A 32-year-old Montreal man who's charged with the murder of his girlfriend in Cote-des-Neiges three years ago took the stand Tuesday in his own defence.

Kwasi Benjamin told the jury he never killed his girlfriend Nellie Angutiguluk because he loved her too much. He is accused of strangling her after a night of drinking.

Benjamin said his 29-year-old girlfriend was suicidal at the time of her death in May 2015, adding that the couple had its ups and downs. He claimed she drank a lot of alcohol while he was the only source of income for the two.

The mother of three, he said, missed her late husband and her three children who lived with relatives in the Inuit community of Puvirnituq in Northern Quebec.

The night of her death, the couple was seen drinking and arguing.

Benjamin said his girlfriend was depressed and suicidal, and was alive but completely intoxicated when he put her to bed.

He said he found her dead the next day when he returned from work.

The accused told the jury that on two occasions that same month, he rescued Angutiguluk from suicide attempts by hanging.

Crown prosecutor Dennis Galiatsatos questioned Benjamin's sincerity under cross-examination, highlighting some discrepancies in Benjamin's version of events.

He paid particular attention to the fact it took the suspect three hours before he came out of his apartment to call 911 for help.

Benjamin said he was confused and didn't know what to do.

The trial continues all week in front of a jury.