hey tough guy Hugh Garth, is this how you wanted to be famous?

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What a tough little weasel, a one punch macho man Hugh Garth is ! This is a massive case if we are to put a stop to the idiotic behaviour that results in young people dying in seconds for mostly nothing. Society has had enough of one punch fools who kill.

Hugh Garth refused bail after becoming first man charged under NSW one-punch laws

 25/07/14 6.30pm 

A man accused of fatally punching another man at a birthday party in Sydney has been deemed a threat to the community and refused bail.

Hugh Bacalla Garth, 21, became the first person to be charged under New South Wales’ so-called one-punch laws after he allegedly hit Raynor Manalad in Rooty Hill, in Sydney’s west, on May 7.

Mr Manalad, who was also 21, suffered extensive bleeding on the brain and died in Westmead Hospital the next day.

Garth, who was charged with assault causing death while intoxicated, applied for bail under the state’s controversial new Bail Act in the Penrith Local Court, where he appeared via videolink.

His mother prayed over a string of rosary beads as she watched the proceedings from the public gallery, along with Garth’s girlfriend.

Garth’s lawyer, Riyad El-Choufani, told the court Garth should be granted bail because he needed full access to his legal team to build a defence to the charges, which are new and have no legal precedent.

The one-punch mandatory sentencing laws, introduced in January, mandate an eight-year minimum sentence for fatally striking a person with a single punch while drunk or on drugs.

Garth was also charged with grievous bodily harm for a separate alleged assault at the party.

Garth ‘an unacceptable risk’

Mr El-Choufani said the charges were serious but “not so grave as to warrant the refusal of bail”.

“There is no suggestion [the alleged offence] was premeditated; there is no suggestion it was planned,” he said.

Mr El-Choufani said the case would rely on a witness who said he saw Mr Manalad grab Garth by the shirt during an argument and Garth had acted in self-defence.

I am of the view the risk to the community is just too great.

Magistrate Roger Clisdell

The court also heard Garth was seeking bail because his girlfriend, Christine Galvin, is 19 weeks pregnant with their first child.

But prosecutor John Walford opposed bail, saying Garth’s significant criminal history meant he posed an unacceptable risk to the community.

“His violence has escalated to this catastrophic alleged hit,” Mr Walford said.

Your Honour would find that it’s an unacceptable risk and the bail conditions would not mitigate it.”

Magistrate Roger Clisdell agreed.

“This is a very serious offence,” he said.

“I am of the view the risk to the community is just too great.”

Garth will remain in Lithgow Correctional Centre on remand.

The matter is due before court again in August.


 

Charges upgraded in fatal punch case

May 7, 2014

Crime Reporter

Died in hospital: Raynor Manalad.

Died in hospital: Raynor Manalad. Photo: Supplied

The mother of man killed by a fatal punch said she does not care whether her son’s alleged attacker was the first to be charged under tough new laws because nothing will bring her child back.

Hugh Garth, 21, is the first person to be charged under the NSW government’s ”one punch” legislation after he allegedly punched and killed a nurse at a western Sydney party on Saturday.

Raynor Manalad, 21, was knocked unconscious outside a Rooty Hill house and died the next day in hospital.

Mr Garth is the first person to face the new charge of assault causing death, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 25 years.

Under new laws introduced in January, anyone who fatally punches someone while intoxicated will receive a minimum eight-year jail term.

Mr Manalad’s mother was trying to organise her son’s funeral when she learned police had laid extra charges against Mr Garth on Wednesday.

”I’m not interested in what happens, nothing can bring back my son,” she said outside her Belmore unit block.

Mr Garth, 21, appeared briefly before Blacktown Local Court, where police laid two extra charges including assault causing death while intoxicated.

”Hugh Bacalla Garth did when intoxicated unlawfully assault Ray Manalad by intentionally hitting [him] with a clenched fist … thereby causing the death of Ray Manalad,” a police charge sheet read.

The court heard he also faced a fresh charge of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly assaulted Myrik Ong, who was hosting the house party on Saturday.

Magistrate Timothy Keady outlined a total of five charges in court.

Mr Garth’s mother sat silently as her son was formally refused bail and told he would remain in custody until his next court appearance in July.

Hours before the alleged fatal punch was thrown, Mr Garth posted a picture of a Southern Comfort bottle on social media with the caption ”get it started”.

A family friend of Mr Garth cried outside of court and said his family was shattered by the charges.

”He would never, ever do this. He would never hurt anyone on purpose. He’s a beautiful person, he has a good soul,” Jodie Webster said outside the court. ”Everyone’s shattered.”

Mr Manalad’s death comes after two Sydney teenagers, Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly, were killed by single punches in Kings Cross.

Police allege Mr Manalad was trying to intervene in a fight between Mr Garth and his girlfriend when he was punched outside a Rupertswood Road house at about 12.30am.

One friend described the Mr Manalad’s final act as ”heroic”.

”May God reward you for all the good deeds that you have done especially for the last heroic act you did,” Mrv Brnrdo posted on Facebook.

Another friend, Amanda Jay, said her heart went out to Mr Manalad’s family. ”Yesterday we lost a beautiful life, amazing nurse, friend and son. A truly genuine man who always had respect for everyone,” she posted on Facebook.


 

Raynor Manalad dies after alleged one-punch assault at Rooty Hill party

Man dies in one-punch attack

RAW VISION: The mother of a man accused of a one-punch death in Minchinbury says she is in shock over the arrest. Nine News.

Raynor Manalad was a nurse, a brother, a son and a friend. He was a man whose life was ended by a single punch.

Police will allege the recent university graduate was struck once in the face outside a 21st birthday party at Rooty Hill in Sydney’s west on Saturday.

He was knocked unconscious and died the next day.

Raynor Manalad, who died after he was punched at a party on Saturday.

Raynor Manalad, who died after he was punched at a party on Saturday. Photo: Facebook

The alleged attack comes after two Sydney teenagers Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly were killed by single punches in Kings Cross.

Hugh Bacalla Garth, 21, of Blacktown, was charged with the assault that led to Mr Manalad’s death and will remain in custody until he appears in court on Wednesday.

It is alleged Mr Manalad was trying to intervene in a fight between Mr Garth and his girlfriend when he was struck outside a Rupertswood Road house about 12.30am.

Raynor Manalad on his graduation day.

Raynor Manalad on his graduation day. Photo: Facebook

On Monday friends and family paid tribute to Raynor Tristan Castillo Manalad, who recently graduated from nursing at the Australian Catholic Univversity.

One friend described the 21-year-old’s final act as “heroic“.

“May God reward you for all the good deeds that you have done especially for the last heroic act you did,” posted Mrv Brnrdo on Facebook.

Hugh Bacalla Garth is accused of punching Raynor Manalad.

Hugh Bacalla Garth is accused of punching Raynor Manalad. Photo: Facebook

Another friend, Amanda Jay, said her heart went out to Mr Manalad’s family.

“Yesterday we lost a beautiful life, amazing nurse, friend and son. A truly genuine man who always had respect for everyone,” she posted on Facebook.

Close friend Alyssa described Mr Manalad as a “beautiful sunset”.

Hugh Bacalla Garth allegedly threw the fatal punch at the party in Rooty Hill.

Hugh Bacalla Garth allegedly threw the fatal punch at the party in Rooty Hill. Photo: Facebook

“Hearing about your passing hits me like a ton of bricks. I cannot believe that you are gone,” Alyssa wrote online.

“It hurts that you are no longer alive because you were the person who would always keep the peace in the group,” she said.

Police have said charges against Mr Garth were likely to be upgraded at his next court appearance.

"Get it started": A bottle of Southern Comfort on Hugh Bacalla Garth's Facebook page.

“Get it started”: A bottle of Southern Comfort on Hugh Bacalla Garth’s Facebook page. Photo: Facebook

“The accused had been at a party with his girlfriend … there was a dispute between them,” police said.

In January this year the NSW government passed controversial new laws which introduced mandatory sentences for deadly one-punch assaults.

Under the new law, anyone who fatally punches someone while intoxicated will receive an eight-year jail term.

