Serial killer Rose West is the kingpin of her prison wing

MASS killer Rose West is dubbed the Black Widow behind bars for preying on terrified new inmates who are placed on her wing.


The twisted fiend has enjoyed a string of lesbian romps since being caged and makes sure she takes her pick from the new women banged up alongside her.

The 60-year-old is feared on Finchale Wing at Country Durham’s Low Newton prison (pictured below) and controls the section with a rod of iron.

Last night a source revealed: “Rose controls the wing as the senior prisoner and despite her age the rest of the girls are in awe of her.

“The staff look to her to keep things in order and she decides who is friends with whom and keeps things under control. She hates anyone in for drugs offences and thinks they are the lowest of the low – despite her being a serial killer.

Low Newton jail

“She has her own single cell and spends a lot of time in there with girls she especially likes. She always gets the pick of the fresh meat and the girls know better than to argue with her because she can make life difficult for them with the staff.

“They call her the Black Widow because she is like a spider crawling over their flesh. The only good thing is she soon moves on to her next victim.”

Vile West also has the ear of the prison staff and has the cushiest job in the top security jail – making brews and fetching and carrying for prison officers.

She’s paid £16-a-week for her post as a prison orderly which is regarded as the best occupation behind bars as inmates are out of their cells for most of the day.

Click this for full profile on serial killers Fred & Rosemary West

Click here to read: Rose West – Police interview transcript

Click this for: Fred West’s 31 year old Son Jailed For Under-Age Sex with schoolgirl

The coveted job means that Britain’s most notorious living female killer has other privileges like being able to bag the shower room to herself because she keeps different hours to the rest of dangerous lags on her wing.

West – who was convicted in 1995 of the depraved murders of at least ten young women at the home in Gloucester she shared with husband Fred – also enjoys enhanced prisoner status.

That means she can furnish her single cell with her own bedding, curtains and rugs – all bought from an Argos catalogue – and she has a PlayStation on which she can watch a collection of up to eight DVDs.

She also has access to an Avon brochure so she can order make-up, perfume and toiletries which are paid for out of her prison bank account and delivered to her wing.

The vile serial killer has been told she will never be released from prison.

Cowardly Fred – who had a hand in a total of 12 killings – hanged himself in prison before the start of the sensational murder trial. But now West is deemed a calming influence on her wing.


On 1 January 1995, Fred West hanged himself while on remand in his cell at Winson Green Prison, Birmingham. His funeral was held in Coventry on 29 March 1995. West was cremated with only four mourners present, after a five minute service. His ashes were later scattered on the beach at Barry Island near Cardiff.

Our source revealed: “She is popular with the staff because she exerts authority on the more fiery members of the prison population.

“The staff like that because it reduces the number of flashpoints and makes everyone’s life a lot more bearable. Rose obviously knows she’s never getting out so wants her days to pass as smoothly as possible.”

The crimes for which Rosemary West was convicted occurred mainly between April 1973 and August 1979. She murdered Charmaine West, the daughter of Fred’s previous wife Rena, in June 1971, and buried her in their previous home of 25 Midland Road, Gloucester while Fred West was serving a prison sentence for petty theft. One of the bodies found at 25 Cromwell Street was that of their daughter, Heather, who was murdered by Fred in June 1987 at the age of 16, after being abused by Rosemary while Fred raped her. The Wests told friends and concerned parties that Heather had gone away to work at a holiday village. This was the last known murder that the pair committed.

In August 1992 Fred West was arrested after being accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter three times, and Rosemary West was arrested for child cruelty. This case against them collapsed in June 1993 when their daughter refused to testify in court. All of the Wests’ children were removed from their custody to foster homes. This case brought to light the disappearance of Heather West, who had not been seen since 1987, and triggered the major investigation that followed.

Fred West is known to have carried out 12 murders. Rosemary West had no involvement in the first two.

SERIAL murderer Rose West has landed the cushiest job in her jail — making tea for the prison officers


Evil West, 59 — popular with warders — earns £16 a week as an orderly after being promoted from cleaner.

It means she spends more time out of her cell than other prisoners, making her the envy of her top-security prison.

A source said: “It’s the job everyone wants as you’re out and about all the time helping staff. You make tea and coffee, clean their offices and do their running about. You’re a dogsbody but get to hear all the gossip and comings and goings.”

The monster — inside for ten murders — even gets the shower room to herself as she now keeps different hours to other criminals at Low Newton jail, Co Durham 

West had already been given enhanced prisoner status, allowing her various perks.

