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Monday, 14 May, 2001, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Should Ronnie Biggs be made to pay?
The Great Train robber, Ronnie Biggs, has been arrested in the UK after 35 years in exile.
Biggs has been living abroad since escaping from prison in 1965 after serving 15 months for his part in the £2.6m Great Train Robbery.
The 71-year-old reportedly claims he is in failing health after recently suffering his third stroke and wishes to walk into a Margate pub and buy a pint of bitter.
Should Biggs he be subjected to the full force of the law?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Derek Watson, UK
Perhaps a more fitting punishment for Ronnie Biggs would be to free him from jail and let him try and exist as a penniless pensioner in Blair's Britain. He might decide to go back to Brazil once he realises what he's let himself in for.
Funny, isn't it, how a man who is well enough to spend several hours in a transatlantic flight suddenly becomes "severely ill" when it suits him and his sycophantic followers. Just who do they think they are kidding?
Should Ronnie Biggs be made to pay ? The question is not "what for" or "why" but "what with"? He has nothing to lose now but may gain some fame in his declining years sufficient to leave a rather more lucrative legacy behind him to his dependants. What would you do if you were once regarded as a master criminal - die in obscurity or go out with a bang and a better bank balance?
Laverne Anderson, England
I believe that Mr Biggs has served his sentence.
35 years on the run is enough.
Let this man regain his freedom, squat on his home turf and be on his way.
I think the decision to send him back to jail for the remaining 28 years of his sentence is absurd and has more to do with the pride of Scotland Yard and the Home Office than with justice. They're more concerned at their loss of face by the fact that he escaped than by what he did.
He should have been given a shorter sentence in the first place and could have spent at least the last 20 years in freedom here. If he robbed a train now he wouldn't get 30 years. I just can't help thinking people are trying to prove a point by banging him up for so long. Give him a few years, then let him out. Oh, and someone make sure he gets that pint.
Absolutely! There seems to be a sense of celebration for the criminals of the 60's. Thugs, murders and thieves are looked at with a sense of nostalgia. Try putting yourself in the mindset of one of their victims or the victims' families and then see how much nostalgia and sympathy you feel. This man is pathetic, he is making a mockery of British justice.
Let him go free its not as if he's going to do it again.
Paul, Scotland, UK
So, he's back where he belongs, in the UK and in prison. Looking at the TV pictures, he seems very ill, and is unlikely to "burden the UK taxpayer" for very long. The conduct of a certain tabloid rag throughout this matter is arguably every bit as serious as the issues around how best to treat an old man who took a minor part in a major crime nearly 40 years ago!
It is important in the interests of justice (as distinct from law) that Biggs should serve the sentence he was given. The lesson for others would be quite intolerable was any other course to apply. He is a criminal and has been found guilty by a court. His age and health are not relevant.
The prison system screwed up in the first place by letting him escape and failed to recapture him. So what is all the excitement about? Let him go free!
The punishment does not fit the crime. There are rapists receiving sentences of just 5 years. Where is true justice? People's lives are infinitely more important than property or money.
Of course he should complete his sentence. He committed a crime, was found guilty and sentenced. He escaped before his sentence was completed so he still has time to do. As for 'having served his sentence' in exile, since when did the British legal system allow felons to choose their place of 'imprisonment'?
Fabricio J. Silva, Brazil
Let him come back, lock him up, throw away the key and let the thieving villain rot. How about making the Sun newspaper pay for any costs incurred in keeping him in jail or treating him on the NHS as they are making pots of money out of this? Biggs is an unpleasant, selfish individual who does not deserve this mythic "Jack the Lad" image which has been built up around him as part of this bizarre glamourising of "lovable" Cockney criminals by the tabloid press.
No one benefits from prosecuting an old has-been robber. There really is no point except wasting public funds.
This talk of him having served his sentence "in exile" is utter nonsense. British justice may have gone soft while Mr Biggs has been living it up in Brazil, but we have yet to reach the stage where criminals can opt to serve their time at the resort of their choice. 110mph on a motorway, £400 fine and 6 points - or if you would prefer a weekend in Brighton. Thanks your worship, see you on the pier.
Paul Jonas, UK
Clearly crime does pay. Why should anybody care about making a contribution to society when you can get far more wealth and fame by being a criminal. Why should I declare my earnings to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise? Why don't I bunk off with the dosh instead and let all those suckers who think Biggs is a loveable old rogue pay all the taxes?