Hours before the alleged attack, the accused posted a picture of a Southern Comfort bottle on social media with the caption, “Get it started”. 

The mother of the accused said she did not even know her son had been arrested when she was approached by a Channel Nine journalist on Monday morning.

“My son? Oh my God,” she cried.

Mr Garth appeared briefly before Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, common assault and affray.

He was refused bail and will now spend his 22nd birthday behind bars on Friday.

with Megan Levy

Jenny Lee Cook, bizzare Suicide or something else?

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This case of Jenny Lee Cook who died on January 19 2009 has been bought to my attention so I thought I would pop it up and at the very least folks have a read and give me your thoughts. IT is tragic for the family when suicide just does not seem right and a rushed bungled investigation adds to the concerns they rightly have.

The Corners Inquest Findings

On the surface it’s one of Australia‘s more bizarre suicides. But the family of the victim believes in a more sinister truth.

"A very bright, active girl": Jenny Lee Cook horse riding before her back injury.“A very bright, active girl”: Jenny Lee Cook horse riding before her back injury.

It’s a quiet Monday night in Townsville and an ambulance radio crackles to life in the car park of the far north Queensland city’s main hospital.

It’s a Code 1A: a woman in her early 30s has suffered an apparent cardiac arrest. Lights flashing, siren on, the two paramedics on board, Robert Haydon and Chris O’Connor, accelerate through the thinning evening traffic, hoping to find the woman still alive.

The destination is a residential property in Douglas – a suburb popular with young families that sprawls along the southern banks of the Ross River, about eight kilometres from the CBD. Pulling up in front of a new residence in Sheerwater Parade, they note the outside of the property is in darkness, and unlike some triple-0 calls, nobody is waiting outside. Within moments the two men are knocking on the front door, yelling “Queensland Ambulance Service“.

Jenny Lee and Paul at home.Jenny Lee and Paul at home.

A tall, thick-set, blond man, Paul Cook, a local prison guard, answers the door and says that his wife, Jenny Lee, is lying out the back. Haydon thinks he looks upset, but to O’Connor, Cook appears unemotional as he ushers them through the house, out into the backyard and on to the side of the property. Here the two paramedics are confronted with a horrific sight.

It’s the body of a woman, lying on her left side on a bloodstained plywood board, with her legs folded backwards. There are spots of congealed blood on her forehead and the left side of her chest. She’s wearing shorts, runners, and a sun hat. Strangely, what looks like a section of a sheet has been wrapped around the back of her head, partly obscuring her face, and a bathrobe tie is secured around her throat.

The woman looks as if she’s been dead for some time, her outstretched arms apparently stiff from rigor mortis, but it’s the job of the two paramedics to make sure. Haydon kneels carefully alongside the body, attaches electrodes to her limbs, and finds no signs of life. But as Haydon is about to get to his feet, something very sharp presses into his back and he springs forward. Shining their torches in the direction of the object, the two paramedics are startled to see a large, bloodstained knife poking out from the wall, its handle tightly bound in string and tape and wedged firmly in the gap between the steel window frame and the concrete wall.

"It was so sharp": The bloodstained knife on which it is claimed Jenny Lee Cook impaled herself.“It was so sharp”: The bloodstained knife on which it is claimed Jenny Lee Cook impaled herself.

Haydon immediately radios the ambulance dispatcher to notify the police. He explains that the paramedics are at a likely crime scene, and the cops need to get here as soon as possible.

When the first police arrive at the scene, they find Paul Cook sitting hunched at the kitchen bench moaning. On another bench opposite are his wife’s handbag and some documents.

One of the officers asks him if his wife was on any medication and Cook obliquely says his wife had a bad back, was on antidepressants and was involved in a difficult WorkCover claim.

A police drawing of the scene.A police drawing of the scene.

The reference to antidepressants suggests something was not quite right about Jenny Lee – a hint of emotional instability, perhaps – and maybe even a predisposition to suicide. “She never told me she even thought about killing herself,” Cook would later tell detectives, not even raising the possibility that she may have met with foul play.

He explains to Sergeant Kay Osborn and Constable Damien Cotter, who were tasked to interview him at the scene, that he arrived home at around 6.45pm, and was surprised to find the dog locked up on the property’s front balcony and Jenny Lee nowhere to be seen. He was relieved that she was out – things hadn’t been going well in their marriage. But then he noticed her belongings were still lying about, although her runners weren’t in their usual place. So he decided to take the dog for a walk through the scrubby bushland at the end of Sheerwater Parade.

A short time later he returned home, downed a soft drink, jumped into the shower and began to wonder where Jenny Lee was. He became much more concerned after noticing that a large knife was missing from the kitchen block. He sent his wife a text, and when there was no reply began to search outside. That’s when he came across the body. “She was cold and she was stiff and I moved her lips back and they didn’t [move],” he tells the two detectives. That’s why he didn’t attempt to do CPR, he explains.

'Til death do us part: Paul and Jenny Lee Cook on their wedding day in 1998.
‘Til death do us part: Paul and Jenny Lee Cook on their wedding day in 1998.

During the course of their discussion in the kitchen and another formal interview later that night, Cook repeats his certainty that Jenny Lee killed herself – although he has no idea how she did it. “She had blood coming out of her mouth … what did she do?” he asks Detective Cotter.

Later, Cook says when he first saw her body he thought Jenny had jumped on the knife or she had overdosed. He also talks about the knife, saying, “It was so sharp, that knife, like a f…ing sword or something – I don’t know why I even bought it.”

He tells detectives that he used the knife only two or three times, later changing this to two or three times a year, the first of a series of contradictions in a long and rambling interview in which he revealed that all wasn’t exactly rosy in the Sheerwater Parade house.

Paul Cook.
Paul Cook.

Paul tells the interviewing detectives that while they “never fought”, Jenny Lee would have “a sook” about her chronic back problems “hundreds of times” and would “crack the shits” and be “a moody bitch”. Only the night before, he explains, he’d arrived home to find Jenny Lee sitting on the toilet in the bathroom crying. Ignoring her tears, he asked where his earbuds were, put them on, went to bed and fell asleep.

He admits that he’d set off for work that morning barely speaking to her, and later that day told a colleague that his marriage was over. Asked about his movements, Cook tells police that he left his job as a prison guard at Townsville Correctional Centre about midday to pay a bill at a computer shop for repairs to his laptop, then returned to the jail about 12.30pm. Strangely, the credit card payment receipt in his wallet shows the bill was paid at 12.23pm – giving him the almost impossible task of travelling the eight or so kilometres back to the jail, negotiating a number of intersections and traffic lights, by 12.30pm. He also tells police that he had sent an email to the shop, but the shop has no record of receiving any such email that day.

Within 20 hours of arriving at the scene on that steamy January night, the police decide that Jenny Lee (a woman who hated needles and blood and had a big enough stash of pain medication to overdose if she wanted to) had – without leaving behind any note -blindfolded herself, tied a belt around her neck, put a sheet over the top of her head and deliberately thrust her body on to the knife before slumping to the ground and bleeding to death.

Jenny Lee's parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen.
Jenny Lee’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen. Photo: Debrah Novak

Less than two days after the death, the Sheerwater Parade house is cleared of being a crime scene and Cook is allowed access to potentially important evidentiary exhibits such as the plywood board, still lying in the backyard. There is no dusting for fingerprints on the knife, no DNA test of the board, no search of the house for traces of the string or tape used to wedge the knife into the wall and no follow-through on Cook’s alibi.

Jenny Lee’s death is deemed non-suspicious, a clear case of suicide. But if it’s a suicide, it’s clearly one of the most extraordinary to have ever occurred in Australia: the Queensland suicide register and the National Coronial Information System have no record of female suicide by self-impalement.

Shortly after her death, Cook cashed in Jenny Lee’s WorkCover settlement and superannuation, which along with the sale of the Sheerwater Parade house, amounted to about $800,000.

It will take four years of unwavering determination by Jenny Lee’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen, to have an inquest held into their daughter’s bizarre and tragic death. The inquest will also query a suspected affair between him and an attractive female prison guard (although both claimed this commenced after Jenny Lee’s death). Mainly, though, the inquest will reveal startling omissions in the police investigation into Jenny Lee’s death, and the destruction of a key piece of evidence – the bloody knife – before the coroner could properly investigate.

