A man accused of killing a fellow nursing home resident "really liked her" and had no reason to hurt her, especially when he was trying to "fly under the radar", his barrister says.
But a prosecutor has argued anyone with common sense can see Sheila Marie Capper came "hurtling out" of a laundry because she was pushed and not, as the defence suggests, because she just fell over or tripped.
Mario Amato, 61, was the only other person in the laundry and is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the manslaughter of Mrs Capper, 89.
He also denies an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
The Crown case is that Mr Amato knocked Mrs Capper to the ground at the Southern Cross Care facility in Campbell in late 2018, leaving the elderly woman with a fractured hip that resulted in her dying sooner than she otherwise would have.
In her closing address on Wednesday, prosecutor Rebecca Christensen urged Justice Michael Elkaim to use life experience while considering his verdicts in the judge-alone trial.
She pointed to CCTV footage from a nursing home hallway, which shows Mrs Capper following Mr Amato into the laundry.
There are no cameras in that room, but shortly after she enters the 89-year-old woman can be seen flying back out the door and onto the corridor floor.
"This is a case where a picture paints a thousand words, or a video in this case," Ms Christensen said.
"A person looking at that footage knows exactly what happened without needing more."
The prosecutor said Mrs Capper had been "propelled" into the hallway, travelling a decent distance at some speed, so "there was clearly a push".
She also reiterated evidence from nursing home staff that Mrs Capper had told them in the immediate aftermath, allegedly referring to Mr Amato, that "he pushed me" and "he did it".
But defence barrister Jon White SC closed by saying these apparent remarks should be ignored, casting doubt on Mrs Capper's credibility by highlighting her dementia.
He claimed it was likely the 89-year-old, who was not allowed in the "dangerous" laundry without staff supervision, had tripped on her way out the door to fetch the blouse she had wanted to iron.
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Mr White pointed out that Mrs Capper had been deemed a "high falls risk", and repeatedly said there had been no animosity between her and his client.
Mr Amato had in fact "really liked her", the barrister said, referring to what was said in several calls that were covertly recorded by police as they investigated the incident.
Mr White added that Mr Amato had been very keen at the time in question to avoid breaking any rules because the 61-year-old was, at that stage, on the verge of being cleared to leave aged care and return to the community.
"Why would he commit a violent act against a resident when he was trying to fly under the radar and seeking to get his release from the institution?," Mr White asked.
Justice Elkaim wondered, however, whether Mrs Capper's unauthorised presence in the laundry might have provided a motive for a push.
"If she's in there with [Mr Amato], a rule is being broken," the judge said.
"It's consistent with him getting her out of there."
Another key issue in the trial is whether Mrs Capper's fractured hip, which she sustained when she landed in the corridor, was a substantial or significant cause of her death.
Ms Christensen claimed it was, conceding the 89-year-old had pre-existing conditions but arguing none of them were at "an end stage" at the time in question.
She said the broken hip had accelerated Mrs Capper's death, which occurred in hospital some three weeks after the incident at the nursing home.
But Mr White sought to cast doubt on the injury's significance, pointing to other serious afflictions the 89-year-old suffered from.
These included an infection that appeared to be a product of undiagnosed cancer.
Justice Elkaim has reserved his verdicts.
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