Reformed career criminal opens up about friendship with Reggie Kray

Reformed career criminal who was close friends with Reggie Kray in prison says the gangster used to shower with his ‘boyfriend’, slept on the floor and once received £200,000 from a fan who’d won the lottery

  • Michael Emmett, from south London, is a reformed addict and career criminal
  • Jailed after police bust a £13million smuggling operation run by him and his dad
  • Became close friends with Reggie Kray while pair served at Maidstone Prison
  • Told how Reggie cried with joy when Michael rigged football match so he’d win

A reformed career criminal who became close friends with Reggie Kray in prison has claimed the gangster used to shower with a ‘boyfriend’ and preferred to sleep on the floor.  

Michael Emmett, from south London, also told how Reggie, then in his sixties, received ‘sackfuls’ of mail each day, and was once sent £200,000 by a fan who had won the lottery. 

Michael, a father-of-three, became embroiled in a reckless life of crime and addiction from a young age under the tutelage of his dad Brian, a contemporary of the notorious Kray twins and the Great Train Robbers.

The duo worked as international drug traffickers until their dodgy dealings came to an abrupt end in 1993, when they were both arrested following a dramatic armed police raid.

Michael Emmett, from south London, became close friends with Reggie Kray in prison and told how the gangster used to receive two sackfuls of post every day – and one fan once sent him £200,000 after winning the lottery

Twins Ronnie (right) and Reggie (left) Kray were jailed for life in 1969 for a regime of violent organised crime in London’s East End

It thwarted their £13million smuggling operation out of a small Devon fishing port – the largest known importation of cannabis to the UK at the time.

Both men were sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison, which is where Michael turned his life around after joining an Alpha prayer group at HMP Exeter – an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions – which helped him find God and tackle his drug addiction. 

During the stretch the two men regularly transferred prisons, and at each one Michael introduced the Alpha course to help fellow inmates find and embrace their faith.  

Michael has now released a book documenting his fascinating journey, entitled Sins of Fathers: A Spectacular Break from a Criminal, Dark Past.

Michael, pictured with his father and children outside prison, has now released a book documenting his fascinating journey

In it he explains how he became close to Reggie Kray while doing cleaning and laundry shifts with him at HMP Maidstone, in Kent, with the gangster later proving a pillar of support when Michael’s wife Daniella had an affair.

Michael told how the Kray twins ‘had a smell of badness’ in them, but Reggie’s notoriety didn’t impress him.

Who was Reggie Kray? 

Michael attended Charlie Kray’s funeral to support Reggie

Twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray were jailed for life in 1969 for a regime of violent organised crime in London’s East End.

The brothers, who were later described as having a ‘love-hate’ relationship and an ‘almost telepathic bond’, were involved in a series of protection rackets, armed robberies, arson, and murders. 

The Kray twins were initially sent to separate prisons to carry out their life sentences, but their mother Violet’s campaign for them to be reunited saw them transferred to the same one.

Confidential prison records claim the twins were dubbed ‘The Godfathers’ during their time at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight – where they were both worshipped and feared by other inmates.

Ronnie, 61, died after a heart attack at Broadmoor Hospital in 1995. His brother Reggie, 66, passed away five years later due to bladder cancer.

Their elder brother Charlie played a part in The Firm’s operations. He received a 10-year sentence and was released in 1975 after serving seven, but was sentenced again in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle £39million worth of cocaine into the country in an undercover drugs sting. He passed away shortly afterwards in 2000 from heart complications. 

‘I just saw a broken man,’ he writes in his book. ‘He was well-defined and fit, but he was now 60-odd, very small, and had declined after 30 years in jail; he was deaf as a post.’

Michael described ‘blind as a bat’ Reggie’s cell as ‘like a Native American tepee’ with ‘all sorts of Cherokee things’, adding that he never slept on his bed, opting for the floor instead.

‘Reggie would come out in the morning, wearing a yin and yang nightgown with no pants on,’ he recalled. 

‘His boyfriend, Bradley Allardyce, was just down from him in another cell. Sometimes inebriated, sometimes stoned, Reggie would call for him to go to the shower. 

‘Then Reggie would get on the phone; he was always on calls with B-list celebrities. He used to get mail like a Christmas sack; two sacks a day. They stamped the ones with the money inside, so he only opened those. There were too many others to read. He’d go, “Cor, I’ve got another 100 quid”. 

‘He was once given £200,000 by someone who’d won the Lottery. I would watch him scampering about his cell, his letters filling up half the room. His fan club was incredible.’

Michael said he once made Reggie cry after rigging an inter-wing over-40s football match so that he would score the winning goal during penalties – despite his limited ball skills on the pitch due to him being ‘drunk and high on hooch’.

‘I was the ref,’ he writes. ‘The touchline was packed with inmates, most of them under the influence. It was a nightmare: everyone was fouling each other, people were getting knocked over.’ 

During the post-game celebrations he told how a tearful Reggie turned to him and said ‘This is the happiest day of my life in prison. Thank you Michael’.     

Reggie repaid the favour when Michael’s wife Daniella was unfaithful while he was in prison. After she confessed during a visit, the gangster was ‘the first person’ Michael turned to, and Reggie took him to church to pray for forgiveness.  

‘Reggie always had a “God bless” to say, but I reignited his faith,’ Michael recalled. 

‘He understood the Lord, the way most criminals do: that God is real, that Jesus is okay. He was quite a spiritual man. He knew, after 30 years in prison, that there must be something which goes on.’

Despite being sentenced to over 12 years, Michael got parole and was released in May 1998 after serving four years, six months – something he credits to the educational, self-awareness, anger management and drug addiction courses he undertook while incarcerated, as well as his Alpha work. His co-defendants, including his father, all did six years.

On 19 April 2000 Michael and his father attended the funeral of Charlie Kray – older brother of the Kray twins – at Bethnal Green. 

Despite being sentenced to over 12 years, Michael got parole and was released in May 1998 after serving four years, six months – something he credits to the educational, self-awareness, anger management and drug addiction courses he undertook, as well as his Alpha work. Pictured with his father on his wedding day

Sins of Fathers: A Spectacular Break from a Criminal, Dark Past By Michael Emmett (Harper Collins – £16.99) is available to buy now from Amazon. Pictured: Michael with a copy

There he exchanged his final words with Reggie, who was accompanied by prison officers.

‘Reggie saw my dad and asked, “Where’s Michael? Ask Michael to come and see me”,’ he writes.

‘I walked over. I loved Reggie. He said to me, “Thank you, Michael. Thank you”. Those were his last words to me.’

Sins of Fathers: A Spectacular Break from a Criminal, Dark Past By Michael Emmett (Harper Collins – £16.99) is available to buy now from Amazon.

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