Page last updated at 21:06 GMT, Sunday, 18 September 2005 22:06 UK

Ronnie Biggs 'hunger strike plan'

Ronnie Biggs pictured several years ago
Biggs spent 36 years as a fugitive

Train robber Ronnie Biggs is planning to go on hunger strike in jail, his son has said.

Biggs, 76, is protesting because the Home Office has yet to decide on an application to free him on compassionate grounds.

His son Mike, 31, accused Home Secretary Charles Clarke of "prevarication of the worst kind".

He said his father was determined to refuse food from now on in protest at delays to the decision.

I cannot talk him out of it
Mike Biggs

Biggs was sentenced to 30 years for his part in the robbery of a Glasgow to London mail train on August 8, 1963, when a 15-strong gang made off with £2.6m in used bank notes.

He escaped from Wandsworth prison in a furniture van after just 15 months in jail

Biggs returned to Britain voluntarily after over three decades on the run in Spain, Australia, and then Brazil, and was imprisoned in Belmarsh high security jail in south-east London.

'No excuse'

Since then he has suffered a series of health scares, including minor strokes and heart attacks and contracting the hospital superbug MRSA, and has been in and out of hospital.

His solicitors say he could "die at any moment" but a previous application for release on compassionate grounds was refused because prison bosses deemed that he was not ill enough.

Mike Biggs said: "My father has had enough. He is going on hunger strike. I cannot talk him out of it.

"We appealed for my father's release on compassionate grounds.

"All the reports that were requested by the government - medical, social, nursing, independent nursing - have been sent in, we have now waited three months for a decision either way and there is still no sign of one."

He added: "There is no excuse for this delay. It's a disgrace and it's inhumane."



SEE ALSO
Profile: Ronnie Biggs
06 Aug 09 |  UK
Train robber's son 'to get passport'
09 Jul 02 |  England
Train robber Biggs gets married
10 Jul 02 |  England

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