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Thursday, 17 February, 2000, 18:31 GMT
Inmate Bronson given life for siege

bronson Jailed for life: Bronson staged a series of sieges

One of Britain's most dangerous prisoners has been jailed for life after being found guilty of holding an education officer hostage in a siege.

Charles Bronson, 47, who has spent most of his adult life behind bars, tied a leather skipping rope round the neck of Philip Danielson.

The former circus strongman also carried a makeshift spear while holding Mr Danielson captive for 44 hours.

Your victims all have the same fears and that is that their lives are about to be ended
Judge Ronald Moss

At the end of a three-day trial at Luton Crown Court, Judge Ronald Moss told Bronson: "You are dangerous and unpredictable, especially when you are upset and angry," the judge said.

Bronson, 47 - who named himself after the Hollywood actor - represented himself in court. He had already been cleared of threatening to kill teacher Mr Danielson and causing actual bodily harm.

But the jury took three hours to convict him of false imprisonment and criminal damage following the siege at Hull Prison in January last year.

More jail terms

Bronson was originally jailed for seven years in 1974 for armed robbery.

But other sentences were added because he took hostages while in jail. This was revealed to the Luton Crown Court jury after the case.

The court heard that Bronson's present predicted release date was 2006, as a result of the accumulation of sentences passed on him over the years.

jan lamb Jan Lamb, Bronson's ex-girlfriend, with some of his drawings

The judge told him: "It cannot be denied that you have committed serious offences.

"You have kept your word to me that you would behave during this trial and I appreciate that.

"But I still cannot shrink from my public duty and note that these are serious crimes.

"Although nobody knows what is in your mind, your victims all have the same fears and that is that their lives are about to be ended.

Public protection inside

The judge added: "Whilst there may not be a mental illness there is clearly a continuing problem.

"The community at large, whether on the outside or in prison, deserves some protection from you.

"I consider that you will continue to be a danger and I have decided on a sentence of life imprisonment."

Before passing sentence, the judge again asked Bronson whether he wanted legal representation.

Bronson, who throughout the trial was guarded by six warders, replied: "Just crack on and give me some more porridge." He added: "Why don't you just shoot me?"

Trail of violence

Known for his superhuman strength and violent outbursts, Bronson claims he holds the world record for "dwarf-throwing".

Although he was born to a respectable family from Wales and was a tidy and polite boy, his character changed when he fell in with a bad crowd, relatives say.

He spent 21 years of 25 in solitary confinement and was responsible for a string of attacks on fellow prisoners and prison staff.

While inside, Bronson has led eight rooftop protests, assaulted more than 20 prison officers and caused 500,000 damage to jail property.

His has been moved 150 times and has spent time in all three top-security mental hospitals - Ashton, Rampton and Broadmoor.

He was put in a specially-constructed cell, like a cage, and was given food through a gap under the door.

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See also:
17 Feb 00 |  UK
Bronson: 'gentle boy' to terror inmate
16 Feb 00 |  UK
Charles Bronson tells of prison 'hell'
15 Feb 00 |  UK
Charles Bronson cleared of two charges

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