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'Gay slayer' dies in prison

Colin Ireland, the killer of five gay men in London, UK, has died in jail
'Gay slayer' Colin Ireland dies in jail

A serial killer who tortured gay men to death in the UK has died in prison.

Colin Ireland, 57, was jailed for life after admitting attacking and killing five gay men he met in London pubs in 1993.

The notorious 'gay slayer' is presumed to have died from natural causes at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire, the Prison Service said yesterday.

After making a New Year's resolution to become a serial killer, the ex-soldier posed as a gay man, meeting his victims at a pub in the capital's Fulham area.

He would wait to be taken back to his victims' houses, before torturing and murdering them.

He reportedly carried a full kit of rope and handcuffs and a change of clothes to each murder.

After killing the victim, he cleaned the flat of any forensic evidence linking him to the scene and stayed in there until morning in order to avoid arousing suspicion from leaving in the middle of the night.

Ireland was caught later the same year when CCTV footage showed him with his last victim.

A Prison Service spokesman said the death would be investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

In May 2007, a report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group found that the Metropolitan Police inquiry into the murders was 'hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London and the special culture of S&M bondage'.

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