A 'sexually obsessed' murder suspect was told he knew his love rival was not 'going home alive' after hitting him over the back of the head then burning his body.

Mark Chilman, of Pencombe, Bromyard, denies the murder of Neil Parkinson, the man he was told had 'replaced him in the affections' of his former partner, Juliet Adcock.

The 52-year-old was cross-examined by lead barrister for the prosecution, Mark Heywood QC, at Worcester Crown Court yesterday following the alleged murder on December 12 last year.

Mr Parkinson's body was found in the burnt out wreckage of his own black BMW X5 in a lay-by in Ankerdine Road, Cotheridge, near Worcester after fire crews responded to reports of a blaze.

During tense exchanges, Mr Heywood said to Chilman: "One way or another, Neil Parkinson wasn't going home alive that night, was he?"

Chilman replied: "I have no idea."

Mr Heywood said: "You hated him, didn't you?"

Chilman answered 'no'. The previous day Chilman had said that he 'quite liked' Mr Parkinson.

Mr Heywood asked Chilman how the gate at Giltedge Farm in Broadwas, where he had lived with Ms Adcock, got damaged and the defendant said he had 'no idea' before telling the jury the damage was done '12 months prior' when 'I drove into it myself'.

The barrister asked him how Mr Parkinson's keyring had come to be on the ground and how his blood came to be on the gatepost. To both questions Chilman answered that he had 'no idea'.

When asked about a medical report that showed that blood had dropped down 'from a height' and that the blood was Neil's the defendant said: "So it says."

Chilman, who was described by the prosecutor as 'sexually obsessed' with Ms Adcock, was asked how Mr Parkinson's blood had got there and he answered: "I have no idea how blood got there."

Mr Heywood said it was because someone had 'struck him forcefully'.

"Not while I was stood there, no" said Chilman.

The jury had previously heard medical evidence which showed that Mr Parkinson had suffered a depressed fracture to the back of his skull which was 'not a result of heat damage' from the car fire.

The blow, which caused a subdural haematoma and a traumatic brain injury, would have rendered him unconscious.

Chilman, previously dubbed a 'lay-by lurker' by Ms Adcock's daughter, was further asked if he had parked his car 'out of the way so you could lie in wait on foot' for Mr Parkinson who would go home to Clifton upon Teme to care for his mother. Chilman answered 'no'.

The court had previously been told that Mr Parkinson, 66, a father-of-two, was also a carer for his elderly mother who suffered from dementia.

The defendant was asked if Mr Parkinson had turned his back to him to close the gate. Chilman said: "Probably, yes."

Chilman was asked if, when Mr Parkinson had turned his back, he had hit him with something with a straight edge and with 'a hard, weighty force'. "No, definitely not" replied Chilman.

The prosecutor referred to a plant pot that was broken near the farm gate, the keyring which dropped and the lock which was 'ground into the mud'. Chilman denied taking jerry cans full of petrol from Giltedge Farm.

He was asked if he had dropped the seats of Mr Parkinson's BMW and put the body in there. The defendant answered 'no'.

"Did you think you had killed him or left him unconscious?" said Mr Heywood. Chilman answered 'no'. Chilman was asked how Mr Parkinson's DNA had got on his torch and he replied 'I don't know' but added that he had sat in Mr Parkinson's car. Mr Heywood put it to Chilman 'wasn't it because you had picked up his badly beaten head and dumped him in the back of the car and driven to Ankerdine Road and burned it?'

Chilman replied 'definitely not'. Mr Heywood said: "Having struck Neil over the back of the head, you never knew or cared whether he was alive."

Chilman answered 'no'. He told the jury he was 'in love' with Ms Adcock but denied being sexually obsessed with her.

The prosecution and defence cases have now finished. Closing speeches and summing up will now follow. The trial continues.