A Halifax man recorded three messages on his phone confessing to killing his girlfriend, while he was comtemplating suicide, a court heard.
Adrian Muir, 50, dumped Pamela Jackson in a hidden grave on ‘bleak moorland’ in Calderdale and placed flowers on her body in an act of contrition, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
Muir from Calder Terrace, Copley, denies murdering the 55-year-old grandmother from Chester-le-Street, County Durham.
Ms Jackson disappeared from her family home in The Crescent on Saturday, March 3, this year.
The jury heard her body was found 120 miles away on the moors, just off Turvin Road, Cragg Vale, on May 27.
Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, said the area of the grave was “bleak West Yorkshire moorland”, off the B6138.
When forensic specialists uncovered the burial site, a plastic Tesco bag was found on top of her body, which was left in a foetal position.
“It’s a Tesco bag containing some flowers, perhaps a sign of contrition at that early stage,” Mr Robertson said.
“Pamela Jackson has been buried with a bunch of flowers in a plastic bag. The Tesco bag was examined and a finger print was found on it. Whose finger print was it? Yes, members of the jury, Adrian Muir’s.”
Analysis of Muir’s phone showed it travelled down the A1 on the evening of March 3 from Chester-le-Street, across the Pennines, to the moors where the grave was later found.
Muir did not claim anyone else had used his phone, the court heard.
Her blood was discovered at her home, and also in his Kia car, the court heard.
Soil samples found in the foot well of his car linked him to the grave site, the jury was told.
“However, despite all that, this defendant refuses to face up to what he has done, refuses to face up publicly to the grievous crime he has committed, hence this trial,” Mr Robertson said.
“There was a time he was prepared to admit, at least privately, that he had murdered Pamela Jackson.
“It seems initially he was so overcome with remorse that he decided to kill himself.”
Mr Robertson said Muir did not leave a suicide note, but “dictated his feelings onto his phone and thus the police were able to eventually retrieve his own recordings of his own voice, we say, confessing to his crime”.
Muir spoke into his phone on the night the prosecution say he buried Ms Jackson and said she “hurt her head” after a row.
In a broad Yorkshire accent, he said his girlfriend told him to leave, claiming she had a split personality.
“Then things went wrong,” he said. “She said ‘go, f****** go. I said I don’t want to.
“She was like a bloody devil. She got me knife and tried attacking me with it and I got it off her and shoved her down and she hurt her head and that.
“I can’t explain but it was a disater and I’m f****** heartbroke. I cannot live anymore.”
In a second recording he claimed he had given Ms Jackson thousands of pounds, which she had spent, and that was why she wanted him out of her life.
And in a final message, he claimed he loved Ms Jackson - whom he called Chrissie - but he did a “terrible thing”.
He said: “I have got to do something today to end my life. I cannot go on like this, it’s a nightmare.
“I’m sorry to everyone but today’s the day, definite.
“I love Chrissie to bits but she isn’t here now and I did a terrible thing.”
Muir had lived with his partner, Susan Drake, for 32 years in Sowerby Bridge but they split after he started a relationship with Ms Jackson when they met on a dating site in April 2012.
Although he often stayed at her home, the relationship was far from settled, Mr Robertson said.
The barrister read out a series of abusive messages Ms Jackson sent to Muir in the month before she was murdered.
She boasted of having another lover, telling Muir in a text: “He is great in bed.”
On March 3, after a day with her sons, Joe and Christopher, Ms Jackson and Muir were alone in her home when he attacked her, Mr Robertson said.
A post-mortem examination revealed she suffered a black eye, bruised nose and lip caused by punches or heavy slaps, the prosecution said. More serious was a fractured skull.
“It is probable that this very serious injury was caused by a kick or stamp, or a weapon, or possibly falling very hard against something,” the prosecution said.
Muir buried her in a “highly professional way” on the moors, Mr Robertson said, then returned to Chester-le-Street, where he was caught on CCTV cleaning the back of his Kia in the car park of a supermarket where he had just bought wipes and fabric cleaner.
The trial could run until the end of September.