A MURDER suspect accused of killing his love rival says he 'never laid a finger on him' but accepts hatching a plan to castrate him with a knife.

Mark Chilman denies murdering Neil Parkinson after discovering he was having 'an affair' with his ex-partner as his trial continued at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The 52-year-old stands accused of killing the 66-year-old father-of-two whose body was discovered in his burnt out BMW in Ankerdine Road, Cotheridge, near Worcester on December 12 last year.

The handyman of Old Post Office, Pencombe admitted in one interview he was present at the lay-by where Mr Parkinson's body was found.

He claims Mr Parkinson set himself on fire in the car using fuel from two jerry cans stolen from Juliet Adcock's farm, the cans hidden in a hedgerow in advance of his love rival's 'suicide'.

Chilman, who said he watched the fire ignite and heard the 'whoosh' of the explosion, told officers he had given a phone to Mr Parkinson while he had the other and they had arranged to meet in the lay-by between 9pm and 10pm on the night of his death.

"He told me where he was going to do it, the defendant said, telling officers he followed him in the car to the lay-by.

He told officers in interview that Mr Parkinson had said to him after 'I'm ready to commit suicide' and 'I've had enough'.

Mr Parkinson's son Christopher had previously told the jury his father had no history of depression or mental health problems and had been 'very happy' with his life at the time.

Chilman told officers in interview he thought he could beat up Mr Parkinson but did not want to do it in front of his former partner, Juliet Adcock. When asked how he intended to castrate Mr Parkinson he said: "I don't really know, just cut it off. I have a penknife."

He said a text message to his phone from friend Andy Underwood of 'don't do this on your own' was a reference to his plan to castrate Mr Parkinson, not to murder him, a plan referred to as 'horrific' by one of the officers interviewing him.

However, he said he 'cancelled' this plan when he learned that Parkinson intended to kill himself.

He said he either 'texted Andy to cancel it' or 'perhaps he texted me to cancel it' and that he 'didn't want him getting involved'.

In the video interview with police recorded on December 15 last year and played to the jury on Friday Chilman told officers: "He has made me angry. He has made me severely angry. I will hold my hands up."

Chilman was asked if he had seen Mr Parkinson and his former partner having sex and he said 'no' but accepted she was 'a sexually active person'.

As previously reported, Mr Parkinson's blood was found on the gatepost of Giltedge Farm in Broadwas where Mrs Adcock lived. A plant pot was also broken and there was damage to the gate.

A post-mortem revealed Mr Parkinson of Clifton upon Teme had suffered a depressed fracture to the back of his skull which would have rendered him unconscious.

An officer asked Chilman: "On December 12, did you smack him one?"

"No, I didn't touch him on the 12th" said Chilman. He added: "Truthfully, I didn't lay a finger on him."

When Chilman was told there was blood on the gatepost he said: "Oh, is there?"

Chilman said the blood was not his and he was 'nowhere near the gatepost'. He was asked if there had been 'a commotion' and Chilman replied: "Not as far as I'm concerned."

If Mr Parkinson's blood was on the gate the defendant said he 'may have shut his finger in the gate'.

The trial continues.