Sex attacker Malcolm Fairley, dubbed ‘The Fox’, dies in prison

Image source, Bedfordshire Police

Image caption, Serial sex attacker Malcolm Fairley sparked one of the biggest manhunts in British criminal history

  • Author, Mariam Issimdar
  • Role, BBC News, Hertfordshire

A serial sex attacker dubbed “The Fox” has died in prison, the Justice Department said.

Malcolm Fairley committed sexual assaults in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire in 1984, sparking one of the biggest manhunts in British criminal history.

He was sentenced to six life sentences for his crimes at St Albans Crown Court in 1985.

The Prison Service said the 72-year-old died at HMP Hull on Tuesday.

Fairley got his nickname because he built dens in the houses he broke into while waiting for the residents to return.

He prepared and ate meals at their home, watched television and collected trophies.

‘Fear and damage’

Fairley, masked and brandishing a shotgun, would then commit violent attacks including rape and indecent assault.

At the height of his offense, in the summer of 1984, there were three attacks in one week.

Two hundred officers were involved in the hunt for him.

In a recent ITN documentary, retired detective Brian Prickett, who led the investigation into his crimes, said: ‘Malcolm Fairley should never be released from prison after all the fear and damage he has caused in the community.

“He never deserves to be released because I believe he still poses a real risk to the public.”

The documentary also revealed that Fairley only recently became eligible for parole board hearings.

HMP Hull said the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman had been informed of Fairley’s death.

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