A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ronnie Biggs moved on "compassionate grounds".

Ronnie Biggs! What can be said about him? If I was a tabloid editor, masses of stuff. I'd make sure I got the circulation up on the days I had a go. Ronnie Biggs became a kind of lovable villain as far as the tabloids were concerned, although to be fair they did usually mention the reason he was a villain. The violence of the Great Train Robbery, leaving the driver to live out his life in pain and misery, was the reason. But on a set of scales, the violence was often outweighed by the lovable villain's exploits, mainly in Brazil.

Why mention Ronnie Biggs? Because he has just been moved from Belmarsh high security prison to the more gentle climes of Norwich Prison. And the powers-that-be don't really know what to do with him. He is 77 years old, and, as his son said, "can hardly walk, will never speak again, cannot eat, drink, read or write but he's still deemed a threat to society." This is where the Prison Service makes a fool of itself. A man who has MRSA, skin cancer and cataracts and needs 24-hour nursing care is never in a thousand years going to be "a threat to society". Yet they have no method, it seems, of expressing common sense. (His son Mike said it was a victory for common sense.)

Far better for them to say that Biggs will remain in custody, for his own good. However, the Prison Service, you can bet, is racking up a bigger bill for his stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure than any hospice or nursing home would.


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