A Sydney man accused of murdering his new girlfriend's toddler has denied being controlling in their short relationship, including by telling her what to wear when she first met his religious parents.
Mohammed Khazma told the jury that when she did meet them he was at the family table with her when he sent her texts saying she was talking too loud to his father, to slow down and "stop looking at him".
He did not say this aloud as he did not want to embarrass her, he said in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.
Khazma has pleaded not guilty to murdering the two-year-old girl in December 2016 shortly after she and her mother moved into a Sydney granny flat with him.
The 25-year-old has also denied two counts of assaulting the girl and causing her actual bodily harm by burning her with a cigarette lighter and slamming her head into a wall in the days before she died.
Khazma has told the jury he "never laid a finger" on the girl, insisting her mother was the one who pinched, punched, hit and whipped her, at times making her unconscious.
Prosecutor Philip Hogan asked Khazma about texts sent before she and her daughter were going to meet his parents for the first time.
In them, he told her to wear jeans, to not show her arms, put her hair up in a ponytail and not wear too much make-up.
He denied trying to control her, saying she had been very nervous.
"She knew my parents were religious and I was trying to help her," he said.
Before they drove to his parents, Khazma sent a text saying "we earned this" and she replied "f*****g oath we did" leading him to tell her not to act like "a f*****g" bloke.
"It's a turn off to me when women swear," he testified.
Mr Hogan noted that when his girlfriend apologised he texted: "I love you, it's okay, I have to teach you".
He was asked about a text in which he told his girlfriend: "you are my only, I don't know what I would do without you or the baby" and one sent soon after saying: "I have to calm down with her I know".
"You are referring to all of the occasions you had been physically violent towards (the toddler)," Mr Hogan suggested.
But Khazma said he was referring to a misunderstanding with an ex-partner.
"You knew there was a real risk you were going to seriously hurt (the toddler) the way you were behaving," Mr Hogan suggested.
"I was referring to the situation with (his ex-partner) - it was very serious and I was taking it the wrong way".
The trial continues before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton.