A prisoner who killed “Britain’s worst paedophile” in an attack in his prison cell near York said it was “poetic justice”, a court has heard.

Paul Fitzgerald, 30, said he wanted Richard Huckle to feel what his victims had felt after he strangled him with an electrical cable sheath and assaulted him with a pen and a blunt object, Hull Crown Court heard.

Jurors were told that Huckle was allegedly murdered in a “prolonged attack designed to humiliate and degrade him” at HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire in October 2019.

Opening the case, Alistair MacDonald QC said Fitzgerald told staff after the attack that he “enjoyed” it and would have gone on to kill other inmates but he was “having too much fun”.

He said he told a psychiatrist that Huckle was “Britain’s worst paedophile” – a description that the barrister said probably came from reports about him when he was extradited and tried in the UK for a large number of child sexual assault charges.

Mr MacDonald said Fitzgerald told the doctors that he had sexually assaulted Huckle, even though he did not find him sexually attractive.

The barrister said: “He felt that it was poetic justice and he wanted Richard Huckle to feel what all those children had felt.

“He said that Richard Huckle was a man who raped and abused children for fun and that he suspected that Richard Huckle had done more than merely rape his victims.”

Mr MacDonald said Fitzgerald told the manager of the mental health team at the prison that he had “murdered Mr Huckle in cold blood”.

He told the jury: “He said he enjoyed what he was doing to the body of Mr Huckle and that he would have gone on to kill two or three others.

“The reason he did not was that he was having too much fun with Mr Huckle.”

Mr MacDonald said: “Mr Huckle was notorious in the press. He was what was called a predatory paedophile."

He added: “This was a carefully planned and executed attack, in the course of which Mr Huckle had been subjected to a prolonged attack also designed to humiliate and degrade him.”

Mr MacDonald told the trial that Fitzgerald was found in Huckle’s cell on the morning of October 13 last year “straddling” the victim, who was on the floor near a pool of blood.

Prison officers were alerted and found Huckle gagged and bound by his hands and feet, with a ligature around his neck, the court heard.

Mr MacDonald said: “Richard Huckle suffered death as a result of ligature strangulation as part of a sustained attack."

He said Huckle, as well as other injuries, had also been stabbed in the neck with a weapon made from inserting a screw into a melted toothbrush.

The jury was told that Fitzgerald denies murdering Huckle but accepts killing him by reason of diminished responsibility.

Mr MacDonald said a psychiatrist had found that Fitzgerald was suffering from mixed personality disorder, psychopathy and gender identity disorder at the time of the attack but experts disagree whether these medical conditions caused the defendant to kill Huckle.

The trial continues.