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A Fruitcake Is Key Evidence In SA Murder Trial

A fruitcake left on the head of a dead man is evidence the killing was not intentional, an Adelaide court has heard.

Leslie Kevin James Talbot and co-accused Eldon Wayne Crouch are on trial in the South Australian Supreme Court after they each pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Saunders in February last year.

In court on Monday, Bill Boucaut SC, for Talbot, said his client's actions after the death proved he did not believe he had killed Mr Saunders, and therefore he should not be found guilty of murder.

He urged the jury to instead find Talbot guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Mr Boucaut said the court had previously heard "rather odd" evidence that a fruitcake was left on the head of Mr Saunders after he was assaulted.

"Isn't that some kind of a sign of humiliation - that whoever beat Mr Saunders up may want to humiliate him?" he asked the jury.

"Are you going to do that if you knew he was dead? You wouldn't waste your time".

Prosecutor Jim Pearce had previously alleged Talbot had acted aggressively on the day of the alleged murder.

He said the two accused men were with Mr Saunders at a house in Hayborough, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and Mr Saunders was found on the floor in a pool of blood that night.

Mr Boucaut on Monday acknowledged Talbot had behaved poorly on the day of Mr Saunders' death but said that fact alone does not make him a murderer.

"It may well be... that Mr Talbot was behaving like an aggressive, abusive git," he told jurors.

"He undoubtedly assaulted Mr Saunders. He stomped on his head and he killed him, but that doesn't make him guilty of murder.

"You still have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt... that he actually had that intention, and the evidence simply isn't there."

The trial continues.

- AAP

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