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Weasel' train robber dies, aged 61


Roy James, one of the Great Train robbers, has died at the age of 61, it emerged last night. The former racing driver, known as "The Weasel" during his criminal career, had been suffering from heart disease.

He underwent a triple bypass operation and died at Brompton Hospital in west London. Earlier this year, he had been released from a six-year prison sentence for wounding his father-in-law after a family row.

Former Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs, 68, said from his home in Brazil: "It is very sad. I didnt know him before the robbery, but we spent time in prison together and he was great company."

James was the getaway driver in the pounds 2.6 million mail train robbery near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire in 1963. He served other sentences after being released from his 30-year sentence for the robbery in 1976.

He was a successful Formula Two racing driver at the time of his arrest for the robbery and his skill was used on robberies as a getaway driver. He claimed he had turned to crime because he was unable to get the sponshorship money that would have enable him to be a successful Formula One driver. James is the fifth to die of the 13 men convicted of the robbery of the Glasgow-Euston mail train. Kate Watson-Smyth