Broadmoor staff on treating insane criminals like Yorkshire Ripper and Kray twin

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Mental health professionals and other staff at Broadmoor Hospital have demystified what life is like in the notorious psychiatric hospital for the country's most dangerous criminals.

With the likes of Ronnie Kray, Charles Bronson and 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe all housed at Broadmoor over the past decades, staff are not short on stories to tell.

Medical services chief Pamela Taylor told the Channel 5 crew some devoted fans of serial killers and paedophiles even tried to visit the infamous facility — with their children.

Professor Taylor said: "Our job is not to dwell on what they've done in the past, it is to rehabilitate them.

"People want contact with high profile patients, so I think it's not any secret … that Peter Sutcliffe had a very big post bag.

"It's important that I've got that angle, and it's also important that I don't, in my mind, diminish what happened, that I really got the measure of it."

Meanwhile therapist Jackie Craissati said she was scarred for life and "overwhelmed" by some of the stories she heard.

She said: "[H]aving some insight into what it might have been like for the victim, it might overwhelm and you might experience a wave of fear that belongs more to the victim than the reality of the place I'm in.'"

Opened in 1863, Broadmoor is well-known for housing noted East London gangster Ronnie Kray and his butler.

The younger Kray Twin spent 16 years at the institution before dying there, aged 61 in 1995.

Double murderer and fellow patient Charlie Smith used to look after Kray, even getting him the best food from the hospital kitchen.

Kray's friend Maureen Flanigan recalled Ronnie would treat Broadmoor like a "posh restaurant".

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Sohom explained under existing legislation hospital staff are allowed to inject patients without their permission.

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The former high dependency unit doctor treated some of the institution's most disturbed patients, explaining it was a "last resort" for teams of nurses and doctors to pin down prisoners by force.

He added: "We're discouraged to talk about our personal lives in front of the patients because sometimes it can be used against you."

The Channel 5 documentary also reveals the cost of housing patients at Broadmoor, which runs to hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. Many stay in the hospital for many years or decades.

It was also revealed in 2012 Jimmy Savile had volunteered at Broadmoor since the 1960s, even gaining his own keys and a cell.

Former patients have since come forward to say they were molested by the sick abuser during the 1980s.

Savile was even appointed head of a "taskforce" to help run the hospital in the 1980s.

Broadmoor: Serial Killers & High Security airs tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm.

  • Serial Killers
  • Crime

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