Cannibal told hospital staff he wanted to eat patient

A cannibal killer attacked a fellow patient at a high-security psychiatric hospital, telling staff afterwards that he "wanted to eat him", an inquest heard yesterday.

Peter Bryan said he "smashed" Richard Loudwell's head on the floor at Broadmoor Hospital and tied a ligature around his neck so that he would not make any noise, Berkshire Coroner's Court heard.

The 60-year-old was taken with "life threatening" injuries to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey on 25 April 2004 but died 41 days later having never regained consciousness.

Joanne Fisher, a registered mental nurse and team leader on the Luton ward of Broadmoor, described finding Mr Loudwell with head injuries on the floor of the ward dining room. In a statement read by the Berkshire coroner, Peter Bedford, she said Bryan had told her: "I got him from behind, I put a ligature around his neck so that he wouldn't make a noise and I smashed his head."

She added in the statement read to the inquest: "Mr Bryan said he had been thinking about it for a few days, he also said 'I wanted to eat him'." Her statement was read at the opening of the resumed inquest into the killing of Mr Loudwell, who was admitted to Broadmoor on 15 January 2004.

The jury was told Bryan had attacked a 21-year-old woman, striking her on the head six times with a claw hammer in 1993. He later pleaded guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, spent eight years at Rampton Hospital but was eventually allowed back into society.

He later attacked and killed a man, Brian Cherry, and told officers: "I ate his brains with butter, it was really nice."