Britain‘s longest serving prisoner is set to make a plea for his freedom within a matter of weeks, going before the Parole Board in the hope of being released.

Credit: Triangle News

Serial killer Patrick MacKay, who was known as the Beast of Belgravia and the Devil’s Disciple, was convicted of three killings, having split the skull of a priest in half with an axe, and also strangled and stabbed two elderly women.

However, he also confessed to eight further murders – something that would make him one of Britain’s most prolific living serial killers.

He later retracted the confessions, with no one else being convicted of any of the attacks.

Following his brutal killing spree across London and Kent in the 1970s, MacKay, who is now 67, was jailed in 1975 with a minimum of 25 years. At the time judges said he should not be released unless deemed safe.

But now his bid for freedom could start in November, meaning he could be out on the streets by December.

MacKay, who has changed his name to David Groves, was moved to an open prison in 2017.

Father Crean, one of MacKay's victims. Credit: Triangle News

His hearing was originally scheduled for last autumn, but has been delayed several times.

MacKay would horde Nazi memorabilia, torture birds for fun and even set his pet tortoise on fire.

Along with the death of Father Crean – whose skull was split open by MacKay with an axe, and who was also stabbed repeatedly before being left to die slowly – two of MacKay’s other victims were 87-year-old Isabella Griffiths and 89-year-old Adele Price.

One of the other eight murders MacKay originally confessed to was that of 48-year-old Ivy Davies, who was axed to death at her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in February 1975.

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