An ex-model that began a “romance” with Charles Bronson, one of Britain’s longest-serving prisoners, stood by him as he fought for his freedom this week. According to The Mirror, Gemma Fernandez was present at both days of his public parole hearing where he pleaded to be released after 48 years behind bars.
Bronson and Gemma began sharing letters and video calls, before the former FHM model visited the 70-year-old at HMP Woodhill when lockdown rules eased in 2021.
She campaigned for Bronson’s release from prison and set up the Free Charles Salvador petition.
However, only months later the couple were no longer together after they “split” with Bronson still in jail.
He wrote: “I’m no longer with Gemma. We split. Romance and prison don’t mix. It’s two different worlds. I believe in freeing ones you love.”
The glamour model has stuck by Bronson however, appearing at the Royal Courts of Justice where she watched his parole hearing on a live stream.
She was seen amongst campaigners with t-shirts that said “Free Charles Salvador.”
She told the Mirror: “I’ve been advised not really to say anything.
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“I just think he’s done really well and it’s time that he got out. I’m really supportive of him.”
Previously describing Bronson’s artistic pursuits, she told Steve Wraith’s YouTube channel: “His talents are endless really.
He’s forever creating and he’s hilarious at the same time. Some of his stuff is very deep and hard hitting too.”
She added: “Years ago I wanted to write to him after seeing the film and I never really did.
“But with the lockdown happening and everyone suffering with their mental health I thought, ‘He’s been banged up for 23 hours a day, for 46 years, I need to write to him’. The rest is history really.”
In 2022, Gemma expressed her frustration at what she believed was unfair treatment of Bronson, in the context of the release of Colin Pitchfork: “It’s absolutely disgraceful really.
“At the end of the day no one is doubting that Charlie has done some things in the past, but he’s served his time and more.
“He’s never murdered anyone, he’s never committed a sex offence and he’s a reformed character. He’s nearly 70 and he deserves to be freed.
“If someone like Colin Pitchfork is allowed to be freed then there’s no sense in it. It’s a disgrace.”
She added: “He is so upbeat, he takes everything in his stride because he’s been through so much.
“But time is precious and that’s why we’re trying to get some hype about it because he’s got a life and he deserved to live as a free man.
The final day of Bronson’s parole hearing takes place on Friday, however, it will be held in private. He will learn his fate later in March.
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