The comments came in the opening address by prosecution counsel Liam McCollum QC to the trial of brothers Gary Anderson (25) and Sean Anderson (23) both of Grafton Street and Michael Dunlop (21) of Fern Park in Derry who are all charged with the murder of Karol Kelly in Derry on March 4, 2018.
Dunlop is further charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Kelly and doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice on the same date by attempting to conceal knives on the same date.
The jury of 8 men and four women at Derry Crown Court sitting in Coleraine were told that Mr Kelly died shortly after 2.30am on March 4, 2018.
Mr McCollum said that the cause of death was two stab wounds to the chest one of which struck the aorta and a wound to the abdomen.
He outlined other injuries including a 'gaping wound' to the right cheek.
The court heard that Mr Kelly went to the Anderson house in Grafton Street 'reprehensibly' with the intention of confronting the brothers which he did so and a fight took place.
After the fight Mr Kelly and another man who had been along with him were said to have run out pursued by the Andersons armed with knives.
The deceased and the other man ran down an alleyway but Mr Kelly found his way blocked by a gate and a confrontation took place allegedly with Sean Anderson, the court was told.
The prosecution said that as Karol Kelly ran back down Grafton Street he was assaulted by Michael Dunlop who banged his head on a car bringing him to the ground.
The jury were told that there was 'blood DNA' linking the Andersons to the deceased and forensic evidence linking both brothers to the attack and to knives found close to the scene.
Mr McCollum said all three defendants accepted they were at the scene but each gave what he described as 'cowardly self serving' accounts.
He told the court that Sean Anderson claimed to police after the confrontation in the house that he had grabbed the knife 'to scare' the attackers.
The court heard that Sean Anderson said he grappled with Karol Kelly and 'swiped' with the knife before the deceased fell to the ground.
Gary Anderson told police he had come out of the house and saw a male lying on the ground and said Sean Anderson was on top of the man and there was blood on the man's chest, the court heard.
He said 'in a panic' he had picked up a knife, the court was told.
The jury were told Michael Dunlop's account to police was that he saw Sean Anderson stab Karol Kelly twice and said that Gary Anderson came with a knife and said 'I am going to kill him.'
The prosecution counsel said that none of the accounts given by the accused explained the injuries found on Mr Kelly.
The trial continues.