Great Train Robbery mastermind dies at 81
THE mastermind of the Great Train Robbery of 1963, Bruce Reynolds, has died aged 81, only months before the 50th anniversary of the heist.
Reynolds (pictured) died in his sleep yesterday morning after a period of ill-health in which he was looked after by his son, Nick, who said: "He hadn't been well for a few days and I was looking after him."
Reynolds was the main man in the gang that stole £2.5m – £40m (€46m) today – when they held up the Royal Mail travelling post office that ran between Glasgow and London.
Family friend John Schoonraad said he always found Reynolds to be the "perfect gentle-man" and a "philosophical, gentle person".
After the robbery, Rey-nolds fled to Mexico and was joined by his wife, Angela, and son, Nick. They later moved to Canada, but the cash from the robbery ran out and he returned to England. Five years after the heist, he was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
He was released in 1978 and moved, alone and penniless, into a tiny flat off London's Edgware Road.
His memoirs, written in 1995, said the robbery proved a curse which followed him around and no one wanted to employ him. "I became an old crook living on handouts from other old crooks," he said.