AN asylum seeker was stabbed to death during a racist attack just a day before he was due to start a new life in the South, a jury was told.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Peiman Bahmani had been due to leave for Brighton when his coach journey was put back by two days - which cost him his life.

Paul Sloan QC, prosecuting, told the jury how the 30-year-old Iranian became involved in an incident with fellow nationals in Sunderland on August 28 last year.

Trouble flared between the Iranians and Steven Roberts, 18, who was visiting his mother, along with Joseph Rutherford, 23, and Gavin Gash, 27.

The court heard that following an earlier altercation on the day of the murder, the men followed Mr Bahmani and friend Razar Nandar to the post office.

Mr Nadar made it back to Peel Street, Sunderland, but Mr Bahmani was set upon and covered his face as punches rained upon him.

He staggered home, only for bricks to be thrown at the front door and he told his friends to stand up to their attackers or they would become prisoners in their own home.

Mr Sloan QC said Mr Bahmani opened the front door and Mr Nandar had armed himself with two crutches.

An argument ensued with Mr Rutherford and Belinda Roberts, the defendant's mother, in the street.

But Mr Roberts armed himself with two knives.

"The Iranians ran for cover but Mr Bahmani froze on the spot," said Mr Sloan.

"Roberts deliberately thrust both hands forward, stabbing Mr Bahmani in the upper left of his chest."

Mr Bahmani later died at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Mr Roberts, of Edinburgh denies murder, racially aggravated assault and violent disorder. Mr Rutherford, of Gray Road, Sunderland, denies affray, racially aggravated assault and violent disorder and Mr Gash, of Hedworth Street, Sunderland, denies racially aggravated assault and violent disorder.

The trial continues.