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Kray twins henchman who turned informant against his gangster bosses dies at 80

DeathsDoor
Apr 18, 2016
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Albert Donoghue, described as a ‘gentleman’ by associates, went to the police after the 1966 slaying of Frank ‘the Mad Axeman’ Mitchell

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An enforcer for the Kray twins who turned informant following a notorious gangland slaying has died.

Albert Donoghue, who was regarded as a chief lieutenant in Ron and Reggie’s criminal empire, passed away aged 80 at a care home.

The Dublin-born villain turned to police following the execution of Frank Mitchell, known as “The Mad Axeman”, in December 1968.

Donoghue lured Mitchell into the back of a van on the pretence that he was being taken to a safe house to meet Ron Kray . Mitchell was shot 12 times by men wielding revolvers.

When the Krays were arrested they tried to shift the blame onto Albert, but he refused to take the blame and gave police a full account of the murder, helping earn convictions for the mobsters.

Albert-Donoghue

Albert spent his last years in a care home

He died following a serious stroke in April this year.

Alan Dixon, of the Krays’ rival Dixons firm, paid tribute to the notorious hard man.

Father-of-nine Alan, 75, who served 22 years in prison, said: “I found out about Albert’s death this week.

“There were only three firms; the Kray twins, the Dixons, and the Richardsons.

“I’m a Dixon brother, but I’ve known Albert for more than 50 years. I met him when he was with Ron and Reg, it was a long while ago.

“I went round to see at the old peoples’ home four or five weeks ago – he likes a drop of rum.

“I’ve known him all his life, he was a nice man. After the Mitchell murder he thought he was next, he told the truth.

“The Kray twins said to him, ‘Put your hands up to these murders’ and he just said, ‘Bollocks’. He didn’t take the blame like other idiots. He told the truth.

“He was always a nice man to me, he was always a gentleman. We all knew where we stood with him.”

Following Mitchell’s murder, the Krays and were arrested and put on trial for a string of offences, including the murders of George Cornell, Jack McVitie and Mitchell.

Albert, who died at the home in Dagenham, east London, testified against them but Ron, Reg and Charlie Kray, as well as Freddie Foreman, were all acquitted of Mitchell’s murder.

Reg Kray was found guilty of conspiring to effect Mitchell’s escape from Dartmoor Prison and he was given a five-year sentence to run concurrently with his other sentences.

Donoghue and another Firm member, John Dickson, pleaded guilty to harbouring Mitchell and respectively received 18 month and nine month sentences.

Billy Frost, 74, who was a driver for the Kray twins, said: “I met Albert many, many years ago when he was a young man. I met him when Reggie Kray shot him in the foot.

“He later got recruited by the Krays after that. I did a few little bits with him. He was a very nice man.

“I saw him about a year ago, he was wheelchair-bound and we all went down to the nursing home he was in. We took him over to the pub and had a drink.”

Billy added: “The murder of Mitchell put him in a difficult position and he found that hard.”

In Albert’s 2002 book, The Enforcer, The: Secrets of My Life with the Krays, he wrote: “I have managed to outlive all my gangland bosses.

“I can’t say I was affected in any way by their deaths. They had no impact on me. There’s no point dancing on their graves.”

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  • Macki Messer

    Well said.

    “I have managed to outlive all my gangland bosses. I can’t say I was affected in any way by their deaths. They had no impact on me. There’s no point dancing on their graves.”

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