A Polish sex attacker was killed by a passerby who intervened to stop him molesting an 18-year-old girl in the street, a jury heard yesterday.
Janusz Smoderek died of stab wounds soon after he drunkenly assaulted the teenager while on his way home from a lap-dancing club.
Stephen Sleaford admits stepping in to save the young woman, but insists he was not responsible for Smoderek's death, and says it was in fact the Pole who was carrying a knife, not him.
The prosecutor praised the actions of Sleaford, 38, in helping the unnamed girl after Smoderek grabbed her breasts while she was returning home from a night out in Boston, Lincolnshire in September 2011.
But he went on to accuse the man of pulling out a knife and stabbing the immigrant flower packer in the heart before accompanying the 18-year-old on her walk home.
Tim Spencer QC, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that father-of-three Smoderek, 48, had visited a Boston lap-dancing club and was then seen on CCTV 'hovering' in the town centre.
'It is plain he was interested in some form of sexual titillation at least,' the lawyer added. 'He went in to the lap-dancing club and there is some footage of him inside.'
Smoderek - who moved to the UK in 2004 but whose wife has lived in Poland since falling ill three years ago - attacked the drunk girl around 4am on September 11, as she was walking to her boyfriend's house.
Mr Spencer said the attacker 'grabbed both of her breasts' and that the teenager then tried unsuccessfully to escape while shouting, 'Please help me'.
'Mr Sleaford's initial contact with the man he eventually killed was lawful, indeed praiseworthy,' the prosecutor continued.
'He and another man, Peter Parrish, had intervened to separate Mr Smoderek from a highly distressed and very drunk young lady who did not want Mr Smoderek's attentions.
'He was molesting her. They intervened and split it up.'
But the defendant then allegedly revealed a knife and stabbed Smoderek while wrestling with him on the ground.
'Having rendered Mr Smoderek no threat to her, or anybody else, Mr Sleaford pulled out a knife he was carrying and used it with wholly disproportionate, unnecessary and unlawful violence,' Mr Spencer told the court.
Sleaford left the scene of the alleged crime with the girl and stayed with her until she was met by her boyfriend.
Smoderek's body was found three hours later in the garden of a nearby house. A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered six stab wounds, including a fatal injury which pierced his heart.
Toxicology results showed that the dead man had a blood alcohol level which was three times higher than the limit for driving.
Sleaford refused to comment when questioned by the police over Smoderek's death, the jury heard.
But Mr Spencer added: 'Stephen Sleaford said, "I was not carrying a knife." He says it was Smoderek who was carrying the knife.
'Mr Sleaford disputes he ever stabbed Smoderek. He says he didn't.'
The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
The trial continues.