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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 15:55 GMT
Attempt to publish Bronson pictures
Charles Bronson
Bronson has spent almost 30 years in jail
The wife of one of Britain's most violent prisoner is taking legal action in a bid to publish pictures of their wedding.

Charles Bronson married 33-year-old Saira Ali Ahmed at Woodhill maximum security prison in Milton Keynes in June 2001.

A book about her life is soon to be published, but the Prison Service has refused to allow her to include her wedding pictures.

On Tuesday, lawyers acting for Mrs Ahmed, of Spencer Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, appealed to the High Court claiming the decision breached her human rights laws.

Her lawyer, Martin Chamberlain said the Prison Service first objected to publication as it had copyright on the photographs.

Charity donation

He said it has since made it clear it did not want the photographs exploited or "splashed across the tabloids".

Mr Chamberlain argued the Bronson pictures would be used only in the book.

And part of the book's profits would be donated to a charity nominated by the Home Office.

Saira Ali Ahmed
Saira Ali Ahmed on her way to marry Charles Bronson in 2001
He said Mrs Ahmed had been unfairly treated and her right to freedom of expression had been breached.

"Plastering photographs all over the tabloids or websites may be one thing, but using them as part of a series of illustrations in an autobiography is another," he said.

He drew a comparison with Roberta Kray, wife of gangster Reg Kray, who had been allowed by the Home Office to use pictures of her husband in her 2002 biography A Man Apart.

The Prison Service said it had the right to prevent any pictures taken in its jails from being exploited.

Jonathan Crow, for the home secretary and Prison Service, said it would be "repugnant" to allow profits to be made from commercial exploitation of a "serving prisoner's criminal notoriety".

The Bronson pictures were taken by a prison officer using a camera belonging to Mrs Ahmed, giving the Crown copyright.

Convert to Islam

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

His sentence was extended for attacks on prison staff and inmates, hostage taking and rooftop protests, until in 2000 he was given life for holding a prison lecturer hostage for two days.

Mrs Ahmed married Bronson after 10 meetings in prison.

She said her book would centre on her "struggle against religion, culture, violence and prejudice".

Bronson has converted to Islam and adopted the name Ali Charles Ahmed.

A judgement was due on Wednesday.

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01 Jun 01  |  UK News

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