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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Nurse killer researched murderers
Cheryl Moss
Cheryl Moss was stabbed during a cigarette break
A teenager had been researching serial killers before he stabbed a nurse 72 times, the Old Bailey has heard.

Stuart Harling, 19, read up on killers such as Dennis Nilsen and Colin Ireland on the Wikipedia website.

Mr Harling ambushed Cheryl Moss, 33, as she took a break near woods behind St George's Hospital, Hornchurch, east London, in April 2006.

Mr Harling, 19, from Rainham, admits the killing but denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He said he became interested in the notorious murderers about two months before killing Mrs Moss but he denied prosecutor Brian Altman's suggestion that he wanted to be an infamous serial killer.

"I was just interested in reading about them," he told the court, on his second day of giving evidence.

I was kind of surprised when I heard it (that she had died). It does not really bother me
Stuart Harling

He also denied telling a prison officer that he killed the nurse because he was bored.

"I said if I were released, I might get bored and kill people," he said. "At no stage did I say I killed Cheryl Moss because I was bored."

During the hearing, Mr Harling said he thought Mrs Moss was still alive after the attack.

Asked what he felt when he learned of her death, Mr Harling said: "I was kind of surprised when I heard it. It does not really bother me.

"It does not mean anything."

But he denied a suggestion by prosecutor Brian Altman QC that his interest was because he wanted to be a famous serial killer.

Mr Altman suggested that Mr Harling wanted to emulate a British man jailed for life for killing four people.

'Personality disorder'

He said: "This may have been the beginning of what may have been a series of killings... you wanted to be another Daniel Gonzales?"

He said a doctor claimed Mr Harling dreamt of being a serial killer saying: "He seemed to want infamy but he did not want it after the first offence because he would be described as evil"."

Defence psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph said the defendant had either Asperger's syndrome, a developmental condition, or a personality disorder.

"The suggestion of him pretending to be mad is completely opposed to what he is trying to do - to appear to be a normal person," said Dr Joseph.

The trial continues.

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