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Charles Bronson, one of the UK’s longest-serving prisoners, would not cope with being released, a Parole Board panel has heard.

The 70-year-old, one of the UK’s most violent offenders, has been in prison for much of the last 50 years.

He told the panel he had had “more porridge than Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and I’m sick of it”.

The first witness, his prison offender manager, said Bronson would not have the skills to cope with being released.

The panel heard that he spends 23 hours a day in his cell and only associates with three other inmates.

When he was told the Parole Board panel hearing the case had not watched a recently-broadcast television documentary about him, he replied “I find that hard to believe”.

Charles Bronson


Shaven-headed Bronson was wearing a suit and his trademark small round sunglasses.

Within minutes of the hearing starting, he spilled some liquid over himself while drinking from a carton.

He told the panel he had not wet himself, but used stronger language, and later swore and said “we’ll be all day” when his prison offender manager paused while giving evidence.

When asked to give evidence, he spoke for about 10 minutes.

‘Very naughty’

“First of all,” he said. “It’s no secret. I have had more porridge than Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and I’m sick of it.

“I’ve had enough of it and I want to go home.

“Of the 50 years I have been in prison I have probably deserved a good 35 of it.

“Because I have been very naughty. Not naughty-naughty but just naughty.

“I have had 11 hostages. I am not proud of it but I am not ashamed of it,” he said.

Bronson told the hearing he is now able to control his emotions.

“I was battling against the system. It was my way of getting back and there’s nothing like wrapping a governor up like a Christmas turkey.

“I have come to the stage of me life now…where I am going out with a bus pass,” he said.

“I have slept in body belts, I have slept in strait-jackets. But how much longer have I got to go?

I’m ready now, I’m a chilled-out man, I feel comfortable in myself. I handle situations 100 times better than I used to.”

Bronson added he was “no longer angry”, was “a born-again artist” and said it was his “mum’s last dream” for him to be released.

‘Struggle in community’

The prisoner – who now uses the last name Salvador – is being held at a specialist close supervision centre at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes.

This is only the second Parole Board hearing ever to be held in public but this one has a far higher profile than the first.

Members of the press and public filled Court 76 at the Royal Courts of Justice to watch the hearing on a live video link.

His prison offender manager said that his ability to manage his emotions had improved. 

“There’s less outbursts,” she said. “There’s been no violence. There has been some flexibility with his thinking and willingness to engage.” 

She was asked what would happen if Bronson was released from prison. 

“He would struggle in the community. He wouldn’t have the skills to cope with such a vast change so quickly,” she said. 

Asked if Bronson was ready for “open” prison conditions, she replied: “I think he still has a way to go”.

‘I’m getting bored mate’

The panel heard Bronson is allowed out of his cell for about an hour a day.

He comes out to collect his food and goes out to the yard or to the gym, or he walks along the balcony.

He is allowed to associate with three other inmates, but the panel heard that he did not get along with one of them.

While in his cell for 23 hours a day he his listens to the radio or does artwork.

The panel was told he receives mail from more than 500 people. A panel member asked the prisoner offender manager if Bronson replied to them all.

“Bloody hell, I can’t reply to all of them,” Bronson interrupted.

After about an hour of court proceedings, Bronson said: “I’m getting bored mate.”

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Who is Charles Bronson?

  • Real name is Michael Gordon Peterson
  • Originally from Luton, he was convicted of armed robbery in 1974, aged 21, and apart from a couple of brief spells of freedom, he has been in prison ever since
  • Changed his name to Charles Bronson in 1987; most of his notoriety came after that moment
  • Took an art teacher hostage in 1999, for which he received a life sentence
  • In 2014, he changed his name, again, to Charles Salvador as a tribute to the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali
  • Most recent conviction was in 2014, for assaulting a prison governor.
  • Prison record also details an alleged attempt to commit an assault against a governor at Frankland prison in Durham in April 2018 because of a withheld photo of his mother
  • Allegedly made threats to a governor at the same prison in February 2019, and to a governor at Woodhill Prison the following month

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The Parole Board panel is deciding whether he is still a risk to the public, or whether he can be released from prison.

If they decide against releasing him they are also being asked to consider allowing Bronson to be moved to “open” prison conditions where he would have much more freedom.

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Source: BBC

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