Skin-crawling inmates at Britain’s first female-only jail- madam to child killer

It has been six years since Britain’s first female-only prison stopped housing inmates.

Holloway Prison opened in 1852 but later became an all-female institution at the start of the 20th century.

And the eerie jail gained notoriety after hosting five female executions – including the last woman to be hanged in Britain in 1955.

Many suffragettes – including Emmeline Pankhurst – were also hauled to Holloway after defying the law in pursuit of their right to vote.

Some went on hunger strike and were even force-fed – making the prison symbolic for women’s struggle for liberation.

And it was Europe's largest female prison and could house 500 inmates before closing in 2016.

It was sold to Peabody for £81 million and the housing association recently submitted plans to build almost 1,000 homes on the historic site in North London.

Here, we take a look at what happened to some of the high-profile residents who stayed at the 164-year-old nick…

Cynthia Payne

Cynthia Payne became known as Britain’s most famous madam before her wild life was immortalised in the film Personal Services starring Julie Walters.

But the eccentric brothel keeper was chucked in Holloway Prison after being caught running a brothel.

Cynthia was punished for organising sex parties at her home in Streatham, London and was sentenced to 18 months at Holloway in 1980.

Her sentence was later slashed to six months.

Details about her racy life were revealed in court – including men giving her luncheon vouchers in exchange for sex with her workers.

And in her autobiography, Cynthia later described how “vicars, MPs and lawyers” considered her as “the best hostess” in the city.

She died in 2015 aged 82 at King’s College Hospital and the carriage that took her to her final resting place was adorned with a cheeky floral tribute spelling out “sex”.

Rose West

The vile crimes of Rose West and her husband Fred took place in a home in Gloucester dubbed the House of Horrors.

They even killed their own daughter, Heather, 16, before burying her in the back garden.

Fred killed himself in 1995 before he could face trial for 12 murders.

But Rose was sentenced to murdering 10 people and she remains behind bars.

She spent time on remand at Holloway where ex-prison governor, Vanessa Frake, described how Rose was “quiet” and how all she did was constantly knit.

The now 68-year-old is currently based at HMP New Hall in Yorkshire.

Myra Hindley

Holloway’s most famous inmate is perhaps serial killer Myra Hindley who was once branded ‘Britain’s most hated woman’.

Hindley accompanied partner Ian Brady in the murders of five kids in the 60s.

At least four of the children were sexually assaulted and Hindley was caged for her part in the Moors Murders in 1966.

Hindley spent time in various prisons – including Holloway where she was granted special privileges for her “model behaviour”.

But the child killer was then found to be having an affair with a prison warden who tried to help her escape.

She died of a chest infection in 2002 aged 60 while Brady took his final breath 15 years later.

Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis became an indelible part of Holloway history after being the last woman to be hanged in Britain.

At the time she was 28 and she received a death sentence after murdering her boyfriend.

The nightclub hostess fatally shot lover David Blakely multiple times outside a North London boozer in 1955.

There was uproar over her execution at Holloway months later and the controversy is believed to have played a part in the abolition of the death penalty in 1969.

The story of her life was told in the 1985 film Dance with a Stranger.

Maxine Carr

Maxine Carr is the former girlfriend of double child killer Ian Huntley.

She was in a relationship with Huntley when he murdered ten-year-old schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Champman in Soham, Cambs, in 2002.

And Carr got into trouble for delaying the investigation by lying to cops when she gave Huntley a false alibi.

She had been a teaching assistant at the school the girls attended and she claimed Huntley was with her at the time of the murders.

She served 21 months in prison for conspiring to pervert the course of justice and spent most of the time at Holloway.

In 2004 she was released and was given a new identity.

Tracey Connelly

Tracey Connelly – known as the mother of Baby P – was jailed over the tragic death of her 17-month-old son Peter.

The sickening child abuse case shocked the nation after Connelly admitted causing or allowing the death of a child.

Her partner Steven Barker and her paedo brother Jason Owen were found guilty of the same charge.

The baby had received 60 visits from social services, police and health professionals over eight months – but he still suffered dozens of injuries under Barker and Owen.

He was found dead in his blood-stained cot at Connelly’s North London flat in 2007.

Connelly was sentenced to a minimum of five years in jail – serving some of her time at Holloway.

She was released in 2013 but broke the terms of her indefinite sentence by flogging porn pictures of herself.

Connelly was soon back in jail and the Parole Board has since denied her release three times.

She is currently being held in Low Newton Jail in Durham.

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