A MURDER suspect claims his love rival got two masked 'Scousers' to beat him up and attack his dog to send him a message to 'stay away' from his ex.

Mark Chilman says the two men, both with Liverpudlian accents, attacked him when he got out of his pick-up, claiming it was 'a message' from Neil Parkinson, the man he is accused of later killing.

The 52-year-old is giving evidence at Worcester Crown Court following the death of the 66-year-old father-of-two who was found dead in his burnt out BMW in Ankerdine Road, Cotheridge, near Worcester on December 12 last year.

Mr Parkinson had started an intimate relationship with Chilman's former partner, Juliet Adcock.

Chilman took photos of his bloody face from November 3 last year, telling a jury he had been attacked in Pencombe Lane.

He described how someone in a black car began sounding the horn and flashing the headlights so he pulled over.

He said the car pulled alongside his vehicle and someone inside said: "Hey mate, there's something wrong with the back of your pickup."

Chilman, who said he had never seen this car before, told the jury he got out of his truck to have a look, crouching down to do so.

"The next thing I know he's hitting me and kicking me. He's got me on the floor" he said.

Chilman described two men attacking him. "I curled up in a ball to try and protect myself. In the end they stopped when I stopped moving" he told the jury.

As they left he said they told him: "This is a message from Neil - stay away. If you don't your dogs will be next, then it will be your sister."

When he got home to the Old Post Office in Pencombe he said he had a shower and cleaned himself up, saying he 'didn't think it was too bad at the time' but that it felt 'quite sore'.

However, the next morning he said he had 'two black eyes starting' and there was bruising between his legs which 'all went black'.

He told his sisters he had been 'smacked in the face by a branch'.

When asked why he hadn't told them the truth he said: "Because I felt a bit ashamed to be beaten up to be fair plus I didn't want them worried."

About a week later he said his Spaniel, Bob, was barking and the next thing he heard the dog 'whining' and could see a man on the other side of the hedge running.

"I took after them but couldn't catch them" he said, describing a black car driving off towards Bromyard.

He said the car looked like the same one that had stopped when he was attacked in Pencombe Lane.

Bob was taken to the vets, Chilman told the jury, and had suffered a broken elbow which 'really needed pinning'. Because he was too old for the operation he was given painkillers instead, Chilman said.

When asked to describe the men he said both were of medium to slim build. "I couldn't see their faces. They had woolly hats on and masks of some description" he said.

He said their accents were Liverpool or Scouse.

The trial continues.