On the day Jenny Lee diedJanuary 19, 2009 – Lorraine rang her daughter a couple of times, but she didn’t pick up. Just before 9pm, Jenny Lee’s dad, Terry, phoned Lorraine with the terrible news and Lorraine rushed to Townsville.

So many things just didn’t add up for Lorraine. For starters, she couldn’t believe that Jenny Lee didn’t leave a suicide note. “I don’t believe she would have gone without saying goodbye. She always wrote notes and letters,” she says. Nor did Lorraine buy the scenario of her daughter impaling herself. “Jenny Lee would run from a needle. She was frightened of sharp things.”

Jenny Lee was the type who would have left directions about who was to look after the dog, insists Lorraine, and who would get what. “We had an extremely close relationship and I don’t believe she would go without telling me or asking for help.”

After Lorraine arrived at the house, Cook took her outside and showed her where Jenny Lee had died. (“He said he didn’t want any ghosts in the house,” adds Lorraine.) She recalls Cook saying something about Jenny Lee putting on her running shoes so she wouldn’t slip when she ran onto the knife, she says, but Cook would later deny ever making such as statement.

Then there was the presence of one of Cook’s female work colleagues. The woman dropped by five days after the death to clean Jenny Lee’s car, which had to be returned to James Cook University (JCU), where she worked as a water nutrient analyst. “Call it a woman’s instinct but I knew they were close,” Lorraine said after she saw the woman with Cook in the kitchen.

Lorraine says that both she and her husband have been in a personal hell trying to unravel what happened to their daughter. “I lie awake at night and it just goes round and round in my head. For 18 months afterwards I had this pain in the chest, like someone had stabbed me. I’m so frustrated and angry. If it had been [a police officer's] daughter, things would have been done properly. We don’t think Jenny Lee would be capable of doing something like this.”

The 29-year-old had met Cook more than 10 years earlier, while she was studying at James Cook University. At the time the pretty redhead had been in the midst of fulfilling her ambition of becoming a marine biologist and was enrolled at the university’s well-regarded marine sciences program. She had moved to Townsville from her family farm near Macksville, a small NSW coastal town midway between Sydney and Brisbane with a population of about 3000.

Jenny Lee’s childhood had been that of a carefree country kid running wild on her parents’ banana farm, riding dirt bikes around the hills and galloping her horse along the area’s unspoiled beaches, says Lorraine, a retired theatre nurse who still lives on the farm with Terry. “She was a very bright, active girl – she wouldn’t sit on your knee for long,” recalls Lorraine. “When she and her sister were little and they were naughty they would run and climb up the mango tree. I couldn’t get them and they would stay there till I started laughing.”

From an early age the ocean fascinated Jenny Lee, and at age 15 she was already writing to university professors for advice about how to become a marine biologist. In 1998 she gained entry to JCU and moved to Townsville to study. Like many of the young students, she partied in a nightclub scene overflowing with young single men from the nearby military base, Lavarack Barracks – one of the largest garrisons in the country. One night, in a nightclub called The Playpen, the 19-year-old met a handsome young soldier, Paul Cook. The couple were soon dating and within six months Cook proposed.

The wedding was held on Magnetic Island, off Townsville, on November 8, 1998. The video shows a handsome couple – Cook, looking like a tall, solid, Amish farmer with his blond thatch of hair and moustache-less beard, stands about 15 centimetres taller than Jenny Lee, whose curly red hair and white dress conjure up images of a mediaeval princess.

At first, friends recall, they seemed like a devoted couple who did everything together: grocery shopping, cooking, hiking and camping around the rainforests of north Queensland. But things changed in 2007. While attempting to lug heavy buckets of water samples back to a lab at James Cook University for analysis, Jenny Lee seriously injured her back. Over the space of nearly 18 months she underwent two operations that left her virtually immobile and cut off from most of her work friends while she slowly recovered. She put in a WorkCover claim, which led her to see a psychologist, which in turn led to her taking anti-depressants and major pain medication.

Cook, meantime, had left the army and started working as a prison guard at the Townsville Correctional Centre, a jail about 12 kilometres west of the city. As a workplace, it seemed to foster controversial personal relationships. “The prisoners were nice – it was the workers you had to worry about,” says one guard who worked with Cook at the sprawling jail, which has a farm, a high-security men’s jail and a women’s prison.

The guard, who asked not to be named, told Good Weekend that the sex scandals that occurred there were on a scale that “you wouldn’t believe”, with warders often quitting over allegations they were having inappropriate contact with each other, or with prisoners. As recently as last year, the jail’s hot-house staff relationships were still making headlines in local papers, including manager Andrew Pike quitting after allegations were published alleging he’d had an affair with a junior female clerk who also worked in his office – a scenario exposed by posts from the woman’s jilted boyfriend on Facebook.

Whether Jenny Lee knew about this workplace environment it’s hard to say, but she certainly had concerns about a tall, striking-looking female guard in her late 20s who was regularly rostered on to work with Cook. “Jenny confronted Paul, who denied there was anything between them,” says a friend of the couple, who, like others Good Weekend spoke to, did not want to be identified.

In the months leading up to her death, Jenny Lee had never given any indication to her family of problems in the marriage other than a brief conversation with her father in which she implied that sexual intimacy with Cook was difficult because of her back injury.

Towards the end of 2008, friends recalled her enthusiasm about returning to work at JCU on reduced duties. Her doctors thought her depression, brought on by her chronic back problems, was in remission and that she was not a suicide risk (she had previously admitted to thoughts of “cutting herself” in the depths of her despair after her second operation, one doctor would later claim). The couple also moved into their dream home in Sheerwater Parade in November – a new, two-storey, brick-veneer home with four bedrooms, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the river. Life was starting to look up again.

The first sign of trouble on January 19 at the Cooks’ home was a barking dog. Trying to sleep in the house across the road was Janice Cavanagh, recuperating from shoulder surgery, and the noise was keeping her awake.

The barking got worse around lunchtime when the animal began making what Cavanagh would call a “crying” sound that seemed to go on for hours. She got up and thought: “Should I go over and see if it’s caught somewhere?” But because she didn’t know the Cooks, who had only moved into the new home two months before, she decided to stay put. The barking stopped around 4.30pm. About two hours later, around 6.45pm, another neighbour saw Cook drive up and chatted to him before he went inside.

These and other statements were made to coronial investigators for an inquest that was held late last year. The statements highlighted questions and contradictions in Paul Cook’s account of events on the day of his wife’s death, and shortcomings in the initial investigation. For instance, Cook told police that his movements could be easily confirmed by the jail’s CCTV cameras. But detectives never checked, and in any case, renovations were being undertaken at the jail at the time and the cameras at the entry and exit gates weren’t working. Jail logbooks, which had Cook entering the jail at 7.30 on the morning of his wife’s death and leaving at 12.49pm, were also incomplete, with no record of him re-entering the prison that day.

Maderline Ronan, another prison employee who was rostered on with Cook that day, described him in her statement to the inquest as “very quiet” and didn’t know where he was between 11am and 1.30pm. Later in the afternoon, Cook told her he had a headache and finished up early, around 5.30pm. This raised questions about where he had been until 6.45pm, when he arrived home, as the drive between the jail and Sheerwater Parade is about 15 minutes. (Jenny Lee was suspected of dying some time between 8am and 2pm, according to the autopsy.)

Cook’s statements to police indicate he was increasingly frustrated by his wife’s pessimism and depression, such as on the night before her death, when he ignored her sadness and crying and went to bed early with his earbuds in. But his later account to WorkCover was radically different: “That night in bed she cried as she told me of her pain and her concerns about her work future, which had been reinforced at the functional capacity evaluation. I hugged her till she fell asleep,” he said.

Asked at the inquest about the contradiction, he painted a strange picture. He said he had both hugged Jenny Lee and ignored her and then they both fell asleep sharing his headphones and listening to a Phil Collins song he hated.

