Bookie murder trial focuses on sock blood

Margaret Scheikowski
Terry Hickson's blood on the sock of a murdered bookmaker was "damning evidence", a jury has heard

A petty thief's blood found on the sock of a murdered bookmaker was perhaps the "most damning and powerful piece of evidence" against him, a prosecutor has told a Sydney jury.

But the defence said the possibility of Terry John Gordon Hickson's blood being transferred to the sock hours before the murder is not a farcical scenario.

Lawyers on Monday gave their final addresses at the NSW Supreme Court trial of Hickson, now 60, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering 72-year-old Charles Skarratt some 30 years ago.

The successful bookie was attacked and robbed of about $25,000 in the garage of his Woolwich home in December 1989 after he returned home late at night from the Dapto greyhound races.

Hickson does not deny his blood was found on Mr Skarratt's sock and his car boot.

But he told the jury he didn't attack the bookie in his garage.

He says he'd been at the Dapto races that night and broke into the boots of several cars, "popping" them with a pinch bar or by using various keys.

Hickson said he couldn't recall cutting himself and leaving his blood near Mr Skarratt's car boot lock, but said he must have cut his finger during the break-ins.

Prosecutor Craig Everson on Monday rejected the possibility of Hickson's wet blood on the boot transferring to Mr Skarratt's sock.

"It is far more reasonable, far more likely, it happened in the garage at Woolwich at the time Mr Skarratt had his ankles bound with that belt," he said.

But Hickson's barrister, Philip Young SC, suggested his client's blood on the boot could have been transferred onto the bookie and then his sock when he returned to his car after dinner to retrieve his bags before the second set of races.

"That is a possibility that remains open," he said.

An expert witness had not described such a scenario as farcical, saying it was a possibility if it took place when the blood was wet.

Hickson's then-girlfriend, Tania Morsman, testified that he admitted stabbing the bookie during a robbery, saying he put the knife in him, "twisted it and he was likely dead".

Mr Everson said Ms Morsman told police details - including the knifing action - which were not published in newspapers.

Her reference to Hickson saying he "twisted" the knife was similar to the description given by a medical expert about the wounds indicating that the weapon had been "re-introduced at a different angle", the prosecutor said.

Mr Young submitted that Ms Morsman hated Hickson and told a "pack of lies", inflating an admission about popping boots at Dapto.

"It's a long, long stretch to get to the stage where this man is allegedly involved in the obviously violent and very disturbing piece of behaviour in Mr Skarratt's garage," Mr Young said.

Justice David Davies is expected to give the jury legal directions on Tuesday.