Gerard Baden-Clay
Gerard Baden-Clay

Baden-Clay says suggestion he killed Allison 'dastardly'

MURDER accused Gerard Baden-Clay has testified it was "absurd" to suggest he had physically harmed his wife in any way and "dastardly" to suggest he had unceremoniously dumped her body at the Kholo Creek bridge.

The father of three told Brisbane Supreme Court he would never hurt his wife or leave his children in the middle of the night.

He denied his wife caused long, wide scratches on his face and asserted he had not tried to cover it up.

"You transported her to Kholo Creek and then dumped her underneath the bridge unceremoniously?" Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller suggested.

"No I did not," Mr Baden-Clay said.

Mr Fuller suggested the accused man was anxious to get back to his children.

"The suggestion that I would leave my children for any time in the middle of the night is absurd, let alone to do the dastardly things you are suggesting," Mr Baden-Clay said.

Mr Baden-Clay denied there was a risk of catastrophe if his wife and lover came together on April 20, 2012, so he had a decision to make the night of April 19.

He said he did not believe he was living a double life that would be exposed.

"If that came about you would be exposed to your family, your friends, your profession - the façade that was Gerard Baden-Clay would fall wouldn't it?" Mr Fuller asked.

"If your wife became aware that you were continuing to see Toni McHugh, that you had sex with her again after September, 2011, that you were emailing her and telling her that you loved her and that you would leave your wife for her… you'd be exposed if those things came out?"

Mr Baden-Clay said: "If they did. There are lot of ifs, that's true. It hadn't been something I'd considered."

TODAY'S CROSS-EXAMINATION OF GERARD BADEN-CLAY

Mr Fuller: As of April 19, 2012, you were indeed under a number of pressures weren't you?

Mr Baden-Clay: There were a number of pressures but they were not significant.

Mr Fuller: You were under pressures from your wife Allison? She was keeping tabs on where you were going?

Mr Baden-Clay: I should clarify … you put to me yesterday that Allison required certain things of me, including that I not go out at night and that I hand over my phone to her, that I put that find friends application on my phone. I should clarify - and it's been something that bothered me last night because upon reflection of my evidence yesterday I felt satisfied I had answered truthfully and factually all the question you asked, however there is something in amongst that which is not quite accurate. It was actually my suggestion about that application. It was me that found it and me that loaded it on our phones. And showed Allison how to use it. It would be true to then say that Allison asked that we continue to use that application.

Mr Fuller: You also knew how to turn it off?

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

Mr Baden-Clay: We both knew how to turn it off that's correct. The application runs on the phone, links into the GPS on it, links into location service. On occasion it doesn't' function or malfunctions and doesn't seem to work properly and we found that through trial and error the way to restart it was to turn off and turn it back on again

Mr Fuller: And on the one day you needed it, it failed you?

Mr Baden-Clay: And on the one day I needed it, it failed me, that's correct.

Mr Fuller: Whether it was Allison's demands of you or your volunteering of those things, it didn't stop you still meeting up with Toni McHugh?

Mr Baden-Clay: No that's correct. On a couple of occasions.

Mr Fuller: Or being in contact with her regularly?

Mr Baden-Clay: That is correct.

Mr Fuller: I suggest you wanted to be with Toni McHugh?

Mr Baden-Clay: That's not correct.

Mr Fuller: She offered things that you didn't get from your wife, the wife you no longer loved?

Mr Baden-Clay: No that's not true.  Allison and I had recommenced our physical relationship in February of that year. Allison and I had been through a period of about nine years where we hardly had any physical intimacy at all. Yes there were a number of women I went to for sex. We've talked about some of them. But Allison and I had recommenced our physical relationship and were rebuilding that.

Mr Fuller: Marriage isn't just about sex is it?

Mr Baden-Clay: No it is not.

Mr Fuller: A relationship is not just about sex?

Mr Baden-Clay: No it is not.

Mr Fuller: It's about trust?

Mr Baden-Clay: It's about a lot of things, yes.

Mr Fuller: You had betrayed her trust?

Mr Baden-Clay: I had.

Mr Fuller: You were continuing to betray her trust?

Mr Baden-Clay: I was communicating with Toni which she was unaware of.  I also had not communicated to her at any stage any of the other women I had a relationship with.

Mr Fuller: I suggest to you that Toni McHugh offered you a different life and you wanted to take that opportunity?

Mr Baden-Clay: That is not correct.

Mr Fuller: That's why you went back to her in December, 2011, because you realised you made the wrong choice in September, 2011?

Mr Baden-Clay: No.

