A man accused of murdering a two-year-old girl in Victoria’s north-west had earlier told a neighbour that the toddler was always crying and he “felt like belting her”, a court has been told.
Nikki Francis-Coslovich was found dead on the roof of her mother’s Mildura home in August, just hours after she was reported missing from the same address.
Several days later, 31-year-old John Torney, who had been in a relationship with the girl’s mother, Peta-Ann Francis, was charged with her murder.
A neighbour told the Mildura Magistrate’s Court that on the day before the murder, he had seen Torney yelling and swearing at the toddler.
The witness also testified that Torney had told him that sometimes he felt “like belting the s*** out of her”.
Torney also told him the two-year-old was always crying and “she does my head, in this one”.
Another neighbour told the court that they had heard a male voice yelling “no, no, no, no” on the day of the murder and there was also yelling at the home the day before.
Mother “giggling, smoking” after Nikki was reported missing.
Prosecutors told the court that police had found the child’s body after noticing dirty finger marks on the roof, and further examination of the prints showed they belonged to Torney.
An autopsy revealed the girl died from internal blood loss caused by blunt force trauma.
Constable Shaun Godfrey was one of the first officers to visit the home and was also the one who found the girl’s body.
He told the court that when he arrived at the scene he found it odd that Ms Francis was not at all upset, and was smoking a cigarette with a friend and giggling.
Outside the hearing, the girl’s father Nick Coslovich said he was still coming to terms with this loss.
“How do I feel? Still a little bit agitated, probably, is the word,” he said.
“I’m definitely going to have to cry again tonight.”
The hearing continues.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
© 2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.