DRACULA'S only living relative says his forefather should never have been linked with Welsh 'vampire' murderer Mathew Hardman.
Constantin Balaceanu-Stolnici has hit out at the British press for blaming his ancestor for the gruesome killing of 90-year-old Mabel Leyshon in which 17-year-old Hardman drank her blood and removed her heart.
Constantin, who says the 15th Century Count never drank human blood, tells S4C's Cwmni Drwg that Vlad Dracula was misrepresented in cases like Hardman's.
"It's irresponsible of people in Britain to transfer responsibility for Mabel Leyshon's murder to my ancestor," said the Romanian academic. "This is not his responsibility because his behaviour was not one of a Satanist."
Mrs Leyshon's murder at her home in Anglesey in November 2001 made headlines around the world.
The investigation into Hardman's past revealed he had an obsession with vampires and had once asked a foreign exchange student to bite his neck.
A police search of his home uncovered magazines and books about vampires, including Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.
Police Detective Constable Dewi Harding Jones, of North Wales Police, said: "His interest in Bram Stoker's novel shows that he had thought long and hard about leading the life of a vampire."
Dracula expert Nicolae Paduraru reckons the tourist industry's promotion of the Count could save people like Hardman in the future.
The head of the international Dracula Society said: "I can't help thinking that if Mathew Hardman had been on one of our tours over here that it would have helped him realise the difference between vampires in folklore and what happens in real life."