A MURDER suspect says talk of castrating his love rival was just a 'pure joke' at a pub after a few pints.

Mark Chilman accepted he made the comment at the Dewdrop Inn in Lower Broadheath, near Worcester before the alleged murder of Neil Parkinson.

The 52-year-old denies the murder of the 66-year-old father-of-two whose body was found in his burnt out BMW in Ankerdine Road, Cotheridge in December 12 last year.

Giving evidence from the witness box at Worcester Crown Court, Chilman said he had arrived at the pub at around 6.30pm or 7pm on July 31 last year, meeting with agent Andy Underwood of Complete Utilities, a company he subcontracted for, laying fibre optic cables.

Also present was a man called Mark Anderson whom he said he had not known would be there.

He knew Mr Anderson via his work with traffic management company, Link Highways.

The defendant said he drank 'three pints at the most'.

It was put to Chilman of Old Post Office, Pencombe, that in Mr Anderson's evidence, he had heard the defendant talk about castrating Mr Parkinson, the man who had now formed an intimate relationship with Chilman's ex-partner, Juliet Adcock.

When asked by his barrister who he had been talking about, Chilman said: "Possibly Neil Parkinson."

However, Chilman said they mainly spoke about work but that he did 'now and again' speak to Mr Underwood about his personal life.

He said of the comment: "It was a pure joke, a bit of a lad's thing."

"Did you have any plan to harm Neil Parkinson?" said Alisdair Williamson QC, for the defendant.

Chilman replied: "No. Never."

It was put to him that Chilman did not tell police it was a joke when he spoke about it in interview and he was asked why he had not told them that.

"Because I just didn't think it was very important. I thought it was a joke - a lad's joke. It was never going to happen" said Chilman.

The trial continues.