Author Topic: The horrifying reality of UK's most dangerous man entombed alone in a glass box  (Read 83 times)

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The horrifying reality of UK's most dangerous man entombed alone in a glass box prison

Robert Maudsley was dubbed Hannibal the Cannibal when he rammed a spoon into one of his victim's brains he is locked up in the basement of Wakefield Prison, where he will spend the rest of his life

By Jane Lavender Assistant Editor
0:11, 14 FEB 2020 Updated15:33, 14 FEB 2020

Robert Maudsley has been locked in solitary confinement for more than four decades.  As the UK's most dangerous man, he will never be freed from his dungeon underneath Wakefield Prison.  Born in Toxteth, Liverpool, Maudsley was just 21 when he carried out his first horrific murder.  But he went on to kill another three men, all while he was locked up in prison.  The serial killer was one of 12 children and was taken into care when he was still a baby.  He spent his early years living at Nazareth House, a Catholic orphanage in Merseyside.  For Maudsley, this was a welcome relief from the chaos and poverty at home.  But when he was eight, his parents came to take him and his siblings home and he was subjected to years of violent abuse.  His father would regularly beat his children, and Maudsley often took extra beatings to protect his siblings.  Once, a young Maudsley was locked in a room for six months, his only contact was violence from his father.  As soon as he was 16, Maudsley fled home but soon became trapped in a spiral of drug abuse and funded his habit by working as a rent boy.  One of his clients, John Farrell, was the first man he murdered in 1974.  Maudsley garrotted him after he showed him photographs of children he had sexually abused.  The murder was so violent police nicknamed the victim "blue" because of the colour of his face.  Maudsley was jailed for life with the recommendation that he should never be released and sent to Broadmoor Hospital, which housed some of the country's most dangerous prisoners.  For several years, Maudsley kept himself out of trouble but in 1977 he and fellow prisoner, David Cheeseman, barricaded themselves in a cell with a convicted child molester, David Francis.  For nine hours they tortured Francis in the most brutal way with Maudsley at one point ramming a spoon through his ear and into his brain, earning him the moniker Hannibal the Cannibal.  When guards finally broke the door down, Francis was dead.  Maudsley was then moved to the maximum-security Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire but a year after his killed Francis his murderous rage returned.  On July 29, 1978, he garrotted and stabbed wife-killer Salney Darwood in his cell and hid the body under the bed.  Maudsley then stalked the prison wing for his next victim and attacked Bill Roberts, who had been jailed for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl.  He stabbed Roberts to death before hacking at his skull with a makeshift dagger.  When Maudsley was certain Roberts was dead, he calmly walked up to a prison guard and told him there would be two less for dinner that night.  Now deemed too dangerous to remain among the general prison population, work began on constructing a special cell for Maudsley in the bowels of Wakefield Prison.  By 1983, it was ready. The cell was dubbed the glass cage as it was so similar to the prison Hannibal Lecter was kept in Silence of the Lambs.  It's just 5.5metres by 4.5metres and has huge bullet-proof windows, which prison officers watch Maudsley through.  The only furniture is a table and a chair, which are both made of compressed cardboard, while his toilet and sink are bolted to the floor.  Maudsley's bed is a concrete slab and the door is made of solid steel, which opens into a cage just inside.  The cage is encased in thick, see-through, acrylic panels and has a small slit at the bottom, through which guards pass the serial killer his meals and other items he needs.  Maudsley is locked in the cell for 23 hours a day, only being freed for an hour of exercise.  He is escorted to the exercise yard by six guards and is never allowed any contact with other inmates.  In an interview, Maudsley said he felt "tormented" in solitary confinement.  He explained: "There is a lack of hope and I don't appear to have anything to look forward to.  I feel no officer takes any interest in me and they're only concerned with when to open the door and then to make sure I get back in my cell as soon as possible.  I think an officer could stop and talk a bit but they never do and it's these thoughts that I think about most of the time."

Maudsley claimed his time in solitary confinement was having an impact on his speech and he was no longer able to speak clearly through lack of contact.  He added: "I see this in part as going back to my childhood and going back to the room where I was detained for six months and that torments me."

In a desperate attempt for company, in 2000 Maudsley begged for the terms of his imprisonment to be relaxed.  He asked for a pet budgie and then if that was refused, for a cyanide capsule so he could end his life.  His requests were denied and Maudsley will spend the rest of his life, alone, in his glass box underneath Wakefield Prison.