A teenager who beat a gay man to death was acting in self-defence, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Mossab Belhocine, 19, of Forest Road, Walthamstow, admitted punching and kicking David Cooper, 28, but denied murdering him, claiming he was trying to protect himself from rape.

The pair met in Soho on November 19th last year. They then returned to Cooper’s home in Woolwich to smoke cannabis.

Belhocine told the court: “He came and sat next to me on the sofa and put his hand on my leg and started moving it up and down and moved it to my penis area.

“I got up and was going to leave because I didn’t want it to happen.

“He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me towards the bed. I fell onto it. He came on top of me and was trying to kiss me.

“I was punching him anywhere and trying to fight him off. I pushed him onto the floor. He was holding my left leg as he was lying on the floor. I kicked him in his chest and face a few times to get my leg free.”

Belhocine claimed he had been sexually abused as a child, which he believed may have triggered the attack. He also said he was so drunk he could not remember beating Cooper anymore.

When arrested, he broke down saying he had to defend himself and asking if Cooper was really dead.

The court heard that as Cooper lay on the floor, Belhocine searched his flat, stealing various electrical items and his Oyster card. The card was later used by police to track Belhocine down.

Belhocine, a failed asylum seeker, arrived in Britain in 2007 and has since been staying with friends and relatives. He was charged with fraud in September last year for attemping to get a visa with a fake passport in the name of Adam Saidi.

The trial continues.