A Queensland man accused of killing his daughter by throwing her into the Tweed River thought he was sacrificing her to save the world, a Sydney court has heard.
- The man has pleaded not guilty to his nine-month-old daughter’s murder
- He told an undercover police officer if his daughter turned one it would have ended the world
- The court heard he and his partner lived in a van and tent between Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise
The 49-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to murder after his daughter’s body was found on the beach at Surfers Paradise in November 2018.
The nine-month-old was found by a teenager attending schoolies and police allege she was carried there by the tide after being thrown into the Tweed River.
During an opening address, Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell told the New South Wales Supreme Court the man and his partner lived an “erratic and itinerant lifestyle” before the alleged murder.
The parents were living in a van and tent between Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay, regularly attracting the attention of police with episodes of domestic violence.
The court heard the man had a history of drinking, drug use and acute mental health presentations, and stopped taking his antipsychotic medication two years before the alleged murder.
Mr Campbell said there had been attempts to give the baby girl away before a large storm swept over Tweed Heads on November 17, 2018.
The family sought shelter in a shopping centre and the accused was observed acting erratically, the court heard, before he took his daughter out in the torrential rain.
“He carried her to the banks of the Tweed River and cast her in,” Mr Campbell told the judge-alone trial.
The father was arrested around the same time the daughter’s body was found on the beach, about a day later.
His “utterances” were recorded in a police cell, the court heard.
“He stated that if she had turned one, it would have meant the end of the world,” Mr Campbell said.
The trial heard the accused made admissions to an undercover police officer, declaring he was “sacrificing her to save all the children of the world”.
In a police interview, he said he believed it was “his prophecy to take her life”.
Mr Campbell said a psychiatrist who examined the man believed he was suffering from schizophrenia and “did not know that his act was morally wrong”.
Appearing via a video link wearing prison greens, the man sat quietly listening to the proceedings and spoke only to enter his plea of not guilty.
The trial, before Justice Helen Wilson, is set down for three days.