A teenager charged with manslaughter told a jury he punched a man in self defence because he feared being struck after a friend was attacked.
Andrew Wright, 19, told the Leeds Crown Court jury he did punch 28-year-old Robert Adamczyk in the face in Leeds city centre in the early hours of December 9 last year.
Mr Adamczyk, of South Milford near Selby, suffered fatal head injuries and died shortly after the incident.
Wright said he and his two friends David Taylor and Kyle Monkman, were walking past Mr Adamczyk and his friend Michael Pollard on Harrison Street.
Wright said he heard his friend David Taylor speaking to either Mr Adamczyk or Mr Pollard, adding: “He (David Taylor) said ‘sorry mate, I don’t want any trouble, we don’t want any fight, we aren’t fighters’.
“And I heard ‘if you are going to hit anyone, hit me’.”
Wright’s lawyer, Richard Wright, asked him: “When David said ‘if you are going to hit anyone, hit me,’ what happened then?” Wright said Mr Adamczyk punched David Taylor in the face, causing him to stumble.
Wright said Mr Adamczyk then approached him with a clenched fist, adding: “All I could think of was am I going to get hit? So I hit him to get away. He (Mr Adamczyk) looked at me and I felt threatened. He drew back, about to hit me, and I hit him first.”
Mr Wright asked Wright: “Are you able to say how hard you hit him?” Wright said: “I know it was a hard punch because I broke my little finger.” Mr Wright said: “Did you stamp or kick Mr Adamczyk?” Wright: ”No.”
Mr Wright asked: “It has been suggested by a number of witnesses that somebody was saying ‘I laid him out.’ Wright replied: “I wasn’t saying anything like that. I don’t recall anyone saying it.”
Wright said when he left Mr Adamczyk he believed he was unconscious. Wright said after the incident he and his friends went to Space nightclub and stayed until 4am or 5am. He said he was “shocked and upset” when he later heard Mr Adamczyk had died. Wright, of Whingate Grove, Armley, is on trial at Leeds Crown Court where he denies manslaughter and affray. Taylor, 19, of Prince Edward Grove, Wortley, deniers affray.
Monkman, of Barden Place, Armley, has pleaded guilty to affray.