A man accused of murdering a baby during a break-in was a suspect in a string of nearby burglaries on the night, a Victorian court has heard.


Police found 11-month-old Zayden Veal in cardiac arrest when they arrived at the Bendigo home to answer a call about a robbery on June 15 last year.

He later died in hospital.

Harley Hicks, 20, of North Bendigo, has been charged with the murder of baby Zayden.

Detective Senior Constable Tom Harper said police linked Hicks to the burglary given he was a suspect in petty robberies from nearby homes and cars in the days leading up to and on the night in question.

Police knew Hicks was a user of the drug ice, Det Sen Con Harper also told the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Hicks allegedly entered the home, in the Bendigo suburb of Long Gully, armed with a baton and stole two wallets and a pair of sunglasses.

Zayden’s mother Casey Veal told Hicks’ committal hearing she believed she and her partner accidentally left the front door to the house unlocked when they went to bed around 2am on June 15.

Ms Veal said the glass screen door at the back of the house could not be locked.

She said the couple awoke the next morning to discover they had been burgled and a baby monitor in Zayden’s room unplugged.

Her then partner Matthew Vissell said he smoked a marijuana pipe before going to bed with Ms Veal.

He told the court he was involved with the discipline of Ms Veal’s children, Zayden and a four-year-old boy, but said he never lost his temper with them.

“Sometimes I might’ve called (the four-year-old) a little s**t, but never lost my temper,” he said.

When asked by Hicks’ defence lawyer David Hallowes if he ever hit them, Vissell replied “hell no”.

Hicks is charged with aggravated burglary, theft and murder.

The committal hearing continues.

Vic murder accused a burglary suspect