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horror attack Cannibal killer who raped and murdered paedophile Richard Huckle committed first sex offence at 12

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Depraved: Paul Fitzgerald

Depraved: Paul Fitzgerald

Depraved: Paul Fitzgerald

The cannibal killer who raped and murdered paedophile Richard Huckle committed his first sex offence in Northern Ireland aged just 12.

Paul Fitzgerald laughed in court as he was sentenced to 34 years for the brutal murder of his fellow inmate in Full Sutton Prison last year.

He’d strangled Huckle with an electrical cable and raped him with a kitchen implement before stabbing him repeatedly with a makeshift knife during the assault last October.

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Butchered: Paedophile Richard Huckle

Butchered: Paedophile Richard Huckle

Butchered: Paedophile Richard Huckle

In the frenzied attack, which went on for 80 minutes, Huckle was also stabbed in the neck and had a pen pushed up his nose into his brain.

The 30-year-old murderer told prison guards he’d planned to cook and eat parts of his victim, and then subject other inmates to the same fate, but he was having ‘too much fun’ with Huckle.

Fitzgerald said it was a form of ‘poetic justice’ because his 33-year-old victim was one of the most notorious paedophiles in the UK. Hiding behind his cover as a Christian teacher and a freelance photographer, he had abused 191 children and was serving 22 life sentences.

Targeted

But the pair has some sick traits in common – they had both started offending at an early age, targeted very young children and kept journals of their depraved behaviour. The Northern Ireland man has boasted in one diary entry, ‘I’m a paedophile and I’m the best.’

In court this week Fitzgerald was branded a psychopath by the presiding judge.

He committed his first offence at the age of 12 when his sexually assaulted a four-year-old child in 2004.

He was convicted of the offence at the age of 13 and received threats from loyalist paramilitaries.

Social Services moved him to Wales and gave him his current identity, but he offended again just two years later when he attacked a frail pensioner in 2006.

Following that attack he was sent to a hostel in West Yorkshire where he was the only inmate, and under constant supervision by two staff members.

When he was left alone for seconds in the hostel’s kitchen he absconded and tried to attack a dog walker, holding a fork to her throat and threatening to stab her if she screamed.

The terrified woman was able to fight him off and when Fitzgerald was picked up by police he was carrying the fork and a jar of Vaseline.

A search of his room uncovered his journals which he had written in code but the key to the code was in the same room and police were able to decipher his sordid fantasies.

He’d written about his desire to anally rape women and his paedophilia urges. Fitzgerald also declared, ‘I love raping women’ and vowed he would never stop reoffending.

Assault

In 2009 he was convicted of offences including assault and assault with the intent to commit rape and sentenced to almost four years, with the recommendation that he should be jailed indefinitely until he was no longer a danger.

Huckle, from Ashford in Kent, was jailed in 2016 for a litany of offences against children so long it took almost an hour to read them out in court.

He’d written a guide for paedophiles on how to prey on poor children because he claimed no one cared about them. He’d boasted about abusing a three-year-old girl ‘as loyal to me as my dog and no one seemed to care’.

All of his offences took place in Malaysia although he had travelled extensively around south-east Asia. He shared vile images with fellow paedophiles, awarding himself points for each child he abused, but much of the encrypted material he created was never decoded by police.

The pair met in the prison’s Delta wing where sex offenders and inmates who struggled with life on the inside were housed.

On October 13 last year Fitzgerald went into Huckle’s cell with the intention of murdering and eating him.

Harming

At his recent trial in Hull Crown Court the Northern Ireland man said he had been planning the murder for a week. He admitted to having ‘intrusive’ thoughts about harming other prisoners but had decided that Huckle would be his first victim.

Giving evidence, Fitzgerald said he’d raped his victim with the four-inch kitchen implement because he “wanted him to know what it felt like”.

He abandoned his plans to kill anyone else because he was “having too much fun” with Huckle.

After the killing, when prison staff said he appeared emotionless, a search uncovered another two makeshift knives in his cell.

At the trial two psychiatrists testified that Fitzgerald had lived with a conduct disorder from an early age, gender personality dysphoria and a personality disorder.

Sentencing the killer, the Honourable Mr Justice Lavender told him by video link last week: “You are a psychopath and derive pleasure from imagining torturing, raping, killing and even eating others.

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

‘As you said yourself, you committed murder in cold blood,” said the judge.

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