'Vampire killer' Matthew Hardman who murdered pensioner, 90, asks for case review

Mabel Leyshon, 90, was murdered at her home in Llanfairpwll in 2001 Credit: PA

A "vampire-obsessed" murderer who killed a pensioner in 2001 has asked for his case to be reviewed.

Matthew Hardman, then 17, entered the home of 90-year-old Mabel Leyshon, and brutally attacked her stabbing the pensioner more than 20 times.

It was described as one of north Wales' most "brutal and callous" murders.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), who investigate potential miscarriages of justice in the legal system, confirmed that a review is underway into Hardman's case.

Matthew Hardman was described at his trial in 2002 as a "remarkably normal" teenager. Credit: PA

Mabel Layshon was found in her home in Anglesey on Sunday, 25 November when she didn’t answer the door to a 'meals-on-wheels' volunteer.

After police were called, they found that she had been attacked from behind in her armchair while watching television in the lounge of her home near Llanfairpwll.

She had been stabbed 22 times.

The art student from Llanfairpwll described his home town as a "perfect" location for vampires. Credit: PA

A Mold Crown Court jury was told in 2002 that after killing the widow, Matthew Hardman carried out a "macabre ritual".

In front of her was a saucepan with something wrapped in newspaper inside, later forensic officers realised it was Mrs Leyshon's heart.

Blood was found in the saucepan and lip marks were discovered on the side, suggesting her killer had used it to drink her blood. 

The murderer had also left two brass pokers positions like a crucifix at her feet.

The jury also heard how a red candle was balanced on the mantelpiece. Credit: PA

Despite denying the charges against him, the jury was told a knife was found at his home with DNA matching the scene.

The trial heard he had told a 16-year-old student that Llanfairpwll was the "perfect location" for vampires, since many of its residents were elderly.

Police also found distinctive footprints matching his shoes.

He was handed a life sentence on 2 August 2002 following a unanimous guilty verdict.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years in prison. Although, Hardman has alway argued his innocence.

In 2003, he lost an attempt to appeal the life sentence. He made another application to be released on parole in 2015, which was also rejected.

The 90-year-old was watching television when the killer broke in to her house through a window. Credit: PA

It is not clear which part of the case Hardman is appealing in this latest application.

In a statement, a CCRC spokesperson confirmed a review was underway.

It said: “An application has been received related to this case and a review is underway.

"It would be inappropriate for us to make further comment while this is taking place."

The CCRC could refer the case to the Court of Appeal who would then decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair on the basis of new evidence or argument.

Since starting in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.