FRIENDS of a woman found dead in her home last year said she ‘just wanted to be loved’.
Debbie Levey, 44, of Cherry Tree Cottage, East Ashling, West Sussex, was found dead early in January 2013.
A postmortem concluded she had been smothered and died of asphyxia.
Her ex-lover Phillip Brown, who is in his 40s and from Selsey, was charged with her murder in May 2013 and is currently on trial.
Care manager Levey was ‘afraid’ of Brown, according to one friend, who spoke at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.
Alison Gaudion, a neighbour and friend of Ms Levey, said the couple had been ‘going out’ for a few weeks at the start of 2012, but broke it off as the relationship was ‘dull’. But Brown took Levey on a dinner date, and ‘confessed his undying love for her’.
‘He said he wanted to get married and have children with her,’ said Mrs Gaudion.
‘At that point she was quite flattered with these sweeping statements, so that is when they started to have a proper relationship.’
Ms Levey ended the relationship in November 2012, after she found out Brown had broken her trust by cheating her out of £10 and text messages from him became nasty, the court heard.
Sarah Weekes, a colleague and friend of Ms Levey, found her dead in her home.
The pair were supposed to be going to London that day.
The trial continues and is expected to last around four weeks.