Gordon Wood threw his girlfriend off a cliff before telling a string of
lies to deflect suspicion from himself, a Sydney jury has been told.

Tedeschi QC, for the Crown, said Wood carried out a “token search” for
his girlfriend before bringing her family to the scene to convince them
she committed suicide.

“He wanted them to be there when the body
was discovered because that would divert any suspicion away from
himself and he succeeded,” Tedeschi told the jury in his closing

Wood, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Caroline
Byrne at The Gap, at Watsons Bay in Sydney’s east, late on the night of
June 7, 1995.

Tedeschi said Wood, then a driver for the late
stockbroker Rene Rivkin, lied when he said he drove former senator
Graham Richardson to a venue in the city on that afternoon.

is a deliberately fabricated alibi to try and assist the accused at a
time when he knew he was with Caroline at Watsons Bay,” he said.

Tedeschi said Wood also lied when he said he fell asleep at home for
four hours that night, when in fact he was again with Byrne at
Watsons Bay.

Wood told police he panicked when he woke up and
discovered his girlfriend was still not home, so he drove around
looking for her and found her car at The Gap.

But Tedeschi
said if Wood was really in a panic, he would have tried to ring Byrne’s mobile and also would have listened to a number of messages
left on their home phone.

“He did not try and ring her because he was with her at Watsons Bay,” he said.

Tedeschi said Wood then walked nine blocks to get a work vehicle from a
car park, instead of collecting one from a parking space in his

“Our submission is that was the only vehicle
available to him which did not have electronic security which would
monitor the time,” he said.

He said Wood then carried out a
“non-serious” search, in which he claimed he drove around Bondi and
Camp Cove before noticing Byrne’s car in a laneway at The Gap.

Tedeschi said Wood claimed to have gone to those suburbs first because he and Byrne sometimes went there for picnics.

“Why on earth, on a cold winter’s night, would he think Caroline might go to a place where they had been for picnics?” he asked.

He said the Crown alleged Wood would not have been able to spot Byrne’s car, as a fisherman’s vehicle was parked behind it.

“He knew perfectly well where she was, at the base of the cliff,” he said.

Tedeschi also said Wood lied when he told people Byrne revealed to
him on June 7 that she had been taking some of his rohypnol tablets.

He said tests on her body showed she had no trace of any drug in her blood.

Wood invented the rohypnol story to “enhance his fabricated suicide scenario”, Tedeschi said.

The trial is continuing before Justice Graham Barr.