Train robber Biggs is buried with final gesture to authority

Ronnie Biggs's coffin arrives at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Ronnie Biggs's coffin arrives at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

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Great train robber Ronnie Biggs, who spent much of his life cocking a snook at authority, has received an appropriate send off.

Yesterday, as the hearse carrying his coffin passed through the streets of north London, a white floral wreath in the shape of a two-fingered salute was visible beside a Union flag and the flag of Brazil, the country where he spent many years as a fugitive from UK justice.

The coffin was surrounded by floral tributes and messages, and adorned with a red ribbon which read “Ronnie”.

The funeral cortege, with a guard of honour formed by 13 Hell’s Angels bikers, left the home of Biggs’ son Michael and daughter-in-law Veronica in north London, before the service at Golders Green Crematorium.

Biggs, who won global notoriety after escaping prison and living the high life in Rio de Janeiro, died last month aged 84.

Ronald Arthur “Ronnie” Biggs, who spent more than three decades on the run, was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds because of ill health. He was re-arrested in 2001 when he came back to the UK after evading the authorities since his first escape from Wandsworth Prison in 1965.

Then, Biggs had served just 15 months of a 30-year sentence for his part in robbing a mail train on August 8, 1963.

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