Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs faces an agonising wait to learn if he will be freed from jail after his parole hearing adjourned without a result.
A spokesman for the Parole Board said a decision was likely by July this year when Biggs becomes eligible for release after serving a third of his sentence.
Biggs, 79, from Lambeth, London, was a member of a 15-strong gang which attacked the Glasgow to London mail train at Ledburn, Bucks, on August 8, 1963, before making off with £2.6m.
The final decision rests with Justice Secretary Jack Straw who will consider the case after he has received the Parole Board's report.
A spokesman for the Parole Board said: “A Parole Board panel met today to consider the case of Mr Ronald Biggs.
“There are, however, certain issues which still need to be clarified before a final recommendation can be made.
“We are confident that the information can be made available for a decision to be made in time for Mr Biggs's parole eligibility date in July 2009.
“The recommendation would be to the Justice Secretary, who has the final decision in this type of case.”
Biggs, who was on the run for more than 30 years, living in Spain, Australia and Brazil before returning to the UK in 2001, is seriously unwell.
In February, he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital suffering from pneumonia.
His son, Michael, 34, said last week he was “hopeful” that his father would be freed on July 3 - in time to celebrate his 80th birthday on August 8, exactly 46 years on from the audacious heist.