A MAN accused of murdering his love rival sent Facebook messages repeatedly telling him to "stay away" from his girlfriend as she was making steps to tackle her drug addiction, a court heard.

Taking the stand at his Cardiff Crown Court trial today Barry Bowyer, 38, said on one occasion his girlfriend and former prostitute, Katie Gilmore, phoned him to say she was "locked in" TV actor Gary Suller's Cwmbran home several days after she was released from prison.

Bowyer said he found his girlfriend covered in bruises, with bite marks on the inside of her thighs and tie marks on her legs and hands.

"She wasn't sure how they had happened but was sure they happened in Suller's house," he said.

Bowyer, of Llanon House, Croesyceiliog, said his partner would stay at the actor's home "every couple of days" to get money.

He told the court Mr Suller was the source of her drugs and had previously took her to meet dealers, but she decided to give them up to try for a baby.

"I felt pity because he was trying to buy Katie," he said.

Defence counsel David Aubrey read out at least ten letters police recovered from the home shared by Miss Gilmore, also known by the name Whitbread, and Bowyer, who took drugs himself.

In them, Mr Suller declared his love for her, saying how he wanted them to have a life together.

Bowyer told the court his girlfriend fell pregnant, but after losing the baby, they received nappies through their doors for 'Katie Suller', which he thought was "sick".

Bowyer said Mr Suller, who lived in Pontnewydd, would call and text his girlfriend all the time.

"I couldn't understand why, the message was obviously clear she didn't want anything to do with him," he said.

In February last year, the two men exchanged Facebook messages, with Bowyer telling the actor to "stay away" several times.

Their conversation was seven months before Mr Suller was found dead at his Harold Street home on September 6 last year.

Bowyer admits burglary and manslaughter, but denies murder.