Months after a Sydney man allegedly murdered his young lover, he told his mother: “I didn’t mean for her to die”, a court has heard.
The body of 20-year-old Holly Francis-Burroughs was discovered in her Sydney unit on the morning of June 7, 2012.
She was lying on her bed with her feet hanging off the edge and a scarf arranged loosely around her neck.
Her lover Dakohta Salcedo, 25, has pleaded not guilty to her murder but guilty to her manslaughter.
In the opening day of his Supreme Court trial on Monday, crown prosecutor Peter McGrath said that in the days and months after her death, Salcedo had given differing accounts of what happened to Ms Francis-Burroughs.
Initially he told police he had woken in her unit at 3am to find her slumped on the floor, resting up against a couch, Mr McGrath said.
Believing she had overdosed, Salcedo said he left.
The 25-year-old, meanwhile, told one of Ms Francis-Burroughs’s neighbours in suburban Marsfield that when he last saw her, she was fine.
Then around September last year, Mr McGrath said Salcedo told his mother that he had pulled Ms Francis-Burroughs’s scarf after she tried to prevent him from leaving her apartment.
“I didn’t mean it. It was an accident – I didn’t mean for her to die,” Salcedo allegedly told his mother.
At the time of her death the Canadian-born woman had a potentially lethal amount of amphetamines in her system, the jury heard.
Mr McGrath said while intoxication may have contributed to the speed of her death, it was the crown case that it was the compression to her neck and throat that killed her.
Salcedo’s barrister Philip Young SC told the jury there was no history of animosity between the young lovers and that it was an accident, just like his client said.
The trial continues.