Britain’s most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson, has begged for freedom after spending more than 40 years behind bars.
In a bizarre voice message sent to Sky News, Bronson, now aged 70, said: “I bet you can’t believe I’m still in, can you? It’s an absolute liberty. I’ve never murdered anyone; I’ve never raped anyone. What am I in jail for? People don’t believe it. They think I’m a serial killer.”
He also went on to say that he would “shock the planet” at his proposed public parole hearing, a rule change which will mean that parole hearings will be heard in public for the first time. “I’m the first man in Britain to have a public one (parole hearing) and the reason I’m doing that is I’m going to expose the system for what it’s done to me,” he said in the message. It’s all coming out in the wash, my side of the story, and the truth is mate, it’s going to shock the planet.”
Signing off, he said: “Between you and me, I can still do 95 press-ups in 30 seconds, so I’m still the guv’nor. Good luck, your old china Charlie.” Having spent time in the Broadmoor, Rampton and Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospitals, Bronson was first jailed for seven years for armed robbery in 1974. In 1999, he took an art teacher—who had criticised his drawing ability—hostage and, wielding a homemade spear and a broken bottle, he tugged him along with a skipping rope around his neck for two days.
In a separate incident, Bronson once took two Iraqi hijackers and another inmate hostage at Belmarsh Prison, demanding a helicopter to Cuba and a cheese and pickle sandwich during negotiations and threatening to eat one of his captives. He has been given life sentence with a minimum term of three years and has been turned down for parole ever since. However, in a new bid for freedom, his solicitor, Dean Kingham, has reached out to Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, explaining that the notorious inmate had not committed any violent crimes in the last five years.
Describing the inmate as a “political prisoner” in the letter, he said: “You have the power under the Prerogative of Mercy to grant Mr Salvador’s release without requiring him to go in front of the Parole Board… He has not been violent for a significant number of years and his risk is primarily towards prison governors.”
Earlier this year, Bronson claimed he would be a free man after his public parole hearing had been approved: “I’ve got my jam roll [parole] coming up. All my reports are excellent. It’s looking good, it really is. I’m closer now to getting out than I have been in 30-odd years. Up to now there’s not a date, but it’s looking like June, July. I’m the first man in the British Isles to have a public parole hearing. All these decades I’ve done.”