Gerard Baden-Clay Murder Trial Day 15 – Defence’s Closing Arguments – 7th July, 2014

Day 15

Monday, 7th July, 2014.

The jury will retire this week to consider their verdict

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OUR REPORTS ARE IN DETAIL, UPDATED AS IT HAPPENS, FROM OTHER DIRECT SOURCES

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Court resumes today with the Crown and Defence giving Closing Arguments along with Justice John Byrne giving his summation,

with specific instructions on howthe jury should reach a verdict.

The jury, of five women and seven men, will deliberate.

 

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“I just wanted sex” – Gerard Baden-Clay

“I didn’t love my mistress” – Gerard Baden-Clay

“Murder Claims are absurd” – Gerard Baden-Clay

 Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh

CLOSING ARGUMENT – MICHAEL BYRNE, QC, DEFENCE.

Byrne, “I have prepared some powerpoints to assist the jury.”

01.  The jury might think it has been a who dunnit play, a media circus or a soap opera, it is not so.  The jury shouldn’t be caught up in media hype.  GBC has been charged with murder, the most serious crime one can be charged with.  He has been charged with murdering his wife of 14 years, the person  he had three daughters with.  GBC is accused of somehow violently ending her life in the home he shared with her and their three daughters.

GBC has not ever been seen to be violent or argue with his wife.  One of the first witnesses, a police sergeant, regarded Gerard as one of the nicest guys in the world.  The jury has seen what GBC  has done in the community.  This case is about the evidence, not about what the media has said.  GBC  was confronted by an angry and abusive Toni McHugh, he didn’t become angry or violent on that occasion.  Once the jury has carefully considered all the evidence, they should not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.

It is not about feeling sorry for anyone, it’s about looking at the evidence.  In every trial, the prosecution must prove a number of things beyond reasonable doubt.  The prosecution must prove Allison is deceased, that Gerard killed her.  The first point is not in contention, the second point is.

A third element – intent  must be proved to be satisfied of murder.  The burden rests on the prosecution to prove GBC’s guilt.  That means Gerard has nothing to prove, he does not need to give evidence or call evidence.  He does not have to prove anything to you, particularly his innocence.  He is, as is anyone, presumed to be innocent.  The burden is on the prosecution, to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is guilty.  If the jury has reasonable doubt, their duty is to acquit.

The prosecution case is a circumstantial one.  That means that isn’t any direct evidence that Gerard Baden-Clay killed Allison.  There aren’t any eye witnesses, no admissions.  The case relies on circumstances.

An example is that GBC was the last person to see Allison alive.  Does that mean he killed her?  No.

COURT – Slide being shown.  Slide states, “Jury has to believe Crown case is only rational inference that can be drawn from the circumstances.”

Byrne, “A jury has to believe there is real and substantial evidence linking the aspects of the circumstantial case.  One fact is that Allison’s blood was found in the car.  The jury has to believe that the only rational reason for it being there is GBC transporting Allison’s body.

There wasn’t any blood found anywhere else in the carport, garage, side of the house, back patio, inside the house.  The blood in the car cannot be aged.

The jury’s task is complex and important.

COURT – Slide of the end of GBC’s cross examination where he was asked if he killed his wife.

Byrne is highlighting certain words that the prosecution used, such as, “either” and “perhaps”.

Byrne, “It is not on the balance of probabilities, you have to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt.

We will now work through aspects of the evidence.

How did Gerard kill his wife?  How did she die?  What caused her death?

How can the Crown say that Allison was violently murdered?  Does the evidence even reveal how she in fact died?

The jury should think of the evidence of pathologist Dr Nathan Milne.

The pathologist examined Allison’s brain, organs, and could not establish a cause of death.  A precision 3D  CT scan was conducted and could find no definite injuries to Allison’s body.  It is alleged that there was a violent intentional murder.  No injuries were found.  Dr Milne went over Allison’s clothing.  Her singlet, her bra, pants all properly in place.  Jumper over her head.  The sneakers tied up, over the socks, everything in place.

There wasn’t any evidence of fractures, there wasn’t any injuries to the larynx, hyoid bone.  There isn’t any evidence of crushing fractures, that is the uncontradicted  evidence from the pathologist.  There was something on the ribs on the left hand side that was a possible bruise.  Dr Milne had seen thousands of CT scans and could see no defects.  He called a radiologist who could not see anything.  Allison was 43, with a history of asthma and a long term diagnosis of depression.  Allison had alcohol in her system, at least half, possibly all, due to decomposition.

Neither the pathologist nor associated experts could come up with a cause of death.  The pathologist looked at causes that could not be excluded.  Alcohol, and medication were one, although unlikely.  Drowning, a fall, could not be excluded, although unlikely.  The pathologist could not determine a place of death.  They couldn’t exclude the body being moved after death, by tide or person.”

Byrne points to Gerard.

“This person is facing the murder of that woman.  We don’t have a cause of death.  I remind you again that you need to make your decision, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Allison had a chip on her tooth which couldn’t be aged.  No other injuries, no cracking to the tooth, no damage to the jaw.  The prosecution has to prove murderous intent – there aren’t any detectable injuries, there isn’t anything whatsoever.  The prosecution has to exclude all other reasonable explanations.

The causes of death left open are alcohol, sertraline toxicity, drowning, and falling from a height.  

The body was located under a bridge.

Short adjournment.

The judge is giving the jury periodic breaks to help their concentratiion on closing arguments.  The judge advised the jury to return when they feel comfortable.

Byrne, “There wasn’t a crime scene at the house.  I will take you through the police’s evidence.

01.  First response officer Constable Ash saw marks on Gerard’s face and thought perhaps domestic violence.   Constable Ash was doing his job.  The officer looked around the house, he didn’t find any sign of a struggle.  He didn’t find any blood.  At 8am, Constable Ash didn’t find any signs of violence.  What was alleged was that a violent killing had occurred in the house.  The police didn’t find anything.  They searched the carport, there wasn’t anything to look like blood.

Police completed chemical screening for blood in the carport and garage areas, they didn’t find anything.  It is one thing to say that there was blood in the Captiva, therefore it was used.  There wasn’t  blood anywhere else.

