Case review body rejects appeal by Ronnie Biggs

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The train robber Ronnie Biggs has lost his appeal to be released from jail early and looks certain to remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission, which reconsiders sentences and alleged miscarriages, rejected Biggs' claim that his 30-year jail term was too harsh. Lawyers for Biggs had argued that the 72-year-old was given a "disproportionate" sentence for his "minor" role in the Great Train Robbery. They also said that other members of the gang received shorter sentences, such as Buster Edwards, who was given 14 years.

The case was dealt with urgently because of Biggs' deteriorating health. Since flying back from exile in Brazil last year he has been treated for internal bleeding and vomiting.

The commission said the appeal was rejected because it felt that there was "no real possibility" that the Court of Appeal would lower the sentence if the case was referred to it.