A court in New York has heard that a Portuguese model allegedly killed a gay fashion journalist and then wore the victim’s testicles on his wrists, claiming they could give him magical powers.

The trial of former underwear model Renato Seabra has been continuing.

Defence lawyers have tried to show that Seabra had mentally snapped when he fatally attacked Carlos Castro.

It’s claimed Seabra was so tortured by his relationship with the 65-year-old that he beat him to death, castrated him with a corkscrew, then wore the dead man’s genitalia on his arms to harness what he believed were its healing powers, Sebra’s defence lawyer argued in court.

“He did this for his protection. He could also harness the power. He wandered the streets of Manhattan, touching people, because he had the power to cure people from AIDS, because he had the power to cure them,” said Mr Rubin Sinins.

Seabra is accused of murdering Mr Castro while they were on vacation at the InterContinental Hotel in Manhattan last year.

Wanda Pires, a close friend of Mr Castro, said in court that her friend described the relationship as “the best thing that ever happened in his life”.

Ms Pires said Mr Castro had given the aspiring model free rein with his credit card and had planned trips to shopping malls, casinos and basketball games during their vacation, according to the New York Post.

However, Ms Pires said the relationship turned sour when Mr Castro later caught Seabra with a group of young women.

Ms Pires told jurors that she spoke to Mr Castro on the morning he died on 7 January 2011, and he said the couple had fought all night and Seabra had declared he was no longer gay.

The trial continues.