Alex Constantine - June 11, 2009
Manchester Evening News
JUNE 10, 2009
A CONVICTED murderer strangled his cell mate claiming Satan told him to do it because he was his 'hands and eyes'.
Dad-of-one Anthony Hesketh, of Eastham Way, Worsley, was found with a ligature made of T-shirt material around his neck in September 2003 on the floor of a Strangeways cell he shared with Clement McNally.
Satanist McNally, 33, of Ashton under Lyne, was called to Manchester Crown Court to give evidence at an inquest into Mr Hesketh's death.
He said: "I just had these thoughts going through my head to kill him, so I acted upon them. He [Satan] told me to kill him."
McNally, who was prescribed anti-depressants and mood-stabilisers, told forensic psychiatrist Prof Jeremy Coid he had worshipped the devil for two years and had been allowed to read books on the occult while in prison for murder, some of which came from the prison library.
His cell was adorned with satanic symbols, including a pentagram and an inverted cross.
In a statement, Prof Coid, who spoke to McNally after the attack, said the killer admitted he'd do anything for Satan, had enjoyed garrotting Mr Hesketh and it was 'like a big adrenaline rush. That you felt in control and it was better than any drug or drink.'
McNally, who was already serving life for stabbing a friend to death at a party, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He said he turned his back on the devil 18 months after the killing, but denied fabricating his Satanism.
Also giving evidence was prisoner Gareth Whittingham, who was in the cell next door, and claimed a buzzer pressed by McNally after the attack had gone unanswered for around 15 minutes before prison officers investigated.
He said McNally's behaviour became increasingly erratic, impulsive, volatile and disturbed in the weeks prior to Mr Hesketh's death.
He claimed McNally had drawn a pentagram on his cell's floor where he would sit 'like Buddha'.
"Everyone could see he was clearly losing his mind," he said. "He wasn't all there. You could see the deterioration in his mental state.
"He was confrontational. Some prisoners were threatened by him. His mood swings were pretty violent and manipulative."
Mr Whittingham alleged prison officers ignored him when he warned them of McNally mental health issues.
He said: "A number of us had spoken to the officers about the state his head was in and the weird things he was doing, but the officers laughed it off."
Mr Whittingham described a regime where prisoners' boredom and frustrations boiled over because of a culture of bullying and access to drugs, Mr Whittingham also said they were left unsupervised by officers, locked in cells, had not been exercised in the yard for around nine montsh and had access only to basic education courses.
Mr Hesketh was serving four-months for driving while disqualified.