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article imageGreat Train robber wont get parole

By Jane Fazackarley     Jul 1, 2009 in World
The Justice Secretary Jack Straw has decided against giving parole to Ronnie Biggs, one of the Great Train robbers, it was announced today.
Jack Straw turned down the chance of parole, which had been recommended by a Parole Board for the now 79 year old.
Jack Straw explained he had reached the decision because Biggs had showed no repentance for what he did and said he had "outrageously courted the media".
Michael Biggs, the son of Ronnie has requested that Jack Straw have another look at the decision saying that his fathers condition was life threatening.
Ronnie Biggs is currently in the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital after a fall that broke his hip. He was moved to there from Norwich Prison at the weekend.
A report from the Parole Board states that: Ronnie Biggs is "manageable under the proposed risk management plan and consequently parole is recommended".
Jack Straw has said that Ronnie Biggs could have been released from prison years ago had he served his original sentence.
In a statement Jack Straw said:
"I have informed Mr Ronald Biggs of my decision regarding his parole.
"Mr Biggs chose to serve only one year of a 30-year sentence before he took the personal decision to commit another offence and escape from prison, avoiding capture by travelling abroad for 35 years whilst outrageously courting the media.
"Had he complied with his sentence, he would have been a free man many years ago.
"I am refusing the Parole Board's recommendation for parole. Biggs chose not to obey the law and respect the punishments given to him - the legal system in this country deserves more respect than this.
"It was Mr Biggs's own choice to offend and he now appears to want to avoid the consequences of his decision. I do not think this is acceptable.
"Mr Biggs is wholly unrepentant and the Parole Board found his propensity to breach trust a very significant factor. He has not undertaken risk-related work and does not regret his offending."
Michael Biggs said:
"This flies in the face of the parole board recommendation. This is not justice,"
Juliet Lyon of the Prison Reform Trust said:
"It is difficult to see what can be gained, other than tough headlines, by overturning a carefully considered Parole Board decision to grant release and instead condemning a sick, elderly man to spend what seem from reports to be his dying months in prison."
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