A jury has been told a man accused of killing his ex-fiancé on the NSW Central Coast left her nearly unrecognisable when he struck and killed her.
Ricardo Francis Herman Dasilva’s trial started in Newcastle Supreme Court today.
The 66-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Amanda Carter.
The 46-year-old Wyong High School mathematics teacher was killed in May 2010.
Ms Carter’s 18-year-old daughter found her body in the bedroom of her Woongarrah home.
Dasilva, a former real estate agent from the Lake Macquarie suburb of Bonnells Bay, was charged with murder in December 2013.
The court heard he and Ms Carter met via an online dating website and were engaged for a few months, but broke up in the February before her death.
In his opening address, Crown Prosecutor Lee Carr said Dasilva was “becoming more and more erratic” and Ms Carter was fearful of him.
Mr Carr told the jury that in May the accused had “moved from the not accepting stage and was entering the angry stage” regarding the relationship breakdown.
The court heard Dasilva made several anonymous phone calls to Ms Carter’s boss and wrote numerous letters to local newspapers accusing the teacher of having a sexual relationship with a student.
The Crown alleges Dasilva used the laundry door to enter Ms Carter’s house late on May 15 or early May 16, 2010.
“There was no sign of forced entry” and “no sign of disturbance or a struggle”, Mr Carr said.
The Crown alleges Dasilva murdered Ms Carter, then half filled a frying pan with oil and turned the stove on high “in the hope of having the house burnt down”.
Mr Carr told the jury Ms Carter had severe head and facial injuries, which left her “nearly unrecognisable”.
The court heard her skull had been fractured and she died from multiple blunt force trauma.
Defence barrister Alissa Moen told the court “it wasn’t Dasilva that killed Ms Carter”, and she urged the jury to “keep an open mind” throughout the trial.
Ms Moen said she will be challenging the evidence from several Crown witnesses when she has the opportunity to cross examine.
The trial before Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison continues.