A Birmingham man accused of bludgeoning to death a family of three saw a hooded figure leave their house moments before he discovered their bodies, a court heard.
Pierre Williams, of Selly Oak, told a jury he was standing in the back garden of the home in Fallowfield, Manchester, when a man walked away quickly from the grisly scene.
Giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court, the 33-year-old said he loved Beverley Samuels, 36, her daughter Kesha Wizzart, 18, and son Fred Wizzart, 13, and the way they were beaten repeatedly with a hammer to their heads was "something you would not do to an animal".
The defendant said Mrs Samuels had ordered him out of the house after they were woken by several loud knocks at the door in the early hours of the morning. He claimed a man would "kill" her if he found the pair together in bed.
Up to an hour later he said he saw a hooded man rush from the address as he waited outside.
Williams denies murdering all three on July 12 last year and also sexually assaulting the two women. He is alleged to have raped Mrs Samuels, a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary, before killing her with at least seven blows to her head.
Kesha, who had appeared on TV’s Young Stars In Their Eyes, had her hands tied behind her back with a black bra before she was killed the same way. She was found face down, naked, with a pair of black knickers placed on her head, the court has heard.
He said he briefly picked up the blood-stained hammer in Mrs Samuels’ bed after finding her body.
But he could not account for how blood from each of the victims was found on his shorts which were recovered from a washing basket in Kesha’s room.
Williams admitted having sex with Mrs Samuels on the night of the murders and said he and Kesha also had sexual contact in the teenager’s bedroom. "It ended when I heard the front door knock."
He dashed back into Mrs Samuels’ room and woke her up. "She said ’he’ll kill me if he sees you in here’."
Williams said he waited in the back garden for up to an hour when he saw someone come out of the house "very quickly".
Going back inside, he saw blood on the walls before discovering each of the bodies. "I was thinking why did this have to happen, I was panicking," he said. He then left the house, locked the front door and caught a bus to Manchester city centre before heading home to Birmingham.
When asked why he did not phone the police immediately, he said he was afraid that detectives would think he had committed the crimes because he was at the scene. However, he handed himself in to police later the same day.
"Was it you?" asked Mr Lederman. "No, not at all," he replied. "Something like that, you would not do that to an animal."
Williams also told the court he had previously been a murder suspect over the killing of a man called Carl Stapleton in Manchester.
He was detained after it was discovered he had been in Stapleton’s company only four minutes before he was stabbed to death, he said. However, he was released by police after three days of questioning.
The defendant and Mrs Samuels met each other in the summer of 2005 - a year after she broke up with her children’s father, Fred Wizzart senior.
The prosecution said it was a "disjointed, intermittent relationship" which lasted for a year, although the qualified gym instructor still visited her home occasionally.
Williams conceded he did not speak of seeing the hooded figure at the house until about five months after the murders. He said he did not volunteer the information to police because he did not want any contact with them.
The trial continues.