THE man accused of murdering a Hampshire teenager repeatedly told detectives how he thought he was "going to die" as he was beaten up by the teenager, a court heard.
In a series of police interviews Aaron Roche said he had pulled a knife from his back pocket to try to warn off Dele Little, 15, and get him to stop raining blows on him.
In the transcripts of the interviews, read out at Winchester Crown Court, the 21-year-old said he was "shaking like mad" and couldn't remember stabbing anyone during the fracas outside a dentist and doctors' surgery in Totton.
"The only reason I got the knife out in the first place was to say stop, leave me alone'. I thought I was going to end up dead," he said.
He told police he had ran to the West Totton Centre after a short phone call in which he learned his girlfriend of two years, Kayleigh Shinn, had been attacked by a boy.
When he couldn't see the person responsible he took the advice of some boys at the scene and decided to leave. As he started walking Dele arrived and Roche jumped in front of Kayleigh to protect her and he was punched.
During the series of interviews following Dele's death he told how he was "pretty much blind" because his hood was pulled over his face. He said he was kneed, stamped on and kicked by more than one person.
Reliving the moment to the police, he said his top was pulled over his head and added: "I can't see what the hell is going on really. I can feel like knees, fists getting thrown in everywhere. I didn't even know where Kayleigh was. I was just hoping she was out of the way.
"I couldn't hear a lot for fists getting smacked into my head. It was just too quick for one person to be doing it. I started panicking. I knew I got smacked into a car. I got thrown about a lot. I was bricking it basically. I remember thinking I have to do something. I pulled out the knife. I was so shaking and moving I couldn't even get the blade open."
He later told police: "I was trying to get it open but I was just a wreck and I couldn't do anything. I had to physically open it with two hands.
"It was panic mode. I was just trying to get it out to get him to back off."
Roche told officers how he was spun around and grabbed by the neck and watched the knife fall.
"I definitely didn't feel the knife going in or out. If I had stabbed someone I think I would have felt it."
Asked why he had taken the knife out, Roche said it was a "one off" and he had put it in his pocket with his wallet.
"I like knives, I like playing with them. I never meant to cause any grief to anyone or hurt anyone. I just needed to get away from them, put some space between whoever it was and whatever they were doing to me."
Roche told officers that he didn't remember stabbing Dele, saying: "If you were to stick a knife into someone I would imagine you would feel it going in.'' He said the fight - which he believed to be his first "proper" fight - was "quick" adding: "I thought I was going to die. I thought they were going to kill me. I was pretty sure I was going to end up dead on the floor."
When told by detectives about the pathologist's report on Dele Roche said: "I didn't stand face to face with him and purposely plunge a knife into this guy's chest."
Roche, formerly of Ringwood Road, Lyndhurst, denies murder.