[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
'Britain's worst stalker' jailed
Richard Jan
Jan thought there was a conspiracy to section him
A scientist dubbed "Britain's worst stalker" after pursuing 200 people over seven years has been jailed for life.

Richard Jan, 37, terrorised health officials, solicitors and others he believed were trying to section him under the Mental Health Act.

Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court heard he fire-bombed a house, slashed tyres and made crank calls over seven years.

Jan, of Streatham, south London, was convicted last month of two counts of arson and of causing a public nuisance.

Police felt that charge was best able to embrace all aspects of his seven-year campaign.

Judge Henry Blacksell told him: "You cunningly set out to unnerve and ruin people you thought had crossed you".

'The Fascist Horde'

Police found several items in a search of his home.

They included a loaded airgun and a document entitled "The Fascist Horde".

Its flow chart layout linked individuals and organisations and had entries like "terminated", "torpedoed" "obliterated", "bombed" and "disabled" next to the names of some of his victims.

You, who claimed your motive was to protect your own rights, completely ignored and abused the rights of others
Judge Henry Blacksell
The court heard Liz Brookes, a west London councillor, and her family were lucky to survive when Jan fire-bombed their home.

And social worker Shauna Bailey twice ended up in hospital after she was attacked near her front door late at night.

Many others had their car tyres slashed, were followed home or pestered with unwanted pizzas, taxis and in one case, a visit from a pest control officer, the court heard.

Jan was linked to 4,500 threatening or silent phone calls but police say that was just the "tip of the iceberg" and called him Britain's worst stalker.

'Devious, manipulative bully'

The judge said Jan's obsession began when his parents called in a mental health assessment team.

Jan then "declared war", embarking on a campaign which terrified his victims.

The judge said Jan was "devious, manipulative and a bully".

'The Fascist Horde' document
'The Fascist Horde' document listed victims names
But he added that a psychiatrist found no evidence of mental illness and said at most Jan might suffer from a personality disorder.

"Her Majesty's subjects need protection from you," the judge told Jan.

"You, who claimed your motive was to protect your own rights, completely ignored and abused the rights of others."

Some of his victims had left jobs and homes or changed their names - some testified from behind a glass screen during his trial.

Others are still suffering stress-related illnesses.

I think one of the really sad things about this case is that in seeking to ruin the lives of so many others, he has also wasted his own life
Victim Shauna Bailey
The judge added that because of the exceptional nature of the case, he was not going to set a minimum sentence and would leave that to the home secretary.

Outside court Det Ch Insp David Poole said: "There has never been a case like this before.

"He is undoubtedly Britain's worst stalker, a very dangerous individual who ... ruined lives.

"This man was remorseless and relentless in the way he inflicted terror on people."

Ms Bailey, whose car Jan set alight, said: "I'm relieved that this trial is over. I see the verdict as appropriate and the sentence as proportionate.

"I think one of the really sad things about this case is that in seeking to ruin the lives of so many others, he has also wasted his own life."




SEE ALSO:
NHS help for stalkers
19 Oct 01  |  England
Stalking studied by university
28 Jun 01  |  Scotland
Stalkers' register proposed
01 Aug 00  |  UK News



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific