Murder suspect Julian Felisi told police he threw away a pair of work boots about the time of Gary Bennett's death, a court heard this morning.

In a statement given to police on March 9, read out at St Albans Crown Court today, Mr Felisi described the clothes he would have worn on the morning of Mr Bennett's murder.

He explained a pair of black boots he usually wore to work had been thrown away "about three weeks ago" because they were too small.

The court heard written testimony from the officer taking Mr Felisi's statement, in which she said he mentioned he had “only ever been to Aldenham Country Park once”.

This, he told her, was was in January with his girlfriend and he “openly” showed the officer a video on his phone of them "feeding the ducks".

Prosecution barrister Michael Speak also read out Mr Felisi's first statement to police, given on February 27.

In this statement Mr Felisi described his relationship with Gary Bennett.

He said: “I have only worked with Gary on a handful of times. He was a huge man, a really lovable sort of bloke. He was very well known and liked by everyone.

“He was always the butt of people's jokes, mainly because of his size. He was nicknamed Pork Pie and that is what his number is stored as in my phone.

“I am not aware of any problems Gary had at all. For the last four years or so I have had dealings with Gary selling him tobacco. I would buy about 80 pouches every few months when I travelled to Europe and would sell about 30 or 40 pouches to Gary when I returned. I would do this to cover the cost of my own tobacco. I can't think of any reason for anyone to harm Gary.”

The court also heard how police raided Mr Felisi's home to arrest him at about 4.45am on Tuesday, March 16, in Whippendell Road, Watford.

Sergeant Graham McMillan, who conducted more than three hours of interviews with the suspect after his arrest, told the court Mr Felisi chose to answer almost every question about the murder with the response, “no comment”.

In a later statement, given to police on April 25, Mr Felisi explained he had lived with his girlfriend, a care worker, in Whippendell Road for about ten months.

He said he would regularly drive her to work, in Hazlemere, when she was on an early shift and the couple would leave home at about 4.50am.

He added he remembered she was in bed when he left for work on the morning of Mr Bennett's death and he had not given her a lift.