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Murder accused: I have never been in a fight in my life

PUBLISHED: 17:42 23 June 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 16 August 2010

AN eighteen-stone man accused of kicking a hospital worker to death while on the way to buy a kebab told a court he was too unfit to fight. Murat Karabeyaz and three friends are standing trial at the Old Bailey accused of stamping Richard Price, 23, into

AN eighteen-stone man accused of kicking a hospital worker to death while on the way to buy a kebab told a court he was too unfit to fight.

Murat Karabeyaz and three friends are standing trial at the Old Bailey accused of stamping Richard Price, 23, into a coma in an alleyway outside the Empire cinema in Bromley High Street on Halloween last year, after his victim refused to buy him a drink.

Giving evidence on Monday, Karabeyaz, 25, said he had never thrown a punch in his life, adding that he was in no physical shape to fight.

He said: "I have never been in a fight in my life. I have never hit anybody in my life. I have no intention of being in a fight.

"I'm in no physical state to get my heart racing."

The court has heard father-to-be Mr Price was attacked by Karabeyaz, Russian-born Michael Liddell, 20, Jagtar Johal, 37, and Param-Jit Theara, 25, after an incident in the nearby Swan and Mitre pub.

Mr Price, who lived in Southover, Sundridge Park, Bromley, and was expecting a child with his girlfriend, was attacked shortly before midnight.

The court heard the men were seen kicking Mr Price's head "like a football" and shouting as he lay unconscious in a pool of blood: "Don't mess with the Albanians and the Turks."

The victim, who worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, died three days later from head injuries when doctors at the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough switched off his life-support machine.

But Karabeyaz claimed Mr Price had started the violence that night.

All four men accept they were in the alleyway at the time of the attack but deny taking part in the violence.

They claim they were either trying to stop the fight or acting in self defence, jurors were told.

Karabeyaz, of Burford Road, Catford, Liddell, of Holyoake Walk, Ealing, Theara, of Ross Way, Greenwich, and Johal, of Blyth Road, Bromley, all deny murder.

The trial continues.

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