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A notorious British pedophile suspected of abusing as many as 200 children was killed by a prison inmate in a gruesome rape and attack designed to make him “feel what those children felt,” prosecutors say.
Richard Huckle—who was serving 22 life sentences for abusing impoverished children around the world while posing as a traveling teacher and photographer—died in October 2019 during a carefully planned attack that prosecutor Alistair MacDonald argued was “designed to humiliate and degrade him,” the BBC reports.
The attack was allegedly carried out by fellow inmate Paul Fitzgerald, who is currently on trial for the grisly murder.
While he doesn’t deny that he killed Huckle, his attorneys have argued that Fitzgerald killed the man by reason of diminished capacity.
MacDonald said in court that Fitzgerald was found by another inmate “straddling” the victim and strangling him with a ligature in a cell at HMP Full Sutton sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2019, according to The Daily Mail.
Huckle had been bound on his feet and hands and was facedown in a pool of blood.
Prison officials rushed into the cell and found Fitzgerald allegedly whispering something into Huckle’s ear.
As he was pulled from the cell, Fitzgerald allegedly told the officers, “I think I’ve killed him, he’s dead,” the news outlet reports.
An autopsy would later determine that Huckle died from being strangled by an electrical cable, but he had also been sexually assaulted with a four-inch long kitchen utensil and had a pen forced up his nose into his brain before he died.
According to MacDonald, Fitzgerald later told the manager of a mental health team at the prison that he had killed Huckle in “cold blood” and wanted to cook “bits of his body.”
“He said he enjoyed what he was doing to the body of Mr. Huckle and that he would have gone on to kill two or three others,” MacDonald said, according to the BBC. “The reason that he did not was that he was having too much fun with Mr. Huckle.”
Fitzgerald allegedly said he “felt as high as a kite” after the killing and “would recommend it to anyone,” The Daily Mail reports.
MacDonald said the sexual assault had been “a form of punishment” designed to resemble the offenses that had sent Huckle to prison.
“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.
Huckle was arrested in 2014 after a shocking international investigation revealed that he had traveled the world, sexually assaulting young children for nearly a decade—in one case attacking a victim in a diaper that appeared to be just 6 months old, Kent Live reported in 2019.
He then profited from the sexual abuse of both boys and girls by sharing videos and photos of his assaults worldwide as he tried to crowdfund the release of the grisly images.
Huckle—who grew up in Ashford, Kent—had been from a middle-class, church-going family when he began traveling the world.
The abuse allegedly began in 2006 during a gap year to Cambodia, where heraped two sisters, just 4 and 6 years old, the local paper reports.
He’d later move to Malaysia and spend time in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he gained access to schools and orphanages by posing as a freelance photographer or educator and often preyed on those who were most vulnerable.
"Impoverished kids are definitely much, much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids,” he allegedly bragged online, according to the paper.
An international investigation of the dark web eventually led investigators to the seasoned pedophile, who was arrested at London's Gatwick Airport on Dec. 19, 2014.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for committing at least 71 offenses against 23 children, although the judge in the case estimated that his victim count was likely closer to 200, the paper reports.
The trial against Fitzgerald is expected to continue this week.
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