She has a PlayStation on which she can watch DVDs — and she can buy furniture for her cell from an Argos catalogue.

The killer can also order Avon make-up and have it delivered to her wing.

She is the only woman among 49 murderers serving life without parole in Britain.

But Low Newton officers see her as a calming influence on volatile inmates. 

The source added: “She’s popular with staff as she tells prisoners to do their time and not make life difficult for anyone.”

Other notable inmates include Tracey Connelly, who was jailed for five years in 2009 over the horrific death of her son Peter (baby P). She has angered fellow inmates after being given a job as a hairdresser at Low Newton. Many prisoners refuse to get their hair done by her.

West was jailed in 1995 for a grisly killing spree at her Gloucester home. Hubby Fred, 53, hanged himself before his trial for 12 murders.


HM Prison Low Newton


Low Newton is situated approximately 4 miles south west of Durham, and was purpose-built as a Remand Centre in 1965 with accommodation for 65 males and 11 females. Additional accommodation was provided in 1975 and the Centre then had a CNA of 215, though was normally overcrowded.

Low Newton accommodated both male and female young persons and adult women until September 1998, when a re-role refurbishment programme commenced. It is now an all female prison.

Low Newton serves the courts in the catchment area from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire across to North Cumbria.

All remand females aged 18 and over are held (apart from Category A prisoners) and all sentenced female prisoners 18 or over can serve out their sentence, including lifers.


There are five traditionally built wings: Aykley, Bede, Cuthbert, Dunelm and Elvet. Finchale wing was one of the first of the ready-to-use type.

Giles and Induction wings were added later.

The residential units are all cellular. All cells have in-cell television and the wings are equipped with laundry facilities.

Reception Criteria

Low Newton is a closed, female prison and young offender institution. It holds a small number of juveniles and life sentenced prisoners.


Cooking facilities
Fridge – Freezer
Hobbies kits
In-cell power
Own bedding
Own clothes (all)
Playstation (Enhanced only)



07:40 – 11:30, 13:00 – 16:30 & 17:30 – 19:15


07:40 – 11:30, 13:00 – 16:30 & 17:30 – 19:15


07:40 – 11:30, 13:00 – 16:30 & 17:30 – 19:15


07:40 – 11:30, 13:00 – 16:30 & 17:30 – 19:15


07:40 – 11:30 & 13:00 – 16:30


08:40 – 12:15 & 13:30 – 17:00


08:40 – 12:15 & 13:30 – 17:00

The prison did not disclose unlock times but described them as ‘as per core day – all establishments.



17:30 – 19:15


17:30 – 19:15


17:30 – 19:15


17:30 – 19:15


14:00 – 16:30


08:40 – 12:15 & 13:30 – 17:00


08:40 – 12:15 & 13:30 – 17:00

The prison did not disclose association times but described them as ‘as per core day – as at all establishments.’


Sports available include;

  • Badminton

  • Basketball

  • Circuit Training

  • Hockey

  • Indoor Bowls

  • Light Circuit Training

  • Remedial

  • Soft Tennis

  • Sports Field

  • Volleyball

  • Weight Loss Programme

  • Weight Training

The following courses are available;

  • Active IQ entry – Levels 1, 2 & 3

  • BSC Level 1

  • CSLA

  • First Aid at Work

  • Focus – Levels 1, 2 & 3

  • OCN Entry levels 1 & 2 


Low Newton Prison was originally constructed in 1965 as a mixed remand centre for 65 males and 11 females. Additional accommodation was provided in 1975 and the capacity of the centre increased to 215, though the centre was normally overcrowded. Low Newton accommodated both male and female young persons and adult women until September 1998, when a re-role refurbishment programme commenced. Since 1998 HMP Low Newton has been an all-female jail taking female prisoners from across the north of England, as well as lifers and juveniles.

In 2006 Low Newton underwent a security upgrade to become a Category A prison holding ‘restricted status’ (high risk) women.[1] Low Newton then held the remaining High Security Female prisoners transferred from HMP Durham.

In the same year an inmate from Low Newton had to be immobilised by a Taser stun-gun whilst visiting the University Hospital of North Durham. The prisoner was being treated for wounds to her thigh and groin, when she grabbed the prison officer to whom she was handcuffed. The inmate then held a pair of scissors to the throat of the officer and demanded drugs, before being stunned by the police