Tooting Murder accused: 'I was squeezing him... He was squeezing me'
A pair of hospital workers "squeezed" each other's necks during a drunken fight which resulted in one of their deaths.
Daniel Janik, a porter at St George’s Hospital, is on trial for the murder of fellow Polish national Przemyslaw Lepkowski, a fellow hospital worker, found in the street in Eastbourne Road, Tooting, on May 19.
He had sustained 41 injuries and died in intensive care two days later.
Mr Lepkowski, 24, of Thornton Avenue, Croydon, had been watching the football match between Chelsea and Bayern Munich at Mr Janik’s home in Eastbourne Road that night with friends.
Appearing at the Old Bailey today (January 12) Mr Janik heard transcripts read of his interview with police on May 21, when Mr Lepkowsi died after a two-day coma.
Mr Janik described how he and Mr Lepkowski bought a bottle each of whisky in nearby Links Road before returning to Eastbourne Road.
Neither he nor Mr Lepkowski supported either team, but had a bet on the result.
In his interview on May 21, Mr Janik was unable to say why he and Mr Lepkowski became aggressive towards each other.
He said: “To start with everything was absolutely fine. Nothing was happening. Then Przemyslaw had some sort of problem. I didn’t know what it was about.
“Slavek told Przemyslaw to leave. I went with him. I am not sure if I wanted to walk with him or have a few words.
“Then he wanted to fight me. We started pushing and shoving. I said ‘Do you want to fight me?’ He said yes.
“We ended up in the bushes and then on the ground.
“He was squeezing me. I was squeezing him. I don’t remember how this happened. Oh my God. Then I let go of him. I didn’t want to fight him anymore.
“Then I went home. I ran away to the house. Slavek told me something was not right with Przemyslaw. I went out. I wanted to help somehow. Yannick was holding me back. He said he’s not breathing. Then we called the ambulance.”
Asked why the fight had started, Mr Janik insisted he did not know and there had been no ongoing animosity between them.
He said: “There wasn’t any incident. This was a good friend of mine. I knew his father because he worked at the same company and also his sister. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Mr Janik also told police he was “not sure” how Mr Lepkowski had sustained numerous injuries, including a large swelling on his forehead.
When asked if he was responsible for those injuries, he replied “I could be, yeah”.
Mr Janik, 30, denies both murder and manslaughter.
The trial continues.