Gory Details as British Cyber-Murder Trial Opens

A German man killed a British student by stabbing him 86 times after becoming obsessed with his girlfriend, whom he had met on an Internet gaming Web site, a court heard Tuesday.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that David Heiss, 21, traveled to Britain from Limburg, near Frankfurt, for 16 hours to attack Matthew Pyke, 20, at his apartment in Nottingham on Sept. 19, 2008.

The murder was motivated by "hatred and obsession," said Shaun Smith, for the prosecution. "It was obsession for Joanna Witton, who was Matthew's girlfriend, and hatred for Matthew, because he was Joanna's boyfriend."

Heiss found Witton, 20, on a cyber-war Web site that Witton and Pyke had set up while living and studying together at Nottingham Trent University.

Smith told the jury that Heiss had contacted Witton in March 2008 telling her that he had a crush on her. Heiss had been looking at photographs of her on Facebook, the social-networking Web site.

Despite Witton's insistence that she was in a relationship, the messages from Heiss became increasingly bizarre and intimate, the court heard. On May 3, 2008, Heiss professed his love for her and on June 21 he flew over to make the first of two surprise visits to her and Pyke.

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