Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson begs to be released

Charles Bronson is the UK's most notorious criminal Credit: PA

The UK's most infamous inmate Charles Bronson has begged the justice secretary to be released.

The 70-year-old was locked up in 1977 but more time kept on being added to his sentence for violence towards other prisoners and guards.

He was briefly released in the 1980s but was soon back in prison and he has spent more than 40 years in jail in total.

He has become a minor celebrity after being regularly featured in books and studies, as well as in the 2008 film Bronson where he was played by Tom Hardy.

In an audio file given to Sky News from HMP Woodhill he said: "I bet you can't believe I'm still in, can you?

Charles Bronson has repeatedly attacked prison officers.

"It's an absolute liberty. I'm 70 years old now, 70 years old. I've never murdered anyone; I've never raped anyone. What am I in jail for?

"People don't believe it. They think I'm a serial killer."

He claims he has not committed a violent act in the last five years.

His lawyer has written to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab asking for a pardon, adding: “You have the power under the Prerogative of Mercy to grant Mr Salvador's release without requiring him to go in front of the Parole Board... he has not been violent for a significant number of years and his risk is primarily towards prison governors.

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"The evidence in excess of the last five years is clear that his risk of violence has significantly reduced."

Mr Bronson changed his name to Charles Salvador in 2014 as a tribute to Salvador Dali, his favourite artist.

He has caused many headaches for the prison service during his time in prison.

In 2014 - when he was 61 years old - he covered himself in butter and attacked 12 prison officers at the same time.

He has staged nine rooftop protests and held 11 different hostages.

In 1993 he took a librarian hostage and demanded a helicopter, a cup of tea and an inflatable doll from negotiators only to let the civilian go after he broke wind in front of Bronson.