Hannah Pearson
Hannah Pearson

A 24-year-old Newark man who is on trial for the murder of a teenager put his hands round her neck during sex after he had seen it done on a film, Nottingham Crown Court was told today.

James Morton, of Pierson Street, denies murdering Hannah Pearson, 16, of Marston, Lincolnshire, on July 24 last year.

His barrister, Mr Shaun Smith QC, asked him if he had wanted Hannah to die, to hurt or kill her.

He also asked Mr Morton: "Is there any reason you wanted her to die in your bed in your parents' home?" 

Morton answered "no" to all four questions.

Morton said he had met friends in Lincoln during the day of July 23. In the evening one of them, Jed Hope, was joined by Hannah Pearson, who was his girlfriend.

Hannah and Mr Hope were asked by Morton if they wanted to go back to his parents' home because they were away.

Mr Hope said he had not got the money for the train fare but Hannah decided to go.

Once back in Newark, Morton said they had some drinks in the garden.

He said Hannah had been more tipsy than him and he had to help guide her upstairs to his bedroom so they could go to sleep.

He said Hannah had laid on his bed fully clothed so he put a duvet over her. He stripped down to his boxer shorts and lay beside her. Morton said he had not intended to have sex with her.

He said Hannah had asked about some more drink. She placed her hand on his cheek and then kissed him on the mouth.

"I responded and kissed her back," he said.

'I had seen it on a film and wanted to try it'

Morton said she had allowed him to help remove her clothing. She laid on her back under the duvet and he had sat across her.

He said he had put his left hand around her throat. She asked him what he was doing and he said he had told her to say if she did not like it and for him to stop.

"I didn't want her to feel like she was unsafe," said Mr Morton.

He then put his right hand on the top of his left and applied sightly more pressure.

Morton said he had also tried it on a previous partner.

"I was curious. I had seen it on a film and wanted to try it," he said.

Morton said he had heard Hannah take a sharp intake of breath. He loosened his grip and said her breathing had calmed down.

"I was massaging her neck," he said. "I believe she was alive."

Morton said when he could not hear her breathing he turned on the light and saw Hannah staring at him. He said her eyes were glazed and her lips were purple.

"I was scared, panicking, shocked," he said. "I didn't know want to do."

He said he had called her name and shaken her so forcibly she had fallen off the bed.

Mr Morton said Hannah's phone had kept going off so he tried to turn it off. He removed the case, cutting his thumb in the process and it fell to the floor.

He said he then threw it against the wall.

He called 999 from another phone and said he had then waited for the police in his front garden.

The trial continues.