Bronson art pays for mum's holiday
Notorious convict Charles Bronson, one of Britain's most violent prisoners, has raised thousands of pounds for a holiday for his mother through the sale of some of his works of art.
Paintings called Fantasy Impression, which showed Bronson on a beach, sold for £1,000, while two items, Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and Self Portrait, each sold for £950 when they went under the hammer at the auction in Towcester, Northamptonshire.
Bronson's painting, Impression of Bedlam sold for £680.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert, of JP Humbert Auctioneers, said Bronson asked for eight pieces to be sold after what was reported to be an attack on 12 guards at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes. Bronson wanted to make up for upsetting his mother by getting involved in the alleged incident by helping her to get away, according to Mr Humbert.
It was claimed that furious Tottenham Hotspur fan Bronson went on the rampage in May while smeared with butter after arch-rivals Arsenal won the FA Cup.
The artworks belonged to Ronnie Kray and are among 150 lots from the estate of the East End gangster, who died in 1995, that are being sold by his second wife Kate.
A spokesman for the auction house, who would not say who bought the items, said that it had been "a good night's work" as only two items went unsold.
Bronson, 61, whose real name is Michael Peterson, is serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnap and has earned public notoriety with a history of violence both inside and outside jail. In prison there has been hostages taken in sieges, violence and damage in rooftop protests.
Mr Humbert said: ''Charles Bronson recently had a 'rumble' with 12 prison guards. In a letter to Kate Kray, he states remorse at upsetting his mother and accordingly, asked if some of his artwork could be included in the sale so as to generate funds to send his mother on holiday.
''The intimate and personal nature of these never-before seen Kray items and Bronson paintings show a real human side to these larger than life personalities and, though they are bound to polarise opinions, the lots, much like the individuals, are far from dull.''
Ronnie Kray and twin brother Reggie, together with older brother Charlie, were infamous for their involvement running organised crime rackets in London's East End and were both jailed for life in 1969 for the murders of fellow gangsters George Cornell and Jack ''The Hat'' McVitie.
Among the paintings by Ronnie Kray which also went under the hammer were an image of Christ on his cross which sold for £880 and a watercolour of Ronnie in the boxing ring with his twin Reggie and Kate which sold for £1,000.
During their prison terms, Ronnie was held at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, while Reggie was held at jails including the high-security HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight.