(b. 1987- ), was the murderer and former friend of 14
year old Stefan Pakeerah in Leicester, England.
The murder took place in February
2004. It was said that he had killed Stefan by stabbing
him with a claw hammer, a method of execution identical
to that shown in the video game Manhunt.
Stefan's mother Giselle Pakeerah
claimed that Leblanc had been 'obsessed' with the game,
after Leblanc pleaded guilty in court. However, Leblanc
was not found to be in possession of the game, although,
despite it having an 18+ rating, a copy of the game was
found in Stefan's room.
The police denied any such link
between the game and the murder however, citing drug-related
robbery as the motive. The presiding judge also placed
sole responsibility with Leblanc in his summing up after
sentencing him to a life sentence.
Game blamed for hammer murder
Thursday, 29 July, 2004
The parents of a boy who was murdered with a claw
hammer by a friend have blamed a violent video game which the teenage
killer was "obsessed" with.
Warren Leblanc, 17, repeatedly stabbed 14-year-old
Stefan Pakeerah after luring him to a Leicester park to steal from him
on 27 February.
He pleaded guilty to murder at Leicester Crown Court
Stefan's mother described Leblanc, who confessed to
police moments after the assault, as "inherently evil".
Video game 'obsession'
Stefan's mother, Giselle, a research nurse, had to
leave court when the evidence in the case became too harrowing.
Following the hearing she said her son's killer had
mimicked a game called Manhunt, developed by Edinburgh-based Rockstar
North, in which the players score points for violent killings.
Manhunt was banned six months ago in New Zealand by
Mrs Pakeerah said: "I heard some of Warren's friends
say that he was obsessed by this game.
"To quote from the website that promotes it, it calls
it a psychological experience, not a game, and it encourages brutal
"If he was obsessed by it, it could well be that the
boundaries for him became quite hazy."
Mrs Pakeerah, 36, called for violent video games to
Covered in blood
She said: "I can't believe that this sort of material
is allowed in a society where anarchy is not that far removed.
"It should not be available and it should not be
available to young people."
Leblanc, of Braunstone Frith, Leicester, persuaded
his victim to go to nearby Stoke Woods Park, known locally as The Dumps
- to meet two girls.
The court heard how he armed himself with a knife and
claw hammer to carry out the attack.
He confessed to the killing moments later when he was
found covered in blood by two police officers.
Outside court Stefan's father, Patrick, said: "They
were playing a game called Manhunt.
"The way Warren committed the murder is how the game
is set out - killing people using weapons like hammers and knives.
"There is some connection between the game and what
he has done."
Echoing his former partner, the civil servant said:
"I don't play these games but if they are influencing kids to go out and
kill people then you don't want them on the shelves."
When police discovered Stefan, they found he had
sustained horrific and fatal injuries.
The boy had been hit so hard with the hammer he had
suffered deep cuts to his head and neck. His head had been fractured in
He had multiple stab wounds, with the knife being
plunged so deep that it had caused serious injuries to his kidney and
A spokesman for the Entertainment and Leisure
Software Publishers' Association said: "We sympathise enormously with
the family and parents of Stefan Pakeerah.
"However, we reject any suggestion or association
between the tragic events and the sale of the video game Manhunt.
"The game in question is classified 18 by the British
Board of Film Classification and therefore should not be in the
possession of a juvenile.
"Simply being in someone's possession does not and
should not lead to the conclusion that a game is responsible for these
Judge Michael Stokes QC said Leblanc had carried out
"a brutal, cold-blooded murder" and could expect a life sentence.
Police reject game link to murder
Thursday, 5 August, 2004
Detectives investigating the murder of a 14-year-old
boy in a Leicester park have rejected any link with a violent computer
Stefan Pakeerah was beaten and stabbed to death by
Warren Leblanc, 17, but the motive, say police, was robbery.
Leicestershire police have confirmed a copy of the
game was found, but in Stefan's' bedroom and not with Leblanc.
Stefan's parents blamed the game, which was withdrawn
by some high street retailers, following the court case.
A Leicestershire constabulary spokesperson said: "Police
investigations did not uncover any connections to the computer game.
"The motive for the incident was robbery."
They added: "We can confirm the game was not found in
Warren Leblanc's room, it was found in Stefan Pakeerah's room."
In the wake of Leblanc's guilty plea, several stores
withdrew Manhunt from sale.
But sales at HMV, which has continued to sell the
game, have reportedly risen.
Stefan's mother, Giselle, who called for violent
computer games to be banned, claimed her son only had the game because
it had been lent to him by Leblanc.
"Warren Leblanc gave Stefan the game just two days
before he killed him," she said.
"Leblanc is responsible for what Leblanc did and what
he did was horrible."
Mrs Pakeerah added: "He liked violent films and games
and particularly liked Manhunt.
"There are obvious similarities between the game and
how Stefan died."
For its part, the Entertainment and Leisure Software
Publishers' Association (Elspa), the industry body for the video game
industry, has written to Home Secretary David Blunkett about the media
coverage of the case.
"We have been very concerned recently about the
misleading and disingenuous reporting about the effects of playing
interactive games software," said Elspa.
"As you will know, despite many research projects
into the effects of screen violence, some of which have been undertaken
by eminent academics in their field, no link with violent behaviour has
Elspa said its members took their responsibilities
extremely seriously and that they conformed with both the letter and
spirit of the law and the strict Codes of Practice.
Teenage murderer gets life term
Friday, 3 September, 2004
A youth who stabbed and battered a boy of 14 to
death has been jailed for life.
Warren Leblanc, 17, admitted the murder of Stefan
Pakeerah in a Leicester park in February.
On Friday, Judge Michael Stokes at Leicester Crown
Court said Leblanc should serve a minimum of 13 years.
Stefan's parents believed Leblanc was obsessed with a
violent computer game called Manhunt, but police insisted the motive was
Leblanc lured his
younger victim to an area known as The Dumps in Stokes Wood Park before
attacking him, on 26 February.
The victim was left with at least 50 separate
injuries to his body caused by his attacker, the court was told.
Stefan's mother, Giselle, left court as the details
of her son's murder were read out.
Roderick Price QC, defending, said Leblanc had been
motivated by fear of a gang to whom he owed a small amount of money.
He said at first the 17-year-old had only intended to
overpower the young boy and use the hammer to stun him.
Judge Stokes, sentencing Leblanc, said: "You have
committed a truly appalling crime.
"You have taken the life of a 14-year-old boy in a
most brutal fashion.
"I do not pretend to know or understand what prompted
you to behave as you did.
"One thing is clear; you and you alone were
responsible for this prolonged, vicious and murderous attack on someone
who thought of you as a friend."
14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah, the victim