A man went to sleep next to the corpse of his lover instead of calling for help because he was heavily drugged and frightened, a court heard today.

Laszlo Gyarmati, 29, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering 25-year-old Alexandra Kovacs at her home in Lee Road, Mill Hill, last July.

Mr Gyarmati told jurors at Central Criminal Court how he had smoked cannabis and sniffed MDMA on the night he argued with Miss Kovacs over their plans to organise illegal marriages to earn extra money.

Despite telling the court earlier today that he thought the effect MDMA had on him that night was irrelevant to his trial, he later admitted that it made him “irritable”.

He said: “In principle I should feel well from the MDMA but in practice this is not its effect. I took rather a lot of it and it brought about a sudden change of mind and I was irritable.”

During the argument, Mr Gyarmati described putting his hand over Miss Kovacs’s mouth in an attempt to stop her talking. 

He said she “shrieked for help”, so he put his hand on her throat before covering her face with a pillow. When he removed the pillow, Mr Gyarmati realised he had killed Miss Kovacs.

Telling the court why he did not contact police, he said: “I can’t speak much English, I was heavily drugged, and I was very frightened.”

Instead, Mr Gyarmati went downstairs where he saw a large, black suitcase.

He took the case upstairs, removed Miss Kovacs’s clothes and dragged her body off the bed by pulling at her bra between the cups.

The body "fell" into the suitcase which he then took to Dollis Valley Greenwalk where he left it, before returning to his home in Station Road, Finchley, on the morning of Thursday July 18, last year.

He said: “I didn’t feel physically ill but in my soul, I did not feel well.”

Mr Gyarmati also admitted to posting a message on Miss Kovacs’s Facebook account and calling her phone in “a stupid attempt” to cover his tracks.

But he agreed with his defence lawyer, Joel Bennathan QC, that what he did “was very wrong” and there are “many things he should have done differently”.

Mr Gyarmati has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering Miss Kovacs.

The trial continues.