A paranoid schizophrenic obsessed with Batman's arch nemesis the Joker will be detained indefinitely after attempting to murder a stranger at a leisure centre.
Dale Pipe, 21, who had armed himself with 10 knives and an axe, savagely attacked 22-year-old Joshua Henley as he used a urinal in a gym.
After lurking for an hour in the male changing rooms of Belle Vue Leisure Centre in Consett, County Durham, Pipe approached Mr Henley from behind and began to stab him in the back.
The ferocious assault continued until staff at the centre were alerted by screams from the victim.
Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said: "While he was in the male changing rooms he was attacked from behind by the defendant who was armed with a knife.
"When standing at the urinal he was unaware that he was being stabbed until he could turn and face the attacker.
"He thought that the blows to his neck and back were hard punches. On realising he was being stabbed, he fought for his life in a way that the crown cannot do justice to."
Mr Henley was eventually able to escape, after staff intervened, and it was then that Pipe introduced himself as the Joker.
He was then seen posing topless in front of a mirror holding various knives and washing the blood from his hands as well as posting a message on Facebook that read: "Ha ha ha why so serious?", a line from the Dark Knight film.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the police later recovered a range of knives, an axe, syringes, steroids, duct tape and a balaclava from his bag.
There was also a notebook in which there was written :"On the 16th I will kill someone."
After being arrested he made it clear to the police that if he had been successful in killing his first victim, he would then have moved on to others, too.
Pipe, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder and possessing offences weapons, has also since attempted to mutilate his own face, like that of the Joker, as he said voices in his head were telling him to do so.
After the attack Mr Henley was taken by air ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he underwent a six-hour surgical procedure.
In total he suffered 16 wounds, with the court hearing any one of them could have been enough to have killed him.
Sentencing Pipe to an indefinite hospital order, Judge James Goss described him as a very dangerous young man and in need of long-term treatment.
"The terrifying and ferocious nature of the attack was described in the victim statement that was made," he said.
"Physically and emotionally his life has been shattered.
"But for his own bravery, strength and good fortune he would not have survived the attack. He remains compromised by the attack and is understandably very angry."
Pipe will reside at Rampton Secure Hospital, where he will receive medical treatment for his condition.
Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Henley said: "On January 28 2013 my life changed significantly as a direct result of the actions of Dale Pipe.
"I have had to wait some time for the sentencing hearing and I am relieved that the judge has seen fit to impose a sentence that will ensure Dale Pipe will not be a risk to anyone else in the future."