The deadliest British prisoner of the night, Charles Bronson, signaled his failure to be released by chanting “Please set me free.”
A panel decided that it “could not be satisfied” that Bronson, 70, had the “skills to manage the risk of future violence until it had been extensively tested outside of his current, highly restrictive environment”.
The Gelbird, on a phone call with author Dave Courtney, sang the 1967 song made famous by Engelbert Humperdinck.
A video of Bronson singing this song via Mr. Courtney’s cellphone is put online tonight — as the prison governor who suffered five hours of terror at his hands upholds the parole board’s decision.
Adrian Wallace, 82, the former deputy governor of Hull Prison who was taken hostage by Bronson in 1994, said “the safety of the public” was the most important thing and noted Bronson’s “total lack of remorse or remorse”.
Charles Bronson, pictured here in 1997, has earned a reputation as Britain’s fiercest prisoner
The parole board denied a request by the 70-year-old man, pictured here in a courtroom sketch on March 6, to be released
Bronson – real name Michael Peterson – was first jailed for armed robbery in 1974 and has since gained a reputation for being Britain’s most violent prisoner.
Long criminal history of “the most violent prisoner in Britain”
1974: Bunson’s first conviction at the age of 22. He was jailed for seven years for robbery, aggravated robbery and assault with intent to steal and possess a firearm.
He was found guilty of numerous assaults behind bars in 1975, 1978 and 1985, which led to an extension of his sentence.
1987: He was released from prison at the age of 34.
1988: After 69 days, he was returned to prison, and he was sentenced to seven years in prison for burglary in a jewelry store.
1992: He was released, but weeks later he was sentenced to eight years in prison with intent to steal.
He has been behind bars ever since for committing violent crimes while in custody.
1994: He was sentenced to seven years in prison for extortion, then in 1997 he took the deputy governor of the prison, staff and three inmates hostage, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
1999An art teacher was taken hostage for three days and sentenced to life in prison for a minimum of three years ending in 2003.
2014He was also sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a prison director.
During his time inside the prison, he took 11 hostages in nine prison sieges and attacked at least 20 prison officers.
Ultimately, in 1999, he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping a prison art teacher. His last violent crime conviction was in 2014 when he was tried for assault.
From then on he was called Salvador, and although he claimed that he was now a “man of peace”, he was sentenced not to be transferred to an open prison.
His appeal was only the second in the history of English law to be made publicly. Afterward, Bronson’s son, George Bambi, said, “I would have loved to have Charlie released, but I fully respect the parole board’s decision.”
On his phone call to prisoner Courtney He said that despite his failure to achieve freedom, he will spend his life in prison as usual.
“Tomorrow morning,” he said, “I’ll be out in that yard, with a big grin on my face… doing push-ups and hoping there’s a couple of screw-ups out there watching.”
When they see me pounding around the exercise yards, they get jealous.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years and when I come back to my cell, I make beautiful pieces of art.”
Before breaking into song, the warden falsely announced that he would be playing a Sir Tom Jones tune.
After his performance he said his rendition would not have gone out in place at Abbey Road, the studio where the Beatles recorded much of their music.
He asked Courtney to give his love to his mother and said of the refusal of his freedom: “It’s not the end of the world.”
Mr Wallace welcomed the decision to keep him behind bars, exclusively to MailOnline: ‘The parole board’s decision took into account applicants’ behavioral issues with authority figures and a complete lack of remorse or remorse for his past aggressive actions.
I fear he will show the same antagonistic poison of authority towards those who have to watch his conduct if and when he is released on licence.
“I would not like to see anyone imprisoned for longer than they should be, but the safety of the public including those who have the responsibility to monitor license compliance should be of paramount importance.”
Adrian Wallace (pictured), 82, the former deputy governor of Hull Prison who was taken hostage by Bronson in 1994, welcomed the decision
In a phone call with author Dave Courtney, Bronson (pictured here in 2004) said he would continue his life behind bars as normal.
Earlier this week, the 82-year-old recalls the day he spent five hours of sheer terror at Bronson’s mercy after a prisoner dragged him into the TV room, tied him up, and beat him again and again.
In 1994 Wallace, who had spent 23 years in the prison service, was Deputy Governor of Hull Prison, in charge of a ‘special unit’ for violent prisoners at the prison.
He said: ‘This unit has been specifically designed to locate violent and disruptive Class A prisoners from throughout the prison building.
