Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Christopher Sims' Hampshire attacks 'mirrored his book'

A man attacked four people with weapons mirroring pages from a violent novel he was writing, a court heard.

Christopher Sims, 40, shot dead Clare and Graeme Francis' dog at their home in Longparish, Hampshire and attacked them in several motiveless attacks.

Winchester Crown Court heard he used Google Earth to familiarise himself with their home before the attacks.

Sims, of Andover, admitted charges including harassment and grievous bodily harm.

The court heard the defendant also clubbed a 74-year-old man from Aldershot with a lump hammer and attacked a 22-year-old man near Hook on two separate occasions.

'Living hell'

The behaviour of Sims, who is described as having a personality disorder and is being treated at Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire, was described by his own defence barrister as "strange, unusual and very worrying".

Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw told the court Mrs Francis, 60, and her 62-year-old husband, called the 16-month ordeal which started in December 2010 a "living hell", which has left them afraid to walk alone and on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets.

The novel, found by police on a computer after Sims was arrested, was said to bear "striking similarities" to what had happened to the victims, Mr Shaw explained.

The book also had passages about the kidnap and murder of people but the prosecutor said Sims had been arrested before anything worse had happened.

Mr Shaw said the novel and its contents also "all appeared to correlate to the disintegration of his own life".

The court heard he had lost his job as an engineer at BT, then he had failed in a solar panel business which had led to the home he shared with his wife in Andover being repossessed.

Sims had then become fixated on the idea that a barrister had cheated him out of money linked to the solar business and his erratic behaviour included boasts that he was in contact with high-profile police officers and MI5 about the issue.

Sims pleaded guilty to the harassment of Mr and Mrs Francis and the grievous bodily harm (GBH) of Mr Francis.

He also admitted to two charges of GBH, one of attempted GBH and the theft of a car, all relating to offences which occurred between December 2010 and March last year.

He is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

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