A MARRIED woman's desperation to hide a baby fathered by a secret lover gave her the motive to kill her newborn son then cut his body in half to conceal the evidence, a Cairns court has been told.
As the barrister for Violet Flora Evans, 53, moved to have her murder charge dropped for lack of evidence at the end of a week-long committal hearing in Cairns Magistratesí Court yesterday, police prosecutor Sharon Steward said a jury could conclude there was an intention to kill.
"A jury could conclude that the defendant did give birth to this baby, that she drowned the baby and cut it in half to conceal it and that the concealment of the pregnancy and of the baby being born out of wedlock would be indicative of a motive and an intention to kill," Sen-Constable Steward said.
Pictures: Cairns baby murder case
Although she said the facts were largely circumstantial, she said there were too many coincidences pointing to Ms Evans causing the babyís death, including her hiding of the pregnancy and the birth, and living just a few houses from where the babyís severed upper body was found in a Mooroobool driveway in May 2006.
Magistrate Sandra Pearson, who reserved her decision until next week on whether to commit Ms Evans to stand trial for murder, interfering with a corpse and concealing a birth, said there had clearly been "an extraordinary act of concealment".
"Itís not just ĎI donít know what to do, Iíve panicked and Iíve put the baby in a box and put it in the rubbish biní," Ms Pearson said.
Charges were laid against Ms Evans last year at the end of a baffling 13-year search, with the breakthrough coming from DNA evidence that linked her and the baby as blood relatives, although it did not go so far as to confirm her as the mother.
DNA tests also showed a "level of relatedness" to Ms Evansí then teenage daughter and her mother, but police have ruled out both women on the basis that doctors found the daughter was a virgin at the time of the birth, while the mother was considered beyond child-bearing age.
This week the court also heard that while a cause of death was unknown, it was likely the baby died from inhaling water contaminated with faeces, possibly by drowning in a toilet bowl or bath.
Police gave evidence of a taped confession by Ms Evans in which she allegedly admitted to hiding in the bushes on the side of Moody Creek that backs on to Raintrees shopping centre to give birth.
She also allegedly told them she panicked when the baby stopped breathing so cut it in half with a knife and hid the pieces at the "waterís edge". Other admissions, which came at the end of a gruelling eight-hour interview in which police have been accused of leading and "badgering" her, included that the babyís father was not her husband and that her marriage broke down in 1995-96.
Barrister Tony Kimmins said the admissions did not extend to killing the baby.