Scientist dubbed Britain’s worst stalker will remain in prison

By Flora Thompson, PA & Max Channon

A scientist dubbed “Britain’s worst stalker” by police will stay behind bars for longer after the Parole Board refused to release him.

Richard Jan was jailed for life in 2004 for two offences of arson with intent to endanger life and causing a public nuisance between 1996 and 2003 after targeting 200 victims.

He was branded a “devious and manipulative bully” after carrying out what he called World War Three against health officials, solicitors and others he believed were part of a “grand coalition” to try to section him under the Mental Health Act.

His court case heard his “cunning and remorseless obsession” had ruined people’s lives and that psychiatrists could find no evidence of mental illness.

Jan fire-bombed the home of a councillor and torched the car of a social worker.

Some victims were subjected to the biochemist’s “trademark” car tyre slashings and round-the-clock phone calls while others were followed home, sent unwanted pizzas, taxis and even a pest control officer.

In total Jan was linked to 4,500 “crank calls”, a figure which detectives dismissed as “the tip of the iceberg”.

At the time police said there had never before been a case like it and Jan was “undoubtedly Britain’s worst stalker”.

It was determined that he represented a “serious danger to the public for an indefinite and indeterminate time”.

In a ruling published on Monday, the Parole Board said it was “not satisfied that Mr Jan was suitable (for) release” after hearing evidence that he had threatened some staff while in custody and had made “mixed progress” behind bars.

The parole papers said: “Whilst on the whole, Mr Jan had good working relationships with professional staff, there had also been some recent concerns about his behaviour in prison.

“This had included making threats towards some of the officials involved with his case.”

Jan has already spent an extra 11 years in prison so far in addition to his minimum seven-year term.

This was his fifth review by the Parole Board and he will be eligible for another parole review in about two years’ time.

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