An amateur footballer from Birmingham accused of murdering a young model has told a jury they were engaged and had tried for a baby.
Ricardo Morrison said he was in love with Amy Leigh Barnes and planned to buy her a ring.
Miss Barnes, 19, was attacked repeatedly with a kitchen knife while at her grandmother's house in Farnworth, near Bolton, on November 8 last year and later died in hospital.
Giving evidence in his trial at Manchester Crown Court, Morrison said the couple had prepared for a future together despite regular arguments in their nine-month relationship.
Morrison, 21, said: "We were engaged, we were trying for a baby as well."
Hannah Cutts, representing Morrison, asked: "Was that a joint decision?"
Morrison replied: "It started off as Amy's decision. We talked about it and then it became a joint decision."
"In the time that you were in a relationship with Amy, did you love her?" questioned Miss Cutts.
"Very much so", said the defendant.
He agreed the pair rowed constantly about money and when either of them went out at night separately.
"I was unhappy with some of the friends she was associating with," he said. He denied ever assaulting her, but told the court that he was once on the receiving end of violence from Miss Barnes.
The model and budding actress had blocked his path when he was attempting to get dressed to go out last July. He said: "Amy assaulted me before she blocked me. She took a swing and hit me in my privates."
He admitted he had pushed her with some force during the incident. But he told Miss Cutts that during their time together he had never punched her, threatened her with, a knife or to strangle her with a mobile phone flex. He also denied ever putting a pillow over her face, blackening her eye or locking her in any room.
Morrison has pleaded not guilty to murder. His mother Melda Wilks, 49, of Hollyhill Road, Rubery, a policewoman in the West Midlands force, denies assisting her son by destroying forensic evidence.