Accused stabber 'drank beers' after murder

Greta StonehouseAAP
Accused murderer Petero Baleinapuka says he found his girlfriend on New Year's Eve with stab wounds.
Camera IconAccused murderer Petero Baleinapuka says he found his girlfriend on New Year's Eve with stab wounds. Credit: AAP

An accused murderer who says he stumbled upon his beloved girlfriend with multiple stab wounds on New Year's Eve drank several beers instead of calling for help, a jury has been told

Prosecutor David Scully asked the NSW Supreme Court jury in Petero Baleinapuka's trial to disregard his version of events as "utterly implausible".

The Crown in his closing address on Tuesday said there was a wealth of forensic evidence and detailed admissions made by the accused showing his "obvious ferocity".

Baleinapuka, 58, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Angela O'Donnell, 53, in her Woonona apartment on the NSW south coast on December 31 in 2019.

Five police officers told the court in Wollongong they heard his admissions, including one statement: "I killed her, I didn't mean to hurt her, I loved her".

But Baleinapuka has told the court he was lying to police officers, and that he found his partner dying from at least 14 stab wounds, according to an autopsy report.

He said she told him to "leave her to die," so he hugged her then ran away in "shock".

After he returned his blood trail led to the fridge, and multiple beer bottles later strewn around the garden, and to three separate locations where he tried to mend his bloodied hand, the court was told.

The Crown say his vicious stabbing caused the knife to slip and cut himself.

"She is dead on the ground and he's patching himself up," Mr Scully said.

Still enraged, he then "toppled over the television", and was only concerned for his wellbeing and later escaping police, he said.

In the early hours of January 1 the drunk man was spotted erratically driving Ms O'Donnell's car and highway patrol officers attempted to pull him over, but he sped off before crashing.

Mr Scully pointed to a subsequent police interview in which Baleinapuka describes the knife he used and the location near French doors where blood was found.

Baleinapuka later testified he moved the body to "lay her to rest" but Mr Scully said this was weaved in conveniently, along with him saying he touched the knives - for no good reason - to explain his forensic trail.

The jury has listened to audio captured on CCTV footage outside her apartment on New Year's Eve about 10.38pm.

"Petero Petero, look at me," she can be heard crying.

Baleinapuka told police in the moments before she was throwing things and slapping him and had previously cheated, but the Crown also dismissed these statements.

Defence barrister Phillip Young said the jury must keep an open mind to the narrow window of disputed evidence.

He reiterated that his client's first explanation to police was made up, and that he maintained his innocence.

The couple's movements that day were deemed unremarkable, before having a drink at the Bulli surf lifesaving club about 8pm.

Following a short venture to the Beaches Hotel in Thirroul, they caught an Uber together back to Ms O'Donnell's apartment.

The trial continues.

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