NHS funds cannibal’s gastric band opComment on this story
A cannibal who weighs about 146kg has received gastric band surgery in a private British hospital - paid for by the NHS.
Graham Fisher, 39, who killed two women, requested the operation after becoming obese on a diet of crisps and cake.
The procedure - from which he is said to be recovering in a private room - is thought to have cost taxpayers £15 000.
Fisher, who ate the flesh of one of the women he killed, put on weight at the high-security Broadmoor Hospital. After complaining to staff that he was too fat and unfit, he was given permission to have the £8 000 operation.
He was reportedly taken by guards to a private hospital in Oxfordshire last week after being on a waiting list for just three months.
It is expected he will recover from the surgery in a private en-suite room for several days, bringing the cost of the entire procedure to £15 000.
Fisher’s first victim was Clare Letchford, 40, in January 1998. He killed the recluse at her flat in Hastings, East Sussex, before cutting flesh from her arm and eating it.
Eight days later, Beryl O’Connor, 75, was found dead at her home nearby. Both of the victims - who had been former neighbours of Fisher - were strangled before Fisher set the bodies on fire.
Just days later Fisher attempted to rape and murder a 19-year-old Czech student on a train.
It was not until 2010 that he was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court to 21 years for the manslaughter of Letchford and O’Connor.
Fisher had confessed to his psychiatrist after being transferred to Broadmoor during a five-year jail term for indecently assaulting two Spanish students at knifepoint in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1998.
He was transferred to Broadmoor under the Mental Health Act following concerns that he was a “grave danger”.
Lewes Crown Court heard he confessed because he knew he remained a danger.
Prosecutors said Fisher targeted lonely women, some of whom he knew, to satisfy what one psychiatrist described as a “sexually sadistic” aspect to his personality.
Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the extraordinary case would “go down poorly with ordinary people” who are struggling financially.
A spokesman for West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which is in charge of Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, said: “People receiving treatment for mental illness are entitled to the same level of care as anyone else.”
Eight thousand surgical weight-loss operations were carried out in England on the NHS last year, most of them using a gastric band – in which a silicone band is fitted around the stomach to make it smaller.
The other major operation is a gastric bypass, where a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach and connected to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and bowel.
The aim is to reduce appetite and speed up feelings of fullness. - Daily Mail