The Harley Hicks trial – day-by-day review
THE Supreme Court was told at the beginning of the murder trial that putting together the case against Harley Hicks was like a jigsaw.
But Hicks' defence team set out to show there were missing pieces.
Defence counsel David Hallowes told the jury they would not like Harley Hicks by the end of the trial; he conceded his client was a drug user, a thief and a liar, but insisted he was not the killer.
Ultimately, it was telling lies that brought Hicks undone.
First, he told a lie that he was with another man on the night of Zayden's death.
He told police he had used methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, marijuana and consumed alcohol on the night with another man - a man the Crown said Hicks put up as a false killer to send police on the wrong scent.
He told the lie over several days during a police interview - going as far as to offer his own fingerprints and DNA to be tested.
That lie was quickly found to have no substance, but it took Hicks until his Supreme Court murder trial almost two years later to sign a document saying he made the story up.
When that defence didn't work, he turned to DNA evidence. His DNA was found on the murder weapon - a copper wire baton wrapped with electrical tape - but it was the same DNA carried by his identical twin, Ashley.
Mr Hallowes put to the court that the jury could not rule out Ashley as the person who entered Zayden's Eaglehawk Road home on June 14/15, 2012.
But the jury saw through the defence of an identical twin. An identical twin who had an alibi. An identical twin whose father support his alibi.
The case was based on circumstantial evidence, but the pieces of the jigsaw putting Harley Hicks as the person who wielded the baton, were there.
An admission by Hicks that he stole a set top box from a property across the road from Zayden’s home, putting him in close proximity. The set top box was found at Hicks’ home;
Evidence showing Hicks stole Zayden's stepfather's sunglasses and wore them the day after the child’s death;
Scales and a white wallet belonging to Zayden's stepfather being found at Hicks’ home;
Hicks was seen counting money when he returned in the early hours of June 15, but did not leave with any;
Hicks' post offence conduct, including him fleeing to Gisborne the day after the baby’s death, a day earlier than planned, also helped put the jigsaw together.
Other evidence included Hicks searching the internet for information relating to himself, the Long Gully burglaries and the child’s murder; cutting up his tracksuit pants; fleeing the home of his then-girlfriend’s sister when he found out the police were looking for him and spending the night at the Gisborne football oval.