A BURGLAR has denied deliberately running over and murdering an ex-Royal Navy officer after stealing his sports car during a break-in at his home.

Ryan Gibbons, 29, said it was 'obviously my fault', but told a jury he never saw Mike Samwell, 35, trying to stop him take his car and did not realise he had driven over him, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Samwell, who worked for engineering firm Atkins in Risley, had awoken to the sound of smashing glass in the early hours of April 23.

He ran downstairs in his underwear to discover burglars had broken through the kitchen patio doors, snatching his car keys, at his home in south Manchester.

He went out to confront Gibbons in his Audi SR sports car, shouting 'get out of the car', but Mr Samwell - who served in the Royal Navy for 12 years - was then run over twice.

His wife, Jessica, ran outside to see her husband under the wheels before the car drove away and then ran to him - clutching his hand and telling him she loved him as he lay dying from 'catastrophic' chest injuries.

Gibbons, who admits burglary and aggravated vehicle taking, but denies murder, gave evidence in his defence from the witness box.

In cross examination, Alistair Webster QC, prosecuting, asked the defendant: "What was it about the five feet 11 inch man wearing just his boxer shorts and shouting for you to get out of his car, what was it you failed to notice?"

Gibbons replied: "I never seen anybody."

Mr Webster continued: "First time you reversed over him, you are driving back over him, how was it you did not notice you had driven over another human being?"

"I don't know," Gibbons replied.

Earlier Gibbons told the jury he had been taking cocaine on the night and said he was on his way to buy cannabis when by chance he came across co-accused Raymond Davies, 21, in his BMW with two other men.

Gibbons, of Steven Court, Chorlton, said he was asked about cars to steal and suggested Mr Samwell's Audi and Davies drove them to the address and picked him up after he dumped the car.

After the break in, committed by two other men he refused to name, he was given the keys and got in the Audi and was not aware of anyone near the car, but felt 'something under the back wheels'.

He said: "I just knew something had gone under the wheels. It happened so quick.

"I heard a woman screaming. The screaming was not normal screaming. I just knew something had happened."

He dumped the car and returned home to smoke a joint, the court heard, and awoke the next day to see on the news Mr Samwell was dead.

He then went to the pub with his brother, 'to act normal'.

Simon Csoka QC, defending Gibbons, asked him: "Whose fault was it?"

He replied: "Obviously my fault."

Gibbons said he earned £600 a week working for a concrete flooring business and did not need the money.

Mr Csoka continued: "It's suggested that you knew you were going to run over Mr Samwell. Was getting this car so important? Were you so desperate you drove over him deliberately?

Gibbons replied: "No never. No one can be that desperate."

Davies, 21, of Castlefield Walk, Manchester, admits burglary but denies manslaughter and aggravated vehicle taking without consent.

Gibbons' girlfriend Stacey Hughes, 28, of Steven Court, Chorlton, denies assisting an offender.

The trial continues.