Robert Mawdsley: A Half-Century Behind Bars
At the age of 21, Robert Mawdsley found himself imprisoned for murder in 1974. Fast forward to the present day, and he has marked his 50th Christmas within the confines of prison walls.
Notably, his time served in solitary confinement surpasses any other known criminal globally.
Mawdsley, now 70, has spent a staggering 45 years in isolation, establishing what is believed to be a world record for extended solitary detention.
The Moniker ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ and Imprisonment
Dubbed ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ due to unfounded rumors suggesting he consumed a victim’s brain, Mawdsley’s journey into solitary began just four years after his initial incarceration.
This followed the killings of three individuals within a prison setting. Since 1983, he has resided in a specially constructed cell measuring 18 by 15 feet, fortified with bulletproof glass to contain him.
A Timeline of Violent Incidents
Mawdsley’s violent history reveals a series of unsettling incidents. Following the murder for which he was initially incarcerated, he was deemed unfit for trial.
Sent to Broadmoor Hospital, he later killed a fellow inmate, perpetuating the rumored tale of cannibalism.
Subsequent transfers to Wakefield prison resulted in the deaths of two more inmates, leading to his solitary confinement in 1978.
Insights into Mawdsley’s Life Behind Bars
Insights from Mawdsley’s nephew depict a paradoxical figure—a softly spoken and ‘well-read’ individual content with seclusion yet driven by a desire to eliminate those he deems as particularly abhorrent, such as sex offenders.
Mawdsley himself oscillates between a sense of contentment within his constrained space and likening his existence to being buried alive in a coffin.
Requests Denied and Legal Bids
Despite his pleas and requests over the years, Mawdsley has been consistently denied the opportunity to interact with others or experience life beyond his confined quarters.
He has sought better treatment and even expressed a wish for a pet budgie, promising not to consume it.
Appeals for a more humane existence, including an unsuccessful bid to be allowed to die, have fallen on deaf ears.
A Record-Breaking Incarceration
Having served 50 years, Mawdsley stands as one of Britain’s longest-serving prisoners, trailing only behind Moors murderer Ian Brady in terms of duration behind bars.
However, officials from The Ministry of Justice refute the concept of solitary confinement, citing the segregation of certain offenders for the safety of others, while affirming access to outdoor time, visits, communication, legal counsel, and medical aid for all prisoners.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn