Monday, 7th May 2001

The Great Train Robbery - Ronnie Biggs - And The Truth

Ronnie Biggs is an outlaw. In 1963, in company with others, he successfully robbed a train of 2.6 million.

The Establishment was outraged. How dare ill-educated criminals expose the shortcomings of expensively educated, but ignorant in street-wise learning, members of The Establishment?

Worse than that these 'low-caste, ill-bred illiterates' were now richer than some members of the Establishment.

This was a terrible affront to this ruthless society, which is the hidden ruler of this country.

No expense was spared, and unlimited manpower was used to hunt down these 'anarchists' who, according to the false propaganda, 'threatened the whole structure of English society'. They had to be caught - and severely punished.

Yet, the 'heinous' crime of these 'danger to society' men was confined to robbing a train of discarded pound notes that were on their way to the incinerator.

Unfortunately, the train driver Jack Mills, a man with a serious lack of commonsense, refused to cooperate, and was coshed once.

He was not KO'd, and when the police found the train, Jack Mills was able to walk away from the scene. He had a bandage around his head but there was no sign of blood.


Scotland Yard's 'Finest'

To ensure that when the robbers were caught that they did not escape the net, Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Butler, Scotland's Yard's 'finest' corrupt police officer, was put in charge of the operation, despite the fact that the robbery took place outside the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.

Those responsible for this appointment knew that Tom Butler would not be fazed by lack of evidence against anyone whom he believed was party to the robbery. 'Good old' Tom would just manufacture the evidence, and plant it, which he did.

Who was Tom Butler? He was a 24-hours-a day policeman, unmarried, had little, or no, interest in anything other than police business, often worked into the early hours in his police office, lived on sandwiches and police canteen food. He looked like a concentration camp survivor, had a twisted, perverted mind in which he imagined that everyone was a criminal, and it was only a matter of time before they were all behind bars.

His respect for justice and fair play was non-existent.

Other policeman feared him, not because he was an upstanding officer, which, he was most definitely not as he had taken his share of 'bungs', but because of this treachery. It was this fear by his superiors that stopped his rise to a higher rank in the force.

To head the notorious Flying Squad he had to be made-up as a Chief Superintendent, but he was not allowed to go any higher.

No one was safe from this puppet of the Establishment. When a member of this evil society jerked the strings, Tom Butler danced.

The chance apprehending of a fringe member of the train robbers, and the deadly information of a 'grass' of Butler's second-in-command, resulted in the hideout of the trainer robbers, Leatherslade Farm, being revealed.

When Tom Butler arrived at Leatherslade Farm it was obvious that the train robbers had taken precautions to minimise the clues that could identify the robbers.

Tommy Wisbey, and some of his colleagues, had stripped naked and washed down the areas where they were likely to have left fingerprints.

Undaunted Butler made sure that sufficient evidence was manufactured to implicate each robber. The methods he used were crude, but he knew this would present no problems in court. The specially chosen Judge would see to that.

A shoe of one of the train robbers, Gordon Goody, was rubbed against one of the train robber's vehicles, and forensic tests revealed that the paint on the shoe was not there because of accidental scuffing, but had been rubbed several times against the painted surface of the vehicle, and there were other perversions of the justice system.

Gordon was a train robber, but is a conviction brought about by the perversion of justice satisfactory? How is it possible to justify upholding the law by breaking the law?

Nevertheless, His Honour Judge Davies made sure that such a serious matter as perverting the course of justice must not interfere with the due process of Butler and Davies law.

Today highly sophisticated forensic science would curb both Det. Chief Supt. Tommy Butler, and Judge Edmund Davies.

In the early 1960's the courts often welcomed the crudest of planted evidence. Magistrates and Judges recognised crooked evidence, but they were content to support the system.

Nowadays this is not so simple, although it still goes on at an unacceptable rate.

Crime and Punishment

When the charade of the trial of the train robbers was finally over the Judge, probably under strict orders, passed a sentence of 30 years imprisonment on the main body of the robbers.

As I have said before, for the act of robbing a train of discarded currency notes that were on their way to the incinerator men were sent to prison for nearly half the period of the biblical lifetime of three score years and ten!

No member of the public was hurt, no child was molested, no pensioners were fleeced of their money, no street was made unsafe because of the train robbery, yet, under the falsehood of being in the name of justice, men were given 30 years imprisonment to be served in hell-holes.

By what tenet of society is this justified? How is it possible to have respect for just punishment if this scandalous penal servitude sentence is correct?

The answer is that there is none!

It is a complete contradiction of the term.

Where was the concern for innocent family members of these men?

The Judge Edmund Davies told the trial jury: "Let us clear out of the way any romantic notions. This is nothing less than a sordid crime of violence inspired by vast greed."

