Teacher Jane Longhurst never indulged in kinky sex or even talked about it, a former lover told a court today.

Lincoln Abbott, a music specialist with BBC orchestras, had a relationship with Miss Longhurst for two to three years until 1997.

At the time they were both at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she was a post-graduate student.

Mr Abbott, 33, told Lewes Crown Court today they were close friends for five years.

He said their physical relationship was "absolutely straight and normal" and there was never any suggestion of indulging in sexual deviations such as strangulation.

Jeremy Gold QC, defending, asked if he would be shocked to learn Miss Longhurst had discussed their relationship with a fellow student.

Mr Abbott said: "I would be surprised."

He denied they had tried what Mr Gold described as "breath-controlled play," saying they had enjoyed "a very special relationship.

"Graham Coutts, 35, of Waterloo Street, Hove, denies murdering Miss Longhurst, of Shaftesbury Road, Brighton, last year.

The door-to-door salesman is alleged to have strangled the 31-year-old music teacher with a pair of tights and hidden her body for 35 days before burning it in woods near Pulborough.

The court has heard Coutts is likely to suggest Miss Longhurst's death was an accident during sex.

Earlier, Coutts wept in the dock as his interview with police after Miss Longhurst's body had been found was read to the jury.

Coutts said: "I don't want to talk about it" in reply to dozens of questions from Detective Sergeant Dobs O'Brien.

Coutts began sobbing as he was asked: "Did you kill Jane Longhurst? What happened on March 14?

"We have received Jane's swimming costume, towel and goggles - did you meet her to go swimming?

"How did Jane's bank card get into your storage box?

"Did you strangle Jane?

"Did you put those tights around Jane's neck? Did you strangle her with those tights?

"How did her body come to be on fire?

"Did you set fire to Jane's body?"

Mr O'Brien also asked Coutts why his partner, Lisa Stephens, said Coutts had cleaned out his Rover car on the day after Miss Longhurst's body had been found.

Tests have proved there was an indication of blood and body fluids in the vehicle.

The trial continues.