UPDATED, AS SOON AS TO HAND, FROM OTHER DIRECT SOURCES
THURSDAY, 19TH JUNE, 2014.
Dr George, ” I did not have any concerns whatsoever that Allison was suicidal”.
Dr Rene Kumar, GP from Taringa is called to the stand.
Taringa Medical Centre
GBC visited Dr Kumar for a consultation with regard to his scratches on his face on 21st April, 2012 at 4.00pm. One scratch was 4cm long x .5cm wide, the other was 2cm long x .5 cm wide. Dr Kumar also observed scratches on GBC’s neck, which he advised was from a caterpillar. A third injury was on GBC’s chest, which GBC said was from being itchy, that he scratched himself due to the caterpillar. GBC said that the facial scratches were from shaving with a blunt razor. Dr Kumar observed that GBC “looked a bit sad” as his wife had been missing since Friday morning. However, he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t smiling, he looked sad.
The defence questioned Dr Kumar. GBC visited Dr Kumar who said that GBC visited her for a consulation as advised by his lawyer, to have the injuries documented. Dr Kumar said, “I asked him what it was from, that scratched him, and he said that a caterpillar had landed on it and he had scratched it. The marks on Gerard’s neck and chest were from scratch marks”. Dr Kumar asked GBC how there could be scratches on his chest like that, she said that he demonstrated for her. Dr Kumar’s opinion is that the scratches on GBC’ neck and chest were self inflicted; however, the marks on GBC’s face seemed too wide to be caused by a razor, although possible. She clarified that her opinion is that the cuts on GBC’s face could be caused by an old fashioned razor blade.
Dr Robert Hoskins, GP and former forensic medicine associate professor has been called to the stand.
Dr Hoskins specializes in interpretating injuries and their possible causes.
Photograph – scratches on GBC’s right cheek.
Dr Hoskins points out that there are three abrasions and some small scratches on GBC’s face and there are possibly four small scratches below the broader abrasions. An abrasion is a “fancy name for a graze. You can see very clearly that the edges are very raggedy in appearance and that they are not linear, there are notches and a skin tag, with a raggedy edge on the largest abrasion. The smallest abrasion has a curved appearance, it isn’t linear. The abrasions have the characteristics of fingernail scratches, they are ragged, the right size and approximately parallel. I am unable to exclude other possibilities”.
Photo of GBC’s razor.
Dr Hoskins said, “I find it extremely implausible that the scratches were caused by a razor. We are looking at a device that is designed to prevent such injuries”.
“I have performed shave biopsies, you would use a scalpel or an unexposed linear blade, a local anaesthetic and adrenaline to stop bleeding, then bunch the skin a certain way to biopsy. You would not use a razor to perform a shave biopsy. I have assessed dozens and dozens of scratch injuries and the large abrasions on Gerard’s face would have bled at the time”.
“The smaller scratches underneath the large abrasions could have been caused by the razor as they appear to have been caused after the large abrasions. The larger injuries would more than likely have happened between six and 24 hours before the photograph was taken. The smaller scratches more than likely happened less than six hour before the photograph was taken.”
Photo of the GBC’s chest with chest marks.
Dr Hoskins said, “There are two, possibly three marks at the base of Gerard’s neck. The marks are parallel, top to bottom, or bottom to top. The marks on the neck could be explained as scratches through clothing, other causes cannot be ruled out and they do not seem to be from repeated scratching. The injury on Gerard’ left hand side of his chest have two features. Some bruising and superficial scratching and red marks. There isn’t anything that immediately leaps to mind to say what caused it. The marks appear to be in different directions, I emphasise appear to be. Possible causes include repeated scratching, it is possible Gerard could have done it to himself”.
Prosecution: “How could repeated scratching cause bruising as well?”.
Dr Hoskings said, “The bruising could be caused by falling against an object or striking an object”.
“The bruising and red marks to Gerard’s armpit has three possible causes. Clothing being pulled backwards, a backpack strap being pulled, or fingernails through clothing”.
Photo GBC’s face.
Photo of Allison’s hands.
“Allison’s nails have characteristics likely to give rise to injuries such as this”.
Defence: “The possible causes of Gerard’s injuries are complete speculation. You cannot rule out other causes”.
Dr Hoskins, “I can rule out some”.
Defence: “Police initially asked Dr Hoskins for photographs of the fingernail scratches, they say he offered his opinion.
Dr Hoskins, “I was asked to provide a report”.
Defence: “It’s impossible to be 100% sure on the cause”.
Dr Hoskins, “That is true”.
