A HEREFORD man murdered his friend of 20 years before throwing her body into the River Wye, a trial heard this week.

The body of Terri Webb, a 39-year-old mother-of-three, was found in the Hampton Park area of the city a few weeks after she was reported missing.

Worcester Crown Court heard how Ian Palamountain made calls to the police after Ms Webb's disappearance to divert attention from himself.

Palamountain, 47, of Huskinson Drive, College Estate, denies murder.

Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, said Palamountain was the last person to see Ms Webb alive when they walked near the riverside on November 14, 2016.

He claimed Ms Webb was in Palamoutain’s company from 1.30pm that afternoon and was not seen again by any other person until her body was discovered on December 27, wearing only jeans and underwear.

Her other clothing was found on November 15 underneath her father’s car, around three quarters of a mile from the river, the court heard.

Mr Duck added that Palamountain killed Ms Webb that afternoon and, in the days that followed, made ‘desperate attempts’ to deny responsibility for her death.

One of these attempts centres around a phone call Palamountain and Louise Emery, his partner of the time, made to the police on November 16.

The court heard details of how the pair expressed concern for their missing friend, and suggested she may have been in an emotionally fragile state and may be at risk of taking her own life.

The court said that at no time did Palamountain say he had seen Webb the afternoon of her disappearance.

Mr Duck labelled the call "absolutely inexplicable" and claimed that it was orchestrated to "divert attention" from the pair.

Mr Duck told the jury on Tuesday it was difficult to determine the cause of Webb’s death due to the state of deterioration her body was found in.

Ms Webb was described as a ‘tragic figure’ by the prosecution, as she struggled with alcohol issues and her children were in care.

But they argued that Ms Webb had ‘everything to live for’ and was trying to regain her children from Social Services.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.