Mancunian pastry product Morrissey has upped the ante on his recent efforts to mitigate the minor fondlings of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein by reportedly and fictionally claiming notorious cult leader Charles Manson was just a bit of an excitable boy.

Morrissey, who is increasingly looking like the fat middle aged singer in a Smiths tribute act, probably didn’t say “The thing people forget is that, like Alias Smith and Jones, he never killed anyone. The fact that he personally instructed a bunch of murderous brainwashed zombies to kill nine people who probably craved the fame of being indirectly murdered by a second-rate folk singer can’t really be held against him. To quote Warren Zevon, he was just an excitable boy.”

The formerly-speakable Morrissey continued “He was also a big fan of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, so how bad could he possibly have been? ” “Speaking as a vegetarian, I would ask who is the real villain? My fellow carrot-botherer Chuck, or someone who enjoys the barbaric practice of eating meat?”

When our correspondent answered it was probably the psychotic leader of a gang of multiple murderers, a man who had been a habitual criminal since age 13, who pimped for his wife, who plotted the assassination of President Ford and who had a swastika tattooed on his forehead, the dumpy ex-Smith lapsed into a sullen silence which we can only hope lasts indefinitely.

Warren Zevon was unavailable for comment due to death, however there is little doubt that he would have punched Morrissey in the mouth.