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Fact Check-No evidence Charles Bronson attacked Michael Adebolajo in prison

A two-year-old unfounded claim of violence between two notorious British criminals in prison has surfaced again on social media. The UK Ministry of Justice told Reuters there is no truth to the claim.

According to social media users in July 2022, prisoner Michael Adebolajo was in a critical condition after being attacked by a fellow inmate, Charles Bronson (here).

“Breaking news. Charles Bronson has attacked Michael Adebolajo in the jail library, reports suggest he’s in a critical condition after it took 15 jail officers 30 mins to get Bronson off him. Share the brilliant news!” multiple posts online read (here, here, here, here here) and (here).

Adebolajo and Bronson are indeed held in British prisons: the former is serving a life sentence for murdering a British soldier in 2013 (here), while the latter was jailed in 1974 for armed robbery, later having his sentence repeatedly extended for crimes committed in prison, including attacks on inmates and guards as well as hostage-taking.

Britain’s Ministry of Justice told Reuters, however, that there was no truth to the claim of Bronson attacking Adebolajo.

“These claims are completely false,” a spokesperson said via email.

Reuters also traced the claim back as far as Oct. 2020 (here, here, here, here and here), when a post amassed more than 5,600 shares.

Moreover, an attack involving such well-known prisoners is expected to be reported by the media. For example, when Adebolajo alleged he had been assaulted in Belmarsh prison in July 2013, it was widely covered by news organisations (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23367877 and here). Likewise, when the father of another inmate claimed that his son had assaulted Adebolajo and his accomplice Michael Adebowale in July 2019, it was also reported on by the press (here, here and here).

However, Reuters found no news reports (bit.ly/3BsJVMC) nor any media tweets (bit.ly/3oyidGN) about Bronson ever attacking Adebolajo.

VERDICT

No evidence. The Ministry of Justice said there was no truth to claims that Michael Adebolajo was in a critical condition after being attacked by Charles Bronson.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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