THE detective responsible for the investigation into the killing of Zayden Veal-Whitting says the discovery of a home-made baton alleged by the Crown to be the murder weapon was a “chance finding’’.
Baby Zayden was found laying in a pool of blood in his Eaglehawk Road home on June 15, 2012.
Hicks, 21, of Long Gully, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Detective Senior Constable Anthony Harwood told the Supreme Court the baton was collected during a second search at the home of the accused, Harley Hicks, which he described as “a tip’’.
“I would put it down as what we would call a chance finding,’’ he said. “During searches items are taken not knowing the relevance, as in this case.’’
Detective Senior Constable Harwood said he was reviewing bruising to Zayden’s face and referencing the injuries to items seized during searches at Hicks’ home when the link to the baton was made. The baton was found to be carrying DNA profiles that matched Zayden and Hicks.
Pathologist Dr Jacqueline Lee earlier told the court Zayden sustained at least 25 injuries to the face and a minimum of eight injuries to the scalp and “severe force’’ had been used. She said it was possible the bruising was caused by an instrument such as the home-made baton presented to the court.
Detective Senior Constable Harwood also told the court he viewed 10 hours of CCTV vision after Hicks claimed to have gone to the BP service station the night Zayden was killed, but found no evidence of that.
When asked by defence counsel David Hallowes about comments made by Hicks to an under cover police officer that he had been "getting drilled by Homicide detectives'', Detective Senior Constable Harwood said that was "a lie'' as no officer from the homicide squad had spoken to Hicks at that point.