THE father of convicted wife murderer Gerard Baden-Clay is at the centre of a prison drug test controversy after a jail scanner inexplicably found traces of cannabis on his clothing on four separate visits.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Wolston Correctional Centre ION scans, which test shirts and pockets, have repeatedly found “presumptive” traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, on Nigel Baden-Clay’s clothing.
Nigel Baden-Clay: positive test from prison scanner.Source: News Limited
It is understood the test results have stunned the straight-laced grandson of Scouts founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his family, and surprised even police who investigated his son’s crime.
Asked by The Courier-Mail if knew the reason tests would come back positive Mr Baden-Clay responded: “No, of course I have no reason why.”
The positive tests from the ION scanner at the prison can be picked up from a person innocently touching or brushing objects – such as by handling money or catching public transport and The Courier-Mail does not suggest Nigel Baden-Clay uses or handles marijuana.
Positive tests force visitors to have non-contact visits, which means a glass wall separates visitors from inmates.
Gerard Baden-Clay with his father Nigel in 2012.
Prison sources said three positive results in a row usually spark a three-month ban on contact visits, allowing only non-contact sessions, however this had not happened to Mr Baden-Clay.
“I find it very strange, it appears he has been allowed preferential treatment,” a prison source told The Courier-Mail.
The first positive test occurred during a visit on August 14 and he inexplicably returned positive tests again on August 21 and 28, as well as on October 9.
When contacted Mr Baden-Clay asked for the source of the information about the positive tests.
“My take on the whole thing is that it is actually none of your business,” he said.
“I’d like to know why you consider it necessary to publish this?”
The family’s lawyer Peter Shields last night said the tests were presumptive.
“The family have done nothing wrong,’’ he said.
Queensland Corrective Services would not discuss the case for privacy reasons but a spokeswoman said bans on contact visits were at the discretion of the jail boss.
Gerard Baden-Clay, a former real estate agent, was this year sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife Allison.
He was visited by his parents the day after his conviction and they regularly travel to Wolston to see their son.
Nigel Baden-Clay’s wife Elaine also asked for sources of the information and said: “I would encourage you just to think long and hard about what you are doing.
If you wish to donate money to The Late Allison Baden-Clay Children’s Trust Fund, you can do so using these details
Donate to the Baden-Clay children | BSB: 084 737 | Account Number: 943 084 078.
TONI MCHUGH CLAIMS THAT SHE IS AUSTRALIA’S MONICA LEWINSKY
Toni McHugh, who now likens herself to the former US President’s paramour, Monica Lewinsky, said that she believed Gerard when he said that he had not ever had sex with anyone except for Allison and herself and that she plans to write a book.
Toni McHugh, “I was furious, but I was still madly in love with him. I remember after the police told me, Gerard called me from a blocked number and said, ‘I’m outside your office, I’m in a cab, I have to talk to you;”.
Toni McHugh, “The first thing he said when I got in the cab was, ‘are you wearing a wire?'”
Photo courtesy of Women’s Weekly.
Toni and Baden-Clay, in the cab, then drove to a unit at Fortitude Valley to talk. Toni said, “He gave me all these reasons for having sex with other women.
He wanted to make sure what he had with me was real. Like an idiot, I believed it, but he’d also told me previously that he’d never been with any women besides Allison.”
As we know, GBC frequented AdultFriendFinder.com, where he described himself as “average” and, “married, but don’t want to be, looking for some sex on the side!”.
Toni claimed with regard to Baden-Clay being responsible for Allison’s murder, “I’d been putting my head in the sand about that”.
Toni had been hiding in her apartment since her affair with Baden-Clay had become public, her mother phoned her on the 30th April, to tell her to come out of hiding.
Toni also confessed that she had driven over the Kholo Creek bridge just hours before Allison’s body was found, she said, “And that was the worst day because WE drove over that bridge. We drove over the bridge and she was under there and later that day, maybe around noon, we heard a woman’s body has been found, and I knew straight away – instantly – that it was Allison.”
Toni McHugh on Allison’s children, “I need them to know that I’m very, very, sorry for what’s happened. The future I was planning with Gerard, it actually included them. It included Allison! I thought we would all get to the point where we all, you know, shared custody, like adults, and got on.”
It has been reported that Toni McHugh was paid more than $200,000.00 for the interview with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes programme which aired on the Sunday after Gerard Baden-Clay was charged guilty of murder.
“Toni McHugh quotes of hardship” from what is believed to be another paid interview, this time with Woman’s Weekly:
“I’m still coping with the damage, emotionally and financially”. (Toni is, of course, being paid for these interviews).
“I lost my job, which I loved, and which I was good at. And sometimes I feel like I’m Australia’s Monica Lewinski – like, what man is ever going to want to come near me? So I have suffered, too.”
Toni McHugh on feeling sorry for Allison, “I’m so sorry that her life has been so painful – no woman should have to go through those feelings of inadequacy that she was feeling”.
“I can’t be held personally responsible.”
“I know that if it wasn’t me, it would have been another woman.”
“The marriage problems were pre-existing well before I became a part of Gerard’s life.”
Asked if she felt the murder happened because of her, she said: “No. It didn’t happen because of me.”
Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against ‘unreasonable’ murder conviction
Justice Byrne said it was likely Baden-Clay had smothered his wife and scratch marks on his face were likely to be signs of a struggle.
The former real estate agent has always maintained his innocence.
1. He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:
2. “A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been, but was not, directed that the presence of the deceased’s blood in a motor vehicle was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the presence of blood was attributed to an injury sustained to the deceased’s body on the evening of 19 April 2012 or the morning of 20 April 2012,” the application reads.