Defence: “One of he causes that cannot be ruled out is a razor blade”.
Dr Hoskins: “I am confident that they weren’t caused by a razor.”
Defence: “But you cannot rule it out”.
Dr Hoskins: “Yes I can. It is implausible that the scratches on Gerard’s face were caused by a razor. I am unable to say whether one of the smaller scratches is joined to one of the larger abrasions. The aging of injuries is not a precise science. I formed my opinion from looking at the photographs. If it is a skin flap at the top of the abrasions, it would indicate a bottom to top motion. The injuries to Gerard’s chest area are essentially bruising with two or three abrasions, although I cannot say conclusively that they are abrasions”.
Defence: “Another expert gave an opinion that he could not confidently identify the abrasions referred to”.
Dr Hoskins: “I spent a lot of time examining the images, enhancing them and I feel I identified some skin breaks.”
Prosecution queries again with regard to the abrasions on GBC’s face. Dr Hoskins said, “Whether the blade is old or new does not change my opinion on the cause of the abrasions. In my own experience, I find it more likely that you would cut yourself with a new blade.”
Dr Leslie Griffiths, Queensland Health forensic medical Officer takes the stand.
“Part of what I do is interpret injuries. I examined GBC at 7.15pm on 22nd April, 2012,which was later than when the photos were taken. There were broad abrasions on GBC’s face with signs of advanced healing. There were irregularity in the marks on the face. The edges were irregular, not as distinct as you would see a cut. I believe whatever caused the abrasions was in a down direction. I cannot be sure if the injuries would have bled. The first abrasion is 2.5mm wide, the second is 4mm wide and the lower one is 2mm wide. A cut to the skin from a knife or blade has a defined edge. It’s just a split in the skin. The scratches could be caused by fingernail scratching, particularly due to the face that the direction is down. There may be other explanations, but the impression I formed is that they could be caused by fingernails. I have not ever seen an injury like that caused by a razor, it is highly improbable. They were abrasions, not cuts, a razor would not cause an abrasion; however, you might look at it. The smaller marks on Gerard’s face were not present when I saw him on the 22nd”.
Police photograph of Gerard Baden-Clay’s face. Photo: Court Exhibit
“There are two definite abrasions that are tapering on Gerard’s back. The marks are from top to bottom, tapering at the bottom. My impression is that they were caused by fingernails. There is an area of redness above the two abrasions, the abrasions are linear. A fingernail could have lifted off the skin half way down, applying less pressure. There could be other explanations, I cannot think of any, but there may be. I cannot be certain about the injuries above Gerard’s armpit. It could be caused by a strap from a bag. I would classify it as a bruise with a patterned abrasion. The chest injury is a patterened abrasion. It could be caused by fabric being forced against the skin; however, I cannot form a conclusion. Whenever there is a bruise, the injury is generally at least 18 hours old.
Police photograph of injuries on Gerard Baden-Clay’s chest. Photo: Court Exhibit
Marks on Gerard Baden-Clay’s neck. Photo: Court Exhibit
I shaved part of Gerard’s beard to examine the injuries. There was full healing for two months; however, there were still markings of healed abrasions. The healed marks confirm my opinion that the injuries were abrasions, not cuts.”
Defence: Dr Griffiths advised that there could still be signs of other injuries, injuries that were more superficial than the facial injuries. Dr Griffiths stated that he cannot imagine any razor available on the market today that could cause those kind of abrasions. He did not notice any skin tags during his examination on 22nd April. He didn’t come to the conclusion that the abrasions were from bottom to top. He agreed that the interpretation of the injuries can be imprecise. Dr Griffiths said that the marks on GBC’s neck are much more superficial and that the abrasions seem to be caused from top to bottom, with less pressure at the bottom. Dr Griffiths is asked about a report written by Dr Wells who said that he cannot indicate direction. Dr Griffiths said,”Well, that is his opinion.” Dr Griffiths said that he believes from seeing the abrasions in person, the marks were patterned abrasions. He repeated that they were patterned abrasions with some suggestion of directionality.
The Defence said that Dr Wells’ report stated that it is a chest bruise. Dr Griffiths said that that would involve a blunt force, “I think it is an abrasion.”
Photograph from the police examination of Gerard Baden-Clay. Photo: Court Exhibit
Cameron Early has now been called to the stand.
