A murder was either motivated by a ‘bizarre fantasy’ of being a hitman called ‘Agent 47’ or by ‘good old fashioned sexual jealousy’ of the housemate who spurned him, a jury was told.

Eugen Coman, 34, is accused of stabbing housemate Leonid Laboshin to death in the kitchen of their shared home in Pinnocks Way, Botley, just hours after he had been worshipping in church in Cowley.

The MINI plant worker, who a year-and-a-half before the killing pistol-whipped a property manager chasing him for unpaid rent in Bedford, has admitted killing the Russian national. However, he claims he did so while not in his right mind, admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

READ MORE: Live updates from prosecution opening of Botley murder case

Opening the murder trial at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson said the defendant’s mental health would be the ‘critical issue in this case’.

“The prosecution say there really are two competing motives for the killing,” he said.

“One is what one might call good old fashioned sexual jealousy; the cause of many killings since Helen of Troy and no doubt before that. It’s a story as old as time.”

Coman had been spurned by his housemate, the jury was told. He had been 'continually asking her out, being a bit of a pest', the prosecutor said.

Oxford Mail: Leonid LaboshinLeonid Laboshin (Image: Thames Valley Police)

The second possible motivation for the killing was Coman’s ‘bizarre fantasy’ around fictional character Agent 47, the protagonist of the Hitman series of video games and films.

The jury was told that the defendant had made a number of internet searches linked to the suave, suited assassin.

The day before the alleged murder he had got his brother to shave off his hair, so he resembled the bald Agent 47. And, when he was arrested by the police on the evening of October 17 he was wearing a black suit, white shirt and tie – the character’s costume and what the prosecutor described as a ‘rather unusual outfit for killing’

Mr Ward-Jackson said: "There is evidence on the defendant's computer that he admired and sought to emulate this rather unsuitable role model."

Turning to what the prosecution say was the motivation for the murder, Mr Ward-Jackson detailed Coman’s interest in one of his female housemates; Maryia Fando, who was known as ‘Masha’.

The day before the killing, Maryia and ‘Leo’ had gone to London together.

And on the night of the murder, he, Maryia and Leonid Laboshin were all in the kitchen.

Coman was lying on the sofa, while the other two were sharing a joke about their ‘registration documents’ – comparing their photographs on the immigration paperwork.

Their private joke appeared to have angered the defendant, the jury was told. “That was the catalyst for the attack,” Mr Ward-Jackson said.

Oxford Mail:

As Coman began stabbing at Mr Laboshin, Maryia ran to a neighbour’s house for help. The victim suffered 27 wounds, the jury heard.

By the time the police found his body after 9pm, Mr Laboshin was in a knotted sheet in the garden. A knife found to have traces of diluted blood and his DNA was on the sideboard. Burnt fragments from Mr Laboshin’s registration document were also found, and it was suggested Coman set fire to the paperwork after the killing.

Coman’s BMW was tracked by a police helicopter to Witney, where his brother lived. He was arrested at 10.37pm.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Ward-Jackson said: "The prosecution case is that Mr Coman is a highly dangerous man, who has a tendency to 'fly off the handle' at the slightest excuse.

“He did so when asked for his rent by his landlord, attacking him with an airgun and a knife handle;

“And [he] did so again when he was angry with his housemate, stabbing him repeatedly with a knife, causing him multiple injuries that went far beyond any possible self-defence, with tragically fatal results."

Coman, of Pinnocks Way, Botley, denies murder. The trial continues.