Man, 29, appears in court charged with murdering one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles in prison

Paul Fitzgerald, 29, has been charged with the murder of Huckle, one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles, at Full Sutton prison in October last year
Paul Fitzgerald, 29, has been charged with the murder of Huckle, one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles, at Full Sutton prison in October last year

A 29-year-old man has appeared in court accused of murdering one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles in prison.

Paul Fitzgerald appeared at Beverley Magistrates' Court by video-link on Wednesday morning.

He is charged with murdering Richard Huckle at HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire on October 13 last year.

Balding Fitzgerald, who appeared from HMP Wakefield wearing a grey sweatshirt, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the one-minute hearing.

He will appear for a further hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.

The court clerk read the charge to Fitzgerald and told him: "Because this case can only be dealt with at the crown court, no plea will be taken today."

District Judge Zoe Passfield told the defendant: "Your case will he sent to the Sheffield Crown Court. Your first hearing there will be this Friday, 7 February.

"In the meantime, you will be remanded in custody due to the nature of the allegation."

Huckle, who was reportedly stabbed in his cell, was given 22 life sentences at the Old Bailey in 2016 for an unprecedented number of offences against children aged between six months and 12 years.

The freelance photographer, from Ashford in Kent, awarded himself "Pedopoints" for different acts of abuse against 191 youngsters, and sold images of his depravity on the dark web.

In online posts, Huckle bragged that it was easier to target impoverished children in Malaysia than those from wealthy Western backgrounds.

He was arrested when he was stopped at Gatwick Airport en route to spend Christmas with his family in 2014, after Australian authorities tipped off the UK's National Crime Agency.

At the time of his arrest, he was writing a guide to teach fellow paedophiles how to abuse children and avoid detection.

Officers seized his encrypted laptop and managed to uncover more than 20,000 indecent pictures and videos, although there were other files they were unable to crack.