A man accused of killing his friend during an alleged attack at a taxi rank told a jury he was not responsible for causing his death.
Daniel Goodall said he had been trying to act as a peacemaker during a confrontation between Terry Bailey and his co-accused Jamie Loftus.
Goodall, 42, and Loftus, 28, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of Mr Bailey’s manslaughter in the early hours of August 29 last year.
The jury has heard how the three men knew each other and the violence took place after a dispute over drugs.
The court has been shown CCTV footage of Mr Bailey collapsing in the road outside Leeds railway station after a confrontation between Goodall and Loftus.
Mr Bailey was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary at 1.25am, around an hour after the incident
A post mortem revealed he had suffered bleeding to the brain after tearing an artery.
Goodall, of Poplar Mount, Bramley, gave evidence at the trial today in which he claimed Mr Bailey, 39, had initially been aggressive towards Loftus.
Goodall said he had been friends with Mr Bailey since school.
He said: “I was telling him (Mr Bailey) to calm down basically. They were carrying on and I wanted to get away.”
Goodall said he got into a taxi with Loftus but Mr Bailey threw punches at his co-accused and the vehicle was unable to leave.
Goodall described how the two men then got out of the taxi and he aimed a blow at Mr Bailey.
He said: “I grabbed him and hit him on the top of his head. Pushed him on the top of his head. I don’t think it connected to be honest.”
Goodall’s barrister, Jason Pitter, QC, asked Goodall: “Did you punch him?”
Goodall replied: “No.”
Goodall said there was then a fight between Mr Bailey and Loftus.
Mr Pitter asked: “Did you encourage it?” Goodall said: “No”.
The prosecution claims camera footage shows Loftus removing his t-shirt before punching Mr Bailey to the head and face in an attack which lasted a few seconds.
Goodall told the court that all three men were heroin users and he was planning to travel to Beeston in the taxi with Loftus to buy drugs.
Loftus’s barrister, Richard Wright, QC, asked Goodall if it was correct that Mr Bailey was annoyed with Loftus because he had refused to buy drugs for him.
Goodall said: “Yes, that’s correct.”
During cross-examination from prosecutor Simon Kealey, QC, Goodall denied causing the fatal injuries.
He said: “I have not hurt that man. I would not hurt that man. He is my friend.”
The trial continues