HARLEY Hicks has been found guilty of murdering Bendigo baby, Zayden Veal-Whitting.
Zayden was beaten to death in his cot with a home-made baton overnight on June 14/15, 2012. The baby monitor in his room had been turned off.
After deliberating since last Friday, a Supreme Court jury returned with a verdict of guilty about 2.45pm today.
Hicks sat silently and rocked slowly, before putting his head in his hands as the verdict was delivered.
His family sobbed loudly as they heard Hicks had been found guilty of murder, aggravated burglary and theft.
Zayden’s mother Casey Veal cried silent tears as she reached forward to put her hand on the shoulder of Zayden’s father, James Whitting.
Justice Stephen Kaye thanked the jury for their commitment to a "tragic and sad case''.
"This case has been harrowing. By any stretch of the imagination, it has been utterly harrowing. The facts involve an appallingly brutal murder of a young baby,'' he said.
EARLIER 2.45pm: HARLEY Hicks has been found guilty of murdering Bendigo baby, Zayden Veal-Whitting.
Zayden's mother found her 10-month-old son bludgeoned to death in his cot on June 15, 2012.
The Supreme Court was told Hicks committed a series of burglaries in Long Gully overnight on June 14/15, including one at Zayden's Eaglehawk Road home, and it was there he killed the infant with a home-made baton.
Hicks, 21, of Long Gully pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated burglary and theft.
Crown prosecutor Michele Williams SC told the court during her opening address Hicks was "a burglar, a thief, a liar and a killer''.
“Let me put in bluntly to you - he bashed that child to death with sufficient force to cause those very serious injuries,'' she said. “Why? We may not be able to answer the why.
“Did the baby stir? I don't know. I can't tell you that.’’
Forensic pathologist Jacqueline Lee told the court Zayden suffered “a minimum of 25 injuries to the face, and a minimum of eight injuries to the scalp” caused by severe force from a blunt object.
A Supreme Court jury today agreed with the prosecution's case that it was Hicks who wielded the baton.