6 Dec 2011

Hemana defence says dead baby's mother a liar

9:17 pm on 6 December 2011

The defence for a man accused of murdering a six-month-old baby in Auckland has told a court the mother is an unreliable witness who is a demonstrated liar.

James Hemana has admitted manslaughter and failing to provide the necessaries of life following the death of Cezar Taylor in July last year. He denies a charge of murder.

In closing submissions on Tuesday, defence lawyer Steve Bonnar told the Auckland High Court that Mr Hemana accepts he caused the baby's death, but says he did not consciously intend to murder him.

Mr Bonnar told the jury that evidence given by Cezar's mother Victoria Taylor was designed to blacken the accused's name.

He said Ms Taylor is a demonstrated liar who lied to police, her family and medical staff who were trying to save her baby.

Mr Bonnar said there are several inconsistencies with Ms Taylor's stories and she has been grinding her axe against Mr Hemana during the trial.

Justice Peters will give her closing address on Wednesday before the jury of six men and six women retires to deliberate.