Serial sex attacker 'The Fox' dies in prison

Malcolm Fairley being taken to a police car by officers in 1984
Malcolm Fairley was arrested in 1984 and sentenced to six life terms [Getty Images]

A serial sex attacker dubbed "The Fox" has died in prison, the Ministry of Justice said.

Malcolm Fairley carried out sex attacks in 1984 across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, sparking one of the largest manhunts in British criminal history.

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

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

Fairley acquired his nickname because he would build dens in the houses he broke into while waiting for the occupants to return.

He prepared and ate meals in their homes, watched television and collected trophies.

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

At the height of his offending, 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 Det Ch Supt Brian Prickett, who led the investigation into his crimes, said: "Malcolm Fairley should never come out of prison after all the fear and harm he put into the community.

"He never deserves to be released because I think he's still a real risk to the public."

The documentary also revealed Fairley had only recently been eligible for parole board hearings.

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

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