Charles Bronson – not the late Charles Bronson of Hollywood fame, but the British criminal who has spent 50 of his 70 years behind bars – is up for parole. The hearing began this week, with the UK’s “most violent prisoner” admitting to the review board that he’s been making a killing on sports bets while locked up.
Bronson’s colorful and checkered past dates back to 1974, the year he went to prison for armed robbery. Since then, he’s made a living out of living behind bars, continuously engaging in altercations that guaranteed an extension to his incarceration.
It hasn’t seemed to faze him, though, and he apparently doesn’t mind his home, although he’s fed up with eating porridge all the time. Still, he admitted to being a locked-up sharp, and said he won £1,500 ($1,803) betting. That may not seem like much, but it’s a lot for someone in prison.
Criminal In And Out Of Prison
The parole board may not be as forgiving as Bronson hopes. As they gathered at HMP Woodhill in Buckinghamshire, his home for the last four years, on Monday, members of the parole board heard of one escapade after another.
The conversation included Bronson’s gambling habit. He admitted to regularly placing bets, which is a violation of prison rules. As a result, there could be an investigation into his gambling and the entire prison system.
Bronson asserted that he’s ready for a new life, presenting himself as what The Mirror referred to as an angel. However, his resume would frighten some of the world’s most notorious criminals.
He has taken people – at least 11 – hostage while in prison, including prison art teacher Phil Danielson. That was the result of a disagreement and Bronson, who once chopped off his mustache and sent it to actor Tom Hardy, held him for three days before finally giving him up. As a result, he received a life sentence while already serving time.
He also assaulted a prison warden, which added more time to his sentence. During his parole hearing, he reportedly stated that “there’s nothing better than wrapping a [warden] up like a Christmas turkey.”
On yet another occasion, he intentionally got into a fight after covering himself in butter and stripping naked. In his own words, “it was f**king brilliant.” He added, “I love a rumble. What man doesn’t?”
Born To Be Bad
Bronson had his first run-in with the law in 1968 before being given a seven-year sentence in 1974 for armed robbery. Only a short time in, he attacked another inmate, which led to nine more months in prison.
He earned his release in 1987, but landed back in a year later after committing another robbery. This time, he received seven years, but he earned his freedom in 1992. It didn’t last long.
Less than three months later, he was back behind bars, where he subsequently held three others hostage. When Danielson criticized one of his paintings in 1999, he, too, became a Bronson victim.
However, Bronson, who has gone by Charles Salvador since 2014, says he’s ready for a change. His new surname comes from the artist Salvador Dali, with Bronson having assumed a life of an artist while in prison.
Bronson now wears sunglasses everywhere he goes – he’s spent so much time in solitary confinement that the light hurts his eyes. He also swears he’s anti-violence.
However, when the parole hearing continues on Wednesday, he’s going to have a hard time convincing the parole board of that. After all, he admitted to not having any remorse for kidnapping the warden of one prison or three inmates at another.
He said he shouldn’t have held Danielson hostage, but added that he should have just beaten him up. Other than that, and despite slinging feces at another inmate during an argument, he’s an angel.
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