FRANCESCO John Prevete ran the ‘invisible man’ defence.
The killing of Craig Maddocks, he said, was committed by a man who no one else had seen.
He suggested he was in a daze, in a world of his own, in the pub toilet and did not see what happened.
Someone had gone into the cubicle without him seeing him or her and inflicted terrible wounds in a frenzied attack and then left without being seen too.
CCTV cameras covered all exits so the killer must have jumped a rear wall and sneaked off.
Prevete claimed that when he recovered from his daze, he was shocked to find Mr Maddocks covered in blood with a knife in his back.
He claimed to have tried to help him and lifted him a few times – and that was how he became saturated in his victim’s blood.
But the prosecution’s forensic experts told how the blood pattern was not consistent with that story, but was consistent with Prevete being the killer.
Not many murderers are actually caught at the scene alongside the murder weapon – with their victim’s blood all over them.
But that was what happened to Prevete and to try to explain it away he blamed ‘the invisible man’, the killer who no one else saw, and who the jury decided did not exist.
Prosecutor Karl Scholz said Prevete had his victim’s blood on his clothes, his hands, his face and his hair.
Only Prevete’s footprints were found in the cubicle.
“If the killer was someone else, then that killer had some amazing good fortune,” he said.
The killer was not seen to enter or leave by anyone standing in the smoking area.
The killer had twice climbed over a wall without being caught on a CCTV camera.
The killer entered the cubicle when Prevete himself was staring in a dazed state outside.
Any fingerprints the killer left were all wiped away by Prevete’s movements when he allegedly tried to help Mr Maddocks so only his own fingerprints were left.
The killer left the murder weapon – the flick knife – behind so it could be forensically linked to him – but for the fact that Prevete had held it when he pulled it out and put it in the lavatory bowl.
The truth was that, having killed Mr Maddocks, Prevete found himself trapped at the murder scene – or as Mr Scholz told the jury, trapped at a slaughter house of his own making.
He would probably have kept quiet considering what to do.
Mr Scholz said that he would no doubt have been shocked at the enormity of what he had done.
And when finally the cubicle door was kicked open, the time he had to think had run out.
He did not have a chance to shower or change or dispose of his clothing or the knife.
Prevete could only explain the blood all over him by claiming he had helped the victim – but that was disproved by the forensic scientists.