Tarantino denies lying about sex worker

Vinzent Tarantino denies murdering 12-year-old Quanne Diec, who disappeared in 1998.
Vinzent Tarantino denies murdering 12-year-old Quanne Diec, who disappeared in 1998.

A former nightclub bouncer has denied making up evidence about a sex worker getting into his van around the time and near the place from where a Sydney schoolgirl vanished in 1998.

Vinzent Tarantino, 52, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 12-year-old Quanne Diec, who disappeared 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.

Tarantino has told the NSW Supreme Court jury he was driving a van around 7.40am that day in a street around the corner from Quanne's home, which was near his father's residence.

He testified that he had arranged to pick up, from a set of steps in Factory Street, a sex worker named Dee whom he had met at A Touch of Class brothel.

On Friday, he was cross-examined by prosector Pat Barrett who suggested Tarantino did not meet any woman called Dee on July 27.

"Absolutely incorrect," Tarantino replied.

"I want to suggest the person Dee does not exist," the prosecutor said.

"That is incorrect," Tarantino said.

He denied Mr Barratt's suggestion he made it up to meet evidence from a witness who said she saw a parked white van in Factory Street that morning and a young female standing close to the passenger side door.

She described the girl as being slim, aged about 10 to 15, having long black hair tied into a ponytail and wearing a long-sleeved dark blue jumper or skivvy.

The woman said the girl opened the passenger door and got in, before the van drove off.

Tarantino has testified that Dee was 23, had long hair, and was wearing his blue sports top which had shrunk.

"Did anyone else see you with Dee?" Mr Barratt asked.

"Not that I can recall," he replied.

He was referred to evidence given by Geoffrey Maurer, who said Tarantino told him he abducted "a little Asian girl" to extort money.

"It's a fabrication, a joke " Tarantino said.

He also denied telling Mr Maurer that he killed the girl who "wouldn't shut up".

The Crown alleges Tarantino 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.

The trial continues before Justice Robert Beech-Jones.

Australian Associated Press