Monday, 9 February 2009

Time Served

He did beat the system - It happens

Ronnie BIGGS is likely to be released this year on parole. He is nearly 80 years old and by all accounts suffering dementia. He would have served nearly a third of his 30 year sentence, since he returned in 2001.

As much as I go by the adage "Did the crime now do the time", I do have some sympathy with this bloke. He was on the run for 35 years and was I believe the holder of the "at large" record for an escapee in modern times.

Unfortunately for him legally he has to serve his sentence, and only a humanitarian gesture by the home secretary could have secured his release. As he has not been diagnosed with a terminal illness it appears he doesn't fall into that criteria either. Put aside the celebrity gangster campaigns and objectively it is clear this old man is no longer a threat to society. He beat the system - we should accept it.

Under today's criminal justice farce there are worse threats to public safety released early onto our streets every day. It is clearly not in the public interest to keep this bloke in jail in that state given the circumstances of his case. He should be released with parole conditions to maintain a low profile for a set period. Of course if he suddenly crops up on celebrity come dancing it will have to be looked at again.

Am I going soft? or should there be some compassion here?


Area Trace No Search said...

You're going soft - but it's not a bad thing.

MarkUK said...

Let's face it, the original sentence was well over the top. 35 years? Who gets that for anything these days - and at the time it was a huge jump in sentences for robbery.

Let the poor sod go.

Dandelion said...

What did he do? How many people did he kill?

I don't think you're going soft, but I do think you should save your compassion for people on whom it will make an actual difference for their future.

Like people who don't like being greeted by their abusers on the street, for eg. It would do wonders for police PR.

Anonymous said...

You've gone soft. Let him serve his sentence as his victim served his. Let it be a deterrence to others that you cannot beat the system and live off the fat in Brazil. Lets see a few more similar sentences for like crimes.


Stressed Out Cop said...

I think the problem with this particular case was that he was too good at being on the run.10 years until his parole would not have been too bad if he'd come back after 5 years, but he might not have got it if he was still a risk. Let's face it if Brasil had a good NHS he might not have come back.

I don't think he actually set foot on the train but was part of the gang.

ASNT - It comes with old age

MarkUK - Not over the top at the time when the system was beginning to gun for organised crime. AND it had an effect.

Roland - He already beat the system by having the best years of his life in Brasil. Similar sentences will not return in the near future - but are needed for some offences as deterrant

R/T said...

Piers Paul Reid in his book on the robbers (which I read 20 odd years ago) said that Biggs was only brought in as he knew someone who worked for BR and they reckoned that Biggs could get the guy in to drive the train. As it happened, the guy couldn't as it was too new for him! I can't remember if Biggs was in the cab when the driver (who died shortly after from injuries caused by the baseball bat he took to the head, BTW) was GBH'd but he was part of the gang, albeit a late arrival. It always annoyed me a bit that Biggs got the notoriety of being a Train Robber for playing such a seemingly peripheral role. At the end of the day, though, the adage "If you can't do the time" etc holds here.

Bob said...

Is it me, or has there been an edit here? What happened to healthy debate?

Stressed Out Cop said...


Having received sad news one of my comments I deemed as insensitive and therefore inappropriate hence the edit or self censorship. I'm sure you understand. SOC

Bob said...

Sure. Sorry about the sad news.

Sage said...

Personally I would release him immediately as it is obvious he is no longer a threat to society and deserves to die with his family rather than in a prison cell or in hospital with prison guards..

After all this time, surely we still have compassion for his illness not just what he did.