A crime scene warrant was taken out.  It is an important tool for the police.  This allowed the police to seize possession of the house and land, 20th April, 2012.  The warrant lasted seven days.  The police had seven days to thoroughly examine and search the house and property.  Police had the SES conducting a shoulder to shoulder search of the grounds of the property.

The only thing they found was a black NAB pen, that is how carefully they searched.

Do not look at media grabs or sensational headlines, look at the evidence.

EVIDENCE OF SENIOR SERGEANT EWEN TAYLOR, forensic co-ordinator.

There were scientific examinations o the house and vehicle.  No blood was found in the residence.  There wasn’t any obvious indication of a clean-up inside the house.  The Crown allege that there was a violent killing, with the body driven to the creek.  There isn’t any mess or blood, there isn’t any damage, nothing has been found.

Gerard is an accountant working as a real estate agent, he doesn’t know how to clean up a murder scene.

Edit – oh rubbish, remember, GBC claimed he did up to 90% of the work and that he cleans up rental properties, the defence went too far with the above comment.

Gerard and Allison aren’t alone in the house, they had their three young children with them.  You, the jurors, have been through the house, you have walked through it.  The girls had called out through the house, they would have heard it.  The house isn’t sound proofed in any way.

Edit – except he may have killed her in the Captiva.

The three girls were taken by police on 20th April and asked what they heard.  The eldest said the last time she saw her mum was the night before, she said it was like any other night.  The eldest awoke to get a glass of water.  Her mother was on the couch in her pyjamas.

Edit – Where are the pyjamas?

The eldest girl was asked whether mum and dad had been having any fights, she said no.  The eldest girl asked if she heard anything, any car noises, she said no.

The Crown will say she had cross country, would have been tired and slept through it.  If they say it really quickly, it might make sense.

INTERVIEW WITH SECOND DAUGHTER.

Girl is asked whether mum and dad are good friends.  She said yes, and when asked why, she said that they “never fight”.  These are the words of an innocent.  Friends and employees never heard a fight.  They’re just not that kind of couple.

The second girl was asked whether her mum and dad had had a fight the night before.  The girl shakes her head.”

Byrne, “From the mouths of babes.”

Byrne, “The second girl also was asked about car noises.  She didn’t hear anything.  That is not one child tired from cross country, that is two now.  The youngest daughter said the same.   No fighting, no car noises.

Again, it is important not to take grabs, or headlines.  Take all the evidence.  From three girls, there is no argument.  Nobody heard a car start up in the carport.  The scream evidence just vanished into thin air, with the evidence of Stephanie Apps.

Mrs Apps gave  her evidence that her daughter screamed when she ran into a spiderweb.  The evidence just falls away.  Mrs Apps watched the six o’clock news about screams in the night and came forward.

The Crown theory must be that the killing occurred some time after 9pm, it is equally critical that after Gerard violently killed his wife, he transported her body to Kholo Creek.

If the evidence doesn’t prove that, the Crown case starts to collapse.  It does collapse here.  The Crown case is that after he somehow caused her death, leaving no signs in the house or carport, he loads the body.  He then takes the body to Kholo Creek and dumps her under the bridge.  Is that what the evidence shows?  We knew Allison is seen by her daughter on the couch watching TV.

Somewhere between 9pm 19th April and when the body was found, we had a change from pyjamas to walking gear.

Byrne, “How does that happen?  Is the Crown theory that Gerard somehow dresses a dead body?  Have you ever had to dress and undress a child who has fallen asleep?  Allison was not a child.

Had Gerard thought to put a jumper on a dead body because it was cold in April?  Perhaps the Crown believes he waited until morning, killed her and drove of before the children woke up.

Do any of these theories completely satisfy a jury of being the only way that it could have happened?

There wasn’t any blood in the carport area.  There wasn’t any blood in the house.  There was only blood in the car.  Sure, it is Allison’s blood in the ar.  It can’t be aged.”

Edit – car was a few months old.

Byrne, “If the body was dragged or carried through the foliage, where are the leaves in the car?  Only crepe myrtle was in the car, it is very common in Brisbane.”

Edit – ONLY IF PLANTED .

Byrne, “How does all this movement go undetected by the three girls?  The girls would have been left alone for up to 40 minutes while Gerard disposed unceremoniously of the body of his wife.

The Crown case is that Gerard got the body out of the back of the car, carried or dragged it through the grass.  Gerard climbs back up, through the grass and mud and drives home.

Do you, the jury, think such a scenario is even possible, let alone one they are satisfied of, beyond a reasonable doubt?  The jury has ventured down that ridge.

PHOTOGRAPH – Kholo Creek bridge area.  The mud and grass areas can be seen.

Byrne, “Bear in mind how police described it.  One officer said he tried to touch down after being winched but the mud was thick.”

Edit – we had torrential rain AFTER ALLISON DISAPPEARED, not when she disappeared, i.e. the area wasn’t soaked at that time.

Byrne, “One officer said that the mud was at the top of his gum boots when he tried to stand.

ADJOURNMENT/BREAK

Byrne, “When the jury visited the creek, it was a dry day, the clay still stuck to your shoes.  When we went to the house afterwards, mud was tracked onto the carpet.  The interior of the Captiva was examined for evidence of clean ups.  There wasn’t any obvious clean ups.

How do you carry a body down an embankment at night when a police officer had trouble during the day?  How was there not any mud anywhere?  This is a circumstantial case alleging murder.  The evidence clearly shows the transporting/dumping of the body did not happen.

It is the absence of those things which loom large in this.  Some earlier unremarkable incident caused Allison’s blood to be in the car.”

Edit – what is it then?

Byrne, “The evidence is key.  You do not ignore evidence.  You do not make excuses for the absence of any link between Kholo Creek and the house.  The jury cannot make excuses because Allison is dead and someone should pay.

Gerard gave police access to  the house and cars, his conduct was consistent with a man who wanted his wife found.  It is completely at odds with a man attempting to conceal a crime scene.  This is because there was no crime scene at the house.  The jury should not have sympathy for Gerard, for Allison or her family or for Gerard’s family.  They should dispassionately look at the evidence.  Gerard and Allison had been married for 14 years, their life had been unmarked by any signs of violence.”

edit – yes reported violence.

