A MAN accused of murdering Breightmet mum Maggie Smythe has opted not to give evidence in his own defence.

At the conclusion of the prosecution evidence today Alistair Webster QC, representing 40-year-old Christopher Taylor, stood and told the jury of five men and five women: "On behalf on Mr Taylor I call no evidence."

Taylor's brother, 29-year-old Brian Ottley, who is accused of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice, also declined to go into the witness box at Bolton Crown Court on the seventh day of the trial.

The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh asked the defence teams if their clients were aware that if, "without good cause", they refuse to answer any questions the jury may draw "inferences" from their decision.

Both Mr Webster and Ian McMeekin, for Ottley, confirmed they were aware of the consequences.

Susan Johnston, giving evidence for Ottley's defence, told the court that he had visited her home on Greenroyd Avenue on Sunday January 27 asking if her partner had his brother, Taylor's phone number as he wanted some ladders taking to the Red Bridge Tavern and Ottley couldn't manage it.

Earlier the jury were given further details of the search for Maggie's missing body parts and how police were led to The Bunk lodge after Taylor told his solicitor that he had put Maggie's head in a pillowcase and buried it in a muddy reed bed, digging the hole with his hands.

But, despite an extensive search, including Taylor being taken to the lodge from prison, nothing was found.

At the time he told police: "The only thing I can put it down to if it's not here is that little s**t of a brother of mine's had it and put it somewhere else."

Maggie's head has never been found and the prosecution claim Taylor, of Greenroyd Avenue, Breightmet, was only pretending to help police because he did not want them to find the missing body part as it would provide evidence about how she died.

During the trial the court heard how Taylor lied to police in five interviews following his arrest, claiming that he had not been in touch with his former partner for weeks. But his semen was found in her body, which was discovered hidden under a pile of rubble at the derelict Red Bridge Tavern pub. An unopened bottle of wine with Maggie's hair on it and a saw with traces of Maggie's blood on it were found nearby.

In a defence statement Taylor, who subsequently admitted manslaughter, claimed that he and Maggie had gone to the pub for sex but had argued and he had hit her once to the forehead.

Pathologist Dr Naomi Carter told the court that, without her head, the precise cause of Maggie's death may never be known.

The jury heard the last of the evidence in the case today and will return to court on Thursday when they are expected to hear closing speeches from the prosecution and defence barristers and the case will be summed up for them and legal directions given by Judge Walsh.

The trial continues.