British plumber ‘knifed fellow Brit to death’ at ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’

A British plumber allegedly knifed a fellow Brit to death at a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, police in Portugal have claimed.

Josh Menkens, from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, is thought to have stabbed an unnamed 37-year-old fellow Brit at the event in Leira. It happened at a festival party organised by the suspect's own father Troy.

According to police, Josh stabbed the bloke then allegedly “desecrated” the corpse in order to try and hide the “exceptional display of violence” he had committed. Portugal's Policia Judiciaria (PJ) said in a statement shortly after Menkens was arrested: “The PJ's Central Directorate, with the collaboration of Pedrogao Grande's GNR police force, can confirm it arrested a man for the alleged crimes of homicide and desecration of a corpse in the town of Soalheira.

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“The defendant, a foreigner and organiser of a party on a rural property, took the victim to an isolated forest location where, armed with a knife, he attacked him with exceptional violence hitting him in several areas of the body and causing his death. After committing the homicide, the suspect hid the body using tree branches and pieces of clothing.

“Later, he revealed the acts he had committed to the other participants of the party. After confirming their veracity, they went to the GNR in Pedrogao Grande along with the suspect to report what had happened. The victim, a 37-year-old foreign man had travelled to Portugal to participate in the event and apparently did not know the defendant personally.

“It has not yet been possible to determine the motive for the crimes, but any relationship with games or online challenges has initially been ruled out –the 27-year-old detainee was present during his first judicial interrogation which resulted in his preventive detention.”

Appearing outside court, his father claimed that his son was in a "head-melt" about the situation, and was "struggling" to deal with the justice system in Portugal. He also called on the public not to speculate about what happened. He added: "Every dad who cares about their son will always say they're wonderful, of course, but Josh is a nice, loving caring individual who everyone should want in this world, he's just a lovely person, genuine and caring."

It had been claimed that the pair were playing sick “suicide challenge” game, but that has now been ruled out. The knife allegedly used by Mr Menkens was found at the scene.

No trial date has yet been made public, and investigations are ongoing.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was a famous scene from the iconic novel Alice in Wonderland.

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