Ronnie Biggs: another escape?
The great train robber suddenly looked a lot better after being freed by Jack Straw
Has Ronnie Biggs pulled a fast one? It's a question being asked in prison circles and online after Justice Minister Jack Straw granted the great train robber his freedom last Friday, on the eve of his 80th birthday.
Straw had been told told Biggs (photographed above on his return to the UK in 2001) was close to death and for that reason felt able to free him, even though he still refused to repent for his actions. The train robber's son, Michael Biggs, said: "Finally common sense has prevailed. I just hope my father can survive to his birthday."
A report in the Times painted a picture of a "sick, semi-comatose old man who cannot walk or talk and is fed through a tube... hanging on to life after suffering a bout of severe pneumonia."
That was Friday. On Saturday, the Daily Mirror photographed Biggs celebrating his birthday and announcing: "I have a bit of living to do yet.
"I'll live on just to spite those who want me dead. I don't have much strength but I'll keep on fighting... I might even surprise them all by lasting until Christmas - that would be fantastic."
And a photo of Biggs - out of bed and sitting in a chair - in yesterday's Daily Mail brought several comments from online readers. "I thought the Reaper was already at his bedside," wrote 'Harry'. "He's just escaped from jail a second time."
Harry was referring to the notorious escape from Wandsworth jail in 1965 when Biggs scaled the prison wall, escaped in a furniture van - and spent the next 36 years on the run. ·
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