A London man on trial for first-degree murder says he was scared for his life the night his uncle died.

Shane Wood, 39, began testifying in his own defence on Wednesday.

He is charged with murder, arson and committing an indignity to a body in the Sept. 16, 2013 death of his uncle, 50-year-old Paul Curry, at Curry's Manitoba Street home.

The court heard the two got into an argument that night and both men had been drinking.

Wood says when he came out of the bathroom, Curry was lighting some papers on fire and then attacked him with a weapon.

"He cut my hand, I was bleeding a lot, it knocked me off my feet...He was coming at me. I remember smashing a beer bottle over his head."

While giving the emotional testimony Wood's voice starting trembling, and at the same time some of the victim's family and friends could be seen storming out of the courtroom.

Later wood said, "I remember he had a weapon, I had to do what I had to do to defend myself."

The jury has heard that Curry suffered multiple facial fractures and wounds to his neck and back.

Wood's testimony is expected to continue.