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Peter Bryan Mug Shot
|Criminal penalty||Life Sentence|
Span of crimes
Bryan was born in London on 4 October 1969, the youngest of seven children of immigrant parents from Barbados. He attended Shaftesbury Junior School in Forest Gate, before attending Trinity Secondary School in Canning Town. He left school aged 14 or 15 and obtained employment at a clothes stall, later moving on to teach cooking lessons at his local soup kitchen.
In 1987 Peter Bryan lived in the Flying Angel, Custom House, East London. It was here that he attempted to throw another resident from his sixth floor window. There was a struggle and his intended victim escaped, leaving Bryan with a deep gash to the head. The initial attack by Bryan was totally unprovoked. The victim was questioned by the police about the gash on Bryan's head but no further action was taken by the police against the victim or Bryan. He was later sent to Rampton Secure Hospital in 1994 after admitting the unlawful killing of 21-year-old shop assistant Nisha Sheth, who was beaten to death with a hammer in 1993. By February 2001 the nursing staff thought he had made considerable progress in regard to his "behaviour, attitude, maturity, relationships, anger and insight." Bryan was transferred from Rampton in June 2001 to the John Howard Centre after a six-month trial leave project agreed by the Home Office. He was released into the care of a psychiatrist and social worker. After applying to a Mental Health Review Tribunal in 2002, he was moved to the Riverside Hostel in north London where he was allowed door keys and could come and go as he pleased. Psychiatrists and social workers were remarking that there had been a "continued improvement" in his behaviour. In October 2003 psychiatrists noted there had been "a continued improvement in his mental state" and talked of plans for a move to more independent accommodation. In November 2003 his mental health social worker wrote to the Home Office stating that matters had settled down and there were no further concerns. It was thought that he "did not present any major risks."
In January 2004 social workers applied for the transfer of Bryan to "low–support accommodation"; instead, Bryan was transferred to an open psychiatric ward at Newham General Hospital for his safety after allegations that he had indecently assaulted a 16-year-old girl close to the hostel. In February 2004 he walked out of the mental health unit in Newham, East London, and killed friend Brian Cherry. Police were called after neighbours heard screams, and weapons, including a hammer, were found strewn around the flat. When police caught up with him, he was cooking the dead man's brain in a frying pan.
Bryan was remanded to Broadmoor Hospital after appearing in court over Mr Cherry's death. Two months later, while on remand in Broadmoor, Bryan killed his third victim, fellow patient Richard Loudwell, aged 60. He battered him on the head and tied a ligature around his neck. Mr Loudwell died in hospital later that day. Bryan said that if he had not been interrupted he would have eaten Loudwell's flesh.
On 15 March 2005, Bryan pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two manslaughters on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Judge Giles Forrester said: "You killed on these last two occasions because it gave you a thrill and a feeling of power when you ate flesh."
Bryan, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is a self-confessed cannibal, was committed to Broadmoor Hospital for treatment.
- "Cannibal killed hospital inmate". BBC News. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Hazlett, Alexandra (3 September 2009). "Series of blunders frees schizophrenic cannibal Peter Bryan, who kills 2 more people". NY Daily News. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- "Killer cannibal 'was not watched'". BBC News. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- "Cannibal gets life for killings". BBC News. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2019.