Byrne, “Together they had gone through years of Allison’ depressive illness.  It was not a passionate relationship, there had not been any intimacy for years.  All relationships are different, nothing wrong with that.  The sexual passion was gone, they had a companionable relationship.  One or more of the jury might find it abhorrent that someone in a marriage is unfaithful.

Some of the jury might think less of Gerard because he was not faithful to Allison.  Gerard was unfaithful not once, but more than once.  Maybe the jury will find his morals despicable.  That is a fair cry though from labelling him a murderer.  The Crown alleged motive – he wanted to leave his wife and be with Toni.  Like the screams and bumps in the night, the Crown worded it as a circumstance.

When the jury scrutinises the evidence, they will see that wasn’t the case.  Gerard did not want to be with Toni.  Even Toni knew in her heart that that was not the case.  Toni agreed that her relationship with Gerard was up and down all the time year after year.

Toni was convinced their relationship was over after Allison found out.  Gerard contacted Toni again after three months.  Whatever the jury thinks of Gerard’s morals, they can’t convict him on his morals.  Gerard made promises to Toni, but in Toni’s words, “again nothing happened.”  Gerard’s affair didn’t occur on the weekends, he’s married, he was with his family.  It was a pattern of promises, no action.  It had been going on for years, Toni agreed with that.  Toni said that Gerard was good at making promises, nothing ever came of them.

Gerard wasn’t even faithful to Toni.  To be brutal, he was not sexually faithful.  Toni wasn’t the only woman Gerard was going to leave his wife and children for.  Gerard gave Toni a date when he would leave his wife, his wife’s birthday.  This does not mean he is guilty of murder.  Toni did not believe this date.  If Toni didn’t believe, why should the jury?

Gerard’s email to Toni, “Leave things to me now.”  Toni always left things to Gerard, nothing ever happened.  Gerard and Toni would communicate during the week, on 19th April they spoke of the conference the next day.  Gerard did not hide the fact that Allison would be at the same conference as Toni.  Toni described it as “I just felt like I was being played again.”

Byrne, “Gerard didn’t have any intention of leaving his wife and children for Toni McHugh, there wasn’t any reason to.

Does he kill his wife to be with Toni McHugh?  Not likely.  On 20th April, Toni asked him what happened.  Had their been an argument?  Gerard said no.  Gerard told Toni to tell the truth.  Gerard was not hiding anything, he was trying to find his wife.

When the three year affair was revealed, Gerard confessed.  If there was going to be a trigger, an explosion, it would have been when Allison found out.  There were tears, without raised voices.  It was talked about calmly.  Gerard was not one to explode.  He went to see Toni and told her it was over.  Gerard didn’t lose his temper, he went to work, called if staff individually and told them what had happened.

That is the type of temperament that the evidence shows you that Gerard Baden-Clay has.

Todd Fuller vigorously put questions to Gerard and he still remained calm.  The only emotion was when he was “reliving” parts of his life with Allison and the shock o her going missing.  They might think premeditated murder is absurd on the evidence presented.  They might think spontaneous murder with a background of t he Footy Show is just as unbelievable.

Is financial pressure a reason for killing your wife of 14 years?  Gerard is an accountant with accountant mates.  They don’t say this was financial pressure “bearing down on him”.”

Byrne is discussing GBC’s finances and shows a table of Gerards financial balance sheet.  Gerard’s finances were structured personal versus business., Byrne claims the figures are healthy as the assets exceed the liabilities.”

Edit – what assets?

Byrne, “Gerard had substantial personal assets at the time.  Gerard had confidence that  he could find the money to pay for the rental side of the business. If you look at the evidence, Gerard wasn’t under financial pressure.

Gerard’s accountant friend Rob Cheesman went through the business accounts, along with two other friends.  The friends believed Gerard was optimistic about how the business was going.   There really was a positive balance of about  half a million dollars.

The friends testified that Gerard could have let those businesses go broke and walk away, there wasn’t any personal risk to Gerard.  This was the opinion of Gerard’s close friend Rob Cheesman.  Gerard’s other friend Stuart Christ also went through the financial records.  The third friend was Peter Cranna.   All three were  happy to lend money to Gerard after going through his documentation.

Adjourning for lunch until 2.30pm

Byrne is discussing Sue Heath’s evidence.  

Byrne, “Gerard spoke, distressed to Sue, saying that he needed money from her friend, Bruce Flegg.  Dr Flegg’s evidence was that when he spoke with Gerard, Gerard had “moved on’.  Gerard was by then speaking to other people about sourcing money and was ‘confident’ about that.”

Byrne is now discussing the insurance policies.  Both Gerard and Allison both had policies.

Byrne, “I would like to remind the jury of the evidence of Nigel Baden-Clay, who has a background in the insurance injury.   It was only prudent that they had two policies in place, being a young family with young children.   there was contact with the insurer after the discovery of Allison’s body.  Nigel arranged Allison’s life insurance policy, he had a background in the insurance industry.  Nigel told Gerard it was his obligation to notify the insurance company of Allison’s death, following the discovery of the body.  Nigel filled out the paperwork on behalf of his son and Gerard signed it.  There isn’t anything untoward, you might think, about that approach.”

Toni McHugh new Nigel and he had suggested she take out life insurance.  Byrne said the claim on the lie insurance should not sway the jury.

Byrne is talking about the plants and leaves found on Allisn’s body and whether they link her death to the house.  The leaves were not in the Captiva.  Byrne is discussing the evidence of the botanist, who went to the creek, walked the streets and surveyed plants growing in the area.  One of the plants found in Allison’s hair was a Cat’s Claw Creeper.  Byrne said it is a pest and found everywhere.

Edit, I haven’t seen this in our area, or on acreage in our street:

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Fishbone fern – was a mixture of fallen and fresh leaves, same with the Cat’s Claw Creeper.  Byrne asked the botanist whether the plants and leaves float down rivers.   The botanist agreed.

Edit:  Allison wasn’t in the water.  Torrential rain fell just before her body was found.

