Killer dentist Colin Howell was trapped in a spider's web woven by his lover Hazel Stewart which would eventually lead to them murdering his wife and her husband, he told his former mistress's trial yesterday.
The disgraced one-time Christian preacher denied he had controlled Ms Stewart, even though he drugged her prior to sex, and insisted she had seduced him at the outset of their torrid affair.
"Flies go into spiders' webs . . . I willingly went after the bait and we got caught together in the trap," he said during his second day in the witness box.
Assured and measured throughout, Howell delivered a series of elaborate and detailed answers under cross examination which held a packed Coleraine Crown Court captivated.
The 51-year-old father of 11 has already confessed to poisoning his wife Lesley and Ms Stewart's policeman husband Trevor Buchanan in May 1991 and staging it to look like a suicide pact.
Yesterday, his voice never wavered as he described, in often flamboyant terms, her role in the plot to kill their partners.
"Hazel and I were waltzing together, in time," he claimed.
"I was not dragging her around the floor. I may have been the lead partner in that dance, but she was doing it in perfect harmony and willingly."
Double murder accused Ms Stewart (47), from Ballystrone Road, Coleraine, denies she was part of a joint enterprise with Howell to kill their spouses.
She sat with her head down as her one-time lover, whose marriage proposal she turned down four years after the murders, delivered his testimony.
Members of the public arrived at the courthouse two hours ahead of proceedings hoping to see the cross examination -- but the gallery was filled to capacity with relatives.
The bodies of Mrs Howell (31) and Mr Buchanan (32) were found in a fume-filled garage in the seaside town of Castlerock, near Coleraine.
Howell, who is serving a 21-year sentence, had poisoned them, then set up a scene to look as though they had taken their own lives.
During the four hours on the stand yesterday, the dentist claimed:
Ms Stewart's defence lawyer Paul Ramsey declared Howell to be "a sexual predator".
The trial continues.