Liu Qian's father Liu Jianhui and mother Zheng Yaru,  arrive at court for the trial of Brian Dickson.

Liu Qian's father Liu Jianhui and mother Zheng Yaru, arrive at court for the trial of Brian Dickson. Photo: AP

Toronto: The last image a young man in China saw on the webcam while chatting with his girlfriend in Toronto was of a man - naked from the waist down - turning off the computer moments after forcing his way into her apartment, a jury has heard.

Qian Liu, 23, was found dead the next morning, April 15, 2011, in her basement apartment.

Prosecution attorney Christine Pirraglia laid out her case against Brian Dickson on the opening day of his first-degree murder trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

Qian Liu was enrolled at York University.

Qian Liu was enrolled at York University. Photo: Reuters

The case captured international attention.

Ms Liu, who was enrolled in a preparatory course at York University, was chatting with her boyfriend Xian Meng that night using both a webcam and an instant messaging service. Sometime after 1am there was a knock on her door, Ms Pirraglia said.

Mr Meng watched Ms Liu open the door and briefly chat with a man before he tried to hug her, Ms Pirraglia said. She tried unsuccessfully to get him out but he pushed his way in, shut the door behind him and pushed her in the direction of her bed, which was off camera, Ms Pirraglia said.

He heard Ms Liu say both in English and Mandarin, "No. No," Ms Pirraglia said.

Mr Meng then heard what sounded like two muffled bangs and he didn't hear Ms Liu again, Ms Pirraglia said. He then saw the man lock the door and turn off the lights.

The next time the man appeared on screen - he approached the computer and turned it off - he was naked from the waist down, Ms Pirraglia said.

The jury saw video and photographs of Ms Liu's body, lying face down next to her bed, naked except for a nightgown and sweater, which were pulled up to her shoulders. Blood could be seen on the floor around her face.

Ms Pirraglia said there is DNA evidence that says the chances that the semen found on Ms Liu's abdomen and groin area were not from Mr Dickson were calculated as one in 2.7 quintillion.

Mr Dickson's lawyer, Robert Nuttall, told the jury in a brief opening that this case isn't about who did it, but about what happened, and he'll be asking the jury to instead convict Mr Dickson of manslaughter. The prosecution has rejected the manslaughter plea.

AP