FLORAL cushions were scattered across the bed, a record player blared opera music in the corner and expensive Italian suits filled the wardrobe.
This was no five star hotel room but the Broadmoor cell of convicted killer Ronnie Kray – who even had tea brought to him, in the best china, by his own BUTLER.
The extraordinary picture of life inside Britain’s most secure psychiatric hospital – home to 200 of the nation’s violent criminals – is revealed in the new channel 5 documentary Broadmoor: Serial Killers and High Security.
The programme, which airs on Wednesday, looks at the captive lives of notorious inmates including East End gangster Ronnie, ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ Robert Maudsley and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.
Family friend Maureen Flanagan, who met the Kray twinswhen she became mum Violet's hairdresser in 1961, visited Ronnie throughout his 16 years in the secure unit.
The former model tells the Sun he had everything he wanted inside the Berkshire institution.
"Some say he was the most infamous patient in Broadmoor, but he was certainly the most indulged," says Maureen.
"You can order what you like if you can afford it, and he obviously could afford it."
Tailor-made suits and personal butler
Notorious gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were convicted of the murders of George Cornell and Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie in 1969, and sentenced to 30 years.
A decade later Ronnie was diagnosed with schizophrenia and moved to Broadmoor, where he was soon living in the lap of luxury.
"His room was carpetted, with cushions on the bed and he ordered his own curtains," says Maureen.
"He had pictures of his parents, brothers and old friends and some boxing memorabilia."
Biographer Fred Dinenage, who visited his cell, tells the documentary: "Ronnie had a very smart room, decorated in yellows and purples, which were his colours. He loved his music and he was allowed a record player.
"It was very much a Ron kind of room and it felt almost like a hotel bedroom.”
Maureen recalls her first visit to the hospital, with the twins’ older brother Charlie Kray.
“He was immaculately dressed in an Italian suit, white starched shirt, beautiful Italian silk tie, hanky, gold watch," she says.
"I said ‘Oh my God, you look smart.” He said: ‘Well, I’ve got to keep up appearances.”
After that, Maureen took a tailor into the hospital every October, to measure Ronnie for a new suit.
“I asked him ‘Why do you need a new suit? You’re not going anywhere’.But he liked to look immaculate," she says.
"The tailor had to measure him in the visiting hall, and I'd always tell him to bring only four swatches of material, because otherwise Ronnie would be ordering them all.
"He had the finest Italian silk shirts and silk socks, and the most beautiful cufflinks that people would send in as presents."
Harrods pies and smoked salmon
Maureen, who says Ronnie had a "wonderful sense of humour" and "made us all laugh", kept her deathbed promise to Violet Kray to visit the 'boys' until their dying days.
During visits, Ronnie and his guests were served tea and cakes on fine china by a butler in a smart white jacket – who was actually double murderer Charlie Smith.
“Ron clicked his fingers as if he was in a posh restaurant and up came this boy and said, ‘What can I get you Ron?” says Maureen.
“Ron told him to get something from the kitchen and he said ‘I’m going to get them now.’ And up came two strawberry tarts.
“I couldn’t believe he could order those delicacies in a place which was really an asylum.”
Maureen always took Ronnie his favourite smoked salmon bagels when she visited and his Friday night meal, a pork pie, was delivered by Harrods every week.
But Ronnie never ate during their two hour visits, preferring to make his way through four cans of non-alcoholic lager.
"Some people brought food into the visiting hall and shared it with the patients but you couldn't do that to Ronnie because he hated mess. He wouldn't eat in case he dropped something or his fingers got sticky."
To pass the time, Ronnie took up gardening, spending four mornings a week attending to the extensive grounds, as well as painting and writing poetry.
'Duke of Broadmoor'and romantic weddings
The bisexual criminal had a string of boyfriends in Broadmoor, according the Maureen, but was also able to wed twice while an inmate.
His second wife, Kate Howard, was 23 years his junior and the couple tied the knot in a romantic ceremony in the hospital’s chapel, in 1989.
Maureen: “They were only allowed seven people at the wedding but, afterwards, Kate held a reception for 200 of us at the Bracknell Hilton.
