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Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 05:21 GMT
Killer begs for budgie or suicide
Maudsley was deemed untreatable after a killing at Broadmoor
One of Britain's most notorious serial killers has written letters pleading for the terms of his solitary confinement to be relaxed or to be allowed to commit suicide.

In a series of letters to The Times, murderer Robert Maudsley asks for access to classical music tapes, a television, pictures, toiletries and a budgerigar.

Maudsley, who has spent almost 25 years in solitary conditions, writes: "If (the Prison Service) says no then I ask for a simple cyanide capsule which I shall willingly take and the problem of Robert John Maudsley can easily and swiftly be resolved."

I am left to stagnate; vegetate; and to regress; left to confront my solitary head-on with people who have eyes but don't see.

Robert Maudsley
The 46-year-old is an inmate at Wakefield prison where he is housed in a specially constructed cell called 'the cage'.

He is one of 26 offenders in Britain who have been told they will never be released, and spends all but one hour a day locked up.

In 1974 Maudsley committed the first of what would eventually be four killings and was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was sent to Broadmoor high security hospital in Berkshire where he killed a fellow inmate in 1977.

Psychiatrists deemed Maudsley untreatable and this time he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the normal criminal justice system.

He was sent to Wakefield where a year later he killed two fellow prisoners in one day.

Budgie plea

Maudsley, likened by some newspapers to the character Hannibal Lecter from the film Silence of the Lambs, asks why he is not allowed to even talk to other inmates through a window.

He writes: "I am left to stagnate; vegetate; and to regress; left to confront my solitary head-on with people who have eyes but don't see and who have ears but don't hear, who have mouths but don't speak."

In another letter to The Times he asks: "Why can't I have a budgie instead of the flies and cockroaches and spiders I currently have? I promise to love it and not eat it."

The killer, who blames his traumatic and violent childhood for his crimes says he only poses a risk to sex offenders.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said no-one was available for comment.

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