A MAN accused of murdering Huddersfield backpacker Peter Falconio changed the look of his truck soon after the Briton vanished, a court heard today.
Prosecutors in Australia say mechanic Bradley John Murdoch, 45, was trying to disguise the pick-up amid a huge police hunt for Mr Falconio's killer.
The allegation came as the preliminary hearing against Murdoch resumed in Darwin Magistrates' Court after a two-month adjournment.
An artist's impression of the suspected killer and his vehicle were circulated round Australia in the days after the apparently unprovoked attack.
Murdoch is charged with murdering Mr Falconio, 28, from Hepworth, and abducting and assaulting his girlfriend, Joanne Lees, formerly of Almondbury, on a remote highway in central Australian on July 14, 2001.
Murdoch was allegedly driving his truck when he flagged down the couple as they headed north after dark in a camper van.
Prosecutors say he shot Mr Falconio and bound and gagged his Miss Lees, 27, before she managed to flee into the desert night.
She stopped a passing truck to raise the alarm.
Michael Somerville, a welder from Murdoch's home town of Broome in Western Australia, said Murdoch paid him to alter his truck around July 27, 2001.
Murdoch has not been required to enter a plea.
The case continues.