A man recruited his girlfriend to help dispose of his flatmate's remains when she asked about the contents of a hessian bag in the bathtub, a trial has heard.
Lawrence Alexander Butler initially told Jodi Harris the bag held the contents of a fishing trip, but she in turn asked if the trickle of blood was coming from the remains of her boyfriend's flatmate, Trevor Tascas, the Supreme Court heard on Monday.
The court heard Mr Butler replied: "If you think that you can come and help me."
Prosecutor Patrick Bourke said Ms Harris agreed to help Mr Butler dispose of the remains by putting the bag in a barrel and setting it alight in the backyard of a flat in Whittington, a suburb of Geelong, in October 2005.
Mr Bourke said the couple then put the remains in plastic bags that were then put in a wheelie bin and placed in the boot of Mr Tascas' Holden Calais, which they later drove to Queensland and left in the possession of another man.
Mr Butler, 49, has pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter.
Mr Bourke said Mr Butler told Ms Harris he had a "physical confrontation" with Mr Tascas over rent money and that the latter man had hit his head. Mr Tascas, who was 27 at the time, has not been seen or heard from since.
The court heard Mr Butler had told police he had not seen his flatmate since Mr Tascas drove to Bathurst to watch the famous car race, but that he later gave the missing man's dog to a friend and said she could keep it as "Trevor would not be returning".
Mr Bourke said if the jury believed Ms Harris' testimony, they would find Mr Butler's behaviour to be "extreme" and that he was guilty of killing Mr Tascas.
Defence counsel John Desmond also put an emphasis on Ms Harris' evidence, in that she formed the entire Crown case.
He said there were no witnesses to any altercation, no body, no forensic evidence and that the trial would "ask more questions than provide answers".
Mr Desmond said Ms Harris had "cut a deal" with police to turn prosecution witness and blame Mr Tascas' disappearance on Mr Butler, that she had an amphetamine addiction and had involvement in "criminal activities" for dishonesty offences, having also spent time in jail.
"We say she is lying and is, at the least, a wholly unreliable witness. If you [jurors] don't believe her, my client is entitled to be acquitted," he said.
The court heard Ms Harris and her former husband, Troy, took more than $11,000 from Mr Tascas' bank account about nine months after his disappearance.
Mr Butler is on bail. The trial, before Justice Michael Croucher, continues.