Man 'injected vodka for thrill' says murder accused

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence