A prisoner serving a long-abolished indefinite jail sentence told his public parole hearing that he is living in “hell”, as he begged to be released.

Nicholas Bidar, 36, is one of thousands of offenders still languishing behind bars years beyond their minimum tariff after being handed Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences – which have no release date – despite the punishment being scrapped more than a decade ago.

On Monday, Bidar became the first prisoner serving this kind of sentence to have his parole review heard in public at HMP Long Lartin near Evesham after laws changed in a bid to remove the secrecy around the process.

A panel of Parole Board members will decide whether he should be freed from jail, moved to a lower security prison or remain behind bars.

The 36-year-old said: “This sentence is affecting my whole family. This is my one chance and I’m aware of it. I’m living in the worst place you can possibly live. I hate it here.

“Every day is torture. It’s just hell.”

In 2009 Bidar, then 21, was jailed for a string of robberies and firing a gun at police officers while resisting arrest.

He is still behind bars despite the eight-year minimum tariff set as part of his indefinite sentence expiring in 2017.

Asked by the parole panel why he committed the offences, Bidar replied: “I was young. It was probably to do with everything – lifestyle, associates, being immature.”

In 2012, Bidar escaped from custody and committed an attempted robbery while absconded.

Bidar told the panel: “I wouldn’t run away now because it’s been so long – I wouldn’t have anywhere to go.”

Giving evidence on Monday, a prison offender manager said they thought Bidar did not meet the test for release or for being moved to an open prison.

They said the most recent physical violence Bidar had committed against staff was in 2021, when he assaulted three prison officers, who had to deploy pava spray to subdue him.

A decision on Bidar’s case will be made at a later date, with a summary of the recommendation typically published around 14 days after the hearing has concluded.

The prison offender manager, who was not named, told the panel: “When I look at the case notes, there has been more negative than positive for each year – which is disappointing.

They added that “inappropriate comments and behaviour” towards female prison staff had run through his whole sentence.

The prison offender manager added that there had been incidents in prison when Bidar had been gambling, in possession of weapons, and of alcohol misuse.

The public section of the hearing concluded on Monday afternoon, and it will resume on Tuesday in private.