By Paul Chapman
A New Zealand man claimed he was bitten by three people who allegedly drank his blood during a vampire-style attack in the dark.
Details of the bizarre late night incident on Mount Victoria, an unlit beauty spot that overlooks the capital, Wellington, emerged after two people appeared in court jointly charged with wounding with intent to render a man unconscious.
James Phillip Brooks, 22, and Xenia Gregoriana Borichevsky, 19, were both remanded on bail without entering a plea.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of a third accused, James Eric Orr, 19, who failed to appear at Wellington District Court.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.
It is believed the victim, whose name has been suppressed by the court, passed out after being bitten on the night of February 20.
Outside the court, Mr Brooks said he understood there was blood drinking during the incident but added: "That wasn't me.
"Do I look like a vampire? I'm out during the daytime," he told the city's Dominion-Post newspaper.
Mr Brooks, who has a number of facial piercings and a mohawk haircut, said: "I may look like a punk but I'm not a punk. I'm just different.
"Yeah, I bit a guy. He hit on my missus. My girlfriend and my mate were biting him.
"If I'd hit him, I'd have really hurt him, so I thought I'll bite him seeing as they're already biting him."
He said drinking blood "wasn't my agenda".
Police refused to discuss the case because it is before the courts.
Ms Borichevsky's bail conditions were relaxed by the court after her lawyer asked the judge to lift a night-time curfew on her.
Dr Marc Wilson, a senior lecturer in psychology at Wellington's Victoria University, who specialises in studying paranormal beliefs, said drinking human blood was "incredibly unusual".
He said human teeth were not designed for breaking skin and sucking blood.
"You could do it but you would have to really want to."