Kray brother on trial for pounds 39m drug deal

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The Independent Online
Charlie Kray, older brother of twins Ronnie and Reggie, was involved in a pounds 39m cocaine deal, a court was told yesterday. Unfortunately for Mr Kray, 70, the "underworld customers" it was alleged he tried to sell the drugs to were in fact undercover police officers who trapped with him taped calls, it was said.

Mr Kray presented himself as an "affable character" who "amused people with tales of the old days and the twins", John Kelsey-Fry, for the prosecution, said at Woolwich Crown Court, in south London. "The Crown, however, allege that behind the affable image there was another side to the defendant's life. This other side of Charles Kray was a man prepared to be involved in the drugs trade," he said.

The court heard that Mr Kray agreed with two others, Ronald Field and Robert Gould, to supply customers with 5kg of cocaine - which has a street name of " Charlie" - every week for up to two years.

Mr Kray and his associate were to receive pounds 31,500 per kilogram. The ultimate street value, once it was split into individual deals, would be something in excess of pounds 150,000 per kilo.

However, the court was told, Mr Kray was keen to distance himself from physically handling the narcotic because of his fame. Mr Kelsey-Fry said: "He made it very clear that he would never do that, being as well known as he was, a Kray brother. As he put it, he already had too many eyes on him".

He continued: "The fact that he is the brother of the twins Reggie and Ronnie may explain some of the events of the case. However, you will appreciate no man is his brothers' keeper, and whatever his brothers may have done some 30 years ago cannot in any way adversely affect this defendant."

Mr Kray and Mr Field were dealing with a man they knew as Jack and his associates, Mr Kelsey-Fry said, but "unfortunately for Kray, Field and Gould", Jack and his associates with whom they struck the deal, "were not all they seemed to be".

"In fact, Jack was an undercover police officer. In the modern era it is a legitimate weapon for police in their battle against serious crime to infiltrate the underworld ... it is no defence for those caught to say 'well if I had known they were police officers I wouldn't have supplied them with drugs'."

The jurors were told they would hear tape-recorded conversations made by undercover officers. Mr Kelsey-Fry said they would hear Mr Kray admit he was involved in drug dealing.

Ronald Field and Robert Gould were not on trial because they had already pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine. Mr Kray, of Sanderstead, south London, denies one charge of of offering to supply cocaine, and a second of supplying 2kg of the drug.

Judge Michael Carroll told the jury: "During the course of this trial you will be under the surveillance of police officers when you are not in court. The surveillance of jurors by police officers nowadays is not unusual. It is certainly no cause for alarm and the fact you have surveillance in this case is no reflection whatsoever on the defendant".

The court was adjourned until today.