AN Asian man accused of murdering a black IT worker during a race riot confessed to friends on a journey to Huddersfield shortly after the killing, a court heard.
Mohammed Shazad is also alleged to have made an "empty promise" to hand himself in to police if others fell under suspicion over the stabbing of Isaiah Youngsam.
Opening the case against Shazad, prosecutor Mark Wall, QC, told Birmingham Crown Court today that Mr Youngsam was attempting to avoid trouble when he was stabbed through the heart during disturbances in the Lozells area of the city in October 2005.
Shazad, of Holly Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, denies the murder and manslaughter of Mr Youngsam and wounding one of his friends in Carlisle Road, Lozells.
During his opening speech to the jury, Mr Wall alleged that Shazad had admitted he was responsible for the stabbing while travelling by car to Huddersfield after Mr Youngsam was attacked on October 22, 2005.
Mr Wall told the jury: "He (Shazad) made a full admission to his friends that he had been responsible for the stabbing - he told them he had a plan to hand himself in to the police in due course.
"He made it clear that he would do that, especially if any of them fell under suspicion, to clear their names."
But, Mr Wall said, that turned out to be an empty promise and three of the men who travelled to Huddersfield were later charged with, but eventually cleared of, offences relating to the fatal attack.
The Crown also alleges that conversations took place between Shazad and two other witnesses, one of whom will claim that he said he was waiting for the outcome of the original defendants' trial before coming forward "if necessary".
Explaining why the prosecution alleges that Shazad was the knifeman among a group of ten or more people who attacked Mr Youngsam, Mr Wall said: "We say it because he told other people as much, both on the night and thereafter to other people."
Shazad, 28, was arrested in October last year after returning to the UK from Pakistan, where he had gone in 2006.
Mr Wall said the killing happened against a background of rising tension between the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities in Lozells.
The tensions were originally caused by a rumour that a 14-year-old girl had been attacked by a group of men in a hair and beauty shop in Wellington Road.
Mr Wall told the court: "Nobody was arrested for that crime - police investigated it and they could find no victim and, therefore, the potential investigation petered out almost as soon as it had begun."
But that caused anger among some in the local community, which eventually spilled over into violence following a meeting at a church.
Before the attack on Mr Youngsam, the jury heard, he was subjected to racial taunts while walking with his brother and two friends, who were also trying to avoid danger by walking along the back street.
The case continues.