A gay man murdered his landlady to prove his love to his partner, a friend of the couple has claimed.

Lodger Marc Riley has admitted murdering Antonietta Guarino, 61, but a friend of the couple told Bristol crown court that his boyfriend, David Carr-Burstow, confessed Riley had carried out the murder to prove his love.

According to the Wiltshire Times, Italian-born Guarino, of Trowbridge, and Riley had allegedly argued over whether Carr-Burstow could move in before her death at the beginning of this year.

Riley, 24, admitted killing her and disposing of her body in the Avon river, while Carr-Burstow, 20, has denied murder but admitting aiding in the disposal of the landlady’s corpse.

Yesterday, close friend Stephen Gurner told the jury that he had been taken out for a drive in Guarino’s Toyota Yaris by Carr-Burstow on January 8th, the day police believe she died.

He said: “He told me he wanted to tell me something and basically blurted out that him and Marc had killed their landlady.

“I remember him saying that him and Marc had had an argument and he was joking around and said to Marc ‘go downstairs and hit the landlady over the head with a hammer’ and Marc did it.

“He said to do it if he loved him, if Marc loved Dave.”

Gurner said Carr-Burstow had added that Riley then shouted for Carr-Burstow to see what he had done and the pair then put Guarino’s body in the Yaris before driving to the river.

The case continues.