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Charles Bronson's extreme notoriety questioned by lawyer - 'He's not raped or murdered anyone'

Bronson has spent the majority of the past 50 years behind bars, during which time he has taken a total of 11 people hostage and attacked fellow inmates and guards.

A lawyer for one of Britain's longest-serving inmates, Charles Bronson, has described him as a "political prisoner", insisting "he is a product of the system in which he finds himself".

Bronson, 70, is appearing before a public parole hearing on Monday, having spent most of the last 50 years behind bars after being originally sentenced to seven years for armed robbery in 1974.

He has since committed a strong of violent offences, largely in prison, including holding a total of 11 people hostage at various points during his incarceration and attacking fellow inmates and prison guards - also spending a huge amount of time being held in solitary confinement.

Read more: Who is Charles Bronson and why has he been in prison for so long?

Lawyer Dean Kingham, who previously represented Bronson in an appeal, said Bronson hadn't been given a chance to demonstrate his rehabilitation.

"I think he is a political prisoner," he told GB News. "Because he is held in these extremely secure and almost alien conditions... he's not been given any opportunity to meaningly show to anybody - and that's the parole board - that he can be trusted or he can live a more pro-social life in the community or even in less secure prison conditions."

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of notorious inmate Charles Bronson (left), appearing via video link from HMP Woodhill, during his public parole hearing at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London.
Charles Bronson (left), appeared via video link from HMP Woodhill during his public parole hearing. (PA)
Charles Bronson pictured during some time out from prison in 1992. (PA)
Charles Bronson pictured during some time out from prison in 1992. (PA)

Bronson's hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London will be the second ever public appeal, although the latest in a string of pleas for release from Bronson that date back to 2002.

Kingham questioned whether the description of Bronson as Britain's "most notorious prisoner" was unfair given the nature of his offences.

"But 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?

"Can we really say that someone convicted of Charlie's crimes is in fact the most notorious prisoner?"

Bronson, who in 2014 changed his name to Charles Salvador as an homage to surrealist artist Dali, became one of Britain's most well-known prisoners after numerous high-profile protests at his incarceration, including a rooftop demonstration that caused £250,000 worth of damage at Broadmoor.

A supporter of notorious inmate Charles Bronson outside the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, ahead of his public parole hearing.
A supporter of notorious inmate Charles Bronson outside the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, ahead of his public parole hearing.

"The vast majority of [offences] have occurred behind prison bars, they've occurred in prison," Kingham said. "If you were to speak to Charlie today, which unfortunately you cant, he would be the first to admit that he has fought the system but the system has fought him back and it continues to do so."

Kingham explained Bronson is currently being held in a "prison within a prison" and spends 23 hours every day in his cell and just one hour of recreation in a small exercise yard.

Bronson's family and supporters argue that the prisoner has long paid his debt to society, and that he has not been involved in a violent incident since 2018, however the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, is opposing his parole - arguing that he still poses a risk to the public.

In a Channel 4 documentary released last week, Bronson said: "I’ve got a horrible, violent, nasty past, but I've never killed anybody and I’ve never hurt a woman.

"I’m focused, I’m settled, I can actually smell and taste freedom like I’ve never, ever done in me life. I’m now anti-crime and anti-violence. So why the f*** am I still in prison?"