Baden-Clay – back of home.  Notice the Fishbone fern underneath the Crepe Myrtle – come on, the defence really is pushing it:

Byrne said that the botanist, Dr Gordon Guymer, didn’t do a study on how much debris was moving up and down the creek.

Byrne, “It is one thing to say you went to Kholo Creek and you didn’t see certain types of plants.  The jury needs to look at the catchment area of the creek and the tidal flows.   The real and perhaps only explanation on how fresh and old leaves were found on the body ten days later is from the water.

Some of Allison’s family leave the courtroom while photographs of her body are shown to the jury by the defence.

Byrne, “This is Allison’s hair where he says leaves could have been caught up.  It pains me to say it but just bear that image in mind.

COURT – Time lapse video of the tidal flows in Kholo Creek again.

Byrne points to the area where, “You might think that the body probably was here.  Watch how much water rose to that level.”

Byrne plays the footage again and points out the areas where debris are deposited on the bank and taken away again.

Byrne,  “The pathologist described the plant material ass being stuck within Allison’s hair.  Initially, police at the scene, talked about getting to Allison’s body before the tide rose.”

Byrne is referring to evidence from an engineer who looked at the tide charts. The engineer said that he couldn’t tell if the body was below the high tide mark.

Byrne, “The best evidence is what the jury can see for themselves.”

Byrne, “Gerard didn’t give any other explanation except the marks on his face were shaving cuts.  Gerard called the police to his  home that day and the marks where there for all to see.  Gerard told everyone what happened to his face in an open and candid fashion.  Even when the police said that they don’t look like shaving cuts, he didn’t change his story.  Clearly Gerard Baden-Clay was not concerned about those marks.

Gerard even demonstrated to the jury using a highlighter to demonstrate how he cut himself.”

Edit – oh pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase.

Byrne, “If they are not shaving scrapes, what is their significance in this trial?”

Byrne discusses the forensic experts who looked at the scratches on Gerard’s face.

Byrne, talking to the jury, he isn’t going to go through the statements again, “You have the transcripts.”

Byrne, “The first expert, Dr Margaret Stark, could not 100% say the marks were caused by fingernails.  I don’t shirk from the fact that Dr Stark said that she believed that the scratches are from fingernails.  It is important to remember that there were limitations on just looking at photographs.

THE JURY HAS BEEN SENT OUT FOR A SHORT BREAK

The judge wants the jury to have short breaks every 45 minutes to help them concentrate.

Byrne is discussing Dr Margaret Stark’s evidence.

Byrne, “Dr Stark was careful in her report not to say that they were fingernail scratches, just that they were typical of them.  Dr Stark said that there could be another explanation, although it is difficult to interpret just from the photos.:

Byrne is now discussing evidence of the GP, Dr Candice Beaven.

Dr Beaven consulted with Gerard and examined his injuries when he attended her clinic.  Dr Beaven had experience with shave biopsies and said that they look similar.

Byrne is discussing evidence from Dr Renu Kumar, a GP who consulted with Gerard.  

Dr Kumar was not 100% sure what caused the injuries, Gerard told her it was a “rushed jjob”.

Byrne, “The jury should use common sense as much as science when assessing the evidence. “

Byrne is now discussing evidence from Dr Robert Hoskins.

Dr Hoskins said it is impossible to say the marks were caused by fingers.

Byrne, “Dr Hoskins said the marks were consistent with fingernails and that is as far as he would go.”

Byrne is discussing evidence from Dr Leslie Griffiths.

Dr Griffiths agreed that any sharp object dragged across skin could cause marks.  Dr Griffiths also believed that they were fingernail scratches; however, he agreed that interpretation of photographs is imprecise.

Byrne is discussing Dr David Wells, who examined the photographs of the scratches.

Byrne said that Dr Wells said that he had “considerable difficulty” reconciling scratches from a razor.

Byrne, “Dr Wells believed it could have been fingernails, that it could have been a number of other different things.  Gerard told the doctor that he was in a rush, his wife was missing, that he was shaving in an agitated state.

Byrne is now giving a summary from Scratch Experts.

Byrne, “Dr Stark said the only person who knows how the injuries are caused are the people who were present.  Tragically, we only have one person to tell us.  Gerard has told us under oath how the scratches were caused.  The jury might think the injuries were caused by something other than a razor blade.  That is not your roll.”

Edit:  One lie, always lies.

Byrne, “The Crown has to exclude the razor and they cannot.  The jury must bear in mind that the scratches themselves do not convict Gerard.  You cannot leave out that there isn’t any supporting evidence as to how he could have killed her.  You cannot forget the lack of evidence in dressing Allison, transporting her body, and leaving the children alone.

The experts could not agree on what the marks on Gerard’s chest were.  Some said bruises, others said abrasions.”

Byrne is now discussing the evidence on mental health issues.

Byrne, “This is not done to demean Allison and the seriousness of her condition.  It is very important factual background.  The defence is that he does not know what happened to Allison.  Allison was in her pyjamas watching the Footy Show when Gerard went to bed that night.  Allison’s illness went on for a long time and kept coming back.  Stress and pregnancy triggers kept bringing the depression back.”

Byrne is discussing evidence from Dr Tom George.

Allison consulted with him for anxiety and panic attacks.

Byrne, “In September, 2005, Allison reported guilt, anxiety and worry, teariness and low moods.  I’m not here to criticise her.

Michael Byrne, QC

Byrne,”Dr George first consulted with Allison when she was 26 weeks pregnant and had a two year old daughter.  Dr George said that she had a reduced sense of worth, negative view of the future, prone to transient suicidal thoughts at that time.

When put in context, sure, she did have a strong maternal attachment, but that doesn’t mean she could control her illness.   The anxiety returned with Allison’s third pregnancy.  Dr George said Gerard contacted him during Allison’s third pregnancy as they were having a girl.  Gerard contacted the doctor as he was worried that Allison would be disappointed that they were  having another girl.  People can hide suicidal thoughts, even from professionals.  They do not and cannot say what happened to Allison that night.  It is important that the jury listen to the assessments of various professionals on her mental state.

Byrne is now discussing evidence from Dr Nicholas Bourke

Byrne, “Dr Bourke’s patient notes show Allison was suffering from bad pre-menstrual mood swings and her Zoloft  dose was increased.”

