Harley Hicks to return to court

A 20-year-old man accused of murderingLong Gully baby Zayden Veal wants his trial moved to Melbourne because of publicity surrounding the case.

Harley Hicks, of North Bendigo, appeared briefly in the Supreme Court on Monday charged with murdering 11-month-old Zayden Veal on June 15 last year.

Defence lawyer David Hallowes told Justice Lex Lasry that the main issue at Hicks’ trial would be who killed the baby.

He said Hicks was initially interviewed by the Bendigo criminal investigation unit after his arrest about the home burglary and not the death of the baby, which raised issues about the fairness of the police interview.

Crown prosecutor Michele Williams, SC, opposed the defence application to have the trial moved from Bendigo to Melbourne.

Ms Williams said 52 witnesses would be called to what was expected to be a four-week trial and and they all came from Bendigo.

Justice Lasry adjourned the casefor discussion on the change of venue application.

Hickshas pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

A recent committal hearing in the Bendigo Magistrates Courtheardfrom 13 witnesses, including Hicks’friends and family, anddetectives involved in the investigation.

The court heard the infant had suffered multiple blows from a blunt instrument leading tohis death.

Police allege Hicks broke into the home and killed the childduring a robbery spree.

No trial date has yet been set. Hicks willreturn to court for a further hearingon December 16.

-The Age, with Josh Fagan

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