Guy Sebastian showed “breathtaking double standards” when he “stole money” from his former manager, a court has been told.
Guy Sebastian denied “all liability” and displayed “breathtaking double standards” when he diverted money and “stole” from his former manager, a court has heard.
Titus Day, 49, has pleaded not guilty to a string of charges relating to the alleged embezzlement of almost $900,000 in royalty, performance and ambassador income the singer says he is owed.
After a six-week NSW District Court trial, Mr Day’s defense barrister, Dominic Toomey, continued his closing address to the jury on Monday, where he told the court the pop singer tried to cut his former manager out of his commission.
“It is the most breathtaking double standard that when Mr Day withheld money he was owed, he was acting criminally,” Mr Toomey told the jury.
“Mr Sebastian himself acknowledged Mr Day was entitled to the money and he was merely entitled to make sure he got it.”
He told the court the pop singer started to have money diverted into his own accounts in 2017 and was “seeking to cut Mr Day” out of his entitlements.
“When Mr Sebastian was having money diverted … he knew he had money that was rightfully Mr Day’s, but they say he was doing nothing wrong … it is the most breathtaking proposition.
“He has stolen; it was embarrassment, and you should see it as such.”
The court was told the police officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable David Murphy, had a potential conflict of interest in handling the case because the report about Mr Day’s alleged crimes was made by Mr Sebastian in the company of his best friend Tim Freeburn.
Mr Freeburn had played cricket with Constable Murphy, who previously told the court he raised the conflict of interest verbally with a police inspector and was cleared to handle the case, but did not take a statement from Mr Freeburn because of the social connection.
“You might consider it a remarkable thing whether he concedes he had an actual conflict,” Mr Toomey told the jury on Monday.
“You would surely accept he had a potential conflict of interest in a detailed criminal investigation … the officer in charge had a social connection with the complainant.”
Mr Toomey told the court it was Constable Murphy’s connection with Mr Sebastian which caused him not to press the singer for more details.
“Because of his social connections with Mr Sebastian and his best friend Mr Freedman, that was the reason why he didn’t press Mr Sebastian and why he didn’t undertake any investigations which we explored with him,” Mr Toomey said.
“He accepted they were relevant lines of inquiry and there was nothing stopping him, yet he chose not to do it.”
Mr Toomey told the court Mr Sebastian was “evasive” and sought to “deny any liability” when giving evidence throughout the trial.
He explained Mr Day was a man with an “unblemished record” and if the jury was to find him guilty, they would accept he was a man who “decided to turn to a life of crime in his 40s”.
“When you retire to submit your verdict, you should submit verdicts of not guilty on every single count,” Mr Toomey said in his closing remarks.
“You should send Mr Sebastian and Mr Day back to the Federal Court of Australia where it all started out to sort out what is, and always was, a commercial dispute.”
Mr Sebastian denies any wrongdoing and maintains his innocence.
Judge Tim Gartelmann SC briefly began his summing up to the jury on Monday afternoon, where he explained to the jury what they must consider when deliberating on the verdict.
He is expected to finish his remarks on Tuesday, when the jury will retire to come to a decision.