A lab worker accused of murdering a colleague during a brief relationship laughed in the witness box while describing how he watched pornography in the hours after the killing.
Ross McCullum has previously claimed he killed Megan Newborough out of “blind rage” after remembering sexual abuse from his childhood.
Giving evidence under cross-examination on Monday, McCullum, who admits strangling Miss Newborough and then cutting her throat but denies murder, was asked about why he had accessed online pornography in the hours after the killing.
He told Leicester Crown Court: “Yes, as a safety blanket – it makes you feel better for a short period of time.”
John Cammegh KC, prosecuting, asked McCullum: “That’s what you did at 7am, for some 17 minutes, after killing Megan?”
McCullum, 30, then laughed as he said: “Yes. I’m being completely honest.
“I know how bad it makes me look.”
Mr Cammegh asked: “What are you laughing for?”
“I was trying to answer, but you interrupted me,” replied McCullum.
He told the court he accessed pornography as “escapism from what I’ve just done”.
Prosecutors have claimed McCullum murdered Miss Newborough, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, between 8.08pm and 8.49pm on Friday August 6 last year.
The court heard previously how McCullum sent text messages to 23-year-old Miss Newborough’s phone, knowing she was dead, after he used her own car to dump the HR worker in a lane near Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire.
The Crown’s barrister asked: “Did it (watching pornography) make you feel better?”
McCullum, of Windsor Close, Coalville, said: “It relieved the stress of what I had done.
“And I did the worst stuff you could do afterwards, which was leaving text messages.
“I hate myself for that – yes – and I felt like crap.”
McCullum was asked about whether he considered his “worst actions” to be sending the texts, rather than killing Miss Newborough.
Mr Cammegh asked: “Do I understand you right, so far as you were concerned, strangling Megan…”
McCullum then interjected, saying: “Using a knife as well.”
The Crown’s KC continued: “Using a knife to an extreme degree.
“And on the other hand you’re sending messages – you say the worst aspect was the text messages and the cover-up?
“That’s worse than, as we say, murdering Megan in cold blood?”
McCullum replied: “I know there was no control over that.
“I wasn’t myself.
“And afterwards, especially next day, I started really examining what I’d done, what I needed to do.
“I had just killed somebody – killed Megan.
“So I took a deep breath and thought ‘what do I do’, and I did that (sent the messages).”
Asked if it was only “the next morning” McCullum had the self-awareness to recognise what he had done was wrong, he replied: “No.
“The full extent was starting to sink in, which is why I watched pornography.
“To feel better.”
The trial continues.