A jury will have to decide whether severe depression led a university worker to kill his boss.

The eight women and four men tasked with sitting over the Fiveways murder trial have been sent out to consider their verdicts.

David Browning, 51, of Willow Drive, Seaford denies murdering payroll manager Jillian Howell, 46, at her home in Sandgate Road, Brighton, but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Summing up the case to the jury, Judge Christine Laing said: “You are considering whether the defendant’s responsibility was diminished.

“You will have to assess whether it was to such a degree to significantly impair the defendant’s responsibility.

“Should you consider that feelings of jealousy or anger was the drive for the killing then you should consider that his responsibility was not impaired.

“You have to decide whether it was more likely than not that the defendant depression substantially impaired his ability to make rational judgements in respect of the killing.

“Just because killing someone is extreme or over the top doesn’t necessarily mean it was irrational.

“Should you find the defendant had strong feelings about Jillian Howell, the question is not whether his feelings were rational irrational but whether the feelings substantially impaired his ability to form rational judgements.

“Should you find his depression caused his irrational behaviour based on the evidence then you could consider his judgement was substantially impaired.

The jury has heard that Browning is accused of being “possessive, controlling and jealous“ He bought a shotgun and went to Ms Howell’s home for dinner on October 25. Wearing a bandana over his face he stabbed her once in the back, eight times in the neck and six times in the front.

He then scrawled the word “bully” in marker pen across her forehead, before handing himself in at John Street police station.

Alan Gardner prosecuting told jury: "Just after 6am on October 26 the defendant called the Sussex Police emergency line. He told the operator he was outside John Street police station with a shot gun and intended to commit suicide.

“He said to officers ‘I have murdered someone and the murder weapon is in my top right hand pocket’.

“He said to officers ‘in a nutshell I have killed my boss.’ He told officers they would find her body at her home address in Sandgate road.”

Mr Gardner told the jury at Hove Crown Court said Browning had formed an “intense attachment” to Ms Howell.

Browning claims his depression led him to kill Ms Howell whilst suffering a brain abnormality.