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Wednesday, February 3, 1999 Published at 15:30 GMT


Bronson prison hostage drama ends

Hull Prison: Bronson removed following surrender

Prison officers say that violent inmate Charles Bronson has released a member of staff after tense negotiations to end a hostage ordeal.

Bronson, 45, an 18-stone body-builder, seized the hostage at Hull Prison's Close Supervision Unit.

Bronson, whose original name was Michael Peterson, has spent 25 years in prison and is currently serving a seven-year sentence for taking three fellow prisoners hostage.

Mike McKay: "Bronson is a man with an extraordinary record"
He has repeatedly seized staff and inmates during his years behind bars, and once boasted: "I've had more hostages than Saddam Hussein."

It is thought the latest victim was a teacher at the jail. The prison spokesman refused to say if Bronson had held a weapon during the stand-off.

The teacher is understood to be receiving treatment for stress caused by the ordeal, but is otherwise unhurt. He had been held hostage for forty-three hours.

Hull Prison's Governor Mike Newell said he was extremely pleased that the incident had come to a peaceful end without any need for force.

"The prisoner has been transferred, and I have asked the police to investigate the incident with a view to deciding on any possible criminal charges."

There will also be an internal Prison Service investigation.

[ image: Charles Bronson: Violent prisoner]
Charles Bronson: Violent prisoner
Bronson's solicitor, Martin Oldham, said his client had released his hostage and then gave himself up to the prison authorities half an hour later.

"Charlie in the last 12 months has performed miracles," he said.

"He had done well at Hull, until now, and they were talking about transferring him on from there.

"I think that may be a factor, but it's more linked to something else."


Bronson was jailed in 1974 when he was sentenced to seven years for armed robbery, but he has served further terms for offences inside prison.

"I've ate more porridge than the three bears," he once said.

In the incident with three fellow inmates, Bronson barricaded them in a cell for seven hours.

He threatened to eat one of the prisoners and demanded a helicopter to Cuba, an axe, sub-machine guns, a cheese sandwich and ice cream.

The siege ended after he slashed himself with a razor.

Violent history

It is estimated that Bronson has attacked prison officers on 20 occasions and been involved in some 10 prison sieges, involving damage totalling 500,000.

Courts have been told that Bronson has been known to bend cell doors with his bare hands and is considered "probably the most disruptive inmate in the country".

Bronson holds a record for press-ups and practices by doing 2,000 a day.

He has also won awards for his poetry and wrote a book of stories called Living Legends.

He was transferred to Hull jail in October last year because of improved behaviour, a 52nd prison move in three years.

Bronson insisted he had changed after being contacted by his long-lost son, telling a newspaper in December: "I've made a lot of mistakes, but I am not the same kind of man I was.

"I've changed, and I just want once chance in life."

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