Those of us who are in or approaching our seventh decade know how difficult it is to give up work we have enjoyed. I have no time for the glorification of crime and criminals; I was delighted when the last of the Great Train Robbers were finally brought to justice. However there is a certain poignancy surrounding the current trial of those accused of April’s £14m London jewel robbery in London’s Hatton Garden. To quote from The Times, the oldest member of the gang, at 76, ‘used a train and then a bus to get to the vault in Covent Garden on the day of the heist…’ , moreover ‘given his pensioner status, the trip may well have been free’. In fact, later in the trial it emerged that he had borrowed (?) someone else’s bus pass for the journey. The Times went on to report that ‘Prosecutors said that he may have used his son’s mobile phone to communicate with the other burglars because he did not own one’.
Everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However this looks to me like someone who may still be highly motivated but has failed to keep pace with the modern skill-set required. At 76 it was surely time to retire from crime and find new interests, preferably not involving any reliance on modern technology.