Jack Straw statement on Biggs' release

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Indy Politics

Here is the full statement by Justice Secretary Jack Straw on the release of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs:

"Mr Ronald Biggs has been informed today of my decision regarding his application for compassionate release on medical grounds.

"On 1 July I refused Mr Biggs' release on parole.

"These two decisions however involved different considerations.

"I made the decision to refuse parole principally because Mr Biggs had shown no remorse for his crimes nor respect for the punishments given to him and because the Parole Board found his propensity to breach trust a very significant factor.

"In this case, I have had to consider the medical evidence against well-established criteria - specifically whether death was likely to occur soon and whether the prisoner was bedridden or severely incapacitated.

"The medical evidence clearly shows that Mr Biggs is very ill and that his condition has deteriorated recently, culminating in his re-admission to hospital. His condition is not expected to improve.

"It is for that reason that I am granting Mr Biggs compassionate release on medical grounds. I have therefore been satisfied that the relevant conditions have been met, which I was not in respect of the recommendation for parole.

"Mr Biggs will be subject to the same strict licence conditions as other prisoners on release. He must live at an approved address, behave well, and cannot travel abroad without approval.

"If he were to breach those conditions or commit any further offence, he would be liable to immediate recall to prison."