Prisoner strangled child murderer Hatch

Undated handout photo circa 1994 of Colin Hatch. Police were today investigating the suspected murder of the child killer at one of Britain's most secure prisons.
Undated handout photo circa 1994 of Colin Hatch. Police were today investigating the suspected murder of the child killer at one of Britain's most secure prisons.

A CONVICTED robber who killed paedophile Colin Hatch in Full Sutton Prison told officers immediately after the attack: “He did not deserve to live.”

Damien Fowkes, 36, took Colin Hatch hostage and then strangled him with five ligatures. He claimed he heard telepathic voices in his head from Hatch.

*** NO ONLINE USE ***'Damien Fowkes, jailed in 2002, serving a life sentence for robbing family at knifepoint.  He cornered Soham murderer Ian Huntley int eh prison kitchen and slashed his throat with a razorblade stuck into the handle of a toothbrush.

*** NO ONLINE USE ***'Damien Fowkes, jailed in 2002, serving a life sentence for robbing family at knifepoint. He cornered Soham murderer Ian Huntley int eh prison kitchen and slashed his throat with a razorblade stuck into the handle of a toothbrush.

Fowkes had pre-planned the attack after being transferred from Frankland Jail after attempting to murder child killer Ian Huntley, 37, in March last year. All three were serving life terms.

Fowkes pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter of Hatch and attempted murder of Ian Huntley on the eve of a scheduled trial at Hull Crown Court on Monday. At a previous hearing he pleaded not guilty.

He appeared behind a glass screen in the maximum-security dock surrounded by five prison officers after telling the court he had not slept for 48 hours. He grinned at the public gallery, where Colin Hatch’s mother sat.

Crown barrister Graham Reeds, QC, said the reason why Fowkes, a man who hated child killers, was on the same wing as Colin Hatch, who was serving life for the murder of a seven-year-old boy, was because they were both considered vulnerable prisoners.

On the day of Hatch’s death, guards had received a tip off that Fowkes had armed himself, so was being watched on CCTV. It initially showed him as cheerful and non-confrontational.

Fowkes told a prison guard he was going to watch TV at 6.40pm but instead headed to a cell where he knew Hatch was visiting - three doors from his. He was armed with a piece of wood, and a hand-made stabbing weapon.

Mr Reeds said Fowkes ordered the other cellmate to leave before barricading the door with a locker under a bed head. Fowkes was seen through the cell spy hole to be binding Hatch’s feet and mouth and tearing strips from bed linen. He was seen to put a ligature around his neck.

Mr Reeds said guards immediately believed it was a hostage situation as Fowkes told them that he intended no harm. Although the door could be opened from the outside by removing hinges Fowkes told guards: “If I hear so much as a key in the lock, I will kill Hatch.”

He said Fowkes then covered the spy hole with tissue paper, but the Crown could tell what happened next by evidence gathered after the killing.

Hatch, who was serving a minimum of 21 years, was lifted on to the bed and ligatures tied to his feet and neck preventing him from moving. By the attachment of multiple ligatures to his neck Fowkes made a single strong weapon and pulled on it through the bed head, strangling Hatch for 30 seconds, added Mr Reeds. Despite officers hearing a struggle, Fowkes insisted Hatch was still alive.

After storming the cell, Fowkes told officers about attacking Ian Huntley and said the motive was because they both attacked children. He said he was also upset because he had missed his grandmother’s funeral. He claimed he had heard voices in his head and believed Hatch was telepathically trying to communicate with him.

Defence barrister Andrew Hall, QC, said: “The offences were horrific on any view, but they were committed by a man who could not form a rational view. He has not attacked prison officers. These were two men who had committed grave offences against children. There was a mental instability that led him to attack these two men.”

Judge Mr Justice Coulson said he wanted 24 hours to consider sentence.

Fowkes was sentenced yesterday, after the Post’s printing deadline.