James Fairweather now: He will qualify for parole in 2042

James Fairweather was searching for his third victim when police apprehended him. Authorities found him in bushes near the spot he attacked his second victim, wearing latex gloves and carrying a knife. Fairweather was arrested for killing James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester. 

Fairweather was among the seventy people initially questioned by police following the murders. He offered an alibi, and police released him. 

For months, investigations yielded no results, and James might have gotten away with it. However, his craving for murder drove him to seek another victim, but before he could kill again, police apprehended him. 

James will qualify for parole in 2042, but it’s unlikely he’ll leave prison 

James Fairweather pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished capacity. Fairweather claimed that he was possessed by the devil and heard voices that drove him to murder. However, a psychiatrist cast doubt on his assertions. 

It took the jury nearly nine hours to find James guilty of double murder. Mr. Justice Spencer sentenced James to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 27 years. James Fairweather remains in prison and will qualify for parole in 2042. 

“Thereafter, it will be for the Parole Board to decide when, if ever, you should be released,” Mr. Spencer said. “If you are ever released, you will remain on license for the rest of your life.”

James appealed the sentence, terming it ‘excessive.’ The Court of Appeal sided with the trial judge and upheld the verdict. Lord Justice Treacy said:

“We are not persuaded it was manifestly excessive in an extremely serious case in which an experienced trial judge took much care over the process of sentencing.”

Fairweather displayed no emotion as the judge handed down the sentence. “I don’t care,” James mouthed as he blew kisses, waved, and grinned. “I don’t give a shit,” James mouthed to his parents. 

Though highly unlikely, James might secure release if he shows significant improvement in his mental state. Mr. Justice Spencer said that James had responded positively to medication:

“You have responded well to the treatment and medication you have received whilst in hospital on remand. It is too early to say how your emerging psychopathic personality disorder will develop.”

James’ murderous impulses were fueled by his obsession with Ted Bundy and Peter Sutcliffe 

Following a psychiatric evaluation, diagnosed James with autism and dyslexia. However, the Judge ruled that the above conditions didn’t absolve him of criminal responsibility for the murders. 

“You suffered from a mental disorder or mental disability which, although not affording you a defence of diminished responsibility, lowered your degree of culpability (slightly),” Mr. Justice Spencer said. “It would be an unfair and unjustified slur to suggest that autism predisposes someone to commit acts of violence.”

Mr. Justice Spencer pointed to James’ desire to emulate serial killers like Ted Bundy and Peter Sutcliffe as the source of his murderous impulses. “In committing these murders you were acting out your violent sadistic fantasies which had been fueled by an obsession with serial killers,” the Judge said. 

Like the Yorkshire ripper Peter Sutcliffe had done with one of his victims, Fairweather targeted James and Almanea’s eyes. “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,” Mr. Spencer added. 

James stabbed Attfield over 100 times and Nahid 16 times. Judge Spencer ruled that he enjoyed the stabbings and didn’t commit them over a fit of rage as he claimed. 

The word ‘sadistic’ dominated Mr. Justice Spencer’s ruling, a testament to the depravity demonstrated by James Fairweather. 

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