An East Sussex man accused of murdering two women six months apart described himself as a "psychopath with a conscience", a court heard.
Mark Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close in St Leonards-on-Sea, is accused of murdering Alexandra Morgan, 34, and Leah Ware, 33.
Brown has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The trial began at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday as 12 jurors and two spares were sworn in by Mr Justice Nicholas Hilliard.
Duncan Atkinson KC, prosecuting, set out the Crown's case during his opening statement.
He read out a message allegedly sent by Brown to a friend in which he described himself as a "psychopath with a conscience" and hinted at what the prosecution say was the process he used to dispose of Miss Ware and Miss Morgan's remains.
The message read: "I'm going to be very careful how I word this - it happened again, not very long ago when disposing of something.
"It's a very unpleasant thing to do - an old oil drum, five litres of diesel, and hey presto, there's not very much left. It gets hot, very hot, it glows almost white.
"The things I have done weigh heavily on my heart, on my head and my soul. A psychopath with a conscience - it's a joke really."
Miss Morgan, a single mother-of-two from Sissinghurst, Kent, was reported missing in November 2021 by her mother after failing to return from what she told her family was a weekend away with a friend.
She was last seen putting petrol in her car at a garage in Cranbrook on the morning of November 14.
Mr Atkinson told the court Miss Morgan was a sex worker and had arranged to meet Brown, a client, at a site he rented, Little Bridge Farm near Hastings.
Miss Morgan's remains were found inside an oil drum in a skip at a building site near Sevenoaks, where Brown was working at the time of her disappearance.
The keys to Miss Morgan's car, a white Mini Cooper, were also found at the building site.
Brown has since admitted to disposing of Miss Morgan's body "in a panic"after what he claims was an accident in which she died at Little Bridge Farm.
Miss Ware, a mother-of-three from Hastings, was last seen by a friend in the early hours of May 6 2021.
She was also a sex worker operating from the same website as Miss Morgan and first met Brown as a client in March 2018.
The court was told their relationship developed and Miss Ware lived at Little Bridge Farm, first in a static caravan and then in a converted shipping container inside a barn on the site, until the prosecution say she was killed on May 7 2021.
Miss Ware described to friends and family in the months before her disappearance that Brown had become more controlling of her actions and behaviours - and sometimes he locked her inside the shipping container.
Miss Ware lived at the farm with her two dogs, Duke and Lady, to whom she was devoted.
In the days immediately after the prosecution say she died, Duke was re-homed with Brown's sister but Lady, a Pomeranian, has not been seen since.
However, during a police search of Little Bridge Farm, the skeletal remains of a Pomeranian were found in a pond on the site, at the end of a collar and lead tied to a weight.
The prosecution argue that these are Lady's bones.
Miss Ware's remains have never been found and Brown maintains she is still alive - although in messages to friends Brown told different people she had been "sectioned", sent to "a mental hospital" or had "killed herself" and was "at peace", referring to her in the past tense.
The trial continues.
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