Ronnie Biggs has come home to die. Give him compassion and his freedom. All those who want him to suffer even more should maybe question their own morality. He is a 71 year old man, maybe in his last few months of life, why increase his torment? It would serve no purpose.
A lot of comments made here relate to the long term sentence given to Biggs in the first instance. I suspect a lot of the contributors are younger people. Yes he only stole from a train, but the robbery itself was out of the ordinary, in those days. The fact that murder IS an everyday occurrence in this country, proves that the threshold of tolerance for so-called petty crimes has reduced to almost nil. As long as the public at large accepts violent crime, persons like Mr Biggs will continue to beat the system, and then use it to their advantage again and again.
Thomas Crown, Scotland
The most salient commentary I ever heard on the subject of Ronnie Biggs was from John Lydon (nee Rotten). When his former manager, Malcolm McLaren, drafted Biggs into the Sex Pistols in their post-Rotten era, Lydon stated that he was glad to be out of it because he did not want to be associated with "that kind of cheesiness". He leered angrily in towards camera in that familiar way of his and said "The driver they beat around the head with a cosh died later, badly brain-damaged and unable to work. That might have been my dad."
Yet again we are witnessing the selfishness of a petty criminal. Now that he's at death's door, he's returned for some free health care. Whether he lies in a hospital bed a free man or in custody is somewhat inconsequential to the patient. Either way the taxpayer will foot the bill. Why can't we put him back on a plane to Brazil, where he can fulfil the destiny he made for himself all those years ago?
Andy Richards, UK
Make The Sun pay the whole lot. After all they have been so keen to sponsor his return thus far (all in the public's interest of course). Without them Ronnie would not have been able to return to soak up British taxpayers' money (whether inside or outside prison).
Biggs is a criminal not a folk hero. He ought pay for his crime. Why should I work 50hrs a week and pay all my taxes pay for a sponger. The Sun ought be prosecuted for aiding and abetting a known criminal. If they brought him back let them pay for him.
It's funny that Ronnie Biggs was sentenced to 35 years and Nick Leeson was in and out in a flash. Even by today's standards, the GTR haul was paltry compared to the $1.4 billion illegally misappropriated from Barings - but we never saw 50 Keystone Cops in hot pursuit of Leeson. What is this rancour towards Biggs? Let's give him a smashing 72nd birthday present and take him down that Margate pub. He's more than earned it for all the laughs and entertainment he's given us all.
Richard Lenthall, UK
If he thinks that living in Brazil all these years was so bad - I'll take his villa in Brazil off his hands for him! I'd love that kind of punishment!
We can either keep him in jail, at great expense, enabling him to enjoy immediate medical treatment, at even more expense. Or we can let him straight out, to join the back of a hopefully very long waiting list for NHS treatment.
Leave the man in peace. The ridiculous term he was originally sentenced to made a mockery of the government of the day (the system.) Show the man some compassion, he didn't blow up any children out shopping with their parents, did he?
Colin , Australia
Regardless of age, if you do or did the crime, you do the time. I am tired of the glorified 'cowboy', 'Robin Hood-esque' accounts of his life. They told the story of what he did on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and never once mentioned that he coshed a guard. Stealing is just as bad as murder, rape, or any other crime. A crime is a crime.
I am not a supporter of allowing criminals to 'get away with it' but Mr Biggs has lived most of his life on the run and now is in his final days, so I think we have got our justice.
The glorification of sixties criminals should stop. We should remember that the 'great train robbers' caused the early death of one of the train crew - I can only assume that he would have liked to live to 71 years old, something Biggs and his friends denied him - but he seems to expect us to accept that he is old and so we should let him go. I wonder how many of us saw the pictures of Biggs's birthday party where he had the modern criminal underworld of London present. Biggs's actions (along with others) ruined the life of that train crew member and led to his premature death - that is why they had long sentences and that is why he should go back to prison. He has had a nice life in Brazil and if anyone thinks that was a punishment for him, they should ask why he wasn't in a hurry to escape the 'hell' of Brazil before now!
Let's all watch as Ronnie makes a mockery of the British government, justice system (if you can call it that) and the British taxpayers. Those who support him are just as pathetic.
Adrian A., Switzerland
While he's been sunning himself in South America for so long I've been paying my taxes here in the United Kingdom. Now put that tax to good use and find him a cell with a good strong door.
