A BIRDWATCHER known as 'Bill the Birdman' says a murder suspect appeared angry his ex had a new handyman before the alleged killing.

William Mapp gave evidence at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday at the trial of Mark Chilman, accused of the murder of his ex partner's new man, Neil Parkinson.

As previously reported, Chilman, 52, of Old Post Office, Pencombe, near Bromyard, denies murdering Mr Parkinson, whose body was found in his burnt-out car in Ankerdine Road, Cotheridge, off Worcester on December 12 last year.

The prosecution case is that Chilman, rejected by his former partner Juliet Adcock, hit her new partner over the back of the head which rendered him unconscious.

They argue that Chilman then staged it to look like his 66-year-old love rival, a retired father-of-two, had committed suicide by setting him alight in his BMW.

Mr Mapp said he was allowed onto Giltedge Farm in Broadwas, near Worcester, where Chilman and Ms Adcock lived because he had two bird boxes there, one for nesting kestrels and the other for tawny owls.

They had been installed for about 10 years and he knew both Chilman and his then partner, Ms Adcock.

He was on speaking terms with both of them and would chat with them when he came to the farm.

"I just thought they were man and wife" he said.

He would show his appreciation in letting him come onto the land to maintain the bird boxes by giving them chocolates or boxes of fresh vegetables as a thank-you.

He told the jury he only became aware the relationship between Ms Adcock and Chilman had ended last last year, saying he had heard that information from 'someone in the village'.

He said he 'didn't say nothing' to either Chilman or Ms Adcock about what he had learned.

However, Mr Mapp said he became aware there was another man on the farm, Neil Parkinson, from Chilman himself as the defendant was working on building a brick wall at the entrance to Giltedge Farm.

"He was rather angry. I did ask him what was wrong. He said, 'She's got a new handyman and he's not good at doing his job'."

Mr Mapp said he did not want to get into a conversation about it and so he left. He believed this meeting occurred in late September of last year.

He also said he had received a text from Juliet Adcock in October last year expressing 'concern' about Chilman but no details of this were disclosed in court.

Mr Mapp accepted during cross-examination from Alisdair Williamson QC, for the defendant, that he was known as 'Bill the Birdman'.

He said he had seen Chilman on a dirt track through some woods near the farm on October 28.

The witness said he saw a vehicle, a big silver Mitsubishi which he believed belonged to someone he knew.

But when he gave the man he believed was the owner a ring, he answered telling Mr Mapp he was at home.

Mr Mapp then said he saw Chilman, telling him he thought the vehicle belonged to someone else. Chilman replied: "No, it's mine now."

"He told you, didn't he, that he was keeping an eye on the place, the place being Gilt Edge Farm? He was making sure there was no-one hanging about" said Mr Williamson.

Mr Mapp accepted this was what Chilman had said.

The trial continues.