The jury has retired to consider its verdict at the trial of a man accused of killing his prostitute girlfriend in 2009.

Gordon Hieatt, 48, is charged with murdering prostitute Nuttidar Vaikaew, 48, in April 2009 and is on trial in the High Court at Auckland.

He has told the court that he had no intention of killing Ms Vaikaew, claiming that he was provoked and it was manslaughter.

Hieatt said he had to leave the house when Ms Vaikaew was seeing clients and felt as he was paying more than half the rent he should be able to work on his computer programming business from home.

On April 17 he said they got into a heated argument about this situation and she started screaming at him.

The Defence says Hieatt tried to subdue Ms Vaikaew and ended up strangling her.

Police found her decaying body covered in bedclothes almost a month later.

Hieatt's lawyer said his client loved Ms Vaikaew and had contemplated suicide in the days after the killing.

But the prosecution has said Hieatt's relationship with Ms Vaikaew was deteriorating, Hieatt was running out of money and he had nowhere else to go.

They say he fought with Ms Vaikaew over rent payments before punching Ms Vaikaew a number of times, dragging her to the bed, strangling her and breaking a bone in her neck.