33-year-old James Attfield and 31-year-old Saudi student Nahid Almanea were stabbed to death in Colchester, Essex, only three months apart. Approximately one year later, teenager James Fairweather was arrested for the murders. Fifteen years old at the time, Fairweather was in the midst of planning another murder. Described as “brutal and sadistic,” the knife murders displayed a level of violence which shocked investigating officers. James Attfield was stabbed more than a hundred times, near Colchester’s Castle Park in March 2014. Nahid Almanea was stabbed sixteen times, while walking along the town’s Salary Brook Trail. The knife murder was made all the more gruesome by Fairweather plunging the knife into his second victim’s eyes.
Victims: James Attfield and Nahid Almanea
Following a car accident in 2010, James Attfield suffered from a brain injury. The victim was also a father to five children. Media reports covering the attack described the wounds inflicted on Mr Attfield as “too gruesome to outline.” When found, he was covered in blood but still alive. Paramedics on the scene were unable to save his life, as he lay dying on the ground in the park. His second victim, Nahid Almanea was attacked as she made her way to lectures. Plunging a bayonet blade in her eyes, Fairweather unleashed a ferocious knife assault on the Saudi student, causing sixteen separate wounds.
Knife murderer: James Fairweather
Described in the media as “warped” and “sick,” Fairweather struggled at school with bullying and academic performance. Expressing a desire to become a murderer and threatening a Columbine-style school rampage, his untoward behaviour was shunned as hollow posturing. During interviews following his arrest, Fairweather described the murders in gruesome detail, with cold detachment and expressed intent to murder again. The jury at his trial rejected his plea of psychosis, returning a guilty verdict for two charges of murder. In April 2016, he was jailed for life, set to serve a minimum tariff of 27 years.