A MAN described as an accomplished and cunning liar sent Facebook messages to the man he allegedly beat to death with a claw hammer in an attempt to cover his tracks, a court heard.

A week after he allegedly bludgeoned Darlington man Alan Youngson to death in his dining room, Daniel Dodsworth sent a message to the 25-year-old asking if he still had his bike, a jury was told.

The 29-year-old initially denied any involvement in Mr Youngson’s death.

He told police officers he loaned Mr Youngson his bike so he could cycle home after the pair spent the evening drinking at his house in Branksome Green, Darlington, on August 15.

Under cross-examination at Teesside Crown Court, Mr Dodsworth said he was "fighting for his life" when he began lying to police officers in an attempt to hide his involvement in the alleged attack.

Prosecutor Andrew Robertson said: “Your lies started right from the beginning of this case. You are an ingenious liar aren’t you?”

Mr Dodsworth replied: “I wouldn’t say I am a genius, but I am a liar, yes.”

The jury heard how Mr Dodsworth began an elaborate clean-up of the alleged murder scene just hours after the attack in the early hours of August 16.

He put the body in a neighbour’s wheelie bin and buried it in nearby woodland.

Despite burning the dining room carpet and bleaching the walls and floor before redecorating, Mr Youngson’s DNA was still found in blood splatters in the room, the court heard.

Mr Robertson said: “Although you had done your level best, and it was a very good effort, there was a risk of Alan Youngson’s blood being found in the area where you killed him.”

Mr Dodsworth said: “I thought I had cleaned it all up, every single speck.”

When asked by defence barrister, Jamie Hill, whether he considered calling the police after the alleged attack, Mr Dodsworth said: “To tell you the truth, I don’t think I did.

“I thought that was it, that was my life gone.”

Mr Dodsworth later changed his story and was charged with murder. He denies the charge, claiming he acted in self-defence when Mr Youngson threatened to kill him with a kitchen knife.

He admits preventing Mr Youngson’s lawful burial.

The trial continues on Monday.