The father of 'The X Factor' hopeful Sterling Ramsey has begged viewers not to hold his crimes against his son.
The singer's dad, Hansel, served prison sentences for assault and theft, and has just finished a three-year stretch for burglary, but the ex-convict praised his son for choosing a positive lifestyle and hopes his criminal past won't hinder the Rough Copy star's chance of winning the competition.
The father's desperate plea comes after it was revealed two of Sterling's cousins are currently serving life imprisonment for brutal gangland murders.
Hansel told The Sun newspaper: "I don't want Sterling's chances destroyed by what I have done or by the fact his cousins are serving life for murder -- that has nothing to do with him,"
Hansel is proud of Sterling who along with band members Kazeem Ajobe and Joey James have quickly gained popularity on the ITV singing show, and currently serve as the last remaining act for their mentor Gary Barlow.
He added: "What Sterling has achieved already is amazing. I'm so proud of him. To have got where he has got from where he has come from -- he should be praised. I hope that the public recognise that and vote for Rough Copy."
Sterling moved with his mother from Sheffield to Nottingham while Hansel was in prison, and whilst there his grandparents introduced him to the violin, something which his father claims saved him from a life of crime.
Hansel explained: "He could have easily been led astray when he was young, just like I was. It would have been so easy. But he always wanted to make music and was determined not to get into bad ways like me. I'm not proud of my past, but I want people to be proud of my son. I hope he wins. He deserves it."