These are the 73 men and women who are serving whole-life sentences, including some of Britain's most notorious criminals.

When called upon to sentence a murderer, a judge has no option but to sentence them to life imprisonment - but in truth a life sentence usually doesn't mean life.

What a life sentence does mean is that criminals must serve a minimum term, usually starting at around 25 years, before they can be considered for parole.

Once released, they will remain on licence for the rest of their days so that any petty crime they commit will see them sent straight back to their cell.

But in some cases the crimes committed by certain individuals are so terrible that they are deserving of that rare sentence which actually does mean life - the whole life tariff - and in that moment those criminals know that they are destined to die in jail.

They are rarely used by judges and often reserved for the most shocking and horrific crimes imaginable.

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In 2019, Mark Fellows became the latest killer to be handed a whole-life sentence for murdering an underworld "Mr Big" and a mob enforcer.

After a 26-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Mark Fellows, 38, was found guilty of gunning down father-of-five Paul Massey, 55, outside his home in 2015 as part of an ongoing feud between rival gangs.

Fellows, also known as "The Iceman", was also found guilty of shooting dead John Kinsella, a friend of Mr Massey's from Liverpool, in 2018.

Convicted criminals handed whole-life orders can expect to live the rest of their lives in prison, although some have had their sentences reduced on appeal or even quashed over the years.

Whole-life orders can either be handed out by the Home Secretary or judges - and there are now believed to be around 75 prisoners currently serving that specific sentence in England and Wales.

We took a look at the 73 surviving whole-lifers who face the rest of their lives behind bars and the crimes which landed them there.

1. John Childs

John Childs was convicted of carrying out six contract killings, including a 10-year-old boy.

He was jailed for life in 1979.

2. Robert Maudsley

Liverpool "cannibal" killer Robert Maudsley is spending his prison sentence alone and entombed in an underground glass box.

The murderer, from Toxteth, is believed to be so dangerous that he is no longer allowed to associate with other prisoners or even guards.

According to Mirror Online, Maudsley is held in the deep bowels of Wakefield Prison which is also known as "Monster Mansion".

Robert Maudsley
Robert Maudsley

Maudsley, who committed his first murder when he was just 21, has been in jail since 1974 and will never be released from custody.

He is expected to die in the tiny see-through room that has been his home for decades.

The cell was constructed specially for Maudsley in 1983 before being dubbed the glass cage as it was so similar to the prison Hannibal Lecter was kept in in Silence of the Lambs.

3. Arthur Hutchinson

Hutchinson crashed a wedding reception in 1983 and murdered the bride's father, mother and brother, before raping her sister at knifepoint.

He was issued with a whole-life tariff by the Home Secretary, Leon Brittan.

4. Jeremy Bamber

Bamber shot dead his adoptive parents, sister and six-year-old twin nephews at the family farmhouse is Essex.

He was convicted in 1986 and given a whole-life tariff by the Home Secretary.

5. Victor Miller

Miller abducted, sexually assaulted and battered a 14-year-old boy to death in Worcestershire in 1988.

Police believe he was responsible for 30 unsolved sexual assaults.

He has asked to die in prison.

6. John Duffy

Duffy, known as 'the Railway Killer' attacked numerous women and raped and murdered at least three of them in the south of England in the 80s.

He later gave evidence against his accomplice David Mulcahy, who was then jailed for life for three murders and seven rapes.

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7. Anthony Arkwright

In 1989, Arkwright went on a two-day killing spree where he hacked and battered three people to death, including his elderly grandfather.

He was the youngest offender to be issued with a whole-life tariff at the age of 21.

8. Mark Robinson

Robinson murdered two of his girlfriends, Patricia Anne Wagner, 17, and Sharon Morely. He was sentenced to life in prison and later handed a whole-life tariff.

9. Malcolm Green

In 1971, Green was jailed for life for the brutal murder of a Cardiff sex worker.

He was released in 1989 and shortly afterwards bludgeoned a tourist from New Zealand to death.

He was given a whole-life tariff by the Home Secretary.

10. Rosemary West

In 1995, West was convicted of the murder of 10 women and girls in her home in Gloucester.

The victims included one of her daughters and a step-daughter.

Her husband Fred West committed suicide in jail before he could be tried for 12 murders.

She is one of just two women serving a whole-life tariff.

11. Peter Moore

Peter Moore owned a chain of cinemas in North Wales
Peter Moore owned a chain of cinemas in North Wales

Moore, known as 'The Man in Black', killed four men in sexually motivated attacks in Wales. Although he admitted the murders to police, at his trial he blamed his fictional lover 'Jason'. He was convicted and jailed for life in 1996.

12. Paul Glen

Glen served 13 years for killing a hotelier in 1989. He was released on parole in 2002 and killed again just two years later.

