A disgruntled customer who hurled a petrol bomb into a crowded clothing store seriously injuring a six-year-old girl told a jury: "I don't think even Michael Jordan could hit a shot like that".
Asa Lawrence (25) made the apparent reference to the American basketball star as he was describing the moment the missile he threw over the head of Shae Thomas, hit an internal door frame at the TK Maxx store in Perry Barr, Birmingham, and exploded in mid-air showering the youngster in petrol.
The accused, from Merridale Road, Wolverhampton, said he had a clear view of the clothing rack he intended to hit as he bent to light the device but by the time he looked up there were shoppers in his way.
The double-glazing salesman denies attempted murder or causing grievous bodily harm with intent but admits causing an explosion likely to endanger life and causing bodily injury by explosion to the youngster and her mother, Cherra Johnson, from Bristol.
Responding to crossexamination by prosecution lawyer Christopher Hotten QC, Lawrence told the jury at Birmingham Crown Court: "I thought this (the bomb) could go off in my hand. There was no going back. It was a very stressful situation. For you to imply that it was aimed at these people in the doorway, I'm not having it."
Leaning on the witness box with one hand in his pocket, the defendant continued: "Not that I have any experience of petrol bombs but based on what I have seen from footage of riots on the television when they are thrown over police lines they tend to hit the floor with a small sort of sparkle and fade away."
Six-year-old Shae Thomas was shopping with her mother and grandmother on August 27 last year. The hearing continues.