A medical student has admitted killing a trainee rabbi and chopping up his body, but he has denied the charge of murder.

Thomas Hamilton McDowell, 27, of Caulfield Court, Baynes Street, Camden, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 37-year-old Andreas Hinz, from Windermere Road, Finchley, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday The dismembered body of Mr Hinz - who was gay - was found in six parts in bins near the Black Cap, a gay bar in Camden where he was last seen in the early hours of July 3, 2002. His head and limbs had been severed with a saw.

In court, McDowell, who wore a grey shirt and had a gold earring in his left ear, was accompanied by escorts from Broadmoor Hospital, where he is being held during the trial. He spoke only to confirm his name and enter his not guilty plea. Several items belonging to Mr Hinz, including a baseball cap and briefcase, were found at the defendant's home.

After McDowell's arrest in July 2002, he told a police officer: "I am in a very difficult predicament."

He continued to say that Mr Hinz had hit him from behind as he went through his own front door.

He added: "I did a round-house kick to his head and then I strangled him. I am ashamed. I sat with him all night. I am not gay, I only wanted company."

McDowell said he had blacked out his crime: "I got rid of the body but I think I wanted to get caught. I could have used my acids or thrown him in the canal where I threw the saw."

Mr Hinz, 37, was originally from Hanover, Germany, and had been unaware of his Jewish ancestry while he was growing up. After discovering his Jewish heritage, he came to Britain in 2000, and was studying to become a Liberal rabbi at the Leo Baeck College, East End Road, Finchley.

Michael Lawson, QC for the prosecution, said Mr Hinz's flatmates described him as a complex character. He was gifted academically, speaking German, Italian and English as well as being able to translate Latin and ancient Greek. He was also learning Arabic.

He said: "Mr Hinz made no secret of being gay and used a number of gay clubs. He met people on the internet of like mind. He liked music, food and wine, and as far as we know, he did not normally go back to other people's houses."

The trainee rabbi had been seen by staff in the bar talking to a Scottish man, wearing a tracksuit and trainers. This man, who was later identified as McDowell, was described by staff as 'unkempt' and 'a rent boy in appearance'. They noticed that Mr Hinz was buying him drinks.

The case continues.