A severely disabled Sydney teenager who drowned in the bath could not have lifted himself into the tub, a court has heard.
Charlie Younes has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to the murder of his stepson Steven Copo - also known as Steven Copo Horton - in Emerton in western Sydney in October 2013.
Younes, 45, has been accused of drowning the 18-year-old just over a week after the breakdown of his relationship with Steven's mother Rebecca Horton.
Steven was born with Angelman syndrome, had severe intellectual and physical disabilities and was incapable of walking and talking.
Younes has claimed he discovered Steven dead in the bath about 2am, despite his former partner not knowing he was in the house and having asked him to leave hours earlier.
Steven drowned at the Emerton house which was rented by Ms Horton, just over a week after she had moved her and her children out of Younes' Marayong home.
The prosecution has claimed that Steven, who could not walk and got around by shuffling on his bottom and crawling, could not have climbed into the bathtub by himself.
Cathie Collins, who was a learning support officer at Hulinda School which Steven attended, said while Steven had good upper body strength, he wouldn't have been able lift himself over the lip of the bathtub and get inside.
Asked by crown prosecutor Rohan Cooley whether "he would have been able to get in from the outside?"
Ms Collins replied: "Purposefully? No."
The court has heard that Steven had a fascination with water and vocalised his pleasure through high-pitched squeals when swimming and taking part in other water-based activities .
However, Ms Collins, who helped oversee Steven's hydrotherapy sessions in the school's pool, said she never saw him try to stay under the water.
She said on one occasion she saw him duck his head under the waterline, but he quickly came up after realising he couldn't breath.
"He put his head into the water, he came up and spat it out," Ms Collins said.
"That was the last time. He didn't like it."
The trial before Acting Justice Peter Hidden continues.
Australian Associated Press
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