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Dennis Nilsen: Slashed in the face with a razor at Wormwood Scrubs

He spent years attacking younger men in his North London lairs, but the tables were turned in 1983 when Albert Moffat, 21, slashed Dennis Nilsen across the face with a razor tipped shank in the exercise yard of London's Wormwood Scrubs.

Dennis Nilsen was slashed across the face with a razor when he was in prison, leaving him with a wound that needed 89 stitches.

The Scottish serial killer was attacked by Albert Moffat, 21, another prisoner at notorious London jail Wormwood Scrubs prison, in December 1983.

An undated (and rare) photograph of Nilsen's healing/healed wound... and a moustache!
An undated (and rare) photograph of Nilsen's healing/healed wound... and a moustache!
Dennis Nilsen moustache face scar albert moffat prison van
Anyone else think he looks like Harrison Ford here?

Moffat claimed that ‘Des’ had made sexual advances towards him, and his bloody act of retaliation was merely self-defence. Unsurprisingly, considering Nilsen had been found guilty for the murder of six men just a few weeks before the attack happened, jurors agreed.

But what they thought of the usually clean shaven Nilsen’s moustache (!!!) seen here in a rare archive photo of the healing wound - is unknown.

After the attack, Nilsen was moved to Parkhurst in North London, before spending time at other category prisons including Whitemoor Jail and HMP Full Sutton, where he died in 2018 aged 72 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

A newspaper article about the attack on Nilsen
A newspaper article about the attack on Nilsen

Check out what the Aberdeen Press and Journal (22/6/84) reported on Moffat’s trial below...

Wormwood Scrubs prisoner Albert Moffat, who slashed Buchan-bom mass murderer Dennis Nilsen across the face with a razor, walked free yesterday.
He said after the trial: “I have no remorse about what I did. I’m sorry it wasn’t 189 stitches he got instead of 89 because the man is a monster.
“I would have no hesitation in doing it again. I didn’t do him any harm. Nilsen is a coward when it comes to face-to-face conflict. He can only kill people when they are drunk or drugged.
"There should be an inquiry into why he was let loose inside among young men.
"He is clearly insane and should never be released. Forget about the recommended 25 years.”
After nearly three hours the jury at Knightsbridge Crown Court accepted that Moffat (21) attacked Nilsen self-defence.
Albert Moffat slashed Dennis Nilsen in the face at Wormwood Scrubs
Wormwood Scrubs prison, where the attack took place in December 1983
He said Nilsen lunged at him with a “metallic object” when he rejected the multiple killer’s homosexual advances.
“I wasn’t going to stand there and let him start chopping me to pieces,” Glaswegian Moffat told the jury.
Nilsen (39) had called his attacker “a toy bandit who wanted to be the biggest bug in the manure pile” - but refused to identify him.
Moffat denied wounding Nilsen with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm or maliciously wounding him in an exercise yard at Wormwood Scrubs on December 21 last year.
Moffat was due for release from a 13-month sentence for theft at the beginning of the week, but was held in custody during the trial.


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