Son of train robber loses appeal against deportation from Britain

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The Independent Online

The Brazilian son of the ailing former fugitive Ronnie Biggs lost his appeal on Monday for permission to remain in Britain.

An immigration tribunal dismissed an appeal by Michael Biggs, 27, for indefinite leave to remain with his father.

Biggs and his lawyers argued that in refusing to renew his six–month visitor's visa, now expired, immigration authorities breached his human rights.

Michael Biggs says it is "inhumane" to separate him from his father, now 72 and frail after suffering three strokes. He says he is the only person who can communicate with his father, who speaks in grunts.

Immigration officials told the tribunal there was nothing to stop the younger Biggs from briefly leaving the country and applying for a fresh visitor's visa on his return. In giving himself up to British officials, Ronnie Biggs would have known his family life would be disrupted, they said.

After the tribunal ruling, Michael Biggs broke down in tears and said he will appeal. "I'm absolutely devastated. I think this is so cruel," he told reporters.

His lawyer, Alison Stanley, said he did not plan to settle in Britain, but would ultimately return to Brazil to be with his partner and 1–year–old daughter.

"Both the father and son knew Ronnie Biggs would be returned to custody but this is a very unusual case and they both thought compassion would be exercised," she said. "There is never ever going to be another Great Train Robber with a foreign son."

Michael Biggs traveled with his father to Britain in May but is not entitled to British citizenship because his father never married his Brazilian mother.