BENNY James is backing Charles Bronson’s bid for parole, as the hearing nears its conclusion, Politicalite can exclusively reveal.
Once dubbed one of Britain’s most violent offenders, Bronson has spent most of the past 48 years behind bars, apart from two brief periods of freedom during which he reoffended, for a string of thefts, firearms and violent offences, including 11 hostage-takings in nine different sieges. Victims included governors, doctors, staff and, on one occasion, his own solicitor.
His legal team revealed this week that he has post-traumatic stress disorder after facing some “brutal and unacceptable” treatment behind bars, a psychologist told his parole hearing, as calls grow to release Britains longest serving prisoner.
Three parole judges – who have not been publicly named – are considering his case at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, while members of the press and public watched the proceedings on a live stream from the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
Bronson likened his experience in front of the Parole Board to being on The Apprentice and, inviting the panel to view his art, said each work is a “piece of me”.
An independent psychologist employed by Bronson’s legal team told the hearing: “He feels like the whole system is about humiliating and degrading him.”
Benny James – who is a mental health awareness activist, told Politicalite last night: “Charles Bronson should be freed from Jail, he’s served his time.”
He argued: “let the man live, people are saying he wouldn’t handle the real world and could be a danger to society, but I’m not being funny I would much rather someone like Bronson live next door to me than a convicted paedophile or rapist that have served hardly any time in prison.”
“Bronson has never killed anyone.” added Benny.
The panel will hold a closed session on Friday and will then have 14 days to reach a decision on whether Bronson should be released, moved to an open prison or not be moved.