A man who denies murdering a woman and cutting up her body claimed he "freaked out" when she died suddenly after they had sex in his bedroom.
Azam Mangori, 24, said he panicked when he found Lorraine Cox dead on the floor and left her in the room for several days before wrapping her body in cling film and bin liners.
He said she had died after taking drugs and alcohol following sexual intercourse.
He told a jury: "I called her name and she didn’t respond, I was laughing at first, but I didn’t know what’s wrong.
"I didn’t even think there was anything wrong. I thought she’s just fallen asleep or just blacked out.
"I lifted her from the floor to the bed. She wasn’t breathing. I checked her pulse and there was no pulse and I checked her wrist.
"I started to freak out and started to do CPR. I was trying to shake her really hard.
"I had only seen it (CPR) on the movies. I was trying to do CPR on the bed. The last thing I remember I was trying her to wake up."
Mangori, a failed asylum seeker liable for deportation, said: "I just remember waking up, like it was a nightmare. I just freaked out when I saw her. I just dragged her on to my bed because she looked really cold.
"I didn’t know what to do, I thought she was asleep, and I would wait for her to wake up."
Ms Cox was last seen alive on 1 September walking home from a night out and was reported missing by her father two days later.
Mangori, who also used the name Christopher Mayer, is accused of cutting her body into seven pieces due to a "morbid interest in amputation".
It is alleged he hid Ms Cox’s remains and her possessions in bins and woodland before his arrest a week later.
The court has heard Mangori watched videos of people with amputations, as well as those with deformities to their legs and one of a woman’s lower leg experiencing cramp.
Over several days Mangori bought items to dispose of Ms Cox’s body, including a trowel, after viewing a website entitled: "How to dig a grave by hand."
He was arrested over her disappearance on 8 September and police began searching around the Bodrum Kebab House below his flat.
An autopsy was carried out on Ms Cox’s remains, but the pathologist couldn’t confirm a cause of death.
Mangori has admitted a charge of preventing Ms Cox’s lawful burial but denies murdering her.
The trial at Exeter Crown Court continues.