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UPDATED: Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs dies

Biggs pictured in 1965

Biggs pictured in 1965

Ronnie Biggs, one of the criminals behind the Great Train Robbery which took place near Cheddington has died aged 84, it was confirmed this morning.

Biggs, who was staying at a care home in London, could not speak and had difficulty walking after suffering a number of strokes.

He was one of 17 people who stopped an overnight Glasgow to London mail train in the early hours of August 8 1963.

Although Biggs only played a minor role in the crime he has now become the best known of the gang, mainly due to his escape from prison and subsequent exile in Brazil before returning to the UK for health reasons.

John Bailey, from Bedgrove, who was one of the first police officers on the scene told The Bucks Herald he hoped Biggs death would bring an end to the saga.

He said: “It has been one of those stories that has gone on and on and I hope Biggs’ death brings some closure to it.

“I am 81 so if I can carry on for another three years and outlive him, I would be happy about that.

“At the time I had no idea how big a story it would be, and I never imagined I would still be talking about it today.

“His part in the crime was only fairly small so it’s surprising there is still such an interest in him.”

Mr Bailey added he had no intention of going to Biggs’ funeral.

Christopher Pickard, Biggs’ autobiographer told the BBC he should be remembered as one of the great characters of the past 50 years.

He said: “He was the first product of the media age who inherited fame while running around the world.”

However Anthony Delano, who wrote a book about the heist, told Sky News: “He was anything but a hero.

“As I think people are beginning to realise his part in the actual robbery was very small. He was a small time south London crook who nobody really wanted on the team because he was likely to be a weak link.”

 

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