3. “The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant placed the body of the deceased at Kholo Creek in order to use such a finding as post-offence conduct going to guilt.
4. “The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”
Queensland’s mandatory sentencing laws mean Baden-Clay does not have a chance of seeing a reduction in his jail time.
Justin Quill, the director of Kelly Hazel Quill Lawyers, has previously said Baden-Clay may have “very good” grounds to appeal the conviction.
“Potentially there is an appeal on conviction – that could be on a whole stack of grounds,” he said.
“Those grounds could be the exclusion of particular pieces of evidence.
“It could be taking the judge to task on the precise wording of the charge or the answers to the questions. The answers to the questions are crucial.”
On Friday 1st August it’sWear Yellow for Allison Baden-Clay Day. This day is not about raising money. Instead Allison’s friends and family asks you to wear some yellow and perform an act of kindness (big or small) in memory of Allison.
Baden-Clay has been exposed as an egocentric sybarite obsessed with his own indulgences; a man who paid scant regard to the emotional damage he inflicted on those he claimed to love.
He is not a man for whom remorse and repentance are a priority. Instead, Baden-Clay is driven by self-interest. The great tragedy is that the victim of his unbridled selfishness not only paid the ultimate price for her generosity of spirit and attempts to rebuild the family unit, but also has had her memory dragged through the mud by a guilty man increasingly desperate to cover his tracks.
Killer Gerard Baden-Clay captured on a security camera in the back of the police van transporting him to prison after his conviction yesterday. Picture: Peter Wallis
Detectives discovered that, far from the family man he pretended to be, Baden-Clay was a serial womaniser with his profile on a swingers’ internet site and a series of affairs. Allison left the mark of guilt on his face. As Allison Baden-Clay fought for her life, with her left hand she scratched her husband Gerard’s right cheek. Allison had been on the ground at the back of the carport, next to the couple’s silver Holden Captiva. The Holden Captiva where police found Allison’s blood in the boot, along a plastic trim. A blonde hair was found in the dried blood.
On Friday 1st August it’sWear Yellow for Allison Baden-Clay Day. This day is not about raising money. Instead Allison’s friends and family asks you to wear some yellow and perform an act of kindness (big or small) in memory of Allison.
As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you.
As you brushed against this world so gently, you lifted us.
When we have enough messages, will send your messages of sympathy to Mr and Mrs Dickie.
On Friday 1st August it’s Wear Yellow for Allison Baden-Clay Day. This day is not about raising money. Instead Allison’s friends and family asks you to wear some yellow and perform an act of kindness (big or small) in memory of Allison.
If you wish to donate money to The Late Allison Baden-Clay Children’s Trust Fund, you can do so using these details
Jurors deliberating Gerard Baden-Clay’s future, have been warned to not seek outside assistance after one jury member downloaded information on jury deliberations from the internet.
Justice John Byrne recalled jurors two hours after they retired to consider their verdict.
Justice Byrne, “What was done is wrong. I am however grateful that what has happened has been drawn to my attention,” he told the seven men and five women. “However, I appreciate a juror’s job is never easy and you may look for assistance.’ That assistance must come from the court and only from the court and not from some expert source. You scarcely need to know what some overseas commentator speaking about a very different system of jury trials happens to think, the downloaded document won’t be returned to the jury room.”
The jury members already had a guide available to them when they retired to consider their verdict at 11:10am., Thursday, 10th July, 2014, the 18th day of Gerard Baden-Clay’s trial.
The Crown accused Baden-Clay of probably smothering his wife at their house and then dumping her body, rolling it from Kholo Creek bridge.
Our theory is that Baden-Clay, father of three, allegedly smothered Allison by placing his knee on her chest, due to bruising found at autopsy by the coroner. Allison’s chipped tooth and subsequent blood in the car may be related to a mark on Baden-Clay’s left hand, that he claims was from a screwdriver piercing his hand (he is right handed) when he was changing a light bulb.
Before the jury retired, Justice Byrne advised that in order to convict Baden-Clay of murder, they must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt, that Baden-Clay killed her, and that he did so with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm.
Baden-Clay’s defence maintain that Allison, although not one to exercise, having been reported as happy that day, and planning a future, had her hair done for the third time to make sure the colour was right, walked 13km on a dark street after 1:48am (after she placed Baden-Clay’s phone on charger), the distance sporting very large hills, without footpaths and proper lighting, (which would have taken an experience walker at least 3 1/2 hours to walk on flat ground), after depositing her blood in rivulets under the seat in her two month old car, then placing children’s toys in the back, then an empty packet of Zoloft at the front of the car, she then walked for hours, and threw herself off the low bridge at Anstead, landing under the bridge itself in the dirt, not beside the bridge, with her jumper over her head, and leaves through her hair with a bruised chest and chipped tooth.
Baden-Clay was so upset at his wife missing, he shaved himself with a razor, to make it look like fingernail scratches, with marks on his chest that appeared as an immaculate conception, the marks that he didn’t mention to police. He was cool and calm, ringing all his friends and family, rather than looking for Allison, although he did do a drive around at Brookfield one stage, in the area that Allison’s phone was triangulated as missing. Her phone wasn’t ever found.
Baden-Clay refused to give police subsequent interviews, in fact, he drove out of his way on the way to the police station the following Monday, and somehow, on a one way street, drove a car into a concrete upright, avoiding giving the statement, his bruises on his chest and scratches on his face, his own, for now.
The jury heard 75 witnesses, including Baden-Clay’s former mistress, Toni, whom he rang the night Allison disappeared and after Allison disappeared, from a pay phone, although Baden-Clay denied that he spoke with her, that she is a volatile woman whom he always agreed with.
