A man stabbed a transgender woman to death in her bedroom before leaving her decomposing body undiscovered for more than a month, a court has heard.
Romy Maynard, 28, is on trial accused of killing 22-year-old Chrissie Azzopardi at her home in Crescent Way, north London, in April last year.
Ms Azzopardi, who was due to undergo gender surgery later that year, was found lying on her bed with fatal stab wounds after neighbours noticed a bad smell coming from her flat and raised the alarm in June 2012, the Old Bailey heard.
Opening the prosecution's case, Mark Heywood QC said the victim had been stabbed in the chest, pushed down and then stabbed again with force which had pierced her heart.
"The killing was swift and brutal," the barrister said.
"It is likely she fought back but was very quickly overwhelmed. The killer then left her while she lay on the bed, dead or dying.
"In all probability she knew her killer and she allowed him there.
"He covered her face with one of the pillows from the bed, either to finish his work or perhaps to avoid her stare in death.
"The crown says this killing is the work of the defendant.
"He says he is not the killer and so that it must be someone else."
Mr Heywood said the culprit removed "anything obvious" from the flat linked to the killing but left "biological traces" behind.
The court heard that Ms Azzopardi was due to have gender surgery in late 2012 having undergone assessments in February.
"She had everything to look forward to in life, although her state of mind at that time was, on occasions, up and down," Mr Heywood said.
Mr Maynard, who denies murder, lived on the same street as Ms Azzopardi with his girlfriend and child at the time of the killing, the court heard.
The couple's relationship was "on the wane" and he was seeing other women, Mr Heywood said.
Telephone records showed that the defendant and Ms Azzopardi were in contact with each other in the days before her death, the jury was told.
Officers discovered her lifeless body on June 4, 2012, lying on the bed and fully clothed, the court heard.
Blood was splattered on the radiator and on the floor in the bedroom, Mr Heywood said.
"There were knives in the kitchen but none with any traces of blood," he added.
"That suggests, says the prosecution, that the weapon used to cause these injuries was carried away."