Mr Fuller: That's what the start of 2012 was all about -  you and Toni McHugh planning how you were going to be living together as a couple.

Mr Baden-Clay: No that's not correct.

Mr Fuller: You'd even set the end date - July 1, 2012?

Mr Baden-Clay: We've discussed that.

Mr Fuller: A wife who is watching your every move, who no longer trusted you?

Mr Baden-Clay: She did trust me.

Mr Fuller: You wanted to wipe the slate clean?

Mr Baden-Clay: We wanted to put the past behind us and move forward, that's correct.

Mr Fuller: You wanted to put your past behind you?

Mr Baden-Clay: Yes. I was very ashamed of my infidelity and poor behaviour in that regard and wanted to out that behind us.

Toni McHugh
Toni McHugh

Mr Fuller: If those two women came together on April 20, there was a real risk of a catastrophe for you?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did not feel that.

Mr Fuller: Your double life would be exposed?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did not feel that.

Mr Fuller: You were leading a double life weren't you?

Mr Baden-Clay: No I did not believe I was leading a double life at that stage.

Mr Fuller: You were telling Toni McHugh you loved her and you didn't love your wife?

Mr Baden-Clay: I was placating Toni McHugh.

Mr Fuller: You were telling your wife you loved her and you couldn't go back to Toni McHugh?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did.

Mr Fuller: Your wife had forgiven you once, you had no confidence she would forgive you again did you?

Mr Baden-Clay: I can't comment on that.

Mr Fuller: If that came about you would be exposed to your family, your friends, your profession - the facade that was Gerard Baden-Clay would fall wouldn't it?

Mr Baden-Clay: If what, sorry?

Mr Fuller: If Toni McHugh confronted Allison at the conference?

Mr Baden-Clay: It never entered my mind that that that was a concern.

Mr Fuller: If your wife became aware that you were continuing to see Toni McHugh, that you had sex with her again after September, 2011, that you were emailing her and telling her that you loved her and that you would leave your wife for her?

Mr Baden-Clay: Was there a question there?

Mr Fuller: I said you'd be exposed if those things came out?

Mr Baden-Clay: If they did. There are lot of ifs, that's true. It hadn't been something I'd considered.

Mr Fuller: You'd be seen to be unfaithful? And in the worse sense in that it had occurred on more than one occasion after you had sought your wife's forgiveness, made some promises to her and then gone and done it again with the same woman?

Mr Baden-Clay: Correct.

Mr Fuller: Your business wasn't going well?

Mr Baden-Clay: That's not correct.

Mr Fuller: You had to rely on your friends to invest without security? And if your business failed your friends would lose their money?

Mr Baden-Clay: That is correct.

Mr Fuller: That was the decision you had to make on the 19th wasn't it? When all those things were coming together? You killed your wife Mr Baden-Clay?

Mr Baden-Clay: No, did not.

Mr Fuller: You killed her either in or at your house at Brookfield that night in the early hours of the morning?

Mr Baden-Clay: No, did not.

Mr Fuller: You attacked her and the only way that she could respond was to lash out and claw at your face and leave marks upon it?

Mr Baden-Clay: That is not true.

Mr Fuller: Probably as you smothered here and took her life from her?

Mr Baden-Clay: That is not true.

Mr Fuller: Perhaps she grabbed at your clothing - is that why you had that injury under your right shoulder?

Mr Baden-Clay: I don't know.

Mr Fuller: You overpowered her pretty quickly didn't you?

Mr Baden-Clay: I never overpowered her at all.

Mr Fuller: Perhaps her jumper came up as she tried to fight you off, up over her hands and up around her neck? Or did that happen later as you moved her body or dumped her in the creek?

Mr Baden-Clay: I never did anything to physically harm my wife in any way, ever. So your supposition to then take it further and suggest I did other things as well is absurd and I object to it so I can't answer your question.

Mr Fuller: Her head came into the contact with the fallen leaves at the back of your house or the side of your house didn't they?

Mr Baden-Clay: I don't know.

 Holden Captiva
Holden Captiva Contributed

Mr Fuller: You put her in the Captiva?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did not.

Mr Fuller: She sustained perhaps a minor injury to some part of body that caused her to bleed?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did not  have anything to do with anything that you are suggesting.

Mr Fuller: That's why the blood is on the right-hand-side over the back wheel where the seats are folded down.

Mr Baden-Clay: I had nothing to do with anything you are asking me.

Mr Fuller:  It wasn't enough to noticed but enough to be found? You transported her to Kholo Creek and then dumped her underneath the bridge unceremoniously?

Mr Baden-Clay: No did not.

