THE MAN accused of murdering a pensioner in his own home told detectives “it would take a seriously warped and twisted individual” to target an 81-year-old man, a court heard.

James Allen made the remark during a police interview after he was arrested and charged with murdering Colin Dunford in Middlesbrough and Julie Davison in Whitby last April.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Allen, 36, was carrying a large knife and screwdriver when he was arrested in Leeds after being spotted by a police officer.

Allen, who has refused to enter court for the last three days, denies murdering Mr Dunford and Ms Davison over a three-day period.

When questioned by Det Con Andrew Wiles, of Cleveland Police’s Murder Investigation Team, Mr Allen categorically denied killing Mr Dunford or being in the pensioner’s house on the night of his death.

During the interview, the court heard Allen say: “I haven’t been in that house that night. Not in any way, shape or form have I been in that house that night.”

The jury heard Mr Allen told officers that he had left a tartan scarf at Mr Dunford’s house a couple of stays before his murder, when he called round.

Det Con Wiles put it to the suspect that he was the only person to know about a tartan scarf being found over the severely battered face of Mr Dunford and had only offered up the information to hide the fact he had committed the murder.

As the detective started to describe the “frenzied” attack on Mr Dunford, Allen said: “Think about it, you’d have to be a seriously warped and twisted individual to set out and kill an 81-year-old.”

The defendant categorically denied having anything to do with either murder.

During a different interview with North Yorkshire detectives, Allen said he had been in the block of flats where Ms Davison lived with a friend called Scott, to buy drugs from someone in an upstairs flat.

Det Sgt Andrew Dudman told how Allen also said his friend Scott paid him £40 and gave him a laptop that he got out of Ms Davison’s flat in exchange for his mountain bike.

The court heard that the defendant said his friend locked the flat door and threw away the key.

Rod Hunt, in defence, asked the detective if a known associate of Allen called Scott had been arrested the day after Ms Davison’s murder on suspicion of a knife-point robbery in Middlesbrough.

Det Sgt Dudman said he was aware of the incident but did not know what had happened in the case.

The prosecution is due to conclude in Tuesday morning with Allen’s defence expected to start straight after.