Essex one of the top ten places in the country for calls to the RSPCA about organised dog fighting.
Colchester Murder Trial Hears "Voices" Told Boy To Kill
The trial of a teenager charged with murdering two people in Colchester has been told he claims "voices" told him to "sacrifice people".
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility following the killings of James Attfield, 33, and Nahid Almanea, 31, and is on trial for their murders.
Guildford Crown Court was told that material found on the boy's phone included "five horrific serial killers who are free right now'', detail on serial killers, as well as a photograph of Yorkshire Ripper Sutcliffe.
Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the boy was 15 at the time of the killings, adding: "There is no dispute that he killed those two people.''
He added: "You will hear that the defendant gave accounts of experiencing auditory and visionary hallucinations that compelled him to carry out the killings.''
Mr Bennetts told the jury the defendant's claims of experiencing such hallucinations have been deemed to be of "doubtful authenticity'' by an expert, adding that the claims are part of the defendant's attempts to "deceive''.
The jury heard that that the boy, who is in a hospital, admitted stabbing Mr Attfield 102 times in Colchester on March 29 2014.
Mr Attfield was found fighting for his life in the town's Castle Park in the early hours of the morning. He died a short time later.
Mr Bennetts said one of the injuries suffered by the victim was a stab wound to the left eye, which he said a pathologist described as being ``uncommon''.
Three months later, the boy knifed Saudi student Ms Almanea along the Salary Brook Trail on the morning of June 17 2014.
The teenager, from Colchester, was arrested after being found with a lock knife on May 26 last year.
He has since pleaded guilty to having that weapon.
Mr Bennetts said that when the boy was being assessed over his fitness to be detained and interviewed, he said: "I have been hearing voices which have told me to murder people and I've murdered two people.''
The prosecutor went on to say that the boy said he murdered Mr Attfield and Ms Almanea, and that voices had told him to ``sacrifice people''.
Mr Bennetts told the jury that the boy said: "I was sitting in the living room when my parents were fast asleep in bed and I heard these voices saying you need to make a sacrifice and if you don't do it we're coming to get you.''
The jury heard the boy had looked up a news report about Kenneth Erskine, who killed seven pensioners.
It was argued that Erskine, dubbed the Stockwell Strangler, should have his convictions reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
DVDs found at the boy's premises included Wrong Turn: The Carnage Collection, the prosecutor said, adding the description that ``killers sometimes lurk in bushes waiting to ambush their victims''.
The jury was also told that a DVD about Sutcliffe was found.
Mr Bennetts said the boy pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis that at the time of the killings his responsibility was diminished.
He added: "The prosecution do not accept that it was.''
On the day he was arrested, the boy was seen "acting suspiciously'' and told police he was experiencing "depression'' that day.
The boy denies murder and the trial continues.
Essex's Police and Crime Commissioner is launching a new initiative to prevent youngsters being exploited by gangs.
Abellio selling 40% of the Greater Anglia rail franchise.
An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Leonne Weeks, 16, who was found dead on a path in Rotherham.
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