One of the four men accused of murdering Bedford rapper Issac Stone said he thought he had beaten him in a fist fight.
Fahim Khan, 20, told Luton Crown Court he was not carrying a weapon when the pair fought in Costin Street, Bedford.
He said he had not stabbed Mr Stone and when asked by his barrister Edward Rees QC denied he intended to cause him grievous bodily harm.
Speaking in court on Monday, Khan admitted he had been carrying a meat cleaver before the fist fight when he was confronted by Mr Stone’s friend, Shajidur Rahman, who he said was holding a knife.
He said: “I held up the cleaver to scare him away.
“He jumped at me with the knife. I blocked him, I used to do Thai boxing.
“He was trying to stab me. I just started swinging.”
Khan added he hit Mr Rahman three or four times before he pulled away covering his face. Mr Rahman received four deep slashes to his head and face, with his nose effectively being amputated.
Next, Khan said, he was punched and Mr Stone ran past with another youth. He told the jury he dropped the cleaver and punched him.
He said he shouted “don’t forget me” at Mr Stone as he lay on the ground, which he would not have said if he had realised the 19-year-old was so badly injured.
The jury has heard Mr Stone was chased, trapped and set upon by four men who punched him repeatedly, kicked him and stabbed him several times on January 25.
Earlier, Jo Sidhu QC told the jury Rubel Miah, 19, would not go into the witness box or give evidence. Kaly Kaul QC said her client, Javed Miah, 21, would also not give evidence.
Last week, defendant Mohammed Hussain, 22, said he played no part in the killing. He said he had tried to stop a street fight between Mr Stone and Fahim Khan and had got between them.
Mohammed Hussain, of Maitland Road, Bedford, Rubel Miah, of Costin Street, Bedford, his brother Javed Miah, also of Costin Street, Bedford and Fahim Khan, of Fenlake Road, Bedford, are all charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
The hearing continues.