The teenager who is accused of murdering 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool has told a jury he was “scared” she would “jump” him.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been giving evidence via videolink at Liverpool Crown Court and said: “I promise, I didn’t mean to hit her”.
He claims that he stabbed Ava in self-defence after an altercation in the city centre on 25 November 2021.
He had been out with three friends when he filmed a Snapchat video of Ava and her friends “messing on the floor”, he said.
The jury heard that Ava approached him to say “delete the video” and then went to get more friends before returning, adding that he heard one of the group tell his friend “delete the f****** video now or I’m going to stab you”.
He said his friend later told him the boy had a knife and that he heard Ava say to friends: “Shall we jump him now cause I feel like it?”
He said he and his friends walked away but Ava and her group followed them, shouting.
‘Scared’ teenager ‘wanted to get away from Ava’
The court was shown CCTV footage of the moment he stabbed the schoolgirl on School Lane and he was asked why he was seen walking backwards at the start of the footage.
“I think Ava said my name,” he said.
“I looked and then she was coming towards me and she was like ‘delete the f****** video now, lad’ and I was liked ‘get out of my face’.
“She grabbed me there and I have ran backwards and I think I got my knife out then and kept running backwards.
“I was trying to get away because I was scared.”
He said he wanted to “frighten her away” and didn’t intend to cause injury, adding that he thought Ava was a boy and didn’t know if she was “in possession of a weapon”.
After stabbing Ava he ran away from the scene because he was still scared and he did not think he had hurt the schoolgirl, the court was told.
He said that he left his coat in a garden, not in the wheelie bin where it was found by police because he was scared of being identified.
Asked why he got rid of his phone, he said: “Because they always take my phone.
“I have had a few phones took when I was in the police station.”
Defendant claims he ‘didn’t mean to do it’
The boy said he initially lied about being in the city centre that evening and then claimed another boy was responsible because he thought he would “get away with it”.
“I was scared I was going to go to jail,” he added.
The court heard on 16 March that his legal team told police where he had discarded the knife used in the stabbing.
Asked why he wanted the police to have that information, he said: “Because I’m telling the truth and I didn’t mean to do it.”
Nick Johnson QC, defending, asked the boy if he intended to stab Ava in the neck.
He said: “No, I promise you.”
He denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.
The trial continues.