Born on August 5, 1998, to Anita and James Fairweather. The family lived together in Colchester, Essex. He had a loving family and a normal home life. A school report taken when he was 6 years old described him to be “well behave and sensitive to the needs of others.” In high school, his behavior took a turn for the worse.
Fairweather bullied others out of fear he would be bullied himself. Classmates reported he got into trouble often and took the blame for others’ bad behavior. A teacher once reported him for going through her bag to rip up a report, which cited his behavior. Reports showed bullies bother Fairweatherfor having big ears. The would refer to him as “Dumbo”. Classmates would recall him saying his career aspirations were to become a murderer. Fairweather had also lost his grandmother, who he was close wit; it is believed to have added to his rage. Fairweather had a prior arrest for a knife point robbery that took place in a store. He was sentenced to youth supervision 3 days before committing his first murder.
On March 29, 2014, James Fairweather, who was 15 at the time, had snuck out of his parent’s home, wearing gloves, armed with a knife, looking for someone to kill. He had come across James Attfield, 33, who had been sleeping in a field after a long night drinking. According to court documents, Fairweather stabbed Attfield in the abdomen 5 or 6 times and continued to stab him in his head and face. Believing someone was coming, he ran and arrived home at 2:30 A.M. Attfield wasn’t found for hours and arrived at the emergency room at 5:45 A.M. He was pronounced dead at 6:31 A.M. The autopsy report would show 102 stab wounds.
Fairweather would strike again on June 17, 2014. He snuck up behind Nahid Almanea, 31, who was walking to college at 10:30 A.M. and stabbed her in the back with a bayonet knife. Fairweather spun Almanea, knocked off her sunglasses, and stabbed her in each eye. Almanea would fall to the floor, court documents showed resulted in a skull fracture. He would continue to stab her 9 times, one of which cracked a rib. Almanea was a Muslim and was dressed in traditional clothing when she was attacked. After the murder, the community believed it to be a hate crime. This caused fear and panic within the community.
On May 16, 2015, a woman called the police because when she saw a suspicious person hiding in a bush around the area Almanea’s attack took place. When police searched the individual, later identified as Fairweather, he was wearing gloves and had a lock knife in his pocket. Police did not realize Fairweather was the murderer they have been looking for over a year, when they arrested him for the knife he had.
Upon speaking to Fairweather he had openly admitted that he was the one that had committed the two unsolved slashings. He went on to describe in detail what he had done. Fairweather would tell police how he came across Attfield sleeping and voices told him to kill him. He went on to explain how he tried to stab him in the side of the head but missed and stabbed him in the eye. When he stabbed him, Fairweather explained, “He screamed loudly, the sort of scream that goes right through you.” He also stated, “When I was doing that, my voices were laughing and laughing louder and louder. Fairweather told police both murder weapons had been thrown in a river.
He would also tell police how he wanted to rape the girls and hurt the boys that made fun of him in school. A knife and latex gloves were found in his school blazer, leaving speculation that he may intended on killing a classmate. Fairweather had expressed his desire to become a serial killer to police. He had also said during an interview he could not be trusted around young children. Fairweather was arrested and charged with both murders.
Fairweather had entered a plea of not criminally responsible, due to the fact Fairweather believed the devil possessed him and told him he had to kill. The courts rejected this claim. He would change his plea to manslaughter for both charges. His defense was he was not fully to blame due to the voices he heard in his head. A psychological evaluation resulted in Fairwather being diagnosed as autistic, but his claims of hearing voices was not substantiated. It took the jury 8 hours and 33 minutes to find him guilty on both counts of murders. Fairwether received a minimum of 27 years before the possibility of parole.