NSW woman denies murder claims 'payback'

Luke Costin
Tania Morsman denies allegations against her ex-boyfriend are payback for years of mistreatment

The ex-girlfriend of a Sydney bookmaker's accused murderer denies "a life of mistreatment" motivated her to tell police decades later about his alleged crimes.

Terry John Gordon Hickson, now 60, has pleaded not guilty before a NSW Supreme Court jury to murdering bookie Charles Skaratt, who was found dead in the garage of his Woolwich home in December 1989.

The successful bookie, 72, was also robbed of about $25,000 after he returned home from the Dapto greyhound races.

Hickson was charged in 2017 after ex-girlfriend Tania Morsman detailed to police she had seen him leave home the night of Mr Skaratt's death with a balaclava and knife.

He returned hours later with blood on his overalls and a bag of cash, she said.

During cross-examination on Wednesday, Hickson's lawyer Philip Young SC suggested the then-couple had never spoken about Hickson preparing for a robbery or having gone to Woolwich to commit criminal acts.

Ms Morsman rejected that, adding she knew thousands of dollars Hickson had acquired in late December 1989 was robbed from Mr Skaratt.

The jury has heard the couple's relationship had been "extremely tempestuous" and that Hickson at one stage agreed to a five-year apprehended violence order being taken out against him.

But Ms Morsman denied her going to police in 2017 was "motivated ... partly by wanting to pay him back for what you regarded as a life of mistreatment".

She said she understood police could have arrested her for being an accessory after the fact to the murder and robbery.

"I was prepared to offer what I knew about that story," Ms Morsman said on Wednesday.

"I wasn't sure if they would prosecute me or not, however, there was some discussion that I was not going to be."

Asked if she'd come to hate Hickson by the time of her police statement, she said: "Put it this way, I did not have a particular liking for Terry."

The woman rejected the idea that upon seeing news of Mr Skaratt's death on TV in 1989, Hickson told her something like "That's the bloke who I tried to rob at the dogs".

She further dismissed she'd inflated that admission into Hickson being involved in a murder.

Ms Morsman earlier told the court Hickson attended the Dapto races and had said he was going to rob a bookmaker to pay off Hickson's barrister.

Hickson stalked the bookmaker each Thursday for weeks before the murder, she told the jury on Tuesday.

Ms Morsman said she immediately washed Hickson's overalls when he arrived home, noticed a lot of blood in the sink and later saw him throw the clothes in the bin.

The trial continues before Justice David Davies.