Charles Bronson, a long-serving prisoner who has been behind bars for almost 50 years, described his public parole hearing as being like “being on The Apprentice.”
This outburst occurred on the second day of proceedings, where he became only the second-ever inmate in UK legal history to have his case heard in public.
The hearing took place in Central London’s Royal Courts of Justice, where an audience composed of reporters and members of the public were in attendance.
An independent psychologist commissioned by Bronson’s legal team said he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of decades spent inside, which has led to “anti-authority feelings” and suspicions of other people’s motives. However, the psychologist did not believe he had a paranoid personality disorder.
She said that Bronson’s violent actions were exacerbated by being in prison, with him feeling like he’s locked in a battle with the prison authorities.
The psychologist also claimed that Bronson would be “less of a risk in a community environment than a prison environment”.
Nevertheless, she added that he would need the right support to necessitate that move and that any transition should be “gradual”.
She believes there should be an ongoing step down in Bronson’s security categorisation, from his current maximum security status to that of open prison.
Bronson was also said to have “mellowed” over the years thanks to his burgeoning love for painting and drawing, along with his use of various breathing and mindfulness techniques.
He now realises that the consequences of being violent are too great and would lead to him seeing out his days in jail.
The psychologist referred to Bronson as a “retired prison activist” – referencing his numerous rooftop protests at different prisons across the country.
Appearing via video link from HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes, Bronson remarked: “That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard.”
Then, as the morning’s session ended, he was told he could hand over some of his artwork for the panel to look at during their lunch break.
“This is like being on the Apprentice with Lord Sugar,” he quipped. Bronson had previously opened parole proceedings on Monday by telling the parole board that he’d had “more porridge than Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
He added: “I’ve had enough of it, I want to go home.”»Charles Bronson describes his public parole hearing«