I ‘tamed’ Charles Bronson with a single conversation… before that he was nightmare of violence | The Sun

A PRISON officer has revealed how he "tamed" notorious inmate Charles Bronson with a single conversation, after the prisoner spent years causing havoc behind bars.

Mick O'Hagan was an officer at HMP Wakefield during Bronson's reign of terror at the Category A prison, including hostage-taking and violent assaults.

He shared how he was the only person ever to tame Bronson, whom he gave life-changing advice.

It comes after Bronson told Channel 5 about his time in Wakefield, which also housed cannibal serial killer Robert Maudsley.

Speaking over the phone, he said: "In the past 46 years I've probably spent 20 years in Wakefield Prison.

"When you first went in the cages, it was cold in there, dark, gloomy.

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"There was four sets of bars on the window stopping the air coming through.

"There was a cage outside the window, cage on the door, cardboard furniture, cardboard table, cardboard chair.

"A p*** pot, jug of water. If you got a library book you were lucky.

Mr O'Hagan said Bronson was a constant problem for prison officers when he first arrived at the prison.

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He said: "Bronson had a horrendous record of violence.

"To say he had a bad track record would be an understatement.

"I think he'd been kicking off in virtually every prison he'd been in at that stage.

"Smashing places up, running amok, covering himself in butter so people can't get hold of him."

Bronson had already caused millions of pounds of damage with nine rooftop protests and several hostage situations with staff and other inmates.

To stop the chaos continuing, Mr O'Hagan approached Bronson on his second day in HMP Wakefield.

According to YorkshireLive, he told Bronson: "You've been in solitary for 21 years, don't you want to get out?

"He said, 'Of course I do', I said, 'Well you're going the wrong way about it, all this kicking off and assaults and hostage taking.

"'Why don't you start using your loaf? Start boxing clever?'"

Mr O'Hagan "tamed" Bronson by telling him to take up art.

He added: "The next day I took a sketch pad and some coloured pencils and stuff down I said, 'See what you make of that'.

"He said, 'I can't f***ing draw', I said, 'Well, see how you get on'.

"Two days later, he showed me this piece of work, first thing he ever did.

"He asked me what I thought, I said, 'I thought you couldn't draw', he said he didn't know he could.

"It took over his life, he sat all day long at his little table doing all this stuff."

"It was the only prisoner I ever did that with and it paid dividends, because none of my staff ever got assaulted by him.

"We're the only prison he's never kicked off in."

Bronson's new interest in art helped prison officers control the once dangerous inmate, who credited Mr O'Hagan with changing his life.

The prisoner said: "I started doing a bit of doodling here, doodling there, and all these years later I've now got 19 published books.

"I've won 11 Costa Awards for my art and my poetry.

"When I got locked up in 1974 it was for a pump action shotgun, twelve bore, sawn off.

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"And I've got rid of that now and now I've got a sawn off paintbrush.

"So really it was all down to Mick O'Hagan that I really, you know, became a better person."

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