Gerard Baden-Clay
Gerard Baden-Clay

Jury told: Do not presume Baden-Clay is guilty

THE jury has been reminded that Gerard Baden-Clay is presumed innocent unless the prosecution has proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Justice John Byrne said the burden of proof sat with the Crown.

"He says he is not guilty," he said.

"Your role is to determine, on the evidence, whether he is guilty or not guilty.

"If there is any reasonable possibility consistent with innocence, it is your duty to find the accused not guilty.

"This follows too the requirement that guilt must be established beyond reasonable doubt.

"You should dismiss all feelings of sympathy or prejudice, whether it be sympathy for, or prejudice, against, the accused or anyone else.

"No such emotion has any part to play in your decision.

"You must approach your duty dispassionately, deciding the facts upon the evidence."

Justice Byrne warned the jury about assertions the defence and prosecution had made throughout the trial.

"Sometimes a lawyer includes an allegation of fact in a question asked of a witness," he said.

"No matter how positively that allegation was asserted, it will not form part of the evidence unless the witness agreed with it.

"In general disbelief of a witness's answer does not provide evidence of the opposite.

Justice Byrne also said opening and closing addresses were not evidence.

"They were their arguments, which you may properly take into account when evaluating the evidence," he said.

"But the extent to which you do so is entirely a matter for you."

Justice Byrne said the jury should ignore anything they heard outside the courtroom - only considering testimony, exhibits, admissions and the site view.

"It is of critical importance that you put any such information completely out of your minds," he said.

"Ensure that no external influence plays a part in your deliberations.

"Ignore anything you may hear or read about the case out of court.

"Avoid any form of communication that exposes you to the views who are not members of your jury."

Justice Byrne said  a person who killed another unlawfully was guilty of murder or manslaughter.

"A person who unlawfully kills another, intending to cause that person's death or to cause grievous bodily harm, is guilty of murder," he said.

"Grievous bodily harm includes any bodily injury of such a nature that, if left untreated, would be likely to endanger life or likely to cause permanent injury to health.

"Any person who causes the death of another, directly or indirectly, is deemed to have killed that person.

"And a person causes death if he does an act that is a substantial or significant cause of the death."

Justice Byrne is now going through all the evidence from the trial.

There is a chance the jury could begin deliberating today.

 

Gerard Baden-Clay may have had 'no other choice'

THERE were too many "highly unusual" circumstances as Gerard Baden-Clay's life was crashing down around him, the Crown has alleged.

Prosecutor Todd Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay probably felt he had no choice but to kill his wife because of all the pressures bearing down.

He said Mr Baden-Clay had engaged in "deliberate and calculated, deceptive behaviour" across all of his relationship with Toni McHugh.

Mr Fuller said the accused man had kept his relationship from those closest to him - his wife, his parents, his workmates.

He said the evidence showed his testimony about having never loved his mistress, that he was just stringing her along, was false.

Mr Fuller said he had shown real affection from this woman, repeatedly told her he loved her in person, in emails and through his staff.

"He has throughout his relationship with her, manipulated her," he said.

"(He is) a man who admits to you he is willing to do and say whatever he needed to to keep the status quo," he sid.

"He engaged in deliberate and calculated, deceptive behaviour across all of his relationship with Toni McHugh. He had to.

"He was confident there would be no consequences to him from his actions and he was confident in the loyalty of Toni McHugh.

"You might think to this day it's all about him - his life, his business, his needs."

Mr Fuller showed the jury a page from Allison's journal again, written on April 18, 2012.

He said she wrote about finding the "whole thing so dirty" but wondering "maybe I'm prudent?".

"But we know how she feels because the last thing she writes is she still gets sick to her stomach," he said.

"He had the opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, he had access to the vehicle that contains the blood of his wife, he lives in the house where the combination of leaves were found in his wife's hair is an exact match.

"He has the scratches on his right cheek, he lies about those scratches. He attempts to disguise them. We have long-term tension in the relationship with his wife and despite counselling and a need to confront his behaviour, it hasn't changed.

"He has the tension in his relationship with Toni McHugh.

"We don't have to rely on what they say, we have it I black and white in those four emails.

