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Ronnie Biggs released from prison

Ronnie Biggs released from prison

One of Britain's most notorious criminals has officially been released from prison.
But the family of Ronnie Biggs says the fax which confirmed his freedom won't change much. The so-called "Great Train Robber" will likely stay where he is _ in bed, seriously ill.
Jack Straw, Britain's justice secretary, said he was releasing Biggs on compassionate grounds because he is near death. In addition to the strokes, Biggs has suffered a broken hip, is being treated for pneumonia and fed through a tube.
Biggs was part of a gang that robbed a mail train in an August 1963 heist that netted 2.6 million pounds _ worth about $68 million today. The train driver, Jack Mills, was hit over the head and left unconscious.
After being convicted of the theft, Biggs escaped from prison and spent decades on the run.
Prison officers watching Biggs at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital left his bedside Friday. He also was given a copy of the conditions of his release.
Saturday is Biggs' 80th birthday.
Biggs' son, Michael, said his father would stay in the hospital, which is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of London, for some time.
"We are looking at least a week before any decision can be made about even considering when he can leave the hospital," Michael Biggs said. "It will just be good to have him as Ronald Arthur Biggs, not a prison number."
But news of Biggs' release wasn't welcomed by the union representing train drivers.
"While driver Mills was lying in hospital, the man involved in attacking him while he was going about his daily work, was enjoying himself in bars in South America," said Keith Norman, general secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef. "There is a clear and desperate injustice in that."


Updated : 2021-10-18 08:31 GMT+08:00