Two days before the death of Jane Longhurst came one of the happiest days of Graham Coutts' life.

That Wednesday he and partner Lisa Stephens had been given their first glimpse of the unborn babies they had spent so long trying to conceive.

"It was the happiest day of (Lisa's) life," Coutts recalled yesterday. "Then two days later I cheat on her."

So, he said, he could not tell her barely 48 hours later that their friend Jane had died on the bed they shared during a sex game gone wrong.

That was Coutts' response yesterday under heavy questioning from John Kelsey-Fry QC, prosecuting, who wanted to know why he had initially failed to tell even his own girlfriend what took place in their home the Friday morning Jane died.

For more than three hours Coutts faced Mr Kelsey-Fry's questions in Court Number One, watched closely by Jane's family, partner Malcolm Sentance and a crowded public gallery.

During his previous appearance on the witness stand he had faltered, pausing often and breaking down several times.

Yesterday he was composed and controlled, looking his questioner straight in the eye.

His composure slipped a single time, when he revealed he had seen his twins just once since their birth in October.

He sobbed then but, for the majority of yesterday's hearing, Coutts held himself together, fielding Mr Kelsey-Fry's questions with apparent confidence.

No one who actually knew him would ever think him a murderer, he said.

He criticised Mr Kelsey-Fry for being "flippant", then accused him of "going around in circles". At one point he complained to the judge about the QC's "persistence".

When Mr Kelsey-Fry asked him to take a bottle of washing-up liquid and a pair of tights to demonstrate how Jane had died, he argued the tights were too short.

"Stretch them, then," said the barrister. That would be "inaccurate", replied Coutts, saying he would demonstrate with a ribbon instead. When told the tights he was holding were in fact large in size, he came back with: "Are they large in waist or large in length? They look very short."

Asked to explain why he had tied the ligature in a certain way he told the QC it was not something he wanted to replay in his mind. "Well you're going to have to help us, Mr Coutts," said Mr Kelsey-Fry. "You're the only person alive who was there."

When the questioning turned to the moment of Jane's death, Coutts turned to Judge Richard Brown and said: "I'm getting a lot of chest pain." The hearing was adjourned for 15 minutes.

Questioned about his actions in the days after Jane died, Coutts, who denies murder, insisted he had never thought he would "get away with it".