HOW was aged-care nurse Garry Steven Davis able to accurately predict the demise of two reasonably healthy residents in one day?
That’s the question at the heart of the SummitCare Wallsend double murder trial, which concluded on Thursday after four weeks of evidence in Newcastle Supreme Court.
During his closing address, Crown prosecutor Lee Carr told Justice Robert Allan Hulme that Mr Davis knew who would be next to die because he had injected them with a lethal dose of insulin.
“It points directly to knowledge of these persons having a condition that is not in any of these handover reports or doctors reports,” Mr Carr said. “It is in his mind.
“It is his knowledge, because the Crown would say he did it.”
Defence barrister, Chris Watson, told the court the text messages Mr Davis sent to a colleague nominating who would be next to die were “tasteless, but not sinister”.
“And not predictive,” Mr Watson said.
“That word has been used by the prosecution, but their own witnesses put paid to that.”
Mr Davis, 29, will learn his fate next week and faces the possibility of life in jail if found guilty of murdering SummitCare Wallsend residents Gwen Fowler, 83, and Ryan Kelly, 80, who were both non-insulin dependent diabetics injected with lethal doses of insulin on October 18 and 19, 2013.
He has also denied the attempted murder of Audrey Manuel, who managed to survive a similar attack on October 19, but was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and hypoglycemia.
Mr Carr submitted that one person was responsible for injecting all three residents, citing a number of similarities that he said demonstrated a “pattern”. He reiterated his claims that Mr Davis was the murderer because he had the opportunity, the skills and he knew the victims.
Mr Watson was critical of the lack of scope in the police investigation, telling Justice Hulme a “proper forensic examination of the facility” had not been conducted in the wake of the deaths.
Mr Watson also sought to put into context the text message exchange and the discovery of syringes and documentation relating to insulin found at Mr Davis’s home.
He put forward a number of other potential hypothesis and possibilities, including that someone may have broken in on both occasions and injected the residents or that another resident was responsible for the acts.
"At the end of all of this Your Honour wouldn't be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused has committed the offences,” Mr Watson told Justice Hulme.
"This is a situation where the accused recognises that this offending behaviour certainly has been carried out by somebody, but not him.
"Your Honour will be able to assess his demeanour during some seven hours of questioning.
“Where every issue was put to him and in my submission he addressed each issue and basically made concessions to the investigating police which could well be used against him.
“He conceded opportunity, access, knowledge, that he had injected people at particular times with the authority of the registered nurse.
“At no stage did he nominate anybody else, where you might think that if he was the person who was carrying out these terribly serious offences in that environment he would at least try to deflect responsibility in some way against somebody else.
“This is a matter where there is no direct evidence.
“Nobody has given evidence to say for example "I saw Davis come out of Mr Kelly's room with a syringe", there is nothing like that at all."
Justice Hulme adjourned the matter until Wednesday to deliver a verdict.