Charlie Richardson
Charlie Richardson was the most powerful and successful gang boss of the 1960's. He built a respectable business empire buying surplus stocks and scrap metal that had been accumulated due to the war effort but he also dealt in the black market, debt collecting, blackmail and extortion.
He was born in Twickenham but soon after moved to Camberwell.
He was called up for National Service in the army but like many a villain before him, claimed to be crazy to avoid the 2 years he would have to spend away from home. He was sent to Shepton Mallet military prison where he first met Ronnie and Reggie Kray and other up and coming villains.
When Charlie returned to South London he concentrated on developing his businesses, legal or otherwise.
He, along with his brother Eddie became club owners, acquiring The Addington in Addington square and the Shirley Ann amongst others.
Charlie was also into Long Firm frauds but instead of setting them up he was more likely to buy the goods and distribute them through his network of connections. His scrap yard in Deptford was, at times, like an alladin's cave.
Insurance frauds were another source of income, supposedly stocking out warehouses and shops full of goods and then claiming the insurance when these places burned down.

His criminal history before his arrest in 'The Torture Trial' consisted of:

Aged eleven, sentenced to 2 years probation for stealing a book
Aged fourteen, sentenced to 3 years at an approved school for stealing a car
Aged twenty-two, he was sentenced to six months in prison for receiving six sides of bacon.

His time in prison was always regarded as a time to learn and spent his time well.
Through his interest and understanding of the scrap metal business Charlie also developed an interest in mining and was heavily involved in exporting Perlite from South Africa.
He Had a South African girlfriend who was related to a member of the Brudderbond, the South African secret police. This of course opened up more opportunities for Charlie and even led to an attempted bugging of Number 10 Downing Street!
His illegal business activities were also flourishing. But it has been said that his methods of controlling his business associates were less than admirable. He and other members of his gang were accused of torturing their victims using an electric generator and even pulling teeth out with pliers.
Although Charlie's empire included members of the establishment and corrupt police officers in the Flying Squad, others were not so easily bought.
The power of Charles Richardson had to be curtailed.
He was arrested in 1966 the day England beat West Germany in the World Cup and charged with various counts of violence and intimidation.
On 7th of June 1967 Charlie Richardson was found guilty on nine counts and was sentenced to 25 years In prison.
He was released in 1984 after serving 18 years of that sentence with a brief spell of freedom when he escaped in 1980.

He continued with his mining projects and was once again, a very successful businessman.