Son admits killing his parents

A son has admitted stabbing his parents to death.

William Warrington, 42, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his father Clive, 67, and mother Valerie, 73, by reason of diminished responsibility.

Warrington, from St George’s Street, Cheltenham had denied charges of murder but admitted killing his parents during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court.

Anna Vigars KC, prosecuting, told High Court judge Mrs Justice Eady the pleas were acceptable to the Crown.

Warrington’s parents, who were divorced, were found at two separate addresses in Gloucestershire on the morning of March 2 this year.

Mr Warrington was found dead at a property in Sherborne Place, Cheltenham, after reports of a serious assault at around 6.25am.

A short while later, his ex-wife was found at an address in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, about 15 miles from Cheltenham.

Since the killing Warrington, of St George’s Street, Cheltenham has been detained at Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric facility.

The court heard Warrington had been detained under the Mental Health Act after being arrested on February 17 this year when he attacked his housemate with a knife.

He was taken to the Wotton Lawn psychiatric unit in Gloucester.

On the afternoon of March 1, Warrington left Wotton Lawn on escorted leave and went to a nearby petrol station where he bought shampoo and got £100 cash back before returning.

Later that evening, Warrington was granted unescorted leave from the ward to the courtyard at Wotton Lawn.

He went into the courtyard and is then captured on CCTV leaving the unit through the reception front door.

By midnight staff discovered Warrington had disappeared and was he reported missing to the police.

Meanwhile, Warrington had been picked up at 9.45pm in taxi from Wotton Lawn and driven to Bourton-on-the-Water, which he had booked that morning in the name of “Peter”.

William Warrington court case
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of William Warrington (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

During the journey he asked the driver to stop at a garage and buy him a small bottle of brandy and two cans of Red Bull.

They then stopped and bought another bottle of brandy.

The court heard Warrington got the taxi driver to drop him about five miles from his mother’s home.

“He broke into the house and he killed his mother,” Mrs Vigars said.

“He has given different accounts and having killed Valerie Warrington he fell asleep in the house before leaving in the car and driving over her body on the lawn.”

When he awoke, he drove his mother’s car to Cheltenham and bought a bottle of wine before parking near his father’s home in Sherborne Place.

Neighbours were woken to hear loud banging noises coming from Mr Warrington’s flat and called police.

“They heard Clive Warrington shouting, pleading for help and asking, ‘Why are you doing this?’,” Mrs Vigars said.

“While they were making the call they heard the other man calling Clive Warrington a ‘c***’ and saying, ‘I am really going to enjoy this’.”

Police arrived at Mr Warrington’s home and found his body covered in blood.

“While the neighbours stood outside, William Warrington emerged with blood splattered over him and he was arrested a short time later walking along a road,” the prosecutor said.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Warrington had suffered knife wounds to his head, face and eyes and his throat had been cut.

Mrs Warrington also had injuries to her eyes, her throat had been cut and she had been run over by a car.

There had been a history of aggression from Warrington towards his parents, with him sending them threatening and abusive emails accusing them of ruining his life, the court heard.

Mrs Justice Eady asked whether the police were aware of the threats Warrington had made against his family when they received the missing person report from Wotton Lawn.

Referring to the police log, Mrs Vigars replied: “From what it says on this document there is no indication that there was a particular danger to anybody posed by Mr Warrington.”

In 2018 Warrington, a heavy cannabis user, was arrested on suspicion of harassment, the court heard.

No details of the offence were outlined but the following year he was handed a restraining order against supermodel Kate Moss.

Ray Tully KC, defending, said psychiatrists agreed Warrington was a paranoid schizophrenic and had been suffering from “persecutory and delusional ideas” and “thought disorder” since 2016.

“In November 2021 Mr Warrington’s mother contacts the mental health services registering her concerns about his mental health condition,” he said.

“He is receiving information about what he should do and signs coming to him from the radio, TV and media.”

Mr Tully said psychiatric reports said Warrington posed a “great risk to others” and should continue to be treated at Broadmoor.

“He has suggested he was instructed to carry out the extra-judicial killings of his parents and that was what motivated his actions,” he said.

“It is clearly a tragedy for all concerned that there had been a brutal and grotesque killing of both of his parents.

“His family will have to live with that for the rest of his lives. He will too as he gets better and he has sufficient insight to realise the grotesque of what he did for which he bears some responsibility.”