A former nightclub bouncer has denied murdering a Sydney schoolgirl in 1998, explaining his years of name changes, relocations and "anti-surveillance" measures were related to his belief bikies were following him.
Vinzent Tarantino, 52, told a NSW Supreme Court jury on Wednesday he had no involvement "whatsoever" in the disappearance of 12-year-old Quanne Diec.
She vanished on July 27, 1998, after leaving her Granville home to walk to the train station on her way to school. Her body has never been found.
The Crown alleges Tarantino, then 31, took Quanne from the street in a white van, drove to his father's nearby home, strangled her and disposed of her body in bushland south of Sydney.
Tarantino, who pleaded not guilty to her murder, recalled seeing news of Quanne's disappearance in 1998 but said he didn't take much notice.
The only thing he said to anyone about Quanne's disappearance was a "throwaway line" about it being an "Asian kidnap for ransom".
"I was more worried about repercussions from the Blackmarket shooting," he said, referring to a triple murder at the nightclub where he worked.
Tarantino claimed he was "caught in the middle of the whole thing" because he had friends in rival bikie gangs and was among the first to find the bodies of three senior Bandidos bikies in the Blackmarket Cafe's basement in late 1997.
"They had been double-tapped," he said.
He suggested he had post-traumatic stress disorder because of the shootings and told the court people made threats to his family and followed him as he travelled on Sydney's trains after the murders.
Convinced bikies were following him, Tarantino moved to far north Queensland, Perth, Adelaide and then back to Sydney in the decade after the shooting.
He also changed his name three times.
One time - during a night out with friends in Sydney in 2012 - he became convinced someone at a pub had noticed him and urged two friends to accompany him back to his place.
Later that night, he heard voices outside his home talking about gaffer tape, handcuffs and having "approval to kill" the two friends.
"(My friend) didn't understand the situation," Tarantino told the jury.
"That's outside the realms of normal people life."
Jurors have previously heard Tarantino confessed in 2016 to police that he'd strangled the girl in his father's house.
But his barrister says they were false admissions made because of the fears bikies were going to kill him or his family.
Tarantino said he had travelled with then-girlfriend Laila Faily in a van to bush south of Sydney to bury something shortly after Quanne's disappearance.
But he said it wasn't a body - rather, three guns and some cocaine in a plastic container.
Looking towards Quanne's family in the public gallery, he rejected Ms Faily's claim that he told her he'd had a body in the back of the van.
"That's farcical that she said that."
He said the "worst fabrication" was Ms Faily's claim that he'd admitted raping the girl.
Tarantino is expected to continue giving evidence on Thursday.
Australian Associated Press