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English gay man ‘killed in satanic ritual’

A 54-year-old man was stabbed in the heart, 22 times in the back, and hit with a hammer to his head

English gay man ‘killed in satanic ritual’

A British gay man was stabbed to death in a satanic ritual, a court was told this week.

Paul Simons, 54, met hospital cleaner and 23-year-old gay escort Michael Brennan for sex on 3 May in Chelmsford this year.

Brennan denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson described the killing as a ‘brutal and efficient execution’.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard on the night of the killing, Brennan had several times watched films like The House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.

He had also searched on Google for horror stories based on real life events.

When Brennan was younger, he came out at the age of 14 and had been bullied.

At the age of six, he was recorded as mentally disturbed, anxious, self-harming and suicidal.

A month before the killing, he had visited a doctor with ‘increasing anxiety and depression’.

In August this year, Brennan alleged he had been sexually abused from the age of six to 14.

After the killing, his mother discovered notebooks, documents and diagrams referring to Satan, demons and a spell.

One letter said: ‘I need to live my life and be who I am or I will kill myself.’

Earlier, the court heard evidence from Brennan’s boyfriend who was away in Paris when the killing took place.

He said Brennan liked ‘more risky’ sex than he did, such as using handcuffs and vibrators.

He told the court that when he had left his flat it was ‘spotless’.

Prosecution claims that when Brennan agreed to meet up with Simons on the gay hookup site, he had planned to kill him.

They allege he had stashed knives and hammers, left notes on a pad and on a computer about what he intended to do.

The jury was told a large number of comments and hieroglyphic writing were found on walls.

On the bedroom door, where inside police discovered Simons’ body, was written ‘call 999 don’t enter’.

Written on one wall were said to be the words: ‘If someone needs to be killed, you kill them, that’s the way, right?’

Forensic pathologist Nathanial Carey told the jury the fatal wound was a stabbing that penetrated Simons’ heart and caused a ‘ferocious’ loss of blood.

There was a second stab wound to the front chest and a blow to the back of his head with a hammer.

In addition, there were a total of 22 stab wounds to his back.

Carey suggested superficial score marks, done with a saw blade from his buttocks to the nape of his neck, could be ‘ritualistic’.

The trial continues.


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