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EDITIONS
Friday, 2 August, 2002, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Jury return in 'vampire' case
Murder victim Mabel Leyshon
Jurors in the case of a teenager accused of murdering a pensioner as part of a bizarre ritual continue considering their verdict on Friday.

The jury retired to deliberate evidence on Thursday afternoon, taking with them various exhibits including the alleged murder weapon and a number of photographs.

Widow Mabel Leyshon, 90, was stabbed to death at her home in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in north Wales in November 2001.

The bungalow where Mabel Leyshon was murdered
Forensic officers searched Mabel Leyshon's house

The 17-year-old defendent, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied having any involvement in the murder.

The prosecution had alleged the teenager was obsessed with vampires and the occult, and had told others he wanted to become immortal.

After her death, Mrs Leyshon's heart was cut out and put into a saucepan, and two fire-pokers were placed at her feet in the shape of a cross.

The judge, Mr Justice Richards, began his summing up on Wednesday, and told the jury they must decide the case on the evidence only.

'Obsession'

He said they would need to stand back from what they had heard during the trial and adopt a calm, careful and dispassionate approach in their deliberations.

In relation to the defendant's alleged "vampire obsession", Mr Justice Richards said that many young people had such interests.

He added that the jury must not allow their moral judgement of the reading matter to affect their judgements, however much they may dislike it.

Prosecutors at Mold Crown Court claim the teenager was obsessed with vampires and killed Mrs Leyshon in an attempt to gain immortality.

Flowers at murder scene
Mrs Leyshon's murder shocked villagers

They claimed he stabbed her 22 times as she sat in her chair watching television, after smashing his way inside by throwing a slate through the back door.

The court was told that DNA found at the murder scene matched that of blood found on a knife at the defendant's home.

While the jury heard how the defendant visited vampire websites and read a magazine which featured an article on how to conduct a black mass, the teenager denied being "obsessed".

He said his alleged fascination with vampires was no more than a "subtle interest".

Defence barrister Robin Spencer QC told the court there was a real risk that an innocent teenager could be wrongly convicted.

The case continues.

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BBC Wales' Wesley Dodd
"The defendant was described as pleasant and polite"
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