/When Merseysides most notorious criminals are due for release

When Merseysides most notorious criminals are due for release

They’re some of the most feared and infamous criminals to walk the streets of Merseyside.

From cold-blooded killers and drug kingpins, to gang members who went to great lengths to cover up their heinous acts.

All eventually faced justice at the hands of detectives who were able to pick apart their lies and put them behind bars.

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Some were caught by DNA advances or developments in forensic science, or “grassed on” by a former trusted friend, but they all came unstuck in the end.

A life sentence means a convicted criminal will remain on licence permanently and can only apply for parole after serving a minimum term set by the judge.

But they will only ever set foot in the community if a parole board deems they no longer pose a risk to the public.

All on this list will have served, or have still to serve, years in prison before they can be considered for parole.

Here the ECHO looks at when some of the most notorious criminals could be released.

Robert Maudsley

Robert Maudsley is one of the UK's most dangerous killers
Robert Maudsley is one of the UK’s most dangerous killers
(Image: Woodcut Media.)

“Cannibal” killer Robert Maudsley is spending his prison sentence alone and entombed in an underground glass box.

The murderer, from Toxteth, is believed to be so dangerous that he is no longer allowed to associate with other prisoners or even guards.

According to Mirror Online, Maudsley is held in the deep bowels of Wakefield Prison which is also known as ” Monster Mansion “.

Maudsley fled home at 16 but soon became trapped in a spiral of drug abuse and funded his habit through sex work.

One of his clients, John Farrell, was the first man he murdered in 1974.

Maudsley garrotted him after he showed him photographs of children he had sexually abused.

Maudsley was jailed for life with the recommendation that he should never be released and sent to Broadmoor Hospital, which housed some of the country’s most dangerous prisoners.

For several years, Maudsley kept himself out of trouble but in 1977 he and fellow prisoner, David Cheeseman, barricaded themselves in a cell with convicted child molester, David Francis.

It was reported at the time that Maudsley rammed a spoon through his ear and into his brain, earning him the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal, although an autopsy report later showed that the story was incorrect.

When guards finally broke the door down, Francis was dead.

Robert Maudsley is considered so dangerous he is no longer allowed to associate with other prisoners or even guards
Robert Maudsley is considered so dangerous he is no longer allowed to associate with other prisoners or even guards
(Image: Woodcut Media.)

Maudsley was then moved to the maximum security Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire but a year after he killed Francis his murderous rage returned.

On July 29, 1978, he garrotted and stabbed wife killer Salney Darwood in his cell and hid the body under the bed.

Maudsley then stalked the prison wing for his next victim and attacked Bill Roberts, who had been jailed for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl.

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He stabbed Roberts to death before hacking at his skull with a makeshift dagger.

When Maudsley was certain Roberts was dead, he calmly walked up to a prison guard and told him there would be two less for dinner that night.

In a desperate attempt for company, in 2000 Maudsley begged for the terms of his imprisonment to be relaxed.

He asked for a pet budgie and then, if that was refused, for a cyanide capsule so he could end his life. Both requests were denied.

Maudsley, who has been in jail since 1974 will never be released from custody and is expected to die in the tiny see-through room that has been his home for decades.

Curtis Warren – ‘Cocky’

Jailed drugs kingpin Curtis Warren
Jailed drugs kingpin Curtis Warren
(Image: Jersey Police/PA Wire)

Not just Merseyside but of the UK’s most notorious criminals, Curtis Warren is serving a jail sentence for attempting to smuggle cannabis into Jersey.

When the 12-year-old from Granby appeared before Liverpool Juvenile Court in the 1970s, few people in the room would have predicted the accused would one day enter criminal folklore.

Warren, who appeared before the court after stealing a car, graduated to more serious crime including armed robbery and soon became a well-known face hanging around the International Café on Granby Street.

After a brief tenure as a Liverpool doorman, Warren fell under the sway of powerful Liverpool criminals and entered the highly lucrative, but lethal, arena of international drug smuggling.