He was handed a whole-life sentence by a judge in 2004.

13. Phillip Heggarty

Heggarty murdered his friend Derk Bennett in a hammer attack in 2003.

The High Court ruled his life sentence must mean life.

14. Thomas McDowell

McDowell strangled and cut up trainee rabbi Andreas Hinz with a rip saw.

He then dumped his head, limbs and torso in bin bags in Camden, North Londn.

He was given a full-life term in 2004.

15. Mark Martin

Between December 2004 and January 2005, Martin killed three homeless women in Nottingham.

Martin, who was nicknamed the 'Sneinton Strangler' was sentenced to a whole-life term in 2008.

16. Mark Hobson

In July 2004, Hobson murdered his girlfriend at their home before luring her twin sister there and killing her too.

He fled and then killed an elderly couple a few miles away before going on the run.

He was given a life tariff in 2005.

17. William Horncy

In 2005, Horncy murdered millionaire Amarjit Chohan, his wife, mother-in-law and two sons in an effort to take over his freight business.

He was jailed for life in 2005.

18. Kenneth Regan

Regan was given a full life term alongside Horncy for his part in the same murders.

19. Glyn Dix

Dix stabbed his wife Hazel to death and chopped up her body into 16 pieces at their home in Redditch, Worcestershire.

He had killed before in the 70s and was out of prison on life license when he murdered his wife.

He was given a full life tariff in 2005.

20. Viktor Dembovskis

Latvian immigrant Dembovskis raped and murdered his 17-year-old neighbour as she walked home from school in West London.

He fled to Latvia but was extradited and given a full life term.

21. John McGrady

McGrady is a convicted rapist who strangled and mutilated a 15-year-old neighbour in South London.

He dumped her dismembered remains in bin bags.

He was given a full life term in 2006.

22. Stephen McColl

Gang leader McColl murdered two members of his gang.

He was given a life term in 2006.

23. Rahan Arshad

Taxi driver Arshad murdered his wife and three children at their home in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

He was given a life term in 2006.

24. Andrew Randall

Randall murdered his seven-week-old daughter Jessica by throwing her head-first into a couch at their home in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

He was sentenced to a full life tariff in 2007.

25. David Tiley

Double rapist who stabbed to death his disabled fiance Susan Hale on release.

He then killed her carer at their home in Southampton.

He was given a life sentence in 2007.

26. Michael Smith

Smith murdered Peter Summers, 35, in an attack with a bottle in Stone-on-Trent in 2006.

He had served 30 years in prison for murdering his teenage girlfriend and killed again just two months after he was released.

27. Steve Wright

Wright, known as the 'Suffolk Strangler' was jailed for life in 2008 after being found guilty of murdering five sex workers in the Ipswich area during December 2006.

28. Levi Bellfield

Bellfield, known as the 'Bus Stop Stalker' murdered three young women in London and Surrey February 2003 and August 2004.

He has also been linked to a number of unsolved murders and attacks on women.

Bellfield is the only prisoner to have been sentenced to two separate whole-life orders for two separate crimes.

29. Douglas Vinter

Convicted killer who murdered his wife after being released on license.

He was given a whole life term in 2008.

30. Marc Chivers

Chivers had previously served 15 years in Germany for murdering his ex-girlfriend.

Deported back to the UK in 2008 where he strangled another ex-girlfriend to death with a dog lead.

He was given full life term in 2008.

31. Peter Tobin

Scottish serial killer Tobin killed at least three women between 1991 and 2006. Two of their bodies were found in his back garden.

He was 60 when sentenced and will die in prison.

32. Peter Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe, also known as the Yorkshire Ripper, is one of Britain's most notorious killers.

He murdered 13 women between 1975 and 1980.

He is being held in a Category A facility at Frankland Prison in County Durham.

33. Ernest Wright

Wright was convicted of murder in 1971 and served 26 years in prison. He was released in 1999 and shot a man dead execution style in 2000.

34. Anthony Hardy

Hardy, known as the 'Camden Ripper' was convicted of killing three women in 2010.

Police believe he may have been responsible for up to six more murders.

35. John Maden

Maden drugged, raped and killed his 12-year-old niece at his Manchester home after luring her there on the pretext of babysitting.

He was handed a full life term in 2010.

36. Desmond Lee

Lee served 14 years of a life sentence for murdering his landlady in 1990.

In 2010, he was convicted of murdering his lover Christopher Pratt by breaking his voice box and a bone in his neck in his flat in Ravensthorpe.

37. Wilbert Dyce

Dyce was convicted in 2010 of a 1982 triple murder in which a mother and her two young daughters were killed.

He was eventually linked to the crimes by advances in DNA technology.

