Irish Examiner, Aug. 28, 2002
A teenager obsessed with vampires who killed an elderly neighbour and drank her blood is to appeal against his murder conviction.
Mathew Hardman was jailed for life earlier this month after being found guilty of killing 90-year-old widow Mabel Leyshon at her home in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, north Wales.
A jury at Mold Crown Court heard how 17-year-old Hardman broke into Mrs Leyshon’s home last November before stabbing her to death, cutting out her heart and drinking her blood.
The art student was obsessed with vampires and believed he could become one by blood rituals.
His solicitor Michael Strain today said Hardman, who is detained at a young offenders’ institution in Doncaster, is appealing against conviction.
He said: “Mr Hardman and his family were obviously very disappointed at the outcome of the trial and we have been looking at the possibilities of mounting an appeal for the past three weeks.
“We believe there are grounds for appeal and papers will be lodged with the Appeal Court before Friday.”
Mr Strain refused to reveal the grounds on which the appeal would be fought but said it could be under way by next spring.
He said: “A single judge will now consider whether there are sufficient grounds for appeal. We are hopeful that a hearing will be held before Christmas.
“If the judge agrees, he will grant Mr Hardman legal aid and the matter will go to a full hearing in London.
“That hearing, if it goes ahead, could be held next spring.”
Hardman, who showed no signs of mental illness during psychological tests, has always denied any involvement in the murder.