Bron heck of a tattoo

Stuart Swain, of Wigan Ink, and best friend Steve Singleton with his tattoo of Charles Bronson - and a letter from Charles Bronson himself
Stuart Swain, of Wigan Ink, and best friend Steve Singleton with his tattoo of Charles Bronson - and a letter from Charles Bronson himself
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THE man branded Britain’s most violent criminal has shown his softer side for cancer-stricken tot Braiden Prescott.

The three-year-old’s battle with cancer prompted notorious hard man and perennial inmate Charles Bronson to write a letter from his cell wishing the youngster well.

This was after Wiganer Steve Singleton wrote to a host of well-known people asking for help. The publicist for Bronson, initially sent memorabilia but when Steve decided to celebrate by having the jailbird’s face tattooed on his leg, he then received a personal letter from the man himself.

Bronson, whose life behind bars was turned into a movie four years ago, was moved by Braiden’s plight.

The youngster suffers from neuroblastoma and has recently returned home from America after possibly life-saving treatment was aborted when he suffered a relapse. The public has already raised tens of thousands for the inspiring tot and other medical options are still being considered.

Steve said: “Everyone is doing so much to help Braiden so I thought I’d do my bit.

“I got in touch with loads of celebrities but so few got back to me and I was chatting to Stuart Swain, a tattoo artist, and we were thinking of some really ‘out there’ characters to get in touch with.

“So I wrote to Charles’s publicist and they were fantastic; they sent us lots of memorabilia and designs for us to raffle off at a do we were having.

“I was so blown away by it and wanted to do something to say thank-you.”

And Steve’s way of saying thanks was certainly a unique one.

He put his head together with Stuart and they came up with the idea of turning one of the designs sent to them into a tattoo on Steve’s leg.

The Abram 33-year-old added: “We got the design done, sent it off to his publicist who e-mailed back asking for a postal address which was odd.

“And the next day I had this letter from Charlie thanking me for my effort and wishing Braiden the best which I thought was outstanding.

“He is an old man now who just wants to get out of prison. We were absolutely blown away by his response, he’s so well known and for him to say the design looked great meant a lot for me and Stuart.”

Wigan Ink artist Stuart Swain designed the tattoo and said the pair were delighted by Bronson’s letter.

The charity stunt raised around £600 in total and despite its remarkable accuracy, people still manage to mistake it for someone else.

Stuart, of Worsley Hall, said: “I do a lot of charity designs and this was up there as one of the best. The film Bronson was massive so he’s really well known these days and it just shows that Braiden’s story has touched everyone who hears it.

“To get a personal reply from him was fantastic and his support meant a lot.

“It was great to know that Charles was happy with the design but Steve has a bit of a look of him, too, so people keep asking why he’s got a design of himself on his leg!”