38. Stephen Griffiths

Griffiths, known as the 'Crossbow Cannibal', was convicted of murdering three woman in Bradford. One of the killings involved the use of a crossbow.

He dismembered his victims and dumped their remains. He also claims to have cannibalised them but it's never been proven.

He was sentenced to a life term in 2010.

39. John Sweeney

One of Merseyside's most horrific killers is serving life in prison for murdering his former girlfriends - cutting their bodies into pieces and dumping them in canals across Europe.

He spent years on the run, evading capture for the attempted murder of another former girlfriend - but when police finally tracked him down they found creepy paintings which included clues to his killings.

Deacades after his first gruesome crime, the missing head and hands of his victims have still never been found.

40. George Normal Johnson

He killed Florence Habesch in 2011 to fund his drug addiction.

Johnson had already served 20 years of a life sentence for murdering a man in 1986.

41. John Cooper

Cooper, known as 'the Bullseye Killer' was given four life sentences in 2011 for the 1985 double murder of brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas, and the 1989 double murder of Peter and Gwenda Dixon.

42. David Baxendale

Baxendale served seven years in Spain for murder before being deported back to Britain.

In March 2011 he was convicted of repeatedly stabbing a woman in Nutfield, Surrey.

43. Andrew Dawson

Dawson was out on licence for a previous murder in the 80s when he struck again.

He was convicted of murdering two men in 2011.

44. David Cook

Cook was out on parole for a 1988 murder when he killed again.

He strangled another woman to death and the judge gave him a whole life tariff when he was convicted in 2011.

45. Stephen Farrow

Farrow murdered 77-year-old Betty Yates and Reverend John Suddards, 59.

He was convicted in 2012 and given a whole-life sentence.

46. Mark Bridger

Five-year-old April was abducted and killed on October 1 2012 by paedophile Mark Bridger, who was jailed for life the following year.

She had been playing on her bike outside her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth when she was snatched by the killer.

Her body has never been found.

47. Dale Cregan

Cregan was jailed for life in 2013 for killing policewomen Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, while on the run for two other murders.

48. Gary Smith

Smith was serving a life sentence for a 1998 murder when he and accomplice Lee Newell murdered a convicted child killer in his cell at HMP Long Lartin in 2013.

He received a whole-life sentence on 23 September 2013.

49. Lee Newell

Newell was convicted alongside Smith and received a whole-life sentence on the same date.

50. Jamie Reynolds

Porn-obsessed Jamie Reynolds hung 17-year-old Georgia Williams before filming himself carrying out sexual acts on her lifeless body in May 2013.

He dumped her body and went on the run but was caught by police.

Reynolds had previously tried to strangle a girl but had only been given a police warning.

51. Anwar Rosser

Former soldier Anwar Rosser, 33, was given a whole-life tariff at Bradford Crown Court for the "savage and gratuitous" murder of "happy and bubbly" Riley Turner, four, on January 20, 2013.

Riley's mother, Sharon Smith, and stepfather, Guy Earwaker, had let Rosser stay in their home in Keighley, West Yorkshire, for the night on January 20 last year "out of compassion".

They had agreed to let him stay on the sofa after arriving drunk following a night out.

But at around 4am, he crept upstairs armed with four knives and carried out the horrific attack.

52. Ian McLoughlin

Knifeman Ian McLoughlin, 55, slashed Graham Buck’s throat when the brave dad-of-three caught him robbing an elderly neighbour in July 2013.

It was McLoughlin's first day out of prison for a previous murder conviction.

McLoughlin was first jailed for 10 years for manslaughter after he hit Len Delgatty, 49, over the head with a hammer in 1984.

He later murdered barman Peter Halls, 55, and was jailed for life, with a minimum of 25 years, in 1992.

53. Michael Adebolajo

Michael Adebolajo and accomplice Michael Adebowale murdered soldier Lee Rigby in southeast London.

They spotted Lee wearing a Help for Heroes hoodie and mowed him down in their car.

They then jumped out and attacked him with knives and a meat cleaver, near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on May 22, 2013.

Adebolajo tried to behead the ­fusilier with a knife and spouted Islamic hatred as his innocent victim lay dying in the street.

Adebolajo was given a whole-life sentence while Adebowale was sentenced to a minimum jail term of 45 years.

54. Joanne Dennehy

Joanna Dennehy, 33, is serving a whole-life sentence for the killing of three men in the space of 10 days in 2014.

55. Paul O'Hara

O’Hara was sentenced to a whole life term on 30 June 2014 after admitting murdering his girlfriend Cherylee Shennan.

He had been previously sentenced to life in 1998 for murdering girlfriend Janine Waterworth in "very similar circumstances" and had only been released on licence in 2013.

