Paula Williamson, the jobbing actress who made the headlines this week after it was announced she would marry notorious convict Charles Salvador (formerly Charles Bronson), has spoken about her love for the prisoner, despite her family's misgivings about the relationship. Nonetheless, in an interview with the Daily Mail on Saturday, she said the pair were "madly in love" with one another.

According to Williamson, she was drawn to Salvador after reading a book he had penned detailing his life at Broadmoor Hospital – Broadmoor: My Journey into Hell. Apparently, Williamson wrote to Salvador shortly afterwards, in 2013, to tell him how inspiring she had found the book and a friendship was formed after he replied and the pair entered into regular correspondence.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Williamson, 36, speaks warmly of Salvador, often referred to as Britain's "most dangerous criminal" for violent incidents including a number of hostage situations, and recalls Salvador's "artist's hands" and sharp wit. However, her parents are less happy about the union, she says.

Williamson told the Daily Mail: "My mum's concerned, but Dad says, at 36, he can't tell me how to live my life. Ultimately, they just want me to be happy."

Describing how the relationship grew after she visited him in Wakefield Prison, Williamson told the newspaper the pair danced to the soundtrack of a football results announcement, played on Salvador's radio, which led to their first kiss.

After a further two visits and hours of telephone conversations between the two, Salvador proposed to Williamson and she accepted. The one-time Coronation Street actress apparently notified the press of her intended visit to HMP Wakefield on Monday – the day before Valentine's Day – to receive her proposal in person.

Salvador was originally sentenced to seven years in prison in 1974 for the armed robbery of a post office. However, he has subsequently spent 43 years in incarceration, with just 122 days as a free man over that period.

Speaking of Salvador's lengthy prison spells, she said: "In 2000 he was sentenced to life with a tariff of three to four years, which means he has served 14 years over his sentence.

"I think Charlie's been lost in the system. He's a victim of his own infamy. He's become a caricature of himself, really."

Adding that far from the public's perception of her fiancé, Salvador was in prison for robbery, not murder, she said: "I know he's done things in prison, and we have spoken about that. He admits he has lost his temper but has acted under extreme provocation."