At the subsequent inquest, Cook calmly gave evidence for nearly three-quarters of a day, without legal representation. He denied having any role in Jenny Lee’s death. Coroner Jane Bentley would later describe him as being “deliberately untruthful” in his evidence, adding that it was likely he had given different representation for the purposes of his WorkCover claim.

Cook claimed that his relationship with the unidentified work colleague prior to Jenny Lee’s death had been strictly professional, with the romance only starting a couple of months afterwards. It began with kiss in a pool at a barbecue after a few drinks and evolved into a relationship with sexual events but not intercourse, he said. Asked how many times he would have phoned or texted this woman before Jenny’s death, he said he would be surprised if it was more than five times. But when confronted with records that showed 52 calls or texts he said: “Obviously I was talking to her a lot more than I’m remembering, but we didn’t have any relationship before that other than friends”.

In her statement, fellow worker Maderline Ronan alleged she’d seen Facebook photographs of Cook socialising at drinks functions with this woman prior to Jenny Lee’s death. Bizarrely, eight months after the death, the same woman was at the centre of a violent row when she was caught by her former de facto “canoodling”, as the Townsville Bulletin headlines put it, in a prison van with a fellow guard. (The woman, whose name was suppressed in the inquest, made a statement to coronial investigators and did not appear at the inquest. After being asked for comment by Good Weekend she said, “I’ve heard about your Paul Cook stuff and I’ve got nothing to say.”)

Coroner Bentley’s findings, handed down in November last year, were damning of the police’s failure to properly investigate and the failure to follow procedures such as failing to retain the knife. But she delivered an “open finding” into Jenny Lee’s death, saying she was unable to determine whether the Townsville woman’s death was suicide or murder.

Sheerwater parade, Townsville, has changed little since Jenny Lee’s death. The homes are still well kept, with dazzlingly clean driveways and manicured lawns lushly greened by the tropical weather. Most residents have largely forgotten the dreadful tragedy that occurred in their sleepy patch of surburbia.

Those who do remember the couple have nothing bad to say about Paul Cook, with one describing him as a “gentle giant”. (Cook, after initially offering to answer any questions supplied by Good Weekend, later withdrew his co-operation, saying in an email, “I’m not going to comment, sorry.”

In the meantime, Jenny Lee’s parents have not given up the quest to find out what happened to their daughter. Lorraine has just been in Townsville once again, walking in her daughter’s footsteps on the streets of Douglas, in the city centre, and at James Cook University, showing photographs of Jenny Lee and Cook to locals. “It might make somebody remember what they saw,” she says.


 

Police yet to act on bungled ‘suicide’ investigation

July 19, 2014

Investigative journalist

Email Rory

Police have failed to act on a recommendation to take action over an apparently bungled investigation into the impalement death of a NSW woman in Townsville.

The incident is the latest twist in the extraordinary case of Macksville woman Jenny Lee Cook, who was found dead in 2009 after seemingly impaling herself on a kitchen knife wedged into a wall at the North Queensland home she shared with her prison guard husband, Paul James Cook.

Queensland police took fewer than 24 hours to write the death off as a suicide despite Mrs Cook, 29, not leaving a note and there being no other case in the Queensland suicide register or other coroner databases of a woman killing herself in such a way.

They also failed to fingerprint the knife, search the house for articles used to jam the knife in the wall, check on her husband’s whereabouts around the time of death, or seize important potential exhibits or DNA test them.

The knife used in the killing was destroyed before further tests or investigation by the coroner’s team could take place.

Mr Cook, who found his wife’s body, has denied any involvement in the death. He did admit there had been problems in the marriage.

As a result of his wife’s death he received $800,000, which included money from her life insurance, a work cover claim she had been pursuing, her superannuation and from the sale of their house.

After years of lobbying, Mrs Cook’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen, late last year convinced Queensland authorities to hold an inquest into the death.

Coroner Jane Bentley found Mr Cook evasive and untruthful in his evidence and said because of the problems with the investigation she could not make a finding of suicide.

She recommended the Commissioner of Police consider whether any action should be taken into the inadequacy of the investigation.

This week – more than six months after the ruling – the Queensland Police Service have not acted.

A QPS spokesman said: “Ethical Standards Command continues to overview the review of the coronial file in relation to the death of Jenny Lee Cook. It is anticipated this matter will be finalised in the near future”.

The counsel representing the deceased family in the inquest, Marjorie Pagani, said she had been shocked at the way the investigation was conducted.

“I was appalled by the shoddiness of the investigation and what appeared to be total disregard for the proper coronial and police process and this has resulted in primary and most significant evidence having been destroyed under police authority, despite an ongoing inquest,” she said.

“The impact on the entire family was tragic. They felt as though they have been done a severe injustice because of police processes and they will probably never forgive the people responsible.”

Fairfax Media has also learnt that contradictions in some of the statements were never put to some of the witnesses during the inquest, and that a woman who was alleged to have had a relationship with Mr Cook soon after Mrs Cook’s death was also never called to give evidence. Her name has been suppressed.

The Pullens have called for the inquest to be reopened and for the suppression of the woman’s name to be lifted.

The coroner’s office said the name was suppressed because of allegations of an extra-marital affair.


 

How did Jenny Cook die?

How did Jenny Cook die?

Jenny’s family outside court

TOWNSVILLE woman Jenny Lee Cook was quirky and fun, had an infectious laugh, and was conquering milestones from a young age.

Her mother Lorraine Pullen recalled her daughter, with a big grin on her face, climbing to the top of a step ladder before she was 18 months old.

“Her first attempt at putting on makeup (she was) about two – eye shadow, rouge and lipstick, and plenty of it. Like face painting,” Mrs Pullen said.

Jenny learned to ride motorbikes at four, enjoyed horse riding and loved her Boxer dog, Nikeisha.

In happier times, Jenny and husband Paul Cook would often be seen walking Nikeisha around the streets of Douglas in the evenings.

But on January 19, 2009, something “bizarre and unusual” occurred at their immaculate home.

Mrs Cook, 29, was found dead, her body lying on a piece of plywood in the side garden by Mr Cook.

Her death was “prematurely” deemed a suicide but there were many questions unanswered.

Was she murdered? Did her husband do it? Was the police investigation adequate?

Coroner Jane Bentley convened an inquest in Townsville this week in a bid to find answers to those questions.

They are questions that have lingered for Jenny’s parents for years, but a “vastly inadequate” police investigation and the destruction of a key piece of evidence means they may never get answers.

The lack of investigation by police was slammed by barrister Kerri Mellifont QC during closing submissions yesterday, with chief investigator Detective Senior Sergeant Kay Osborn recommended for disciplinary action or re-training.

During the five day inquest, the court heard Mrs Cook, a nutrient analyst at James Cook University, had been on anti-depressants and suffered back pain following a workplace accident several years prior to her death, and had been involved in protracted negotiations for compensation.

On the day of her death, Mr Cook, a former prison officer, came home but could not find his wife.

He sent her a text message at 7.38pm but heard her phone in the house, and noticed a knife missing from the knife block.

He found her body lying on a large sheet of plywood, with a sheet or bandage covering her face, and a large knife, wrapped in string and secured with tape, wedged between a security screen and a window.

No suicide note was located and an autopsy found she died from a wound to her chest.

Paramedic Robert Hayden told the court Mr Cook appeared “upset” when they arrived at the house.

He said rigor mortis had set in, but he could not estimate how long Mrs Cook had been dead.

Detective Senior Constable Damien Cotter, Det Sen Sgt Osborn’s partner, said he formed the view Mrs Cook’s death was a suicide after Professor David Williams gave a verbal preliminary report that her wound was “consistent” with a self-inflicted injury.

Barrister Marjorie Pagani, for Mrs Cook’s parents, asked whether the wound could also be consistent with a person being pushed on to a knife. He replied “yes”.

A NSW forensic officer also could not rule out the possibility she was pushed on to the knife.

Police released the scene shortly after hearing Prof William’s preliminary findings — less than 20 hours after the first call to triple zero.

Det Sen Const Cotter said he was not aware of any other investigations after the scene was released, but said police treated it as a homicide until they received the preliminary autopsy findings.

