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Obese Hastings cannibal killer given NHS gastric band op
A 23-stone cannibal killer is recovering in a private hospital bed after receiving a gastric band operation on the NHS.
Graham Fisher, 39, who killed two women in Hastings 14 years ago, has undergone the operation after ballooning in weight since his stay at high-security Broadmoor Hospital.
It is estimated that the cost of the killer’s operation and recuperation time is about £15,000. The killer was only on a waiting list for three months for the operation.
He is expected to recover over the next few days in an en suite room in a private hospital in Oxfordshire.
In 2010, he admitted strangling and setting on fire Clare Letchford and Beryl O’Connor in Hastings in 1998. He also cut flesh from 40-year-old Miss Letchford’s arm and ate it.
Fisher was initially jailed for five years after indecently assaulting two Spanish students at knifepoint in Eastbourne in 1998.
He was transferred to Broadmoor in 2001 under the Mental Health Act after he was found to be a “grave and immediate danger” if released into the community.
Miss Letchford’s mother Joyce, of St Leonards, recently told The Argus that the possibility that Fisher would be entitled to free surgery was “unbelievable”.
A spokeswoman for West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which has responsibility for Broadmoor, said: “People receiving treatment for mental illness are entitled to the same level of care as anyone else.”
The move has angered Portslade resident Rosemary Skinner who has waited more than five years for a “tummy tuck” operation but has been told by heath bosses her operation would be cosmetic and not vital.
She told The Argus yesterday: “It makes me angry to think that somebody like that can get one when I can’t.
“I can’t see why he needs it. I have a family and it’s very difficult, I have to rely on my kids.”