A man accused of raping and murdering a 66-year-old Sydney woman when he was a teenager surrounded her in cushions and set them alight in a bid to cover up his crime, the crown says.
But the man, identified as “BL”, says he was forced to have sexual intercourse with Doris Fenbow by two men who were abusing him, and had nothing to do with her killing.
Ms Fenbow’s body was discovered lying face down amid billowing smoke in her Little Bay apartment on September 3, 1988.
Her feet and legs were charred, she was naked from the waist down and she had bruising to her eyes.
Her accused killer, who has pleaded not guilty to her murder and sexual assault, was just shy of 18 when he allegedly carried out the attack.
Speaking at the opening day of his Supreme Court trial, crown prosecutor Trevor Bailey said BL lived in the same apartment complex as Ms Fenbow.
On the night of September 2, he had gone out drinking with his sister and her friend before returning home about 2.30am.
It was sometime between then and 7.50am that the crown alleges BL raped the 66-year-old.
Mr Bailey said he then put cushions around her body and set fire to them and other furniture around the flat.
“The accused decided to kill her by a combination of beating, strangulation and fire in order to cover up what he had done,” the crown added.
DNA taken from Ms Fenbow and compared with a swab given by the now 45-year-old last year, only occurred in once in every 100 billion people, Mr Bailey said.
But BL’s defence barrister Bill Neild said his client will give evidence saying he was forced upon Ms Fenbow by two men who also lived in the apartment complex and had been sexually abusing him.
On the evening of September 2, Mr Neild said BL had gone out to get cigarettes when he was punched by the now dead Kevin Hayward and dragged into a darkened unit.
Once inside, Mr Hayward allegedly said: “I’m going to make you a man”, before forcing him upon the body on the floor and moving the teenager back and forth.
Hayward then allegedly had anal intercourse with BL.
Another man, Ronald Jolley, also dead, was believed to have been in the room.
BL, he added, had nothing to do with her physical assault, the fire in her apartment or her death, he said.
The trial continues.