Both Ms Mellifont and Ms Pagani criticised how quickly police concluded Mrs Cook’s death was self-inflicted.

Mr Cook was asked if he played a role in his wife’s death. He said “no”.

He was questioned about his relationship with a female colleague, ­referred to only as the “unnamed ­female”.

Phone records show he made 52 texts or calls to the woman in the six weeks before his wife’s death. He made only 14 contacts with his wife, by text or call, between November 3, 2008 and January 19, 2009.

He denied having an extra-marital affair with the unnamed woman but a friend confirmed they had a physical relationship in the weeks after his wife’s death.

It was revealed police never investigated Mr Cook’s movements on the day his wife died, or confirmed his version of events, whether he had any financial motive, or if he was having any extra-marital affairs.

Ms Mellifont conceded, in closing submissions, that Mr Cook could be completely innocent, but the lack of investigation by police had let him and Mrs Cook’s parents down.

But Det Sen Sgt Osborn could face disciplinary proceedings after authorising the destruction of the knife.

She denied knowing a coroner could request exhibits, saying she believed the knife could be destroyed because the police investigation was done.

Coroner Jane Bentley is expected to hand down her findings on Friday.

Mrs Cook’s friend Dee, who sat through proceedings, said Mrs Cook was the kindest person.

“Soft by nature, and extremely helpful,” she said. “She was not confrontational or violent in any way.

“It (the way she died) was so violent. For someone who was such a planner it’s hard to comprehend she made such a permanent solution without a note or list for anyone.”


Coronial inquest into the death of Jenny Lee Cook

A CORONIAL inquest is examining whether Jenny Lee Cook, a young Townsville woman whose 2009 death was deemed a suicide, was actually murdered, with the police investigation into her death also in the spotlight.

At the centre of the mystery is a large knife, wrapped in string and tape, located wedged between a security screen and a window.

The hearing, which began before Coroner Jane Bentley in Townsville on Monday, was asked by Mrs Cook’s parents Lorraine and Terry Pullen.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook, 29, a nutrient analyst at James Cook University, had lived with her husband Paul James Cook in Douglas before her body was found in the side garden on January 19, 2009.

On the opening day of the inquest, barrister Kerri Mellifont, QC, said Mr Cook arrived home about 7pm, but could not find his wife.

He took their dog Nikeisha, a boxer, for a walk and when he returned Mrs Cook was nowhere to be found.

Mr Cook sent his wife a text message at 7.38pm but heard her phone in the house and noticed a knife missing from the knife block. He found Mrs Cook in a pool of blood at the side of their house.

Ms Mellifont said no suicide note was located and an autopsy revealed her cause of death was a wound to the left side of her chest.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook had been on anti-depressants and suffered back pain following a workplace accident several years before her death and had been involved in protracted negotiations for compensation.

Detective Senior Constable Damien Cotter, a plain clothes officer in 2009, said the scene was released back to Mr Cook after preliminary results from the pathologist concluded Mrs Cook’s injuries were consistent with being self-inflicted.

Barrister Marjorie Pagani, for Mr and Mrs Pullen, asked whether those same injuries could be consistent with a person being pushed on to a knife.

Det Sen Constable Cotter replied “yes”.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook had been upset and crying the night before her death, with Mr Cook saying he hugged her and they lay in bed listening to music. He said that looking back, there were signs his wife needed help.

On the night Mr Cook found his wife’s body, he said it was obvious she had been dead for a while. He recalled being instructed to do CPR, but her mouth was black with blood.

“I dropped the phone, put my hands on the lawn and grabbed the grass. I think I screamed,” Mr Cook said.

Mr Cook was also questioned about his relationship with a female colleague, ­referred to as the “unnamed ­female”.

Phone records showed Mr Cook made 52 contacts, by text or call, to the unidentified female in the six weeks before his wife’s death.

In comparison, he made 14 contacts with his wife, by text or call, between November 3, 2008 and January 19, 2009.

The inquest heard Mr Cook made a claim against his wife’s life insurance in the weeks after her death, and also sold the marital home for $570,000.

Ms Mellifont asked Mr Cook if he had any involvement in his wife’s death. “No,” he said.

The inquest continues today.

28 Aussies among 298 killed as Malaysia Airlines ‘blown out of sky’ by missile over Ukraine

Featured


Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

Make no mistake this, is a terrorist attack on 298 citizens of the world, but sad and importantly for us here, on 28 Australians and their family and friends…

This was originally a page I made yesterday but I can’t stick pages to top of site.

 

MH17: Investigators find large part of plane and more bodies at Malaysia Airlines crash site

25/07/14 2pm

Investigators have found a previously undiscovered part of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 along with more bodies more than a week after the Boeing 777 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

It is understood the location of the bodies has been marked with a white flag, but investigators do not have the facilities available to handle human remains.

The discovery has highlighted an urgent need for the area to be thoroughly searched, but continued fighting in the surrounding region has hampered the efforts of investigators.

A spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Bociurkiw, says the piece of fuselage that was found “appeared out of nowhere”.

“The most significant find today was we went into a heavily wooded area and found a huge piece of fuselage,” Mr Bociurkiw said.

“I think this is the part of the plane that came down which … travellers would say resembles an airline. The windows were still intact and if one wanted to they could even climb inside and be covered.

“It almost appeared out of nowhere because there were no tell-tale signs, no broken branches, nothing to indicate that a piece of fuselage had landed there.”

Mr Bociurkiw said investigators were also closely examining the area of the crash site where the cockpit had landed.

“The other thing the investigators took an interest in was the cockpit area because there are still personal and professional belongings of the crew in there,” he said.

“There is also a lot of sensitivity around human remains … and for the second day in a row we did come across more human remains, not much, but it does indicate that they are there and … that a very detailed sweep of the entire area will probably be needed to make sure nothing is missed.”

The head of the Dutch police mission in Ukraine, Jan Tuinder, says it remains difficult to get access to the crash site.

Pro-Russian rebels have continually caused problems during the investigation, blocking access to the site and harassing recovery workers.

“The process is not over. There are still remains [at the site] and it’s very hard to get there because there are some – and I would say it’s not politically correct – but there are still some lunatics there,” Mr Tuinder said.

“It’s very hard for us to get to the remains.”

However, the OSCE says there were no incidents overnight, as they were joined by experts from Australia and Malaysia.

Australian specialists join teams working to identify remains

Meanwhile Australian specialists have joined teams in the Netherlands working on the identification of remains from the MH17 crash.

Three Australian officials, including a forensic specialist, have also visited the crash site for the first time, which is now officially the responsibility of Dutch investigators.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning signed an agreement with her Dutch counterpart, Frans Timmermans, allowing Australian investigators to work at the site.

The Government says it will help Australian officials move around and give them legal cover in Ukraine.

“I feel confident that with the legal and operational matters underway that we’ll be in a position to start work on the site without much further delay,” Ms Bishop said.

Asked whether families should prepare themselves for a delay of weeks or even longer before the bodies of the 298 victims are sent home, Ms Bishop said: “We’re not talking about weeks, we’re talking about days.

“I am very optimistic after today’s meetings that we will have had in place the legal and operational framework that will enable our mission to be carried out as soon as possible,” she said.

The Government has sent 50 Australian Federal Police officers to London, with a view to possibly joining an international force, but no decision has yet been made.

Another 74 bodies have been flown into the city of Eindhoven, where they will be examined by forensics experts for identification.

An RAAF C17 and a Dutch military plane were used to transport the second group of bodies to Eindhoven.

A formal reception was once again staged on the tarmac and crowds gathered at the air base’s gates to pay their respects as the procession of hearses passed.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian people face fresh elections in October after their prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned.

Both parties have now pulled out of the government, causing it to collapse. However, in 30 days the president will be able to call fresh elections with the aim to get rid of the old administration.

ABC/wires

MH17: Devastation as human face of tragedy becomes clearer

The attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has claimed the lives of 28 Australians, who were among the 298 passengers and crew on board.