"Kate left him the top tier of the cake, so he give a few of his friends and a couple of guards a slice of wedding cake."
Ronnie, nicknamed the Duke of Broadmoor and the Colonel, was top dog in the psychiatric hospital but had little time for many of the inmates – especially Peter Sutcliffe.
"Ronnie wouldn't even look at him and wouldn't talk to him," says Maureen.
"Ronnie and Reggie couldn't stand anybody that would hurt women and children – that really put their back up. They didn't even swear in front of women.
"On one visit, I was with two friends of mine and Ronnie said 'Get up and move around the table'. I tried saying no but he insisted and when I asked why he said: 'Because that slag is on the next table' and there was Sutcliffe sitting with the wife.
"He didn't want me to be in the eyeline of Sutcliffe. That's how much they respected women."
On one occasion, Maureen passed Sutcliffe in the corridor, as she went to the ladies.
"He was frightening," she says. "Very dark hair and that dark beard but it was his eyes that were the worst. Terrible, scary eyes."
Women stroked hands of evil Ripper
Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe – who murdered at least 13 women in a five year killing spree – is suspected of faking schizophrenia in order to end up at Broadmoor, considered an easier life than a standard prison.
After his arrest, in 1980, he told psychiatrists he heard voices from God who told him to kill sex workers.
But, after being sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years, he was initially sent to Parkhurst and was only moved to Broadmoor his face was slashed by other inmates.
“I think Sutcliffe always wanted to end up in Broadmoor, an environment which he saw as softer, as easier to game than a prisoner environment,” says biographer Geoffrey Wansall.
“There’s no doubt in people’s minds Broadmoor is a bit like a holiday camp, like Butlins.
“You can get what you want, you can order in food. You play games with the warders. It’s all very cosy and comfy. It’s not a bit like all those horrid prisons, like Parkhurst.”
But Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Sohom Das says the theory that Sutcliffe faked his mental illness is: “Possible, but unlikely.”
“Forensic psychiatrists like me are trained to assess people who fabricate and lie about their symptoms so we don’t just take patients at face value,” he adds.
Sutcliffe’s time in Broadmoor was largely spent writing letters to the legion of female admirers who wrote to him.
Professor Pamela Taylor, who works with patients at Broadmoor, says: “People want to contact high profile patients and it’s no secret that Peter Sutcliffe has a very big postbag.
“Another man, who had seriously damaged children, had women who wanted to visit him with their children and were even prepared to get their solicitors to argue with us about their right to bring their children to see him.”
Sutcliffe encouraged the women – including a 21-year-old artist he named as Siona- to come and visit and would hold hands with them in the visiting room.
“Sutcliffe always had a couple of young women with him, different women every time,” says Fred Dinenage.
“Always holding his hands, stroking his hand. It was very very strange. I guess they liked the thrill of being near a dangerous man, but knowing he couldn’t harm them because all around the room were the hospital staff.”
Brutal 'Cannibal' murder in Broadmoor cell
While Maureen says Ronnie Kray felt “safe” in Broadmoor, patients have been attacked, and even murdered, by fellow inmates in the past.
In February 1977, convicted killer Robert Maudsley and violent criminal David Cheeseman took fellow patient David Francis hostage, barricaded themselves into a room and subjected him to nine hoursof torture.
Francis – a convicted paedophile – was tied up with the cable of a record player then punched, kicked and stamped on.
Maudsley broke the handle of a plastic spoon – the only cutlery allowed in the hospital – and fashioned it into a sharp weapon before driving it into his victim’s ear and killing him.
The pair then held the body up to the spyhole in the door, so that frantic staff could Francis was dead.
Untrue rumours that Maudsley used the spoon to eat Francis’ brains earned him the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal.
Maudsley – whose mental illness stemmed from horrific abuse he suffered as a child – was then moved to Wakefield prison, where he murdered two more inmates.
In keeping with his nickname, he is now held in solitary confinement, in a perspex-walled cell described as a “Silence of the Lambs” design, 23 hours a day.
Broadmoor: Serial Killers and High Security airs on Channel 5 on Wednesday
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