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Ronnie Biggs moves into High Barnet care home
GREAT Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has moved into a High Barnet care home to end his days near his son.
The 80-year-old, who was granted compassionate release last week, was taken by ambulance from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to Carlton Court Nursing Home, in Bells Hill, this afternoon.
His son Michael, 34, granddaughter Ingrid, nine, and legal advisor Giovanni Di Stefano were all by his side as he made the move.
Mr Di Stefano, said: "He is just well enough to be moved and that will be his final home."
Biggs fell ill with severe pneumonia in July. He was taken to hospital from Norwich Prison, where he was serving a 30-year sentence for his part in the 1963 mail train robbery.
Last week, he said he wanted to carry on living "to spite those who want me dead".
He said: "I've got a bit of living to do yet."
Last Wednesday, Biggs also spelled out "I am so happy" to his friend Michael Grey on his alphabet board - his only means of communication after suffering a series of strokes.
The robber was formally released on August 7 after Justice Secretary Jack Straw granted the "gravely ill" inmate compassionate leave.
Five weeks earlier he rejected a recommendation by the parole board to free the prisoner on the grounds he showed no repentance for the crime.
Several Barnet councillors, MPs and residents agreed with the original decision, voicing anger that they would be forced to foot the bill for the robber's 24-hour care, which could be as much as £35,000 a year.
Theresa Villiers, Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet, said: “Ronnie Biggs has never expressed remorse for his crime.
"Not content with robbing trains, he is now set on hitting the taxpayer will a big bill."
But Mr Grey, 52, who has known Biggs for 20 years, voiced delight at the Government's change of mind.
He said: "I have been astounded by the negative comments made in the press about Ronnie Biggs.
"We are talking about an 80-year-old grandfather who hasn't hurt anyone in his entire life.
"During the train robbery, he just sat on the embankment and watched it happen.
"He is an ordinary, harmless, lovable person and hasn't got a bad bone in his body.
"His only love is Michael and his granddaughter - and now, thanks to Jack Straw, he can spend his last days with them."
Biggs was part of a 15-strong gang that stole £2.6m from the Glasgow to London mail train at Ledburn, Buckinghamshire 46 years ago.
The train's driver, Jack Mills, suffered head injuries during the robbery, though Biggs has always claimed he was not involved in the attack.