Published: 13:03, 01 February 2012
A drug addict accused of strangling a woman during a sex session has declined to give evidence in his defence.
Marcus Coates had told police prostitute Jennie Banner asked him to put a belt around her neck and she then pulled it tight and killed herself.
But 43-year-old Coates decided not to go into the witness box at the end of the prosecution case this week and did not call any other evidence.
Miss Banner's body, wearing only a T-shirt pulled up over her breasts, was left under a duvet in the bedroom of her Chatham flat with the belt still tightly fastened around her neck.
Coates did not report the matter until five days after her death.
Christopher May, prosecuting, told Maidstone Crown Court it was a case of murder and not an accident, as Coates claimed.
Miss Banner, who was 32, had worked as a prostitute, but was not interested in bondage or "auto-erotic asphyxiation", said Mr May.
Coates went to her home in a block of flats at Five Ways Court on August 14 last year.
Jennie Banner's body was found in a flat in this block in Chatham High Street
He said they took drugs together in the living room and she asked him to put the belt around her neck and she pulled it tight during sexual activity.
Coates said he was unable to release the belt, which had an extra hole made in it to reduce the circumference to 26.4cm (10.4in).
The court heard Coates had on his mobile phone a photo of his ex-wife Marina Raghunath wearing a dog collar around her neck.
She said in evidence that Coates was the dominant partner when he would put the collar around her neck eight or nine times during their marriage from 1995 to 1998 and pull it tight until she started to pass out.
Coates, of Ernest Road, Chatham, denies murder and manslaughter.
Judge Philip Statman was due to sum up the case today, but did not sit because of a sick juror.