Approximately 180 items were submitted as evidence, including photographs of scratches on Baden-Clay’s face and photographs of rivulets of Allison’s blood found in her Captiva.
Justice Byrne’s Summations of the Lawyer’s Closing Arguments
A short delay due to legal discussion. Jury is yet to enter the courtroom.
Gerard is immaculately groomed, with a checked shirt, dark suit, blue and white tie, hair freshly cut and face cleanly shaven.
The jury is entering the courtroom, Justice John Byrne will then begin his summation of the lawyers’ closing arguments, beginning with the defence.
Byrne, “The defence case is that friends, family, and the children had not ever seen Gerard and Allison argue, let alone any violence. The defence’s case is that the Crown have not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt and that you must not find Gerard guilty.
The defence case is that the jury must not speculate.
The defence and crown cases are all about perhaps or what probably happened.
The defence stated that no-one can prove how the deceased died.”
The judge is summarising the defence’s discussions on the pathologist’s report.
Judge, “The defence said a thorough search of the house was completed by police and nothing of relevance was discovered. The defence said that the three children heard nothing at all on the night of 19th April, 2012.
The defence said that if Gerard killed his wife that night, he must have dressed her in the walking clothes she was found in. The defence asked why had she bled only in the Captiva? They asked if Allison was dragged through the garden foliage, why did leaves that stuck into her hair, were also not found in the car? They asked why there wasn’t any mud or grasses found in the car from Kholo Creek if Gerard dragged his wife’s body down. They said that there weren’t any obvious signs of a cleanup in the car. They said if there isn’t any proof of disposal of the body, the Crown case collapses.
The defence said that Gerard is lacking in morals, although that doesn’t mean he is a murderer. The defence denied that Gerard was going to leave his wife for Toni, that he was good at making promises but nothing ever happened. Gerard wasn’t faithful to Toni, either. She was not the love of his life. Their case is that Gerard did not want to be with Toni, so no need to kill his wife to be with her.
The defence pointed out that Gerard remained calm during cross examination, that he does not have a violent temper. They disputed Gerard was under financial pressure. They said that Gerard was confident the business was on the up and he had been able to pay for the rental arm.
Gerard’s father advised him to make a claim on the life insurance. The defence case is that the leaves could have washed into Allison’s hair by the creek. They state that Gerard didn’t ever attempt to conceal any marks on his face, that he told everyone who asked that the marks on his face were from shaving. The defence said that none of the experts could be 100% sure what caused the marks on Gerard’s face.
The defence gave the possible causes of death which were: falling from a height, seratonin syndrome leaning to drowning or Sertraline toxicity.
The defence discussed Allison’s mental health history, her Zoloft use, her sessions with psychologists.
The defence discussed advice from the marriage counsellor, which was given to her a few days before she disappeared.
The defence’s case is that discussions of an affair in the counsellor advised sessions would have caused a relapse in Allison’s depression. They stated that Allison was stressed at the hairdressers on 19th April, 2012, they told the jury to consider Allison was upset after hearing of the birth of a nephew. They claim that she always wanted a son.
The defence asked why Allison missed a parent teacher interview for a hairdressing appointment.
The defence’s case is that Allison stayed up late, thinking about the affair, and that she possibly went for a walk to clear her head. Allison plugged her husband’s phone into charge at 1:48am, she took some Sertraline and went for a walk. They suggested that she walked to Kholo Creek and ended up at the creek.
The defence said that Gerard did not have to give evidence, but he did.
JUSTICE BYRNE IS NOW SUMMING UP THE PROSECUTION’S CASE
Justice Byrne, “The Crown said that Gerard and Allison appeared to be the perfect couple, but they weren’t. The Crown said that Gerard had pressures from many angles in April, 2012. The Crown case is that Allison would not have been upset about the birth of her nephew. It had been six years since she had given birth.
The Crown said that Allison was a reluctant exerciser, she would not have walked 13km, and no-one saw her walking.
The Crown showed the rainfall records, the creek would not have been muddy at the time. The area leading down to the creek was vegetated. The Crown said that Allison had been rolled or pushed from the ledge above. The Crow said that there wasn’t any evidence that Allison was drug effected.
They said that post mortem changes showed that Allison’s body had not oved.
The Crown’s case is that drowning is not a reasonable suggestion, as there isn’t any evidence of it. The Crown case is that Allison’s body was dumped to avoid it being found. There isn’t any evidence of recent Sertraline ingestion, that drug toxicity as a cause of death is excluded by the evidence.
The Crown case is that Allison was not depressed, the evidence from those who saw her that day, is that she was “great.”
The Crown pointed out that the baby monitor in Gerard and Allison’s room as evidence that sound did not travel well in the house.
They discussed the six leaves of the plant species found in Allison’s hair, which were all found in the garden, only two of these species were found at the creek.
The Crown said that Allison was injured that night and bled in the car.
They said that Gerard had to explain the scratches on his face, that he couldn’t hide them. Gerard shaved over the scratches to make smaller cuts over the top.
The Crown said that the abrasions near Gerard’s armpit are consistent with Allison’s pulling on his clothing during the struggle. The scratches occurred after the last time the girls saw their mother and before they woke up to find her gone.
The Crown said that there were three pressures on Gerard at the time:
The Crown said that Gerard played up his wife’s depression in the hope that the jury would consider that she committed suicide.
The Crown pointed out that Gerard didn’t ever tell police about his conversations with Toni McHugh on the Thursday night.
The Crown said that Allison was sharing his passions with the business while Gerard was out resuming his affair.
The Crown case is that Gerard was in love with Toni. Toni had demanded that he tell Allison both women would be at the same conference the next day.
Gerard had mounting debts that needed to be paid.
Gerard made up a story to explain why he said in emails that he loved Toni.
