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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Train robber Biggs gets married
Raimunda Rothen and Michael Biggs
Raimunda Rothen shows off her wedding ring
Train robber Ronnie Biggs has married his Brazilian lover at a top security jail in London.

The 72-year-old convict, who is partially paralysed as a result of four strokes, married Raimunda Rothen in a private ceremony at Belmarsh Prison.

Biggs is believed to have shed a tear during the marriage ceremony to the former samba dancer he met 31 years ago while on the run in Brazil.

He has 28 years of his sentence to run for his part in the 1963 robbery.

Ronnie Biggs in 1988 with an unnamed carnival dancer
Biggs spent about 35 years on the run in Brazil

There were 11 guests at the wedding, all of whom were searched by security as they arrived.

Afterwards Raimunda, 54, showed off her ring outside the jail when she appeared with their son Michael and two-year-old granddaughter Ingrid.

She said: "I'm very happy."

And although they will never consummate their marriage, Raimunda was said to be planning to visit regularly.

Michael, 27, added: "We are all together now as a family. It meant a lot to him.

"It was a short family ceremony, very nice and with a lot of love.

"We're very happy the family is reunited once again."

Raimunda agreed to marry the former fugitive - after he proposed at least four times - because she knew he was nearing the end of his life.

Biggs, who is living out his years in the hospital wing of Belmarsh, was able to sit in a chair, and although there were a handful of guards in the room, they kept a discreet distance.

Raimunda Rothen shows off her wedding ring
Biggs proposed four times before she accepted

Raimunda gave her occupation as "cleaner" on the marriage banns displayed at Woolwich register office, while Biggs described himself as a "carpenter" and gave his address as Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead.

Biggs is serving out the rest of the 30-year prison sentence that was interrupted after just 15 months when he escaped from Wandsworth Prison in London in 1965.

He was convicted for his part in the ambush of a Glasgow to London train in 1963, which netted his gang 2.6 million in cash.

Biggs spent 13,068 days on the run, most of them in Brazil, before dramatically returning to Britain in May last year, when he was arrested.

Meanwhile, Michael Biggs is still battling deportation from the UK after his passport application was rejected.

He wants to be able to travel to Brazil, where his young family live, without fear of not being allowed back in to the UK.

A spokeswoman said the marriage of someone's parents could in theory make a difference to an application but it depended on individual cases.

Michael said: "I'm just taking it one day at a time - today, I'm just happy for my parents."


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09 Jul 02 | England
09 Jul 02 | England
28 Mar 02 | England
05 Nov 01 | England
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