Byrne discussing evidence from Dr Rosemund Nutting.

Allison told the doctor that she was a bad wife, that she was struggling with three children.  Allison discussed “flashbacks’ with Dr Nutting of “Gerard’s girlfriend’s car at the gym’.

Byrne, “Dr Nutting  didn’t want to discuss flashbacks with Allison and Gerard together, as she thought it would be bad for her.”

Byrne is talking about evidence of  Relationship’s Australia consellor Carmel Ritchie.

Ms Ritchie described Allison as a conflict avoider.  Ms Ritchie didn’t make enquiries about any diagnosis that Allison  had.  Ms Ritchie didn’t make enquiries with regard to Allison having a major, recurring depressive disorder.

Edit – lies..

Ms Ritchie didn’t make any enquiries with regard to medication, or flashbacks.  Allison defined her problem with Gerard as feeling ‘inadequate’ and ‘not good enough’.  Against that background, she recommended that Gerard and Allison speak for 10 to 15 minutes every second night.  Ms Ritchie said Gerard’s role should have been to listen and listen only.  Ms Ritchie said that she did not see it as a question and answer session.  Ms Ritchie did not think it would be helpful ‘in the early stages’ for Allison to question Gerard re intimate details.  Ms Ritchie said it would have been extremely uncomfortable for Allison to hear intimate details of the affair.   Medical, psychological and psychiatric evidence showed that Allison was a conflict avoider, her meds had been increased.  This is t he picture of where Allison was, at least psychologically.  Gerard Baden-Clay told you how much Allison wanted a male child to continue the family name.  He specifically contacted Dr George to point out his fear of Allison’s disappointment.

The “venting” session turned into a question and answer about the affair.  After the question and answer session on 18th April, Gerard and Allison return home to news that Gerard’s brother has had a baby son.  Gerard, Allison, Nigel and Elaine, who’d been looking after the children, discussed the birth and Allison went to bed.  The next day Allison had a hair appointment.  The hairdresser said that Allison was “a bit stressed” when she sat down.

Edit, the people at work said that Allison was fine.  Perhaps Allison was a bit irritated as she had to return quite a few times to get her hair right.

The hairdresser asked whether Allison was still sick.  Allison said she was and it wasn’t going away.

Byrne is discussing evidence given about sertraline, an antidepressant, which  itself can cause anxiety.

Byrne is discussing the Seratonin Syndrome, where the body has to deal with a different amount of the chemical in the brain.

The defence has no onus of proof.  They can ask a jury to consider possibilities.

Byrne, “Please consider the evidence from Allison’s mother, Gerard and Nigel Baden-Clay that she always wanted a son.  Gerard’s brother’s newborn son was the first male grandson.  Allison, after finding out about the birth, shortly after, went to bed.  Allison was able to take up to 100mg of Zoloft a day if she was feeling down.  The medication kicks in after about six hours.  When she was at the hairdressers she was ‘slumped’.  The hair appointment clashed with a parent teacher interview.  Why would a mother do that?

Edit – scum.

Byrne, “After leaving Allison on the couch watching the Footy Show, we don’t know what happened.  It is possible that she stayed up thinking about what had happened between her and Gerard, the rawness had been opened up.”

Byrne is reading from Allison’s journal.

“I don’t want to be alone”.  He said that she is up late, thinkng.

“Byrne, “What if she decides to go for a walk to clear her head.  What if she decides to take a Zoloft?

She leaves the house, after first placing Gerard’s phone on the charger.  What if she goes on her normal walk, decides to walk a bit further.  Maybe the Zoloft is absorbed, maybe we have Seratonin syndrome.  Maybe, somehow, she ends up in the river.  Could have rendered her unconscious, maybe she drowned in the river (edit – not possible according to Autopsy).

That is just one scenario.  The jury may reject it.  You could reject that Gerard, for no apparent reason, with no apparent means, violently killed his wife.

ADJOURNED UNTIL 10:00 AM TOMORROW

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 2014 All Rights Reserved

 

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79 thoughts on “Gerard Baden-Clay Murder Trial Day 15 – Defence’s Closing Arguments – 7th July, 2014

  1. More word play?

    “GBC was confronted by an angry and abusive Toni McHugh, he didn’t become angry or violent on that occasion. Once the jury has carefully considered all the evidence, they should not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.”

    Like

  2. GBC might get off:

    Byrne, “It is not on the balance of probabilities, you have to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Like

  3. I feel sick, there was an NBC with a vacuum cleaner and a hose, sigh, they might get away with it.

    “There were scientific examinations o the house and vehicle. No blood was found in the residence. There wasn’t any obvious indication of a clean-up inside the house. The Crown allege that there was a violent killing, with the body driven to the creek. There isn’t any mess or blood, there isn’t any damage, nothing has been found.”

    Like

  4. “Gerard is an accountant working as a real estate agent, he doesn’t know how to clean up a murder scene.”

    Edit – oh rubbish, remember, GBC claimed he did up to 90% of the work and that he cleans up rental properties, the defence went too far with the above comment.

    Like

  5. This is why GBC, with his well planned out defence with the defence, said, out of context, that he wouldn’t have left his girls alone in the house:

    “Gerard and Allison aren’t alone in the house, they had their three young children with them. You, the jurors, have been through the house, you have walked through it. The girls had called out through the house, they would have heard it. The house isn’t sound proofed in any way.”

    Edit – except he may have killed her in the Captiva.

    Like

  6. While Mr Byrne paints a lovely picture of St Gerard using the glossiest paint i hope the jurors realise his brush strokes have many runs and unless he uses quite a few tubes of ‘ No More Gaps’ Gerard may have many years to await another chance to use his acountantcy skills , Oh , Mr Byrne you forgot to add or didnt he tell you , he failed the paper on Fraudulence and is not qualified until he passes , ( Fortunately they may have a course available in jail, that after he rechecks ‘Taking the 5th’ )

    Liked by 3 people

      • Its their job Moonlight , does make me wonder if i could live with myself if i got a killer off , the quick answer is , i couldnt .

