A wealthy jeweller's son has told an English court he never strangled aspiring New Zealand model Emily Longley and only defended himself after she repeatedly attacked him.
Elliot Turner, 20, told Winchester Crown court that an argument in his bedroom turned violent and he was forced to grab Longley by the throat to stop her assaults.
The prosecution claims Turner strangled Longley, 17, in his bedroom at the Turner family home in Bournemouth on May 7 last year.
Turner is also accused, together with his parents Leigh Turner, 54, and Anita Turner, 51, of perverting the course of justice. All three deny the charges.
Turner said he had been disgusted by his actions at the family home, and wrote a letter to his mother telling her how ashamed he was and that he was leaving for Spain, the Press Association reported.
Turner admitted threatening Longley and that he felt "upset and deceived" on the night before she died when he saw untrue emails on her phone saying he had smashed her face into a table.
He denied he had used his arm to strangle her in a "sleeper hold" or that he put a pillow over her face.
He and Longley had argued that night and she had thrown drinks over him but initially in his bedroom they had been "loved up", Turner said.
He said he went outside for a cigarette but Longley did not like him smoking and said his breath smelt like an ashtray. This had started another argument and she had tried to lock him out.
He said Longley "just went crazy", kicking and punching him after he told her to get out of the house and threw money at her for a taxi.
After urging her to calm down, Turner said he grabbed her by the neck and pressed down while she was lying on the bed.
Giving evidence for a second day, Turner said he and Longley spoke about their relationship and he challenged her about why she had told friends she was single and her involvement with two other boys.
Turner said: "Basically the conversation took a dive," the Bournemouth Echo reported.
He said it was a "typical argument" and the pair were both swearing at each other in his bedroom in the early hours of May 7, 2011.
Messages on Longley's phone had made him feel "upset and deceived", Turner said.
The court also heard Longley had written to Turner asking him to stop threatening to kill her.
The letter was written during a two-day break the pair spent on the Isle of Man in March 2011.
Turner told the court he and Longley had a few "petty" arguments on the first day and he suggested they wrote letters to express their feelings.
In hers, Longley said "I love you."
She then wrote: "Don't say you will kill me," the court heard.
Turner was asked by his barrister, Anthony Donne, QC, how often he had said this to Longley.
Turner replied: "10-15 times."
He added: "I admit that I said I would kill her.
"I didn't literally mean that."
He added that Longley also said it to him on occasions.
Longley also wrote: "Stop talking about your ex-girlfriend" and "stop being so constantly aggressive".
Turner told the court: "I had been verbally aggressive. I had never been physically aggressive."
The jury was told that Turner has no criminal convictions but he did receive a reprimand from the police when he was 16 for making off from a taxi without payment.
- © Fairfax NZ News