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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Bronson escapes prison guard
Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson: Long list of offences in prison
One of Britain's most dangerous prisoners spent nearly five hours on the loose inside his high-security prison after escaping from his escort.

Charles Bronson, who was being held in the close supervision centre at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, broke away from his escorts at 1330 BST on Wednesday.

Other prisoners on A wing were immediately locked in their cells while trained negotiators attempted to talk Bronson into surrender.

Bronson's jail history
1974 armed robbery and wounding
1978 wounding with intent
1985 wounding
1985 criminal damage
1993 grievous bodily harm
1994 two instances of false imprisonment
1997 blackmail, threatening to kill
2000 false imprisonment
Four "control & restraint" teams were put on standby and, at 1820 BST, one was sent in and recaptured Bronson.

He is now expected to be moved to another maximum security prison within the next 12 hours.

No-one was injured in the incident and Bronson caused only minimal damage on A wing.

Prison governor Marjorie Boon praised her staff's swift response.

Bronson, 47, who changed his name from Michael Peterson by deed poll, has committed more crimes in his 25 years in jail than he has on the outside.

'Dangerous and unpredictable'

His offences include 20 assaults on warders, 10 counts of taking hostages - one of whom he threatened to eat.

In February he was found guilty of holding an education officer hostage in a siege and given a life sentence.

He tied a leather skipping rope round the neck of Philip Danielson and carried a makeshift spear while holding him captive for 44 hours.

Woodhill Prison
Woodhill Prison: Houses Britain's most dangerous inmates
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."

Bronson's behaviour has been so disruptive that he has been held at more than 120 jails and spent time at Broadmoor, Rampton and Ashworth special security hospitals.

He was moved to top-security Woodhill when the Alcatraz-style prison opened in 1998.

In total, he has had only three months free after repeated offences and has spent 22 out of 26 years' jail in solitary confinement.

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