Biggs: ‘I’ll live on to spite my enemies’

Author: By Matt Dickinson, PA

The People published pictures of the 80-year-old former fugitive celebrating
his birthday and first full day of freedom in the hospital where he is being
treated for chronic pneumonia.

Biggs – who was freed on Friday by the Justice Secretary after doctors
concluded he was extremely ill – told the paper: “I don’t have much strength
but I’ll keep on fighting.”

He added: “I’ve got a bit of living to do yet. I might even surprise them all
by lasting until Christmas – that would be fantastic. I’ll live on just to
spite those who want me dead.”

His birthday yesterday at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in
Norwich coincided with the 46th anniversary of the famous robbery, which saw
his gang escape with nearly £3 million in cash.

Biggs celebrated with son Michael and a fellow pensioner who mounted a
campaign for his release from prison.

Retired steel polisher Tony Hastings, 67, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, said:
“He looked much better than I expected. I have seen a picture of him where
he looked unconscious – but he was smiling and everything. Brilliant.”

Michael Biggs said it had been “very special” to spend time with his father on
his first day of freedom.

He added: “My father is extremely weak at the moment, it was the first day of
freedom, it was a very special time for all of us.”

On Friday he said his father was “about to close this last chapter” and would
be “retreating fully from public life”. “This is not going to turn into a
media circus,” he added.

Biggs, from Lambeth, is due to undergo surgery next week.

He could then be moved to a hospital nearer Michael’s home in Barnet, north
London.

He was given a 30-year sentence in 1963 but escaped after 15 months and lived
as a fugitive in Australia and Brazil.

He returned to the UK voluntarily in 2001 and was sent back to prison.

Since then his health has deteriorated and he has suffered a series of
strokes.

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