Killed ... aspiring model Emily Longley. Photo: Facebook
A wealthy jeweller's son accused of murdering his aspiring model girlfriend in a jealous rage admitted to a jury today that he had threatened to kill her 10 or 15 times during their volatile relationship.
Elliot Turner, 20, said he never meant it and claimed his alleged victim, Emily Longley, said the same thing and phrases like "I hate you" during their rows.
We just got on a like a house on fire. It was amazing how well we got on. It was a really, really good time.
Turner denies strangling 17-year-old Emily in his bedroom in Bournemouth in May last year.
He said the pair got on well when they met and their relationship soon became sexual in December after they went out for a meal on a double date
"We instantly clicked. We had similar interests, similar choice of drinks. She shared my food - it was sweet and sour chicken I think," he told the jury at Winchester Crown Court.
"We just got on a like a house on fire. It was amazing how well we got on. It was a really, really good time."
Turner explained that there were arguments but they were "petty", he said.
The jury heard that Turner denied he was obsessive about Emily but he became aware that she had been texting and talking to other men after looking at her Facebook page.
He also feared she had rekindled a relationship with an ex-boyfriend called Leon Patterson when she returned home to see her family in New Zealand in March last year.
He admitted that on the evening before she died he had called her a "whore" after they met up and she was wearing very short shorts, a leopard print bra and a small waistcoat, which Turner said meant he could see her breasts.
"I did say some harsh things, it's true," he said.
He also admitted that he assaulted her in a bar and threatened to kill her the same night after she poured drinks on him as they argued in a booth.
"Stupidly I grabbed Emily by the waist towards where I was sitting. She came towards me and her legs were against the end of the booth. I was just swearing - saying things I didn't mean, which I regret now, but at the time I didn't know what had come over me."
Turner also told the jury he wanted to buy Emily a pink sapphire commitment ring and that he had been told some things about her past and her history of self-harming.
He denied talking to a friend, Tom Crowe, about how to kill Emily the day before she died, calling the accusation "rubbish", but said he had been unfaithful to the business studies student during their relationship.
The jury was also told that Turner had received a harassment warning letter from the police in January 2008 when he was 16, telling him not to contact an ex-girlfriend.
The prosecution alleges that heavily built Turner strangled the part-time Topshop assistant and that he was a violent and jealous boyfriend who feared Emily was being unfaithful.
He went "absolutely nuts", it is claimed, in a culmination of a month of anger and upset over his suspicions she was "twisting his heart".
When arrested he had his passport in his pocket and bags packed, the court heard.
The court has heard he told paramedics the couple argued and Emily attacked him. He says he defended himself and when he woke up she was dead.
He told officers at the scene: "I never meant to harm her, I just defended myself." He then made no comment in police interviews.
Computers seized from his home had Google searches for "death by strangulation" and "how to get out of being charged for murder".
Police bugged the family home and recorded Turner's parents, Leigh Turner, 54, and Anita Turner, 51, "fabricating evidence" and being worried about lying to the police.
Mr Turner, who runs a jewellery shop his son works in part-time, is alleged to have used bleach to destroy a letter his son is said to have written saying he killed Emily.
Ms Turner took a coat from the scene of the death, it is also alleged. They both deny perverting the course of justice. Turner also denies perverting the course of justice.
Emily was born in Britain but her family emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand, when she was nine. She returned to live with her grandparents in Bournemouth to study.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow when Turner is expected to continue his evidence.