The grandmother of a 21-year-old man found strangled in Tenbury Wells told a murder trial jury she had tried to curb his drinking.

Margaret Palmer said she had visited pubs to ask them to serve soft drinks instead of alcohol to her grandson Adrian Palmer, who suffered from a form of autism.

But post-mortem examination showed that he was three times the drink-drive limit, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Mr Palmer had been drinking with former schoolfriend Ben Murphy, a 20-year-old labourer who has admitted his manslaughter on May 20 last year but denies murder.

Prosecutor Robert Juckes said Mr Palmer, of Bromyard Road, Tenbury, had fallen out with Murphy after accusing him of raping him. The allegation was investigated by police but there was no prosecution.

Mr Juckes alleged Murphy, of Kyreside, Tenbury, bombarded Mr Palmer with hostile texts and phone calls, often threatening to kill him.

Mr Palmer, who had been drinking with Murphy in The Vaults pub, walked out with him at 11.30pm and was found dead nearly four hours later near Tenbury Post Office. Murphy soon appeared at the scene and confessed to the killing, saying he was irritated because Adrian had been following and staring at him.

But Murphy had lied to police about where the killing had taken place. Mr Juckes said it had been at a terraced house in Teme Street, where Mr Palmer's mobile phone and a shoe were found. There was evidence of heavy drinking.

Mrs Palmer told the court she had looked after Adrian since he was two.

The night before Mr Palmer's body was found, she called him several times on his mobile phone, but was unable to contact him after 10.37pm.

Cross-examined by Rex Tedd QC, defending, she said Mr Palmer became very agitated when she learned from police that he had made the allegation of rape. Threatening calls started soon afterwards.

The trial continues.