Jury considers verdict for Darwin killing

Neda Vanovac

A Northern Territory jury has retired to consider the fate of Danny Deacon, who has admitted killing his partner Carlie Sinclair.

Deacon pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Sinclair on June 18, 2013, at their concreting business in inner city Darwin, knocking her out before wrapping her in plastic and choking her.

He left her body in the boot of her car overnight before returning the next day and driving her to the rural suburb of Berry Springs, where he buried her in a grave he'd dug three weeks earlier.

Deacon told the court that he was provoked to kill Ms Sinclair in a fit of rage after she allegedly said he wasn't the father of their toddler son.

But prosecutors say it was highly unlikely Ms Sinclair ever said that, that Deacon never mentioned it as the catalyst for the killing before, and that even if she had it wouldn't have been provocative enough to cause Deacon to kill her.

On Monday, Justice Peter Barr gave directions to the jury on how to consider the evidence they had heard over the almost five-week trial.

If they cannot agree on a murder conviction they may find Deacon guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Justice Barr said that although Deacon had admitted killing Ms Sinclair, the jury had to consider numerous elements, such as whether he intended to kill her when he hit and choked her.

Deacon admitted digging the grave after becoming enraged that she was planing to leave him to move to Townsville with their son.

"I thought, 'right, it's gotta be done before she takes the job or else she'll just f*** off real quick'," the court previously heard Deacon say in a recording made by a covert operative.

But he has since said that after he had dug the hole he forgot about it, and intended to return to fill it in.

Justice Barr reminded jurors of evidence that Deacon said "I knew what I was already prepared to do" and told an undercover operative that people were more likely to get away with a killing if it was presented as a spur-of-the-moment action rather than a premeditated plan.

He previously gave several separate accounts that he had knocked Ms Sinclair out, wrapped her in plastic and then strangled her, but in court last week said he had been sleep-deprived during a police interview and got some details wrong, while others were taken out of order and context.

Deacon said the killing was all one action when he "lost control of his senses".