Man ‘killed best pal believing he was demon of Satan’ after taking 10 MDMA pills

A man charged with the murder of his best friend had taken a huge amount of MDMA and believed his pal was a “demon of Satan” at the time, an Australian court has heard.

Matthew Flame, 22, is on trial for allegedly murdering Liam Anderson after a drug-fuelled night out in Sydney.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Flame took up to 10 tablets of MDMA as well as cannabis and alcohol over 12 hours of partying, Crown Prosecutor Gareth Christofi told the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The court heard the pair met up with other friends at a hotel before attending a hip-hop concert in the central city.



Man 'killed best pal believing he was demon of Satan' after taking 10 MDMA pills
Liam Anderson, 26, died after a night out in Sydney in November 2018

They ended up at the home of a female friend at around 4am, where Flame took his final MDMA tablet of the night and began acting strangely.

He walked out into the street against his friends’ advice and a concerned Mr Anderson followed him to a small nearby park.

At about 6am a passer-by saw Flame standing over the other man, punching and kicking him.

“Liam Anderson was using his arms to try and cover his face from the blows,” Mr Christofi told the court.

“The passer by called out to the accused to ‘stop it’. The accused looked at the passer-by and then continued on with what he had been doing.”



Man 'killed best pal believing he was demon of Satan' after taking 10 MDMA pills
Flame and Anderson had been on a drug-fuelled bender for a number of hours

Police and paramedics were called but Mr Anderson died at the scene. When Flame was arrested he was frothing at the mouth and told officers he believed his friend “was a demon and I was an angel”.

Mr Christofi says his client reacted badly to the “strong drug”, saying “everything went weird and he felt possessed and believed Liam Anderson was a demon and just wanted me dead”.

Flame has said he “was in this illusion that (Mr Anderson) wanted to kill me so I had to kill him”, believing his friend to be “angry like an evil spirit”.

He was later diagnosed with a schizophrenic disorder.



Man 'killed best pal believing he was demon of Satan' after taking 10 MDMA pills
Mr Anderson is the son of Australian rocker Angry Anderson (right)

His barrister John Stratton SC said there was no doubt Flame killed his friend, but the trial would determine whether he was suffering from defective reasoning at the time.

The Crown will argue that the defendant “had a healthy mind and his psychosis was caused by a voluntary consumption of drugs”.

The trial before Justice Richard Button is expected to last three weeks.

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