A Catholic nun, an estate agent, a teacher, a husband-and-wife pair of doctors, a businessman and his three grandchildren are just some of those Australian lives lost.

They were returning home but never made it. For their families and friends, life will never be the same.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke for many when he said the tragedy was “a grim day for our country and a grim day for the world”.

“We bleed for them, we grieve for them and we will do everything we can.”

Here are the Australians so far feared to have lost their lives

Malaysia Airlines MH17: Devastation as the list of Australian victims is revealed

A Catholic nun, an estate agent, a teacher, a husband-and-wife pair of doctors, a businessman and his three pre-teen grandchildren. Just some of the Australian lives cut short by the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Twenty-eight Australians were returning home with Malaysia Airlines, but never made it. For their families and friends, life will never be the same.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke for many when he said the tragedy was “a grim day for our country and a grim day for the world.” He said: “We bleed for them, we grieve for them and we will do everything we can.”

Here are the Australians so far feared to have lost their lives.

Sister Philomene Tiernan, New South Wales

Sister Philomene Tiernan, who was killed in the MH17 plane crash on July 18, 2014

Photo: Sister Philomene Tiernan, who was killed in the MH17 plane crash on July 18, 2014 (Supplied: Kincoppal-Rose Bay School)

A Catholic nun from Sydney, Sister Philomene worked at a private Catholic school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

In a letter to students, principal Hilary Johnston-Croke said the school was devastated by the loss of Sister Philomene who had been attending a retreat in Joigny in France.

“Phil was a very much-loved staff member and friend,” she said.

“We are devastated by the loss of such a wonderfully kind, wise and compassionate woman who was greatly loved by us all.”

Father Tony Doherty, who had known Sister Philomene for 30 years, has told the ABC’s AM the school community is in mourning.

“I think the first thing that you were struck with was her gentleness and her courtesy,” he said.

“Her character was quite an immediate sensitivity to people and who they were, so there’s been a wave of grieve that’s met this tragic news in the last day.”

Michael and Carol Clancy, New South Wales

NSW retirees Michael and Carol Clancy, who were on board flight MH17 on a European trip, are being remembered as outstanding local teachers.

The couple aged 57 and 64 were from Kanahooka, south of Wollongong.

Mr Clancy, the former deputy principal of Albion Park Public School, had a passion for teaching disabled children.

His longtime friend and former principal, Jim Cooper, says he suffered chronic arthritis and would teach while enduring extraordinary pain.

“The sad part for us as well is we were all planning to get together with a group of friends tomorrow actually for a birthday party so it’s going to be a very sombre affair,” he said.

Mrs Clancy was also teacher and is being remembered for her community work.

Albert and Marie Rizk, Victoria

Albert and Marie Rizk, who were aboard MH17, with their children Vanessa and James.

Photo: Albert (L) and Marie Rizk (3rd from L), who were aboard MH17, with their children Vanessa and James. (Supplied: Raine and Horne)

Albert, a real estate agent, and his wife Marie were on the final stretch of a European holiday.

The Sunbury pair, and parents of two, were heavily involved in the local Sunbury Football Club over the past decade.

The couple have been described by friend Ken Grech as “beautiful” people.

He said the Rizks had called their son James the night before the flight to notify them of a change to their travel plans.

“[They tried to] move it forward because the interconnecting flight was a nine-hour stay so they thought if they could change their flight they would do so, but unfortunately that didn’t occur,” Mr Grech said.

“It hasn’t really sunk it yet that their parents aren’t going to walk in the front door at home,” he said.

Nick Norris, Mo Maslin, Evie Maslin and Otis Maslin, WA

MH17 victims Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin from Perth

Photo: MH17 victims Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin from Perth (Supplied)

The 68-year-old Perth native and three of his grandchildren were on the flight’s manifest and were understood to be travelling to Western Australia from Amsterdam.

Perth businessman Nick Norris

Photo: Perth businessman Nick Norris and three of his grandchildren died in the MH17 crash. (ABC: Supplied)

Mr Norris was a long-time member of the South of Perth Yacht club and had worked in remote Aboriginal communities in education.

Mr Norris’s 24-year-old son Brack said his father had been accompanying the children: Mo (12) , Evie (10) and Otis (8) Maslin home to Australia.

Their parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few more days but Mr Norris, a father of four, was bringing them home to return to school.

Son Brack described the situation as “surreal” and thought it was “ridiculous” when a sister called from Sydney to tell him about the crashed plane.

“I couldn’t believe it … I love my dad extraordinarily and they were amazing kids,” he said.

The parents of the three children are receiving consular assistance in Amsterdam and are believed to be making their way back to Perth.

Roger and Jill Guard, Queensland

Retired Toowoomba pathologist Dr Roger Guard was killed on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Fri July 18, 2014

Photo: Dr Roger Guard and his wife Dr Jill Guard were among those killed on MH17. (Kevin Farmer / APN)

Pathologist Roger Guard and his wife, GP Dr Jill Guard, were returning from a holiday and medical conference.

Toowoomba Hospital Foundation chief executive Peter Rookas said the pair were well respected in the community.

“Roger and Jill went off on a holiday and then attended a medical conference and were actually returning with doctors from that conference on MH17, so we have lost some absolutely brilliant people,” he said.

Howard and Susan Horder, Queensland

MH17 passengers Howard and Susan Horder

Photo: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 passengers Howard and Susan Horder from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. (Supplied)

Howard and Susan Horder were retirees from the state’s Sunshine Coast.

The couple’s sons released a statement saying they are devastated by the loss of their parents.

“Howard and Susan touched the hearts of many and will be missed,” the statement read.

“They lived a happy life and provided much love and care for all those around them.”

Liliane Derden, ACT

A mother of two daughters, Ms Derden from Hall in Canberra’s north, has been identified as being on board flight MH17.

Liliane Derden Canberra victim of MH17 plane crash

Photo: Liliane Derden Canberra victim of MH17 plane crash

Ms Derden was a public servant who worked with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Canberra.

The NHMRC issued a statement honouring Ms Derden.

“The CEO and staff of the NHMRC are deeply saddened by the loss of our valued colleague and friend,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”

ACT Acting Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was devastating news a Canberra resident was on the flight.

“It’s devastating news for the family and friends of that ACT resident and indeed our sympathies go to not only to the families here in the ACT who are impacted, but across Australia and indeed around the world.

“It’s a great tragedy and it’s certainly hitting home here locally.”

Helena Sidelik, Queensland

Ms Sidelik, 56, was returning home to the Gold Coast after a holidaying in Europe before she died in what colleagues have described as an “incomprehensible plane disaster”.

Her brother Hans Sidelik says she had been to a wedding in Amsterdam and had spent three weeks holidaying in Greece.

He says his only sister will be greatly missed.

“Very very funny person, loved life, not afraid to speak up and just enjoyed life,” he said.

A statement from colleagues at Vision Personal Training said: “We will truly miss your smiling and infectious personality that we have all become super fond of.”

“May your spirit and soul live on within every one of us that you touched, may you be blessed to soar high above the clouds and smile down on us with double scotch and water and may you rest in peace for eternity,” it added.

Frankie and Liam Davison, Victoria

Francesca “Frankie” and her husband Liam Davison, who were onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Photo: Francesca “Frankie” and her husband Liam Davison were onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. (Supplied: Toorak College)

Toorak College, at Mount Eliza, has confirmed that teacher Frankie Davison and her husband Liam were travelling on the flight.

Principal Helen Carmody described Mrs Davidson as a much-loved teacher, colleague and friend.

“Frankie was an inspirational teacher and the most amazing person,” she said.

“She was kind, generous, and truly warm and giving to everybody – she was a very, very popular teacher and was well-loved by all the students, parents and staff.”

Mary and Gerry Menke, Victoria

Business owners Mary and Gerry Menke from the small coastal community of Mallacoota in far eastern Victoria were among the passengers on flight MH17.

The couple were involved in the abalone industry and were producing pearl jewellery.

Jeanette Seignior from Business and Tourism East Gippsland says it is shocking news.

“They work in a unique part of the world – a very beautiful part of the world,” she said.

“You know, abalone’s out in the ocean and Mary owns the local beauty and hairdressing shop in Mallacoota.

