A 20-year-old woman was raped and murdered by a man she thought was her friend as he walked her home from a birthday celebration, a court heard.
Keeley Bunker’s body was found hidden under branches in a pool in woodland in Tamworth, Staffordshire, on 19 September 2019.
Wesley Streete, 20, denies raping and murdering her as well as sexually assaulting three other girls.
His trial, at Stafford Crown Court, is expected to last for three weeks.
Opening the case, Jacob Hallam QC, told jurors how Ms Bunker had met Mr Streete, of no fixed address, for a night out in Birmingham with a group of friends on 18 September.
He had agreed to walk her home – a 20-minute journey – when they returned to Tamworth at about 04:00 BST the following morning.
She was discovered by her uncle face down in a pool “under a lattice of branches” in Wiggington Park at 21:00 that night, with her clothes in disarray and leggings and underwear pulled down over her trainers.
A post-mortem examination found Ms Bunker had been strangled and DNA from Mr Streete was identified on her body.
Mr Streete was arrested about an hour after Ms Bunker’s body was found, but claimed they had parted ways at a telephone box near his home. He later admitted that was a lie.
He claims they had consensual sex and she died accidentally when he held her around the neck, however Mr Hallam said defensive wounds on Ms Bunker’s body proves she had been trying to break his grip.
The prosecution said Ms Bunker had “trusted” the defendant, who is also accused of further sexual offences in previous years after police discovered three other women allegedly assaulted by him – charges he denies.
The trial continues.