Charles Bronson could be released next year as he’s granted public parole hearing
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The Parole Board of England and Wales has revealed notorious prisoner Charles Bronson has been granted a public hearing.
Bronson was sentenced to a discretionary life term back in 2000 after he took a prison teacher hostage for three days.
He was initially in prison as a result of being convicted of armed robbery, as well as instigating numerous other hostage situations involving prison staff and inmates.
During his time inside - most of which Bronson is reported as having spent in specialist units or solitary confinement - the 66-year-old has applied for parole on seven different occasions.
Until now, his requests were always denied.
In 2019, Bronson - who has been dubbed one of the UK's most violent prisoners - had his lawyers launch judicial review proceedings to ensure his next parole hearing could be conducted publicly - something which has previously been legally restricted.
The Parole Board changed the rules earlier this year and Bronson's team subsequently dropped the judicial review and formally applied for a public hearing - Bronson being the first prisoner to ever do so.
The 66-year-old's request to have his hearing public has since been granted, with Parole Board chairperson Caroline Corby ruling: “I have concluded that a public hearing is in the interests of justice in the case of Mr Salvador.
"I therefore grant the application for the hearing to be held in public."
However, some parts of the hearing may still be kept confidential, with code words used or some aspects of it taking place in private.
Chairperson Corby also noted: "The Panel Chair could decide to move from a public hearing to a private hearing, should the hearing be disrupted or should there be any attempt to disclose information which is properly confidential."
Corby's comments follow the government voicing concern Bronson may only want a public hearing 'to raise grievances and concerns' rather than discussing matters strictly relevant to his parole.
Bronson - who's criminal record spans all the way from 1964 - is currently believed to be serving his sentence in the high-security HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.
While a date is yet to be set, Bronson's hearing is expected to take place early 2023 according to the Parole Board.
The Parole Board's recent decision to grant Bronson - who changed his surname to Salvador in 2014 - a public hearing could result in the 66-year-old being released as soon as next year.