In 1998, Warren even made the Sunday Times rich list as a ‘property developer’. The same year he was jailed for 12-years for importing 317kg of cocaine into Holland and possessing MDMA, cannabis, guns, hand grenades and CS canisters.

Serving part of that sentence, he also served additional time for the manslaughter of a fellow inmate, a convicted Turkish killer.

In 2007, Warren was arrested in St Helens, over conspiracy to smuggle drugs. After a joint investigation involving Jersey police, Merseyside Police, SOCA, and law enforcement from Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison over the £1m conspiracy in 2009 – though Interpol’s former most wanted has always maintained he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

The 58-year-old has since been handed an extra 10 years after failing to pay back a £198m fortune investigators believe he made from global dealing.

Still locked up, it remains uncertain what date he will be released but with the extra 10 years for failing to pay back £198m it could be after 2030 if he completes his full sentence. Upon release, Warren will be hit with an SCPO that will limit his ability to communicate with others, travel and control cash and assets.

Mark Fellows – ‘The Iceman’

Gangland hitman Mark Fellows
Gangland hitman Mark Fellows
(Image: PA)

Mark Fellows executed “gangland enforcer” Kinsella, three years after shooting dead Kinsella’s close friend Massey, aka Salford’s ‘Mr Big’.

He shot Everton-born Kinsella four times in front of his pregnant partner Wendy Owen, 41, who claimed he also shot at her.

The contract killer grinned when found guilty of the “cold-blooded assassination” of the two “notorious” underworld figures although he was cleared of trying to murder Ms Owen.

Detectives had 112 names of possible suspects for Paul Massey’s murder but faced a wall of silence as people were terrified to speak out, reports The Guardian.

But the breakthrough came when detectives investigating the Kinsella murder found a Garmin watch used by Fellows for long-distance running.

Fellows’ watch had actually recorded him carrying out a “reconnaissance run” just before Massey was killed.

The data found on the watch matched hundreds of hours of CCTV and phone data.

Steven Boyle, who was also found guilty of the murders of John Kinsella and Paul Massey, “grassed” on trusted friend Fellows in court for murdering John Kinsella.

There were gasps when Fellows’s associate, Boyle, broke the wall of silence and told jurors it was “more than likely” his former friend had done it.

When calm and collected Fellows was handed a whole life sentence in January 2019, ‘The Iceman’ completely lost his cool when faced with the reality he may never be released from prison.

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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Peter Moore – ‘The Man in Black’

Peter Moore is one of Britain's most twisted serial killers
Peter Moore is one of Britain’s most twisted serial killers
(Image: Daily Post Wales)

One of Britain’s most twisted serial killers is now two decades in to a life sentence for murdering and mutilating four men “for fun”.

On the surface Peter Moore was an upstanding business owner, running a chain of cinemas in North Wales – but under his veneer of respectability he was a sadistic killer who butchered his victims in a series of horrific crimes.

Dubbed the “Man in Black” for his dark leather clothes, Peter Moore claimed four lives in a horrifying four-month spate of killings.

While Moore was from Rhyl, his victims came from across Merseyside and North Wales.

During a terrifying period in the winter of 1995, four men were murdered and mutilated after being targeted by the Nazi-obsessed killer.

Moore’s brief reign of terror struck fear in the hearts of Merseyside’s gay community, as he chose victims in gay bars and cruising spots before carrying out his sick crimes.

Peter Moore was a Nazi obsessed serial killer who ran a chain of cinemas
Peter Moore was a Nazi obsessed serial killer who ran a chain of cinemas
(Image: PA)

St Helens -born Moore murdered Edward Carthy – a 28-year-old man from Birkenhead who had fallen into drug and drink addiction.

Although Mr Carthy is thought to have been Moore’s second victim, his body was the last to be found – with his killer drawing a diagram to help police find where he was buried in dense forest near Ruthin.

After meeting in a gay bar, the pair drove to North Wales where Mr Carthy was stabbed to death.

