Biggs lawyer laughs off concerns over 're-offending risk'

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The Independent Online

Concerns that Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs still poses a risk are laughable, his lawyer said today.

A Parole Board panel which recommended the 79-year-old's early release said he had not undertaken risk-related work and did not regret his offending.



"In terms of his attitudes and risk areas there is little evidence beyond his increased age to suggest that, if he were able to return to his old criminal associates and lifestyle, the risk of involvement in further violent offending has reduced significantly," the panel said.



A decision on the release of Biggs is expected within days after the case was passed to Justice Secretary Jack Straw.



Biggs, who is eligible for release on July 3, is on the hospital wing of Norwich prison.



He is barely able to walk, is fed through a tube and is expected to be cared for following his release by Barnet Council and the local Primary Care Trust near where his son Michael lives in north London.



The Parole Board report says the risk Biggs poses "is manageable under the proposed risk management plan and consequently parole is recommended".



Biggs's lawyer, Giovanni di Stefano, who is currently in Iraq, said: "The only important factor is this: the Parole Board has recommended release - all else is frankly superfluous.



"Biggs still a risk? At 80, can't walk, can't talk, can't go to the toilet, is fed with nasal gastric feed, in a wheelchair?



"I will leave whether Biggs is still a risk regarding robbery, because that is what the Parole Board had to decide, frankly to common sense, and I can hear many laughing even way afar from Iraq - the laughter travels thousands of miles. But I am obliged whatever to the decision to recommend parole."