A MAN who was best friends with Charles Bronson said he still gets a Christmas card from the lag – and said he should be released.
Stephen Gillen is a reformed career criminal who now wants to help others avoid falling into a life of crime.
But while he was behind bars, he ran into the likes of Bronson – one of Britain’s most notorious criminals.
Gillen has now spoken openly about his friendship with the 70-year-old and how it has lasted through the years.
He said the couple first met at the Woodhill Closed Supervision Unit in Hull.
That’s what the 52-year-old said Express: “I knew him very, very well, he still sends me Christmas cards and stuff like that.”
Gillen spent more than 18 years of his life behind bars and was classified as a Category A inmate.
This came after he rose to prominence as a notorious figure in the criminal underworld, involved in robberies and brutal fights.
He was released in 2003 and has been working to change his life ever since.
Gillen said he often thinks of Bronson, who was recently denied his eighth request for freedom after spending nearly 50 years behind bars.
He revealed that he thought his pal should be released.
The reformed Lag said: “Yes, he should definitely be released.”
“One of the problems with Charlie is that his treatment in prison is paradoxical because he’s still in cages and wards and stuff like that.
“For him to have any chance of being released, they have to make it happen in a planned way that gives him a chance and society a chance to integrate into society, and they didn’t do that.”
In March, the parole board ruled that Bronson did not have the “skills to manage his risk.”Force”.
The panel also rejected a change at the opening.
Currently, the inmate who claims he now hates “violence” is only allowed out of his cell for 90 minutes a day.
In response to the verdict, his alleged son, George Bamby, said: “I would have gladly released Charlie, but I fully respect the parole board’s decision.”