Man 'killed friend and cooked his arm'

A furniture dealer killed and chopped up his best friend, roasted his arm in an oven and fled to the United States, a court was told yesterday.

Richard Markham, 28, left messages on his friends' answerphones to boast of the attack at his home in South Ham, Basingstoke, Winchester Crown Court was told. Tristian Lovelock's head and other arm were found in parkland and a garden the day after the attack in May last year.

Michael Parroy QC told the jury a trail of blood from the dumped body parts led police officers to the defendant's flat. They found blood on the ceiling and floor of the sitting room, as well as a human torso that was nearly severed in half. A First World War American bayonet was sticking out of the victim's back. A partially cooked human arm was lying in a roasting tin on a work surface in the kitchen, next to a plate with a knife and fork, two slices of bread and a bottle of tomato ketchup.

The court was told that the two men spent the evening of 30 May drinking strong lager and cider and smoking cannabis before Mr Lovelock, a 25-year-old carpenter, allegedly threatened Mr Mark-ham with the bayonet.

Mr Markham told American police in a statement that he hit out with a hammer, bludgeoning his friend to death, before hacking off his head and limbs with a saw. The defendant left several messages on answer-phones. In the first message he said: "Tristian's like lying on the floor in about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven bits [sound of laughter on tape] with a big knife sticking out of his back."

Mr Markham said he tried to bury the body parts in a nearby park. He was arrested in New York on 5 June after he was seen in Central Park. He denies murdering Mr Lovelock between 29 May and 1 June last year. The trial continues.