A BARNET pensioner disappeared after becoming embroiled in a love triangle with a woman half his age, the trial of his accused killer has been told.

The trial of Dwayne Cupidon, who is accused of murdering 60-year-old George Smith, started last Wednesday at The Old Bailey.

Mr Smith disappeared from his Finch Close home on August 22 last year.

The prosecution alleges the 26-year-old alleged drug dealer murdered the father-of-three after he took a safe containing £14,000 from the flat of Kerry Mustoe.

Yesterday the jury were told the pair used the money to visit Mr Smith's sister, Anne Johnson, in Devon last June, where they spent four-nights in a hotel along with Ms Mustoe's 10-year-old daughter.

One receptionist at the hotel said she saw Mr Smith with a “wedge” of cash with which he paid the trio's bill.

Two friends of Ms Mustoe's, Zoe Oliver and Sonia Bailey, who lived opposite her in Western Mansions, Great North Road, told the court she had come to them one day asking them to pry open a security box left at her flat by Mr Cupidon.

They told the court that when they opened it they found a “lot” of cash and Class A drugs, with Ms Mustoe taking £300 to share between them and some of the drugs.

The pair were also quizzed about events on the night of August 22, Ms Mustoe's 30th birthday and the day Mr Smith was last seen.

They both said they had been partying with her when Mr Cupidon, known to them as Dean, turned up.

However, at around 7am the next morning, they were woken by the pair arguing.

Ms Bailey, who had to leave the court to be examined by a matron part-way through her cross-examination, said the row had become violent.

She said: “I heard Dean talking about money, saying about £35 grand in cash and £20 grand in drugs.

“It ended up in them fighting. I heard shouting and screaming and (Kerry's daughter) saying 'get off my mum'.”

Police were called but by the time they arrived Mr Cupidon had left the flats.

Ms Mustoe's mother, Jennifer Stone, told the court she had four calls from Mr Cupidon when her daughter and Mr Smith had disappeared with the money in June.

She said: “He sounded rather agitated I would say. I said I didn't know where she was. He told me it had his life savings in it. He said it was £11,000 in there.”

She added: “I actually said something like what on earth are you doing walking around with that sort of cash, it should be in a bank.

“I got three or four phone calls in the same way from him in those two or three days. The amount changed the day after to £14,000.”

The jury was read the transcript of a phone call from Mr Smith to police reporting Mr Cupidon for drug dealing in July, claiming he had forcefully moved into Ms Mustoe's home.

In the call he told the operator: “I've already complained about this and nothing's been done. Because you guys did nothing about it I sent a few friends over to beat him and took all his gear and burned it.”

Police officers also gave evidence about Mr Cupidon's arrest on September 8, when he was seen throwing a backpack off the A41 in Mill Hill after he was spotted by an undercover officer.

Detective Sergeant Simon Morrison then explained Mr Cupidon had refused to give an address when arrested, although investigations led them to an address in Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware.

A set of keys found on him opened the communal and front door of the flat which he shared with his mother, Patricia Cunningham, aunt and cousin.

Another key opened a locked door and a search uncovered a bag with drug dealing paraphenalia, another with £1,300 of cash in and a sheet of paper with information including Mr Smith's address written on it.

However he told the court the search was stopped when officers found a gun in another room, which later proved to be imitation.

Mr Cupidon denies murder and the trial continues.