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
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'