A mentally ill man who poisoned his parents’ apple strudel and planned to kill them with a crossbow has been indefinitely detained.
Richard Hignett, of Wootton, Bedfordshire, planned to kill his parents James and Stephanie and himself in March last year.
Luton Crown Court heard the 32-year-old was suffering with paranoid schizophrenia at the time and had researched ways to kill his parents on the internet.
Hignett laced the strudel and his parents’ hot drinks with a potentially lethal dose of a muscle relaxant but his father regained consciousness about 24 hours later and called the police.
Neil King, prosecuting, said: ‘In early February (2017) the defendant’s mind turned and he was starting to search on the Internet ‘how to murder someone quietly’ and ‘familial homicide.’
He bought a crossbow and had the drugs sent to him from Portugal, the BBC reported.
Mr King said: ‘They received extremely large doses.
‘The crown say in some circumstances the doses could have been fatal.’
Defending Hignett Marion Smullen said he ‘suffered dreadful delusions.’
He is now in Brockfield House, a medium secure mental health unit in Essex.
Detaining him indefinitely, Judge Michael Kay QC said: ‘His parents have written to the court to say that they forgive him and that he had terrible mental problems.’