12 Nov 2012

Accused wanted to dispose of boy, court told

7:37 pm on 12 November 2012

The prosecution in the trial of a man accused of killing an Auckland toddler says he saw the boy as a nuisance and wanted to dispose of him so he could drink and take drugs.

Joel Loffley is on trial in the High Court at Auckland accused of killing James Lawrence, known as JJ, at his home at Orakei on 14 November last year.

The Crown says the two-year-old suffered blunt force trauma to his stomach, severely damaging his internal organs including his liver and pancreas.

Mr Loffley, 29, denies the charge, saying the boy injured himself after falling off a bed.

On Monday, defence lawyer Roger Chambers told the court that his client did not want to give evidence and would not be taking the stand.

In his closing address, Mr Chambers said the Crown did not put any clear or compelling evidence before the jury that proved Mr Loffley killed JJ Lawrence.

He told jurors his client did not hurt the boy and should not be convicted.

In his closing address, Crown lawyer Phil Hamlin said Joel Loffley did not care about JJ's welfare.

Mr Hamlin told the court the child didn't feature in Mr Loffley's plans on the day he died - and the quicker he could dispose of him, the quicker he could get on with what he wanted to do.

He said Mr Loffley's defence of blaming the death on the boy's mother did not work, because evidence showed Josephine Lawrence loved her son very much.

Mr Hamlin also told the court JJ received mysterious injuries such as bruises and two broken arms, soon after Mr Loffley moved in with him and his mother.

He said doctors had said the placement and the amount of bruises on the boy were surprising and they would not expect to find them on a child of that age.

Justice Keane is expected to sum up the case on Tuesday.