"We have tension in his business including the money he owes to his close friends, the ever increasing need to honour that contract he entered into at the end of 2011.

"We have the discussions of his relationship with Toni McHugh on the very evening before his wife disappeared.

"How does that add to those tensions I've just spoken about?

Mr Fuller spoke about Mr Baden-Clay discussing his relationship with Ms McHugh on the same night his wife disappeared, when they were supposed to attend the same real estate conference the next day.

"We have the real prospect of his wife and Toni McHugh coming together, the real prospect of him finally being exposed for the man that he was. The way he was finally exposed in this trial," he said.

"We have the real prospect of his continuing relationship and interactions with Toni McHugh being exposed.

"We have the real prospect of his wife reacting badly to that and being unwilling to forgive him for a second time.

"You could see what he had to lose.

"This wasn't about the pressures on her, her mental health, the drug usage, her wandering off in the middle of the night completely inexplicably.

"This was a man having to deal with consequences of his own actions, actions over a long period.

"Perhaps he felt he had no other choice, no other choice but to take his wife's life.

"That's not to say it's premeditated, but when a decision had to be made that decision was made and consistent with how he behaved in his relationship up until that time with both of those women, he calmly and rationally decided to cover it up."

Mr Fuller said the jury might think it was highly unusual for something to trigger a depressive episode in Allison Baden-Clay on that night.

He said it might also be highly unusual for her to suffer from Serotonin Syndrome when she was a long-term user of the antidepressant drug.

"You might think it's highly unusual for a combination of deciduous and non-deciduous species of plant to be located in her hair after being on that creek bank from April 19 through April 30, 2012.

"You might think it highly unusual that such a combination and of only those six and only those proportions would be found at the address at Brookfield Road.

Mr Fuller said the jury might think it was unusual a person would cut themselves with a razor when they looked like fingernail scratches.

"You might think that's it's highly usual for a person cut themselves with a razor but that it looks like fingernail scratches

"You might think that of all mornings, it was highly unusual for him to suffer that shaving scratches on the day his wife has disappeared.

"You might think even on his own admission, it was highly unusual for him to shave before he showered.

"You might think it's highly unusual for his wife's blood to be in the position in the car.

"You might think it's highly unusual that his phone was plugged in on his side of the bed at 1.48am the morning of April 20, 2012, the day he reports his wife missing.

"Is it highly unusual for him to have killed his wife?"

The Crown says it is not, Mr Fuller said.

"Because that's what he did," he said.
"The scratches on his face show he was in close contact with his wife, that she was struggling for her life.

"It was close, it was personal, it was violent.

"As I said yesterday, it was effective.

"What could have been in this man's mind as carried that out..?

"His frustrations from his marriage, the frustrations in his life not going where he thought it would be? The double life, the daily deceptions? The risk to him of it all coming crashing down?

"You might think that's what was in the forefront of his mind.

"Like he told Carmel Ritchie, he just wanted to wipe the slate clean."

 

Gerard Baden-Clay in 'fight to death' with wife

THE man tasked with proving Gerard Baden-Clay's guilt beyond reasonable doubt has described him as an efficient and effective murderer with a proven track record of covering his tracks.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller rubbished defence suggestions of suicide or misadventure during his closing address to the jury in Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Instead he suggested she was strangled or smothered which would mean minimal noise, no damage and no scene to clean up.

Mr Fuller picked apart the defence's alternate theory that Allison ended up in the river, somehow under the effect of her antidepressant medication, after learning her husband's brother had a newborn son to carry on the Baden-Clay name.

"Do you know anybody who's good at covering their tracks; avoiding suspicion; hiding what they've done from others; keeping up appearances in adversity; willing to do or say to people whatever they need to to protect their own position?" he said.

"Somebody who had lived a lie? Somebody who wants to make some of the things that he does, which were intended to hurt or avoid people's attention, to in fact be virtuous."

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay - who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison - had lied for years to his wife, lover, family and friends about his affair, financial problems and Allison's mental health problems.

He described the scratches on the accused man's face as damning and reminded the jury about the DNA "belonging to someone else" found under the fingernails of Allison's left hand.

"Are they scratches or are they cuts?" he asked.

