Twin brother says he was at home on night of Bendigo baby murder

THE twin brother of accused man Harley Hicks says he was at home the night baby Zayden Veal-Whitting was killed and did not commit the murder.

Zayden was found bludgeoned to death and laying in a pool of blood in his cot by his mother on June 15, 2012.

Ashley Hicks said he consumed a combination of Jim Beam cans and anti-anxiety medication on the evening of June 14 and was in bed until the following day.

He denied being with his brother Harley Hicks when he committed a series of burglaries in the Long Gully area on the night Zayden was killed.

When asked by defence counsel David Hallowes if he killed the child, Ashley Hicks said "no".

He said he was too "f...ed" from medication to remember much of that night, including phone communication between he and his brother, or with his girlfriend, however did recall a phone call with Harley during which his brother’s voice was “different … quiet’’.

Ashley said he was “arrested by police after an attempted suicide’’ on June 14, and taken to hospital.

He said he had earlier been taken by police to his stepbrother Joshua’s house to collect some belongings, but escaped through a window.

Ashley told the court police chased him and then took him to hospital, where he asked to use the bathroom and again escaped.

He went to his father’s home and said he watched football from 4.30pm until about 6.30pm and then took a combination of Jim Beam alcohol, Xanax and Temazepam.

He said he heard from Harley the following morning, and arranged to meet him at the corner of McColl Street and Ironbark Road. He noted Harley had black hair at the time.

“He just said to me he's going away, he's getting out of town  ... he just said there's too many warrants out for his arrest,’’ he said.

“So he decided to leave and the only thing I said to him was ‘make sure you go say goodbye to dad’.”

However, Mr Hallowes put to the court that Ashley Hicks' recollection of events could be inaccurate and those events may have occurred on June 1.

He put to Ashley that he had arranged to meet Harley on the night of June 14 and go out committing offences, which Ashley denied.

“I never went out that night, I could not move,’’ he said.

Ashley was also asked about a baton he had seen in the Green Street address where Harley lived, but denied ever having possession of it.

“I wouldn't call it a baton, it was a dog’s chew toy … we all used to play with it with the dogs.’’

Harley Hicks has pleaded not guilty to murder.

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