A witness in the 1993 Northampton pet shop murder trial said the accused man admitted to killing Arthur Brumhill in the mid-1990s, but she dismissed it as a "boast."
Former serviceman Stuart Jenkins, 41, of Ossett, near Wakefield, is standing trial for the murder at Paul Denton Pet and Garden Supplies in Wellingborough Road on the night of January 21, 1993.
The defendant had worked at the shop for four weeks in 1992 when he was 17, but left, the court heard, shortly after being made to pay for an accidentally broken window out of his wages.
Part of the prosecution case relies on two admissions Jenkins is alleged to have made, first to boyhood friend Dean Kirk shortly after the murder and to another acquaintance in the mid-1990s.
Taking the stand at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, the acquaintance, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Jenkins had admitted killing the "elderly gentleman" who was at "the pet shop he worked at," around 1996.
But defending for Jenkins, William Harbidge QC, put it to the witness that she might have been "confused."
He suggested Jenkins' was, in fact, talking about the time he was arrested on suspicion of murder back in 1993.
he said; "What has happened now is you have either mistakenly remembered how he said he has done it, or that you have deliberately twisted it around to suggest he has done it?
The witness replied: "No."
Mr Harbidge QC went on to ask: "Did he give you details of how he did it?"
The witness replied: "No he just said he hit him over the head."
Mr Harbidge QC went on to suggest the witness "took a perfectly innocent conversation and tried to turn it into some sort of confession."
But she replied: "No, because I don't believe he did it."
The witness went on to say that she never reported it to police until 2015 because she did not believe Jenkins for many years. She claims it was detectives who approached her two years ago, rather than the other way round.
Talking about her early police interviews, she said: "I told them I didn't believe it. I thought he was just boasting."
Yesterday the court also heard about Jenkins' first interviews with police in May and November 1993, during which the defendant claimed he was round Dean Kirk's house on the night of Arthur Brumhill's murder.
On when being asked about the alleged admission to his friend, Jenkins told the investigating officers: "I don't know - I can't exactly explain what I might have said, because I don't know what I said.
"It might have ben crying on from a stupid conversation, I don't know."
The prosecution case is set to conclude later today.
The trial continues.