Killer thought he was in a film

A MENTALLY ill driver deliberately ploughed into three young friends, killing two of them, because he thought he was a character in the science fiction film The Terminator, a court heard yesterday.

Richard Allott drove his Nissan pick-up truck through the streets of Leamington Spa like "some sort of Arnold Schwarz- enegger" in a scene from the blockbuster film, Warwick Crown Court was told.

Witnesses said Allott, 48, appeared to be "on a mission" when he drove directly at three work colleagues as they paid a taxi fare at the roadside.

Richard James Aston, 20, of Leamington Spa, and Richard Chandler, 26, of Little Kineton, Warwickshire, died in the incident in May last year. Lee Baker, 21, also of Leamington Spa, was injured.

Mr Colman Treacy, prosecuting, said: "In a police interview Allott said he felt as if he were in a movie like The Terminator, some sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the streets of Leamington Spa."

Allott had watched the video Terminator II just a couple of days before the incident, and police had found the videotape at his rented address in Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa.

"The video shows scenes in which the character of the Terminator drives a truck ruthlessly at other vehicles which get in his way," Mr Treacy said. "Allott told police he felt he had been `locked into' the `Terminator mode'."

Allott was described in court as a "manic depressive" whose 25-year history of mental illness was possibly triggered by illegal drug use in the 1970s.

Mr Justice Poole ordered that Allott should be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act, after hearing from doctors that he would need treatment for the rest of his life.