Blood found on on Pensarn Beach in Abergele after the murder of Moore’s final victim, Tony Davies, was matched by DNA profile to the killer.

Edward Carthy, from Tranmere, was murdered by serial killer Peter Moore
Edward Carthy, from Tranmere, was murdered by serial killer Peter Moore
(Image: Chester Chronicle)

This allowed murder detectives to finally close the net around a serial killer who had evaded them for months.

The community cinema manager, who attacked more than 50 other men in what the judge at his murder trial described as “20 years of terror”, received four life sentences.

The judge told Moore: ”You were responsible for four sadistic murders in the space of three months. None of the victims had done you the slightest bit of harm.

“At no stage have you shown the slightest remorse or regret for the killings. Nor for the 20 years of terror and violence that preceded them.

“I consider you to be as dangerous a man as it is possible to find. I shall have to report to the Secretary of State, advising him of my view as to the earliest date that you should be considered for release.

“I don’t want you or anybody else to be in the slightest doubt as to what I shall say. In a word: Never .”

Moore attempted to have his “whole-life” sentence quashed on the grounds that allowing the most dangerous offenders to be kept behind bars until they die breaches their human rights.

His appeal failed, with the European Court of Human Rights ruling Britain’s most dangerous murderers can remain behind bars for the rest of the lives .

Shaun Walmsley

Shaun Walmsley hatched an escape plan after being sentenced for a minimum of 30 years for murder
Shaun Walmsley hatched an escape plan after being sentenced for a minimum of 30 years for murder
(Image: Merseyside Police/PA Wire)

Killer Shaun Walmsley spent 18 months on the run after being sprung from custody by armed thugs who burst into action while he was on a hospital visit.

Walmsley’s bid for freedom is one of the most notorious cases Merseyside Police detectives have been landed with in recent years.

Before his first capture he was a key figure in a Walton Vale-centred gang known as the Vale Heads.

Walmsley and his associate Christopher Kenny plotting an attack that saw Anthony Duffy lured to Aintree and stabbed to death – and in 2015 both were jailed for a minimum of 30 years for the murder.

After an appeal against the severity of his sentence was refused in 2016, Walmsley’s imagination sprung into overtime.

He lost a significant amount of weight to both change his appearance and fuel his claims of a serious illness.

His plan came to a head while he was on a visit to Aintree Hospital on February 21, 2017.

Returning to a taxi, flanked by prison guards, two men approached Walmsley’s group and secured his escape.

The masked men were armed with an automatic machine pistol and a machete and they fled, with Walmsley, in a gold Volvo.

His escape sparked an international manhunt that included police raids, huge cash seizures and other criminals being captured as detectives hunting Walmsley stumbled across other leads.

There were dawn warrants executed in Liverpool, prison cell raids and intelligence-sharing exercises with foreign forces.

Walmsley’s time on the run eventually ended in Yorkshire in August 2018.

Armed police swooped on a car in the Harehills area of Leeds in a joint operation by Merseyside Police and West Yorkshire Police that ended one of the UK’s biggest manhunts of recent years.

Image believed to show escaped murderer Shaun Walmsley being arrested in Leeds after going on the run
Image believed to show escaped murderer Shaun Walmsley being arrested in Leeds after going on the run

The network that helped him escape custody – then evade those chasing him – remains under scrutiny, however.

And while Walmsley may be back in jail, last year Merseyside Police confirmed its detectives were still keen to bring them to justice.

The convicted murderer is now a Category A prisoner being held under far more stringent conditions. The earliest date he can apply for parole in January 2051, when he will be 63.

Mitchell Quy

Mitchell Quy murdered his wife Lynsey in 1998
Mitchell Quy murdered his wife Lynsey in 1998

Calculating killer Mitchell Quy horrified Merseyside with the remorseless cover-up of his wife’s murder.

In 2001, he was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years in prison, for strangling and then dismembering his wife Lyndsey’s body.

However for almost 18 months, after her disappearance came to light, he maintained a callous pretence that she had left him for another man.

