April 19 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Ronnie Biggs, who became infamous for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 has died, it was announced this morning.
He and a gang of accomplices stole £2.6million after robbing a Glasgow to London mail train.
He was sent to jail for the crime before escaping from Wandsworth Prison on 1965 after jumping over the wall.
Speaking earlier this year Biggs said he was proud to have been part of the gang behind the robbery.
On August 8, 1963, the robbers, masterminded by Reynolds, stopped the Glasgow-Euston overnight mail train and carried out the biggest robbery of its time.
Biggs escaped from prison in 1965 and spent 36 years on the run before finally being arrested and jailed in 2001.
He was released from prison on compassionate grounds in 2009 due to ill health and subsequently said he had few regrets about the crime that made him a household name.
Biggs, who could not speak due to his strokes and communicated through a spelling board, said: “If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is, ‘No’.
“I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them. I am equally happy to be described as the ‘tea-boy’ or ‘The Brain’.
“I was there that August night and that is what counts. I am one of the few witnesses - living or dead - to what was ‘The Crime of the Century’.”
He did admit to some regrets.
“It is regrettable, as I have said many times, that the train driver was injured,” he said.
The train driver Jack Mills, who was coshed, reportedly by Biggs, never fully recovered from the ordeal and died a few years later.
Biggs went on: “And he was not the only victim. The people who paid the heaviest price for the Great Train Robbery are the families. The families of everyone involved in the Great Train Robbery, and from both sides of the track.
“All have paid a price for our collective involvement in the robbery. A very heavy price, in the case of my family.
“For that, I do have my regrets.”