A convicted robber with a hatred of child killers expressed regret at not killing Ian Huntley and boasted that a prison attack in which he slashed his throat had made him "more notorious" than the Soham murderer, a court heard yesterday.
Damien Fowkes admitted assaulting the former school caretaker and the manslaughter of serial paedophile Colin Hatch. Hull Crown Court heard that the 35-year-old had "strong psychopathic traits" but was too dangerous to send to a secure mental unit due to the threat he would pose to others with convictions for harming children.
Outlining the details of the case the prosecution described how Fowkes had chased Huntley around the hospital wing at Frankland Prison in March last year armed with a razor melted to the handle of a plastic utensil. He claimed to have planned the attack for several weeks even though the tariff of his life sentence for burglary had expired.
The assault left Huntley with a 7in gaping wound in his neck requiring 21 stitches, only narrowly missing vital structures. Fowkes asked officers who restrained him following the incident: "Is he dead? I hope so". When told he had not killed him he said: "I wish I had."
The incident prompted Huntley, 37, who was jailed for life for murdering 10-year-old friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, to seek a reported £100,000 in damages for the attack – the latest in a series against him during his time in prison.
Fowkes, a crack addict from Northampton whose face is heavily scarred and tattooed, also admitted the manslaughter of Hatch in February this year at the high-security Full Sutton prison near York on grounds of diminished responsibility.
Hatch, 38, was jailed in 1994 for the abduction, abuse and murder of a seven-year-old boy carried out when he was on parole in connection with a sexual attack on another child.
The court heard that Fowkes barricaded himself into a cell with Hatch before binding and strangling him with strips of bedding. The two prisoners were being held on a wing for vulnerable inmates.
Fowkes had a long history of self harm and had cut himself on 27 separate occasions, the court heard. He told officers during the siege: "He's a nonce. He doesn't deserve to live."
The judge had earlier rejected a plea for Fowkes to appear in handcuffs in court. During proceedings he was flanked by five prison officers and wore an Arsenal football shirt, kissing the badge and making gestures to journalists. As he left the court he called out "Allahu Akbar".
Graham Reeds, prosecuting, said it was only "good fortune" that Huntley had not bled to death in the attack which happened when he had finished a shift working as a cleaner in the healthcare unit of the Co Durham jail. He said Fowkes later said he was now "more notorious than Ian Huntley".
Andrew Hall QC, defending, said Huntley, who also sustained a wound to the chest, suffered no long-term physical effects and was back at work three days later. Mr Justice Coulson will sentence Fowkes today.