A boy who stabbed Mustafa Momand, severing one of his main arteries, said the 17-year-old “skipped into the knife”.

The boy, who is 16, “rammed” a kitchen knife into Mustafa's chest in the city centre on October 5, Brighton Youth Court was told.

But he denies murdering  Mustafa, who “ran for his life” after the kitchen knife was “plunged” 9cm into him and severed one of his pulmonary arteries.

Mustafa ran 150 metres up Queen’s Road while bleeding out before collapsing just past the junction with Gloucester Road.

The Argus: Mustafa Momand running past Tesco in Queen's Road, BrightonMustafa Momand running past Tesco in Queen's Road, Brighton (Image: Sussex Police)

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed Mustafa had been threatening to stab him so he got his knife out to “scare him” and the older boy ran into it.

The court heard Mustafa was scared to be in the city due to a £20,000 drug debt to Zakaria Deghayes, also known as Gotti or Zico.

Nathan Rasiah KC, prosecuting, said the defendant “knew that Mustafa Momand was a target” because of this and stabbed him.

Mustafa was leaving Brighton Magistrates’ Court shortly before 5pm where he had appeared for drug-related offences.

The defendant said he left home in Southwick and got the first train he could after an argument with his mother. He told the jury that he took the knife with him to self-harm, not to hurt anyone. He also said he was "off his head" on drugs from the night before.

The Argus: Mustafa Momand was pronounced dead at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on the same day he was stabbedMustafa Momand was pronounced dead at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on the same day he was stabbed (Image: Sussex Police)

Balraj Bhatia, defending, asked about the moment the two teens crossed paths. The defendant said they were not expecting to see one another.

The boy said: "He started sprinting towards me. He gripped his fists and started running towards me, I thought he was going to hurt or stab me, I was scared.

"I have gone to take my knife out, my only intention was to scare him away from me. 

"He skipped towards his left and ran past me. I had no intention to seriously harm him let alone kill him."

Mr Bhatia asked if he felt any impact with the knife hitting Mustafa. He said he had “no idea” that his knife had touched him.

The Argus: Mustafa Momand, right, running away from the defendant who is blurred as he is under 18Mustafa Momand, right, running away from the defendant who is blurred as he is under 18 (Image: Sussex Police)

Mr Rasiah said the defendant “rammed that knife into the centre of his chest with such force to penetrate into his breast bone”.

He said: "You could have run anywhere but you chose to pull out a kitchen knife. I'm going to suggest that Mustafa did not run towards you. You went towards him didn't you? 

"His arms were flailing as he tried to get away from you. How do you explain that to this jury? How do you explain a wound that penetrated through his breast bone with a knife that you were holding?"

The defendant replied: "As I'm taking it out he skipped towards his left and ran past me. He was close to me, he skipped into the knife."

The Argus: Tributes at the scene for Mustafa MomandTributes at the scene for Mustafa Momand (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

Mr Rasiah replied: "And it penetrated through his chest, his breast bone and severed his pulmonary artery?”

Mr Rasiah asked if anyone had tipped him off about Mustafa being in Brighton for a court appearance to which the defendant said no. Mustafa had moved away from Brighton to social care in Croydon in April last year.

Mr Rasiah said: “It so happens that the one day he appeared in court you happened to be in Brighton clearing your head with a large kitchen knife.”

The defendant replied yes.

The court heard that a number linked to Gotti had called Mustafa's father on March 26 last year asking for his "motherf***** son". The court heard that the number called the defendant the next day.

Mr Rasiah said: "You knew Gotti didn't you? You knew that Mustafa Momand was a target and someone who should be attacked on behalf of Gotti."

Mustafa was surrounded by a group of boys while shopping with his mother in Churchill Square less than two weeks before his death. They did not attack him out of respect for her, the court heard. On a message to a friend he described them as “Gotti’s lil army”.

The trial continues.