Son detained for stabbing parents to death after fleeing mental health unit

A mentally ill man who was accused of harassing supermodel Kate Moss has been detained indefinitely for killing his divorced parents after absconding from a psychiatric unit.

William Warrington, 42, stabbed father Clive, 67, and mother Valerie, 73, hours apart at their homes on March 2.

Warrington was made the subject of a hospital order without limit of time under Sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act after admitting the manslaughter of his parents by reason of diminished responsibility.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Eady said: “Your plea relates to the killing on March 2 of your mother, Valerie Warrington, and your father, Clive Warrington.

Valerie and Clive Warrington
Valerie and Clive Warrington were killed by their son William (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

“It now falls to me to sentence you.

“In doing so I can’t achieve the outcome that your family most desires – to turn the clock back to prevent the tragedy that happened on March 2.”

Bristol Crown Court heard that Warrington had left the Wotton Lawn unit in Gloucester and caught a taxi to his mother’s home in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

He broke in and attacked her with her knife, causing injuries to her eyes and cutting her throat, before leaving her body on the lawn and running her over with her car.

He then drove to his father’s home in Cheltenham and killed him with a knife.

Warrington, of St George’s Street, Cheltenham, had denied two counts of murder but admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

The heavy user of cannabis and cocaine held long-term grudges against his parents.

In one message, he called his mother a “f****** slave driving c***” and said “this is going to end badly, really badly. I’m gonna f****** take it down, you f****** bitch…”.

Warrington decided to kill his parents after believing he had been sent messages from the government, the secret services and Vladimir Putin.

He had been voluntarily detained at Wotton Lawn after being arrested for attacking a housemate.

William Warrington killed his parents after leaving the Wotton Lawn psychiatric unit in Gloucester (Claire Hayhurst/PA)
William Warrington killed his parents after leaving the Wotton Lawn psychiatric unit in Gloucester (Claire Hayhurst/PA)

Unknown to staff, on the evening of March 1 he left the unit and got into a taxi he had booked that morning and went to Bourton-on-the-Water. He was reported missing shortly before midnight.

Warrington broke into his mother’s home and attacked her as she slept – gouging her eyes with his fingers, dragging her body outside to the lawn and running her over with her car, before finally cutting her throat.

He then drove to his father’s home where neighbours were woken by shouting and called police.

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

“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 and his son was arrested a short time later.

Warrington later told police he had killed his parents because he “had a job to do” and had been instructed by “the team”.

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

Mrs Warrington also had injuries to her eyes, her head had been punched, kicked or stamped on, her throat had been cut and she had been run over by a car.

Her son told a healthcare worker he had kicked his mother in the head to “make sure she was dead”.

In her sentencing remarks, Mrs Justice Eady said that after Warrington was detained at Wotton Lawn, his family again raised their concerns about him – sending 11 emails.

“These included a message sent by your mother on March 1, in which she stated, ‘I am afraid for the safety of myself, my other children and any others he comes into contact with’.

“I have not heard from those with responsibility for you at Wotton Lawn, and can make no findings as to the adequacy of the arrangements there.

“What is clear, however, is that the events that unfolded on March 1 and 2 raise very serious questions for those involved, particularly given the concerns that had been communicated by your family.

“When you failed to return to the ward at midnight, staff reported you to the police as missing. It does not appear that particular reference was made to the concerns your family had raised and, without making any final findings on this question, it must be a matter of considerable regret that, as it appears, no attempt was made at that stage to contact any member of your family.

“Your family has provided a statement that movingly testifies to the devastating effect this has had.

“They explain how your mental health declined over the years, describing how, ‘as William lost his mind, we lost our brother’.

“They further relate how, in the weeks prior to the killing of your parents, they had raised fears for their safety with the relevant authorities, only to have those fears confirmed in the most horrendous way.”

The court heard that Warrington was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of harassing supermodel Kate Moss after believing she was in telepathic communication with him. He was later handed a restraining order.

Ray Tully KC, defending, said psychiatrists agreed Warrington was a paranoid schizophrenia 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,” the KC said.

Mr Tully told the court the 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 extrajudicial 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 their lives. He will too as he gets better and he has sufficient insight to realise what he did, for which he bears some responsibility.”

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: “The deaths of Valerie and Clive Warrington at the hands of their son is a truly devastating and tragic incident.

“The awful and distressing circumstances and sequence of events that occurred that evening and the following morning is heart rending, and our thoughts remain with the family at this time as they struggle to come to terms with the loss, which they describe as immeasurable and indelible.”

A Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said: “The deaths of Clive and Valerie Warrington were both shocking and tragic and we continue to offer our sincere condolences to everyone affected.

“As well as supporting Gloucestershire Police with their inquiry, we are undertaking our own investigation.

“The outcome will be shared with NHS England and the Care Quality Commission who will further scrutinise this as per national requirements.”