Woonona mother Angela O'Donnell's chilling and frantic final moments were played to a jury who were urged to return a verdict of guilty by the Crown prosecutor yesterday.
Petero Baleinapuka, 58, denies he intentionally killed his girlfriend on December 31, 2019 after he pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in his NSW Supreme Court trial in Wollongong.
Baleinapuka is accused of deliberately stabbing Ms O'Donnell, 53, at least 14 times inside her apartment about 10.30pm before he drank beers, tended to his own hand injuries and got into her car.
He tried to flee from police but he crashed and was arrested in the early hours of New Year's Day.
Crown prosecutor David Scully cross examined Baleinapuka before he made his closing address to the jury yesterday.
Mr Scully asked the jury to rely on the forensic evidence at the bloody crime scene and admissions Baleinapuka made to police officers on the roadside and during his police interview.
The Crown case also relied on CCTV footage at the unit that placed Baleinapuka inside the home and an audio recording from a neighbour's surveillance camera of Ms O'Donnell's last words when she was allegedly being stabbed by Baleinapuka.
The Crown alleged Ms O'Donnell could be heard saying, "Petero, Petero, oh my god, f---" before Baleinapuka said in an angry tone, "what do you want". Ms O'Donnell said, "look at me, look at me" before screaming.
Mr Scully said there was a "wealth of forensic evidence" that placed Baleinapuka at the scene during the time she was fatally wounded, including his blood, shoe prints and beer bottles. The Crown alleges he cut himself on the knife, but Baleinapuka asserts he got injured climbing over a fence.
Mr Scully said the jury could be satisfied Baleinapuka intentionally killed Ms O'Donnell when he stabbed her with "obvious ferocity" because she her rib bone was hit and her tooth was cut through.
Mr Scully suggested Baleinapuka's behaviour, based on his version of events, was not consistent with someone who had stumbled upon their beloved partner stabbed to death by a stranger.
He asked the jury to question why he would pick her up from the hallway and "lay her to rest" on the living room floor after fleeing and returning due to shock.
He added Baleinapuka's attempt to flee from police to hang out with his friends was consistent with him committing the murder.
The court also heard five police officers give evidence that Baleinapuka said, "I killed her, I didn't mean to hurt her, I loved her" during his arrest.
Mr Scully noted Baleinapuka's claim he lied and made up a stories to police officers when he confessed to murdering Ms O'Donnell was "inherently implausible".
During cross examination of Baleinapuka, Mr Scully questioned the veracity of his evidence and repeatedly suggested he had made up a version of events.
"You told police when you were in the car at the side of the road that you had killed your girlfriend?" Mr Scully asked
No, very wrong," Baleinapuka said.
"You stabbed her to death, isn't that correct," Mr Scully said.
"No," he replied
"You intended to kill her," Mr Scully continued
"No," Baleinapuka replied.
He denied he was angry that night and did not agree Ms O'Donnell was bleeding to death when she said, "look at me".
"She did yell your name and you were standing right there with a knife, isn't that true," Mr Scully asked.
"Not true," Baleinapuka said.
Baleinapuka also denied he "made up" that Ms O'Donnell told him to leave her after she had been stabbed, adding she told him told him "two boys" wounded her.
He did admit to consuming multiple beers and getting his blood over them after Ms O'Donnell died, and said he took beer with him when he got into the car to leave.
"You drank that beer after the deceased was dead, didn't you," Mr Scully said.
"Yes," Baleinapuka replied.
During his closing argument, defence barrister Phillip Young admitted his client had not given evidence on the stand "as clearly as hoped" but noted he gave it under oath, and urged the jury to take it into account when considering their verdict.
Mr Young said the disputed evidence fell into a "narrow window" which included whether or not Baleinapuka told the police officers on the roadside that he killed his girlfriend and what he described as the "pack of lies" he told to police during his interview at the station.
Mr Young also said the key aspect the jury had to consider was Baleinapuka's explanation, including that he did not hear his partner being stabbed and did not know who killed her.
The jury retired to consider their verdict late Tuesday and will resume deliberations tomorrow.
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