Charles Bronson's parole – everything you need to know about the controversial case

Channel 4 has released the new documentary Bronson: Fit to Be Free? which examines the life and crimes of Charles Bronson – click the video below to hear why he thinks he should be released from prison. 

Dubbed "the most violent prisoner in Britain" and "Britain's most notorious prisoner," the recent announcement of Charles' public parole hearing has sparked mass debate. Want to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about the high-profile case, plus why it's sparked such controversy.

WATCH: Charles Bronson says that he can "taste freedom" ahead of parole hearing


Who is Charles Bronson?

Originally named Michael Gordon Peterson, Charles Bronson is a convicted criminal who has attracted significant media attention throughout his 48-year stint in various prisons and high-security psychiatric hospitals. Due to his violent outbursts and mental illness in prison, he is known as one of Britain's most high-profile criminals.


Charles Bronson has been in prison for 48 years

While he was initially arrested as a petty criminal, Charles was later sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 1974, after being convicted of armed robbery. He has also had his time in prison extended multiple times, following several incidents in which he attacked prisoners and guards.

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After being released in 1987, Charles then embarked on a brief bare-knuckle boxing career in the East End of London but was later arrested in 1988 after being convicted of planning another robbery.


Tom Hardy portrayed Charles Bronson in the 2008 biopic, Bronson

Throughout his time in prison, the 70-year-old has written many books about his experiences, as well as being the subject of books, interviews, studies, and the 2008 biopic, Bronson, starring Tom Hardy. Since taking up painting in prison, he has also changed his name once more, going by Charles Salvador as a mark of respect to the artist, Salvador Dalí.

When is Charles Bronson's parole hearing?

Charles Bronson is scheduled to attend court on March 6 and 8 as part of his public parole hearing. After 48 years in prison, the Parole Board will officially decide whether he should remain behind bars. Naturally, the case has become extremely divisive, with some members of the public arguing that the now 70-year-old criminal has done his time, while others have voiced their concern for his violent history.


The 70-year-old has said the he can already "smell and taste freedom" ahead of his parole hearing

Ahead of the parole hearing, Charles revealed that he can already "smell and taste freedom." In the documentary Bronson: Fit to Be Free?, the convicted criminal said: "I'm focused, I'm settled, I can actually smell and taste freedom like I've never, ever done in my life." Currently, he is thought to be imprisoned at maximum security HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

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