Man 'injected vodka for thrill' says murder accused
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 24 June 2009
A gay con artist accused of murdering his partner said he had started looking at suicide websites and injecting vodka for a "thrill" before he died.
Gareth MacDonald, 30, was battered to death with a fire extinguisher in a Travelodge hotel room at the M4 Heston services in September 2007.
Mr MacDonald, a father-of-three, had left his wife and children to move in with Glenn Rycroft in Rhewl, North Wales, after meeting him on the internet.
Rycroft, a former British Airways steward, was a prolific conman who had previously cheated friends and colleagues out of more than £200,000.
The 33-year-old, originally from Salford, Greater Manchester, told an Old Bailey jury today that the pair would often use gay chat sites on the internet.
But he said he then discovered that his boyfriend, a diabetic, was also doing "searches relating to suicide with insulin blood poisoning".
Rycroft added: "I found out that he was injecting himself with stuff that wasn't insulin and that it was vodka on one instance and also cleaning fluid on another.
"I'd found chat messages asking how the thrill had gone with the vodka."
Rycroft said he made these discoveries about two months before Mr MacDonald died.
"He said it was to give him a thrill because the information that he had been given through the social networking sites about vodka was that it gives you a rush and makes you feel drunk quickly.
"It went to an extreme though because he started doing it quite a lot which, in my opinion, caused him to become ill."
The court has heard that Mr MacDonald was suffering poor health and spent several spells in hospital in the period before he died.
Rycroft said: "He was abandoning taking insulin for days on end when he was having a really low mood."
He denies murder.
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in