A Sydney man who had just been arrested over the murder of a toddler told a police officer "I didn't mean to kill her", a jury has been told.
Senior Constable James Dine testified that he then immediately got out his phone to record Mohammed Khazma but mistakenly put to him that he'd just said: "I didn't kill her."
The police officer was giving evidence on Tuesday at the Supreme Court trial of Khazma, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend's two-year-old daughter in December 2016 in the Sydney granny flat the couple had just moved into.
The 25-year-old has also denied two counts of assaulting the girl and causing her actual bodily harm by burning her with a cigarette lighter and slamming her head into a wall in the days before she died.
The defence contends the girl's mother caused the injuries and death but blamed her new boyfriend to cover up her guilt.
Sen Const Dine said Khazma was arrested and cautioned in a Sydney park hours after the toddler was taken to hospital on December 19.
As the handcuffed Khazma was led towards the street, the police officer said he told him: "You know this is serious, it's murder".
"He then said 'I didn't mean to kill her'," the officer said.
Sen Const Dine got out his mobile phone and made a recording which was played to the jury.
It included him saying "The first thing you said was 'I didn't kill her'" and Khazma replying "Yes".
But he told prosecutor Philip Hogan on Tuesday this was not accurate and Khazma had actually said: "I didn't mean to kill her."
When they were waiting for the police truck, Sen Const Dine said he wrote up notes of the conversation recording that Khazma said: "I didn't mean to kill her."
Under cross-examination from Khazma's barrister, Luke Brasch, the officer agreed that recordings were a safeguard to ensure police weren't accused of making up what a suspect said.
The witness denied a suggestion he had falsified what Khazma had said by adding the word "mean".
He also denied having a false memory or being mistaken when he wrote down the words he said Khazma stated. The trial continues.
Australian Associated Press