A teenager accused of killing a drinker with a single punch in a pub car park brawl told a jury he attacked the man to protect his brother because he believed he was going to be hit with a bottle.
"I preferred to hurt someone than my brother get hurt," the 17-year-old said in evidence at Stafford Crown Court yesterday.
"I did not know he was badly hurt then I went home and went to bed. My friends were having a go at him and said there was no need for me to hit. I was pissed off basically."
The boy, from Rowley Regis, has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of father-of-three Harry Fletcher, aged 36, of Cressett Avenue, Brierley Hill, in December last year. He died in hospital, without regaining consciousness, from a fractured skull and brain damage.
The teenager said he and two others were making fun of a friend inside the Royal Oak, Dudley Road, Rowley Regis, at closing time who was " chatting up" a barmaid.
"Mr Fletcher came through the door to go out and was still taking the mickey out of our friend. It was clear he was leaving and we were trying to let him out. He was with his girlfriend and he thought we were taking the mickey out of him," he said.
"We said we were taking the mickey out of our friend but he would have none of it. He was getting more aggressive and he was not accepting it was not against him or his girlfriend. An argument was going on. I said I was fed up. If he had accepted what we told him this would never have happened. There was more arguing and a friend dragged me away. I heard someone shout they had been hit with a bottle.
"I saw Harry (Mr Fletcher) with my brother and I had to go and protect him. I thought he was going to hit my brother. I hit Mr Fletcher. I was protecting my brother."
The trial continues.