Waiter Sentenced For Decapitating Boss With A Cheese Knife

Christopher VarianChristopher Varian, a restaurant manager at a luxury hotel in southeast England, went out for a smoke break after overseeing a wedding. One of the waiters came outside, too, and assaulted him with a cheese knife, reports NewsCore, beheading him with it in front of horrified witnesses. A captain of the local police said it was one of the most violent crimes that he'd handled in his entire career. Some 18 months later, the waiter has received what could be a life sentence.

Jonathan Limani, 34, first claimed that he was innocent, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility. He has a history of paranoid schizophrenia.

Psychiatrist Michael Alcock told the court that Limani believed "that there was a conspiracy for the devil to inflict harm," and that Varian was "involved in this conspiracy." He believed this "wrongly," Alcock pointed out.

Witnesses pleaded for Limani to stop as he cut through Varian's neck, "as though transfixed, sawing," prosecutor Alan Blake said.

Judge Anthony King sentenced Limani to a minimum of 19 years, and ordered him to remain indefinitely in a high-security psychiatric hospital, until his mental health improves.

The Albanian-born Limani reportedly had been in the U.K. only three weeks, working at The Oxfordshire Golf Club in Thames. He'd successfully earned Swedish citizenship, which permitted him to work in other European Union member states.

Murdered"Chris didn't appear to have time to even cry out," said the victim's father, Nigel Varian, in a statement. He believes the killer's guilt has been clear all along. "Yet, we have been subjected to 20 months of endless abortive hearings and three trial postponements," his statement added. "During all this we have been suffering daily torture from the visions of the horrible death this man inflicted on our son."

Varian and his wife found out about their son's death as they were about to leave for their other son's wedding, reports the BBC. They own a bed-and-breakfast in France, which they're now trying to sell. "My heart's gone out of hospitality," his mother, Sue Varian, said.

The Varian family also believes "a catalogue of errors" permitted Limani's entry into Britain in the first place. Limani's mental illness had been known since 2005, and he had been hospitalized several times in Sweden. He also had a criminal record in Switzerland for dealing heroin.

According to police, Limani lied about his previous conviction and was recommended to work in the U.K. through a Swedish employment agency.

"How can this have happened?" Varian's father asked.


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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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generalsn

Another victim of the smoking ban.

April 19 2012 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian.mclarry

People stood around and requested that he stop killing the man? Armed with a butter knife? How utterly British. I can just imagine "Please good sir, if it isn't too much trouble, could you please stop killing this gentleman?". How about physically intervening?

April 11 2012 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dammitdrag@gmail.com

How ironic this was posted under AOL Jobs, Guess they are looking for a new waiter AND a new boss.

March 26 2012 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CJ

Why are there long drawn out trials in cases like this? Mentally ill or not cases like this should be tried swift and brutally like the victims are treated. He should be put to death within a month of being arrested.

March 26 2012 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose Luis Herrera

that is one of the most horrific stories ive read about.......the witnesses must have been horrified not to intervene......the killer must be executed or at least life without parole.....hmmmm.......mental illness and selling herion......i think he was just a herion junkie whacked out on the stuff.....just an excuse to kill someone...mental illness my culo....

March 24 2012 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mxx1man

You people are rude. think of the families

March 24 2012 at 7:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shelly

What does a cheese knife look like?

March 22 2012 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron

I like how this is under AOL JOBS. So you're saying there are 2 positions open now?

March 22 2012 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nh3man

That upsets me.....cutting meat with a cheese knife! How gauche!

March 22 2012 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Torri

This is horrible!!!

March 22 2012 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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