prison governor has told how notorious inmate Charles Bronson threatened to bite off his nose and gouge his eyes out during an alleged attack behind bars.

Bronson, 65, launched himself at Mark Docherty because he blamed the prison officer for one of his visitors not being allowed to use their own wheelchair at HMP Wakefield, a court heard.

Mr Doherty, the jail’s deputy governor, had been holding a welfare meeting with the inmate when he allegedly launched himself at him on 25 January.

He told Leeds Crown Court that Bronson had pinned him to the floor and said: “I will bite you f***ing nose off and I will gouge your eyes out.”

Bronson denies a charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, telling the jury he had “never bitten anyone’s nose off in my life”.

“Plus, I’m a vegetarian and all,” he added.

The notorious violent criminal, who has spent 44 years behind bars, suggested he had intended only to give the governor “a bear hug, a gentle one”.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Mr Docherty described his relationship with Bronson, who is standing trial under the name Charles Salvador, as “not good”.

He was meeting with the inmate, who is now at HMP Frankland in County Durham, to discuss his “welfare and engagement” within the prison system.

Mr Docherty said a psychologist, members of an independent monitoring board, probation staff, and a personal officer were all due to attend, but that Bronson “never” usually went to such meetings.

Describing the moment he invited Bronson into the adjudication room to begin proceedings, the governor said: “I could see Mr Salvador look to draw a punch or to grab me by the neck.

“I have not had the chance to move so I got hold of Mr Salvador’s arm as it’s come round my neck.

“As I grabbed hold of his arm I went back into the chair and I think the momentum of me and Mr Salvador heading in the same direction meant I fell to the floor and Mr Salvador fell on top of me.”

He added: “He was just squashing my face. I could hear him say ‘I will take your f***ing eyes out’.”

Custodial manager Steven Coomber and a number of colleagues helped to pull Bronson away, Mr Docherty said.

As he was dragged from the room, the defendant warned HMP Wakefield’s governor, David Harding, would “be next”, the jury heard.

Bronson is defending himself during the trial and cross-examined his alleged victim in court on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked whether he could see Mr Docherty well enough from his seat in the dock, the prisoner said: “I don’t really want to see him, but yes.”

Demonstrating to jurors the speed at which he can throw blows by punching his own hands in the dock, Bronson said: “In three seconds, I could hit a man 10 times in the face.”

Addressing Mr Docherty, he added: “If I had used both hands, I would have hit you 20 times in the face. Do you accept that?

“Why did I not throw a punch? Because I wasn’t going to punch you. I wasn’t going to hurt you.”

The court heard Mr Docherty suffered swelling to the neck, scratches to the face and whiplash following the alleged attack.

But Bronson said: “I don’t think that in a month of Sundays you had whiplash.

“I think you’re trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Is that true?”

The governor rejected this.

Jurors heard how, before marrying former Coronation Street actress Paula Williamson at the prison in November 2017, Bronson had been told he and his new wife would be given 22 wedding photographs, all taken by prison staff, and no guests would be allowed to take pictures.

But Mr Docherty said staff decided not to give the pictures to Ms Williamson after hearing that among the guests was a member of the “paparazzi” who had previously had their press licence taken away.

Bronson asked the governor: “How do you feel about humiliating my wife? How do you feel about the fact that my wife was the only bride in Britain on that day not to have a wedding photograph?

“How would you feel if that was your wife or husband? I don’t know what happens in your personal life, you may have a wife or a husband.”

Asked whether the withholding of the wedding pictures had motivated the alleged attack, Bronson replied: “Is it possible that all I was going to do was get you in a bear hug, a gentle one, and just whisper in your ear ‘where are my wife’s wedding photos?’.”

He added: “For the first time in 44 years in prison I never intended to be violent. I never meant to hurt the governor.”

During the cross-examination, Bronson complained that Mr Docherty had described him in reports as being 5ft 6in tall, saying this was “belittling” him as he is actually 5ft 10in.

“That’s what the prison service does, belittle people,” he said.

Bronson was jailed for the first time in 1974 after robbing on a post office of £26.18. He was initially sentenced to seven years in prison but remains behind bars more than four decades later following a string of attacks on other inmates and guards.

Nearly 40 years of his time in jail has been spent in solitary confinement.