An Illawarra bouncer accused of murdering his wife ticked the "no" box in a pension application form when asked if she was still living less than a month after the teenager disappeared.
When the interviewer pointed this out, Steve Frank Fesus said "Oh!" and ticked the "yes" box, his trial for the alleged crime 20 years ago has heard.
He also spoke about giving away his young wife's clothes to charities only two days after he told people she had gone missing from their Mount Warrigal home, a jury was told.
"His intention to give her clothes away within two days indicates he knew she would not be returning or would not need her clothes or other belongings," prosector Greg Smith SC said in the crown opening address on Monday.
He also said Steve Frank Fesus did not ring any of his wife's friends or relatives in the hours after he said she went missing, but he did call the local pizza shop.
Fesus, 46, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Jodie Fesus, 18, in August 1997 at their home, before burying her body in a shallow grave at Seven Mile Beach, near Gerroa.
She was 16 when she met Fesus, who was 24 and working as a bouncer at the Shellharbour Workers Club in mid-1995.
They would sometimes play wrestle in front of friends when Fesus would demonstrate sleeper holds on her, Mr Smith said.
Once when they were mucking around, she allegedly became unconscious briefly from one of his holds.
Despite their relationship deteriorating, they got married in May 1997, but things got even worse and they argued at a friend's home the night before she went missing.
Mr Smith alleged that on their return home, they continued arguing before Fesus strangled her, transported her body in the family car and buried it in a shallow grave between 9pm on August 11 and 5.30 am on August 12.
On September 14, police received an anonymous call from a person who said they had located human remains at the beach.
Fesus told police his wife was in bed when he went into his work for a short while on August 12 and was not at home when he returned.
He later asked his sister-in-law: "do you think your mum thinks I had something to do with Jodie going missing?"
Mr Smith said Fesus was intimate with a work colleague in the days after his wife's disappearance.
On August 28, he applied for a pension and during the interview was asked the date of his separation from his wife which he gave as August 11.
He ticked the "no" box when asked if his partner was still living, but when the interviewer pointed this out, Fesus said "Oh" and ticked the "yes" box, Mr Smith said.
He will continue his address on Tuesday.