This had to be the most frightening, language the learned Judge Davies could muster from his extended vocabulary to summarise the robbery and thereby sway the jury, and the public, that his unprecedented severe punishment was justified.

The reality was that all around the world people were showing great interest, and regard, for the daring raid. Where was the heinous behaviour that threatened the general public and made the robbers public enemies?

If Greed was the inspiration for the robbery does that in any way justify 30 years to be spent in a hellhole, as the prisons in those days were accurately described.?

If it does then how come that the directors of vast corporations whose greed is responsible for these corporations making billions of pound of profit each year out of consumers, the shares of which, no doubt, Judge Edmund Davies was an investor, and therefore, a beneficiary of these indecent profits, are not serving 30 years in jail?

Last year, or maybe, it was the year before, two armed men held up an underground coach where only women were seated. They robbed them of their personal possessions, and terrified the women. Was it headlines in our newspapers or on TV? No, it wasn't. Did they get 30 years? They did not.

Although this was a far worse crime than The Great Train Robbery, and one that any decent person would severely condemn, it was correct not repeating such a sickening mistake and giving them 30 years. In fact they received light sentences.

Train Driver Died Of Pneumonia

The gauleiters responsible for this abuse of crime and punishment had one, just one, point on which to turn the wave of public sympathy for the daredevil train robbers, and that was train driver Jack Mills.

Evil they may be, but idiots they are not! With all the verve of a major soap opera feature the gauleiters arranged for driver Mills to take early retirement. They made sure he was made aware that his future prospects were best served by an early retirement. It was commercial decision, and had nothing to do with caring for Jack Mills.

After one serious lack of commonsense driver Mills did not make the same mistake. After a lifetime of manual labour it was an offer he could not refuse, and it was a sensible decision.

Seven years later, at the age of 64, Jack Mills died from pneumonia

It is nonsense to suggest that dying from pneumonia had a connection with anything that took place at the train robbery.

Every detail of driver Mills that could be used to turn sympathy against the train robbers was used over and over again.

Therefore, do you think for one moment that had his death been in any way a result of the train robbery incident the whole world would not have been told? There is no permanent memorial for driver Mills because his death was due to natural causes. Nothing more, nothing less.

Each and everyone of the train robbers has repeatedly publicly expressed regret for the fact that driver Mills was coshed, and I, too, share this regret.

It was unfortunate, but there were no liberties taken. He was not beaten-up. He was not placed in intensive care. It was never claimed, nor could it be, that the blow he received was the cause in any way of a life-threatening situation.

Real Life Horror Stories

It was very, very different from the beatings from coshes that have rained down on the heads, and bodies, of prison inmates, including mine. The violence inflicted upon people in police cells, which is so serious that there is now a call for close circuit TV to monitor people the moment they enter a police station.

The terrible beatings by 'screws' on inmates that have put the victims close to death, the deaths of prisoners due to physical abuse by prison staff that have been hushed-up, the suicides by prisoners whose minds, and bodies, could take no more violent punishment.

The terrible anguish and hurt these tragedies caused to innocent families.

Neither driver Mills, nor his family, suffered anything remotely like these dreadful scenarios. Surely, this is clear evidence that the train robbers were not mindless thugs, or sadists.

There Was No Mastermind

There is still reference today that there was a 'mastermind' of The Great Train Robbery.

Bulls***t. There was no commanding officer. It is fiction.

Each one of the main people involved had equal status. They were their own men, and anything less would not have been acceptable.

In recent times some of them might have spoken out publicly more than others, and one might continue to do so, but you can believe me there was no 'mastermind'.

I am astonished that anyone should want to call himself the 'mastermind' because being the 'mastermind' of a crime for which the perpetrators received 30 years each, is hardly the work of a master-brain, now is it?

Had anyone been paid extra money for his 'mastermind services' then he would have been told to return the money and he would have done so!

The Law Breakers

After just fifteen months into his 30 years sentence, Ronnie Biggs, understandably believed himself to be a man with no future, so he devised an escape from Wandsworth prison.

He was successful, and once again he was a free man. His final destination was to be Brazil.

His marriage of love to Charmian, which resulted in sons being born, was forced to end, and this was a terribly sad time for the whole family.

The tragic death of one of the sons in a motoring accident with Charmian at the wheel of the car, devastated the family.

Just try to imagine the mental turmoil that this terrible accident must have caused both Charmian and Ronnie. At a time when Ronnie was needed most he was a prisoner of circumstances, and could not leave Brazil.

In Brazil he had a liaison with a local girl, Raimunda de Castro who was then 19, and a child, Michael, was born in 1974.

