THE man accused of murdering Emily Longley admitted saying “10 or 15 times” he would kill her – but insisted he never meant it.

He also said that on the night before her death he had not suggested to friend Tom Crowe that he would set Emily on fire with petrol, drowning her in a bath or strangling her.

Elliot Turner, 20, took the stand at Winchester Crown court to deny killing his girlfriend.

The court heard Emily had written to Turner asking him to stop threatening to kill her.

The letter was written during a two-day break the pair spent on the Isle of Man in March 2011.

Turner, wearing a smart blue suit, white shirt and tie, told the court he and Emily had a few “petty” arguments on the first day and he suggested they wrote letters to express their feelings.

In hers, Emily penned. “I love you.”

She then wrote: “Don’t say you will kill me,” the court heard.

Turner was asked by his barrister, Anthony Donne QC, how often he had said this to Emily.

Turner replied: “10-15 times.”

He added: “I admit that I said I would kill her.

“I didn’t literally mean that.”

He added that Emily also said it to him on occasions.

Emily also wrote: “Stop talking about your ex-girlfriend” and “stop being so constantly aggressive”.

Turner told the court: “I had been verbally aggressive. I had never been physically aggressive.”

Turner said he had “stupidly” punched the wardrobe in the hotel bedroom following an argument with Emily.

The jury was told that Turner has no criminal convictions but he did receive a reprimand from the police when he was 16 for making off from a taxi without payment.

The court also heard Turner had received a harassment warning letter relating to an ex-girlfriend which warned him off any further contact, either directly or via text messages, voice calls or internet messaging.

The prosecution claim Turner strangled Emily in his bedroom at the Turner family home in Queenswood Avenue in Queens Park in Bournemouth on May 7 last year.

Turner is also accused, together with his parents Leigh Turner, 54, and Anita Turner, 51, of perverting the course of justice.

All three deny the charges.

The trial continues.