'Spoons' the cannibal sets scary new prison record

HE'S been nicknamed Hannibal the Cannibal, and multiple killer Robert Maudsley this week earned another title.

Maudsley set a new UK record for solitary confinement having now spent a staggering 39 years locked up alone.

The killer turned 64 this week and marked the day like every other - staring at four lonely walls.

Maudsley spends his days alone in HMP Wakefield, West Yorkshire, for killing four people - three of them fellow inmates, The Sun reported.

With no chance of ever being released, Maudsley will certainly die behind bars.

He spends 23 hours a day in "the cage" - a cell made of bulletproof glass which was built specifically for him in 1983 after he was officially classed Britain's most dangerous prisoner.

His only interaction is with the prison guards who allow him out of his cage for an hour a day so he can exercise.

Maudsley first earned himself the nickname of "Spoons" after leaving one of his victims with cutlery sticking out of his skull and part of his brain missing.

His first murder was in 1974 when he garrotted a man who had picked him up for sex while he was working as a rent boy to pay for his drug habit, The Guardianreports.

He was declared unfit to stand trial and sent to Broadmoor Hospital after being convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

While serving his sentence at the high-security psychiatric unit in 1977, he and another psychopath took an inmate hostage in his cell and tortured him to death for nine hours.

The man was discovered with his head "cracked open like a boiled egg" with a spoon hanging out and part of the brain missing, according to a prison guard.

He was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Wakefield prison, where he had already earned himself the nickname "Hannibal the Cannibal".

Maudsley had only been at the jail for a few weeks when he went on another killing spree - this time murdering two people in a day.

Neal Patel


The first was Salney Darwood, 46, who he lured into his cell before garrotting and stabbing him with a knife made from a soup spoon and hiding his body under a bunk.

He then crept into the cell of William Roberts, who was laying on his bed, and smashed his head against a wall before using the homemade weapon to prise open his skull.

Maudsley is then alleged to have eaten the inmate's brain - which he has always denied.

He then calmly walked into the wing office and told the guards: "There'll be two short on the roll call."


During his early days in solitary, he is said to have befriended cockroaches and went without a haircut for 12 years because no prison barber would touch him, according to The Mirror.

His record means he can't have contact with any other prisoners, although he is said to have had run-ins with infamous prisoner Charles Bronson.

In 2010, he even pleaded with the Home Office to allow him to play board games with prison staff, just to break the monotony of prison life.

Following the death of Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who spent 51 years in jail since his conviction in 1966, Maudsley is thought to be Britain's longest serving inmate.


In 2003 a documentary painted a picture of his life saw him go from an abused boy to a killer.

The same year saw the launch of a new campaign which aimed to improve the quality of his life with supporters arguing his treatment impinged his human rights, The Guardian reported.

"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," Maudsley was quoted as saying at the time.

"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."

He also described his confinement as a long "period of unbroken depression."

Maudsley and his three siblings were taken into care before he was two after suffering parental neglect.

He was also repeatedly abused by his parents, sometimes being bashed repeatedly every day.

His first victim Farrell, who picked him up for sex, showed him photos of the children he abused and he flew into a rage and garrotted him.


Human rights groups claim solitary confinement is inhumane.

Amnesty International say those in solitary are "deprived of all but the minimal amount of human contact, both within the prison and with those outside it."

It warns the harsh conditions are psychologically devastating and said half of all suicides in US prisons occur in solitary cells.

Amnesty also argue solitary confinement violates international laws and standards.

- with The Sun

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