The gyrocopter pilot who killed Trevor Morse has told Birmingham Crown Court he had no intention of hurting the Warwickshire hunt supporter.

Pilot Bryan Griffiths, 55, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, is accused of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Trevor Morse — a charge he denies.

Griffiths said in evidence to the court that he gave Mr Morse “ample opportunity” to move out of the way of the propeller blades on his gyrocopter.

Mr Morse was killed by the propeller at Long Marston airfield following a stand-off with the anti-hunt monitors who had been flying above the Warwickshire hunt on 9 March 2009.

Griffiths maintains that his desperation to flea the airfield for fear of serious assault from a “gang” from the hunt resulted in the death of Trevor Morse.

He described seeing Mr Morse on his mobile, and told the court: “I thought he was bringing other people to the airfield. I felt this man was bringing other people to the airfield. I was extremely fearful. My anxiety at that point was through the roof.

My primary concern was to get myself and the aircraft out of there as quickly as possible.”

But Griffiths also admitted that the manoeuvre that killed Mr Morse was dangerous.

The trial continues