What is Justice about? For a financial crime, 30 years is ultra harsh. So we have ruined what could have been a productive life. Is the justice system about reform or punishment?
The Home Office were stupid to bring him back. If he had a passion to be home, then keeping him in Brazil is akin to punishment. The sentence in the first instance, from what I can understand, was extremely harsh. He is old and sick, either send him back to Brazil or let him go. Or will the heartless judgementalists win the day? The past is the past.
if Ronnie Biggs committed a murder today he would get less than he did for his original crime. All he did was rob a train, for goodness sake. He should be left to live his twilight years in peace.
Why put an old, sick, completely debilitated crook back in a "high security" prison? Perhaps because he might jump over another 12 feet high wall. Sometimes it is funny what the highest spheres of power do to show some power off. However the truth shows that until the end he has controlled the rules of the game, no matter what is said in the media. The authorities put their hands on him simply because he wanted, otherwise they wouldn't.
Mercy? - not much hope of that with Jack Straw in charge. This is not a child killer or a torturer or a rapist. It's a small time guy who just got caught up with the big guys. His only claim to fame is that he escaped. To show mercy and allow him to live his last years in peace would show that England wasn't all bad. But I fear the poor sod will die in prison. Give him a token sentence of 5 years in a open prison. Then he can still have his pint in a English bar.
Paul R, UK
They should not have brought him back He should have stayed where he is. We will now have to pay to keep him.
He has been sentenced, let him serve that sentence as a minimum. On top he should be punished for escaping and evading the law.
Ronnie Biggs stole from this country then he turned his back on it. He's been out of this country for longer that I've been paying my NI contributions, and now he's back because he wants to sponge on the National Health Service!
This country should turn its back on Ronnie Biggs. Its an absolute disgrace that he is being allowed to get away with it!
The man is a thief and a murderer. Why do we have to glorify criminals like Biggs and the Krays? If he still wants a pint - let it be prepared by the family of the train driver that was killed as a result of the 'great' train robbery
At least he might qualify for a set of CDs and new trainers if he promises to be a good boy !!
Giles, Isle of Man
The money he gets from the Sun newspaper should be used to pay any prison and medical costs incurred.
He is now an English escapee back in England and recaptured. It's that simple. But let's not ignore that he's old and sick. If we do, then we'll be acting spitefully.
K. Jackson, USA ex UK
What cause is served my slinging him in jail other than to satisfy a very formal sense of justice? Maybe let him sit there for a while till the hype blows over and then get on with locking up some folks who are currently a real menace to society.
Anyone who's had to permanently settle in another country because
of circumstances rather than desire (in my own
case because of American daughter and wife) will
understand Biggs' desire to end his days back home.
The need to be in the place where you spent your
childhood often eclipses other considerations.
Biggs has given in, but on his terms, and will get medical treatment and a fat cheque from a newspaper for his stories, some would say he has beaten the system once and for all.
The police should deal with serious crimes and not with crimes which happened 35 years ago. He has already been punished having lived his 35 years of his life far away from his country! Let him have his pint.
I think the Foreign Office was right to allow him back into the country to allow him to serve his sentence for the crime that he committed. However, I think he should have to fund any medical treatment that he receives out of his own fund or not receive them. The British tax payer should not have to stand the cost just because he wants to come home.
The Foreign Office was totally wrong to allow Biggs back into the UK. It's obvious to anybody that he's come back to die - but to die at the expense of UK taxpayers. He chose to settle in Brazil, so why can't he die there? He is just latching onto the sentimentality of a few ex-cons and a newspaper after a scoop!
Barry Gorman, England
Ronnie Biggs wasn't a rapist, murderer or terrorist. He never hurt anyone or changed anyone's lifestyle. He was just a likeable scallywag that got caught, in fact the biggest crime committed here was the 30 year sentence handed out by the British government to a man who was clearly no danger to the public.
He beat the system fair and square and got away with it regardless of what the Government do now anyway. If they want to save face, they should give him a light sentence in a minimum security open Prison with weekend leave to have that pint.
Since his escape, Biggs has spent his life sticking two fingers up at the British justice system, and the honest, hard-working British people. To allow him back to see out his remaining time is a betrayal of all law abiding citizens. He should have been left to rot in Brazil!
