There will be no juvenile early release for a 17-year-old U.K. boy convicted of murdering two random strangers. He claims to idolize the Yorkshire Ripper and says Ted Bundy is his favorite murderer. James Fairweather was only 15 at the time of the murders, but will spend at least the next 27 years in custody and psychiatric care for the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in March 2014, according to The Guardian.
Fairweather stabbed the drunk and incapacitated Attfield 102 times, then later stabbed Almanea in both eyes while she was strolling along a nature trail. Attfield was 33-years-old and Almanea was 31.
Fairweather displayed mental illness and claimed demonic possession and auditory hallucinations of voices telling him to kill. Modeling his crimes after Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Fairweather stabbed Attfield in the eyes as well, and removed Almanea’s sunglasses to do the same as a sort of homage to his idol.
It took jurors less then nine hours to hand down a verdict, and Fairweather’s reaction was to look at his parents and silently mouth the words, “I don’t give a sh**.”
The judge sentencing him noted that Fairweather had “acted out… violent, sadistic fantasies [fueled] by your obsession with serial killers.”
“I have no doubt the way James Attfield screamed in pain when he was stabbed through the eye had remained with you and excited you.”
Psychologists testified Fairweather has an emerging psychopathic disorder, as well as autism, and while they report he is responding to treatment, the judge noted that it was too early to predict how this personality disorder would develop. The juvenile did avoid a minimum of a 30 years to life sentence if he had been a competent adult, but he was sentenced to be “detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure.” Essentially, it’s a minimum sentence of 27 years before being eligible for parole.
“Thereafter it will be for the parole Board to decide when, if ever, you should be released. If you are ever released you will remain [on probation] for the rest of your life.”
Fairweather might have slaughtered a third victim if he hadn’t been apprehended while actively prowling the streets in gloves and wielding a lock knife. He described his crimes in chilling detail to police, including how he read the press coverage of his murders obsessively.
Attfield was a father of four children who had suffered brain damage in a car crash and was unable to defend himself against the attack, prompting harsh words from the judge.
“I have no doubt you relished the sense of power and control it gave you.”
The judge did not buy into excuses such as a history of playing violent video games or watching horror films, nor his claim of rage killing, given the superficial knife wounds indicated otherwise. Likewise, Fairweather’s history of undiagnosed autism was not an acceptable defense.
“Many people of all ages suffer from autism. It would be an unfair and unjustified slur on them to suggest that autism predisposes someone to commit acts of violence.”
Fairweather’s prior criminal history included petty theft of £30 (about $44), cigars and a lighter from a shop, and another charge of criminal damage for breaking a window.
Attfield’s mother, Julie Finch, told the court she can’t work since her son’s murder and has lost her home, calling the teen a “monster.” Almanea’s brother, Raed Almanea, testified that their family suffers a “crippling” grief since their loss at the hands of Fairweather.
“My father always wonders why she was killed. My mother cries incessantly, her tears never dry. Life has become meaningless as far as we are concerned.”
[Photo courtesy of the Essex police]