An Afghan refugee told a friend he was a “dead man” in the weeks before he was killed, a court heard yesterday.

Adham Chahim, a security guard at Ladbrokes bookmakers, told Oxford Crown Court Enayit Khalili said he had lost a lot of money and was in “serious trouble”.

Martin Joyce, 22, denies murdering Mr Khalili, his fiancee’s neighbour, in Fiennes Road, Rose Hill, Oxford, in March 2007.

Mr Chahim said: “I saw him (Khalili) on the stairs leaving. We had a short conversation. I asked him how was his luck. He said: ‘It is very, very bad, I have lost a lot of money and I am in serious trouble.’ “He mentioned that he had lost £600 or £700. He looked quite pale and quite upset. I remember him saying ‘I am a dead man’.”

Mr Chahim said he saw Mr Khalili, 26, having an argument in Ladbrokes in Market Street, Oxford, with an Asian man — who has not been identified — a few weeks before his death.

He said: “There was some money in Enayit’s hand and they kept arguing over it. After the argument this man grabbed the money from Enayit’s hand and he left the shop and this gentleman played with the money.

“He (the Asian man) lost over £100 very quickly. He left the shop saying ‘This guy is in serious trouble, I am going to kill him’.”

Mr Chahim said he believed the man was talking about Mr Khalili.

He said: “Enayit came back and said ‘This man is mad’. He said ‘If there is anything happen to me, this man is to blame’.

“You could tell he was scared and really concerned. He did not say exactly what the man might do but I assume he meant to hurt him.”

Adrian Redgrave, QC, prosecuting, said Mr Chahim had been to police twice but failed to mention the man the first time.

He added: “You said to police ‘I thought, as Enayit went on, he said something under his breath like ‘I am a dead man’, but I cannot be sure’.”

Mr Chahim said: “The reason I went to the police was that Enayit told me specifically about this gentleman. I remember at the time police did not have any possible motives for the crime and I thought it could have been about gambling money as Enayit was a gambler.

”I was not sure about the last sentence, about being a dead man, but I remember him saying ‘I have lost a lot of money and I am in serious trouble and someone is going to kill me’.”

He added he was not sure whether he had told officers about the man on his first visit to the police station.

Richard Benson, QC, defending, told the jury Joyce would not be giving evidence.

He also read out a list of seven people who told police Mr Khalili had asked them to lend him money.

The case continues.