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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
'Vampire' trial hears of fantasy life
Allan Menzies
Allan Menzies had a number of psychiatric interviews
A murder accused obsessed with a vampire film had a vivid fantasy life but was not mentally ill, a court has heard.

Allan Menzies, 22, denies murdering Thomas McKendrick at Mr Menzies' home in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, on 11 December last year.

Consultant psychiatrist James Hendry said he had formed his conclusions during a series of interviews with Mr Menzies - both before and after he was accused of stabbing and battering Mr McKendrick to death.

But the doctor stopped short of accusing Mr Menzies of feigning mental illness in an attempt to avoid a murder charge.

Mr Menzies had offered a guilty plea to a charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but this was rejected by the Crown.

He has a very vivid fantasy life which is unusual but not evidence of mental illness
Dr James Hendry
Consultant psychiatrist
Mr McKendrick, 21, was found in a shallow grave in Faldhouse, West Lothian, on 18 January.

Dr Hendry, a consultant for 17 years, said he first met Mr Menzies after he took an overdose of tablets and was admitted to hospital in January this year.

Days later he interviewed him again at a police station in Livingston, West Lothian.

The High Court in Edinburgh has heard how the accused, who likes to be called Leon instead of Allan, told police he had drunk Thomas McKendrick's blood and eaten part of his head.

Mr Menzies told police he had been promised immortality in return for "souls" and later sent a letter from prison signed "vamp" in blood.

'Abnormal personality'

The court was told that he would lie for hours in a darkened room at his home and was obsessed with a vampire film "Queen of the Damned".

The jury heard how he told police he lashed out at Mr McKendrick last December because he insulted the film's main character, Akasha.

But Mr Menzies later denied attacking his friend and claimed he did not know what had happened to him.

Dr Hendry said Mr Menzies had an abnormal personality from childhood.

The former security guard had shown a fascination for Nazis and serial killers as well as vampires, the court was told.

"He has a very vivid fantasy life which is unusual but not evidence of mental illness," said Dr Hendry.

The trial continues.

Accused 'snapped' over film slur
02 Oct 03  |  Scotland
'Vampire' trial hears of letters
01 Oct 03  |  Scotland
'Vampire' claim at murder trial
29 Sep 03  |  Scotland

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