A DEFENDANT jointly accused of murdering a young man in a brutal attack claims his flatmate was the only man responsible.

Giuseppe Petriccione denies having any involvement in the murder of Serxhio Marku in Stafford Road, Brighton.

Petriccione, 46, lived as a flatmate with Francesco D’Agostino and the two chefs, who worked in Brighton, had bought cocaine from Mr Marku, a court heard.

Mr Marku suffered multiple injuries during an incident at the flat in the early hours of September 11 last year and died on his way to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

He was 21 years old.

Petriccione and D’Agostino are jointly accused of killing the young Albanian.

They had bought drugs from him the previous evening and Mr Marku had returned in the night to supply more, Brighton Crown Court heard.

But Petriccione denies any involvement in inflicting injuries upon Mr Marku.

During his video-taped police interview he told officers: “I didn’t know the man [Serxhio Marku].

“I was trying to separate them. They were already fighting.”

Petriccione, of Arienzo, near Naples in Italy, said he saw a knife and barbell being used as weapons during a “fight” between D’Agostino and Mr Marku.

When asked about his flatmate and co-defendant D’Agostino he said: “Perhaps he [D’Agostino] killed him [Mr Marku], I don’t know.

“I know it sounds absurd, but I hate violence, I’m afraid of it. Both of them were covered in blood, they pushed me aside.

“I was the person who tried to split them up. I saw several stabbing actions, I was afraid. They were speaking in English and I couldn’t understand.”

Police asked Petriccione why he was covered in blood and had tried to wash it away. He said: “It was just upsetting me. I am a pacific person.”

Petriccione claimed his flatmate said that Mr Marku was “threatening” him in their house and said “he wants to kill me”, and this was the reason for the attack.

Previously the jury heard that D’Agostino, 45, of Stafford Road, intends to blame the attack on Petriccione, claiming his flatmate has a raging temper and anger problems.

Both men deny murder. The trial continues.