A spurned husband accused of attempting to kill his love rival told police the man was hurt by accident when he ran on to a knife he was holding.

Paul England denies attempting to murder Marten Moore with a dagger after his wife Julia Wheadon left him and moved into Mr Moore's home.

Jurors at Lewes Crown Court have heard that England, 38, is alleged to have kicked in the door of Mr Moore's flat in Bishopric Court, Horsham, on the morning of January 24 while the couple were in bed.

As his estranged wife fled naked to get help, England, who was dressed in his wedding suit, allegedly stabbed Mr Moore, causing potentially life-threatening wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Unemployed England, of Bedford Road, Horsham, then slashed his own wrist with the Commando-style weapon.

In an interview with detectives after he received hospital treatment, England said Mr Moore was injured by accident.

The interview was read out to the jury on the third day of the trial.

England stated he went to the flat to try to see his wife after recovering from a suicide attempt when she walked out days earlier. He said he was waiting for Mr Moore, who is nicknamed Vinnie, to leave for work before trying to persuade Ms Wheadon to return home.

After a while he decided to go to the top-floor flat. He said: "I knocked on the door several times and then I decided to kick it. As the door swung open Vinnie was running towards me at full pace screaming his head off. I didn't know the knife had gone in to him.

"We fell backwards into the bedroom and then I saw my wife naked."

He said the two men struggled on the floor before he managed to get Mr Moore, 35, to calm down. He said he did what he could to stop the flow of blood.

"When I found he was okay I was going to run away. I got halfway down the corridor and then I could not leave him on his own so I carried on looking after him."

He told officers he then decided to kill himself.

"I picked up the knife with the intent of killing myself. I only intended to scare the boy."

Earlier Mr Moore, a bank worker, told the jury as he lay bleeding he heard England say: "If I can't have her, nobody can."

England's wife, who is now divorced from him, told the court they had an unhappy four-year marriage during which her husband was at times violent.

She said he threatened to kill her if she left him for someone else.

England has denied charges of attempting to murder Mr Moore and also denied wounding with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

He has further denied aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on his ex-wife. The trial continues.