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Hospital order for Joker-obsessed knifeman who stabbed gym customer
5:23pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
A BODYBUILDER obsessed with the Joker character from the Batman film has been made subject to an indeterminate hospital order after admitting carrying out an unprovoked axe attack on a stranger in a public gym.
Former chef Dale Pipe asked "Why so serious?" - the phrase uttered by Heath Ledger's character in The Dark Knight - immediately after attacking a fellow leisure centre user.
The deranged 20-year-old had armed himself with an axe, kitchen and craft knives, before targeting a 22-year-old man at Belle Vue Leisure Centre in Consett, in January.
The victim, who was using a urinal when he was attacked, suffered 16 wounds to the head, neck and chest.
Pipe was overpowered by leisure centre staff, who bundled him into a changing room toilet and called police.
Meanwhile, Pipe, barricaded inside the toilet, used his mobile phone to post the chilling words "Why So Serious! ! !
Hahahahaha" on his Facebook page in a macabre reference to the maniac Joker.
At Newcastle Crown Court today Pipe, 21, of Thornfield Road, Consett, County Durham, was made subject to a Hospital Order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of attempted murder and three counts of possessing an offensive weapon.
Gerry Sydenham, head of the Crown Court Unit at CPS North East, said: “When Dale Pipe walked into the Belle Vue Leisure Centre, it was his intent to take the life of another person, whoever that might happen to be.
“Pipe was prevented from doing this by the brave intervention of leisure centre staff, whose selfless actions enabled the heavily injured victim to make his escape.
“For his victim, Pipe’s random act of violence caused multiple life-threatening injuries, from which he continues to recover.
"It is troubling to think how the outcome may have been significantly graver, had the staff not managed to contain Pipe in the changing rooms until police arrived at the scene.
“I would hope that today’s order provides some measure of closure, both for the victim and for those others unfortunate enough to have witnessed Pipe’s violent actions.”