The boyfriend at the centre of a fatal love triangle has told a murder trial that he couldn’t bring himself to break up with either woman.

Ashley Watson said he loved both victim Emma Bradshaw and her alleged killer, Karla Biddle.

He had been in an on-off relationship with the 32-year-old business graduate for 15 years when she drove to his house in a leafy suburban street and attacked Miss Bradshaw last May, Warwick Crown Court was told yesterday.

Miss Bradshaw stumbled out in to Berkeley Road in Shirley wearing only a blue dressing gown and collapsed with knife wounds after banging on a neighbour’s door for help.

Biddle, of Aldbury Road, Yardley Wood, denies murder on May 14 last year.

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Mr Watson said that his life was a “living hell” as he deceived the pair about the nature of his relationship with the other. The 32-year-old told the jury that he cared about and loved them both and had not intended to hurt either of them.

Asked by defence barrister Christopher Hotten why he had not broken up with Biddle after meeting Miss Bradshaw, Mr Watson replied: “It was just too difficult.

“I still really cared about Karla – she had been a massive part of my life. I didn’t want to hurt Emma and I didn’t want to hurt Karla.”

Asked whether he had paused to consider the emotional impact of his actions on Biddle, the car parts consultant replied: “It was emotionally crippling me. I didn’t set out to do any of this.”

The court was told that Biddle and Mr Watson had met at school and bought a house together in 2002.

They were engaged in 2003 but the wedding was later called off as Mr Watson had started a relationship with Miss Bradshaw.

When asked why he continued to sleep with Biddle, Mr Watson said: “I just got caught in circumstance – it wasn’t planned at all. My life was a living hell.”

Mr Watson said he had left Miss Bradshaw, from Sutton Coldfield, watching television at his home on May 14 when Biddle turned up and stabbed her.

The case continues.