“MANIPULATIVE and devious.”

Those were the words used to describe the man accused of murdering a Hampshire grandmother for allegedly trying to fix himself an alibi for the day of the killing.

Prosecutor Michael Bowes QC made the accusation in connection to a secretly recorded conversation between Matthew Hamlen and his mother while he was being held in police custody.

Jurors at Winchester Crown Court have repeatedly heard the discussion, in which Hamlen revealed he thought he might have been at a party with friends called Gary and Sarah.

He can be heard telling his mum that he hadn't disclosed it to the police because on the advice of his solicitor “it might do more harm than good” if he couldn't be sure it was true.

Cross-examining Hamlen on his second day in the witness box, Mr Bowes said: “What you were trying was setting your mother up to go round and see if Gary might still do you a favour. What you did was extremely manipulative and devious.”

He went on to say: “You gave it another tickle just in case he might do a favour for a mate.”

The court has previously heard Hamlen, 33, of Hamilton Road, Bishopstoke, in his own evidence, describe how he claims Sarah had checked her diary following his initial interview with police in 2008 when he claims she told him they were at a party together.

But Mr Bowes said they both must have had “collective amnesia” because they had not in fact even met until eight months after 77-year-old Georgina Edmonds was battered to death in her cottage in Kiln Lane, Brambridge on January 11, 2008.