Charles Bronson prisoner: what he said about parole hearing and how to watch Channel 4 documentary

Bronson has amassed 17 convictions for a string of violent offences and he has taken over 11 people hostage

Charles Bronson has spent nearly 50-years in prison. (YouTube)Charles Bronson has spent nearly 50-years in prison. (YouTube)
Charles Bronson has spent nearly 50-years in prison. (YouTube)

The British Parole Board is assessing whether it is safe to release inmate Charles Bronson after a three-day public hearing.

Bronson was recently the subject of a Channel 4 documentary titled Bronson: Fit to be Free?

The two-part documentary delved into the story of Bronson’s crimes and assessed whether he can be reintegrated into society in the future. The 70-year-old criminal has spent nearly all of the last 50 years behind bars since his initial arrest in 1974.

The Channel 4 documentary features interviews with Bronson and a series of candid chats with his son George.

But how can viewers watch Charles Bronson’s documentary and what has been said about his parole? Here is everything you need to know.

How to watch Bronson: Fit to be Free?

The first episode of Bronson: Fit to be Free aired on Channel 4 on Monday 27 February.

The second part of the documentary aired a day later on Tuesday 28 February.

You can catch up on both parts of the documentary on All4 which is available for you to download on your mobile phone or tablet device.

Who is Charles Bronson?

Charles Bronson, born Michael Peterson, is a British criminal who has been described by Channel 4 as the “UK’s most notorious prisoner.”

Peterson changed his name to Bronson in the 1980s as an alias dreamed up when he went into boxing - he claims he was encouraged to change his name by notorious east London gangsters, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, with whom he said he served time.

Bronson changed his name a second time in 2014 to Charles Salvador which he said means “man of peace”, he has dismissed links to artist Salvador Dali.

Bronson  was initially jailed for seven years for armed robbery in 1974. He has mainly been kept in jail since then due to his repeated violence inside jail, mostly towards prison staff.

Bronson has held 11 hostages in nine different sieges, with governors, doctors, staff and his own solicitor among the victims. In 2000, Bronson was handed a minimum four-year sentence for holding a prison teacher hostage at HMP Hull.

The Parole Board has refused to release him from prison since this incident.

When was Bronson’s parole hearing?

Charles Bronson’s case was reviewed by the Parole Board on Monday 6 March and Wednesday 8 March.

Parole Board chairwoman previously claimed it was in the interest of justice for Bronson to have a public hearing. She said: “I have concluded that a public hearing is in the interests of justice in the case of Mr Salvador. I therefore grant the application for the hearing to be held in public.”

The third and final day of proceedings is taking place behind closed doors on Friday 10 March so that confidential details can be disclosed.

What has Bronson said about the hearing?

Charles Bronson claims to be reformed ahead of the meeting and he believes he can “taste freedom.” Bronson also describes his son George as a key reason behind his rehabilitation.

Bronson describes himself as a “normal geezer wanting to get on with his life” he also plans to live in the countryside if he is released.

Bronson said: “The system has labelled me for so many years untameable, untreatable, unpredictable, dangerous…I’ve had every label you can think of. 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.”

Bronson also spoke of his passion for art and claims it helped him to find his true self. He added: “My art is now my life, 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) swan-off shotgun for a sawn-off paintbrush. And it’s lovely, it’s beautiful.”

The Parole Board will consider whether he should remain behind bars after the hearing and a decision is due at a later date.

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