A MAN accused of murdering his partner during lockdown says he “panicked” when he found her dead on the kitchen floor.

Wayne Morris said he has “no recollection” of the events that led to Ruth Brown’s death in Bognor.

He is accused of battering the 52-year-old mum to death with a plastic tray at her home in Collyer Avenue during the first coronavirus lockdown last year.

At Brighton Crown Court he told jurors that he “truly loved” Ruth and would not have any intention to kill her.

He had no memory because he had downed cider and whisky, and was also “extremely stoned” after smoking cannabis.

But Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, cross examined him about the alleged incident, and what Morris, a binman, had told police and his family about what happened.

Morris told police his former partner had kicked off.

Philip Bennetts QC for the Crown asked him: "If you don't remember an argument, why do you say 'She just started?' Are you saying she started it?"

Morris said: "I assume she started it. I haven’t got much of a recollection.”

He carried on drinking heavily after finding her body face down on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood.

The court heard he put his former partner in bed, mopped the kitchen floor and put the broken plastic tray in a wheelie bin before going out to buy more cider.

He spent the day drinking and smoking on his own, and ordered himself a takeaway. Then the next day he spent time with his daughter Skye, before eventually deciding to go on the run to the Isle of Wight.

Morris was asked why he had not called the police or an ambulance, and said he had “panicked”.

He said: "I reached down to feel for a pulse and as I picked her arm up, it was stiff. I came to the conclusion that she was dead.

"I had panicked and put Ruth to bed, I thought if it’s out of sight, it was out of mind. If I was thinking clear, I would have phoned 999. I obviously wasn’t thinking at all."

Mr Bennetts asked him: "When the police ask you what you were doing in the kitchen that night, you say 'playing tiddlywinks' and laugh."

Mr Morris said: "It was a nervous and sarcastic remark."

"You were being interviewed about killing a woman you loved," Mr Bennetts said.

"I was under a lot of stress," Mr Morris replied.

Morris, Larch Close, Bognor, denies murder.