MURDER accused Desmond Lee concocted a web of lies to cover up the killing of his gay lover, a court heard.
Lee, 39, is on trial for the murder of Christopher Pratt, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, in August last year.
He has admitted causing the neck injuries that led to the 51-year-old’s death at his flat in Sackville Street, Ravensthorpe.
Lee also admits dumping the father-of-two’s naked body on moorland at Scammonden.
But he denies murdering Mr Pratt, claiming he died after he accidentally fractured his voice box and hyoid bone as they had sex.
He said he disposed of the body after panicking that no-one would believe his version of events.
During the second day of his trial at Leeds Crown Court, the jury heard after killing Mr Pratt on Sunday, August 16, Lee sent the victim’s daughter, Rebecca, a text message from her father’s phone pretending to be him.
She had tried to contact Mr Pratt after he failed to meet her and her brother, David, for Sunday dinner in Grantham.
The text said: “Hi there, just to let you know I’m with Des. He’s in a bad way, will phone Monday. lol.”
Later that week, Miss Pratt, 20, found a number for Lee at her father’s house.
She phoned him several times as her concern for her father grew. Lee claimed her father had gone to Heckmondwike to visit friends and he had not seen him since.
He repeated that lie to police after a missing person inquiry was launched. In an official statement given at his flat a week after Mr Pratt’s death, he said Mr Pratt had gone to Heckmondwike, but left his car for Lee to use.
Pc Nigel Addinall, one of the officers who spoke to him, said: “He didn’t seem overly concerned that two police officers were at his door.”
The jury also heard a recording of a telephone call Lee made to Argos on Monday, August 17, in which Lee pretended to be Mr Pratt in a bid to buy more than £1,100-worth of goods.
It is alleged Mr Pratt’s body was still in his flat at the time.
Asked his name by the Argos adviser, Lee replied: “Mr Christopher Pratt.”
He then told her the items, including bedroom furniture, a fridge, a freezer and a computer, were for his “nephew.”
Lee intended to use Mr Pratt’s credit card, but the order stalled after he was asked the post code for the billing address.
After failing to remember what Mr Pratt’s post code was, Lee was recorded saying: “Oh, damn.”
The prosecution also played CCTV footage taken outside Lee’s flat, which mysteriously blacked out for 10 minutes the night after Mr Pratt is thought to have died.
Prosecutor David Hatton QC said Lee had covered the camera so he could transfer the body from his flat to Mr Pratt’s Peugeot car.
After the footage resumed, Lee was seen driving Mr Pratt’s car away from the flat, allegedly with the body in the back.
The corpse was found off New Hey Road by a jogger on August 26.
Mr Pratt’s long-term boyfriend Andrew Sellars also gave evidence yesterday.
He revealed how he was aware Mr Pratt had other sexual partners.
Mr Sellars said he had met Lee for the first time a week before Mr Pratt’s death.
It was put to him that they had taken part in a threesome.
“I would describe it as a drunken escapade that lasted no more than five minutes,” he said.
Mr Sellars said there was nothing to suggest Lee would want to kill Mr Pratt.
The trial continues.