Biggs to appeal 28-year jail term

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs is to mount a legal challenge in a bid to avoid serving the remainder of his 30-year prison sentence, it emerged today.

Biggs, 71, has been held at top security Belmarsh Prison in south east London since being arrested last Monday when he flew back to Britain from Brazil.

He was sentenced to 30 years for his part in the 1963 robbery of a Glasgow to London mail train in which a guard was injured.

Biggs served only 15 months before breaking out of London's Wandsworth Prison in 1965.

Judy Totton, a public relations consultant hired by the Biggs family, said in a statement: 'We will now begin the process of preparing an application to the Court of Appeal inviting them to consider whether it is appropriate or necessary for Mr Biggs to serve a sentence of 28 years' imprisonment.'

She said Biggs would first have to ask the Court of Appeal to 'exceptionally grant leave to appeal against the sentence'.

He may, alternatively, ask the Criminal Cases Review Committee to refer the case to the Court of Appeal, she said.

Ms Totton added: 'The preparation of such an application will involve careful and detailed research into many matters, some of which occurred over 36 years ago and some of which occurred in foreign jurisdictions.

'We therefore anticipate that it will be several months before such an application is ready to be presented.'

She said Biggs's legal team will also make a request to the Prison Service that he be detained 'in a regime suited to someone of his age and poor state of health'.

She added that no further press statements from the legal team - leading counsel Nigel Sangster QC, junior counsel Guy Kearl and solicitors Jane Wearing and Richard Mallett - would be made until an application had been presented to the appropriate body.

Biggs yesterday met lawyers at Belmarsh where he is receiving medical attention after suffering three strokes towards the end of his long stay in Brazil.

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