Cameron met GBC through the school and local show society. Mr Early said that he saw Gerard at 9:15am on 19th April, at the school cross country. Mr Early said that Gerard pulled towards the left side of his neck and said, “Oh sh*t what was that”. Mr Early said that he presumed GBC has been bitten, he also saw a welt about an inch long and red on the top of his neck. Mr Early also recalled that GBC had a red eye, he said that he can’t say for sure, but he thinks GBC spent a “good few minutes” scratching his neck and later continued to be irritated.
Ms Susanne Heath has now been called to the stand, a close friend of Dr Bruce Flegg’s.
Ms Heath has known GBC since 2009, as she sold a property through GBC’s company. Ms Heath has not met GBC’s family or wife. Ms Heath said that in March 2012, during the election period, she phoned Gerard. Ms Heath said that Bruce Flegg asked her to call Gerard as he was having financial problems and wanted to know if Bruce could lend him money. She said that she felt quite sad for him and that she thought he’d been quite successful in business; however, she didn’t think they would have “that kind of money”. Gerard told her he would go broke if he didn’t get some money, and that he needed $300,000.00, she thought that he was under a lot of stress.
The defence suggested that Ms Heath was not told by Gerard that he could go bankrupt, she agreed.
Ms Heath said that she was on the phone to Bruce Flegg on 19th April and that he asked her to turn her TV down because he heard a scream. Ms Heath said that she didn’t have the TV on.
Professor David Wells, from Perth, is on the stand via video link, Professor Wells is a forensic physician.
Professsor wells specializes in injuries relating to allegations of interpersonal violence.
Professor wells was sent photographs and reports from doctors on GBC’s injuries.
Photo of GBC’s facial injuries
Professor Wells, “The abrasions are linear abrasions, the injuries are due to a form of blunt trauma where an object has come into forceful contact with skin and lifted a layer. The object would not have been smooth, it would have had some irregularity, implements such as fingernails, or a claw from a domestic animal would fulfill the type and arrangement of the injury”.
Photo of disposable razor
Professor Wells, “I cannot reconcile that type of razor producing such an injury. I cannot see a mechanism whereby the blade could cause those sorts of injuries in normal use. Below the abrasions there seems to be some fine linear marks. Conceivably those could have been caused by a razor. Injuries from shaving are more likely to occur at skin protuberances, pimples or moles.” There is a difference between straight cuts and raggedy abrasions. Furthermore is is an “unusual site” for a shaving injury. Professor Wells said, “There are wide areas of abrasion, a razor will produce fine marks. It would have taken more than one motion to cause those abrasions, if caused by a razor. The abrasions were not caused by a sharp object they were caused by something with an uneven edge. Fingernail scratches are rarely exactly parallel or involve all four fingers marking the skin”.
Photos of GBC’s neck and upper torso.
Professor Wells, “I believe the injuries on Gerard’s neck are bruises, at least two broadly parallel bruises. The marks could have been caused by objects moving across the skin, for instance two fingernails dragged across the skin could have caused the marks. The injury could have been caused by fingernails over the top of clothing, more likely to get a bruise than abrasion. The injury on Gerard’s chest has an area of bruising, that appears to have a patterned feature. Fingernails applied through fabric could have produced such an injury, but so could an impact, like a fist. The injury above Gerard’s right armpit is an area of bruising due to blunt trauma. There isn’t any way to comment on the timing of the different injuries. It is quite likely that there would have been bleeding associated with the facial injuries. It is difficult to tell how old the facial injuries are, some hours, a day, the surface of the injury is dry”.
Defence, asked if examining the photos is the same as examining in person. Professor Wells agreed that fingernails over the top of a shirt are more likely to cause a bruise rather than an abrasion.
Professor Wells has repeated that there isn’t any correlation between the razor blade and facial injuries, that the razor blade will not produce that pattern of injury.
Professor Wells, “If a razor was damaged in some way, it increases the likelihood of it causing a skin injury”.
Photo of the palms of GBC’s hands.
Defence: “are the marks on the hands consistent with being caused by a screwdriver?”
Professor Wells, “I’d be very surprised if I used those words”.
The defence read from his notes, “I could have misquoted you”. Professor Wells, “You did, but I won’t hold that against you”.
Defence, “Were the injuries from a damaged razor?”
Professor Wells, “The pictured razor did not seem to be damaged”.
Sergeant Kathryn Denny from police photographic has been called to the stand.
Sergeant Denny photographed the bank at the Kholo Creek bridge.
Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was left of one of the bridge pillars, below the bridge and not to the side of the bridge. This was found through a process of overlaying a number of images.
Police examine Allison Baden-Clay’s car. Photo: Court Exhibit
Dr Tom George, psychiatrist has been called to the stand.