“Mallacoota’s not a very big place so it’ll be a great loss for that community.”

Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler, Victoria

Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler

Photo: Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler in happier times. (ABC: Supplied)

Victorian-based finance workers Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler have been remembered as “beloved” staff at IG Australia.

As foreign nationals, Ms Teoh – who was Malaysian – and Mr Mahler – who was Dutch, have not been counted on the official toll of Australians killed in the disaster.

In a statement, IG Australia sent its condolences to the families of the pair.

“IG Australia wishes to send its deepest sympathies … to the families of our colleague and former colleague Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler,” it said.

Ms Teoh graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008.

On social media, David Teoh Qi-en said he had confirmation from Malaysia Airlines that his sister was on board the flight.

“While I understand public opinions and comments on MH17, I urge my friends to remain wise and calm when talking about it and also [to] keep my family and I in prayer as we are going through these tough times,” he wrote on Facebook.

Emma Bell, Northern Territory

Emma Bell, a teacher at the Maningrida College in Arnhem Land, was among three Territorians killed in the incident.

Ms Bell’s friend Bernard Price says her students will be upset at the news.

“She sort of had an infectious nature that rubbed off on everyone,” he said.

“Especially out here, from an education point of view – I’d sort of describe her as one of the very few who actually get it when it comes to Indigenous education.”

Ms Bell had been teaching in the Maningrida community for nearly 18 months.

Wayne and Theresa Baker, Northern Territory

Married former public servants Wayne and Theresa Baker from Darwin were returning home after holidaying in Europe.

The couple have two adult sons still living in the Top End.

Mrs Baker’s mother Angela Turnbull remembers her daughter as a loving and devoted person.

“She loved her job – she only just retired from her job in March in Darwin and their plan was to do a lot of travelling,” she said.

“She was a very devoted mother .

Ms Turnbull says the couple lived in the Darwin region for most of their adult lives.

“Before they got married, they moved up there and then they came home and got married and moved back up there because [the] work situation was better than down here,” she said.

Arjen and Yvonne Ryder, WA

Married couple Arjen and Yvonne Ryder from Albany in the state’s south were on board flight MH17.

Mr Ryder worked for the Department of Agriculture while his wife was a teacher.

Ruhi Furdowsian, who worked with Mr Ryder for many years, has paid tribute to his friend and colleague.

“The memory I have of him is his lovely smile and approachable attitude that he had,” he said.

“He was a very hard-working person, always on time, always dedicating his life and time to his work.”

Edel Mahady, WA

Edel Mahady who was on board flight MH17 was an administrator at a West Australian Catholic school.


Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 ‘shot down’ on Ukraine-Russia border

  • Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over eastern Ukraine
  • Surface-to-air missile used
  • 27 Australians were among the 298 on board
  • Pro-Russian separatists blamed, but have denied attack
  • The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur

Russian MH17 response ‘unsatisfactory’

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/E5dWEybzreDiDNaDXsF5yLlaPU9ZwEDw/promo229939880&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has told of the difficulty of investigations into the downed MH17 flight, saying it will be weeks before there are answers for the victims’ families.

He said Australian officials have been deployed to the region.

“Yesterday we saw the smouldering wreckage on our screens, today we have seen some of the faces of the dead,” he said.

“As a nation we need to prepare ourselves for difficult and painful weeks ahead as we strive to find out precisely what has happened and who is responsible.

“My aim is to get justice for Australia, in particular to get justice for the dead and the living. The only way to get justice is if there is a thorough investigation and that means getting access to the site as swiftly as possible … it’s imperative that the site is made available to investigators without molestation and hindrance as fast as possible.”

Abbott said the area is controlled by rebels and “bodies remain strewn over the fields of Eastern Ukraine”.

He emphasised just how dangerous the situation is.

“Overnight, a monitoring mission from the organisation for the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe did gain temporary access but it was driven off by gunfire presumably from the Russian-backed rebels.

“This does highlight though the difficulty and danger of this mission.”

Attempts to contact the Russian government have been unsuccessful so far.

The Ukraine government had said it would give Australia all the support it needed to access the site to retrieve bodies and protect evidence.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will be heading to the US to champion Australia’s campaign at the UN Security Council for an independent comprehensive international investigation with access to the site, debris, black box and any possible witnesses.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have deployed six officers to Kiev and more are on their way, including a five-member emergency response team. Australian Federal Police investigators are also on their way, and more are ready to be deployed as the situation develops.

Contingency arrangements have been put in place to repatriate the bodies, he added.

“Although I must caution this is likely to be weeks, rather than days ahead.”

Ms Bishop noted that for the investigation to proceed, a cease fire around the crash site would be required.

Qantas and Virgin have offered their support for any Australians travelling to the site.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Source: Getty Images

 

Meanwhile, the Government doesn’t want the MH17 disaster to distract from its G20 agenda despite growing pressure for Australia to bar Russia from attending the forum later this year.

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has overshadowed the opening of the G20 trade ministers meeting in Sydney on Saturday, where top officials from the world’s 20 richest nations including Russia have gathered to discuss economic growth.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said there was a “steely determination” to find out who was responsible for the disaster but also not to allow it to distract from the task facing G20 ministers.

“There’s no doubt the events are tragic, just tragic,” Mr Hockey said in Sydney ahead of the G20 meeting.

“But we have to move on with the world, bring those people to justice that were responsible for that horrendous act, but also not allow it to distract us from the challenge of creating a world that has greater prosperity and freedom.”

Nearly 300 people — including 28 Australians — were killed when MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. Suspicion has fallen on Russian-backed rebels, prompting calls for Moscow to be punished with trade sanctions.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who met with his Russian counterpart Alexey Ulyukaev ahead of chairing the G20 meeting, didn’t rule out the prospect of trade sanctions if Russia didn’t play ball.

“These are things we need to consider in the goodness of time,” Mr Robb said.

“It is a matter of how Russia responds, co-operates and is proactive in seeking answers.”

Malaysian prime minister’s grief

The step-grandmother of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was on board MH17, the country’s defence minister confirmed.

Hishammuddin Hussein, a cousin of Najib’s, said 83-year-old Siti Amirah was “on the flight”. Siti Amirah was also Hishammuddin’s step-grandmother.

“Pls pray 4 her,” he wrote on his Twitter feed above a photo of her in an Islamic headscarf.

 

 

 

The defence minister’s tweet today confirmed an earlier report in the Star newspaper that said Siti Amirah had embarked alone in Amsterdam on board flight MH17 en route to the Indonesian city of Jogjakarta.

She was scheduled to transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Bizarre account

A top pro-Russia rebel commander in eastern Ukraine has given a bizarre version of events surrounding the Malaysian jetliner crash – suggesting many of the victims may have died days before the plane took off.

The pro-rebel website Russkaya Vesna quoted Igor Girkin as saying he was told by people at the crash site that “a significant number of the bodies weren’t fresh,” adding that he was told they were drained of blood and reeked of decomposition.

Air travel warning

Pilots and aircraft operators are being warned by the Australian aviation regulator to avoid flying over eastern Ukraine, following similar advice from US and European air safety agencies.

No Australian planes are presently scheduled to fly above eastern Ukraine where MH17 was shot down by a suspected surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people on board.

“Australian air operators and pilots considering operations in eastern European airspace (should) take into account all available safety notices and bulletins regarding flights in the Ukraine region,” the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said.

“Particular attention should be given to notices issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.” US aircraft have been prohibited by the country’s Federal Aviation Administration from flying above parts of eastern Ukraine. “The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk … regions,” the FAA said.

“This action expands a prohibition of US flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.”

First photo of pilot

Details of the pilots of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have been revealed.

The plane with 298 people on board, including at least 28 Australians, was downed about 12.15am Sydney time yesterday.

The flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200, was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur but was shot down in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.

The two captains on the plane were Eugene Choo Jin Leong, 45, and Wan Amran Wan Hussin, 50, according to a list.

A photograph of Leong shows him alongside a motorbike. A family member of Leong’s, who did not want to be named, confirmed that he was on board the plane. Meanwhile, Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin’s wife reportedly told the New Straits Times that he had contacted her minutes before he boarded the flight.

