Video: Deathwatch on 'Crossbow cannibal'

Crossbow cannibal killer Stephen Griffiths was today on hunger strike and refusing medical help as he begins three life sentences in Wakefield Jail

Griffiths, who a court heard yesterday ate his victims as "part of the magic", has been subjected to unprecedented surveillance after repeated suicide and self harm attempts before his dramatic appearance in Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

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At the maximum security jail Griffiths has smashed a TV set to use the broken glass to cut his throat.

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On other occasions he has swallowed batteries from his cell radio and tried to swallow a plastic bag.

Griffiths was handed three whole life sentences yesterday for the "wicked and monstrous" murder of three West Yorkshire prostitutes.

The macabre and gruesome details of how the criminology student dismembered their bodies by hand or with power tools and ate their flesh was revealed at Leeds Crown Court.

Griffiths, originally from Wakefield, was caught on CCTV shooting victim Suzanne Blamires in the chest with a crossbow bolt outside his flat and dragging her limp body inside.

The 40-year-old struck a chilling pose with the weapon to the security camera and raised his middle finger.

He is apparently determined to avoid the full force of the law by ending his life as quickly as possible behind Wakeield Prison bars.

In the jail, prison bosses have resorted to putting a guard outside his cell 24 hours a day to watch him though a screen.

The killer must also sleep with a light on and he is checked on and rolled over in his sleep during the night to ensure his safety.

Details of his living conditions were revealed when his lawyers recently tried to overturn a decision to keep him isolated from other inmates.

It was claimed that denying access to other inmates and making him the subject of such intense scrutiny is a breach of human rights.

Griffiths' lawyer Matthew Stanbury said the decision to keep him confined had led to him living in "squalid" conditions.

Mr Stanbury said when Griffiths had been allowed to associate with other inmates in the common room of the prison's health care wing it had stimulated him and alleviated his symptoms of weight loss and stress.

He said: "He may be unique in the current media context, but not in the round. There are other prisoners in there who are segregated on a daily basis."

The barrister said such examples were inmates who had committed murder while in prison and those who had taken hostages while in prison.

He said: "The fact of the matter is that there remains, in my submission, no sustainable justification for removing him from association on the basis that he tried to harm himself."

The lawyer claimed any supervision should be temporary and he had a human right to associate with other inmates.

But His Hon Mr Justice Simon said there was no basis for him to intervene as Griffiths situation was under constant review by prison bosses and psychiatrists.

After he pleaded builty yesterday to three appalling killings the court was told he was caught when a caretaker at the flats where he lived saw horrific CCTV footage of one of his victims - Ms Blamires's - final moments.

Griffiths then cut up her body, stuffing the parts into holdall which he later disposed of in the river Aire at Shipley,

Miss Blamire's head was later discovered in a rucksack when a member of the public saw it floating in the water and opened it. Police divers later recovered 81 body parts from the river.

An hour after the killing, Griffiths returned to Bradford's red light district and tried to lure another prostitute back to his flat with then intention of carrying out another murder.

Griffiths took photographs of second victim Shelley Armitage as she lay dead in his bath at Holmfield Court. Some of her remains were also discovered in the river.

The body of first victim Susan Rushworth has never been discovered but DNA found at her flat revealed she is likely to have also been murdered in the flat.

After his arrest Griffiths boasted of his idolisation of infamous serial killers including Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe,

He said: "Peter Sutcliffe came a cropper in Sheffield. So did I, but at least I managed to get out of the city."

Griffths claimed to have cooked the flesh of his first two victims but had eaten part of Miss Blamire's body raw. He said that eating his victims "was part of the magic"

He described the deaths as "a slaughterhouse in the bathtub" and said there was a civil war going on in his head.

Griffiths looked frail and thin as he sat in the dock at Leeds Crown Court flanked by five prison officers. He quietly replied "guilty" as each of the three charges of murder were put to him.

He sat with his head bowed and his arms and legs crossed throughout the rest of the hearing without looking up.

Family members wailed and shouted abuse at Griffiths when upon his guilty pleas.

More angry shouts and sobbing came from the public gallery as prosecutor Robert Smith QC revealed the harrowing nature of the murders.

The court heard Griffiths had been released from Rampton top-security hospital after he was diagnosed with severe psychiatric problems.

Jailing him, Mr Justice Openshaw said: "The circumstances of these murders are so wicked and monstrous they leave me in no doubt the defendant should be kept in prison for the rest of his life."

He added: "His pleas of guilty have been entered without any remorse at all."

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