Dr George, “I first saw Allison in September, 2003 and then periodically until July, 2009.
Dr George has 36 years experience. He said that Allison was 26 weeks pregnant with her second child. Allison described having a panic attack in the car and had avoided for fear of another panic attack. Allison’s confidence levels had dropped, she wasn’t sleeping well and was less energetic. Dr George had a lengthy consultation with Allison with regard to treatment options during pregnancy and prescribed Zoloft. Dr George said by the time Allison delivered, she was virtually symptom free by the time she delivered, in fact, within a few weeks, there was a vast improvement, a significant improvement. The situation was resolved.
Allison contacted him again in 2006 when she fell pregnant with her third child. Allison very quickly responded to the Zoloft, the dose had been increased at 28 weeks of pregnancy, which is normal for the increase in blood volume.
After the birth of Allison’s third child, Dr George said that he reduced Allison’s Zoloft back down to 50mg. “She was doing extremely well, without any problems whatsoever in 2007 and 2008”.
Dr Geroge said, “Allison and her husband came to see me in 2009 about difficulties in the marriage. They were both together throughout the consultation. They both spoke of difficulties from their own perspectives. Gerard was frustrated that Allison left the decision making to him. Gerard said that Allison was capable and made decisions while he was away but was so dependent on him when he was home. Gerard also complained that the business was under financial pressure and Allison had spent money on an expensive treadmill. Gerard was contemplating ending the marriage but was concerned about the impact on Allison and the children. Allison did not want the marriage to end. I told them to see a marriage counsellor”.
“When I saw Allison on 26th June, 2009, she didn’t have any depressive symptoms. When I saw her again on the 29th June, Allison said that she and Gerard were living separate lives under the one roof. When Allison arranged a weekend away for their wedding anniversary, Gerard could be involved in the plan if he chooses. Allison was depression free at this consultation. Allison was extremely fond of her children and very proactive with helping them. I did not have any concerns whatsoever that Allison was suicidal. Beyond the first one or two consultations, Allison was fine.
Defence: The defence is going through Allison’s symptoms. Defence said that Allison had her first panic attack while she was driving.
Dr George, “Allison was more suffering from depression that anxiety at that time. The anxiety was secondary. She was an anxious sort of person at the best of times, it affected her depression. Allison had experienced anxiety as a child. Allison had a bad reaction to an antimalarial medication and hallucinations and now that drug is discredited.
Defence: “In February, 2006 Allison told the doctor that her symptoms were returning and that she wanted to return to the Zoloft. Anxiety seemed to occur during each of Allison’s pregnancies.”
Dr George, “It is not unusual for any medical condition to return as a pregnancy advances. Gerard called me when Allison was pregnant for the third time concerned that she would be disappointed that she was having a girl. Gerard told me that they both wanted a boy. Allison was disappointed initially but recovered very quickly.
The Defence has raised the subject of an email in 2005, which was at the beginning of Dr George’s treatment of Allison, that Allison sent Dr George, asking him to write a letter explaining her history with regard to not returning to work. The Defence said that it is not at all uncommon for someone to commit suicide without professionals being aware it was a risk. Dr George agreed. The Defence said that a doctor, no matter how conscientious, cannot guarantee that a patient is free from the risk of suicide. Dr George agreed on principal; however, he insisted that after six years in his care, Allison had not ever self harmed.
Prosecutor: With regard to t he email that Allison sent, she had worded it that she had been unwell in the past and that the letter related to capital gains tax.
Stephanie Apps, a resident of Brookfield, has now been called to the stand – a surprise witness
Ms Apps said that on 19th April, 2012, she arrived home around 9:40pm with her teenagers bickering in the car, and by the time they arrived home, the bickering was explosive. Ms Apps shouted at them to get inside the house. Ms Apps’ daughter knocked over a pot, she then ran to the top of the driveway and shouted loudly at them. Mrs App’s daughter then ran into a spider’s web and screamed very loudly, so loudly, that she was worried that the neighbours might hear it. Later, when she went to see the police, she told them about her daughter screaming. They took down her details but did not make a statement. Ms Apps was then approached by a private detective, acting for GBC’s defence team last Sunday, she was asked to provide a statement.
Defence: Mrs Apps agreed that her neighbours who are across the road, back onto the BC residence. “I was telling my children to be quiet and to get inside. She was a mother having an hysterical fit at her children. Her daughter gave a shrill, startled scream, when she ran into the spider’s web, as her daughter is terrified of spiders.
Court is adjourned until Tuesday at 10.00am.
Allison Baden-Clay disappearance in pictures:
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