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Great Train robber's grandson escapes jail.

The grandson of Great Train robber Thomas Wisbey yesterday escaped a jail sentence in Cyprus where he was fined after admitting drug trafficking offences.

Florist Jonathan Wisbey was one of five British tourists fined a total of pounds 2,574 after pleading guilty to 35 charges of possession, importation, supply and use of ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis.

Wisbey (23) was fined pounds 819, warehouse manager Geoffrey Gurling (26) was fined pounds 468, pub manager Martin Parish (25) was fined pounds 117, printer Paul Cunningham (24) was fined pounds 585 and student Joseph Xenophontos (23) was fined pounds 58 5.

The five, all from London, were arrested last week after police found drugs hidden in shoes, packets of biscuits and kitchen drawers in their Ayia Napa hotel.

Thomas Wisbey, aged 67, served 12 years of a 30-year sentence for his part in the notorious 1963 train heist.

Eve Boswell dies aged 76

Eve Boswell, a singing star of the Fifties and a favourite of the Duke of Edinburgh, died yesterday in South Africa.

She had had a heart attack.

The Hungarian-born performer, who lived in Durban, was aged 76.

She shot to fame with songs like Sugar Bush, Blue Star and Young and Foolish as well as topping the bill at the 1953 Royal Variety Performance.

The singer married three times and was believed to be estranged from her only child, Michael McIntosh, from her first marriage.

pounds 150m efficiency drive

The Government yesterday launched a pounds 150 million drive to improve efficiency in the public services.

The Invest to Save scheme is a key plank of Chancellor Gordon Brown's comprehensive spending review, in which he promised Government departments more money in return for efficiency savings.

Under the project, Government departments, and later local authorities, will be invited to bid for a share of pounds 150 million over three years to develop services in "an innovative and more efficient fashion."

The Invest to Save budget was unveiled by Treasury Chief Secretary Stephen Byers on a tour of a one-stop shop for council services in Brent, north London.

Wish you donors were here

Former blood donors are being sent special NHS anniversary postcards to remind them to give blood again.

Each of 200,000 donors, picked at random from the National Blood Tranfusion Service's Register, will receive a postcard bearing a picture of a stamp issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Health Service.

Sue Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Blood Service, said: "There is now an extra demand for blood, mainly because of the Government's pledge to cut waiting lists. The Royal Mail said they'd help us, as this coincides with the 50th anniversary of the NHS, and we were delighted."

Aitken daughter cleared

The daughter of Jonathan Aitken will not be prosecuted in connection with the former Tory cabinet minister's failed libel action.

Ms Victoria Aitken, aged 18, was arrested in March and released on police bail after being questioned by detectives investigating an alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

A spokeswoman for the CPS yesterday said: "We have advised the police there will be no further action against an 18-year-old woman following legal advice that there was insufficient evidence."

ps Post Script

Prison clothing could challenge Italy's best-selling designer Giorgio Armani in the fashion stakes, according to prison authorities.

The standard prison blue and white striped shirt is in such demand that a former inmate of a prison of Kirkham Wood prison in Lancashire was jailed again ten minutes after his release for stealing 25 shirts to sell to fashion retailers.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 14, 1998
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