By far the most serious crime committed by Ronnie Biggs was to buck the almighty system. Biggs was the 'tea boy' of the Great Train Robbery, not the mastermind or the thug who coshed the driver. But he did escape from Wandsworth Prison, and into folklore. Since his escape he has lived the life of a minor celebrity, and committed no criminal offence - unless you count his single, No One Is Innocent, recorded with the Sex Pistols. Today, he's still managing to screw the system, once again he is front page news, getting free medical treatment and obtaining a reported £100,000 for his Brazilian family. Even Jack Straw cannot justify throwing Biggs into prison to die, although he might try. Not because of Biggs' crimes, indeed there are infinitely more despicable people walking the streets, but purely because no one can be seen to win against the State.
What the hell - leave him alone. Worse crimes have been committed in this country and people have got away with it or been released from prison after serving a fraction of their sentence. Biggs knows he has a short time to live - he wants to die where he was born.
Biggs was sentenced to 30 years and 30 years is what he should serve, he can have his pint of beer for his 100th birthday!!
Dave B., Australia
It's despicable, the number of comments here that focus on the 'cost to the British tax-payer'. Are you really trying to say that saving a few coppers in tax is better than seeing a notorious criminal be punished to the full extent of the law? Get your priorities right. Biggs should be re-tried, and made to pay any health expenses himself.
I can't imagine why anyone would want to return to such a nasty third-rate country such as England, but just being there would be sentence enough.
When I grow up I want to be famous.
Should I develop a remarkable skill like Beckham? Or should I commit a crime and flee the country? Either way I'm going to be famous, how many kids are thinking this?
I think the crux of the issue is why is he deciding to come back NOW? If it is because of access to medical services, then people should not be fooled of his sentimentality towards Britain. Moreover he chose to jump his sentence and stay in Brazil. The fact he wants to come back and waste the taxpayers' money, both through the NHS and the prison service is disgusting.
Put him in jail to finish his sentence.
Obviously the UK has been able to achieve
complete utopia. There seems to be nothing
for people to concern themselves. Why else
would this nonsensical non-issue cause so
much controversy? Why are we even talking about this?
Why am I writing this? This is stupid!
Let the poor guy do whatever he wants to do.
Alan Pittman, Canada
He's been in and out of the news for 35 years, he is just one of those icons from the 60s. I think he should be allowed back and live his last years on English soil. I think he has served his time.
He should be arrested at his point of entry and taken straight to prison. He should then be required to transfer ownership of anything of value that he currently owns to the state before being entitled to any medical treatment that he might need while he serves out the rest of his sentence. A pint in a Margate pub? He's been drinking in the high life in Brazil for far too long already! And The Sun should be banned from printing anything more than a simple news story about his return - 'glamorous' features about this criminal are not just inappropriate but downright offensive to anyone who believes in living by the rule of law.
It seems kind of weird that the country which didn't give Pinochet over to the Spaniards on the account of bad health can't let an old man have a pint in peace.
Let the poor man return. If he honestly believes that there is anything remotely desirable about a drink in a Margate pub or indeed being in Margate itself for that matter, he is obviously mentally ill as well. He really does deserve our sympathy!
Biggs is now a sick man. He only wants to come back to Britain to take advantage of the free health care. Others have offered to buy him a pint, will they offer to pay for his health care? Refusing Biggs entry to this country and access to our free health care can be the punishment he has avoided for the past 35 years. Brazil have been happy to have him as a guest, they can now keep him.
Sharon B, UK
Let him in! Let him have his pint, THEN lock him up for a while and let him out. All he wants to do is die in England, so it seems, so why not let him? I don't see why we should have to pay for the re-trial and immediate health care that he would get if he went back to jail when others have to wait for ages. Just let him have his pint.
If Biggs had not escaped, he'd have been free to enjoy pints and curries since 1975. He should be put back in jail and given leave to appeal on health grounds.
Darren Oldfield, UK
Coming to the end of your life must be a terrible time, but he has certainly lived the high life in Brazil, so he should stay there.
Biggs is a convicted criminal and let's not forget that innocent people were injured in that robbery. For 35 years, he has waived two fingers at Britain so why should we have him back now? He's put nothing into our society so why should we waste resources on looking after him when we already have plenty of deserving people to look after?
Would it be possible to ignore this man? The thing that rankles most is the degree of celebrity he 'enjoys'. There are subjects far more worthy of consideration than this ill man who chose to leave the UK.
Let him die in exile. At least he has lived to a decent age unlike the poor guy who worked on the Mail train, whose injuries led to a premature death. Since he has not served his sentence, the only fitting punishment is to refuse him entry to Britain. That'll teach him and any other would-be fugitives a lesson.
