Wealthy heiress Janet Brown was “besotted” with her alleged killer and even had her wedding dress picked out, a friend told a court.
Maureen Houghton said married Donald Graham told lover Janet a “lot of lies” but that she believed everything he said and ignored warnings from friends to steer clear of him.
The wealthy heiress, 45, who appeared as an extra in TV shows filmed in the North East, including 55 Degrees North and Distant Shores, vanished in 2005.
Ms Houghton said she repeatedly tried to contact Janet after her disappearance but her phone was dead.
And she told how, in 2007, she saw Graham walking through Hexham and quizzed him about her friend.
Graham has admitted fleecing Janet and her parents out of their estate in an elaborate fraud, but denies killing his lover.
Ms Houghton, 65, said Janet fell in love with Graham and was convinced they would marry.
She said: “She was besotted with him. He told her a lot of lies and she believed everything he said.
“Janet said she believed they were going to be married after his wife had died.
“Janet had a dress hanging in a zipped up bag and she indicated that was the dress she was going to wear when they were married.
“I always thought Janet thought more of him than he did of her.”
After failing to get an answer from Janet following her disapperance, Ms Houghton contacted her parents.
They said they had received two postcards, purportedly from Janet, but which prosecutors allege were sent by Graham. The first read: “In France. Got a job as a courier. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. Janet.”
Two months later another arrived at her parents’ farm at Lowgate, Hexham, saying: “I’ve been promoted, still in France, now got company car. I’m fine. Janet.”
Neither of the cards left any contact details for Janet, the court heard.
Ms Houghton, who works in market research, said she saw Graham walking past the Robbs store, in Hexham, in 2007.
She said: “He said he had not heard anything about her.”
Ms Houghton added: “He said she thought more of him than he thought of her and that he would never have left his wife for her.”
Graham, 59, of Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, denies murder and perverting the course of justice.
Elizabeth Todd, 51, of Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, denies fraud, forgery and perverting the course of justice.
The trial continues.