The estranged husband of a woman who he is accused of killing her and making it look like a suicide claimed to have sustained a scratch on his face during an impromptu bush walk.
Samantha Fraser’s estranged husband Adrian Basham claims she was alive after he assaulted her on July 23, 2018 inside her Phillip Island home.
Basham’s DNA had allegedly been found under her fingernails in what police claim was her final fight for life before Basham killed her.
That night, he allegedly sped to his father’s Paynesville home, east of Phillip Island, on his motorbike at 200km/h.
Adrian Basham has pleaded not guilty to murdering his estranged wife
Adrian Basham allegedly fell into a deep sleep the night he allegedly killed his ex-wife
Basham’s father, James Basham, fronted the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday where he explained what happened that fateful night.
His son has pleaded not guilty to murder and has been on trial in Melbourne for weeks.
Mr Basham said his son arrived about 5.30pm after riding his Kawasaki 1000 sports bike there at high speed.
He observed Basham wipe down the bike with a baby wipe before entering his property.
‘He was tired after what I understood to be a long ride,’ Mr Basham told the court.
He further observed a scratch on his son’s nose – a mark police claim was made by Ms Fraser earlier that day.
‘I can’t remember the exact words but he indicated that he might have got it on a walk that he apparently had during his ride,’ Mr Basham recalled of his son’s explanation for the injury.
Basham had told his father he had ridden to his home at speeds he believed to be greater than 200kmh.
‘He told me a number and I cannot remember the number, but I regarded it as astronomical speeds, it scared me,’ Mr Basham said.
Mr Basham claimed his son had told him he had taken the walk at Lyrebird Track – a 4.83km, loop trail near Upper Ferntree Gully just east of Melbourne.
Samantha Fraser told her new boyfriend in a text message the night before her death that she had been looking forward to her future
Adrian Basham is accused of killing Samantha Fraser (pictured) inside her Phillip Island home in 2018
The alleged killer later told his dad he was contemplating taking his own life.
‘He mentioned that he felt suicidal,’ Mr Basham told the jury.
It would be hours before police finally caught up with Basham.
Mr Basham said his son had been fast asleep when officers phoned his house just before 2am.
‘He was in the spare bedroom, and he was deeply asleep,’ Mr Basham said of his son.
The worried father said he ‘reluctantly’ woke his son, who initially refused to talk with the officer.
‘He didn’t want to have a bar of it at the time,’ Mr Basham said.
Police arrived about an hour later where they informed the pair Ms Fraser had died.
Mr Basham said his son returned to bed not long after being told the news.
‘Ah, I couldn’t accurately recall but I would suggest it was a fairly short time. It certainly was not hours,’ he told the court.
Mr Basham insisted the news had upset his son.
‘He looked stressed, ah, I don’t know how to describe it. It upset him,’ he said.
The Cowes home where Samantha Fraser was allegedly murdered in 2018
Samantha Fraser had been expected to pick-up her children from school, but never arrived
On Monday, the jury was taken through traumatic evidence describing how police came to find the psychologist hanging from rails attached to the garage door of her parents’ home.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Spooner told the court he found Ms Fraser bloody and bruised with a rope tied around her neck.
When he searched a car parked inside the garage he located a purse within a handbag containing $9,500. No explanation was offered as to why Ms Fraser had the money on the day she would die.
Sergeant Spooner had attended after local police expressed concerns about the crime scene.
Blood had been found splattered on the garage floor just below where Ms Fraser had been found hanging – her feet touching the ground.
Beside her was an overturned stepladder.
Dressed in a black singlet top, black pants and without shoes, Ms Fraser showed signs of a savage assault.
‘I observed there was a rope tied around her neck with a large knot to the rear… her right cheek, eye area appeared to be swollen,’ Sergeant Spooner said.
‘Her hair appeared to be wet and some had fallen forward across her face. I observed a reddish purple mark running across her head from above her right eye.’
The detective noted dry blood around both Ms Fraser’s nose and mouth.
Samantha Fraser had been happy and relaxed the very day before she supposedly hanged herself from a garage door
Adrian Basham is accused of bashing and murdering his wife before attempting to make it look like a suicide
In what would be deemed ‘unusual’ for a suicide, Sergeant Spooner spotted what he believed to be blood above and below the knot and smeared up the rope from which Ms Fraser was hanging.
Forensic experts claim DNA profiles of three contributors were found on the surface of the knot of the noose used to hang Ms Fraser.
The DNA is said to be 100 billion times more likely to be Basham’s than a person chosen randomly from the Caucasian population, the jury has heard.
More of Basham’s alleged DNA was found under his ex-wife’s fingernails.
Basham’s barrister Ashley Halphen has told the jury his client did indeed assault Ms Fraser on the day she died, but he denied killing her.
‘Mr Basham admits to causing those injuries. The issue, members of the jury, is then whether or not Mr Basham’s actions went further and beyond causing those injuries,’ he said.
‘Did Samantha Fraser suicide? You will need to consider whether you can exclude suicide as a possibility. If you cannot, then you must return a verdict of not guilty.’
The trial continues.
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