The Daily Telegraph
Bronson coached to show regret for ‘terrifying’ crimes
CHARLES BRONSON, Britain’s most notorious prisoner, has been secretly filmed for a new documentary being coached into expressing remorse for his crimes.
Bronson was sentenced to an indefinite life term in 2000 for taking a prison art teacher hostage. His latest parole hearing will take place on March 6.
A Channel 4 documentary, Bronson: Fit to Be Free?, features conversations conducted over Zoom between the 70-year-old inmate and George Bamby, a paparazzi photographer, who claims to be Bronson’s son.
Prison rules do not allow inmates’ calls to be broadcast on television without written permission from the Governor, which Channel 4 did not obtain.
Ministry of Justice sources said that Bronson would likely have privileges removed as a punishment.
In one conversation, Bronson is asked about Phil Danielson, the teacher whom he took hostage for two days at HMP Hull in 1999.
“Looking back on it now, I probably over-reacted,” says Bronson.
Mr Bamby tells Bronson that he must appear more contrite to convince the Parole Board of his fitness for release.
“When you’re talking about Phil Danielson, I want you to say to me, ‘Do you know what, I think about that every day. I ruined that guy’s life,” Mr Bamby coaches him.
“Well, what I would go as far as to say is, I do feel sorry for him,” replies Bronson, but Mr Bamby says: “‘Remorseful.’ That’s the word that they want.”
Bronson says: “You can’t live life regretting your life.”
Mr Danielson is interviewed in the documentary, to be broadcast today and tomorrow. He suggests that “maybe justice has been done” and Bronson should be allowed his freedom if he shows remorse.
However, he adds: “It needs to be documented remorse and not just clever talk to get himself in the papers.”
Mr Danielson said of the incident: “I was terrified out of my mind. I thought, ‘I’m going to die now. What’s he going to do, how’s he going to do it?’
“The damage that was caused by him has moulded my whole life.”