Allison Baden-Clay.
Allison Baden-Clay.

Prosecution back to leaves and reputation against Baden-Clay

THE prosecution has told a jury that Allison Baden-Clay died at the hands of her deceptive husband as they rubbished defence claims of suicide or misadventure.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fulller has 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 boy to carry on the Baden-Clay name.

He pointed the finger squarely at Gerard Baden-Clay as the person responsible for Allison's death - somebody who was known to deceive those around him and had done for years.

"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?" Mr Fuller asked.

"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 Allison had lived with her depression diagnosis for nine years but had managed it with medication and regular consultations with a professional.

He said Allison did not jump or fall beneath the Kholo Creek bridge where her body was found and she did not drown.

Mr Fuller said somebody had pushed her there, from a concrete ledge under the bridge.

He said Allison was a reluctant exerciser who would not walk the 14km from her home in the middle of the night to clear her head.

"She's not depressed, she's not suicidal, she's not going to wander off on her own accord," Mr Fuller said.

"There is no trigger. That's long in the past."

Mr Fuller told the jury they should agree with pathologist Nathan Milne's finding that Allison died from unnatural causes.

"She wasn't affected by the drugs," he submitted.

"She didn't drown, she didn't fall.

"It leaves us with Dr Milne's conclusion that she died of unnatural causes.

"If she didn't take her own life and didn't die from misadventure - there's no positive evidence to suggest any of those as a possibility, they're not reasonable - then you'll find she was dumped at the creek at Kholo when she was dead.

"You'll find somebody killed her and tried to distance themselves from the killing because that killing was unlawful.

"You don't need to make a finding as to the mechanism of death.

"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 "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, and the scratches on her husband's face

The six species of leaves were found in the Baden-Clay yard but only two grew near Kholo Creek.

Mr Fuller questioned whether it was possible those six samples could be in the creek and end up in her hair.

"All of the plants around the creek as well as perhaps things around the creek… but this man is so unlucky that none of those other plants around the creek end up in her hair and the only plants police recover are these six," he said.

"(The leaves) inextricably link Allison Baden-Clay to the house and inextricably link her death to the house."

Mr Fuller reminded the jury about the material found under Allison's fingernails during an examination.

He said the sample did not meet the standard required but the expert was confident there was another person's DNA present.

Baden-Clay trial: It is about people, not programs

TRIALS are about people and relationships.

They are not computer programs with a logical result at the end.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told the jury it was their experiences in everyday life that would decide whether Gerard Baden-Clay murdered his wife.

"Trials are all about people," he said.

"How they deal and react to everyday life and the circumstances in which they find themselves.

"The criminal law is about regulating those responses.

"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.

"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.

"We are programmed from the way we view the world to having expectations to how somebody should behave.
"That's one of the reasons you're here.

"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.

"Because a criminal trial isn't a computer program, it's not about just putting all of the data in, putting it through some algorithm and churning out the result at the end.

"The simple reason for that? Because it involves people.

"It involves their relationships, their mental health, their business life."

Mr Fuller said the past four weeks had given the jury "a window into the lives of the Baden-Clays".

"On the surface to so many of these witnesses, the Baden-Clays seemed like the perfect couple," he said.

"Allison (in her journal) makes that statement herself. To everybody else they appeared as the perfect couple.
"But it was just a façade, a façade which had been carried on for a long period of time.

"You might think that inwardly they were two desperately unhappy people for different reasons.

"One of them a woman who had battled for years to keep the marriage together despite being told perhaps the cruelest thing a wife could ever hear from a husband - I don't love you.

"And a man who you might think was just looking for a way out, living a double life."

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay's defence team could argue his only deception was his infidelity.

But he questioned whether the accused man was lying ever day - to his lover, to his wife, to his parents.

"That shows you the level of deception, this shows you what this man is capable of doing, his level of bravado and confidence in what he could carry out and carry off," he said.

"He simply presented a number of faces to a number of different people, right up to his evidence in this trial.

"He cried when he told you about the first time he realised he was in love with Allison Baden-Clay.

"Just think about his reaction when I asked when's the first time you told her that you her you no longer loved her."

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.

"The key to the trial is what's building on this man here," he said.

"What's changing in his life?

"What pressures have been brought to bear by his wife, by Toni McHugh and by the dramas he's having with his business?

"The Crown says the killing was this man's reaction to a particular set of circumstances that cumulated over time.
"A set of circumstances which, with respect, were of his own making.

"It's not something sudden, but something had its genius in his long-term relationship with his wife.

"The disappointments he had in his relationship, in his marriage.

"And you might think, with respect, in his business and his position he thought he should have in the community, a man who prided himself on his achievements."

Mr Fuller said Allison told the counsellor she was a wife and a mother while Mr Baden-Clay listed his positions in the community and his business.

"That gives you a bit of insight into their different personalities," he said.

"A man who is used to doing what he wants to do, making the decisions, until he tired of that and tired of his wife.

"At the end of the day you don't have to decide what he actually did to her other than he killed her with that intention."

Mr Fuller told the jury - opposite to the defence submissions - that they should look at the big picture and how it all links together instead of analysing each piece of evidence.

He told them not to be daunted because it was a circumstantial case.

"Nobody gave evidence of the final moments of ABC's life or described how it ended," he said.

"No one has confessed to her killing so the case before you is a circumstantial one.

"People often use it with derision to suggest that it's somehow of a lesser standing, nowhere near as compelling as direct evidence of events.

"I suggest to you a circumstantial case can be as equally if not more powerful.

"It doesn't rely on circumstances of a confession that may be challenged or the perception of somebody who could be mistaken.

"It's strength lie in the accumulation of objective facts.

"In this trial it's about you finding what facts you accept.

"Those facts lead to an inevitable conclusion.

"It's not about isolating particular points … it's a question of what they say to you collectively."

 

Baden-Clay jury urged to ignore 'sensational' coverage

GERARD Baden-Clay's lawyer has asked the jury to focus on the details rather than the big picture as he closed the case for the defence.

Defence barrister Michael Byrne told the jury they must ignore the "sensationalist media coverage" which was catering to the "lowest common denominator".

"Your task, your duty is to ignore all of that, all of the publicity this matter has attracted," he said.

"Not just in the past five weeks but prior to that.

"Once you have objectively, dispassionately assessed the evidence you could not and would not find Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of the murder of his wife.

"There is here no cause of death, no motive that stands scrutiny, no realistic means of having done the things the prosecution says were perhaps done by him as part of a scenario."

Mr Byrne questioned how his client, with no history of violence, could have violently killed wife Allison in a house with three young children inside and how he transported the body to Kholo Creek without leaving a trail.

He said his client had elected to give evidence when he did not have to which had exposed him to intense cross-examination from the Crown.

Mr Byrne said Mr Baden-Clay was attacked for his deception but that deception was limited to his lengthy affair.

"You would conclude that Gerard Baden-Clay was someone who wanted to tell you ... what went on in his life, what his relationship with Allison and the girls was.

"Gerard Baden-Clay is not a person who would cold bloodedly murder his wife, the mother of his children.

"That just not in him

"Nor is he someone who would explode in a rage of temper on the quick.

"No history of that whatsoever in his life."

Mr Byrne said the only "new factors" in the days leading up to Allison's disappearance were that her mental health was worsening, slipping back into her recurrent depression, and Gerard's brother Adam had a son which would carry on the Baden-Clay name.

"Apart from that things were as they always had been in the Baden-Clay household," he said.

The Crown is now closing its case to the jury.

CATCH UP WITH OUR TRIAL REPORTS HERE



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