Ronnie Biggs: The Inside Story - Mike Gray and Tel Currie

EVERYONE has heard of Ronnie Biggs. To the majority, his name is wrapped in the kind of myth only usually afforded to the daring cowboy exploits of the Wild West or even the Jolly Rogering on the pirate-laden high seas in ages past. To others the Great Tr

EVERYONE has heard of Ronnie Biggs.

To the majority, his name is wrapped in the kind of myth only usually afforded to the daring cowboy exploits of the Wild West or even the Jolly Rogering on the pirate-laden high seas in ages past.

To others the Great Train Robber is a criminal getting what he deserves - whiling away his life at Her Majesty's pleasure.

Ronnie Biggs: The Inside Story (�9.99, Apex) by Mike Gray and Tel Currie, tells the tale of the man behind the myth and argues that it is time for the broken, ageing, disabled pensioner to be allowed to go free.


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Biggs was part of a gang that looted more than �2million after holding up a train running from Glasgow to London in 1963.

The book begins when Biggs voluntarily returns to the UK in 2001 after stating his desire to enjoy a pint in a pub as an Englishman. He was arrested and re-imprisoned, first at HMP Belmarsh and later at HMP Norwich. It is thought he could be released later this year.

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Although one can argue the book is written with the authors (two of the man's closest friends and biggest supporters) carrying out their work wearing Biggs-tinted sunglasses, they do make a good case.

The man turns 80 this year and a number of strokes have robbed him of speech and left him wheelchair-bound. He can only be fed through a tube in his stomach and needs help to even go to the toilet. The authors insist he is not a threat to society and should be allowed to spend whatever remains of his life surrounded by friends and family.

Extremely-well written and definitely worth reading.

- DOMINIC WIGGAN

* Mike Gray will be signing copies of the book at Waterstone's, High Road, Ilford, on Saturday, 1-3pm.

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