A HOUSING support worker has described how he found an alleged murder victim’s tied-up body with a pillow over his face at the defendant’s Newport flat.

Gwalia Care and Support employee Daniel Taylor told at jury in the city’s crown court that he discovered Anthony Bubbins’ corpse in Paul Paget’s living room.

Paget, of Brynderwen Road, Newport, is on trial, accused of the murder of Mr Bubbins, 57, between January 9 and 15 this year. He denies the charge.

The 54-year-old defendant is accused of tying the alleged victim’s hands behind his back and shoving a sock in his mouth to kill him so that he could steal a “treasure trove” of items from his house in nearby Christchurch Road, which included coins and ornaments.

Mr Taylor said he had been Paget’s support worker and had visited his flat in Brynderwen Road on January 15 as part of a “welfare check”.

The court heard how the defendant has missed a Probation Service appointment “which was unusual for him” and there were concerns over him.

Mr Taylor added that he hadn’t seen much of Paget over Christmas and he and his colleague Nicola Poole paid him a visit.

He said they knocked his door and called for him before he tried the handle and it opened and they went into his living room.

Mr Taylor said: “I saw the body of the deceased male on the floor.

"When we observed the body, we could see there was a pillow covering his face.

“I pulled the pillow and it almost peeled off his face.

"It was almost stuck to his face.

“I realised he was dead. There was a sock in his mouth and there was blood on the sock … his hands were tied behind his back.”

Mr Taylor said he then called the police.

On being asked about his relationship with Paget as his support worker for nearly a year, he told the jury: “I felt we had a good rapport and did a lot of good things together.”

But he did tell the court that when he met him on January 9, the defendant’s mood had changed.

The witness said: “When I saw him on that Tuesday at his flat, he seemed very low … he said he had spent a lot of time over Christmas alone.

"He said he was smoking more cannabis than usual. He said he had fallen out with a friend. Something about it being over Sean’s daughter.”

When he was asked by prosecutor Caroline Rees QC to describe the state of the flat, he replied: “It was very unkempt. There was a lot of rubbish and things in there.”

She told the court on the opening day of the trial that the defendant had killed “hoarder” Mr Bubbins so that he could steal coins and ornaments from his home.

Miss Rees told the jury of three men and nine women: “The victim was Anthony Bubbins, aged 57.

"The prosecution say that he was a vulnerable man living alone in Christchurch Road.

“He was a hoarder and collector of coins and ornaments.” She described how he died: “On January 15, he was found with his hands tied behind his back with a 22cm sock pushed into his mouth.

"It forced his tongue into his airway.

“The prosecution say that the defendant killed Mr Bubbins and he intended to kill him or at least cause him serious physical injury.”

The jury has heard that the defendant has pleaded guilty to burglary at the dead man’s house.

Paget is being defended by David Elias QC.

The judge is Mr Justice Simon Picken.

The trial, which began on Monday, is expected to last three weeks.