A JURY was told today to reject the evidence of two witnesses who claimed they saw backpacker Peter Falconio a week after he went missing.
The plea came from prosecutor Rex Wild, QC, in the closing stages of the trial of Bradley John Murdoch.
Mr Wild told jurors that two witnesses were mistaken when they said they had seen Mr Falconio at a service station in New South Wales eight days after he went missing.
Mr Wild said they were "well meaning" but wrong.
He said their evidence was inconsistent in several ways, including descriptions of the man's hair colour, who served him, who he was with, the time of day and the type of vehicle he was travelling in.
"They had come forward in response to police requests for help but they are wrong," he said.
Murdoch, 47, of Broome, Western Australia, denies murdering Mr Falconio, from Hepworth, on July 14, 2001.
He has also pleaded not guilty to abducting and assaulting his girlfriend Joanne Lees, now living in Brighton but originally from Almondbury.
Mr Wild urged the jury trying Murdoch to remember he had heard the prosecution's case before giving his own evidence.
He told the jury at the Northern Territory Supreme Court in Darwin: "He's had an opportunity to tailor his story to the evidence in the case."
The court has heard DNA found on the bloodstained T-shirt worn by Miss Lees on the night of the attack was 150 quadrillion (150 million billion) times more likely to have come from Murdoch than from anyone else.
Mr Wild said: "He realised, I suggest to you, the original idea that the DNA had been planted on Joanne Lees by James Hepi (Murdoch's former business partner) is crazy.
"That is ridiculous and always was. So somewhere there develops, and he's given evidence, that he went to the Red Rooster at 10.30 that day. A great time perhaps, it covers all the bases.
"If Mr Murdoch was there at 10.30 that gives him the accidental opportunity to leave blood.
"But ultimately, and this is the problem for Mr Murdoch, how did his DNA get on that shirt?"
During the closing arguments for the defence, the court heard it was possible Murdoch's blood could have been transferred to Miss Lees's T-shirt in the fast food restaurant in Alice Springs, without either of them realising.
Today, Mr Wild also told the jury that Murdoch was the man caught on security footage at the Shell truck stop in Alice Springs on the night of the attack. He said several people - his friends, family - recognised him and "the way he carries himself".
Mr Wild admitted there were numerous people on the Stuart Highway that night, but not all of them had a dog, not all of them drove a four-wheel drive vehicle, not all of them carried a gun and not all of them walked with a slight stoop.
Mr Wild also addressed inconsistencies in Miss Lees's descriptions of her attacker's dog.
The court has heard Murdoch's dog, Jack, was a Dalmatian/blue heeler cross and Miss Lees told the court her attacker's dog looked like one called Tex, a blue heeler, which she saw at the Barrow Creek roadhouse after being rescued. But she also said her attacker's dog looked like a "cattle dog" - which she picked out from a police book that contained images of 400 different types of dog.
Mr Wild told the jury she did not see her attacker's dog for long and her description was the "impression" she had had.
"The Crown relies on the DNA which is found on the T-shirt as being the single most significant piece of evidence in this case. It's an exact match."
Mr Wild said he could only suggest two possible motives for the attack.
He said Murdoch, who was carrying 20lb of cannabis from Sedan in South Australia to Broome in Western Australia, had told his friend Beverley Allen that he was being followed and had "dealt" with it.
Another option was he may have seen Miss Lees, a lone woman, driving the camper van when Mr Falconio was asleep in the back.The trial was adjourned until Friday as a member of the jury has a personal matter to attend to tomorrow.