Man who plotted career as serial killer is jailed: Victims fought off knife attacks by 'weedy' admirer of film villain Hannibal Lecter

A FORMER mental hospital patient who planned to become a notorious serial killer, was jailed for life yesterday for a day-long orgy of hammer and knife attacks last October.

Ian Warby, 26 - who modelled himself on Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter, the serial killer in the book and film The Silence of the Lambs - nicknamed himself the Panther and the Outsider.

His one day of violence in Witham, Essex, ended in several injuries, including stab wounds to a woman hospital patient in a wheelchair. He was only thwarted because his intended victims fought him off, the court was told. Nigel Lithman, for Warman, told Mr Justice Henry: 'He is as physically weedy, pathetic and uncommunicative an individual as one could meet.'

He urged the judge to send Warby to a secure mental hospital for treatment. But the judge, sitting in London after an initial hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court in February, said that according to most medical opinion Warby was 'untreatable'. Taking the exceptional step of jailing Warby for life on three charges of wounding with intent, the judge ordered that he should serve at least eight years before there was any question of him applying for parole.

Warby, from Witham, admitted the wounding charges after the prosecution accepted his pleas of not guilty to attempted murder.

His counsel described him as an 'emotionally crippled and mentally scarred young man', who asked his father to accompany him to see The Silence of the Lambs because he did not want to go alone.

'Perhaps films such as The Silence of the Lambs play their part and must take some responsibility for the havoc they might cause in feeble-minded people,' Mr Lithman told the court.

Warby attacked a schoolboy with a hammer, but the boy got the better of him. Warby then set about a middle- aged man with a knife, but his victim got him in a head-lock and he fled.

After thrusting the knife at two youths in a car and wounding one of them, he threatened a woman pushing a pram and then went for a hospital worker wheeling a woman mental patient in a wheelchair. The helper tried to draw him away from his patient, but Warby ran back to the woman and stabbed her three times in the back.

He was eventually restrained by police with the help of the wounded youth from the car.

The judge said that, at the age of 15, Warby was expelled from school after a knife attack on a woman teacher, who fended off the blow with a book. At 16, he sent a letter and cassette tape to a teenage girl neighbour threatening to kill her.

At 17, he was jailed for robbery and spent seven years in a high security mental hospital. He was released, without supervision, by a mental health review tribunal in 1991, against the weight of medical advice. The tribunal said his psychopathic disorder was no longer serious enough to justify continued detention. On returning home, he spent his time watching violent videos and working out plans to become a mass murderer.

The court was told that police had searched Warby's room and found chains, padlocks, nails, masks and two belts, one with a garrotting knot in it. They seized videos and books like Serial Killers, Great Murder Cases and Murderous Women.

Warby told doctors that he felt he was justified in wreaking vengeance on the world because people regarded him as a nobody.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
Ministry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Richard Dawkins is known for his outspoken views
people
Life and Style
L’Auberge du pont de Collonges (AFP)
food + drinkFury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Arts and Entertainment
Bourne's New Adventures dance company worked with 27 young Londoners to devise a curtain-raiser staged before New Adventures' performance of Edward Scissorhands
theatreStar choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links