Ronnie Biggs wins freedom

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has been granted release from his prison sentence today on compassionate grounds, Justice Secretary Jack Straw said.

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has been granted release from his prison sentence today on compassionate grounds, Justice Secretary Jack Straw said.

Mr Straw said the decision was based on medical evidence that Biggs's condition had deteriorated and he was not expected to recover.

Biggs, who turns 80 this weekend, is severely ill in hospital with pneumonia and doctors have said there is “not much hope”.

Last month the Justice Secretary rejected Biggs's application for parole on the grounds that the robber was “wholly unrepentant” about his crimes.


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But the decision on compassionate release was based on “different considerations”, Mr Straw said.<

“The medical evidence clearly shows that Mr Biggs is very ill and that his condition has deteriorated recently, culminating in his re-admission to hospital. His condition is not expected to improve,” he said.

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“It is for that reason that I am granting Mr Biggs compassionate release onmedical grounds.

“I have therefore been satisfied that the relevant conditions have been met, which I was not in respect of the recommendation for parole.”

Biggs was rushed to the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital from his cell at Norwich prison on Tuesday.

At the same time, his son, Michael, made a desperate plea for his father's release.

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