A MAN has told a jury how he stabbed an 18-year-old rugby player `to save his own life and that of his friend'.
Father-of-one James Samuels, 22, of Towngate, Newsome, denies the murder of Mark Fisher, of Chickenley.
Mr Fisher was stabbed by Samuels on September 22, 2002, at the former home of Fisher's ex-girlfriend Kristienne Wood, 21.
Wood has denied perverting the course of justice by hiding the knife.
Samuels told Leeds Crown Court he and Wood had been watching TV at the house in Woodburn Avenue, Earlsheaton, when Mr Fisher started banging on the door.
Samuels said Mr Fisher was jealous, believing Samuels and Wood were lovers which Samuels denies.
Mr Fisher became angry when he heard Samuels' voice inside and Wood did not let him in. He smashed glass in the front door and she called the police. Mr Fisher then smashed his way in through the kitchen and attacked Samuels.
Samuels claimed 18-stone Mr Fisher threw him into a glass cabinet, pinned him down, kicked him in the groin and gouged at his eyes. Samuels grabbed Mr Fisher's groin and wriggled free.
He said Wood was then head butted or thrown on the floor by Mr Fisher.
He said: "I thought maybe her life's at threat here, so I went back in to try to stop him."
Samuels said he and Mr Fisher ended up in the kitchen during a scuffle then Mr Fisher grabbed him and pushed him towards the breakfast bar. He picked up a knife from the worktop.
He said Mr Fisher was squeezing his throat. The pair fell to the floor, Samuels cut his hand on the knife and then stabbed Mr Fisher in the back behind his left shoulder.
Samuels could not recall how Mr Fisher got seven other stab wounds, but said only he had used the knife. He said Mr Fisher left through the patio door.
Samuels denied going outside before the police arrived - despite neighbours witnessing two men arguing outside the patio doors.
Samuels gave the knife to Wood and asked her to throw it in the garden. He said: "I wanted it as far away from me as possible."
Wood hid the knife behind a greenhouse, and initially told police she was unaware of a knife but then led them to it.
The trial continues.