        Anyone who wonders why I place much of the legal profession below politicians and hookers , read the transcript of this case.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Yes, thanks Mike and I agree with you.

          There is so much evidence, yes circumstantial, that was withheld. The defence wouldn’t want that unless they were weasling out.

          Like

  7. Byrne reminds the jury there was no blood in the carport area, no blood in the house. Blood only in the car

    Members of the jury , that answer is simple … it’s one spot missed when cleaning .

    Like

    • Yes, and it is possible he suffocated her in the house, which does not involve blood. But unbeknown to him she was unconscious, not dead, and then woke up in the car where she put up a fight and things got a lot more violent – hence the blood in the back and GBC with a variety of wounds on face, body and hand – mostly fingernail scratch and tooth related – Allison’s only weapons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Is also just possible that she woke up in a moving car somewhere near Rafting Groung Rd where blood-curdling screams were heard that were silenced mid-scream as if someone put a hand over someone’s mouth or something of the sort. Maybe that’s where GBC’s hand injury and Allison’s chipped tooth originated….???

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Byrne, “Do any of these theories completely satisfy a jury of being the only way that it could have happened?

    There wasn’t any blood in the carport area. There wasn’t any blood in the house. There was only blood in the car. Sure, it is Allison’s blood in the car. It can’t be aged.”

    Edit – car was a few months old. Blood dripping down, like a river, Allison’s blood…….

    Like

  9. PHOTOGRAPH – Kholo Creek bridge area. The mud and grass areas can be seen.

    Byrne, “Bear in mind how police described it. One officer said he tried to touch down after being winched but the mud was thick.”

    Edit – we had torrential rain AFTER ALLISON DISAPPEARED, not when she disappeared, i.e. the area wasn’t soaked at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks , i was about to ask about the weather changes from when Allison went missing til she was found … yet another reason i despise these people , yet they probably smack their kids for lying …bluddy hpoocrites ….

      Like

        • LOL, if a jury member, my Red Flag would be going, defence’s statements are spread on too thick, I just hope he comes across that way. Plus, trying to fool the jury………..

          Like

  10. Shameful play of words:

    Byrne, “When the jury visited the creek, it was a dry day, the clay still stuck to your shoes. When we went to the house afterwards, mud was tracked onto the carpet. The interior of the Captiva was examined for evidence of clean ups. There wasn’t any obvious clean ups.”

    Like

    • I do not remember seeing any evidence about the work and bedtime clothes ABC and GBC were seen to be wearing that night being accounted for. Did some mysteriously disappear? GBC could have worn old clothes that he disposed of afterwards. The house being ‘sterile, neater then Mrs Dickie ever saw it, even a portrait Allison held dear having been moved, certainly smells of a clean-up.

      Like

  11. Byrne, “It is the absence of those things which loom large in this. Some earlier unremarkable incident caused Allison’s blood to be in the car.”

    Edit – what is it then?

    Like

  12. ” the evidence clearly shows the transporting/dumping of the body did not happen ”

    Thats right , she rode a bluddy pushbike there , laid down under the bridge , chipped a tooth eating the bike and promptly decided to die …. is his nickname Pinocchio ??

    Liked by 3 people

  13. ” Byrne says his conduct was consistent with a man who wanted his wife found”

    Yep … every man whose wife is missing always does a google search on ‘ Taking the 5th ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Byrne, “Dr Stark said the only person who knows how the injuries are caused are the people who were present. Tragically, we only have one person to tell us. Gerard has told us under oath how the scratches were caused. The jury might think the injuries were caused by something other than a razor blade. That is not your roll.”

    Edit: One lie, always lies.

    Byrne, “The Crown has to exclude the razor and they cannot.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The were NOT CUTS!!! One can not shave such squigly shapes of skin right off the top of one’s skin with a STRAIGHT-edged razor, least of all a blunt one. They are fingernail scratches.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. “Byrne says Dr Stark said the only person who knows how injuries are caused are the people who were present.”

    Nice to see Mr Byrne admit that Gerard was not alone when his face was scratched , I hope the prosecution jumps on that comment and asks who the other person or persons were . A slip of the tongue ? I think not , as smart as he thinks he is I believe his comment was made as he;s aware Allison scratched him leaving the biggest clue of her killer …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think he means GBC is the only one who was present at the catastrophic ‘shave’ so he will know what happened.

      Well we all know not to believe a word GBC says, and the scratches are clealrly not made by a razor….

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Repost of an earlier one that’s gone somewhere in Cyberland …

    “Byrne says Dr Stark said the only person who knows how injuries are caused are the people who were present.”

    Nice to see Mr Byrne admit he knows there was both Gerard and another person or persons were present …. even the cleverest of us have trouble decieving over n over … The prosecution should jump on that comment …

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Enough to make anyone angry at some orator:

    Byrne is reading from Allison’s journal.

    “I don’t want to be alone”. He said that she is up late, thinking.

    “Byrne, “What if she decides to go for a walk to clear her head. What if she decides to take a Zoloft?

    She leaves the house, after first placing Gerard’s phone on the charger. What if she goes on her normal walk, decides to walk a bit further. Maybe the Zoloft is absorbed, maybe we have Seratonin syndrome. Maybe, somehow, she ends up in the river. Could have rendered her unconscious, maybe she drowned in the river (edit – not possible according to Autopsy).

    That is just one scenario. The jury may reject it. You could reject that Gerard, for no apparent reason, with no apparent means, violently killed his wife.

    Like

    • ” Byrne says medical, psychological and psychiatric evidence showed Allison was a conflict avoider ”

      Really ?????? ….

      Best you ask your client why he told the jury that Allison demanded his phone on arriving home and gave it to him only if she vetted the calls , then she charged it and gave it back next morning,

      Gee , even Ivan the Idiot would see that’s a tad confrontational .

      What a disgraceful man you are sir , i do hope you have no wife or family as they would be so ashamed of you … as you attempt sleep remember those this killer has hurt and you assist in adding more pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you Mike, so many levels of that “orator’s” carry on made me feel disgusted, I can’t elucidate, I am so angry.

        You; however, are doing a fantastic job 😀

        If the jury don’t know all, like we all do, and if the Crown doesn’t do their job, which is concerning me, grrrrrrrrrr, back to being angry.

