A murder suspect claimed he found his alleged victim “on the couch, dead" while staying at his house, a court has heard.

Donald Patience, 45, was found dead, wrapped in a pink duvet at the bottom of his stairs at his home on Ainsworth Road, Radcliffe on August 22 last year.

Ian Connell, 39, was arrested near the house having been seen by police walking Mr Patience’s dog and was taken to Bolton Police Station for a series of interviews.

Reading out Connell’s comments to police, prosecutor Michael Hayton KC said: "I still took the dog for a quick lap, do you know what I mean?"

He added: "My head was battered so I just took her out for a bit.

The Bolton News: Police investigating the scene last AugustPolice investigating the scene last August (Image: Newsquest)

"I've got the dog, the dog's got to be in the house do you know what I mean?”

Mr Patience, known affectionately as “Prent”, had previously been described to the court as “an educated man with his roots in Scotland.”

Dressed in a plain black t-shirt Connell, of Duke Street, Bolton, looked on from the dock as Mr Hayton recreated a series of police interviews with the help of DS Susannah Holt.

The Bolton News: Floral tributes left to Mr Patience at the sceneFloral tributes left to Mr Patience at the scene (Image: Newsquest)

The jury of six men and women heard how during the interviews, held on August 25, Connell claimed that he had woken up at Mr Patience’s house having stayed the previous night.

He admitted to having used crack cocaine and to having “scored some B”, meaning heroin, that evening.

He claimed that the following morning he found Mr Prentice “there on the couch, dead."

Reading out what Connell told police, Mr Hayton said: "I've gone downstairs, my Prent's dead, I've grabbed him by the foot, he's dead."

Connell claimed that he grabbed the bedsheet, threw it over him and tried to carry him upstairs but could not manage it."

His police interview, read out by Mr Hayton said: "I shut the door and I stayed there until Tuesday."

Connell said his "head was battered with it."

The Bolton News: Donald Patience was found dead at the age of 45Donald Patience was found dead at the age of 45 (Image: GMP)

The 39-year-old told police that he knew Mr Patience was dead because he "was freezing and I tried wobbling him and he was just stiff as a board."

But Connell denied having murdered Mr Patience, telling his police interviewers that “everything had been sweet between us, it always is."

Connell claimed to have loved the late Mr Patience “like a dad.”

He told the officers that he and other men often did work for Mr Patience around the house and that he was paid in “dribs and drabs” in return.

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Mr Hayton said that Connell told police: "Sometimes he gives me money for taxi fares and I spend it on smack, do you know what I mean?"

When asked why he had not called the police or an ambulance when he found Mr Patience dead, Connell said that he was “scared.”

He said he had no memory of making a phone call shortly after Mr Patience’s death where he admitted to “killing his boss.”

Connell denies both murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The trial before Mrs Justice Naomi Ellenbogen DBE at Manchester Crown Court continues.