Albert Dimes

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George Albert "Italian Al" Arthur Dimeo (1914 in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire[1] – November 1972 in Beckenham, London) was a Scottish-born criminal and enforcer, who operated in Clerkenwell, East London, England.

Biography[edit]

Born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire to an Italian father and Scottish mother, he moved to London with his family and grew up in Clerkenwell which was dubbed "Little Italy" at the time.[2] He went on to work for gang leader William "Billy" Hill, who was involved in bookmaking and loansharking during the 1940s and 1950s.

In July 1941 Dimes was convicted with Joseph Collette of attacking Edward Fletcher at a Soho Club in Wardour Street. The Recorder noted that the incident took place "under the shadow of a graver offence. One man had lost his life and another man was under sentence of death." He dismissed any prejudice against second generation Italians. Harry Capocci was acquitted and Dimes was bound over for three years.[3] In the same incident, Harry "Little Hubby" Distleman was stabbed to death by Antonio Mancini.[4]

In August 1955, Dimes was arrested with rival gangster Jack Spot during a knife fight in Soho. Neither man was charged. As a result of his arrest, Spot's power in the city's underworld declined. The battle almost spread to politics when Dimes tried to use National Labour Party members against rivals Bud Flanagan and Spot, Jewish gangsters involved in funding the 43 Group.[5]

In 1966, Dimes helped to arrange a conference between New York mafiosi and the Corsican Francisci brothers, apparently regarding investing in London casinos.[6] An associate of Charlie Richardson, his presence in Soho delayed the Kray twins from moving into the area for several years.

The character Johnny Bannion, played by Stanley Baker in the 1960 film The Criminal, was reportedly claimed by director Joseph Losey to be partly based on Dimes.[7]

Dimes died in November 1972 at his home on Oakwood Avenue, Beckenham, South London from cancer.[8][9] Death records exist in both his birth name of Dimeo, and the adopted Dimes.[10][11] His funeral was held on 20 November 1972 in Beckenham.[12] The kray Twins sent a wreath that read "To a fine gentleman – From Reg & Ron Kray".[13] The wreath was reportedly destroyed by friends of the family who believed the association brought shame.[9] Dimes was survived by his wife Hilda Kathleen (née Brewer), whom he married in 1939[14][15][16] and their 3 children Albert, Doreen and Eileen.[17]

Further reading[edit]

  • Morton, James and Parker, Jerry. Gangland Bosses: The Lives of Jack Spot and Billy Hill. United Kingdom: Stratford Books. ISBN 0-316-85991-5

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/record-results?search_type=people&dl_cat=statutory&dl_rec=statutory-births&surname=dimeo&surname_so=exact&forename=albert&forename_so=starts&sex=M&from_year=1910&to_year=1920&record_type=stat_births
  2. ^ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_ewcDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT148&lpg=PT148&dq=%22albert+dimes%22+%22grew+up%22&source=bl&ots=51GpgMqIlp&sig=eJsBpMF9S_03nvAG0yU8saPntws&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwn4Wc_N_QAhVsKMAKHar4AVEQ6AEISzAN#v=onepage&q=%22albert%20dimes%22%20%22grew%20up%22&f=false
  3. ^ The Times, Fight In Soho Club, 22 July 1941
  4. ^ The Times, Murder In Soho Club Man Sentenced To Death 5 July 1941
  5. ^ Graham Macklin, Very Deeply Dyed in Black, IB Tauris, 2007, p. 53
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ "British Film Forum". Britmovie.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  8. ^ James Morton; Jerry Parker; Gerry Parker (2012-03-01). "Gangland Bosses: The Lives of Jack Spot and Billy Hill". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  9. ^ a b "10 Legendary Movie Criminals – Page 3". Whatculture.com. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  10. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/england-and-wales-deaths-1837-2007?firstname=albert&lastname=dimeo&yearofbirth=1914&yearofbirth_offset=2
  11. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/england-and-wales-deaths-1837-2007?firstname=albert&lastname=dimes&eventyear=1972&eventyear_offset=2&yearofbirth=1914&yearofbirth_offset=2
  12. ^ "Sir Stanley Baker At Italian Albert Dimes Funeral Stock Photo, Royalty Free Image: 49081607". Alamy.com. 1972-11-20. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  13. ^ "Newspaper Photo Sales Service: View". NewsPrints.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  14. ^ "HILDA KATHLEEN DIMES (BREWER), MRS (deceased) - Genealogy". Geni.com. 2015-03-01. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  15. ^ "Find My Past". Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  16. ^ "Find My Past". Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  17. ^ "Find My Past". Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Devito, Carlo. Encyclopedia of International Organized Crime. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0-8160-4848-7

External links[edit]