Allison told people that she was happy about the birth of her nephew.
Gerard told Toni that he was going to sell the business and be with her.
At the conference, Allison could have found out that he’d continued the affair, with catastrophic results.
Gerard told police that he had not seen any signs of depression in his wife, which is a contrast to his actual testimony.
The Crown said that Gerard had an opportunity to kill, that he lied about scratches on his cheek and that he had discussions with his mistress that night.
The Crown said that it is highly unusual for all those plant species to be in the hair, cuts on his face, her blood in the car, if not murder.
JUSTICE BYRNE HAS COMPLETED HIS SUMMATION OF THE CROWN CASE.
Justice Byrne is giving the jury instructions should they need help with anything.
Justice Byrne is addressing the jury,
“You must answer the associate when you return with your verdict.
You must speak in unison when asked whether you have reached a verdict.
An associate will ask whether you have found Gerard guilty or not guilty of murder, the foreman will answer.
If not guilty, you will be asked the same of manslaughter.
Thank you to the three reserve jurors, you are discharged. Thank you for the dedication in which you approached your task. ”
The associate is now swearing in the bailiff as the jury’s keeper.
The jury have now retired to consider and reach a verdict.
Jurors have returned to court – and are receiving direction from the judge as a juror downloaded a document on jury deliberations from an overseas commentator.
Justice Byrne, “You must not make enquiries outside the trial, the advice needs to come from this court, you must not do this, it was wrong.”
The court has given them a jury guide, the jury requested a copy of Justice Byrne’s summation of closing addresses. Request denied. Justice Byrne instructs the jury, if they so wish, to write out a written request for his summation to be read aloud in open court.
The jury have been excused.
The jury have been sent home. Tomorrow, at 9:00am, they will reconvene to continue their deliberations.
Mr Todd Fuller QC, will be discussing more about Gerard’s
financial difficulties today.
The jury is entering the courtroom.
Mr Todd Fuller QC addresses the jury
Fuller, “I shall clarify information with regard to Gerard’s financial position.
Gerard would have sold his business with Allison working there. Financially, leaving Allison, was not an option. Gerard told the marriage counsellor, Carmel Ritchie, his wife didn’t trust him. Gerard was only there because Allison wanted him to, not because he wanted to save the marriage. The advice Gerard received from the marriage counsellor was to sit and listen to this wife. Allison always blamed herself, after the affair, she knew someone else was at fault.
Allison was over the moon that Gerard had gone to see the counsellor. It is an insight into her mind. This phrase does not mean that they were back on an even keel as Gerard suggested. Gerard would have the jury believe it was just Toni making the contact. Not true. The emails show that.
Same as the explanation of the shaving cuts, same as the financials, he had to make up a story to explain his actions.
Gerard tells Toni that he loves her, he tells her in the details and on the phone.
How do you put all that together other than that he loves Toni?
Gerard’s claim that he and Allison’s question and answer session was on 18th April, is not true.
Gerard made it clear to the police early on that it was on 19th April.”
Mr Fuller is discussing the night of 18th April, when Nigel and Elaine came to watch the children.
Fuller, “Is this when Allison retired for the night and wrote out her list of questions? Allison retired and left her husband, watching TV with his parents. If Allison was so upset about the birth of her nephew, what happened the next day?
The 19th April was a normal day. Allison took the children to school, she told friends she was happy about the birth. Nobody noticed anything unusual.
Yet, Gerard, would have you believe the question and answer session happened the night before.
On 19th April, the staff described Allison as upbeat, laughing and joking, she introduced a trainer to her husband. Allison was excited about the conference the next day, was excited about plans for the business.
Gerard told the police everything was fine, there wasn’t a reason that his wife would disappear. Allison had a hair appointment, children were at the school cross country. The kids ate dinner at Nigel and Elaine’s, then went home and were tucked into bed.
What we didn’t hear about was the conversation with Toni, except for Toni Mc Hugh.
Going from about 5:03pm until about 5:40pm, Gerard was talking to Toni Mc Hugh. The conversation was inflamed when it was raised that Allison and Toni would be at the same conference the next day. Gerard used the words “two of my staff are going”. He didn’t have the courage to say straight up it was his wife.
Gerard said that both Allison and Toni contacted him when they bumped into each other at the gym. Allison had flashbacks about it.
Gerard insisted that he was not concerned about the two women running into each other. Toni made the decision to leave the business herself after Allison found out about the affair. Toni was angry at the person who let the affair slip. There wasn’t a suggestion that she was angry at Gerard until he made the claim.
Please believe Toni’s version of events. Toni told Gerard it was unfair for both women to be at the conference. Toni had no option, she had begun a new job. She had to go.
Toni insisted that Gerard warn Allison. You might say that that is significant pressure on Gerard. It was that afternoon, 19th April, on the phone to Toni, that he said he was going to sell the business. It had not been that long since Gerard had told Sue Heath on the phone that he was about to go broke.
Toni said that she was angry on the phone, that she was expressing her anger.
In September, 2011, Gerard had to make significant changes. He told his staff about the affair, Allison came to work.
What was going to happen if Allison found out for a second time?
Gerard claimed he did nothing about the two women meeting the next day, that he didn’t have a concern. When the ultimatum was coming the second time, what decision would he make?
He was going to be shown to be disingenuous, a coward or a fool. You would think the personal risks to Gerard were huge.
We was in jeopardy, in respect to his friends, family and business. You add that to the scratches, the blood in the car, the leaves in the hair.
Gerard didn’t have any explanation for his charger being connected at 1:48am other than it must have been Allison.
That morning, 20th April, there was a series of phone calls to Allison almost straight away. Why is that? He doesn’t know what time Allison is supposed to be meeting Kate Rankine for the conference.
