A former Ballarat Indian restaurant chef says there was no doubt he killed one of his customers to save his own life before he walked to the police station carrying a knife.
Nepalese man Hari Prasad Dhakal, 51, is accused of murdering Pakistani-born IT worker Abdullah Siddiqi on October 25, 2016.
The 38-year-old was found dead in the Bakery Hill restaurant after an alleged altercation between him and Dhakal about 8pm.
Mr Siddiqi was allegedly stabbed 17 times, including four wounds to the head and nine to the neck, a Supreme Court jury was told in Ballarat on Wednesday.
Defence barrister Theo Alexander said his client agreed Mr Siddiqi was drunk and verbally abusive but he asked the jury to consider what exactly happened at the restaurant.
“It’s about five minutes (between) when the argument started and the time Mr Siddiqi ended up on the floor,” Mr Alexander said.
“There is no doubt this man killed Mr Siddiqi. We know it because he took himself to the (Ballarat) police station. The question for you is why? Mr Dhakal says, ‘I was acting in self defence’.
“Mr Dhakal says he had to kill Mr Siddiqi to save his own life.”
Crown prosecutor Pat Bourke told the jury the chef picked up a knife and Mr Siddiqi either slipped over and was stabbed multiple times, or he swung the knife and then Mr Siddiqi slipped over.
Former waitress Sonia Kumari was working the night Mr Siddiqi died. She told the jury he arrived on his own with a whisky bottle.
Through an interpreter, Ms Kumari said she became nervous when he asked her at the counter for another entree “because I started thinking he was so drunk, what is he going to do next?”.
She said Dhakal then approached Mr Siddiqi, telling him he could not serve him anymore because he was drunk and he would have to leave.
“I know they were pushing each other and I was getting very nervous and stressed,” Ms Kumari said. “I was saying to them – to the chef – ‘let the customer go. Don’t fight, don’t fight’.”
Ms Kumari said she had left the kitchen area and did not witness the alleged stabbing. Dhakal has pleaded not guilty to murder. The trial continues on Thursday.