Biggs is not in exile. He is in Brazil in order to escape our legal system. Let him return home. He may be seriously ill, but if he can survive the journey, he can survive the rest of his life in a British jail. He has taken advantage of his celebrity status to make money all these years and should now be made to face what he has done. It wasn't just money, we can forget about that, but his crime was violent and without remorse. Other nationalities seem to have nothing but contempt for the British wanting to see this man face his crime, but I'm sure it would be a different story if it was their country involved? He may not be Pinochet or the Unabomber, but if we let people like this ruin people's lives and get away with it, what point is there having a justice system?
Phil J, UK
Not only should he serve some time but he should be required to pay some of his medical expenses, unless he maintained his tax and national insurance payments to the UK treasury whilst he was out of the country.
Liam Blizard, UK
No-one has mentioned him renouncing his citizenship. Since he is a British citizen he cannot be refused entry, right?
It is amazing that such rancour is displayed against a man who was clearly given too harsh a sentence. All you bitter Brits would be better served turning that spite inwards and taking a good long look at the state of Britain today when thugs and burglars thumb their noses at justice, and the juvenile killers of a young boy are primed for a return to society. Let Biggs back in, then leave the man well alone to enjoy what bit of his life remains. I'll buy him that pint.
Professor Harcharan Singh Ranu, Atlanta, USA
If Biggs comes back and is arrested he will get medical treatment straight away. If he is pardoned, he will have to go on a waiting list like every one else who wants NHS treatment. But why do we want him anyway? He says that he has 'no regrets' so let him stay where he is
I think that the biggest crooks are corporate companies, who get away with murder. Ronnie should be given a pub in Margate named "The One That Got Away".
What a vindictive lot. So much for British fairness. Everyone feels he would be a burden. Well, so would he have been in jail. His going to Brazil saved Britain a packet. Let him return to jail and serve his sentence. He might get out in some years time and then get his pint.
Derek, ex-pat, Brazil
I can't help but wonder whether Ronnie Biggs now wants to avail himself of our National Health Service. He certainly does not deserve any benefit from the British Taxpayer, whether it be supporting him in prison or caring for him in hospital. He should be refused entry at all costs!
Why shouldn't an Englishman be allowed home to die? The only reason he ran in the first was because of the length of his prison sentence, 30 years for stealing
is a liberty and no man in his right mind would hang around to serve it. Let him have his pint!
He certainly should serve his sentence. Why should he be allowed to get away with it? It was a terrible crime and we seem to forget this very easily.
Ian Adams, Scotland
Yes he should come to serve the remainder of his sentence in the prison where he escaped from and treated just as any other "abscondee." The fact that he is ill should not come into it. He served only 15 months for a ghastly crime and has since lived the life of Riley
No! He did the crime and didn't do the time. Now, after living the high life he is out of money and wants to come back to a cosy retirement. His punishment should be exile!
Sure he can come back to this country - there'll be a cell for him somewhere in which he can serve the remainder of his sentence. If he had only stolen the money in the robbery, it might be justifiable to let him go. However, the level of violence used during the robbery, which was to eventually cause the guard's death in 1970, means he should return to gaol.
Adrian Humphreys, Shropshire, England
Yes, he should be allowed to come home. Test him medically to see if he's fit to return to prison - by today's standards, prison (if he was re-sentenced) may be very comfortable. Also judging from the amount of time served by child molesters and the like, he should really be released immediately.
Personally I don't think that he should be allowed back into Britain. He has thumbed his nose at the legal system for all these years, and now that it is convenient for him, due to ill health, he wants to return to England. He chose Brazil as his home, let him live there. Also, think of the train driver, he and his family never had the chance to enjoy his old age, why should England enable Ronnie Biggs to enjoy his?
Yes, fine as long as he is prepared to do the time. After all, Mr Biggs was an armed robber who was a part of a gang who assaulted the train driver - he should be jailed.
Roy Chapman, UK
You might say Briggs has already done a life sentence in Brazil. He's never been a free man, survived one bungled kidnapping attempt to bring him back to the UK, and certainly isn't the hero he would like to be. Let him back into this country by all means, so we can remind him of the impact of his crimes.
I'm quite happy for Ronnie to come back and begin serving the rest of his sentence, As for a pint in the local, not a chance. We must remember that it wasn't just a robbery, and one poor chap was assaulted, leaving terrible injuries, during the theft.
