The man accused of murdering Noel Joseph Ingham has been called a skilled liar in the closing statements in the murder trial against him.
In the final days of the six week trial Crown prosecutor Jackie Hartnett said accused murderer Darren Ward Gale had the skills to manipulate people, adapt his story and feign concern about Mr Ingham's disappearance.
The two men lived together at a West Ulverstone unit for just two weeks in July 2016 before Mr Ingham disappeared, to be found four months later decapitated and buried in a clandestine grave in Dulverton bushland.
Mr Gale has pleaded not guilty to the murder, but has admitted to telling many lies about Mr Ingham's disappearance in the weeks and months following his disappearance.
He has also admitted to cutting Mr Ingham's head off, drowning his dogs and burning his Jeep Cherokee.
He said he did so because he feared being blamed for what he said was Mr Ingham's accidental death at the West Ulverstone unit following a drunken altercation.
"He has told a constellation of lies to all manner of people," Ms Hartnett told the jury.
Ms Hartnett said Mr Gale also had knowledge of the ongoing investigation of Mr Ingham's disappearance, and used that information when talking to police.
"Think about someone who has that knowledge... who uses it to abandon a previous lie as useless, in favour of a new one that matches what he knows the police can prove."
Ms Hartnett said the extreme lengths to which Mr Gale went in trying to cover up Mr Ingham's death were not the actions of an innocent man scared of being wrongfully accused.
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"This is a murderer trying to escape responsibility and all of the evidence supports that," Ms Hartnett said.
In starting his closing statements, defence lawyer Greg Richardson did not deny his client lied continuously throughout the investigation, nor that he decapitated Mr Ingham and killed his dogs.
"[He did] bizarre things. Serious things. Lots of them," Mr Richardson said.
However, Mr Richardson told the jury they could only convict Mr Gale as guilty of the crime of murder if no explanation consistent with innocence existed.
This is a murderer trying to escape responsibility and all of the evidence supports that.Crown prosecutor Jackie Hartnett
He said Mr Gale's testimony, that all his extreme actions and lies were a part of a cover up of an accidental death for which he feared being blamed, was one such explanation.
"Murder is a horrific crime," Mr Richardson said.
"Just as bad if not worse is a false accusation of murder."
Mr Richardson's closing statements will continue on Tuesday, June 11 before Justice Helen Wood gives the jury legal direction they need to deliver a verdict.
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