BISEXUAL murder suspect David Large dismissed crucial evidence from a girlfriend as “a complete fantasy”.

And a murder trial heard yesterday that he stood by his insistence he had nothing to do with the contract killing of his former gay lover.

Car dealer Christopher Hartley, 45, was blasted in the head and chest with a shotgun on a quiet country road at Clayton West last September.

And the prosecution has alleged that his ex-lover Large, 35, and his friend 39-year-old Simon Mullen set up a bogus drugs deal to lure their victim to the secluded spot.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court has heard that Mr Hartley, of Haigh Wood Lodge, Batley Road, Tingley, was infatuated with Large and their relationship reached a crisis point after Large began another relationship with Netherton woman Dawn Mallinson.

The prosecution allege that Large wanted Mr Hartley killed so he could continue his relationship with Miss Mallinson and that Mullen was paid a large sum of money to be the gunman.

Miss Mallinson is set to be a witness for the prosecution during the five-week trial, but yesterday the jury heard extracts from Large’s interviews with the police following Mr Hartley’s murder.

During his first interview when he was being treated as a potential witness Large, of Rota Croft, Rothwell, explained how he had been buying and selling cars with Mr Hartley since 1994.

He admitted having four or five sexual relationships with Mr Hartley over the years and described him as volatile.

He said the last relationship ended in March and he then realised he wanted a family and proper future with a wife.

Large initially said he did not know of anyone who would want to hurt Mr Hartley, but later he claimed a number of people had a grudge against him.

He claimed one man had threatened to kill Mr Hartley and he told detectives that the deceased also owed money for drugs.

A few weeks after the killing Large was arrested again as a suspect and after officers disclosed details of Miss Mallinson’s account to him he said he found it difficult to believe what she had said.

“He said it was complete fantasy and she had made the whole thing up,” said prosecutor Alistair McDonald QC.

“In the rest of the interview he launched what was a full scale attack on the character of the Miss Mallinson.”

Large described her as a woman scorned and very insecure.

On the opening day of the trial the jury heard allegations that Mullen, of Farding Square, South Shields, had gone on a £25,000 spending spree buying expensive televisions, a home entertainment system and furniture.

But when he was interviewed by police the offshore worker denied being involved in Mr Hartley’s death.

Mullen said he had started out transporting cars for Large, but had then become involved in moving fake Ecstasy tablets to the North East for him.

He claimed that he had bought a plasma television and a van using money from “fiddle jobs” and payments for moving cars and drugs.

Mullen also claimed that he received about £20,000 from Large after he signed documents in connection with a mortgage on a house in Tingley.

The jury has heard that CCTV footage shows a meeting between Large and Mullen on the seafront in South Shields days after the killing, but Mullen told the police that no money changed hands.

He told officers that Large said he was “scared and upset” about what had happened to Mr Hartley and he had moved in with Miss Mallinson because he did not feel safe at home.

Large and Mullen both deny the murder charge.

The trial continues.