A MAN beat his girlfriend to death with a rock and a metal pole before chopping up her body and disposing of it in dustbins and down a toilet, a court has heard.

Dean Lowe, 33, is accused of murdering Kirby Noden, 32, in the bedroom of their basement flat in Marazion, Cornwall, in January last year.

Paul Dunkels QC, prosecuting, told Truro Crown Court: "It was January last year and the defendant and a woman called Kirby Nolan were living together in a flat in Marazion.

"It was in that month that the defendant attacked her in their bedroom of the flat, beating her to death with a rock and a metal pole. He then disposed of her body.

"Her blood was splattered around the bedroom from the attack upon her and it soaked into the mattress where her body had been laying and it was on the weapons he had used to murder her.

"No one other than the defendant knew what had happened to Kirby Noden for five months until May of last year when the defendant began to send text messages to members of his family in Cheshire that there has been a body on the floor of the flat which he had cut up and put into bins and down the toilet.

"They contacted the police and when the police went to the flat the defendant showed that officer the blood and admitted to the police officer he had killed Kirby Noden and disposed of her body."

The couple, originally from Winsford in Cheshire, had a "chaotic lifestyle" marked by homelessness and drug use, with Lowe taking "some form of pills".

Mr Dunkels said the last confirmed sighting of Miss Noden was on January 11 when a couple went to her flat to buy cannabis from Lowe.

He said a benefit payment of £220.40 was paid into Miss Noden's bank account on January 10 and later that day all but 40p was withdrawn in cash.

"It is clear that the defendant had Kirby Noden's bank card after he killed her but he did not have her pin and was unable to withdraw cash from an ATM," Mr Dunkels said.

"The prosecution say that the defendant killed Kirby Noden some time between January 11 and 14 last year."

Lowe, of Beacon Road, Marazion, denies murder.

Mr Dunkels said Miss Noden must have been dead by January 14 when Lowe is attempting to withdraw money from a cash machine. After failing he used her card online to purchase camping equipment as well as with Dominos, Asda and Argos.

When police arrived at the flat months later they discovered the bloodstained weapons - a metal pole in the bathroom and the rock in several pieces - used in the murder.

"The defendant had attacked her with a rock that fractured into pieces with the force of the blows," Mr Dunkels said.

"Having killed her the defendant moved her body, probably in pieces, and cleaned up the worst of the blood and cutting away the worst of the carpet.

"For four months, from mid-January to mid-May lived on in the flat in the state it was in. Living in the midst of what he had done must have been gruesome."

Police were alerted by Lowe's family in Cheshire after he sent them a series of messages, including pictures of the blood-stained flat.

He told a cousin: "She's dead and has been chopped up and put down the toilet and in the bins down the road.

"Either I'm getting set up or I've murdered Kirby. I had a black out, hazy memory and woke up with a body on the floor. I am scared so I just got rid.

"I put the body in the bins down the road. I remember the binmen finding all the meat and didn't know what it was. The carpet was lifted because of the body matter.

"It took a week to get rid of the body, it was horrible. (My) head's gone. I know what I saw, it was real, it seems real. Either Kirby dead or set up."

When a uniformed officer arrived at the flat to investigate, Lowe confessed and told him: "January, that's when I did it."

Mr Dunkels said: "He went on to tell the officer how he did it. He said there was blood on the floor and he had to cut up the carpet because of the blood and guts.

"The defendant told the officer he must have killed her and cut her up. He also said he had made a necklace out of Kirby's teeth."

Mr Dunkels said police inquiries with her family, with various government agencies and examining social media had found no evidence to support the contention she is still alive.

The trial continues.