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Train robber Biggs in hospital

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: February 14, 2009

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in 1998

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in 1998

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One of Britain's most notorious criminals is in hospital after being taken ill in prison, sources said.

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs was moved to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich from nearby Norwich prison, said insiders.

Sources said Biggs was likely to be in hospital over the weekend. He is thought to be suffering from pneumonia.

Biggs shot to infamy for his part in one of the greatest heists in British history - the so-called Great Train Robbery.

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On August 8, 1963 a 15-strong gang including Biggs made an audacious attack on the Royal Mail's Glasgow to London travelling post office train, making off with £2.6 million, a record haul at the time.

In a plan thought to be inspired by Wild West robberies, the group boarded the train in Buckinghamshire and grabbed 120 bags of money. Police embarked on a huge search operation and soon uncovered the gang's hideout, complete with fingerprint evidence.

The members of the gang were sentenced to 300 years in prison between them but Biggs became the most notorious when he escaped from Wandsworth Prison in a furniture van after 15 months inside.

He used plastic surgery to change his appearance and moved to Spain, Australia and then Brazil.

Repeated attempts to extradite him back to Britain failed as the heist gained cult status. But he returned voluntarily in 2001 due to ill-health and was immediately jailed.

Biggs was moved from Belmarsh high-security jail in south east London in July and rehoused at Norwich Prison, which has a specialist hospital wing caring for severely ill offenders.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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