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Sickening story of Britain's most dangerous killer 'Hannibal the Cannibal' who tortured and killed fellow inmate

Sickening story of Britain's most dangerous killer 'Hannibal the Cannibal' who tortured and killed fellow inmate

The inmate is kept in a cell which resembles Hannibal Lecter's in Silence of the Lambs

A new book has shed light on life inside one of Britain's most notorious prisons, which houses a terrifying criminal nicknamed 'Hannibal the Cannibal'.

Released on Thursday (20 June) Inside Wakefield Prison: Life Behind Bars in the Monster Mansion by Jonathan Levi and Dr Emma French takes us inside HMP Wakefield, one of the most dangerous buildings in the UK.

The infamous prison is nicknamed 'Monster Mansion' due to the large number of high-risk, violent criminals, murderers and sex offenders.

Criminals who have passed through Wakefield's corridors include serial killer Harold Shipman, Charles Bronson and disgraced Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins.

However one of the most darkly fascinating cases is the story of the so-called 'Hannibal The Cannibal' who was rumoured to have eaten another inmates's brain.

Aerial view of HMP Wakefield. (Duncan Cuthbertson/ Getty Images)
Aerial view of HMP Wakefield. (Duncan Cuthbertson/ Getty Images)

'Hannibal The Cannibal' was a gruesome nickname given to Robert Maudsley, 70, who holds the record for the longest serving prisoner in solitary confinement.

Maudsley was born in Liverpool in 1953 and spent his early years growing up in a catholic orphanage alongside his three siblings. The children were briefly returned to the care of their parents before being removed once again due to physical abuse from their father.

Maudsley would go on to claim the abuse from his parents had caused psychological scars.

He later moved to London and worked as a sex worker, which is where he encountered his first victim, John Farrell, in 1974. A client of his, Maudsley had garrotted him after Farrell revealed images of children he had sexually abused.

Maudsley's next victim was an inmate at Broadmoor Hospital, with the 1977 murder earning him the grisly moniker 'Hannibal The Cannibal'.

The cannibalism rumours were later found to be false.

He earned a chilling nickname. (Channel 5)
He earned a chilling nickname. (Channel 5)

David Francis was a convicted child molester who was killed after a sustained attack from Maudsley, which saw him tortured and had a spoon driven into his brain.

Following the killing, Maudsley was sent to HMP Wakefield after being convicted of manslaughter where he would undergo another killing spree in 1978.

This time his targets were Salney Darwood and William Roberts, later confessing to the on-duty officer by saying they would be two people short at the next roll call. Maudsley was then convicted of double murder and sent to solitary confinement in Wakefield, where he has remained ever since.

He's kept in solitary confinement. (BBC)
He's kept in solitary confinement. (BBC)

Maudsley is considered such a high risk to other prisoners that a specially developed cell was built for him in 1983.

Measuring 8ft by 14ft and housed in the prison's basement, Maudsley's cell resembles that of Hannibal Lecter's in 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.

He is monitored for 23 hours a day and can only leave his cell when flanked by four police officers.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 5/BBC

Topics: UK News, Crime