Wakefield, England – Serial killer Robert Mawdsley has recently marked his 50th consecutive Christmas behind bars, making him the longest-serving inmate in the UK penal system. Mawdsley, also known as Hannibal the Cannibal, has spent most of his sentence, including 45 years, in solitary confinement, a potential world record.
Mawdsley, now 70 years old, was imprisoned in 1974 for murder and was segregated from other inmates in 1978 after killing three prisoners. The special accommodation provided for him at Wakefield prison in West Yorkshire includes a cell with bulletproof windows and a concrete slab for a bed, often referred to as a “glass cage in the cellar.”
In a 2018 interview, ex-detective Paul Harrison, a specialist in interviewing mass murderers, described Mawdsley as an intelligent individual with an unexpected demeanor. Despite his gruesome past, Harrison noted that Mawdsley could engage in light conversation and did not exhibit the intense and narcissistic traits often associated with serial killers.
Mawdsley’s criminal history stems from a difficult upbringing in Liverpool, where he later became a prostitute before being ruled unfit for trial after killing a child sex offender in 1974. Subsequently, he was placed in Broadmoor, where he took a fellow inmate hostage, tortured him, and ultimately killed him with a cut-down plastic spoon in 1977.
Despite false rumors that Mawdsley had eaten part of the victim’s brain, he was convicted of manslaughter for the killing at Broadmoor. He was later transferred to Wakefield prison, where he murdered two inmates in 1978, solidifying his notoriety as Hannibal the Cannibal.
The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the current location of Mawdsley and insists that there is no such thing as solitary confinement in the prison system, although some offenders may be segregated if they pose a risk to others. They have also emphasized that segregated offenders still have access to daily outdoor time, visits, phone calls, legal advice, and medical care.