THE GUV’NOR PASSED AWAY BUT HIS MEMORY LIVES ON HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
R.I.P … ROY “PRETTY BOY ” SHAW
Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw was a bare-knuckle true crime legend. Imprisoned almost half his life, for a record breaking armed robbery he pulled in 1963 he emerged from the prison system with the reputation as a ruthless and committed psychopath.
HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WE HAVE LONG FEATURED A NUMBER OF PERSONAL EXHIBIT ITEMS THAT ONCE BELONGED TO ROY SHAW FOR WHICH HE KINDLY DONATED TO MYSELF DURING A VISIT TO HIS HOME . THESE INCLUDE HIS UNDISPUTED UNOFFICIAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BELT , HIS BOXING TRUNKS , GLOVES , ORIGINAL FIGHT POSTERS ETC….. FOR WHICH HE ALSO CONTRIBUTED A NUMBER OF PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTO’S ETC .
LONG WILL HE REMAIN IMMORTALISED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL … ANDY JONES, CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION OWNER
UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME HARD BASTARDS ( AND ALSO A GENTLEMAN TOO) …. THAT I HAVE PERSONALLY MET. A MAN THAT HATES CHILD KILLERS , PAEDOPHILES AND ABUSERS AND HAD INFLICTED MUCH PAIN UPON THOSE HE HAD COME ACROSS IN PRISON ….. WHEN THERE WAS NO SEGREGATION WITHIN THE PRISON SYSTEM AS THERE IS NOW .
HERE ARE SOME BACKGROUND DOCUMENTARY VIDEOS AND WIKIPEDIA DETAILS .. WELL WORTH A LOOK.
THE MEAN MACHINE ,AND UNLICENSED BOXING ” GUV’NOR “- ROY “PRETTY BOY ” SHAW PICTURED WITH A LADY FRIEND BACK IN THE EARLY 1970’S WEARING HIS UNLICENSED BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP BELT .
NOW ON DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ….KINDLY DONATED BY ROY MANY YEARS AGO TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION BOSS
CLOSE-UP IMAGE OF THE BELT ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL .
THE BELT IS INSCRIBED – ROY SHAW…. BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP 1975-1981
SOME OLD IMAGES TAKEN FROM THE BOOK “CRIME THROUGH TIME”….SHOWING ROY “PRETTY BOY ” SHAW PRESENTING CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION BOSS ANDY JONES WITH THE BELT AND HIS BOXING TRUNKS SOME TEN YEARS OR SO AGO AT ROY SHAW’S HOME
Royston Henry Shaw (born 11 March 1936 in Stepney, London), also known as Roy “Pretty Boy” Shaw, Roy “Mean Machine” Shaw and Roy West, is an English millionaire, real estate investor,author and businessman from the East End of London who was formerly a notorious criminal and Category A prisoner. During the 1970s-1980s, Shaw was a well known and respected figure in the criminal underworld of London and was frequently associated with the Kray twins. Shaw is best remembered today for his career as a fighter on the unlicensed boxing scene, becoming an arch-rival withLenny McLean.
Shaw was born in Stepney, London, to a working class family and from an early age was involved in unlawful behaviour. As an adult Shaw has mainly lived in Bethnal Green. He was acquainted with theKray twins since at least the very early 1960s; Shaw attended the funeral of Reggie Kray in 2000, and was quoted as having said: “We grew up in the same era. They were into protection rackets and I was into blags. I never got in their way and they never got in mine. Ronnie was more of a friend than Reggie, but I’ve come along today because he was one of the ‘chaps’. Today is like the end of an era. The Krays were legends.”Early life
Shaw was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for a record breaking armed robbery in 1963, one of England’s biggest armoured truck robberies. Shaw allegedly fought his way out of two different holding cells at Her Majesty’s Prison at Maidstone, assaulting a number of prison guards.