COURT – Text message Gerard sent to Allison at 6:41am asking where she is.
“Gerard – where are you?”
The cars are there, she could only have gone for a walk. The message talks about the girls being up, and making their lunches. It was always the plan for Gerard to get the girls ready. Gerard didn’t bundle the girls into the car and do a quick couple of laps. He called his parents and waited for them.
Gerard tried calling a police officer he knew before searching the streets for her. It was a 24 hour station, he would have gotten a recorded message and options to be put through.
Gerard and his sister searched the area, no sign of her.
It is now 7:15am, a number of calls unanswered, a couple of texts not responded to, an unsuccessful search.
Gerard made a 000 call on the side of the road, he goes home, then reverses the car in.
The police arrive at 8:00am. Gerard claimed that he answered all the questions from police although he declined to make a statement.
The jury has heard Gerard’s voice on tapes, during interviews. It is for you to determine what level of anxiety.
Gerard told police that he did not know whether Allison came to bed or not. Gerard told them about the affair. He didn’t want his father to know. Gerard phoned his own family, his own friends, he made work calls, all before phoning Allison’s friends and family.
By the time more police arrived, three and a half hours on, it must have been something more sinister. Gerard told police it was out of character for Allison to disappear, she hadn’t ever done anything like that before.
Gerard described his wife’s mental health as good. He didn’t even know if she was still on medication. Gerard said Allison was “all better now”. Gerard didn’t make any reference to any adverse reactions to her medication.
In this trail, the mental health issue has been amplified to justify what he did. If there was any risk of any mental health problems, that is when we would have heard about them, on 20th April, 2012.
According to Gerard, there wasn’t anything to explain why his wife wasn’t home. She had gone for a walk, and would be back soon. There wasn’t mention of the conversation with Toni the night before. Only that Toni knows about that.
Was Allison likely to stay up late watching the Footy Show on the couch when she had a big day the next day?
She was likely to go or a walk that morning when she was time poor, Gerard had agreed to get the girls ready. So, she didn’t have any time for the school drop off when the school is not very far away.
It was highly unlikely that on the morning of the 20th April, 2012, Allison would be walking the streets of Brookfield.
Gerard told police that morning, twice, “we had our 15 minutes last night.” Gerard was at great pains to tell police “nothing came out of the 15 minute session, it was all good.”
Gerard told police the truth that day. Allison hadn’t asked the questions on 18th April, the questions were done on the 19th.
Allison’s questions about his affair were quite rudimentary. Movies, driving together, how many times? Did you kiss and hug, were you scared of being seen together, were the seats down, did you lie there afterwards?
Place yourself in Mr Baden-Clay’s position. Place yourself in the sordid detail of it. If the 18th April is correct, why did they leave the house to ask and answer the questions? The children were already in be. (Gerard had already told the court under oath, that he and Allison had driven to Mt Cooth-tha on 18th April, for the 15 minute session while his parents babysat).
Edit: Gerard’s parents allegedly appear to cover a lot for their caterpillar.
Mr Fuller is reading from Allison’s list. “I couldn’t go back to her even if I wanted to”.
Fuller, “That isn’t a question, that is a statement from Gerard. Gerard made that statement. Contrast that with the emails.
Mr Fuller, “If he made that statement to her, it was simply a lie. Toni made her choices back in 2008 when she left her partner and found her own place to live. Coincidentally, a picture of Toni’s place was on the next page of Allison’s journal.
It took Gerard hours to call Allison’s parents. A major search was already underway. Just after 9:00am Gerard calls his three friends, the ones who had lent him money. At 9:58am he calls Kerry-Anne Walker. When he speaks to Toni, she asks, “did you argue”. She knows what the conflict was likely to be.
Gerard tells Toni to lay low. The next day, he tells Toni to tell the truth to the police. What option did he have? He knows the police are looking at him. They’re taking photos of his injuries. If he’d told her to lie, it would have unravelled.
A SHORT BREAK.
Mr Fuller is talking about Gerard’s contact with Toni after Allison went missing.
Mr Fuller, “Gerard contacted Toni again. It is NOT HER contacting HIM, he tells her he loves her.
Toni deletes her emails and texts.
Gerard then wants to meet with her, to explain to her about his other affairs.
Is this someone who just placates? Or does he have real affection for her?
Gerard told her to “fall in love with someone else” because “things weren’t looking good for me”.
Gerard was finally walking away from Toni because of the circumstances he found himself in. Gerard had manipulated her throughout their relationship.
Gerard was engaged in deceptive and manipulative behaviour across all his relationship with her. It is all about him, his life, his business, his needs.”
Court – A page from Allison’s journal.
The journal mentions a large portrait with Toni.
Mr Fuller, “We know how Allison feels. She still gets sick in her stomach. Gerard had the opportunity, he had the scratches on his cheek. He lies about them, attempts to disguise them.
Gerard hasn’t changed after his behaviour is exposed. We have it in black and white, the emails, the tension between Gerard and Toni. We have the financial strain, the debts to be called in.
We have the real prospect of Allison and Toni coming together, the real prospect of him being exposed.
The way he has been exposed in this trial.
We have the real prospect of Allison not being willing to forgive him a second time.
This is not about Allison’s mental health, her drug taking, walking off inexplicably into the night.
You might think it is highly unusual for someone with a history of sertraline use to suddenly overdose.
You might think it highly unusual that the plants in her hair were all from the Brookfield Road house. You might think it highly unusual for a man to cut himself and it look like fingernail scratches.
You might think it highly unusual for Allison’s blood to be in her car.
It is highly unusual for Gerard to have killed his wife? NO, THAT IS WHAT HE DID.
