Gerard Baden-Clay's father knew nothing of couple's troubles
MURDER accused Gerard Baden-Clay's father has described his son's marriage as private, telling a court he knew nothing of their marital and financial problems.
Nigel Baden-Clay said he was "very close" to his son and he loved Allison as a daughter-in-law.
"To me they seemed to be a happily married couple," he said.
"At that time we knew nothing about anything that would be troubling the relationship."
Gerard has pleaded not guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to murdering his wife Allison on April 19, 2012.
Mr Baden-Clay said he helped his son set up his real estate business but had since retired and by 2012 was just helping erect signs each week.
He said he was unaware his son was suffering any financial difficulties.
"There seemed to be a reasonable flow of business," he said.
Mr Baden-Clay said Gerard had met Allison in 1996 and they married in 1997 but he did not learn about Allison's depression until four or five years into the marriage when she sought help from his wife Elaine.
He said he experienced some manifestations of Allison's illness over the years.
"Often we would go around to the house, we would find the curtains or bilnds were all drawn and house in semi-darkness," he said.
"Frequently Allison would be lying on the sofa.
Mr Baden-Clay, who lives five minutes away in Kenmore, said he saw his three granddaughters at least once a week but they had learned early on to respect the couple's privacy.
He said early in the marriage, Gerard and Allison had asked them not to visit without ringing first.
"We interpreted that they wished to have their privacy," he said.
"They didn't readily share with us any aspects of their marriage or relationship.
"They were a very private couple.
"We respected their privacy and we respected that was how they preferred to their lives.
"We were always welcome in their home."
Mr Baden-Clay was the first person his son called on April 20, 2012, before calling police and other friends.
He said he was in the middle of a Skype call with his son in Canada to meet his new grandson who had been born in recent days when his son phoned about 6.40am.
"We were all excitedly greeting him when the phone rang," he said.
"Gerard said to me 'Dad, I don't want to alarm you but have you seen Allison?'.
"I said 'no' and he said 'well she hasn't come back from her walk yet and I'm a bit worried about her'."
Mr Baden-Clay said his son was anxious but trying to be calm when he spoke.
"He said he didn't want to alarm us but he alarmed us," he said.
Mr Baden-Clay said he rushed around with his daughter Olivia Walton, who was visiting from Townsville.
He said Gerard and Olivia went out driving to look for Allison while he got the children ready for school.
High pitched screams rang out into the night
HIGH-PITCHED screams that sounded like someone falling off a cliff could be heard in a suburb close to where Gerard Baden-Clay is accused of murdering his wife, a court has heard.
Fiona White, who was living at Kenmore Hills, said two screams from a female came straight after each other.
"The way I would describe (the pitch) was someone falling off a cliff," she said.
Kim Tzvetkoff said he heard a noise between 7.30pm and 9pm from the Baden-Clay residence, opposite his, while standing in a doorway on April 19, 2012.
"It was a loud exclamation. I can't describe it as a scream, it was more like a startled, cut-short, exclamation," he said.
"It didn't last very long at all; it was an abrupt, cut-short type of thing.
"I believe it was a female voice, startled."
His wife Julie said she believed the noise was between 8pm and 9pm.
"It was a sharp yell out, an urgent yell out and it lasted a few seconds," she said.
"I believe it came from the area of the Baden's house."
Anne Rhodes, who lives in Brookfield, said she heard fighting and a scream about 10pm on April 19, 2012, while she was brushing her teeth.
"It was just a female scream and it was fairly short in duration and there was only one," she said.
Mrs Rhodes said she then heard a dull thud "like a sack of horse feed falling onto concrete or something".
"Fifteen to 30 minutes later I heard a loud thud and quite soon after that I heard car wheels scream and a car go back, in my mind, towards Brookfield," she said.
She conceded under cross-examination that she could not accurately put a date to the scream and had not recalled it when police came knocking about April 19 but came forward on May 1.
David Jenkinson, from Karalee, said he heard a noise about 10.30pm on April 19, 2012, from the direction of the river.
"The first thing that we were alerted to was the dogs barking. That woke me up," he said.
"After that, the noise that I heard was initially two heavy thuds, one straight after the other.
"The only way to described it was like a cement bag or something heavy being thrown onto the ground.
"Probably not too long after that, maybe half a minute, I heard what sounded like a car door close."