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21st Jan 2023

UK’s most dangerous criminal breaks solitary confinement world record

Charlie Herbert

Robert Maudsley breaks solitary confinement world record

He will die in solitary confinement

Britain’s longest serving prisoner Robert Maudsley has set a new world record for solitary confinement.

The 69-year-old has spent more than 16,400 consecutive days in solitary confinement in a special bulletproof cell built specifically for him, the Mirror reports.

Maudsley has spent almost 50 years behind bars and is believed to be Britain’s longest serving prisoner after Moors murderer Ian Brady, who died in 2017 after serving 51 years.

US prisoner Albert Woodfox previously held the world record for solitary confinement at 43 years, before his release in 2016 on his 69th birthday. He died last year.

Jailed in 1974, Maudsley worked as a sex worker in his youth when his client, John Farrell, showed him pictures of children he sexually abused. Maudsley killed Farrell and surrendered himself to police.

After being deemed unfit to stand trial, he was sent to Broadmoor Hospital, where he killed another inmate.

Consequently, Maudsley was jailed for life – but that didn’t stop him from killing again.

Maudsley was moved to Wakefield maximum-security prison, where he killed two more people in 1978 and telling a guard: “There’ll be two short on the roll call.”

With Maudsley killing people behind bars, it was decided that a special cell would be built for him.

In 1983, after prison staff, including barbers, declined to see him alone, a special cell was built at Wakefield.

The cell was built in 1983, measuring a measly 5.5m by 4.5m and contained within bulletproof windows.

He was dubbed ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ in reference to The Silence of the Lambs villain Hannibal Lecter, amid claims he dug a spoon into the brain of one of his victims, an allegation he always denied and that has since been reported as untrue.

It is believed that the cell contains a bed, a table and a chair made of compressed cardboard. His toilet and sink are firmly bolted to the floor, reports suggest.

Maudsley wrote in 2003: “The prison authorities see me as a problem, and their solution has been to put me into solitary confinement and throw away the key, to bury me alive in a concrete coffin.”

He continued: “It does not matter to them whether I am mad or bad. They do not know the answer and they do not care just so long as I am kept out of sight and out of mind.

“I am left to stagnate, vegetate and to regress; left to confront my solitary head-on with people who have eyes but don’t see and who have ears but don’t hear, who have mouths but don’t speak. My life in solitary is one long period of unbroken depression.”

Maudsley will never be released and will die in his 5.5m by 4.5m glass cell.

In the early days of his confinement he wrote to newspapers campaigning for better treatment. In 2000, he went to court in a bid to be “allowed to die”.

In a letter he asked why he couldn’t have a pet budgie, promising to love it and “not eat it”.

He also requested a cyanide capsule so that the “problem of Robert John Mawdsley can easily and swiftly be resolved.”

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