        Like

    • Reason: He wanted to be rid of his wife AND rake in her insurance money to repay his massive debts
      Means: He has a pair of hands/arms – he likely surprised and suffocated her (although she may have regained consciousness and fought back in the car, where the struggle became a lot more violent and her face/mouth/tongue/tooth was injured, leading to blood trickling from her body into the back of the car)
      Yes he killer her, and dumped her body.
      He lies about everything to everyone at every opportunity.
      And you Mr Byrne is trying to aid miscarriage of justice by putting this nonsense to the jury.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t understand this suggestion of sertraline being taken to alleviate anxiety in that way. It is not a short acting drug or rather not prescribed for taking that way. People who take it do so every day at the same time and it alleviates the mood disorder progressively and consistently.

      It is also a very commonly used and prescribed medication. Most people know it is an antidepressant. Most people would understand how those are to be taken. There are other medications for anxiety which act in the short term but Zoloft is not one of them.

      Allison wasn’t silly – yet they persist in trying to paint this picture of someone who couldn’t handle life and misused medication. Pathetic and shameful.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi everyone

    Just got back from court an hour or so ago, and am pretty despondent and very annoyed by the defense’s summing up today that went on and on and on some more, for so long that it lasted the entire day. Some parts were seriously boring and others downright misrepresentative guiding the jury in a particular way, so all in all a very frustrating day. I arrived at 8am and miraculously managed to get into the main courtroom to sit directly behind the accused’s family – that was WEIRD. We were given ticket numbers which meant we had the same seat for the whole day! I met some of Allison’s family who were all really lovely and down to earth.

    I have to say, at this point I am concerned which way the verdict will go. So much so that I think I’ll have to take ANOTHER day’s recreation leave to go again tomorrow. I really thought both sides would sum up today and was particularly interested to hear Justice Byrne’s direction to the jury. Both Fuller and Justice Byrne took notes throughout, and the Judge is very attentive to the jury, keeping an eye on whether they are losing concentration etc. Some of the jury members write notes all the time, some look a little bored (or lost?) at times. I did notice a lot of frowning during the day, but who knows what they really think or believe or what conclusion they will come to?

    I’ve heard that Justice Byrne is very astute and fair, which is why I really want to hear his summing up. Adam BC and seemed genuinely polite and friendly holding the door open for everyone to leave at one point (I think his wife was there as well, the charlatan who had the only BC name-carrier, Cameron, the day before Allison disappeared, which sent Allison into a downward spiral of depression – not!!) I noticed when Byrne raised the matter of GBC’s lack of moral fibre regarding the fact that he even ‘cheated on Tony McHugh’, OW was twisting her gold neck chain around and around in her fingers and not looking too comfortable at all.

    It was very distressing when the close-up image of Allison’s body on the Kholo Creek bed was shown. Several members of her family left the court-room. My heart just goes out to them, apparently they are incredibly strong people and Allison’s girls are really happy living with their grandparents. I’d imagine they would be, being in a loving and caring environment, just the way Allison was raised. But the toll on the Dickies at their age must be great. Allison’s sister Vanessa was there (she now has lighter coloured hair) and her brother Ashley and his wife. They are obviously a very loving and supportive family, with many of Priscilla Dickie’s own siblings in court regularly to support them.

    One thing that did strike me as very ‘off’, if it’s true, is that at the end of the afternoon the defense barrister stated that Carmel Ritchie, the last counsellor to see GBC and Allison, didn’t even ask or know about Allison’s prior depression or even that she was taking medication for that. If this is true, it’s rather damning of her professionally I would think and could be the reason there was such a hoo-ha about her giving evidence at the trial. Allowing a couple undergoing extreme marital difficulties (if CR knew that Allison was a conflict-avoidant person but also having been ground down over many years through her relationship with her husband), letting the two of them ‘vent’ would not be a good state of affairs in anyone’s book, without a counsellor present. It’s difficult to know how much of this is presented by the defense to do just that, defend GBC. There is no doubt whatsoever, even from today’s proceedings, that GBC’s constant philandering had a huge effect on Allison. It’s just that they are portraying this as a reason why she felt she couldn’t ‘go on’ any longer, with her recent increase in her Zoloft dose added into the mix.

    All in all I’d have to say Michael Byrne did a pretty good job for GBC today, given the lack of material he’s had to work with. And added to that, to the best of my knowledge, we the general public are paying for his defense so GBC is getting a pretty good shot at it. Bring on tomorrow, today was just so dis-heartening.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Dear Sad for Allison,

      Thank you so much for writing about today. You must be ever so tired, and reading your eloquent posts is always a pleasure.

      What a disheartening day.

      Let us hope that tomorrow may be better.

      Like

    • Dear SFA

      Thank you so much.

      If we absent readers feel dispirited, one can only imagine your exhaustion and dismay by day’s end. It can’t have been easy to cope with the codswallop that was dished up for the jurors’ pleasure today.

      The only heart that I take from the events is that, in my humble opinion, the defence over-reached (well and truly) in its statements towards the latter part of the afternoon.

      Seems to me that they, just like their client, don’t know when to leave well enough alone.

      The Judge’s summing up is gaining in importance.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. I may avoid tomorrow as not being one with knowledge of the legal system ,

    i thought it this trial was going to be much different … the crown didnt call witness’s that could have helped , then allowed GBC to ramble on without answering …

    then today the defender spent most of his day in a fanciful storyland …

    if this is justice it will only come from a smart bunch of jurors.

    Hearing only today the mention the BC’s are members of a secretive organisation will ensure the verdict …

    i best say no more … not yet !

    Liked by 2 people

  20. How about GBC’s cut on his hand – you know, the one he said that happened with a screw driver and a light bulb, his left hand, the one he doesn’t use. The one that his workmate said didn’t happen, yet her testimony isn’t around.

    Why was this hand cut not looked into further?

    A straight edged glass cut is going to be completely different, from say, a broken tooth cut. Bllood pouring out of the mouth from said broken tooth.

    Why are the t’s not all crossed and the i’s dotted?

    Why was this important fact not addressed?

