Andrew Bellwood leaves B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster during a lunch break in the murder trial of Robert William Pickton on Monday. ((Richard Lam/Canadian Press))

A former friend of Robert William Pickton testified on Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminsterthat the accused killer told him in graphic detail how he killed prostitutes and fed their bodies to pigs.

Andrew Bellwood, who lived on Pickton's farm for a short period of time in 1999,told the court about one night in March 1999 that Pickton suggested they go get a prostitute.

After Bellwood refused, he said that Pickton asked him: "Do you know what I do with prostitutes?"

Bellwood said what happened next was like watching a play.

He said Pickton reached under his mattress and pulled out handcuffs, a belt and a wire. He described putting the prostitutes on their stomachs on the bed and having sex with them, Bellwood testified.

Then Bellwood said Pickton — who was kneeling on the bed at the time— gestured, as if stroking a woman's hair. He told the court that Pickton said he would handcuff the women and tell them,"It was going to be OK, that everything was all over now."

He testified Pickton saidhe would thenreach under the mattress and grab a piano wire or belt, and then strangle the women.

Bellwood testified Pickton said he would take the body to the slaughterhouse and "bleed them and gut them."

"He commented on how much they bled," Bellwood said."He kept telling me, 'Oh you know how much they bleed, you wouldn’t believe how much blood comes out of a person.'"

Bellwood saidPickton then told him he would feed the body to the pigs, and whatever wasn't eaten, he would place in large barrels destined for a Vancouver rendering plant.

Silence in court

When Bellwood finished his story, there was silence in the courtroom and the Crown didn't continue for several moments.

Pickton stared down, refusing to glance at his former friend.

Bellwood was out of work and a crack addict at the time he was staying with Pickton,but told the jury he was clean and sober that night.

On Tuesday, Pickton's defence team will begin its cross-examination of Bellwood, which isexpected to take the rest of the week.

Pickton is facing 26 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of women who went missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

He is currently being tried for the deaths of Andrea Joesbury, Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Brenda Wolfe, Marnie Frey and Georgina Papin, allwomen who disappeared between 1997 and 2001.