From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Graham Frederick Young (7 September 1947 – 1 August 1990), best known as the Teacup Poisoner and later the St Albans Poisoner, was an English serial killer who used poison to kill his victims.
Obsessed with poisons from an early age, Young began poisoning relatives and school friends by lacing their food and drink with thallium and antimony. He was caught when his schoolteacher became concerned by his interest in poisons and contacted the police. In 1962, at the age of 14, Young was charged with administering poison to his father, sister and schoolfriend and detained at Broadmoor Hospital. Young would later claim responsibility for the death of his stepmother, although he was never charged with this crime. The presiding judge stipulated that Young should not be released without the Home Secretary's authorization for 15 years.
In 1971, Young was deemed rehabilitated and released from Broadmoor. He found a job as a storekeeper at a factory in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, where his duties including making tea for his colleagues. Soon afterwards, Young began poisoning his workmates, resulting in two fatalities and several others left critically ill. The deaths were initially attributed to a mysterious bug, but Young's odd behaviour and his penchant for showing off his considerable knowledge of poisons aroused suspicions and he was arrested. Large quantities of poison were found in his bedsit along with a diary detailing his poisonings. In 1972, he was convicted on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served most of his sentence at HM Prison Parkhurst, where he died of a heart attack in 1990.
The Young case made headlines in Britain and led to a public debate over the release of mentally ill offenders. Within hours of his conviction, the British Government announced two inquiries into the issues it raised. The Butler Committee led to widespread reforms in mental health services. The outcry over the ease with which Young was able to obtain deadly poisons led to the passage of the 1972 Poisons Act. Young's life story inspired the 1995 film The Young Poisoner's Handbook.
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