UK: Gay escort accused of stabbing to death antiques dealer

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A male gay escort who also worked as a hospital cleaner has gone on trial accused of stabbing to death an antiques dealer in Essex.

Chelmsford Crown Court this week heard Michael Brennan, 23, of Chelmsford, stabbed 54-year-old Paul Simons multiple times in a flat on 3 May this year.

The Watford Observer reports prosecutor Andrew Jackson describing it as “a brutal and efficient execution”.

The pair had met on a gay dating website. There was no trace of alcohol or drugs in Mr Simons’ blood but the court was told it was a possibility that Mr Brennan had taken cannabis prior to the killing.

The jury heard on the night of the killing, Mr 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.

Medical evidence read to the jury revealed that Mr Brennan had come out as gay aged 14 and had been bullied. During his childhood, from the age of six, he was recorded as mentally disturbed, anxious, self-harming and suicidal. He was referred to a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants.

In his last visit to a doctor on 16 April this year he was said to have had “increasing anxiety and depression” and was signed off work again.

In August, Mr Brennan alleged he had been sexually abused from the age of six to 14. Police are currently investigating the allegations, the court heard.

Police had recovered from Mr Brennan’s mother’s house notebooks and documents, which included writings and diagrams from before the killing. They referred among other things to Satan, demons and a spell.

His mother Angela Brennan also handed over a letter written recently by her son which talked about how he had to go away and in which he had said: “I need to live my life and be who I am or I will kill myself”.

The prosecution claim that Mr Brennan had deliberately planned to kill Mr Simons and alleges he had stashed knives and hammers around the flat and left notes on a pad and on a computer detailing his intentions.

The jury was told that a large number of comments and hieroglyphic writing were found on various walls and on the outside of the bedroom door, where Mr Simons’ body was found by police at 12.30am on 4 May.

One said: “If someone needs to be killed, you kill them, that’s the way, right?”

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

The trial continues.

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