A couple murdered an Irish dancer and poisoned another man with a drug known as "devil's breath" before using their bank cards to go on a spending spree, a court has heard.

Diana Cristea, 18, and Joel Osei, 25, are accused of killing Adrian Murphy between May 31 and June 5 last year.

The pair then allegedly used his details to try to buy £62,000 worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York.

Mr Murphy, 43, had worked as a dance teacher and a choreographer at the Royal Academy of Dance, in London.

He was on a year-long sabbatical when his body was found in a 17th-storey flat in Battersea, south-west London.

Cristea and Osei are also accused of poisoning a second man, who cannot be named due to a reporting restriction, in May 2019, before stealing about £2,000 of his belongings.

Croydon Crown Court heard on Tuesday that the drug scopolamine - said to be "popular with robbers and rapists" to incapacitate their victims - was used in both incidents.

Osei is alleged to have met the victims in person through the gay dating app Grindr, before lacing their drinks with the drug and stealing their possessions.

Cristea, meanwhile, was alleged to have been "egging him on" in the background and sold the stolen items, the court heard.

The former couple are both charged with a single count of murder and a count of administering a poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life, which they body deny.

They are also standing trial on several fraud charges and two counts of theft.

The court heard Mr Murphy was staying at his former partner and best friend's flat at Lombard Wharf when Osei was caught on CCTV visiting him on June 1.

Adrian Murphy's body was discovered in Lombard Wharf, Battersea, in June 2019

He was later caught on CCTV exiting the building carrying a Louis Vuitton holdall.

The court heard that the next day, the couple attempted to use Mr Murphy's Barclays credit card to spend almost 3,000 US dollars on computer software.

Meanwhile, Cristea used her phone to take a photo of a Louis Vuitton wallet, which she advertised online, along with a Louis Vuitton holdall she was selling for £300 and five Dolce and Gabbana belts for £200.

Mr Murphy was discovered by his former partner days later on June 4 lying face down, naked on the bed.

Irish Dancer Adrian Murphy, whose body was found in a block of flats in Battersea last year

His phone was found in the toilet, and a can of Coca-Cola which was later recovered by police was found to contain traces of scopolamine.

Osei's fingerprints were also discovered on a bottle whiskey in the apartment.

A post mortem of Mr Murphy's body found traces of the drug scopolamine, which comes from a plant in the deadly nightshade family of poisons.

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Mr Aylett QC said: "In South America, and in particularly in Columbia, it is said to be popular with both robbers and rapists who use it to incapacitate their victims, rendering them deeply unconscious for long periods of time.

"In Colombia, they don't call it scopolamine, in Columbia they call it 'the devil's breath'."

Days earlier on May 30, another alleged victim invited Osei, who called himself "Remy", back to his London property.

He went to the toilet, and on his return drank a glass of orange juice that Osei had poured him, assuming it was from his fridge.

He passed out and was taken to hospital after being discovered by his neighbour.

The victim reported that items including his wallet, bank cards and two laptops, worth about £2,000, had been stolen.

Later analysis of Osei's laptop and phone found that he had searched online for scopolamine, and that an amount was eventually purchased through the web in early May, the court heard.

Cristea, from north London, has admitted one count of fraud, but denies two counts of theft and six other fraud charges.

Osei, of no fixed abode, denies two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud.