UK’s Most Dangerous Man Is Kept In A Glass Box Under Wakefield Prison

The UK’s most dangerous man wrote several letters to his psychologist and in his final letter, he spoke only three chilling words. 

Robert Maudsley has spent an entire four decades completely on his own, locked in a glass box underneath one of Britain’s most high-security prisons.

Maudsley is a serial killer, who butchered four men, three of whom were fellow prisoners.

He targeted paedophiles and those who sexually abused children but attacked them with such ferocity that he was dubbed the most dangerous man in Britain.

Born in Tornteth in Liverpool, Maudsley had a troubling childhood. He was taken into care as a baby and spent the first eight years of his life in a Catholic orphanage.

He was then taken home to live with his parents. During this time, he was subjected to horrific abuse by the hands of his own father. He was once locked in a room for six months and his father only opened the door to punish him further through beatings.

At 16-years-old Maudsley felt he had no choice but to flee his home. However, he soon found himself trapped in a cycle of drug abuse, which was funded through his being a rent boy.

This was a path which led him to commit his first murder.

Just 21-year-olds, Maudsley garrotted John Farrel who was one of his clients, after he showed him graphic images of children he had sexually abused.

Credit: Wakefield Prison

He was then sentenced to life in jail and sent to Broadmoor Hospital, where three years later he encountered another inmate by the name of David Cheeseman. The two locked themselves in a cell with a third inmate, David Francis, who they tortured for nine hours.

Francis was a convicted paedophile and by the times the guards had broken down the door, he was dead.

After committing this crime, he was transferred to Wakefield Prison, which is a maximum security facility. However, Maudsley’s killing spree was far from finished.

Just over a year later, in July 1978, he decided to invite wife-killer Salney Darwood to his cell. He then garrotted and stabbed him, before hiding him under his bed.

The killer than prowled the prison wing in search of his next victim, paedophile Bill Roberts, who he sentenced to death.

Using a makeshift dagger, Maudsley hacked and smashed at Robert’s head and then calmly headed towards the police officer’s room where he announced that there would be two less at dinner that evening.

Since then, he has been regarded as dangerous to live with in the general prison population and has been kept in solitary confinement ever since.

In the basement of Wakefield Prison, a special cell was created for the purpose of isolating Maudsley.

It has been named the glass cage and has been compared to the prison Hannibal Lector was kept in in Silence of the Lambs.

The glass cage measures 5.5 metres by 4.5 metres and has huge bulletproof windows, which the prison officers observe Maudsley through.

In the cage there is minimal furniture; there is a table and chair (both made of compressed cardboard), and a toilet and sink which are bolted to the floor.

Maudsley sleeps on a bed which is a concrete slab and the door is made of solid steel, which opens to the small cage inside.

The cage is encased in a series of thick, see-through, acrylic panels and at the bottom, there is a slit where the guard passes the serial killer his meals and any other items he may need.

Maudsley is constantly watched and spends 23 hours of his day in the cell. For the other hour, he has to go out for one hour of exercise. During this time he must be accompanied by six guards and he has no contact with fellow prisoners.

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Maudsley was interviewed. Psychologist Dr Robert Johnson was the first person to question Maudsley since he has been locked in solitary confinement.

Dr Johnson was aware of the danger he was putting himself in, as it was such a confined space to be in with a deranged killer.

However, he still spent two and a half years visiting the serial killer where he sat at the end of the bed, Maudsley was on the other side of the cell where he couldn’t reach him.

Dr Johnson warned him: “If you frighten me, I can’t help you.”

The pair uncovered many of Maudsley’s childhood traumas and believed that this was the key to his violent tendancies.

Dr Johnson explained: “It was my duty as a doctor to discover why he had become a serial killer.”

Although the two made progress and Maudsley had begun to feel as though he could talk about things he had never been able to before, the meetings were stopped by authorities.

Dr Johnson was never given an official reason as to why.

In an attempt to keep in contact with Maudsley, he wrote to him several times but they were always left unanswered.

Until one day Dr Johnson received a letter in the post.

The three-word message simply read ‘All alone now’.

Maudsley will spend the rest of his life at Wakefield Prison, in his cell of solitary confinement.

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