A SOUTHAMPTON dad found dead in an alleyway threatened to kill the cage fighter accused of his murder, a court heard.

Taking to the stand for the first time in his own defence, Damon Wright told Winchester Crown Court that Kevin Wyeth had threatened to kill him just two months before his death.

The defendant, who denies murder, told the jury that the threat came after Kevin had challenged him to a fight.

Wright, 32, who was dating Kevin's ex partner and mother of his three children, Samantha Slater, also told the court how Kevin had been described to him as "Woolston's hardest man".

The court heard that the threat came at the end of June last year after Kevin started shouting up to the Woolston flat of Miss Slater while Wright was there.

Wright told jurors that Kevin had started to throw stones and climb the scaffolding outside the Highlands House flat, demanding that he go down there to see him.

Once on the ground with Kevin, Wright said he managed to "diffuse" the situation and took him back to the flat to talk to Miss Slater about seeing their three children.

Wright told the court how it was inside the flat that Kevin kept saying "I want to fight you" and asking how he could fight him in a cage.

Then as Kevin went to leave the property, Wright told the jury that the pair shook hands and Kevin said "if you hurt my kids or Sam I will kill you".

Wright, from Dorset, denies murdering Kevin in August last year, claiming he acted in self defence.