A man has denied murdering a father-of-two who died after he was stabbed in a pub.

Andrew Hansen told a court he was in fear of his life as he was kicked and punched during a confrontation at The Crown in the Carfax, Horsham.

Hansen, 37, said Peter Uttley was at the front of a group pushing him out of the pub.

He said he pulled a 14in kitchen knife from his trousers as someone grabbed his shoulders and span him round.

Hansen said: "I was at close quarters with Peter Uttley and the people behind him surged forward. I did not know where the knife went or if it made contact with anyone. I did not deliberately try to push it into anybody."

Mr Uttley, 33, suffered a single stab wound to the chest and stopped breathing shortly after being put on a table in the pub on July 16, last year.

It is alleged Hansen, of Penn Gardens, Ashington, deliberately thrust it into the gardener, piercing his lung.

Hansen said he had earlier been involved in an argument over a cocaine deal his friend Matthew Brown had been involved in. He said they went to The Crown to find the man who sold it to Mr Brown after he discovered it wasn't cocaine.

He told the court he turned and left after a confrontation at the pool table with a customer who told him the deal was nothing to do with him.

When he got outside, Matt Brown's girlfriend Carly Valasquez told him Mr Brown was still inside "about to get a kicking".

Hansen said: "Reluctantly, I decided to go back in. Carly pulled a knife out of her handbag and I took it off her and put it down the back of my trousers.

"I did not want anyone seeing me with a knife in my hand.

"I just wanted to go back into the pub without causing alarm and distress to collect my friend and go.

"I did not intend to use it or threaten anyone with it."

Hansen said he went back into the pub and there was a confrontation, during which he threw a pool ball at customer Craig Gilbert.

He told the jury he turned to walk away but was punched by Peter Uttley and others as he was pushed towards a door.

He said he feared for his life and pulled out the knife and was spun round.

Richard Campden Pratt, QC, prosecuting, asked: "So it was a dreadful accident, was it?"

Hansen replied: "Yes, Mr Campden Pratt."

The trial continues.