Mr Fuller: Anxious to get back to your children?

Mr Baden-Clay: The suggestion that I would leave my children for any time in the middle of the night is absurd, let alone to do the dastardly things you are suggesting.

Mr Fuller: That was all done by 1.48am perhaps which is when you put your phone back on its charger?

Mr Baden-Clay: I did not.

Mr Fuller: You started covering your tracks then I suggest to you Mr Baden-Clay? The toys in the back of the car. Shaving. Cutting yourself just at the  bottom edges to help disguise and give some legitimacy to your claim they were in fact shaving cuts?

Mr Baden-Clay: I didn't.

Mr Fuller: Then you told everybody they were shaving cuts, anybody who asked? And you were happy for police to search your house?

Mr Baden-Clay: Yes. I had nothing to hide.

Mr Fuller: Because you knew there was nothing to be found?

Mr Baden-Clay: No because I knew I had nothing to hide and I wanted my wife found.

Mr Fuller: You kept up the facade of the concerned husband?

Mr Baden-Clay: I was a concerned husband and I'm a very concerned father. I remain so. It's not a façade.

Defence barrister Michael Byrne: Were you at any time violent to your wife Allison on April 19, 2012?

Mr Baden-Clay: No I was not. Never on that night or at any time.

Mr Byrne: Throughout your life, have you ever exhibited violence?

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

Mr Baden-Clay: I have been involved in two altercations in my life. The first when I was 10 years old at the second school I attended when we first came to Australia. I went to defend a new found friend of mine who was being bullied and the bully swung around and punched me in the eye. I walked into home later that day backwards and my mother said you have a black eye. To this day I still don't know how she knew. The second occasion was similar when I was at school in Toowoomba, primary school, I was probably 12 years old. Again somebody was bullying a friend of mine at cricket nets. We got into a scuffle, wrestling more than anything. I've never thrown a punch in my life in anger.

Mr Byrne: Your relationship with Allison over the years that you were married - were there arguments?

Mr Baden-Clay: On occasion we certainly did have arguments. I think every married couple probably does.

Mr Byrne: What sort of arguments?

Mr Baden-Clay: There were a variety of things but we never raised our voices to one other. We were always very civil and respectful towards one another. Certainly when we had our children it was our ardent desire that they should never see us in a disagreement with each other.

Baden-Clay not concerned about mistress phoning wife

GERARD Baden-Clay has told the court he was not concerned about his lover Toni McHugh phoning his wife Allison about the real estate conference they would attend together

Under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller, Mr Baden-Clay said he had not contemplated that the two women might have spoken, nor that such a conversation could be responsible for his wife's disappearance.

"That wasn't in my mind," he told Brisbane Supreme Court.

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay had testified that Allison had his phone every evening so she could check his emails, phone call log and texts - one of the conditions following his affair.

"Toni McHugh could have contacted Allison?" he suggested.

She had been upset and knew where you lived, Mr Fuller suggested.

"She'd only been in her job for a week so really wasn't an option for her not to go?" he said.

Mr Baden-Clay agreed.

Mr Fuller suggested Ms McHugh could have called later that night when Mr Baden-Clay was in bed.

He suggested Allison could have "reacted to that and had gone off?".

Mr Baden-Clay agreed it was a possibility but unlikely because Ms McHugh normally would not contact him outside hours discussed.

"You didn't contemplate any risk of Toni contacting your wife?" Mr Fuller said.

"No," Mr Baden-Clay said.

He told the court he did not tell police about that option because it had not entered his mind.

"I was concerned about where Allison was," he said.

"I thought she'd gone for a walk."

Mr Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison at their Brookfield home on April 19, 2012, and then dumping her body near the Kholo Creek bridge.

He said the whole police process had been overwhelming because he was not even thinking about anything beyond his wife not returning from her walk.

Mr Baden-Clay said he did not understand what CIB - Criminal Investigation Branch - stood for or what a crime scene was.

"I anticipated she was coming home any minute," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay could not explain why he called his friends and family before phoning Allison's friends and family the morning he realised she was missing on April 20, 2012.

He said he was thinking about how the day would pan out and trying to think ahead.

"If Allison was found in hospital with an injury then obviously that would throw all the plans for the evening into disarray," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay said he did not feel police were keeping him informed enough about the investigation into Allison's disappearance.

Mr Fuller suggested police contacted him every day of the 11 day before Allison's body was found at Kholo Creek.

Mr Baden-Clay said that might be the case but text messages were not enough for him.

"I was very concerned about whereabouts of my wife," he said.

"I desperately wanted to know what was going on."



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