At a meeting, I agree to accept Mr. Bronson into the Special Unit. At the time, I was well aware of his tendency to violent and aggressive behavior towards staff, and that he had taken a member of staff hostage in Special Unit HMP Woodhill.
“The staff in Hull’s Special Unit were exceptionally skilled in dealing with prisoners’ behavioral issues and I was fully confident in their ability to manage Mr. Bronson effectively.”
Wallace said the plan to take Bronson to Hull had not gone well with his other team mates.
When news of his imminent arrival spread, all the prisoners showed their displeasure by setting fire to the unit.
When Mr. Bronson finally arrived, he personally thanked me for accepting him into the unit and assured me he would not let me down.
“His promise was to be short-lived.”
Over the next few weeks, Mr. Wallace said, Bronson became “vicious and aggressive” with the prison staff.
On one of my regular visits to the unit he grabbed me in a fist, dragged me into a small assembly room and barricaded the door with furniture.
After that I was tied up, assaulted and constantly threatened that my head would be crushed if I moved.
He told MailOnline: ‘He had me in the neck, he had a strong build, so when he warned the other staff that he might break my neck, they took him very seriously.
Once he got me into the room, he didn’t really know what to do next. He punched me several times and slapped me a bit. He tied my hands with a tie and threatened to smash my head into a paste with the iron that was on a board in the TV room.
Bronson, who now goes by the name Salvador, was first incarcerated for armed robbery in 1970
Bronson’s demands became more and more outlandish, at one point asking for a booby-trap doll, as well as cups of tea for the lieutenant governor and himself, and later steak and chips for both of them.
When the tea came he untied Mr. Wallace’s hands but warned him not to break his neck if he tried anything.
Mr Wallace added: “He ordered a helicopter, took over my radio and started singing the Jerusalem hymn and telling people what he wanted on his tombstone.”
That’s when I started thinking ‘S***, I might actually die here! I thought if I was going to die, I would do it on my terms and I thought tactically, deciding that if I had the chance, I would take it.
Five hours later, when Bronson began to move him to another room, perhaps to kill him, Mr. Wallace saw his chance when his captor struggled with a door and knocked him off balance just enough for him to fall, as the other officers moved and overpowered the inmate, pinning him to the floor.
Bronson received an additional seven years to his sentence for the accident, but Mr. Wallace suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which caused him to leave prison service on a disability pension after a few years.
The prisoner appeared unrepentant about the incident when asked about it during his parole hearing.
In one of his repeated outbursts, he exclaimed: “Governor Wallace was a haven, and he is despicable, and he will die despicable.”
Emphasizing its decision not to release him today, the parole board said it supports prison officials’ current plans to move Bronson to a less restrictive environment, but that it would be too risky to release him entirely.
In a statement, the board said: “After considering the circumstances of his offence, the progress made by Mr. Salvador while in detention and the evidence presented at the hearings, the committee was not satisfied that Mr. Salvador was fit to release him.
Nor did the committee recommend that the foreign minister be transferred to an open prison.
The Committee noted that Mr. Salvador had spent most of the past 48 years in detention and that much of that time was in apartheid conditions.
The Committee accepted that Mr. Salvador genuinely wanted to advance and was enthusiastic about working for his release. He believed there was evidence of improved self-control and better emotional management.
However, the Committee was aware of his history of consistent rule-breaking and that Mr. Salvador saw little wrong with this. He lives his life strictly by his own rules and code of conduct and is quick to judge others by his own standards.
From the Committee’s point of view, it is not known exactly what contains Mr. Salvador’s risks. It is unclear if the strong external controls of custody were primarily responsible or if his attitudes really changed.
“The committee was not convinced that Mr. Salvador had the skills to manage future risks of violence until he had been extensively tested outside of his current, highly restrictive environment.”
Bronson currently only spends ten minutes a day with three other prisoners, one of whom he says he doesn’t like.
The board said that “the movement and classification of prisoners is entirely a matter for the Secretary of State, and parole committees will not ordinarily comment on such matters.”
However, in the particular circumstances of this case, the Commission noted that there was a specific pathway for Salvador into custody and that the evidence supported such a move within a closed prison.
In the Committee’s view, this is a pivotal point in Mr. Salvador’s judgment when his drive to desist from violence is at its peak.
Both psychologists who were instructed by Mr. Salvador’s legal representative were clear in their opinion that he no longer needed a safe place in his current prison. He will be eligible for another parole review in due course.