Charles Bronson: Supporters brand Parole Board decision 'a joke' as appeal denied

The Parole Board said they did not believe the 70-year-old was suitable for release

Charles Bronson's failed bid to be released from prison after almost 50 years has prompted outrage from his supporters, all of whom are posting the same question to social media: "Why are murderers and paedophiles free while Bronson is behind bars?"

Dubbed 'Britain's most notorious prisoner', Bronson's original conviction was for armed robbery, he later added time to his sentence for numerous violent incidents during his time in prison – most notably hostage taking, prison rioting and smearing himself in margarine for a prison "rumble" he described as "f****** brilliant".

His violent offences largely took place in prison, with a prison psychologist telling the Parole Board during a public hearing that Bronson had previously romanticised prison brawls and had lingering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time behind bars – much of which has been spent in solitary confinement.

Read more: Charles Bronson: Parole board explains why it won’t release notorious prisoner

Bronson’s ex-wife Irene Dunroe told the PA news agency she was “devastated” and “shocked” by the decision, adding: “It’s disgusting and very, very upsetting. I can’t believe it.”

Lawyer Dean Kingham, who previously represented Bronson told GBNews during the parole hearing that he believed Bronson was a "political prisoner" and questioned why he had been described as the country's most notorious inmate.

"If you really strip it all down and look at this case – he hasn't been convicted of murder, he's never raped anyone, he's never offended against children and it begs the question is he really Britain's most notorious prisoner when we have the killers of Lee Rigby, Levi Bellfield and Ian Huntley to name but a few?" Kingham said.

Charles Bronson's new wife Paula Williamson is all smiles as she's pictured after their wedding
Charles Bronson has been in prison for 48 years.

Nonetheless, the Parole Board said in a decision on 30 March that they were not satisfied Bronson – who changed his name to Salvador in 2014 – was suitable for release.

“After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress that Mr Salvador has made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearings, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Salvador was suitable for release," the Parole Board said in a document detailing their decision published.

Read more: Charles Bronson loses latest appeal to leave prison

“Nor did the panel recommend to the secretary of state that he should be transferred to an open prison.”

During the hearing Bronson was described as holding “anti-authoritarian views” and being “suspicious” of the motives of others. None of the prison and probation officials who gave evidence at the parole hearing said he was ready to be released.

But Bronson has a number of loyal supporters, who immediately questioned why he had served such a long sentence compared to other notorious prisoners in the UK.

In its assessment of Bronson, the panel acknowledged that Bronson's behaviour had improved during the course of his imprisonment, but suggested that because he spends around 23 hours per day in his cell – as a result of staff shortages – it is not known how he would fare in a more open prison or release environment.

"Most witnesses at the oral hearing did not recommend Mr Salvador’s release or his progression to an open prison," the pale document said.

"The panel was told that the current sentence plan was for Mr Salvador to move to another prison where he can show how he manages himself in a more open unit with less restrictions on his behaviour."