A man accused of killing a pregnant teenager after arranging to meet her for sex attempted to account for his actions by messaging her on a dating site and pretending they never met, a jury has been told.
On the first day of his Supreme Court trial in Brisbane, Rodney Wayne Williams pleaded not guilty to murdering Tiffany Taylor in Waterford West, near Logan, more than seven years ago.
The teenager has not been seen since July 12, 2015.
Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco on Monday told the jury Ms Taylor, 16, left her Loganlea motel room that day to meet Mr Williams, 65.
The pair had allegedly hooked up through a dating website, where Ms Taylor arranged to provide sexual services to him in exchange for money.
The court was told Mr Williams picked the young girl up that morning and drove to an industrial estate in Larapinta, an outer suburb of Brisbane.
Ms Marco said they stopped in a cul-de-sac for about 20 minutes before Mr Williams drove to the Ipswich area and beyond.
“It is here where the prosecution says he disposed of Ms Taylor’s body, then returned home to Annerley,” Ms Marco told the jury.
“She was not living a life where her absence would not be noted.”
Chat logs from the dating website used by the pair were shown to the jury, showing Mr Williams agreed to pay $400 for several minutes of sex.
A message from Mr Williams – sent three hours after the pair’s initial discussion that morning – reads:
“Sorry I didn’t turn up, decided I wasn’t going to pay for it”.
Ms Marco said this was an attempt to set up a “false story” to account for his actions, pretending they never met.
The jury was told despite extensive searches by police and SES officers, Ms Taylor’s remains have never been found.
The court was told the young girl had turned to providing sexual services to pay bills while she was living with her boyfriend Gregory Hill, who was 25 years older than her.
Ms Marco said on the evidence to be provided, the jury would conclude Mr Williams killed Ms Taylor and had an intent to kill, or at least cause grievous bodily harm to her.
She said it was from evidence that included Mr Williams being the last person to see her alive and that he tried to set up a “false story” that he never met Ms Taylor, along with lying to police about his time with the girl.
The court was told he also attempted to leave Brisbane with personal belongings after Ms Taylor was reported missing.
“It points to the conclusion not only that he caused Ms Taylor’s death, but he also held the requisite intent,” Ms Marco said.
Ms Marco said the jury would hear evidence that several blood stains which matched Ms Taylor’s DNA profile were found in Mr Williams’ car.
The court was told he claimed the girl had a bleeding nose.
Ms Marco said Mr Williams’ car was also captured on several road cameras travelling along the Ipswich motorway that same day.
Kim Bryson, Mr Williams’ defence barrister, asserted her client did not kill Ms Taylor.
“You’ve heard no evidence; you’ve only heard an outline of what the prosecution expects you’ll hear from witnesses,” she said.
Ms Bryson said the jury would need to consider two questions in their deliberations: whether they were satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms Taylor was deceased and if her client killed her.
She urged the jury to pay particular attention to evidence about Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Gregory Hill, and the evidence of their “abusive and dysfunctional” relationship.
The trial, before Justice Peter Applegarth, continues.