A MAN on trial for killing his gay lover has admitted he has killed before.
Murder accused Desmond Lee told the jury at Leeds Crown Court that he had smothered a woman to death in 1989 and had been given a life sentence.
Lee, 39, is on trial for the murder of Christopher Pratt, from Grantham, in Lincolnshire, in August last year.
He has admitted killing the 51-year-old at his flat on Sackville Street, Ravensthorpe, but says it happened in a freak sex accident.
Mr Pratt’s naked body was found dumped on Scammonden Moor by a jogger.
Yesterday, Lee admitted he killed his landlady, Shirley Carr, with his bare hands when he was just 19-years-old.
He said he attacked her after she taunted him over the break-up of his first gay relationship and blamed his alcoholism for the incident.
After pleading not guilty to murder he was convicted and served 14 years of a life sentence before being released in 2004.
Lee’s defence counsel Alan Newman, QC, said his client’s dark past was the reason he had initially attempted to cover up Mr Pratt’s death for a fear of not being believed.
The court also heard a detailed account and saw a video re-enactment by the defendant of how he thought Mr Pratt had died.
Earlier in the trial pathologist Charles Wilson revealed the cause of Mr Pratt’s death was a fractured voice box and neck bone.
In a video demonstration involving a mannequin, Lee revealed how he thought he may have twisted his lover’s neck as the pair had sexual intercourse on his living room floor.
He said the drug-fuelled sex session had seen him lying behind Mr Pratt with his left arm under his neck, commonly known as spooning.
But after leaning over Mr Pratt to take puffs of a cannabis joint, snort cocaine and sniff poppers and reach behind him for a glass of water, Lee said he realised all was not well.
He said: “I tried moving Chris and he wasn’t moving. I pushed him again and nothing. I pulled him towards me and by the sight of his face I knew something was wrong.
“I immediately ran to the bathroom and I was sick.’’
“Were you frightened?’’ asked Mr Newman.
“Petrified,’’ said Lee. “Because there was a dead body in my flat. I thought I would never be believed because there’s the old saying, you done it once, you done it again.’’
But David Hatton, QC, for the prosecution, said Lee was not scared at all.
He said: “When Mr Pratt died in your flat were you terribly upset?’’
“Yes, because he died,’’ said Lee.
“So why, when he was still warm, were you on the telephone to Virgin Media getting your telephone bill paid by the means of his credit card?
“We think he died at 2pm. At 3pm you were getting your phone bill paid when he was barely cold.
“What made you think ‘I will ring Virgin?’’’
“I needed to talk to someone,’’ said Lee. “I needed to pay it because I’d had my phone cut off.’’
Mr Hatton told the jury that only a few hours after the death Lee had gone out to spend time with friends and had popped back to his flat for a pint of milk for his friend and neighbour.
The next morning, after leaving Mr Pratt’s body in his bedroom, Lee went to Mirfield Library to order goods from Asda on the internet using Mr Pratt’s credit card.
Two days later, after dumping Mr Pratt’s body near New Hey Road, he ordered more than £1,100 of goods from Argos, again using Mr Pratt’s card.
The trial continues.