'False killer' story is about Hicks, Crown says

THE crown says a story made up about a 'false killer' by the man accused of murdering baby Zayden Veal-Whitting was actually his own story.

Crown prosecutor Michele Williams told the Supreme Court Harley Hicks told elements of truth to police throughout his “pack of lies” about being with another man, inferring his guilt.

Ten-month-old Zayden was found bludgeoned to death on June 15, 2012.

Hicks, 21, of Long Gully, has pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated burglary and theft.

In her closing address to the court, Ms Williams told the court Hicks had admitted to police he lied about being with Aiden Kirby on the night, and had put Mr Kirby up as a false killer.

“But the lie about Aiden Kirby … it's a powerful piece of evidence, we say, that in itself is an inference of guilt, because it goes to his knowledge, he's trying to protect himself and so on and puts up a false killer," she said.

Ms Williams told the court the lie about the false killer was a different sort of lie to those that went to Hicks' credibility.

She said it showed the "ability for him to be conniving, to be cocky … to manipulate the whole fictitious story chapter and verse".

"He gives a chapter and verse story about it … all of which are lies and the point of that argument is to say, well here is someone who is really keen to protect themselves from the knowledge they know what they've done … to try and put up a convincing story.  And it was a convincing story."

But she said every now and then, there was "a bit of transposing of reality" and that included elements of the story Hicks claimed were connected to Kirby.

Hicks told police the “false killer’’ had been using the methamphetamine ice and was “really, really aggressive … scary aggressive".

Ms William said Hicks was actually talking about himself – and had told police he had used ice, marijuana and consumed alcohol that night.

“Now I mean who's he really talking about?’’ she said.

“He's talking about himself, may I suggest, and about himself being on shard, because we know Aiden wasn't there. 

“There's no evidence that anyone else was there. 

“I mean defence might suggest, you know - or say we can't prove it or that you should have a doubt that he was acting alone, but there is no evidence at all that he was with anyone but himself.

“So is that who he's really talking about?  And that might really fit, you might think, in terms of why he killed Zayden. 

“Why, when he went in there, and if he's on shard and alcohol and marijuana and in a fit of rage because the baby stirred or woke up, a fit of panic, perhaps aggression, that fits too as an explanation, if you like."

Ms Williams said at one point, Hicks told police Mr Kirby was carrying a metal bar, which he described as gold or bronze.

“Is he really describing the bar that he had," she asked the court. “It’s a curious answer."

Ms Williams told the court a baton with bronze copper wires at one end was the murder weapon.

The baton was found carrying DNA that matched the profile of baby Zayden and Hicks.

“It got there because it was the murder weapon," Ms Williams said.

“In terms of my language to you, is that it supports the proposition that Zayden's DNA is on that baton and, particularly my argument, the baton this end, that is where the exposed wires are, but also on the other part where the white - was the white part, how did it get there?  Of course, I keep repeating, it was - it got there because he was struck with it.

“How did the accused's DNA get there?  It got there because he wielded it." 

Ms Williams said Hicks also told police he heard through the media the baby woke in fright – but there were no media reports suggesting that.

“There’s only one person who would know the baby woke up in hysterical fright, and that’s the killer," she said.

HARLEY HICKS TRIAL - DAY BY DAY

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