A man "fallen on hard times" suffered horrific internal injuries when he was brutally tortured and murdered by a drug dealer, a jury has heard.

Christopher Moore, 45, had something shoved so far up his anus that it perforated his bowel and ultimately led to his death at his home in Nelson, Lancashire, last June.

A number of his teeth were pulled out with pliers and he also suffered injuries to his right toe and scrotum as part of "long-term physical abuse", Preston Crown Court was told.

David McLachlan QC, prosecuting, said Mr Moore was a vulnerable man who was being exploited by Atif Muhmood, 39, who had a "nasty streak" and went "over the top" when he tortured him.

Opening the case on Tuesday, he said: "Christopher Moore was a man who had fallen on hard times.

"He worked for a roofing company in Nelson but when that closed down he lost his job and began drinking heavily. He also had a drug problem and that drug was heroin.

"It is the prosecution case that Mr Moore was a vulnerable man and a man who was being exploited by Atif Muhmood.

"It is clear from the evidence that both were selling drugs and in essence Mr Moore was Atif Muhmood's runner."

The prosecutor said the defendant used Mr Moore's home in Derby Street as a drug dealing hub and that he was always in his company.

Mr McLachlan said: "The prosecution say there was - regrettably for Mr Moore - a nasty streak to Atif Muhmood.

"A controlling side to his behaviour which culminated in events some time between June 18 and 20.

"The prosecution case is that he had gone over the top and he had done something terrible to Christopher Moore."

Jurors were told they would hear evidence from one of the pair's customers who complained to Muhmood weeks before that his purchased bags of heroin were reducing in size and that Muhmood later he said he discovered Mr Moore had been "dipping into the bags" and he had "sorted it".

Detectives initially did not suspect foul play when Mr Moore's body was discovered on the evening of June 20 but a post-mortem examination revealed it was no accidental drug death, the court heard.

A Home Office pathologist concluded he had been subjected to long-term physical abuse, which culminated in his death from rectal and bladder injuries.

Muhmood was caught on camera frequently visiting Mr Moore's address on June 18 for "matters of minutes" before locking the door and leaving, the prosecutor said.

Mr McLachlan said "significantly" he did not appear to lock the door on the last occasion he visited that day.

At about 5.15am the following day a "mystery man" dressed in a hoodie and wearing flip flops was seen to enter the address.

The male then came out four minutes later and appeared to have locked the door, the jury was told.

Mr McLachlan said the reality was the mystery man and the defendant were one and the same, and that four minutes was not enough to inflict the brutal treatment that Mr Moore received.

He added: "The prosecution case is that sadly Christopher Moore had been nothing short of tortured at the hands of Atif Muhmood who realised what he had done.

"He knew that there were cameras in the area so he went around to Derby Street with his hood up on June 19.

"He then continued with the pretence that all was well as he he continued to visit the address.

"Atif Muhmood may not have intended to kill Christopher Moore but with the injuries sustained he certainly intended to cause him really serious harm and in fact that is what he did."

When interviewed by police, Muhmood denied he was responsible for injuring or killing Mr Moore.

Muhmood, of Bankhouse Road, Nelson, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The trial is estimated to last about two weeks.