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NT murder accused felt he was being set up

AAP logoAAP 11/08/2016 By Neda Vanovac

It would take a "bloody strong guy" to take down Carlie Sinclair, says the Darwin man accused of killing her.

Danny Deacon has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his partner Carlie Sinclair.

He said he last saw her when they argued at their concreting business headquarters in the suburb of Parap on June 18, 2013.

Deacon said the pair had had their problems, but had been relaxing and having a few drinks at work that evening before she walked out on him and their toddler son after an argument about whether he was having an affair, never to return.

But prosecutors in the Darwin Supreme Court trial allege that Deacon knocked Ms Sinclair out and then strangled her between the shipping containers, before wrapping her body in a tarpaulin, trussing it up with rope and leaving it overnight in the boot of her Rav-4.

They say he returned the next day to take her out to a grave he'd dug three weeks earlier in rural Berry Springs.

Her body was found there 18 months later.

Prosecutors say Deacon cleaned the car with bleach, and that forensic chemists found traces of bleach in the back of the car, and Ms Sinclair's blood in two places on the car's floor mat.

In a rambling police interview recorded 10 days after Ms Sinclair disappeared, Mr Deacon said: "One thing I do know, it'll take a bloody strong guy to take her down, she's a tough piece of work. That much I do know about her, she wouldn't go down without a fight."

He also told police he thought he was being set up after his car was taken to be examined.

"I've just got a gut feeling that I'm being set up," he said.

"I was dreading, like before you came I had to actually have a look to see if there was any blood underneath it."

The court watched several videos and heard audio recordings of Deacon talking to police, in which he said Ms Sinclair had post-natal depression, that he suspected her of cheating on him, and that she was a drinker and a gambler.

"Carlie will bet on the flies crawling up the wall, racing a goanna or whatever, you know, little geckos," he said.

"I've seen it wreck a few families, especially ours."

But prosecutors say that the couple's 10-year relationship had become characterised by "mistrust and hatred", that Ms Sinclair thought Deacon was having an affair and that she had been planning to leave him but feared what he would do when she told him she was going and taking their son.

The trial continues.

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