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Britain's most deadly killer spends 23 hours a day locked inside a glass box

staronline@reachplc.com (Sophie Bateman)

Britain’s most dangerous prisoner spends 23 hours a day locked inside a glass box.

Robert Maudsley, 67, has been behind bars since 1974, but that hasn’t stopped him from carrying out three grisly murders.

Born in Toxteth, Liverpool, Maudsley was one of 12 children subjected to violent abuse from their father, who once locked him in a room for six months.

When Maudsley turned 16 he left home but became ensnared in drug abuse, having to work as a rent boy to fund his habit.

The first man he murdered was a client named John Farrell, who Maudsley garrotted after seeing photos of children Farrell had sexually abused. The killing was so violent police officers nicknamed the victim “blue” because of the colour of his face when he was found.

As a child, Robert Maudsley suffered violent abuse at the hands of his father

Maudsley was jailed for life and sent to high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, which housed some of the country’s most dangerous prisoners.

In 1977 he and fellow prisoner, David Cheeseman, targeted another sexual predator, barricading themselves in a cell with convicted child molester, David Francis.

They tortured Francis for nine brutal hours. At one point Maudsley shoved a spoon through the victim’s ear and into his brain, an act which would earn him the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal.

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After the killing, Maudsley was moved to maximum security prison HMP Wakefield in Yorkshire. But just a year later he went on another deranged killing spree.

On July 29 1978 he garrotted and stabbed wife killer Salney Darwood, hiding the body under the bed in his cell.

Maudsley has killed three people from behind bars

His bloodlust not yet satisfied, he then stalked the prison wing and attacked Bill Roberts, jailed for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl. He bashed his head against the wall before hacking at his skull with a makeshift dagger.

Once he was certain Roberts was dead, Maudsley reportedly walked calmly up to a prison guard and informed him there would be too less for dinner that evening.

Prison staff realised he was too dangerous to remain in the general population and drastic measures must be taken. A special cell was constructed just for Maudsley, located deep within the prison.

In 1983 the cell dubbed the “glass cage” was ready. Bearing an eerie similarity to Hannibal Lecter’s cell in Silence of the Lambs, the room measured just 5.5m by 4.5m with huge bulletproof windows through which guards can observe him.

The only furniture is a table and chair, with a concrete slab for a bed. Meals are passed through the narrow gap under the door.

The B-wing at Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire

Maudsley spends 23 hours a day locked inside the cell, only allowed out for an hour of exercise. He is escorted by guards at all times and is never permitted contact with other inmates.

Years of solitary confinement have taken a toll on the prisoner and he’s asked for the terms of his imprisonment to be relaxed. He requested a pet budgie, as well as a cyanide capsule so he could commit suicide.

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Both requests were denied, and Maudsley will spend the rest of his life alone inside the glass box.

He’s told media he feels “tormented” by his confinement, saying: “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.

Maudsley has said he is tormented by his solitary confinement

“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 has claimed he was raped as a child which may have fuelled his desire to kill child molesters.

“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,” he said of his confinement.

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