'Britain’s most violent prisoner' Charles Bronson tells parole hearing he is 'almost an angel now'

6 March 2023, 14:31 | Updated: 6 March 2023, 20:17

Bronson told the hearing he is “almost an angel now”
Bronson told the hearing he is “almost an angel now”. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Asher McShane

Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson has told a parole hearing he is “almost an angel now” after spending most of the past 48 years behind bars.

He told his parole hearing that he “dreams of walking on grass” and said he has changed his ways and promised no more “rumbles” behind bars.

He is the second inmate in UK legal history to have his parole hearing held in public after the rules were changed last year.

He told the panel that he now behaves like a "gentleman" and plans to go and live in the country if released.

"Give a man a break. We could be sitting around this table until the cow jumps over the moon talking the same old crap.

"I'm just a normal geezer wanting to get on with his life."

But he also said he “loves a rumble” when questioned about several incidents that happened behind bars a few years ago.

Charles Bronson appeared before a parole panel today
Charles Bronson appeared before a parole panel today. Picture: Alamy

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."

But he insists he has ways of managing his negative feelings.

"When I'm in my cell and I've got a bad letter, or something's happened, or someone has been nasty or whatever, I can sit in my cell now and switch off, and go into myself with deep breathing.

"Sometimes people push, push, push, take the piss, it's blatant piss-taking, and some people need a slap, it's as simple as that."

"Bronson was a nasty bastard," he said. "I wasn't a nice person and I didn't like him. Salvador is a man of peace. I feel peaceful."

Asked about an incident in 2015 when he threw his own faeces at another prisoner, Bronson claimed the inmate had killed four people and had insulted him, calling him an OAP and a nobody, and threatened to stab him.

Bronson has been described as 'Britain's most violent prisoner'
Bronson has been described as 'Britain's most violent prisoner'. Picture: Getty

He also claimed that the prisoner had asked him to do it so that he could claim compensation.

Dubbed one of Britain's most violent offenders, Bronson, who changed his surname to Salvador in 2014 after the artist Salvador Dali, has been in prison for much of the last 50 years, often spending time in solitary confinement or specialist units.

It is believed he is still being held at high-security HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

In advance of his parole hearing, Bronson features in a new two-part documentary from Channel 4.

In part one of Bronson: Fit to be free?, which aired on Monday night, he can be seen video calling his son George Bamby from his maximum security cell.

On the prospect of his parole review, Bronson tells his son that he is not the same man he was when he first entered prison.

"I've got a horrible, nasty, vicious, violent past (but) I've never killed anyone, I've never harmed a woman, never harmed a child," he said.

"I'm focused, I'm settled, I can actually smell and taste freedom like I've never, ever done in (my) life. I'm now anti-crime, anti-violent.

"What the f..k am I still in prison for?"

Bronson previously said he was first sent to jail in 1968 and has held 11 hostages in nine different sieges - with victims including governors, doctors, staff and, on one occasion, his own solicitor.

"I was a horrible person and I couldn't stop taking hostages," he told the parole board. "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."

Referring to the prison art teacher he took hostage for three days in 1999, Bronson said he told him: "You've been my best hostage, you're the only one who hasn't s*** himself."

He was sentenced in 2000 to a discretionary life term with a minimum of four years over the incident. Since then the Parole Board has repeatedly refused to direct his release.

Bronson said that he's confident that he's changed and is confident that he'll be "coming home". "The system have labelled me for so many years untameable, untreatable, unpredictable, dangerous, blah, blah, blah. I've had every label you can think of," he said.

"But at the end of the day what people don't realise, since George, my son, has come into my life, I've changed and... George has got me the best legal team in the world... I'm coming home, I'm definitely coming home.

"Cards on the table, do I sound like Britain's most dangerous man? Come on. I'm 68-years-old and all I wanna do is get out there and enjoy my f.....g life, what's left of it."

Along with his son, Bronson credits art for helping him find his "true self" while in prison.

"My art now is my life," he said.

"When I create a piece of art, I create a piece of myself. I'm more proud of my art than I am anything and what I've basically done... I've swapped (my) sawn-off shotgun for a sawn-off paintbrush. And it's lovely, it's beautiful.

"When I sit there and do a piece of art, it feels like I'm part of the human race, I feel lovely and happy. It gets rid of all my frustrations and my tension and my madness. I'm an artist and people have got to start believing it and seeing it."