    I am worried…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would be wonderful if the Pinnochio effect is real. Society would be a better place.

      The alleged shameful, bold faced, lying by omission, word play, twisting of facts by the defence, is telling. He knows a lot, and he represents GBC anyway. It is his job. What a job.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Have faith, Moonie. SFA, thank you for your report on today. It’s good to hear what the ‘mood’ of the Court is and so very, very good to hear that the girls are going ok. I’ve found the last few weeks difficult enough, it’s hard to imagine how the family must be feeling. It seems they know how much support they have in the community?
    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

  22. A comment on WS authorized by author to post here:

    Trying to understand the summation. I have added my thoughts to each point. Then tried to see it from somebody else’s eyes. Looks a little loopy. IMO.

    Byrne says is it possible she stayed up thinking about what had happened between her and Gerard. “The rawness had been opened up
    Byrne is reading from Allison’s journal. “I don’t want to be alone“. He says she’s up late, thinking.

    It’s late, very late. After 01.00am in the morning. There a conference early morning which Allison was preparing for. New hairdo all done and she’s ready to roll. Only 5 hours to go, and no sleep yet due to the rawness, and the thinking. And more thinking.
    “I don’t want to be alone, so I will abandon my children, and walk out all alone into the dark night”

    Byrne: Leaves the house, after first placing Gerard’s phone on the charger.

    Must remember to put his phone on the charger before I go out all alone. Must be considerate enough so as not to wake him, as I reach across his body and plug it in.”

    Byrne: What if she decides to go for a walk to clear her head. What if she decides to take a Zoloft?

    “Feel the need to clear head, pop a Zoloft from my packet of Zoloft that I carry in my pocket”

    BBM Where is the empty Zoloft packet?

    Byrne says what if she goes on her normal walk, decides to walk a bit further.

    Normal walk! There never was a normal walk. Allison was not a regular walker, or even a walker at all, as evidenced by two websleuthers who live right close by, even passing her house, and ARE regular walkers. These witnesses have NEVER seen Allison out walking. Allison’s friends said the same thing. Allison’s idea of exercise was with a bar of chocolate in one hand, and the walking machine in the other …

    BTW Aside from self: People who are walkers recognize people and things that car drivers do not.

    Byrne says maybe the Zoloft is absorbed, maybe we have Seratonin syndrome.

    Seratonin Syndrone has been explained by Doc Watson (on websleuths) , a professional person with expertise in medical and surgical matters. Zoloft doesn’t work like that, full stop.

    Byrne says maybe, somehow, she ends up in the river. Could have rendered her unconscious, maybe she drowned in the river.

    SOMEHOW; good word, especially in fairy stories. Drowning was ruled out on autopsy. Allison did not drown.

    Ended up in the river? Left home after 01.30am and walked a 6 to 8 hour walk. G reckons he woke at 06.00am. Excluding the fact that G is a proven liar, the simple maths don’t add up.

    Byrne says that’s just one scenario. The jury may reject it.

    One scenario. The only scenario? The jury may reject it. The jury are trying hard to see something resembling sense and sensibility..

    Byrne says they should reject that Gerard, for no apparent reason, with no apparent means, violently killed his wife.

    No apparent reason ….. Quietly omitting Gerard’s severe financial crisis. (I note he doesn’t say that G couldn’t run a chook raffle successfully. And has always relied on using other people’s money. Allison’s included)

    No apparent means: Doesn’t use words like “no means.”

    Violently killed? Is killing by smothering violent or non violent? Whether violent, semi violent or even polite the end result is the same; dead by killing.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you QCL, holes in the story, that the defence knows are there.

      The phone on the charger bit. So, Allison also sat around from 10:00pm until she put the phone on the charger between 1 and 2 am? I thought GBC “did 90% of the work”…..hmfffffffff

      Like

  23. Hi Moonlight, Is it possible to put the “comments” part in either italics or a different colour. So you can differentiate between Byrne’s words and comments thoughts?

    Like

    • Yes, QCL, I can change the comments to italics or bold.

      If I place a comment as a post (as per the start of a new day’s thread), I can change the colour.

      I shall italic and bold the Byrne’s words in your post 😀

      Like

      • Thankyou so much Moonlight.
        Yes please. Bold for Byrne. (Poor bugger. He didn’t have much to work with eh?)
        And italics for the comments to thoughts parts.

        Like

  24. PS Dr Watson on Websleuths a real practicing (surgeon) Doctor in Brisbane who has explained Zoloft and it’s effects very clearly, and very scientifically. Zoloft overdose has been explained as impossible as a cause of death.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I would also like to refer to the defence’s convoluted claim that Allison was depressed at the hairdresser and didn’t attend the parent teacher meeting.

    Allison had a business meeting the next day, the appointments simply clashed. A primary school parent/teacher meeting attended by one of the parents only, which is very common, isn’t going to damage anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those here in our little town that we have discused the case with are 100% behind a guilty verdict , might i add again 100% are wondering why the prosecution appear to be assisting the defence , none of us are experienced in the workings of a Supreme Court so maybe we are reading something sinister into what is the norm.

      Yesterdays performance by Mr Byrne needs investigating to ascertain if he is fit to practice law , if as a child he had the same respect for truth he’d still be grounded.

      He attempted to paint a picture of GBC a wonderful husband , brilliant buisnessman , loved by all and ABC as an incompetent , drug effected , usless wife and mother who took her own life.

      Shame on you Mr Byrne , you are the reason i label you and your peers as the lowest of the low.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. I agree Mike, there is not a solitary person up here in Brisbane who believes the bloke is innocent.

    With regard to Mr Byrne’s efforts, I guess some prick has to be the bastard to defend him.

    Pity it’s the Queensland taxpayers doing so, as the highly successful and enterprising Clay family has opted to utilise Legal Aid rather than spend the stacks of money their defence counsel claims they actually have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry folks. I must apologise for my last post.

      Not for using the words “prick” or “bastard,” but for ending a sentence with a verb.

      Probably best that I retrieve my Zoloft from the carport, take it early tonight after such an outburst, perhaps even take a lengthy walk down to the river and have a little lie down.

      Liked by 3 people

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