The graphic designer accused of causing a man’s death by punching him on a train has told a jury of his regret over the incident.
Rhys Stacey Parchment, 25, a former boxer who won three amateur bouts as a teenager, said he pushed the younger man and punched him once in the head, after he tried to steal his phone.
Mr Warsame was found unconscious on a different train an hour later, and died in hospital from a bleed on the brain on March 4.
Mr Stacey Parchment told Blackfriars Crown Court: “I feel sorry for Warsame and Warsame’s family. I regret what happened.
“If I could go back, and I wish I could, I would hope to find a different way out of the situation. I was genuinely scared of the man that was before me.”
Giving evidence, he told defence barrister John Coffey QC: “The first encounter with Mr Warsame was he came from behind me as I was playing on my phone.
“As he walked past he tried to grab the phone with what I think was his left hand.
“I was kind of in a bit of shock. He didn’t stop. He sort of went past and then turned around, and said the words, ‘Wagwan, blud?’”
Mr Stacey Parchment said he then stood up and took off the bag he was wearing, with his football kit inside.
He added: “He made a very fast jerking movement as if he was going to punch me. I reacted and I pushed my hand out.
“It was instinctive and a reaction. I wouldn’t say it was hard. It made contact.
“He then lunged to throw a punch. I threw a punch.”
Witnesses told the trial last week they heard the ‘wagwan’ greeting but did not see Mr Warsame try to steal the phone.
Mr Stacey Parchment said Mr Warsame was mumbling unintelligibly, and that he felt threatened by him.
Prosecutors say Mr Stacey Parchment threw two punches, with Zoe Johnson QC questioning whether he was genuinely afraid of the smaller Mr Warsame, described this week as being 5 ft 4ins tall.
Mr Stacey Parchment said: “I was on a train and I was scared. I reacted. Boxing was six years ago. I wasn’t prepared.”
The trial continues.