Nottingham

Newark man, 24, denies strangling Hannah Pearson, 16

Hannah Pearson Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Hannah Pearson, from Marston in Lincolnshire, has spent some time drinking with James Morton

A man has denied murdering a 16-year-old girl, telling a court he had no reason to want her to die.

Hannah Pearson's body was found at a house in Newark, Nottinghamshire, last July, after she had gone there with James Morton, 24.

Mr Morton told a jury at Nottingham Crown Court he was curious about putting his hands round a girl's neck, having seen it in a film.

He insisted his actions were consensual and the death an accident.

Image caption Police were called to a house on Pierson Street in Newark by James Morton

The court heard Ms Pearson and her boyfriend had met Mr Morton that day, but only she accompanied him back to the house.

After drinking he said he settled her down fully clothed to go to sleep but they started kissing and she agreed to him putting his hands on her neck.

Defence lawyer Shaun Smith QC asked Mr Morton: "When you put your hands round Heather Pearson's neck did you mean to do her any harm?"

Mr Morton replied: "Not at all"

"Was it your intention to kill her?" Mr Smith asked.

"Not at all" replied Mr Morton.

"Was there any reason you wanted her dead?"

"No"

The prosecution has claimed Mr Morton increasingly enjoyed the sensation of strangling women even though he knew it was dangerous.

The trial continues.

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