A man accused of strangling his former girlfriend said his “mind had completely gone” after an intense argument when she told him she had a new boyfriend, a murder trial jury heard yesterday.

James Gray, 25, denies murdering mother-of-two Jade Watson, 22, in a caravan at the back of his home in Wood Lane, Swain House, Bradford, on the afternoon of November 5 last year, but admits her manslaughter.

After spending ten days apart, the couple, whose relationship had become strained over the previous few weeks, agreed to meet up and went to the caravan at the back of Gray’s mother’s home in Wood Lane.

Miss Watson told him she had started another relationship with Christopher Gill and no longer wanted to see him.

Giving evidence, Gray told the court the argument then became more heated and he said he was “shaking, crying, pacing up and down with his head in his hands in despair”, the jury at Bradford Crown Court was told.

After putting both of his hands around Miss Watson’s neck as she tried to escape the caravan, Gray picked up a solid bike lock off the draining board and struck her on the forehead with it.

After she fell to the floor, Gray shook Miss Watson and unsuccessfully felt her neck and wrist for a pulse and could also not sense a heartbeat.

Gray said he felt “disgusted” after seeing the blood-stained bike lock, panicked and threw it over the garden fence after leaving the caravan.

He said: “It was an intense argument.

“I was thinking about the things she was saying, I was completely overwhelmed. She was saying so much, so fast. The argument on my side then became physical.

“I was just not thinking at all. My mind had completely gone, my head was in a whirl.

“I just thought this was so serious, so terrible.

“The blow with the bike lock was quite forceful. I saw the metal bike lock had blood at the end of it and I looked at it in shock, I completely panicked.” Gray added: “Jade told me she felt trapped and said ‘My whole life is a mess’. She was deeply unhappy.”

The jury has previously heard Gray and Miss Watson, of Wrose, Shipley, separated in May 2013 but continued to meet in secret at various locations.

The trial continues.