|British convict Biggs an ‘idiot,’ and ‘small time London crook’
An author who chronicled the life of British criminal Ronnie Biggs who died today, described the fugitive as an insignificant operator despite his boasts.
Anthony Delano, who wrote a book about the “Great Train Robbery,’’ in which Biggs participated, told Sky News after his death that Biggs was “an idiot.’’
“He was a small-time south London crook who nobody wanted on the team because he was a weak link,'' he said.
Biggs, died on Wednesday aged 84.
He was caught a few weeks after the heist involving the mail train from Glasgow to London on August 8, 1963, and handed a 30-year jail term in 1964.
After serving 15 months in a London prison, he escaped by climbing down a rope ladder and jumping on to the roof of a furniture van.
He fled to France, where he had plastic surgery, and Spain before heading to Australia and Brazil in 1970. He returned to Britain in 2001.
He was immediately jailed, but was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds after suffering a series of strokes.
Able to communicate only through a spelling board, Biggs boasted ahead of the 50th anniversary of the heist in August: “If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is 'no!'
“I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them. I am equally happy to be described as the 'tea-boy' or 'The Brain'.
“I was there that August night and that is what counts. I am one of the few witnesses – living or dead – to what was 'The Crime of the Century.’ ’’—AFP