A DIVORCED father accused of killing a solicitor told a jury he was shocked to discover her lying dead beside him after they performed a sex act in her car on an industrial estate.

Dad-of-three Philip Martins, aged 48, denies murdering 45-year-old Linda Bakewell, from Rainhill, a director at a Liverpool law firm.

A post mortem concluded she died of asphyxiation and had suffered impact injuries to her head while she was still alive.

Martins admitted drinking seven pints of strong lager and taking cocaine at a Northern Soul night before meeting her at a Widnes bar on Friday, November 19, last year, Chester Crown Court heard this week.

CCTV cameras captured them entering BBs at 2.55am, and leaving an hour later after he drank three pints. They walked to The Establishment in Victoria Square.

They left an hour later and her car was seen arriving in Bennetts Lane, Widnes at 4am.

Martins, of Somerford Walk, Halton View, Widnes, told the court: “We were just flirting with each other and she asked me for sex.

“We undressed each other together. I fell asleep. I just remember coming around and the shock of seeing her face. She’d died.

“I panicked.”

John McDermott, QC, defending, asked him: “How clear in your mind is this incident?”

He replied: “It isn’t very clear at all.”

Martins said he had no idea how she died.

Martins left her naked body in the back of the car and clambered into the driving seat. CCTV cameras filmed him leaving the industrial estate at 5.45am.

He told the jury: “I tried to lift her out of the car but it was very difficult. I dropped her. Her head hit the gravel.”

As he dragged her, he said her heels and arms scraped along the ground.

He added: “I dropped her again because the flags were uneven.”

A neighbour spotted him as he struggled to carry her body into his house. Martins shouted that it was a friend who was drunk.

Martins, added: “I just laid her down next to the settee and covered her with a duvet.

“I didn’t know what to do. I felt in disarray.”

He went to bed but couldn’t sleep.

He told the jury: “I moved her body into the back kitchen because I noticed blood on the carpet.”

He kept her body hidden for the next four days.

He said he drove to the police station on Monday morning but turned around half way.

When he came home, he carried her body out of his back door to his car. He said he used a duvet cover as a sled but it didn’t work.

He said: “I was going to take her to the police station when I could bring myself around.

“I felt remorseful. I was worried.”

When the police came on November 22, and said they were going to search his home, he said: “She’s in the boot.”

Mr McDermott asked Martins if he had smothered Miss Bakewell, hit her on the head or struck her.

He replied: “Not that I’m aware of.”

He asked him if they had rowed, argued or fought in the car.

Martins said: “Not that I’m aware of.”

The trial continues.