independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

'Great Train Robber' Ronnie Biggs dies aged 84

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has died aged 84
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has died aged 84

Ronnie Biggs, one of Britain's most notorious criminals known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, has died at the age of 84, his spokeswoman said.

Biggs passed away in the early hours of this mornig.

Biggs gained notoriety 50 years ago as one of an 11-member gang that tampered with railway signals and stopped a Royal Mail night train, making off with £2.6 million pounds, equivalent to about €60m n today's money.

Biggs was caught after the robbery and received a 30-year jail sentence but escaped from prison and spent 36 years on the run, leading a playboy lifestyle in South America.

He finally surrendered to British police in 2001 but was freed in 2009 on health grounds.

The gang hit the train on August 8, 1963 as it passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside.

The driver, Jack Mills was hit with an iron bar and never worked again.

FILE - DECEMBER 18, 2013:  Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has died aged 84. Biggs lived as a fugitive for 35 years after his escape from jail while serving a 30 year sentence for the infamous GBP 2.6 million robbery. Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs, who escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965, to Brazil.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs, who escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965, moved to Brazil. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Biggs was jailed for his part in the robbery but for escaped after serving just 15 months of a 30-year sentence.

By running to Brazil and Australia he avoided British justice for almost 40 years.

Biggs lived his final years in a care home after suffering a series of strokes and was last seen in public in March at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds - the man who masterminded the daring robbery.

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