McCarthy, a director of Atlantic Machines received 18 months
Billy Stayton’s brother received 12 months
A friend who was acquitted

By the end of the trial, of those originally arrested, some had been acquitted, some had charges dropped, one was dismissed on health grounds and some had turned Queens evidence.
Frankie Fraser was convicted on 3 charges of GBH against:
Benny Coulston, James Taggart and Christopher Glinski
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison (on top of the 5 he was already doing for Mr Smiths)

Charlie Richardson received 25 years in prison
Eddie Richardson got 10 years for his part in the torture of Coulston and another 2 years to run concurrent for attacks on Duval
Alfie Berman was acquitted on the main charge against him and gave evidence against the gang
Jimmy Kensit, the father of actress Patsy Kensit, turned Queen’s evidence
Tommy Clark got 8 years
Jimmy Moody was acquitted