Murdered woman lived in fear of boyfriend, court hears
A WOMAN allegedly bashed to death by her boyfriend in a Sydney apartment block was living in fear of him and his threats to "cave" her head in, a jury has heard.
Onitolosi Etuini Atiai Latu, 30, is on trial in NSW's Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to murdering Rhonda Baker, who died in Liverpool Hospital on August 7, 2016.
In his opening address on Wednesday, crown prosecutor Guy Newton said the 26-year-old suffered facial fractures and a brain bleed "that ultimately caused her to die".
There was an AVO in place at the time but it allowed the pair to live together, Mr Newton said.
He said the "on-again, off-again" couple exchanged emails about three weeks before the alleged murder in which Latu allegedly expressed he was "not happy" with Ms Baker over past incidents he "regards as infidelity".
Ms Baker allegedly wrote: "I'm trying to do the best I can right now for us and this relationship but it's hard, especially when you're going off at me and making threats.
"I can't keep living in fear like this every time something happens." She asked "wouldn't you be in fear too?" over threats he allegedly made such as "I'm going to cave your head in".
The prosector said the relationship "had reached boiling point" in terms of Latu's anger towards his girlfriend.
The jury will be played a triple-zero call made by Latu at 4.24am in which he was instructed to administer CPR.
He allegedly told a paramedic, who saw Ms Baker on the hallway floor with facial bruises and pink fluid frothing from her mouth, "I came home to find her like this … while I was asking her what happened, she had a seizure".
Latu gave four "completely and utterly contradictory" versions of his whereabouts that night, Mr Newton said.
He was only wearing underwear and allegedly told police he had decided to shave his head at 4am.
Officers allegedly found blood throughout Ms Baker's car - parked under the unit - including on a headrest, window, the exterior and a fire escape door.
A number of her family and friends are expected to give evidence, including her mother, who Mr Newton says will testify she saw her daughter had arm bruises in April 2016 and asked if "he" had "been hitting" her again.
The prosecutor expects the jury will hear Ms Baker had replied that she couldn't leave Latu because he had made threats to "get" her family and burn her grandpa's house down.
About a week before her death, the young woman allegedly told a colleague at Dial A Dump Industries that she was planning to move in with her parents, Mr Newton said.
Barrister Gregory Woods QC will open the defence case on Thursday. The trial before Justice Julia Lonergan is expected to run for four weeks.