It was close, it was personal, it was violent.
Gerard was frustrated, the double life, the daily deceptions, the risk of it all coming crashing down.
He just wanted to wipe the slate clean.
MR TODD FULLER, QC, HAS CLOSED HIS ARGUMENT.
JUSTICE BYRNE HAS BEGUN HIS SUMMATION.
Justice Byrne, “Your roll is to determine on the evidence whether he is guilty or not guilty.
I must sum up and then you will retire and consider your verdict.
You MUST abide by my instructions. You must decide what evidence you accept, then apply the law. You are the sole judges of the facts. You must strike an unanimous verdict.
Your verdict must be on the evidence and only the evidence. The exhibits will all be available in the jury room.”
Justice Byrne is explaining what makes evidence.:
01. Answers from witnesses only, not statements from lawyers.
02. The jury is to ignore any information they may have read or heard about the case outside of the courtroom.
03. The jury must ignore social networking, including Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
04. You must not visit the scene or anywhere else of relevance.
05. It would be unjust for you to consider any information outside of the courtroom.
06. It is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for a juror to inquire about an accused person.
07. You are not detectives, you are judges of the facts.
08. In the past trials have been abandoned because jurors have looked things up on the internet.
09. Jurors are duty bound to bring it to my attention if you are aware of a fellow juror doing the wrong thing.
10. You must not pay any regard to news reports.
11. The jury must not allow media reports to influence your thoughts.
12. You can draw inferences from facts that you have heard during the trial.
13. The inferences must be reasonable. They must be logical and rational conclusions drawn from the facts.
14. You cannot use instinct or guess work.
15. Evidence can be accepted whole, in part of not at all.
16. You must consider whether a witness seems reliable. Did they see, hear, know things they are testifying about?
17. Does it differ from things that the witness testified to previously?
18. An observation of something said or done is not always reliable. Memory can be fallible.
19. People do not always observe closely sights and sounds, let alone manage to recollect them two years later.
20. As I said, it is up to you to assess the evidence and what weight you give a witness’s testimony.
21. The accused is presumed to be innocent.
22. The Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.
23. If you are left with reasonable doubt, your duty is to acquit.
24. If there is no reasonable doubt, you must find him guilty.
25. This is a circumstantial case – still acceptable proof of facts. This means that it must be only rational inference that can be drawn from the circumstances. Emotion does not have any part to play in your decision.
26. The accused was not obliged to give evidence or to call witnesses.
27. It is the prosecution who had the burden of proof.
28. It is not a matter of making a choice between prosecution witnesses and the evidence of the accused.
29. If you don’t believe the evidence of the accused, you shouldn’t jump directly to his guilt.
TEN MINUTE BREAK
Jury is back.
Justice Byrnes is explaining the difference between murder and manslaughter.
“Justice Byrnes, “With regard to murder, you must be satisfied that Gerard caused the death of his wife with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.
Manslaughter is an unlawful killing, with the intention to harm not being involved.
Neither the prosecution or the defence contends manslaughter.
The motive is not material to murder or manslaughter. Sometimes the motive is never known to anyone but the murderer. The Prosecution does not have to establish motive.
The evidence of things the deceased has said, can be unreliable. Most of it is second hand.
(Edit – I feel sick, the above were Allison’s thoughts, in private, without any intent to hurt anyone, without agenda).
Justice Byrne, “The recorded interviews with the Baden-Clay children are evidence. None spoke of hearing anything. It is routine to show recorded interviews with children rather than have them testify in court.
You (the jury) will have transcripts of recordings with the children. The recording is evidence, not the transcript.
The view of the Kholo Creek bridge and the house is not evidence. It is just to assist in your understanding. The areas have changed considerably since 2012.”
Justice Byrne is discussing what weight should be put towards statements that were made to the police by Gerard.
Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth at a police command centre at Brookfield Showgrounds on April 30, 2012. Photo: Marissa Calligeros
You (the jury) must decide whether the statements are truth or lies.”
Justice Byrne is now discussing the evidence given by experts, what the difference is between opinions and facts.
Justice Byrne, “The Baden-clay house is 13km from the Kholo Creek bridge. It takes 13 to 20 minutes to drive from Brookfield to the bridge.”
Justice Byrne is talking about the clothing that Allison was wearing. He mentions that her phone wasn’t ever found and that she normally took it walking with her. He said that Allison’s body was found on a pleateau down a steep bank.
Justice Byrne, “The pathologist found significant decomposition. The pathologist found that the decomposition was consistent with death 11 days earlier. Changes to her body were consistent with her body having been in the same position for all of that time. The pathologist didn’t find any injuries, only a “probable” bruise to the chest.
A chip was on Allison’s tooth that could not be aged. There wasn’t a sign of sexual assault. The pathologist didn’t find any evidence of bruises and scratches from the body being moved by the water.
The pathologist found higher than normal levels of sertraline, the decomposition of the body can cause that.
The pathologist expected significant injuries like fractures, these would be present if Allison had fallen from the bridge.
If she fell and landed in the water, this could have resulted in no injuries. The pathologist did NOT find any evidence of drowning, although it couldn’t be ruled out.”
Justice Byrne is summarising the evidence from the entomologist expert.
Justice Byrne is summarising the evidence from the diatom expert. Diatoms are usually found if someone drowns. Diatoms weren’t discovered.
Justice Byrne is discussing the forensic expert, Amanda Reeves. Ms Reeves found that there was an indication of a second DNA profile under the nails. There wasn’t enough to test.
Justice Byrne is discussing the evidence submitted with regard to Zoloft levels, submitted by the toxicologist. Zoloft isn’t particularly toxic. There hasn’t EVER been a single case of Zoloft alone, causing death. There wasn’t any ingestion of a large number of tables in the hours before her death.
