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Robert Maudsley was named ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ after he murdered another prisonerSHARE

  • By psalm moronfolu
  • 18:52, 14 FEB 2020UPDATED08:24, 17 FEB 2020

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Robert Maudsley
Robert Maudsley(Image: Woodcut Media.)

Robert Maudsley has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for more than 40 years.

And he will never be freed from his dungeon underneath Wakefield Prison, as he is thought to be the UK’s most dangerous man.

Maudsley, who lived in Speke, Crosby and Toxteth before heading to London, was just 21 when he killed his first victim.

But he went on to kill three more men, during his time in prison, reports Mirror Online.

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.


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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.

Robert Maudsley
Robert Maudsley(Image: Woodcut Media.)

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 the man showed him photographs of children he had sexually abused.

The murder was so violent police nickname 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.


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For several years, Maudsley kept himself out of trouble but in 1977 he and fellow prisoner, David Cheeseman, barricaded themselves in a cell with convicted child molester, David Francis.

For nine hours they tortured and killed Francis in the most brutal way.

It was reported at the time that Maudsley rammed a spoon through his ear and into his brain, earning him the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal, although an autopsy report later showed that the story was incorrect.

Robert Maudsley as a schoolboy

After the murder, Maudsley was then moved to the maximum security Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire but a year after he killed Francis his murderous ways 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.A History Of Liverpool MurderThe hanging boy riddleThe Cameo murdersChild murder with grisly endingThe Black Widow sisters

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 amongst 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 Lector was kept in in Silence of the Lambs.

It’s just 5.5metres by 4.5metres and has huge bullet-proof windows, which prison officers watch Muadsley 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.

Broadmoor high security hospital,(Image: PA)

Maudsley is locked in the cell for 23 hours a day, only being freed for 60 minutes 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 the open the door and then to make sure I get back in my cell as soon as possible.Top News StoriesHospital apology over care on wardMysterious creature found on beachLFC fan found dead after night out£33m Bootle masterplan

“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

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