A FORMER Bond girl has paid tribute in print to a former Nelson man who was imprisoned for 22 years amid suspicions he was a Soviet spy.
Fiona Fullerton, who starred with Roger Moore in A View To A Kill, credits Anthony ‘Alex’ Alexandrowicz with being her rock, through a 12-year prison pen-pal relationship.
And now in Dear Fiona - Letters From A Suspected Soviet Spy – the actress turned property developer details her remarkable correspondence with Prisoner 789959.
The pair were reunited after an appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph for ‘Alex’ after Fiona rediscovered his letters in a cupboard.
Alex began writing to Fiona from Parkhurst Prison, the start of an extraordinary exchange which lasted until 1988.
The former East Lancashire man always protested his innocence and was frequently moved between prisons.
In one letter he says: “It is you alone who has given me strength while I have been in prison.”
Outside Fiona was leading a remarkably different life, making her way as an actress through a turbulent first marriage to Death On The Nile star Simon MacCorkindale.
One of her letters to Alex reads: “Yes, the bond between us will get stronger, Alex. It will never die now.” Alex, born to a Ukranian father and an English mother, grew up in Nelson with his sister. Escaping from an often brutal upbringing he was often in trouble with the law.
But the turning point for him came as an 18-year-old when he was convicted of aggravated burglary in Preston.
Questioned about the offence he was apparently shown pictures of himself meeting top Soviet spy Igor Laptev and urged to sign a confession - unless he wanted to see his father deported.
He believes this was a crucial factor in him being labelled a dangerous prisoner and spending 22 years behind bars.
Back then Nelson was known as ‘Little Moscow’ because of its hard-left politics and the suspicion was he was handling secret messages for the Soviets. Finally released in 1993, he went on to pen ‘The Longest Injustice’, with the help of one of his former prison governors, Prof David Wilson.
Alex and Fiona were reunited, after the Telegraph appeal, last year. In the book, Fiona said: “He is part of my family now. I finally have the brother I always wanted.” Today Alex lives in the Cotswolds, where he is a railway photographer.