Friday September 13 2013
– DNA of a baby boy found dead in his cot was detected on a home-made baton found in the house, a court heard yesterday.
Zayden Veal-Whitting, 11-months-old, suffered at least 40 injuries in a frenzied attack, Bendigo Magistrates Court has been told.
Forensic testing on items taken from the home showed Zayden’s DNA on exposed wires on the end of a copper baton wrapped in tape.
According to a forensic report tendered in court yesterday: “The DNA profile…matches the profile obtained from Zayden Veal-Whitting.”
Harley Hicks, 20, is accused of burgling the Long Gully home and murdering Zayden on June 15th, 2012.
Pathologist Dr Jacqueline Lee said an implement may have been used to inflict severe injuries to Zayden.
“Once the injuries I saw were sustained, the child would’ve been dead shortly after,” she said.
According to a forensic analysis by Kate Outteridge, Mr Hick’s DNA and that of his two brothers couldn’t be excluded from the baton.
Dr Lee said Zayden received 25 bruises, abrasions and fractures to his face alone. He was probably dead by the time his mother found him.
Detective Senior Constable Tony Harwood, of the Homicide Squad, said the discovery during a search of Mr Hick’s brother’s home of a wallet, reported stolen from Zayden’s home, placed the accused at the scene of the death.
Mr Hicks has denied ever entering Zayden’s home.
In documents submitted to the court, Senior Detective Harwood said an undercover officer, codenamed “Rocco”, had tried to extract information from him.
“Rocco detailed to me a conversation he had with Harley Hicks within the confines of the Bendigo cells,” Senior Detective Harwood said in his statement to court.
– Herald Sun