The Haverfordwest mother of a young US soldier facing the rest of his life in prison admits she is unlikely to see him again.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Susan Manning, mother of former Pembrokeshire pupil Bradley found guilty of charges relating to the release of military secrets, has urged her son not to give up hope.

“Never give up hope son. I know I may never see you again but I know you will be free one day. I pay it is soon. I love you, Bradley and I always will,” said Susan, who had been allowed just four one-hour visits with her son, with a glass screen between them before ill health prevented her from making any further visits to the USA.

Bradley, aged 25, had been accused of leaking military secrets to whistleblower website WikiLeaks and faced 22 charges, including counts brought under the Espionage Act relating to the leaking of Afghan and Iraq wear logs, embassy cables and Guantanamo files in 2009 and 2010.

He was found guilty of 17 of the 22 counts, as well as amended versions of four other charges. He had pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges before the court martial began.

The guilty verdicts included ‘wrongfully and wantonly’ causing to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the US, ‘having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy’.

He was found not guilty of the most serious charge he faced of aiding the enemy and he has spent the last three years in military custody.

As the hearing to decide his sentence continues this week, Bradley’s defence team successful fought to have some of the sentences merged meaning he now faces a maximum of 90 years in military prison.

His auntie, Sharon Staples, who lives in Milford Haven, said Bradley seemed to have a burning sense of wanting to right any injustice from an early age.

“If anyone was going to get themselves arrested for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret document and end up in jail for it, it was going to be our Bradley,” she said.

She believes that Bradley’s actions will be seen as heroic one day and America will recognise that he did the right thing.

"How many people wish the Nazi death camp guards who looked the other way had done what Bradley did? One day, maybe even America will recognise that he did the right thing. He felt compelled to let the world see what he had seen," she said.