No! He has spent all his cash and now wants free NHS care. Let Brazil pay for him - they refused to extradite him. Why allow this old has-been (and not to forget, essentially a murderer by default) to live out his life quietly? I agree that our prison systems and sentences are a joke and that there are bigger crooks, but why compound the error?
He should stay where he is. Unless he wants to repay all the money he stole.
Nigel Burman, England
Why on earth would we want back a geriatric con? Would we enjoy him savouring his beer in Margate so much that we're willing to pay for his trial and imprisonment? Stop this madness! There are needy people out there. We'll send Ronald Biggs a token can of British beer!
After three strokes he should know better than to want a pint of bitter in a smoky English pub. I would prefer sunny Brazil over gloomy England any day, especially when recovering from heart disease!
Allan Evans, Wales
Good or bad, he is British, isn't he?
Whatever the size of his crimes, Biggs is the worst kind of criminal - a celebrity crook! Let him stay where he is and perhaps the editor of The Sun should join him, for seeking to make money from the antisocial activities of Biggs and his kind.
This feting of thoroughly unpleasant criminals (like the craven worship of the Krays) makes me sick. These are the most undesirable people imaginable. If Biggs returns, he should be banged up at once. And I would have let Kray die in prison too.
He should stay in Brazil. How much has he put into the taxpayers pot?
If Biggs had served his sentence he would be a free man now and able to buy a pint in any pub he liked. As it stands, does he deserve to be treated as a free man in the country he turned his back on? Hardly!
A lot has happened here in 35 years, and I'm sure there are many murderers released for more horrific crimes. There's no doubt he will become a celebrity and if he does come back I would suggest that every penny he gets from the media should go to families of murder victims, and any treatment for his ill health be paid for privately not by the British tax payer. I'm very suspicious of his return, has his money dried up, does he need more to send to his family in Brazil! - If he's on his last legs anyway, what's he got to lose!
Martyn Pass, England
I would like to say yes he should be allowed
to come back, arrested at the airport and put
back in gaol to finish his original sentence.
Unfortunately he would be molly-coddled by
any number of do-gooders to the extent that
prison will like a holiday camp and the tax payer would
end up paying for medical care etc. I suppose
therefore that he is best staying in his adopted
Brazil that has shielded him so long.
Refuse his passport and leave him in Brazil - they refused to extradite him when we wanted him returned, and I, being a UK taxpayer, do not wish to pay for him to languish in a British jail.
The man committed a crime far less heinous than many of today's criminals ever will didn't he? And to receive such condemnation from the public (answering this forum's question) that have elected so many governments guilty of overspending on the good taxpayers money that could have been better used to put him in a secure facility in the first place is somewhat ironical isn't it? Let him come home and let him live in peace.
No! Stay away, we don't want you either. As Steve said, he has 28 years left to serve, however he has to be sentenced for escaping from prison too. We wanted him back all those years and we couldn't get him here, now he wants to come back for all those reasons stated, no chance. England should be a distant memory for Biggs and so it should remain. Maybe this could be England's justice against him, by refusing him admission. He made his bed, lie in it.
He gave up his rights to demand anything of England when he committed his crime and made it even worse by escaping his punishment and flaunting his freedom. Let him stay where he is, why should we be made to pay for sustaining his life? He should be refused entry, he chose where he wanted to be, let him live with it.
Having lived abroad for over 20 years, I can understand the desire to return home to the UK. We can't take away the years of freedom he's enjoyed, but denying him a passage back to the UK would be poetic justice. Just let the paperwork take a few years....
In short - NO! He has enjoyed a much better lifestyle than most working Brits and now he wants to come back for free health treatment. A passport for a criminal, whatever next? The media (TV/ newspapers) would pay him vast sums of money for his story, he ends up still living the high life. Ask the widow of the train driver who died after the robbery what she thinks!!
Lots of hysterical talk here about "cost to the British taxpayer". If the police had done their job in the 60's, Biggs would have spent up to 30 years in a British prison costing us far more that he did sitting in Brazil. By now he would be out and supported in his old age by the British taxpayer. I cannot agree more with Eileen's comment about Ernest Saunders. He is a much bigger crook than Biggs could ever hope to be.
The train driver who was attacked by Biggs and his gang (who eventually died from his injuries) was from the town where I live. I probably speak for most of my town when I say that, if he comes back, he should be thrown back in prison to serve the rest of his sentence.
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