The toxicologist said that seratonin syndrome should not be expected in someone taking a normal does of sertraline. The toxicologist gave the opinion that sertraline did not contribute to Allison’s death.
The defence’s toxicologist accepted that there had not been a recent ingestion of a large amount of sertraline.”
Justice Bryne is discussing the evidence of Dr Gordon Guymer, the botanist. Dr Guymer identified six species of plant entwined in Allison’s hair and body. Dr Guymer found one Cat’s Claw Creeper leaf was pulled from the plant after being caught on something. Dr Guymer found that most were fallen leaves. Dr Guymer found only two species at the creek, but all six at the house.
Toni McHugh gave evidence that she began an affair with Gerard in August, 2008. Toni said that the affair was up and down all the time. Toni spoke of Gerard breaking things off after Allison found out about their affair. The affair was not over. Toni spoke of being contacted again by Gerard, thins resumed.
Court – emails shown between Gerard and Toni.
Justice Byrne, “The two were in regular contact in April, 2012. On 19th April, they spoke on the phone. Gerard told Toni that she and Allison would both be at the real estate conference the next day.
Toni said that she “lost it”. Gerard needed to tell Allison, it wasn’t fair on either of them. Toni said that she asked Gerard what he was going to do. Gerard spoke about selling the business. Tonii called Gerard from the conference the next day to ask where Allison was.
Toni was at the police station the next day. Gerard called and said, “just answer yes or no, have you told them we are back together?”
Adjourned until 2:30pm
Justice John Byrne continues his summation:
Justice Byrne, “Dr Tom George treated Allison for years, he said that her symptoms of depression cleared up early on. Dr George recommended a marriage counsellor for Allison. According to Dr George, apart from the first two consulations, Allison was not depressed. Dr George didn’t have any concerns that Allison was suicidal and that Allison presented as extremely attached to her children.”
Justice Byrne referred to evidence from Dr Lumsden, who believed Allison’s risk of suicide was absolutely zero.
Justice Byrne referred to evidence from Dr Bourke, who prescribed Allison the anti-depressant, Zoloft, and discussed with her about the stress over the affair. Dr Bourke’s opinion was that she was not at risk of suicide.
Justice Bryne referred to Ms Nutting, a psychologist, who saw both Gerard and Allison. Ms Nutting spoke to Allison of panic attacks during the second pregancy. When Ms Nutting saw Allison at first, she was not experiencing depression symptoms. During the second appointment after the affair was discovered, Allison was more fragile. Allison was better at the third appointment.
Justice Byrne referred to evidence from the defence witness Dr Schramm. Dr Schramm referred to reports and had not interviewed Allison or Gerard. Dr Schramm said that people with depression are more likely to commit suicide and don’t always leave a note.
There isn’t any evidence whatsoever that Allison experienced any adverse reactions to Zoloft.
Justice Byrne is now referring to evidence from relationship counsellor Carmel Ritchie. Allison told Ms Ritchie that she was a conflict avoider and that her husband criticised her parenting skills. Ms Richie spoke to the accused alone initially. GBC told her that he wanted to wipe the past slate clean.
Ms Ritchie recommended 15 minute sessions every second night so that Allison could talk. Gerard was very resistant initially to these sessions.”
One of the juror’s chairs just broke, the bailiff quickly found a replacement.
Justice Byrne, “Gerard eventually agreed. Allison was brought back to the room. Allison advised Gerard that she was “over the moon” that he had spent time with the counsellor.”
Justice Byrne is discussing Allison’s journal.
Justice Byrne, “On 19th April, Allison went to a four hour training course, the trainer thought that Allison was very positive. Allison then drove to the hairdressers. Gerard spoke to Toni on the phone around 5:00pm.
Allison spoke to Olivia on the phone at 8:30pm. She was speaking quietly, with signs that the children were going to sleep. Gerard’s phone was plugged into the charge at 1:48am, and removed around 6:00am.”
Justice Byrne is running through the events of the morning of 20th April and referring to Gerard explaining to the police that he’d cut himself shaving. Gerard was asked by police about his wife’s state of mind. “Pretty good” he said. Gerard explained that the 15 minute sessions recommended by the counsellor to the police. Gerard told the police “we had one last night” and said that there were some difficult things that they had talked about. Gerard told the police that he honestly didn’t know whether Allison had come to bed the night before that he is a heavy sleeper.”
Justice Byrne said that the police asked Gerard how his wife had been the last week, or so, “Pretty good” he’d said. Gerard had told police that his wife had had a list of questions for him that she’d asked on the 19th April, (the night of her death). Gerard told the police that his financial situation was “pretty dire”.”
Justice Byrne is discussing the interview between Gerard and the police on 21st April.
Justice Byrne, “Gerard told police that Allison must have come to bed because her side of the doona was folded back. When Gerard was asked if Allison was suicidal, he said, “no”. Gerard went to see Dr Candice Beaven about the scratches, he told her he’d cut himself shaving. Gerard told her it was one motion, then said it must have been a couple, he was rushed. Gerard then went to see Dr Renu Kumar about his enquiries, he told her the cuts on his face from an old razor. “A rush job.”
Justice Byrne is now discussing the forensic examination of the house.
“There isn’t any indication of blood in the house or carport area. There isn’t an indication of a cleanup. Gerard’s razor was tested for blood, there wasn’t any found, although blood had been washed away by water.
There were flow rivulets of blood found in the back of the car.”
Justice Byrne is discussing the evidence from experts who interpreted Gerard’s injuries.
Justice Byrne, “Dr Margaret Stark said that the marks on Gerard’s face were typical of fingernail scratches.”
