JOHN Miller, a 52-year-old former Scots Guard, is best known for masterminding the kidnapping of great train robber Ronnie Biggs in 1981, writes KEITH SINCLAIR.

He smuggled Biggs out of the Brazilian port of Rio de Janeiro aboard a yacht, sailed to Barbados, and then handed him over to the authorities - but he was later allowed to return to Brazil.

With others, Motherwell-born Miller, who changed his name from McKillop when he was demobbed from the Scots Guards, duped Biggs into believing they were a film crew.

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A former mercenary in Guyana, he hatched a bizarre plot with two former Army colleagues - Norman Boyle, from Fife, and Englishman Peter Edwards.

Posing as film producers and pop music impresarios, they contacted Biggs on the pretence of making him a film star.

Biggs, who was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment for his part in the 1963 train robbery, was drugged, bound, and gagged and taken to Barbados where an attempt to have him extradited to Britain failed.

Miller later admitted that the Biggs operation was planned mainly to gain publicity for a security firm he had formed.

Writing in his autobiography, Ronald Biggs - Odd Man Out, published in January 1994, Biggs said he experienced two kidnapping attempts led by Miller while he was in South America.

After the Biggs kidnap, Miller vowed that the missing Lord Lucan was next on his list.

Later, Miller tried to convince the world that he had solved the mystery of Lord Lucan by revealing he had spotted him in Trinidad.

However, by the time dozens of reporters arrived, their bird had flown and Miller, now in Miami, claimed that Lucan was living in a shanty town near Caracas in Venezuela.

Miller divorced his wife Marion, a former Scottish beauty queen, in 1977 and married his second wife, banker's daughter Sarah Hannam, in 1981.