Prisoner who killed UK’s ‘worst paedophile’ for ‘poetic justice’ given life term

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A psychopath who raped and murdered “Britain’s worst paedophile” in a sadistic prison attack has been jailed for at least 34 years.

Paul Fitzgerald, 30, said the killing of Richard Huckle at HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire was “poetic justice” for the estimated 200 children that the paedophile abused.

Fitzgerald wanted Huckle, 33, to feel what his victims had felt after strangling him with an electrical cable sheath, inserting a pen into his brain and penetrating his anus and lower bowel with a blunt object during the “humiliating” 78-minute attack, a court heard.

The killer told prison staff he would like to have cooked bits of Huckle’s body, and he would have gone on to kill other inmates but he was “having too much fun”.

Fitzgerald, who laughed as a judge described him as a “psychopath” during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 34 years for the murder which involved “sexual sadistic conduct”, HullLive reports.

Jurors at Hull Crown Court took around an hour to convict Fitzgerald of murder on Monday after a four-day trial.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Lavender said Fitzgerald had “taken the law into his own hands”.

The judge said: “You are a psychopath and you derive pleasure from fantasising about raping, torturing, killing, and even eating others.

“On this occasion you derived pleasure from acting out your fantasies.”

He added: “You went into his cell equipped and intended to rape and kill Mr Huckle and if possible cook and eat parts of him.

“You did this for your own pleasure and to carry out justice. You also did this for help and to be referred to a high security unit.

“You didn’t just kill him. You bound him and raped him. You strangled him using so much force that your hands still require treatment.

“You stabbed him in the neck, punched him. This went on for an hour and a quarter. At the end of which Mr Huckle was either dead or dying.

“Describing the events afterwards, you said: ‘I got carried away by how much fun I was having doing what I was doing to him’.”

Fitzgerald, who appeared via videolink, laughed as the judge spoke to him.

The judge added: “If and when you are released you be on licence, which will remain the case for the rest of your life.

“This case involves sadistic conduct.

“I am sure you made a conscious decision to kill him. As you said yourself, you committed murder in cold blood.”

Fitzgerald went into Huckle’s cell at the East Yorkshire prison, on October 13 last year, armed with makeshift weapons, made out of a toothbrush and a pen, a ligature and items to gag him and bind his arms and legs.

Fitzgerald spent an hour and 18 minutes in the cell on Delta wing, which is for sex offenders and other inmates who struggle to cope with life behind bars.

Fitzgerald decided about a week earlier that he was going to kill Huckle, the court heard.

Alistair MacDonald QC, prosecuting, said Fitzgerald “poses a danger to any person he meets” and the public needs to be protected from him “on an indefinite basis”.

Fitzgerald was “telling the truth about his plans to kill others” and there was “sexual sadistic conduct” involved in the murder of Huckle, said Mr MacDonald.

The court heard that Fitzgerald, who suffers from psychopathy, anti-social personality disorder and gender identity disorder, has previous convictions for violent and sexual offences, starting from the age of 13 and including the false imprisonment of a female prison officer.

The judge said the only mitigating features of the case were Fitzgerald’s mental health issues, which were the result of physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

He said: “They were the source of your urge to kill, which motivated you.

“I am sure you could have resisted that urge if you chose to do so, just as you have resisted it for the whole of your adult life.”

Fitzgerald appeared at the sentencing hearing by video link to prison, wearing rosary beads and with a shaven head and long, goatee beard.

He appeared to laugh at several points throughout the hearing and yawned and stretched his arms as the judge passed his life sentence.

Opening the case last week, Mr MacDonald said the attack was designed to “humiliate and degrade” Huckle, who Fitzgerald described as “Britain’s worst paedophile”.

The prosecutor said Huckle was a “predatory paedophile” who was “notorious in the press” and had been extradited and tried in the UK for a large number of child sexual assaults.

Mr MacDonald said Fitzgerald told doctors he had sexually assaulted Huckle, even though he did not find him sexually attractive.

The barrister said: “He felt that it was poetic justice and he wanted Richard Huckle to feel what all those children had felt.

“He said that Richard Huckle was a man who raped and abused children for fun and that he suspected that Richard Huckle had done more than merely rape his victims.

“The insertion of an object into his anus, and possibly into his brain as well, was, say the prosecution, a form of punishment associated with the offending which had led Mr Huckle to prison.”

The court heard that Fitzgerald took a number of objects to Huckle’s cell at HMP Full Sutton – including weapons fashioned by the defendant, such as a melted toothbrush with a screw inserted, and items used as a ligature and bindings for the victim’s hands and feet.

Mr MacDonald said: “This was a carefully planned and executed attack, in the course of which Mr Huckle had been subjected to a prolonged attack also designed to humiliate and degrade him.”

He said Fitzgerald told staff after the attack at the East Yorkshire prison that he “enjoyed” it and would have gone on to kill other inmates but he was “having too much fun”.

He also said he had “murdered Mr Huckle in cold blood” and would like to have cooked bits of his body.

Fitzgerald denied murder and said his medical conditions – including mixed personality disorder, psychopathy and gender identity disorder – had impaired his ability to exercise self-control.

The court heard on Monday that the killer said he had “constant ruminations” in his mind about torture, rape and murder, and said: “My problem is I just don’t have the ability to control myself.

“I don’t have the ability to look at people and see them as human beings. I don’t value them, I don’t care about them.

“I don’t feel bad about hurting people, I don’t have the capacity to feel remorse.”

Huckle, a photographer from Ashford, Kent, was serving at least 25 years for sexually abusing up to 200 babies and children in Malaysia, where he posed as an English teacher and philanthropist in poor Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur.

Police found a ledger and scorecard on his computer in which he awarded himself “paedo-points” for different kinds of abuse of 191 girls and boys. The number of his victims was believed to be much higher.

In online posts, he bragged that it was easier to target impoverished children in Malaysia than those from wealthy western backgrounds.

He was writing a 60-page paedophile manual when he was arrested by the National Crime Agency after bragging and sharing photos of his crimes on the dark web, where he sold images and videos to other paedophiles.

In 2016, Huckle was dubbed the UK’s “worst paedophile” when he was given 22 life sentences after admitting an unprecedented 71 offences, including rapes, against young children aged between six months and 12 years between 2006 and 2014.