Dr Robert Hoskins, who said that the marks had characteristics of fingernail scratches, said that it was “extremely implausible” that they were caused by a razor.
Justice Byrne referred to evidence from Dr David Wells, who said that the first thing that came to mind was fingernail scratches.
Justice Byrne is now summarising evidence of Gerard’s three friends who lent him money. He didn’t repay any of them by April, 2012.
Judge is referring to evidence of Ms Sue Heath. Gerard spoke to her about borrowing money from her friend Dr Flegg. The prosecution contends that Gerard lied, both in evidence and when speaking to the police. Prosecution contends that Gerard lied about the cuts on his face. It would be wrong to approach the case, that if Gerard lied, it must mean he killed his wife.
It must be a lie “that an innocent person would not tell” to find him guilty. If the prosecution is to prove that he lied about the cuts, they would have to have proved that they were not caused by a razor. People do not always act rationally and telling a lie might be explained in some way.
Both murder and manslaughter involve unlawful killing. To convict of murder, you must be sure that he intended to kill, even if you believe he lied about the scratches.
Justice Byrne told the jury that they could consider the lessor charge of manslaughter.
“You may wish to consider first murder, which is the more serious charge.
“If you find the accused guilty of murder, you do not need to consider manslaughter.
“But if you find the accused not guilty of murder, then consider the alternative of manslaughter.”
Justice Byrne is speaking about the conduct of the accused, according to the prosecution.
Justice Byrne, “They cannot use Gerard’s alleged disposal of Allison’s body as proof of intent. The prosecution contends that the scratches were caused in a violent struggle, meaning that there was intent.
Justice Byrne is now referring to Gerard’s evidence. “Gerard denied killing his wife, he said he got the cuts on his face shaving, and gave other explanations for other injuries.
Justice Byrne is discussing Gerard’s evidence with regard to his wife’s mental health.
Gerard and Toni “always” recommenced their physical relationship. Gerard and Allison attended counselling while he was having an affair. Gerard did not mention it.
Justice Byrne is now summarising Gerard’s evidence about the business, the partners and moving to new premises, that he borrowed $90,000.00 from each of his three friends.
Gerard got back together with Toni for the sake of the business.
Justice Byrne is discussing the evidence on Allison discovering the affair. Gerard broke things off with Toni, said she was furious, and threw things.
Gerard’s evidence with Allison’s reaction, she insisted on checking his phone and gave him a curfew.
Justice Byrne is detailing Gerard’s evidence on getting back together with Toni after Allison found out about the affair. Allisn was unaware that he was continuing the affair. Gerard would delete call history from his mobile phone. Gerard and Allison went to see a marriage counsellor on 16th April, 2012. Gerard was resistant to talking about the affair. To him it seemed strange.
Justice Byrne is discussing the email from Toni to Gerard, he said that Gerard said he was doing his best to push Toni away at that time. Gerard’s evidence was that he would roll over and tell Toni whatever she wanted to hear as she was volatile. Gerard’s evidence was that he gave Toni the date, 1st July, for when he would come to her, a random. Gerard’s evidence was that he definitely did not intend to leave his wife.
Court – Gerard’s email to Toni, “leave things to me now, I love you”.
Gerard’s evidence was that they had the 15 minute session on 18th April, after a drive to Mt Coot-tha. The next day was 19th April, the last day that Allison was seen alive. Gerard’s evidence was that he doesn’t know how the toys got into the Captiva, he doesn’t know how her blood got there. His evidence is that he and Allison sat on the couch and chatted after the girls went to bed and that Allison asked a couple of follow up questions. Gerard admired her strength and forgiveness.
He denied placing his mobile phone on charge at 1:48am. Gerard demonstrated to the court how he cut himself shaving, doing it in three separate motions.
On 21st April, Gerard attended the Brookfield command post and spoke with the police.
Gerard testified that Toni was upset about Allison going to the same conference the next day and wanted Allison advised. He did not advise Allison and he was not concerned about the two women.
Gerard called the life insurance company on 1st May to determine how he could make a claim.
Gerard said that his father told him he had to notify the insurance company of her death.
Gerard testified that financially, the business was turning around, and that it was “absolutely untrue” that he was going to leave his wife for his mistress.
Justice Byrne is now talking about Gerard’s cross examination.
Justice Byrne, “Gerard did not tell his wife that he was sleeping with Toni McHugh after Allison found out about the affair. Gerard’s evidence was that the emails and claims of love were all to placate her or “for the sake of the business”.
Gerard used a secret email account to contact Toni. He didn’t intend to tell his wife.
Justice is discussing Gerard’s financial position under cross examination.
“Gerard’s evidence was that he was under constant pressure from Toni to leave his wife. Gerard acknowledged that he had told Toni in December, 2011 that he wanted to leave his wife and come to her “unconditionally”. He said that he did not consider that he was in a relationship with Toni. Gerard said that he and Allison had recommenced a sexual relationship in February, 2012. Despite Toni’s reaction to Allison going to the conference, he didn’t have a fear that Toni would approach Allison.
Gerard was asked about the phone charger on Allison’s side, why she would plug his phone in on his side of the bed.
Gerard did not disclose to police at any stage his conversations with Toni on the Thursday afternoon.
Gerard did not tell police that he had injuries on his chest when they took the photographs of his face.
Gerard rejected suggestions that he killed his wife, that she clawed at his face, probably as he smothered her. Gerard denied having ever physically harming his wife. Gerard said that he didn’t know how the leaves arrived in Allison’s hair.
JUSTICE BYRNE WILL NOW SUMMARISE THE LAWYER’S CLOSING ADDRESSES, tomorrow at 10:am, he apologised for any repetition.