Meet Britain’s most violent inmate...


Born in Luton in December 1952, Micky Peterson came from a respectable family.

He had a middle-class upbringing. But Micky had a violent temper, enjoyed fighting.

At 13 he was reprimanded for stealing, became a petty criminal.

Then in 1974, aged 22, he was jailed for seven years for the armed robbery of a post office, during which he stole just £26.

Most prisoners would be out again within four years with good behaviour. Yet Peterson has hardly seen the outside of a prison cell since.

Within months, he’d attacked two inmates and found himself in the ‘punishment block’.

Shortly after, he smashed a glass jug around another prisoner’s head. Nine months were added to his sentence for unlawful wounding.

Soon, Peterson had earned a reputation as one of the country’s most volatile prisoners.

He was transferred between several jails, before being diagnosed criminally insane and landing in Rampton Secure Hospital in 1978.


There, he tried to strangle child killer John White.

In 1983, Peterson found himself in Broadmoor, where he became close mates with infamous gangster Ronnie Kray.

But, during his stay at the high-security psychiatric hospital, he staged three rooftop protests, causing £100,000s worth of damage.

Transferred back to high-security prison, he remained in isolation.

Still, Peterson continued to attack fellow convicts and regularly damage prison property.

Three years were added to his sentence for grievous bodily harm after he stabbed an inmate with a bottle.

After he was finally released in 1987, Peterson took up illegal bare-knuckle boxing.

On the advice of his fighting promoter, he changed his name to Charles Bronson – after the Hollywood actor.

But, after just 69 days of freedom, the now-named Bronson was back in the slammer again.

He’d robbed a jewellery shop – including stealing a ring to propose to his girlfriend – and was given a seven-year stretch for armed robbery.

Bronson continued to attack inmates, taking hostages, too.

He was shifted through the prison system, often violent, always in solitary confinement.

In 1992, after being stabbed by two inmates, Bronson was unable to cause trouble.

It earned his release. For 53 days.

His brief taste of freedom ended when he was arrested for intent to rob.

Back inside once again, he’d frequently kick off.

After holding a member of prison staff hostage in his cell, his sentence was increased by eight years.

In the 90s, Bronson was involved in several more hostage situations.

‘I’ve had more hostages than Saddam,’ he once boasted.

But in 1999, he sealed his fate when he took an Art teacher hostage for 44 hours.

CCTV footage showed him leading his victim around like a dog, a rope around his neck.

This time, Bronson was jailed for life – with a minimum tariff of three years.

And, nearly two decades on, he’s still banged up.

Bronson, 64, has spent 42 years of his life in jail – most of that in solitary confinement.

That’s longer than many murderers and sex offenders get. Yet Bronson hasn’t killed or sexually assaulted anyone.

It’s his bouts of extreme violence over the years that keep him locked up.


During those four decades he’s been involved in at least 10 jail sieges. Violent outbursts have seen him transferred back and forth between institutions 150 times.

He’s racked up convictions for armed robbery, wounding with intent, criminal damage, GBH, false imprisonment, blackmail, threatening to kill.

Yet, while notorious for his violence, Bronson has also become a prolific artist.

Controversially, some of his art has won awards and even been sold for thousands at auction – with some of the proceeds donated to various charities.

As recently as May 2014, Spurs fan Bronson stripped off, smeared himself in butter, and went on the rampage after Arsenal won the FA Cup.

A few months later, he ‘renounced violence’ and changed his name via deed poll to Charles Salvador – in tribute to artist Salvador Dali.

The man once known as Micky Peterson continues to apply for parole, but he remains

a category A prisoner at HMP Wakefield, otherwise known as Monster Mansion due to the number of notorious inmates within its walls.