18 Jun 2010

Caregiver on murder charge 'no monster'

6:29 pm on 18 June 2010

The lawyer for a caregiver accused of murdering a child has told the High Court she isn't the monster the Crown has endeavoured to portray her as.

The trial of Patricia Pickering, who is accused of assaulting, injuring and murdering Dylan Rimoni in April 2008, is in its final stages in the High Court at Auckland.

The three-year-old died after life support was switched off at Starship Hospital.

Ms Pickering's lawyer, Frank Hogan, told jurors that the Crown's closing remarks were well-crafted and well-delivered but wrong.

He says prosecutors painted a picture of offending that is far worse than what took place. Police and the Crown have been selective in what's been said in court, Mr Hogan says.

He says the case has parallels to that of Arthur Allan Thomas, who was wrongly convicted in the 1970s.

Long series of beatings alleged

In its closing address on Thursday, the Crown said Dylan Rimoni was abused and injured during a long series of beatings.

Crown lawyer Phil Hamlin says that in April 2008 Ms Pickering slammed the boy's head against a floor or door and he became unconscious.

Mr Hamlin says she showered him, expecting him to recover as he had done in the past.

Mr Hamlin told the jury the child's relationship with Ms Pickering was an unfortunate one and she lied to cover her actions. He said the boy's body showed scars consistent with beatings.

The jury is due to retire next week.