Guilty verdict for high security inmate who enlisted notorious Milton Keynes prisoner Charles Bronson to help him beat charge at Aylesbury court

The pair were at Woodhill jail in Milton Keynes where New York gangster punched prison governor Kenneth Tangie in the head
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An inmate serving life in jail who enlisted notorious Charles Bronson to help him escape a charge of punching a governor, was starting an extra four months locked up today (Wed) after a jury found him guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court.

Both bearded and much-feared Bronson and his pal, Clifton Jeter, were high security inmates at Woodhill jail in Milton Keynes, where Jeter, who was deported to the UK from America after being convicted, punched prison governor Kenneth Tangie in the head.

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Jeter appeared before a judge at Aylesbury Crown Court on a charge of assault but called Bronson to give evidence in his defence at the trial.

Charles Bronson gave evidence to Aylesbury Crown CourtCharles Bronson gave evidence to Aylesbury Crown Court
Charles Bronson gave evidence to Aylesbury Crown Court

Jury members listened and watched intently as much-feared Bronson appeared via a video link, sporting his trademark round glasses and black tee-shirt emblazoned with the legend: "World's Best Godfather."

Convicted murderer Jeter claimed he feared prison officers were going to assault him in retaliation for an incident that had taken place a few days earlier in which a guard was slashed with a razor blade by one of Jeter's friends.

The 46-year-old convicted murderer, known as "Yankee," was to be moved to a more secure cell within the specialist close supervision centre of HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes when he lunged at the prison governor and punched him to the back of the head, the court heard.

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Prosecutors claimed that Jeter acted out of anger at being moved to a different wing where he would not be allowed to associate with other prisoners.

Clifton Jeter. Photo: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 26/03/2024Clifton Jeter. Photo: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 26/03/2024
Clifton Jeter. Photo: Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 26/03/2024

However, fellow inmate Bronson, who has changed his name to Salvador and who has spent most of his life behind bars becoming notorious for attacks on prison staff and other inmates, made a rare appearance in court to defend his friend of 15 years - claiming Jeter had been "stitched up like a kipper" by "corrupt" prison guards who had gathered to give him "a bloody good kicking."

He told the jury via a video link: "Yankee is a lovely man, a good friend, loyal, sincere. I've got nothing but admiration and respect for the man."

The infamous prisoner, whose life inspired a 2009 movie featuring Tom Brady, attended the trial at Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire via video link.

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Interrogated by defence counsel Oliver Kirk and prosecutor Emily Mattin, Bronson told the jury of the scene which he witnessed on the morning of February 8, 2021, as "at least a dozen screws" (slang for prison guards) walked to his friend's prison cell on the landing just above his.

Bronson said: "It was so unusual and it made me angry. The only time they do this is when they are going to give someone a bloody good kicking."

Bronson said he witnessed parts of the incident through the "Judas-hole" in the door of his prison cell, which had been left ajar, allowing him to see the stairs leading up to the landing above his.

He told the jury: "What I saw that morning, I didn't like.

"I saw well over a dozen screws go up the stairs - straightaway I knew something was not right. And I heard one of these screws making monkey noises - and I didn't like that."

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Bronson told the jury it was "very unusual" for such a high number of guards to attend a cell move and a search - even for category A prisoners like himself and Jeter, who are randomly searched at least once a month.

He said: "It made me angry because for the first time in many years, Yankee was actually behaving himself and trying to progress, and by doing that they were causing him trouble.

"There was no reason - it takes one man to go to his door, not 12. He had nothing to do with that other attack, he had not done anything."

After he saw the guards go up the stairs, Bronson said he heard a scuffle and saw officers take Jeter downstairs.

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He recalled: "Yankee is in the middle of them - they are actually carrying him; and I shouted through the door: 'I'm f***ing watching you lot'."

Jeter also gave evidence to the court, standing at the witness bar flanked by two prison officers whilst three more guarded the courtroom's entrances.

He told the jury he was used to being searched by two to three officers in the privacy of his single cell on the B unit of the close supervision centre at HMP Woodhill.

However, on the morning of February 8, 2021, he was woken up by prison governor Kenneth Tangie - then the unit's custodial manager - telling him he was to be moved immediately as he was suspected of having something to do with the attack that had happened a few days prior.

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Footage from the prison's CCTV cameras showed Jeter stepping out of his cell and complying with a first pat-down search, before he is asked to step into an empty cell next door.

Jeter told the court: "I thought something was going to happen to me. I was in that prison for four years and that's never happened to me before. Normally, there would be three, four, five, up to seven officers - not 10 - and they would search me in my cell.

"I immediately thought they wanted to take me to that empty room to surround me and overwhelm me and punch me - because of the assault that took place a week before.

"So I punched Mr Tangie because then the general alarm goes off and more people come - too many to try to sweep a quick assault under the carpet."

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The jury retired for just over three hours and after being given a majority verdict by the judge, found Jeter guilty of assault by a majority of 10 to two.

Mr Recorder Geraint Jones sentenced Jeter immediately to four months in custody - a sentence which will run concurrently with Jeter's current life sentence.