A teenager accused of murdering a homeless Romanian man has claimed one of his friends repeatedly confessed to the killing.
Charlie White, 19, admitted hitting 21-year-old Razvan Sirbu with a blunt meat cleaver, but he claimed he acted in self-defence and did not intend to kill or cause really serious harm.
Alex Macdonald, 19, he said, admitted to him several times he was responsible for Mr Sirbu’s death.
Macdonald, of Regency Place, and White, previously of Quarry Road, both Maidstone, deny murder.
Jimmy Buckley, 20, of Capell Close, Coxheath, has been found unfit to plead and the jury will have to decide whether he “did the act”.
Maidstone Crown Court has heard the three went out on the evening of May 6 last year to steal a lawnmower when they attacked Mr Sirbu while he was sleeping rough in a tent in the Loose Valley Conservation Area.
His body was discovered the next morning by a dog walker. A wooden chair leg he was thought to have for protection was between his legs.
He died from “blunt force trauma” to the head and torso. He had multiple skull and facial bone fractures and other injuries, including broken ribs.
White said in evidence while out to steal the lawnmower, Macdonald phoned him and said “a geezer was going off his head” in the wood.
White said he believed Mr Sirbu was armed with a machete. He said of the victim: “He seemed angry, really angry. I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I thought he was going to chop me in half.
“I started walking backwards but he kept coming towards me. Then I took the meat cleaver out from my trousers when I thought he was going to hit me.
“I held it out and asked what was going on. He came towards me and I thought he was going to hit me because he pulled his arm back.
“That’s when I struck him with the meat cleaver. I thought he was going to hit me and I was scared.”
He struck Mr Sirbu on his bicep and shoulder, he said, hoping he would drop what he was holding. He added when he walked away Mr Sirbu was still standing.
He then heard repeated banging which, he said, Macdonald admitted was him striking Mr Sirbu on the head with a lump of wood.
Mr Sirbu's body was found in the woods near Crisbrook Meadow
“It was like you hear on a building site and really echoes with the bangs,” he said. “I heard the banging about 15 to 20 times. I didn’t know the man was dead but after what Alex told me I believed he was seriously injured.”
White said he gave Macdonald a pair of trainers to wear as his were soaked with blood.
The trial continues.