Charles Bronson lookalike not allowed to visit notorious prisoner
A PLYMOUTH man believes he is being blocked from visiting notorious prisoner Charles Bronson in jail because authorities fear the two look so alike they will swap places.
Steve Swatton, 55, owner of Flex Gym in Plymouth has been campaigning for the release of Bronson, dubbed the most violent prisoner in Britain, and wants to visit him at HMP Wakefield, Yorkshire.
But the prison has reportedly refused a visiting order citing security reasons.
Mr Swatton acts as a double for Bronson in public demonstrations as part of the Free Bronson campaign.
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Mr Swatton told the Yorkshire Post: "I have filled in form after form, taken the matter up with the governor of Wakefield Prison, my local MP and even written to the European Court of Human Rights, but nothing is working.
"The prison keep saying it is for security reasons but won’t state what they are.
"I can only think it is because I look so much like him and they are worried we could switch places when I go see him – it’s ridiculous."
Bronson was jailed for seven years in 1974 for robbery and saw years added to his sentence after fighting guards and prisoners.
He was moved 120 times, spent most of his sentence in solitary confinement and saw the original jail term doubled to 14 years.
His crimes while in prison included wounding with intent, wounding, criminal damage, grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, blackmail and threatening to kill.
He was released in 1988, spent 69 days free and was then arrested again for robbery. He was released in 1992 and arrested 53 days later for conspiracy to rob.
In 2000 he was given a life sentence for hostage taking.
He has been involved in more than a dozen hostage-taking incidents as well as roof-top protests and numerous attacks on guards and prisoners.
His notoriety has been the subject of books, interviews, studies and a film and he has written his own books - including books on fitness and working out in confined spaces.
The campaign to have Bronson freed says he is a poet and artist who raises money for children's charities.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice told the Yorkshire Post: "All visits to Category A prisoners are subject to strict security checks."