Crown says case is 'jigsaw'

PROSECUTORS have told a Supreme Court jury the case against the man accused of murdering Long Gully baby Zayden Veal-Whitting is like a jigsaw puzzle.

Harley Hicks of Long Gully has been charged with the murder of baby Zayden Veal-Whitting, who was found laying in a pool of blood in his Eaglehawk Road home on June 15, 2012.

Crown prosecutor Michele Williams SC told the court she was relying on circumstantial evidence to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

The crown alleges Hicks committed a series of burglaries over night on June 14/15, including that at Eaglehawk Road, and killed the baby.

Hicks’ defence team says he did not enter the house that night and did not kill Zayden.

Ms Williams told the jury if they looked at the features of the burglaries Hicks had admitted to, and the those he had not admitted to, there were similarities.

Hicks has admitted to four of the 11 burglaries reported that night.

“We say this is the stamp of the same person, same sort of thing, particularly when you look at the time and the location - particularly when you look at that,’’ she said.

Those similarities include the propping open of doors and gates and glove boxes being rifled through with their contents strewn throughout the car.

She said another continual feature was unlocked doors – and the court has heard the backdoor at Eaglehawk Road could not be locked.

Ms Williams said it was there that Hicks stole Zayden’s stepfather’s wallet, sunglasses and scales and killed Zayden.

"Why? The Crown doesn't have to prove a motive and some killings are simply senseless and without explanation,'' she said.

"One motive here, you might think though, might be simply this: that we know the baby monitor in Zayden's room was unplugged.

"We say, that the person who ... went into the house I suppose committing burglary that night is the person that killed Zayden.

"You might suspect that that person, we say the accused did not want to be caught," Ms Williams said. 

"Did Zayden wake up? Is that the reason why he killed him? Of course we can't positively say because we don't positively know.

"Perhaps he awoke, perhaps he stirred ... if so, the motive was to silence him so that he, we say the accused, would not be apprehended, would not be caught.

"He, after all, was on a mission to get money that night."

Hicks was later seen wearing the sunglasses and the scales were found at Hicks’ home.

Also found at Hicks’ home was a set top box carrying Zayden’s DNA, which Hicks admitted to stealing from a vehicle in Jackson Street, across the road from Eaglehawk Road.

Zayden’s DNA and that of Hicks, was also found on a baton located at Hicks’ home. That baton is said by the Crown to be the murder weapon.

Ms Williams told the jury the suggestion that DNA could also belong to Hicks’ twin brother Ashley was absurd.

She said Hicks’ earlier attempts to put up a "false killer'' by telling police he was with another man on the night of the child’s murder had proved a "pack of lies'' as Hicks himself had admitted he made the story up, so the DNA match with Ashley was his next defence.

But she said it was flawed, as Ashley had an alibi and there was no evidence of him being out on the night.

The jury was told Ashley and his girlfriend were in constant contact that night – sending 110 text messages and making about eight calls during the late hours hours of June 14, and early hours of June 15.

Ms Williams said text messages were sent back and forth between the two, including about 12.09 am, the same time someone was chased from a yard in Duncan Street.

Ms Williams also told the jury Ashley and his father both reported him being home watching football, taking a combination of alcohol and anti anxiety drugs and going to bed.

The Crown closing address continues.

HARLEY HICKS TRIAL - DAY BY DAY

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