Quy had in fact killed his wife downstairs, in their Southport home, as their two young children slept upstairs.

But it was not until the following February, after the December killing, that she was reported missing.

And even then it was not her husband who came forward.

Instead social workers reported their concerns because they had not seen her for so long.

Mitchell and Lynsey Quy with their son Jack
Mitchell and Lynsey Quy with their son Jack
(Image: No fee)

For the next 18 months Quy, who was arrested by police but released without charge, repeatedly made statements to the press and went on television denying any wrongdoing.

He claimed he was the victim of a “whisper campaign” and even allowed a documentary team to follow him around while the hunt for his wife continued.

In one interview he was asked: “Did you kill Lyndsey?” and after smirking he answered: “Wait and find out.”

But the net started to close in on Quy, with police determining money withdrawals had been made from Lyndsey’s account since December 14.

And when he was arrested for a second time Quy cracked, after intense questioning, and admitted to strangling and dismembering his wife’s body.

He drew police a map of where he and his brother Elliot, a butcher, had dumped his wife’s body parts.

Her hands and head have never been found.

Quy has twice been denied parole after being sentenced to life in a category A prison. The most recent parole hearing was set to take place in June, with a decision set to be released in July on whether the killer would be released early.

Now, it has been confirmed that his parole hearing will likely take place later this year, meaning he could be free for Christmas, after it was cancelled last month.

Ian Simms

Ian Simms was convicted of the murder of Helen McCourt
Ian Simms was convicted of the murder of Helen McCourt
(Image: Mirrorpix)

Ian Simms murdered 22-year-old Helen McCourt – and despite being locked up for his crime he continued to torment her loved ones by refusing to say where her body was buried.

The former pub Landlord of the George and Dragon pub – now known as the Billinge Arms – was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years for the killing in 1988.

However, Simms has always protested his innocence and never revealed where he hid Helen’s body.

In court he claimed he had been framed for the murder of Helen, who was abducted after getting off a bus just 500 yards from her home.

In his defence the killer told the jury how someone must have broken into his pub, murdered Helen, while wearing his clothes and then stole his car to dispose of her body.

Helen's mum, Marie McCourt, with a picture of her daughter who was murdered by Simms
Helen’s mum, Marie McCourt, with a picture of her daughter who was murdered by Simms
(Image: Daily Mirror)

But his version of events were rejected by the jury who found him guilty.

The case of Ian Simms is a rare example of a case where a murder conviction is obtained without the presence of a body.

The case was also one of the first in the UK to use DNA fingerprinting.

Police were able to bring Helen’s killer to justice after DNA evidence including Helens hair that was found in his pub – which police believed he lured her into and her blood was found on his clothing- which he dumped near the banks of the river.

An earring of Helen’s was also found in his car. Helen’s mum Marie has never stopped searching for her daughter.

Ian Simms was released from prison in 2019.

Sean Mercer

Sean Mercer is still behind bars for murdering Rhys Jones in 2007
Sean Mercer is still behind bars for murdering Rhys Jones in 2007
(Image: PA)

This week saw the 14th anniversary of the death of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, shot dead by gun-toting thugs in a pointless gang feud.

The youngster was killed as he walked home from football practice in Croxteth, an innocent victim in the crossfire between two groups of criminal youths, the Strand Gang and Croxteth Crew.

In a crime that shook the nation, Rhys was leaving the Croxteth Fir Tree pub car park on August 22, 2007, when he was felled by a bullet from Sean Mercer’s gun.

The thug was intending to shoot at rival Wayne Brady, member of the Norris Green Strand Gang, but Rhys tragically got caught in the crossfire.

Immediately after the killing of the innocent youngster, Mercer and his 10 accomplices began their cover up of the horrific crime.

All of the gang have since been released of their original sentences for Rhys’ murder, but many have gone on to reoffend after being freed.

Mercer remains in jail, only being eligible for parole in 2030, and may be released if he is no longer deemed a risk to society.

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