Tuesday, March 21, 2023

‘Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner’ Charles Bronson Tells Parole Board He ‘Went Through A Phase Of Taking Hostages’ 

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Charles Bronson today told a parole board he went through a ‘phase’ where he ‘couldn’t stop taking hostages’, boasting: ‘There’s nothing better than wrapping a governor up like a Christmas turkey.’

Known as ‘Britain’s most violent prisoner’, Bronson was jailed for seven years in 1974 after being convicted of armed robbery and was finally given a life sentence for kidnapping prison teacher Phil Danielson in 1999.

Bronson is the second inmate in UK legal history to have his parole hearing held in public after the rules changed last year in a bid to remove the secrecy around the process.

Today, he said he had decided to change his surname to Salvador in 2014 to show he had become a ‘man of peace’ after previously being ‘a horrible person’ who ‘couldn’t stop taking hostages’.

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Referring to Phil Danielson, the prison art teacher who he held in his cell for three days in 2014, he said he told him: ‘You’ve been my best hostage, you’re the only one who hasn’t sh** himself.’

Bronson told the hearing that the teacher had taken objection to one of a series of health and safety posters created by Bronson, one of which, about the risk of Aids, the staff member misunderstood as ‘having a pop at the gays’.

He said at the time the prison wing where he was held was ‘cold, empty and f****** brutal’, whereas now things are too easy. I’ve got a telly in my cell, I can’t even believe it,’ he told the panel.

Bronson, who has taken hostages on nine different occasions while in prison, said: ‘I went through a phase, I couldn’t help taking hostages. I was battling against the system… it was my way of getting back.

‘There’s nothing better than wrapping a governor up like a Christmas turkey.’

Appearing on camera sat opposite a panel of parole judges wearing a black suit, white shirt and dark glasses, the 70-year-old was asked if he wished to give evidence, to which he replied: ‘Oh yes, certainly.’

When the hearing was told that Bronson had tried to get someone outside prison to place a bet for him, he told the panel: ‘We all love a bet, guv, come on.’

He then repeatedly said: ‘I’m getting bored of this’, objecting to his legal representative asking for a break before he gave evidence.

Bronson could be heard asking the lawyer ‘Can’t you just go yourself?’, before telling the chairman: ‘He just wants the toilet.’

Bronson told his parole hearing he has been ‘betting for 50 years’ while behind bars and won £1,500 last year.

Asked whether he was allowed to bet while behind bars, he replied: ‘Well, are you or ain’t you?

‘No-one has ever said anything to me in 50 years.’

He said he was ‘not an addict’, later adding: ‘I’ve been betting for 50 years.’

When questioned about several incidents behind bars a few years ago and why they happened, Bronson said: ‘I love a rumble. What man doesn’t?’

Describing one incident, in which the parole review was told he stripped naked and ‘greased up’, he said: ‘I took half a tub of Lurpak with me, stripped off and had the rumble of my life. It was f****** brilliant.’

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Addressing his time at Woodhill, he said: ‘I’ve had four years here now, I think I’ve outstayed my welcome.’

The notorious prisoner – who changed his surname to Salvador in 2014 after the artist Salvador Dali – insisted he was no longer violent, telling the panel: ‘I know if I do anything serious again I will die in prison, I will never get out of prison.’

The hearing heard of his frequent verbal outbursts, including one occasion where he had complimented a nurse on her top and touched her shirt, asking if it was silk.

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The staff member told him it made her feel uncomfortable and he told her to f*** off, the hearing – which took place in prison with journalists and the public on a livestream from the Royal Courts of Justice – was told.

On August 19 last year when he was told that the deputy governor was visiting his cell, he said: ‘What, do you want me to put my party hat on?’ and told them to leave.

Another time, he drew a picture for a female member of staff after he complimented him on his artwork.

But she said it was against the rules to accept it so Bronson told her to ‘f*** off’ and ripped it up.

Bronson was also asked about three confrontations with prison guards, with a panel member asking him: ‘That’s not peace-loving is it?’

In response, he replied: ‘A rumble clears the air, I love a rumble.. what man doesn’t?

On the sometimes grainy live stream footage Bronson, who had been sipping what appeared to be a small carton of juice through a straw, was seen briefly standing up during the hearing and began asking for a tissue.

‘I haven’t p****d myself,’ he told the hearing as he placed the tissue under the juice carton and sat back down.

Amid long pauses while the panel asked his prisoner offender manager questions, Bronson said: ‘We will be here all f****** day, won’t we?’

The chairman of the parole board panel, who has not been publicly named, outlined Bronson’s criminal history as the hearing opened.

He has spent most of the past 48 years behind bars, apart from two brief periods of freedom where he reoffended, the hearing was told.

Bronson’s first conviction was in 1974 when he was 21 and was jailed for seven years for robbery, aggravated burglary, assault with intent to rob and possession of a firearm.

He was convicted for wounding again in 1975, 1978 and 1985, then in 1987 he was released from prison at the age of 34.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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