This child turned out to be a guarantee that Ronnie could never be forced out of Brazil. As the father of a Brazilian child Ronnie had immunity from extradition. This meant that while he stayed in Brazil he was safe. That is the law of the country,

The daring escape by Ronnie made front-page world news. At the same time the world became aware that the justice system of the alleged mother of democracy, England had viciously sentenced men to 30 years imprisonment for the robbery of money.

Fair-minded people around the world were appalled, and The Establishment were, once again, furious.

They despatched a 'copper' of the old school, Chief Superintendent Jack Slipper to Brazil with orders to bring Ronnie Biggs back to England.

There were a lot worse policemen than Jack Slipper, but he had his orders. When he arrived in Brazil, Slipper tried to hustle the local police, and get Ronnie Biggs onto a plane heading for England.

Fortunately the Brazilians are not just people with pretty faces, and when this unlawful act by the English police became known to senior Brazilian police officers, and officials, they refused to allow Slipper to take Ronnie out of their country- and their tone left no doubt that they meant what they said.

Huffing and puffing by English officials cut no ice. Ronnie Biggs was to stay in Brazil.

To achieve their ends The Establishment were prepared to break the law of a foreign land merely to gain revenge. Understandably, the Brazilians were angry, and it was only after intense diplomatic shmoozing that the matter was allowed to rest.

The Establishment had made themselves a laughing-stock in the eyes of the world.

The fact that those in high places in England were prepared to be lawbreakers in a highly respected country merely to return a robber to an English prison gives some indication of the ruthlessness of The Establishment.

It is sad that Jack Slipper, who lives in Middlesex, is also a very sick man. He has lymphatic cancer.

In 1993 he went on a social visit to see Ronnie in Brazil. Unfortunately, it now appears that this did not go down well with the former bosses of Jack because he recently said he doesn't want to meet him again.

Two men very seriously ill, and one is now adamant that he doesn't want to see the other fellow stricken man who has not caused him any personal harm; a man he had travelled halfway across the world to visit for social reasons, but now, for some inexplicable reason, has decided that he does not want to meet again.

I hope the reason is because of undue pressure on Jack Slipper from faceless people. If that is not the reason then he is revealed as man without good grace.

Brazil was given another tremendous boost when they said that Ronnie Biggs would only be allowed to leave the country if it was a request made with free will by him. They also demanded to be assured by Ronnie that it was his wish to return to England.

A Grateful Son Of England

Ronnie Biggs settled in Brazil, and obtained more publicity for that country in the foreign media than any footballer, film star or any other celebrity. He must have been the darling of their Tourist Board.

By escaping a draconian term of imprisonment that shames all of us, what did this country lose? It lost nothing, and economically made a valuable gain.

The escape of Ronnie Biggs saved this country a great deal of money because it never had the high cost of keeping him in prison.

Ronnie has stayed on the right side of the law, and has not committed another crime. He has proved a dutiful father to his son; a friend to the mother of their child, Michael, and he has honoured his commitments.

Had he stayed in this country he may not have kept an unblemished record on his release.

Yet, despite his great admiration for Brazil, and its people, and his sincere gratitude for their generosity, he has now decided that he wants to return to England, and die in peace in the country of his birth.

There is a desperate need in this country for more loyalty to be shown to England, or for that matter, Great Britain.

For a large section of the population the only reason that they care about England is because they want a continuance of the benefits they receive from being English citizens.

Yet here is the outlaw Ronnie Biggs telling the world I want to 'go home' to England and have some jellied eels and a pint of beer by the sea in the holiday resort of Margate, the county that is the garden of England.

It was the loyalty of its subjects to their country that made Britain great, and the combined brains of the entire advertising industry with a budget of billions of pounds could not have come up with a more heartfelt, and profound message, for the citizens of this country, and the entire world, that justifies the persuasion that England, or Britain, is a truly great country.

Politicians Of The People Unite

Politicians of all parties who rightly believe that there is a growing lack of respect by a certain section of the citizens of this country, and are angry at the repeated denigration by rogue foreign politicians of the homeland of the British people, now have an superb opportunity to unite.

They need to tell Jack Straw, (yes, they have the muscle to do this), that the eyes of the world will be on this country, and if a police car has to meet Ronnie Biggs when he arrives back in this country then it should be an unmarked car, he should be taken to one of the better National Health hospitals where his health condition should be fully assessed, and thereafter treated with the dignity that should be afforded to any dying man.

If the skills of the English medical profession are able to help Ronnie to live a longer life, then again that will be a tremendous boost to the National Health service.

It is not necessary to allow Ronnie Biggs to ever enter a prison again, and to do so would be sadistic revenge.

This is an appropriate time to send the right kind of message to the youngsters of this country that when you are born, or allowed to become, a citizen of this country then it is a privilege, and that even a man, or as many would prefer a 'folk-hero, like Ronnie Biggs needed to come back to England's green and pleasant land to die so that he may forever rest in peace.