Ronnie Biggs says train heist robbed him of "love of his life"

Ronnie Biggs at a press conference last year Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

The Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has told a newspaper that his life as a fugitive robbed him of the love of his life.

Biggs spent 36 years on the run after taking part in a £2.6 million heist on the London to Glasgow mail train at Mentmore in Buckinghamshire in 1963. It meant he spent years away from his first wife, Charmian Powell, and their children. Her story is now being told in a five-part drama on ITV1.

83-year-old Ronnie Biggs, speaking through his friend, Chris Pickard, told The Sun: "Charmian Powell, otherwise known as Mrs Biggs, was the love of my life.

"That is a fact, not fiction or a drama. I still love her and hope, in some small way, she still loves me."

Biggs said the pair were reunited briefly earlier this year.

"When I was released from jail, I still did not know how long I had to live and thought it might be days. So we made a few calls from Norfolk Hospital to the people who mattered to let them know I was a free man. The first call was to Charmian in Melbourne.

"Charm promised to come and see me. That set me a target to keep myself alive for.

"When she walked up to my bed in Barnet Hospital in February it was the first time we had been together with me as a free man since I was arrested over the Great Train Robbery in 1963."