24 May 2012

'Inexplicable' Gwaze would have killed girl - defence

8:31 pm on 24 May 2012

The defence team in George Gwaze's murder trial began its closing address on Thursday by telling a jury in the High Court in Christchurch it would have been illogical and inexplicable for him to have killed the daughter he loved.

Mr Gwaze, 60, a Zimbabwean vet, is being retried in Christchurch on charges of violating and murdering his adopted niece, Charlene Makaza, who was 10, in 2007.

Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton told the jury Mr Gwaze was a good, kind, loving family man and it would have been utterly inconceivable he would enter the girl's room and commit the "vicious, violent and heinous assault".

He said evidence from expert witnesses proved the girl, who carried the HIV virus since birth, died of septic shock from an unidentified pathogen.

Mr Eaton said at no stage was any of George Gwaze's DNA found inside her.

The Crown presented its closing address on Thursday morning, telling the jury sometimes good men do bad things and it should conclude Charlene Makaza was violated in her bedroom in January 2007.

Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway asked the jury to consider that even if Mr Gwaze did not have murderous intent, his actions still caused her death.

He asked the jury to consider whether the damage to Charlene's genital region was caused by blunt force trauma.

"Who was responsible? ...The Crown says it is the accused. The defence accepts that there was no intruder, therefor it was someone from within the house."