In 1969, two of Britain's most notorious gangsters stood in the dock at the Central Criminal Court where they were given life sentences. One of their crimes was the murder of fellow gangster George Cornell. Ronnie Kray walked up to Cornell as he sat drinking in the Blind Beggar
public house, and calmly shot him in the head.
The Kray Twins drove around in big cars; forty years and more on, their successors, self-styled gangstas, more boys than men, ride around on bicycles. And today they stood in the same building, in Court No 11, where they faced the same fate.
On March 29 last year, three of them hunted down a fourth intent on doing to him what the Krays did to George Cornell and anyone else who got in their way. Fortunately for their intended victim, Roshaun Bryan, they missed. Instead, they managed to shoot a 5 year old girl who was playing in the shop where Bryan had taken refuge.
Nathaniel Grant, Kazeem Kolawole and Anthony McCalla were convicted last month
, and today was their day of reckoning.
Judge Martin Stephens QC told them
their crimes were of the utmost gravity, adding that not one of them had shown a sliver of remorse. All three were given life sentences with Grant receiving a 17 year tariff, Kolawole and McCalla, 14 years each.
This can be scant comfort for the parents of a young girl who have yet to tell their daughter the terrible truth about her condition. A fund has been opened for Thusha
; to date it has raised more than £130,000.