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Friday, 1 June, 2001, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
New bride for Bronson
Sami (left) and Saira Rehman
The bride arriving at Woodhill with her daughter
One of Britain's most dangerous prisoners has got married in jail to a woman he had met on just three previous occasions.

Charles Bronson, 48, was jailed 27 years ago for armed robbery, and has been involved in various hostage-taking situations since.

His bride, Saira Rehman, 31, who wrote to Bronson - from Aberystwyth, west Wales - after seeing his picture in a newspaper, had said he was her "soul mate".

It's the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life

Saira Rehman

Following a 10-minute ceremony, Bronson - who dressed entirely in black for the wedding - and his new wife were allowed an hour together with eight invited guests at a small reception inside Woodhill Prison, near Milton Keynes.

The new Mrs Bronson, who also celebrates her 31st birthday on Friday, arrived at the top security jail in a white stretch limousine.

'A bit nervous'

The Bangladeshi-born divorcee, who speaks three Asian languages and works as a translator in Luton, Bedfordshire, wore a traditional Asian wedding gown for the ceremony.

Before the wedding she said: "Everyone has got their soul mate somewhere and I have found mine. It's the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life."

Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson: Said to be 'delighted with life'
Loraine Salvage, Bronson's cousin, said after the ceremony: "It was amazing and wonderful. He was a bit nervous before hand, but said all his wedding vows correctly.

"They cuddled and kissed and he asked for some wedding cake to be saved for when their baby is born in a few years. He joked, if he could start working on it right now."

But a spokesman for the prison service said: "We don't permit conjugal visits. They present an obvious risk to security and good order."

Bronson, who changed his name from Michael Peterson in honour of the star of the Death Wish movies, will not be eligible for parole until 2010.

I hope it lasts as I'm not going through that again

Eira Peterson
Bronson's mother
Miss Salvage added: "Charlie sang What a Wonderful World the entire way through instead of making a speech. He's really very happy."

Ray Williams, 56, who also attended the service and reception, said: "I've known him 35 years and I've never seen him happier. He's delighted with life."

'Big Teddy Bear'

After the ceremony, the bride's 10-year-old daughter Sami said of her new stepfather: "He's perfect, I love him. He's like a big Teddy Bear."

Bronson's mother Eira Peterson, who had not met her future daughter-in-law before the wedding, said: "She's beautiful. I hope it lasts as I'm not going through that again.

Eira Peterson with Saira and Sami Rehman
The bride leaving the prison with her daughter and new mother-in-law
"Thousands of women write to him," she added. "It must have been what she said in her letters."

The newly-weds spent an extra hour with Bronson's mother before the convict was returned to his cell.

The wedding guests were moving on to a reception party for 300 in Woolwich, south-east London.

During his time behind bars, 22 years of which have been spent in solitary confinement, Bronson has served time in 120 different prisons, staged eight rooftop protests, assaulted more than 20 prison officers and caused 500,000 worth of damage to property.

He has taken hostages on 10 different occasions - one of whom he threatened to eat.

His website features "glamour" photographs of the scores of women who write to him in jail, whom he dubs "cellmates of the month".

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