Shaw, who claimed he “simply hates the system“, and that the “system could never beat him”, was consistently moved onto different prisons and spent time at Broadmoor Hospital, then known as Broadmoor Hospital for Criminally Insane. According to Shaw’s 1999 autobiography, Pretty Boy, “uncontrollable prisoners, were deliberately drugged up with the aim of turning them into permanent ‘cabbages'”. At Broadmoor, Shaw underwent experimental electroconvulsive therapy in an attempt to control his temper. His doctor claimed that Shaw had at first come across as a large and intimidating yet soft-spoken gentleman, but when faced with treatment he didn’t want, Shaw became “the most powerful and dangerous man I have ever tried to treat.” The doctor reported the treatments as having been a complete failure, and only served to make Shaw even more aggressive and unpredictable.
Shaw routinely stabbed informers and even slashed the throat of a former best friend while incarcerated due to his strong belief in a “code of honour” amongst criminals which must not be broken.
During his time in Broadmoor, Shaw again encountered Ronnie Kray. Shaw also spent time with such characters as Ronnie Biggs and Charles Bronson at other prisons. By 1974, Shaw had already spent around 18 years in more than 22 different prisons.
Unlicensed boxing career
Shaw claims to have had ten fights in his twenties using the alias “Roy West”. However information on these has proven difficult to track down. His early boxing career was cut short when he was incarcerated.
On his release from prison, Shaw started fighting unlicensed (i.e. not sanction by the official UK boxing body) boxing matches in 1978, aged 42, and gained many infamous victories, including one overDonnie “The Bull” Adams. Shaw also beat former world heavy weight contender Ron Stander, who had also previously fought Joe Frazier for the heavyweight title. Stander however broke a rib before the fight with Roy Shaw. Shaw would later say in his book that he kept hitting Stander with punches which had no effect on Stander – until he found his broken rib. In Roy’s words if Stander had not broken his rib he would have ‘mullered me’.
His fights with arch-rival Lenny “The Guv’nor” McLean were described by critics as among the bloodiest of the century and drew massive crowds. Shaw beat McLean in their first fight, but lost in two other matches to McClean. Shaw claimed in his autobiography that they only fought twice, but later he admitted on his website that there were indeed three fights with McClean of which he lost two and won one. However, it must be noted that McClean was by far the bigger man and also much younger than Shaw. Shaw was well into his forties when he and McClean fought and was giving away stones in weight.
Roy states on his website that the two unlicensed boxers he most admires are Cliff Field and Johnny Waldron, both of whom also defeated McLean.
Roy Shaw’s unlicensed fight record is – 11 Fights, 9 Wins, 8 K.O.s, 2 Losses, 0 Draws.
In other media
Shaw was something of a minor celebrity in the tabloids in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which frequent articles were written on him, due to a pique of interest in British gangsters in the general public. Shaw has sometimes appeared in the press in recent years, such as his attending of Ronnie Kray’s funeral or his 2009 court case (see 2009 court case section below).
Shaw appeared on political debate television show Question Time in 1980, discussing the topics of crime and punishment. Archive footage of Shaw with the Kray twins has also popped up on occasion in documenaries on the Krays.
Shaw was the subject of a 2006 documentary DVD, released in the US by Entertainment Programs, Inc. & in the Uk by Gangster Videos, entitled Roy Shaw: Brute Force. It was directed by Liam Galvin and contained original footage of Shaw’s unlicenced boxing matches, and also interviews with Shaw himself and other former criminal underworld figures and boxers he was associated with. It was followed up with a second DVD Roy Shaw’s Fight School which was also released by Gangster VideosAmazon.com. In 2010, he appeared in Galvin’s controversial movie Killer Bitch which featured a host of crime legends playing himself.
Shaw maintains his own official website (currently off-line), and has a MySpace page and a Facebook page. Numerous boxing bouts in which Shaw fought were recorded but were hidden for years due to their semi-legal nature at the time of recording, although many of these recordings have nowadays surfaced and become available for viewing on Youtube.
Shaw has been mentioned or discussed in numerous books, most notably in arch-rival Lenny McLean‘s 1998 autobiography The Guv’Nor. and Hard Bastards by Kate Kray.
