Great Train Robbery: Ronnie Biggs dies age 84

Ronnie Biggs, one of the criminals involved in the Great Train Robbery, has died at the age of 84.  Biggs is said to have died in the early hours of the morning after a long illness.

Biggs was one of the men involved in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and was jailed in 2001 after being on the run for 36 years, mainly in Australia and Brazil.

Biggs, one of Britain’s most notorious criminals, was freed from prison in 2009 after his lawyer claimed he was going to die after a series of strokes. He then went to live at Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, north London.

On Aug 8, 1963, the men ambushed the Glasgow to Euston mail train as it passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside close to Cheddington and seized £2,631,684 in used notes.

The sum would be worth more than £40 million today.

Biggs was initially jailed for his part in the robbery after being branded a “specious and facile liar” by the judge. But he served just 15 months of a 30 year sentence before he escaped Wandsworth prison in south London by scaling a 30ft wall and escaping in a furniture van.

He went to Paris for £40,000-worth of plastic surgery before travelling to Australia and living with his wife Charmian and two children. During his time on the run he took on a number of aliases. After the authorities discovered him he fled to Brazil and was tracked down by an undercover reporter and later, Detective Inspector Jack Slipper of Scotland Yard.

However police had difficulty bringing him back to England because Biggs had fathered a child with his Brazilian lover and was getting divorced from his wife. He went on to live in Rio for almost three decades.

Biggs was forced to return to Britain because he needed medical treatment and came back at the age of 71.

 

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