‘Why was deranged killer allowed in?’

Jonathan Limani
Jonathan Limani

THE devastated family of a restaurant manager who was decapitated by a crazed waiter have blamed a ‘catalogue of errors’ for his death.

On Monday, Jonathan Limani was jailed for at least 19 years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 32-year-old Chris Varian, of Stone.

Oxford Crown Court heard Limani hacked off Mr Varian’s head with a cheese knife at the Oxfordshire Hotel and Golf Club in Thame, where the pair worked.

Limani, an Albanian-Kosovan, had only been allowed into the UK three weeks before the vicious killing, on August 21, 2010.

Oxford Crown Court heard he had a five-year history of mental health problems, and had twice been sectioned in Sweden.

Mr Varian’s father, Nigel, said that a ‘catalogue of errors’ had led to Limani living in the UK, despite the fact that he had a five-year history of psychotic and violent behaviour.

“He had at least twice been sectioned in Sweden,” said Mr Varian in a statement made on behalf of the family.

“He had a criminal record in Switzerland and had been arrested numerous times in Sweden; the latest being just 30 days before he was offered the job in the UK.

“On this occasion he was arrested for assaulting another person and in addition for wrestling a gun from the arresting officer.

“And yet a Swedish employment agency recommended him for the position of waiter at The Oxfordshire Golf Club. How can this have happened?

“We are emotionally exhausted. We are still very angry.

“We hope that the government can take a serious look at this case and learn from it.

“It seems so easy for this sort of thing to happen again and again.”

Speaking on behalf of his wife Sue and Chris’ siblings, Roger and Katrina, Nigel Varian revealed the pain that his family had endured since the tragedy.

“Chris was killed in the most barbaric manner by a work colleague whilst doing his job,” he said.

“During all this we’ve been suffering daily torture from the visions of the horrible death this man inflicted on our son.

“Our pain is still raw. Our family and our lives will never been the same again.”

The court heard Limani looked transfixed as he sawed through Mr Varian’s neck because ‘the voice of God told him to do it to prevent the Devil infiltrating Heaven.’

The 34-year-old was sent to Broadmoor top security hospital for life and told that if he is ever released from the hospital he must immediately go to prison.

He ordered that the life sentence for manslaughter with diminished responsibility should carry a minimum tariff of 19 years.

The defendant, who appeared in court flanked by five nurses from Broadmoor Hospital, had taken the cheese knife from a cutlery drawer two floors from where he carried out the attack.

Initially, colleagues at the golf club thought Limani was trying to help Mr Varian after an accident.

Alan Blake, prosecuting, said: “There they saw the defendant kneeling on Mr Varian’s body and initially thought the defendant’s movements were him administering cardio resuscitation. It quickly became apparent the movements were caused by the defendant sawing through Mr Varian’s neck.”

Mr Blake said that in the words of one witness it “appeared as though he was transfixed.”

Emergency call takers asked porter Guy Hathaway-Pearce to return to the scene and see if Mr Varian was conscious and breathing.

As he arrived back in the loading bay he saw Limani cut off the victim’s head and he informed the person on the end of the phone that he was definitely dead.

During the call Limani can be heard saying: “I wanted to kill because he pick a fight.”

Officers found the defendant sitting a few feet away from the body with his face and clothing covered in blood.

The pathologist who conducted the post mortem examination said that to decapitate Mr Varian would have taken persistence from a determined individual.

Mr Varian also had injuries consistent with him putting up a fight, the court was told.

“There is little evidence of anything that could be described as a rational motive for such a savage killing,” said Mr Blake.

“There was some degree of tension (between these two) over where smoking breaks should be taken but that was about two days before.”

While at Broadmoor Hospital Limani was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and medics believe that he may also have an underlying personality disorder, which they had been unable to diagnose.

While being treated in the secure hospital Limani told medics that he believed there was a conspiracy by the devil to infiltrate heaven and he wrongly thought Mr Varian was part of that.

Limani said that the voice of God told him that to prevent the conspiracy he was required to kill his boss.

Interpol provided the court with a previous conviction for supplying heroin in Switzerland for which Limani served 12 months. Some of that time was on a ward for people with mental difficulties.

While in Sweden between 2004 and 2005 the court heard he had a number of stays in psychiatric hospitals and that was given medication.

Dr Mrigendra Das, who had looked after Limani in Broadmoor since August last year, described him as “extremely dangerous.”

Judge Anthony King said on sentencing Limani: “There is some evidence that you took offence to being reprimanded by him as it was his duty to do in the course of your employment.

“There is other evidence that you entered into some dillusional misbelief that he someway acted wrongly and that you were required by some of force to kill him.

Judge King branded the act “ violently brutal in the extreme.”

He said: “There was no provocation or known that triggered what you did.”