A FITNESS trainer used a hold he learned from an martial arts instruction video to throttle a disabled man and then tried to pin the blame on his best friend, a court heard.

Khorram Azim, aged 34, of Wood Place, Chislehurst Road, Sidcup, is on trial for the murder of Kevin Beckingham at his home in Nithdale Road, Plumstead, on February 12 last year.

The Old Bailey heard how Azim killed Mr Beckingham, aged 35, with his own hands using a choke hold from the American martial art of catch wrestling.

In 1999, Mr Beckingham employed Azim, a father-of-one, as a personal trainer to help him "build himself up.

It is claimed Azim, who was described as "manipulative" and "aggressive", stabbed Mr Beckingham in the neck after choking him to death, to make it look like he had been killed by an intruder.

Mr Beckingham's body was not discovered until a carer called at his sheltered flat on March 7.

Azim and his Australian girlfriend Rebecca Lidgard, aged 33, who lived with him, then set about trying to frame Azim's friend Mukarram Baig.

Prosecuting, Victor Temple said Azim had "staged managed" the murder scene, with Mr Beckingham found lying face down and his arm outstretched towards a syringe.

But Mr Beckingham could not use a syringe and had no need to use one.

It is alleged other syringes of the same make were found at Azim's home.

On Friday, the court saw martial arts expert PC Edward Smith demonstrate the wrestling move allegedly used to kill Mr Beckingham on a fellow officer.

The jury heard how fighters use the hold to squeeze an opponent's carotid artery, cutting off blood supply to the brain and rendering them unconscious in seconds.

He was called in by investigating officers to determine whether Mr Beckingham could have been incapacitated before being stabbed.

Home Office pathologist Dr Peter Jerreat, who performed the post-mortem on the victim, said there was no physical evidence for the theory but the way wrestlers apply the hold means it would be forensically undetectable.

He said Mr Beckingham's injuries were consistent with the prosecution's case.

Azim admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice but denied murder, while Lidgard will stand trial separately on a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.