A teenager accused of trying to murder a man outside a community centre said the confrontation started when he did not hold a door open.
Soheil Bahmanifard, 18, said he suspected follow Gap Centre attendee Amirreza Ramezani may have thought he had deliberately closed the door on him as he approached the entrance.
He told Cardiff Crown Court: “Amir got angry. He assumed I had deliberately shut the door but I had not seen him – I was busy with my phone.”
Bahmanifard, from Morden Lane in Newport, denies attempted murder and wounding with intent. He admits unlawful wounding and possessing a knife.
The court heard the incident happened outside The Gap community centre in Stow Hill in Newport on June 14.
Dressed in dark grey jeans and a pale blue shirt, he gave evidence on the fourth day of his trial. A Farsi interpreter stood next to him in the witness box.
Judge Neil Bidder QC told him: “This is your opportunity to tell the jury everything you want to tell them about this case.”
Bahmanifard, who is originally from Iran, said he came to the UK in December 2016 and lived in Cardiff first before moving to Newport.
The defendant said a friend introduced him to The Gap centre, which he understood was there to help refugees and asylum seekers.
The court heard he was granted leave to remain around two months before the incident.
Bahmanifard said he met Mr Ramezani, known as Amir, when he started going to the centre and thought at one stage he was having an affair with a married member of staff.
The defendant said they were upset and he realised he was wrong. He apologised to the staff member but not to Mr Ramezani.
He told the court he woke up on June 14 feeling unwell as he had a cold. He went to the bank and took a letter to a former housemate.
Bahmanifard said he was leaving The Gap centre as Mr Ramezani was coming in and Mr Ramezani thought he deliberately shut the door as he approached.
He added: “If I had seen him I would have left the door open and let him in.
“Amir disrespected my mother. He called me a son of a b****. My mother was not well. All the members of the church knew about this because I had asked them to pray for her.
“He disrespected my mother and it upset me a lot. I said to him: ‘Shut up and close your mouth.’ Then the fight broke out. He assaulted me.”
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The defendant said a member of staff came outside to break up the fight then he went inside to the bathroom and realised his face was injured.
He said he was in pain and could see blood by his eye, nose and lip, which made him feel “scared”.
Bahmanifard said he picked up a knife but three staff members grabbed him with one telling him to calm down while another took the knife away.
He said: “I resisted a bit because I was scared and upset and angry.”
The defendant said he asked a staff member to call the police and show him the CCTV footage. He said he tried to call the police himself but had problems with the language barrier.
He told the court he went to the kitchen to get another knife and looked out of the window and saw Mr Ramezani. He concealed the knife and went outside despite staff trying to stop him.
Bahmanifard said: “I took the knife in my hand and I went towards Amir. He put his bag down and took off his jacket. He tried to hit me with his jacket on my face. Then we started fighting.”
Asked why he went back to get a knife he replied: “Because that fight did not finish. I wanted to protect myself.
“I was not thinking to strike him or hurt him. I just wanted to show him the knife and scare him. It was not my intention to hurt him with the knife.”
The court heard he has no previous convictions or cautions. The trial continues.