Last Word: To free great train robber biggs was right decision
FREEING Ronnie Biggs from prison on compassionate grounds this month was absolutely the right decision, writes Louise McEvoy. Biggs, now 80, was jailed in 1964 for his part in the infamous Great Train Robbery, when �2.6 million was stolen from the Glasgow
FREEING Ronnie Biggs from prison on compassionate grounds this month was absolutely the right decision, writes Louise McEvoy.
Biggs, now 80, was jailed in 1964 for his part in the infamous Great Train Robbery, when �2.6 million was stolen from the Glasgow to London mail train.
Fifteen months into his 30-year prison term, Biggs escaped and went on the run until 2001, when he returned to Britain from Brazil voluntarily. He has been in prison ever since.
Biggs is an old man who has suffered two strokes and in February fell ill with pneumonia. He is not expected to recover. It would be grossly inhumane to keep him locked up, and in his current condition he is a threat to no one.
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Biggs' sentence was also not proportionate to the crime, when you consider the far lighter jail terms people are handed today for committing more serious offences.
For instance, 17-month-old Baby P was found dead in August 2007 having suffered a broken back and fractured ribs, among numerous injuries. His mother, Tracey Connelly, could be free in just three years for causing or allowing her son's death.
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Closer to home, Christopher Faulkner, 20, of Brook Drive in Stevenage, died of a single stab wound in King George V Playing Fields in his hometown in 2007. Kyle Quinlan-Currie, 15, of Longcroft Road in Stevenage, was jailed for eight years for manslaughter in 2008. He could be considered for parole as early as 2012.
Biggs has served a total of more than nine years in jail. Enough is enough. He has been punished.