56. Ryan Matthews

In 2015, Matthews was given a whole-life order after stabbing a health care assistant to death at a psychiatric hospital the year before.

57. David Mitchell

David Mitchell murdered Robert Hind while on licence from an earlier life sentence for killing his then girlfriend.

Mitchell strangled and then cut up the body of Robert Hind while on licence.

He was sentenced to in 2015.

58. Jason Gomez

Jason Gomez and Paul Wadkin lured Darren Flynn into a cell before stabbing him at least 190 times with two makeshift weapons.

Gomez, who was serving life for murder at the time of the killing, was given a whole life sentence in 2015 while Wadkin was jailed for a minimum of 30 years.

59. Ian Birley

Birley stabbed businessman John Gogarty 69 times in his own home so he and his girlfriend could pay off a £500 drug debt.

He was given a whole life tariff while his girlfriend Helen Nichols, 39, was told she will serve at least 20 years.

Birley was on licence when he killed the 65-year-old property developer, having served 18 years of a life term for another murder.

He had been out of prison for just 18 months when he struck again in 2015.

60. Russell Oliver

Oliver was serving life for beating a man to death in 2013 when he killed a fellow prisoner at GMP Long Lartin.

He killed murderer John York at the prison in Mail 2015 and was given a whole-life sentence the following year.

61. Anthony Ayres

Ayres was on licence for murdering his girlfriend in 1993 when he murdered a mum-of-one at a friend's flat in Essex.

He was handed a whole-life sentence in 2016.

62. Christopher Halliwell

Halliwell is serving a whole-life sentence for murdering Sian O’Callaghan, 22, in March 2011.

Following Halliwell’s sentence, police said there was a “distinct possibility” he was a serial killer, highlighting the eight-year gap between the two murders.

He was later convicted of murdering Becky Godden-Edwards who had missing since 2003.

63. Arthur Simpson-Kent

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 50, brutally killed former EastEnders actress Sian Blake, 43, and their kids, Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, after finding out she planned to leave him.

On 5 October 2016, he was given a whole-life sentence after he pleaded guilty to the murders.

Liverpool's criminal underworld exposed

64. Thomas Mair

White supremacist Mair was convicted of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

The MP for Batley and Spen, was on her way to meet constituents at a routine surgery when she was repeatedly shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorks.

When sentencing the judge said he had no doubt Mair murdered Cox advance a political, racial, and ideological cause - that of violent white supremacism and exclusive nationalism.

65. Stephen Port

Serial killer Port was given a whole life sentence in 2016 after he drugged, raped and killed four gay men in east London he had met on the gay dating app Grindr.

He was also convicted of raping four others.

66. Leroy Campbell

Leroy Campbell, 57 – who had been assessed as having “lifelong risk factors” – was released from prison four months before raping and killing Lisa Skidmore, 37 in November 2016.

Campbell had previously been jailed for attacking three other women.

He was handed a whole life sentence after pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder, rape and arson with intent.

67. Billy White

White murdered his girlfriend in 2015 and later murdered a fellow prisoner at HMP Long Martin.

His sentence was increased to a whole life order on 25 September 2017 at Worcester Crown Court

68. John Wass

John Wass was found guilty of 17 counts of historical child abuse in 2017.

He received a whole-life tariff for the offences against three different victims, dating back to the 1960s.

The charges against Wass included rape, sexual assault and sexual exposure.

69. Alan Maidment

Maidment was sentenced to a whole-life term for murdering a dad-of-one nine months after being released from prison.

He stabbed the man 32 times before his body was set on fire in March, 2017.

70. William McFall

William John McFall and Stephen Unwin killed loving mum Quyen Ngoc Nguyen for sex and money during a terrifying ordeal.

The sadistic murderers lured the 28-year-old to a trap and subjected her to a heinous and prolonged attack in which she was sexually abused, held captive and stolen from.

McFall was sentenced to a whole-life order in April 2018.

71. Stephen Urwin

Unwin was sentenced to a whole-life order alongside McFall.

72. John Taylor

Child killer Taylor was serving a minimum of 30 years for the murder of schoolgirl Leanne Tiernan in 2000.

He is thought to have stored her body in a freezer for nine months before dumping it in woodland.

He was subsequently linked to several historic sex attacks and admitted to a string of sickening sex attacks in Leeds in 1970s, 80s and 90s.

He was handed a whole-life sentence in 2018.

73. Mark Fellows

In January, Fellows, of Warrington but originally from Salford, was found guilty of gunning down father-of-five Mr Massey, 55, outside his home in the Clifron area of Salford in 2015.

He was also found guilty of shooting dead John Kinsella, a friend of Mr Massey's from Liverpool, three years later.

He was handed a whole life sentence.