He is monitored round the clock, and his cell only has cardboard furniture so he can’t harm himself or anyone else
Terrified Mick Philpott has been moved to a Silence of the Lambs-style prison cell after admitting: “I fear I am going to be killed.”
He told his best friend Mick Russell that he expects to be “ripped apart” by inmates for killing six of his 17 children in a fire.
Guards at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire are so concerned they have put killer Philpott under 24-hour watch and moved him to a cage-like cell within an extra-secure unit that holds just six prisoners.
It can be accessed only via remote-control doors made of reinforced perspex, like those in the film starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter.
Philpott’s cell contains cardboard furniture so he can’t harm himself or anyone else. He is monitored round the clock by CCTV cameras and guards.
But yesterday Mr Russell said the extraordinary security measures at the jail, known as Monster Mansion because it houses some of the UK’s most evil men, will do nothing to lessen the killer’s terror.
Philpott, 56, confessed his fears about life in prison to his pal shortly before he was arrested.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Russell said: “We met up and he said, ‘They (the police) are on to me, they are determined to get me for this’.
“He kept saying he was innocent. But over and over again he was shouting, ‘Mick, I can’t go to prison. They’ll kill me in there. There is two people who don’t stand a chance inside… child killers and grasses’.
“He has been in prison before so he knows he is a marked man. The guards will do all they can to try and keep him safe but I don’t think it will matter. The other prisoners will wait for their moment then they will get him. I think he’ll get hurt very badly.”
Mr Russell, who was friends with Philpott for more than 20 years, says he stupidly believed his protestations of innocence when they saw each other last May.
A few weeks later, while on remand in prison, Philpott sent Mr Russell and his wife Sarah a sickening letter in which he kept up his pleadings.
He wrote about how he and his wife Mairead, also in jail, planned to celebrate their freedom by “raping each other” after visiting their children’s graves. Mr Russell says he now wants nothing more to do with Philpott, adding: “He has my number and I expect he might ring me or write to me at some point in the future, but I don’t think I could stand to look at him after what he has done. He is a monster.”
Philpott was sentenced to life at Nottingham Crown Court last week but was told he may only serve 15 years. He and Mairead, 32, and their friend Paul Mosley, 46, were convicted of six counts of manslaughter. The others were each jailed for 17 years but are likely to serve only eight-and-a-half.
Philpott and Mairead’s six children were killed when the blaze tore through their council house in Allenton, Derby, last May. Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died at the house. Duwayne, 13, died three days later in hospital. The court heard how the trio set a fire at the house and planned to blame it on arson by Philpott’s ex-mistress Lisa Willis, who had walked out on him. She had taken her five children, four of them his, and the household lost £1,000 a month in benefits.
But the plot went tragically wrong when the blaze spread out of control too quickly and the children died of smoke inhalation.
Philpott’s cell is in the health-care centre of the jail. Mosley is being held in another part of the same centre and Mairead is serving her sentence at New Hall jail, also in Wakefield.
A source said: “Philpott is being kept away from the main prison population, mainly for his own safety because he is a figure of hatred.
“He is locked up in a single cell and is not allowed to mix with any other prisoners.
“He is being monitored all the time, though he is not considered a suicide risk.”
The £500,000 super-secure jail suite has been completed only recently and holds some of Britain’s most dangerous inmates.
They are believed to include cannibal killer Robert Maudsley, 59, who killed four people, including two fellow convicts at Wakefield in 1979. He cut open the head of one victim with a homemade knife and ate his brains.
Other murderers held there include Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield and Roy Whiting, who took the life of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.
The first-floor unit is unique in Britain because it has remote-controlled security doors at each end. It is staffed by NHS nurses, backed up by Wakefield’s elite prison officers.
It is intended as a “graduate” unit to rehabilitate prisoners so they can be moved back into the main prison system.
However Philpott, who has a TV in his cell and is believed to have access to Freeview channels, may never be allowed to mix with other inmates because he is considered a prime target.
The source added: “There have already been threats to kill him. The prisoner who got him would be a celebrity. ”
Yesterday a minute’s silence was held at Derby football stadium in memory of the six Philpott children before the Championship match between Derby County and Ipswich Town.
Football fan Duwayne is believed to have been a Derby City season ticket holder, along with his younger brother John. Duwayne’s coffin was etched with the team’s emblem in tribute.