An IT worker who lead a secret life as an escort was bludgeoned to death with a pestle on her birthday by a banker, a court heard.
Christina Abbotts, 29, was found dead in a bed after failing to turn up for her own party in May.
She had been hit 13 times on the back of the head with the black object – normally used with a mortar to crush ingredients – and possibly strangled, Lewes Crown Court heard.
The alarm was raised about former Royal Agricultural University student by friends.
Zahid Naseem, 48, who had been working for Toronto-Dominion Banks London office, denies murdering Ms Abbotts some time between May 25 and 26, claiming the pair had a drug and drink-fuelled night together.
Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani told jurors Naseem stayed in the flat for 12 hours after her death, sending pornographic pictures and videos to another sex worker.
He then pretended to be unconscious when police broke down the door.
Christina had been house-sitting at the top floor flat in the Gossops Green area of the West Sussex town for a friend who was away travelling.
Naseem, who lives in Amersham with his estranged partner and two children, spent substantial amounts of his up to £250,000-a-year wage on sex workers and was a frequent drug user who attended swinging parties.
When interviewed, he told police he was not some hyper, high-functioning psychopath who was trying to concoct a story a la Silence of the Lambs, adding: Im just telling you what happened or what didnt happen.
I cant tell you more than that.
He added that he contacted Ms Abbotts after he was attracted to her pseudonyms profile describing her as a privately educated city girl.
He told police that he was never violent but messages on his phone showed he told one sex worker how he wanted to make her feel degraded.
Naseem met Ms Abbotts on three occasions over six weeks in hotels and restaurants in London, paying her about £3,500 a time, describing their relationship as commercial but very intimate, the court heard.
He also paid about £2,000 to the friend she was house-sitting for, and searched for her websites which rated her performance as a sex worker, telling another friend: Luckily Im here to protect her from harm and the sick perverts out there. I dont want to break her.
In messages to a work colleague who called her a hooker, he responded: How dare you. Shes incredibly posh.
On their last meeting the pair took a taxi from Amersham to Crawley, stopping at an Asda to buy alcohol before going to the flat, where she ordered cocaine.
Naseem insisted the pair did not fight and he had not hit her, but said when he realised she might be dead he went back to the living room, snorted four or five lines of cocaine and drank vodka instead of calling an ambulance
When officers searched the property there was no sign of forced entry and Naseems fingerprints were found in blood in the bathroom, the mortar – the other half of the pestle set – in the kitchen, and as well as a blood-stained bottle of Courvoisier brandy, cocaine and poppers were found.
The trial continues.