15 Apr 2013

Jury retires for night in Hayden Miles trial

6:30 pm on 15 April 2013

The jury in the murder trial of teenager Hayden Miles has retired for the day and will resume deliberations on Tuesday.

The Crown says Gavin Gosnell beat the 15-year-old to death before cutting up the body and burying it different cemeteries in central Christchurch in November 2011.

The defence says the 28-year-old does not deny killing the boy, and the jury must decide whether he is guilty of murder or manslaughter.

Justice Chisholm told jurors in the Christchurch High Court that, despite some of the distressing evidence they have heard, they must set all emotion aside before making a final decision.

In his closing statement, Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the attack on Hayden Miles was prolonged, severe and amounted to torture.

In summing up the case, Justice Chisholm told the jury the Crown says Gavin Gosnell meant to kill Hayden Miles or he knew that beating him might be fatal and was reckless.

"The attitude of the accused changed as the assault progressed. There were pauses during the course of the assault.

"The force of the assaults became, I think the words were 'harder and harder'. Mr Miles was not attempting to defend himself; to the contrary he was crying, begging and attempting to run away."

Justice Chisholm explained that defence claims the attack was not pre-meditated.

"Mr Gosnell was only trying to knock out Mr Miles, he was not trying to kill him. There is no evidence from anyone that he ever said he was going to kill him. The evidence indicates a lack of comprehension as to the consequences of his actions."

The jury began considering its verdict at 2.10pm on Monday.