Hicks told lies to protect: defence

A SUPREME Court jury has been asked to consider the possibility Harley Hicks told lies to protect someone else, possibly his twin brother.

Hicks, 21, is charged with the murder of Long Gully baby Zayden Veal-Whitting, who was found bludgeoned to death in his cot on June 15, 2012.

Hicks has pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated burglary and theft.

The crown alleges Hicks committed a series of burglaries in the Long Gully area overnight on June 14/15, including one on Eaglehawk Road, and killed the child.

Hicks has admitted to four of 11 burglaries, but denies he entered the Eaglehawk Road address. He admitted to police he lied about being with another man on the night, whom the Crown says was put up as a ‘false killer’.

But defence counsel David Hallowes said the jury could not rule out that Hicks was lying to protect someone else, possibly his twin brother Ashley.

“Just look at Ashley Hicks … the prosecution have to exclude him as the killer of Zayden,’’ he said. “To convict Harley Hicks, they must prove to you beyond reasonable doubt that Ashley Hicks did not kill Zayden Veal-Whitting. 

“I say to you they can't do that.  It's not for me to prove that Ashley Hicks was the killer, it's for the prosecution to prove he was not.”

Mr Hallowes said there were weaknesses in evidence given by Ashley, his father John Hicks and girlfriend Casey Gordon about his alibi on the night of the child’s death.

“Harley Hicks wasn't the only person who told lies during the course of this investigation. You can't exclude Ashley Hicks,’’ he said.

Mr Hallowes asked jurors to pay attention to evidence relating to the set top box, Zayden’s stepfather’s wallet and the baton alleged by the Crown to be the murder weapon – all of which were found at Hicks’ Green Street home.

“They're things that strongly, you might think, establish a link between those items and someone back at 2A Green Street.  Because ultimately, all of those items, the set-top box, the wallet and the baton are found back at 2A Green Street.  Yes, Harley Hicks was out committing offences that night.  And yes there's some similarities, but the link back to 2A Green Street really comes from those items I've mentioned. “But the question is a link to who?"

Mr Hallowes said some of the evidence said by the crown to be coincidental needed to be closely analysed.

 “In essence you were told about how sometimes a circumstantial case - it's a bit like a jig-saw puzzle,’’ Mr Hicks said.

“Well, don't think, ‘oh, well, the picture must show Harley Hicks and these pieces that don't fit, we'll just discard them’.

"You don't start with the jig-saw puzzle finished; it's a matter of looking at the jig-saw: what does it actually show? Can you fit the pieces together? For the pieces that don't fit, it makes the prosecution case all that much harder.’’

The defence closing address continues.


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