Prison for the playboys

The twins were arraigned for trial in July 1968, and their trials proceeded in January 1969, lasting many weeks as a parade of informants, now safe from intimidation, gave their testimony. Despite their wide-reaching criminal empire, the brothers were tried only for the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell, who had been shot by Ronnie in the notorious Blind Beggar pub on 9 March 1966, in front of numerous witnesses.

On 8 March 1969, the jury found the brothers guilty of the murders, and the judge passed life sentences on each of them, ordering that a minimum sentence of 30 years be served. This was far in excess of the 10–12 years that would normally be served for similar crimes.