Shaw co-wrote a book with Kate Kray, the widow of Ronnie Kray, entitled Roy Shaw: Unleashed. The book was published by Blake Publishing and released on 23 May 2003, and currently has a sales rank of 747,208 on Amazon.com. The book is a collection of stories and anecdotes about the criminal underworld of London in the 1970s/1980s, as well as Shaw’s boxing career.
Shaw’s autobiography, entitled Pretty Boy, was also co-written by Kray. It goes into further detail Shaw’s early life, personal and private life, time in prison, and also expanding on stories begun in his previous book. The new edition of Pretty Boy was published on 11 September 2007 by John Blake Publishing, and is currently classed as a bestseller of the crime/boxing biography genre on Amazon.com, with a sales rank of over 425,000.
Shaw, now aged 74, despite a number of relationships, never married and still lives alone in Waltham Abbey, Essex, and keeps two Rottweilers as pets. He has recently become a millionare after selling off land in Chadwell Heath that had skyrocketed in value since he bought the land two decades before.
In 2000, Shaw was one of the most well-known mourners to attend the funeral of Reggie Kray, a life-long friend. Shaw said of Kray: “Kray came from an era before drugs became common currency, when there was honor among thieves and few criminals double-crossed their friends. In those days there was loyalty. Nowadays they are all having each other over all the time.”
Having served all his prison sentences, Shaw has stated that he is going legitimate and is retired from both a life of crime and bareknuckle boxing. Shaw became a businessman and author with numerous financial and non-financial ventures, such as a bestselling autobiography. He appeared in two documentary DVDs by Director Liam Galvin, ‘Roy Shaw: Brute Force’ and ‘Roy Shaw-Fight School’ and later made a cameo in the notorious Gangster Film ‘Killer Bitch’, he also became involved in numerous internet ventures, and real estate investment. The land investments, something Shaw had actually been involved in since before his first prison sentence, were the ventures which eventually made Shaw a millionaire.
2009 land sale court case
Shaw formerly owned highly valued land in Chadwell Heath, northeast London, which he sold in a £2.6 million land sale in 2008. Shaw allegedly gave £643,000 of this to Linda Finnimore, 43, a former girlfriend he had met in Spain some two and a half decades earlier. Finnimore had managed Shaw’s business affairs and acted as a manager when he was a boxer, and the two had allegedly enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle together. At one time Miss Finnimore called herself Linda Kray, claiming to be a daughter of Reggie Kray upon which Shaw would allegedly show her off to other underworld figures as a “trophy wife“, although in reality the two never married.
After the sale of land in Chadwell Heath, Finnimore, who had remained amicable with Shaw before the sale, then proceeded to file a lawsuit with the High Court against Shaw. She claimed that he had broken their verbal contract that he would give her half of the £2.5 million, some £1.25 million of it, much more than the £643,000 she had received. Shaw claimed there was no such verbal contract, and that furthermore, he had not even authorised the money she had already taken from the land sale. Shaw had sole legal possession of the land when he sold it, and there was no written contract between Shaw and Finnimore regarding the land sale.
High Court judge Sir John Lindsay said both charac
ters were part of a “criminal milieu… of villains and gangsters”, and that Shaw had liked to “show her off as a girlfriend” and that Finnimore had been “untruthful” in her case evidence. Of Miss Finnimore, the judge said: “She, for whom the word ‘feisty’ could have been minted, is more educated than he and far more intelligent. Unfortunately, her considerable skills have not always been applied to acceptable purposes.”
Judge Lindsay ultimately dismissed Miss Finnimore’s claims against Shaw in March 2009 and ruled there was no such verbal contract and ordered Finnimore to repay the money, together with sums of £208,450, £20,000 and £57,000, plus interest. Shaw was awarded nearly £1 million in total. Judge Lindsay said that when it was put to Mr Shaw in court that he intended to transfer £643,000 to her, he replied: “Don’t talk so silly – she took me for a right mug.”