His attacks sent shock waves through the community.
Britain’s youngest wannabe serial killer, James Fairweather, was just 15 in 2014 when he murdered two strangers by stabbing them through the eyes, and plotted to slay 15 more.
Fairweather, who has autism, stabbed badly brain-damaged James Attfield, 33, no less than 102 times, then knifed 31-year-old student Nahid Almanea to death three months later. It took 14 months before police finally caught him.
In court, the Yorkshire Ripper-obsessed teen admitted manslaughter, blaming ‘voices in the head’, but was convicted of both murders. He was found to have carried out internet searches on such notorious serial killers as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, whose photo he had on his phone, and his ‘favourite’ – American rapist, murderer and necrophile Ted Bundy. He also had a collection of slasher horror movies, DVDs featuring Sutcliffe and an avid interest in playing violent computer games.
So was Fairweather mentally ill or born evil?
He once told a teacher he wanted ‘to be a murderer’, and had already been convicted of robbing a shop at knifepoint in his school uniform days before he murdered dad-of-five James. On that occasion, he had to be reprimanded for sniggering in court before being handed a 12-month referral order.
He told police he’d gone ‘looking for a sacrifice’ in his home town of Colchester, Essex, that he’d found James, who’d been drinking, lying on the grass, and he’d heard voices telling him, ‘He’s the one, do it.’
Fairweather attacked his second victim Nahid three months later in broad daylight as she walked by a nature trail dressed in a hijab and full-length Muslim robe.
He said, ‘The voices started laughing…they were really, really loud… They were laughing in my head, going, “You did it”.’
Fairweather already had a knife-crime conviction, when he’d been apprehended but released. He was finally caught for the killings 11 months later when a dog walker spotted him lurking near the spot where Nahid’s body had been found.
When police found him, he told them, ‘I’m waiting for someone to kill. I’ve done it twice before.’
The court heard that he had wanted to kill 15 more times.
Psychiatric experts said it was ‘highly likely’ or ‘more than likely’ he was suffering from ‘psychosis’ at the time of the murders.
James Fairweather was sentenced to serve a minimum 27-year jail term before he can be considered for parole.