9 May 2012

Emily Longley murder-accused appears in witness box

12:26 pm on 9 May 2012

The man accused of murdering New Zealander Emily Longley has told a jury in a British court that he threatened to kill her on several occasions but did not mean it literally.

Elliot Turner, 20, denies the charge of murder at his trial at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire.

Miss Longley, 17, was found dead in his bed last May at the house he shared with his parents in Bournemouth.

In his first appearance in the witness box Mr Turner said there had only been "petty" arguments and he denied he was obsessive about Emily, the BBC reports.

He admitted he had threatened to kill her 10 or 15 times before but said he never meant it.

In his evidence he said he had become aware after looking at her Facebook page that Ms Longley had been contacting other men. He feared she had rekindled a relationship with an ex-boyfriend when she returned home to New Zealand in March last year.

Mr Turner admitted that he assaulted Ms Longley and threatened to kill her during an argument at a bar the night before she died.

"I was just swearing - saying things I didn't mean, which I regret now, but at the time I didn't know what had come over me."

The jury was also told that Mr Turner received a harassment warning letter from the police in January 2008, telling him not to contact an ex-girlfriend.

Mr Turner also denies perverting the course of justice. His parents Leigh Turner, 54, and Anita Turner, 51, also deny perverting the course of justice.