Liverpool Gangster Stephen 'The Devil' French Recruited 'British Pablo Escobar' At A Young Age
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Former gangster Stephen French has admitted that he feels sympathy for 'Britain's Pablo Escobar' Curtis Warren - who he helped recruit in his younger years.
Warren was once regarded as the biggest drug dealer in the UK, a status that was cemented back in 1997 when he was named on the Sunday Times Rich List for that year.
However, the 56-year-old has seen been jailed for his indiscretions, following an operation to take down his international network.
In an episode of Channel 5's Gang Wars, French, who was once one of Liverpool's most feared gangsters, expressed sympathy for his former pal.
"We are from the same hood. But I was a man to be feared, whereas Curtis [Warren] was more of a businessman," he said in the documentary.
"He came to see me one time and he showed me his bank book. And in this bank book he had 80 million quid."
Warren remains in prison to this day, having failed to pay a £198 million confiscation order.
"I said 'Why are you still doing this? Can't you make a lifestyle for yourself, can't you retire?'" French revealed.
"And he said to me 'Stephen what am I going to do? Go home and watch daytime TV? I am a career criminal and I always will be'."
French, who is also known as 'The Devil', believes Warren has spent almost all of his adult life in and out of prison.
"I feel sorry for Curtis. I hope he can have a life when he comes home," he added.
French is certainly no stranger to the justice system, with convictions against him stretching as far back as 1972.
Earning himself the 'tax man' moniker for his method of extracting money from drug dealers, French opened up about his own criminal past on the Channel 5 TV series.
Discussing his violent streak, French said: "You get the product, money or cash you get out and you tie the people up when you leave, it's as simple as that.
"I didn't do it for any dislike of the narcotics trade. That wasn't my motivation. My motivation was I wanted the money."
The now-reformed gangster, who has also featured in other hit shows like Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men, went on to describe the issues that youngsters in Liverpool currently face - and why so many get dragged into the criminal underworld.
When asked about gang members in the city getting younger and younger, he replied: "They're desensitised and dehumanised.
"There's a breed now who will shoot you and go home and play Xbox and not even think about it."