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I was locked up with some of Britain’s deadliest women… whenever child killers and paedophiles spoke to me I followed the same rule

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A  former prisoner and drug dealer who was housed among paedophiles and murderers has revealed how she endured living with some of Britain’s deadliest women. 

Francesca Fattore, 44, was placed on the enhanced wing at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.

An addiction to heroin and crack led to drug dealing and Francesca landed a prison sentence of three years and eight months for drug offences.

While Francesca had her own cell and shower- the wing came with a catch. 

The wing of the HMP Bronzefield, called Houseblock 4, was where some of the jail’s most dangerous criminals were caged.

Now sober and out of prison, Francesca runs an organisation aimed at creating opportunities and safe spaces for former female criminals called UKExFemalePrisoner

Now sober and out of prison, Francesca runs an organisation aimed at creating opportunities and safe spaces for former female criminals called UKExFemalePrisoner

The wing of the HMP Bronzefield, called Houseblock 4, was where paedophiles and murders were also housed

The wing of the HMP Bronzefield, called Houseblock 4, was where paedophiles and murders were also housed

At first, she did not want to know what crimes had been committed by her new neighbours

At first, she did not want to know what crimes had been committed by her new neighbours

Isolated from the rest of the prison population, Francesca found herself with the most serious prisoners who had to be kept separate from other inmates for their own safety. 

Revealing how she remained sane among some of the deadliest women in the country, Francesca described how she first wished not to be informed of her neighbour’s crimes. 

However, the 44-year-old from Reading changed her mind, telling The Daily Star: ‘I decided I needed to know who those people were. I needed to know because then I won’t talk to the people I don’t need to.’

Among her new neighbours was where child killers such Mairead Philpott, a woman dubbed the ‘UK’s most hated mum’ after she and her husband murdered her six children in 2012.

Philpott served 17 years and was released in 2020 after serving only half her sentence for setting fire to her home with her children inside. 

Another of her neighbours was Joanna Dennehy who killed three men and dumped their bodies in ditches near Peterborough. 

Recalling the other inmates, Francesca said she faced Lucy Wolfe most days, a nanny who sexually abused a baby.  

Among her new neighbours was where child killers such Mairead Philpott, a woman dubbed the 'UK's most hated mum' after she and her husband murdered her six children in 2012

Among her new neighbours was where child killers such Mairead Philpott, a woman dubbed the ‘UK’s most hated mum’ after she and her husband murdered her six children in 2012

Pictured: a cell inside HMP Bronzefield where Francesca had her own cell and shower

Pictured: a cell inside HMP Bronzefield where Francesca had her own cell and shower 

During a 12-week rehab programme at HMP Send in Surrey, Francesca's life was turned around by a visit from the Princess of Wales

During a 12-week rehab programme at HMP Send in Surrey, Francesca’s life was turned around by a visit from the Princess of Wales

Francesca said: ‘I would never kick off on the wing because in my head when I went to prison that was it for me, I was going to change so I had to behave. 

‘I had to take my feelings aside of what you would want to say, what you’d want to do to somebody and just be a better person. 

‘When I learned my next door neighbour was that woman (Mairead) you just start thinking, “wow I am in with some crazy, evil, nasty people”.

Throughout her time with the women, Francesca followed the same rule to stay sane. 

Francesca said: ‘Literally you just have to think that if I am spoken to by them then just don’t speak back or keep it as minimum as possible. 

‘You have to switch off (from their crimes) because you have no choice’.

During a 12-week rehab programme at HMP Send in Surrey, Francesca’s life was turned around by a visit from the Princess of Wales. 

 Francesca said: ‘Having the privilege to sit with her inspired me to keep going and made me realise I was on the right path. 

‘She made me feel worthy and the experience left me on cloud nine. 

‘The video was also posted on the Kensington Royal social media accounts and I was the talk of the prison for weeks which was a really nice feeling.’

Now sober and out of prison, Francesca runs an organisation aimed at creating opportunities and safe spaces for former female criminals called UKExFemalePrisoner. 

Francesca said: ‘It has been amazing, out of this world. I had a woman message me and honestly I was blown away. 

‘She has never been to prison but she sent me the following: ‘Hi Fran, I have never been to prison but my son is always in and out of it. I couldn’t stop worrying about him and still do now he is home.

‘If it wasn’t for you and the other ladies in your group, I wouldn’t be here today. It was you who kept me going and all the amazing ladies who turned their lives around.

‘I couldn’t believe it and we are not just touching prisoners or ex-prisoners it is people who have children who are in prison. 

‘It is mind blowing and amazing and so many women have thanked us for supporting them. ‘



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