 

NEW ALLISON BADEN-CLAY JOURNAL ENTRIES RELEASED (SEE BELOW)

 

Police photographs of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's skin used as evidence in court.
Police photographs of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's skin used as evidence in court. The Brisbane Times

"While it may be described as a fight to the death, because that's what results, it doesn't mean that the two combatants will be badly injured, will suffer significant injuries that will leave blood or damage around the house or the scene where that situation takes place.

"Her left hand scratching the right side of his face.

"There was a struggle between the two of them and she left her mark upon him.

"They are damning and link him to the act of violence without a doubt.

"This is close quarters, close up violence. They are within arms' reach of each other.

"The only injury she is able to inflict upon him is a scratch to his face, whilst he inflicts upon her injuries that cause her death.

"She's unable to raise the alarm, because it's occurred in or around the house, such that she brings the children to her rescue.

Allison Baden-Clay.
Allison Baden-Clay. QT file image

"She's unable to cause any injury to him other than the face.

"She was overpowered quickly and unable to resist.

"That's why he was so confident about police searching his house.

"That's why he was so confident about the forensics not turning anything up."

Mr Fuller said the jury should rule out drowning, jumping or falling from the Kholo Creek bridge, and suicide.

He said they should "look at what Allison tells us in her death" - pointing to the blood in her Holden Captiva, the leaves entwined in her hair and clothing found in the Baden-Clay yard, and the scratches on her husband's face.

"You'll find somebody killed her and tried to distance themselves from the killing," he said.

"Only the person who killed her will know what happened.

"Was she strangled or smothered?

"We know she wasn't shot or stabbed.

"That's only speculation because of the state of the body.

"But whatever method was employed it was two things - it was efficient and effective.

"Effective because it achieved the desired result and efficient because it didn't leave any significant evidence either where the body was found or with the body itself.

"That turns us to who was it."

Mr Fuller said the jury should assess the evidence of each witness and draw on their own experiences from their own lives because trials were about people and relationships.

"Human behaviour which is sometimes inexplicable against the background of the rest of their life because of the pressures or circumstances that people find themselves in," he said.

"It's not unknown for a person of previous apparent good character to step outside that character and do something they perhaps never contemplated doing before.

"Through your experience of people, relationships, of behaviours, you've seen people step outside their characters.

"You have an appreciation of how people who are under pressures sometimes react."

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay had a lot of pressures building on him which culminated in his actions on the night of April 19, 2012, or the early hours of April 20, 2012.

He said he had pressure from his wife, his mistress Toni McHugh and financial issues with his business.

"Talking about pressure doesn't mean pre-meditation," he said.

"Pressure doesn't mean explosive reaction.

"A person can make quite a calm decision that the only way to react to a circumstance is to engage in an act of violence.

"There's no suggestion of a fight or yelling or screaming or anything sort in the house, we know that from the children.

"That's why you hear the terms efficient and effective - not necessarily a fight to the death from his point of view."

 

VIEW ALLISON BADEN-CLAY'S JOURNAL ENTRIES HERE (BEST IN FULL SCREEN MODE)

New Allison Baden-Clay journal pages reveal intimacy thoughts

NEVER revealed before pages of Allison Baden-Clays' journal speaks of missing "making love" with her husband.

In 2010, two years into her husband Gerard's affair with Toni McHugh but a year before she found, she laments that she should put more effort into her marriage.

"Sometimes I sabotage things," she writes.

"What makes me angry, when I feel I have been unfairly treated.

"I would give anything if my partner would make love to me.

"My best quality is my perception.

"My worst trait is my lack of communication.

"My life really changed when I got married and had kids."

In another entry Allison talks about going into her cave and hiding when she got angry and fears she expects too much of her partner.

"I wish my husband loved me like he did before we were married," she wrote.

"I would be more loveable if I were more FUN and laughed more.

"If my relationship end it will be because I didn't work hard enough.

"It hurts me when my partner won't give me a proper hug.

"I feel the most lonely when my partner won't sleep in the same bed."

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said the journal entries would give the jury an insight into Alison Baden-Clay's state of mind - how she was always trying to improve herself and working hard on the marriage.


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