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Tuesday, 15 February, 2000, 17:53 GMT
Charles Bronson cleared of two charges

Hull Prison Scene of the drama: Hull Prison


A prisoner has been found not guilty of threatening to kill an education officer he held hostage in Hull prison.

Charles Bronson, from Luton, was also cleared of causing Phillip Danielson actual bodily harm.

Bronson had denied making threats to kill and assault. He also denies false imprisonment and criminal damage.

On the second day of a trial at Luton Crown Court Judge Ronald Moss directed the jury to return not guilty verdicts on the two charges, after ruling there was not enough evidence for jurors to consider.

Earlier the court heard Mr Danielson describe how he had had a leather skipping rope tied round his neck by the prisoner, who held a makeshift spear throughout the dramatic kidnapping.

Bronson Charles Bronson still faces two charges
But Bronson insisted he had shown compassion and feeling for him during the siege. He told the court he took Mr Danielson, 37, hostage because he had criticised a poster he had drawn about Aids.

However the prosecution conceded that, even though Mr Danielson's account of his 44-hour kidnap ordeal had shown he was afraid, it could not be proved that he had been threatened with his life. Neither could be established that his injuries had been caused by Bronson.

Bronson, 47, is representing himself during the hearing.

He asked Mr Danielson: "Would it be true in saying I showed you a lot of compassion [during the siege]?"

Mr Danielson replied: "You showed me compassion, yes." He said Bronson had made tea, given him food and found blankets.

Bronson added: "I never hurt you. Did I ever hurt you?"

'Home Office spy'

Mr Danielson replied: "I actually banged my chin on the floor when I went down. But I had had problems with those particular teeth before."

Bronson regularly raised his hand to make points to the judge during the trial. At one stage he said a "Home Office spy" had just walked into the public gallery.

The prisoner, who was surrounded by six guards as he stood in the dock of the court, still faces two charges of false imprisonment and criminal damage.

The trial continues on Wednesday.
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