Radio Sandwell Miscellanea

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs dies aged 84

2013-12-18 09:18:46

Ronnie Biggs
Ronnie Biggs lived in Spain, Australia and Brazil while on the run

British criminal Ronnie Biggs, who took part in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, has died aged 84, his spokeswoman has confirmed.

Biggs was part of the gang which escaped with £2.6m from the Glasgow to London mail train on 8 August 1963.

He was given a 30-year sentence but escaped from Wandsworth prison in 1965.

In 2001, he returned to the UK seeking medical help but was sent to prison. He was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 after contracting pneumonia.

Biggs, who died early on Wednesday, was being cared for at the Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, north London.

He could not speak and had difficulty walking after a series of strokes.

He was last seen in public at the funeral of his fellow Great Train Robber, Bruce Reynolds, in March.

Rope ladder

Biggs, Reynolds, Ronald 'Buster' Edwards and the other gang members wore helmets and ski masks to carry out their crime.

They made off with 120 bags of money totalling £2.6m - the equivalent of £40m in today's money.

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Biggs was part of the gang which escaped with £2.6m from the Glasgow to London mail train near Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, on 8 August 1963.

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Train driver Jack Mills was struck over the head during the robbery and never worked again. He died in 1970.

Biggs, who lived in Spain, Australia and Brazil while he was on the run, had been in prison for 15 months when he used a rope ladder to climb over the prison walls.

He had initially fled to Paris, with his wife Charmian and two sons, Farley and Chris.

The robbery is the subject of two BBC film dramas - A Robber's Tale and A Copper's Tale - due to air on BBC One on Wednesday and Thursday night.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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