The mother-of-two was shocked to learn what had happened when she randomly checked her phone.

“I had just finished my prayers and decided to checked my handphone as the battery had earlier gone flat.

“I was shocked to see a message from my children’s ustaz (religious teacher) informing me that a Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed.

“I was taken aback and immediately switched on the television to see what was going on.”

 

First photo of MH17 pilot

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying Malaysia airlines MH17 when it was shot down Source: Supplied

 

Nationalities of victims

Malaysia Airlines has released a new list of the nationalities of passengers who lost their lives on MH17. It lists 27 Australian lives lost — while the number according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is 28, including a dual-citizen.

• Netherlands: 189

• Malaysia: 44

• Australia: 27

• Indonesia: 12

• UK: 9

• Belgium: 4

• Germany: 4

• Philippines: 3

• Canada: 1

• New Zealand: 1

Four passengers’ nationalities have not yet been verified.

The full list of names have been released in the flight manifesto.

Flight MH17 Passenger Manifest

Day of mourning

Several hundred members of an exclusive Sydney school community have gathered at a church in the city’s east to hold a special mass for a much-loved teacher killed in the MH17 attack.

Sydney nun Sister Philomene Tiernan was on board the Malaysia Airlines flight

Sister Philomene worked for more than 30 years as a teacher and director of boarding at Catholic school Kincoppal-Rose Bay and was remembered fondly by students yesterday.

“The impact of this is just unbelievable in the whole community,” a year 12 student who did not want to be named said. On a cold Saturday morning several nuns, students and their parents and associates of the school arrived at Saint Mary Magdalene church in Rose Bay for a special mass.

Parish Priest Monsignor Tony Doherty said the special prayer service, which began at 9am, would “focus our grief and loss of such an extraordinary woman.”

Sister Philomene Tiernan, aged 77, was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17.

Sister Philomene Tiernan, aged 77, was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17. Source: Supplied

People leave the church after Sister Philomene Tiernan’s memorial. Picture: Damian Shaw

People leave the church after Sister Philomene Tiernan’s memorial. Picture: Damian Shaw Source: News Corp Australia

The world has been rocked by the tragedy, with people attending a range of memorial sites.

Floral tributes are seen for Sunbury (Victoria) couple Albert Rizk and his wife Marie Riz

Floral tributes are seen for Sunbury (Victoria) couple Albert Rizk and his wife Marie Rizk. Source: Getty Images

Melburnians begin to leave floral tributes to those lost aboard MH17.

Melburnians begin to leave floral tributes to those lost aboard MH17. Source: News Corp Australia

A visitor places flowers at a temporary memorial for the victims in Berlin.

A visitor places flowers at a temporary memorial for the victims in Berlin. Source: Getty Images

A candle burns nex to flowers at the entrance to Schiphol Airport.

A candle burns next to flowers at the entrance to Schiphol Airport. Source: Getty Images

‘Ban Putin from G20’

Australia should consider uninviting Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Brisbane G20 meeting over his government’s “reckless and stupid” actions leading up to the MH17 disaster, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

Mr Shorten said he was fully supportive of the Australian government’s strong stance over the apparent downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“For an outside nation to have supplied these Ukrainian rebels with this weaponry of war and murder is a very, very reckless and stupid act,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

“It is in the interests of resolving what has happened that all of the great powers, including the Russian Federation, support what was said at the United Nations Security Council last night.” The council called for a thorough investigation of the crash. Mr Shorten said the Australian government should consider barring Mr Putin from the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane if the country did not support the investigation.

“If the Russian Federation will not co-operate to help resolve and get to the heart of what has happened here, I don’t think Australians would welcome them coming to the G20,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Source: News Corp Australia

Royal condolences

Prince William has expressed his sympathy for all those affected by the disaster, noting in particular the impact on Australians.

Speaking at Australia House in London, the Duke of Cambridge spoke of his great sadness.

“For all of us who have lost fellow countrymen and women in the tragedy, words cannot do justice to our sense of loss,” he said. “For Australians, for our Malaysian brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth, the crash is a particularly cruel tragedy, coming so soon after the loss of MH370.” He said his family’s thoughts and prayers were with everyone affected.

The Duke was at Australia House to unveil a statue of Matthew Flinders, the first explorer to circumnavigate Australia.

Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer also spoke about the tragedy, asking for a moment’s silence for those killed.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and his brother Prince Harry stand on the

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his brother Prince Harry. Source: AFP

Obama speaks out

US President Barack Obama has sent his condolences to the families of victims. He has also paid tribute to AIDS researchers and activists who were bound for an international conference in Melbourne.

The president phoned Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discuss the tragedy.

“The president expressed condolences on behalf of the American people to the Australian families who lost loved ones on board the flight,” a statement from the White House said today.

US President Barack Obama addresses the plane crash of flight MH17.

US President Barack Obama addresses the plane crash of flight MH17. Source: AFP

Death toll

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned the Australian death toll may still rise as investigators work to uncover the identities of 41 victims of the MH17 disaster who are not yet accounted for.

Speaking on Sky News last night, Ms Bishop also confirmed a 28th Australian death is that of a dual citizen.

The Foreign Minister has issued a stark warning to Russia as it becomes increasingly clear that pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are responsible for bringing down the jet.

Using language that is more direct than is custom in international relations, Ms Bishop made it clear Australia would use its position on the United Nations Security Council to push for an international investigation and warned Russia not to stand in the way.

“Russia has a crucial role to play in all of this. If, as Russia claims, Ukraine is responsible for this, I expect Russia to support a thorough investigation”, she said.

Ms Bishop’s words were backed by the UN Security Council, which passed a unanimous motion calling for a full and thorough investigation.

“The members of the Security Council called for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability,” the council said in a unanimous declaration.

The UN statement expressed the council’s “deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims, and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash.”

Council members stood in a moment of silent tribute to the 298 victims at the start of an emergency council meeting. The council called for an investigation “in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability.”

It stressed the need for “immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident.”

Ms Bishop also said she had been unable to get in touch with her Russian counterpart, who is on holidays, and was told by the Russians she could not speak to a more junior representative.

The comments came after Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier condemned the initial response of the Russian Ambassador to the MH17 disaster.

Julie Bishop following her meeting with the Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov.

Julie Bishop following her meeting with the Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov. Source: AFP

Mr Abbott said it was “highly probable” MH17 was “shot down” by what appeared to be a Russian-backed rebel missile.

Yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister revealed the first response from the Russian Ambassador was to blame Ukraine forces for the tragedy — a response he called “deeply, deeply unsatisfactory”.

The ambassador had been summoned to speak in Sydney with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was seeking assurances Russia would co-operate with investigators and Australia would get access to the crash site.

Mr Abbott repeated his statement made in Parliament that the disaster was a crime and not an accident.

Rescue crews walk through the crash site.

Rescue crews walk through the crash site. Source: AP

Australia was working for a binding UN Security Council resolution to secure an independent international investigation, he said.

“It’s very important that we don’t allow Russia to prevent an absolutely comprehensive investigation.”

Mr Abbott said Australia was eager to take a leading role in the investigation, given the high number of Australians killed.

“These people were innocent people going about their lives … And they have been killed by Russian-backed rebels … Possibly with Russian supplied missiles.”

He had strong words for those that supplied the rebels with the missile.

“Anyone who gave such a weapon to people who were absolutely incapable of using it … Should feel a sense of shame.”

He said Russia’s involvement would be a test for that country. “There can be no excuses, no buck passing.”

Mr Abbott said there would be a national day of mourning and ordered flags at government buildings to be flown at half-mast tomorrow.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said anyone with concerns for friends or family can call the hotline on 1300 555 135.

People search for bodies near the wreckage of Flight MH17

People search for bodies near the wreckage of Flight MH17 Source: AFP

THE VICTIMS

Malaysia Airlines says there were 298 people on board, not 295 as originally stated. At least 28 of the victims are Australian.

Among the dead are Victorian couple Albert and Marie Rizk, who are believed to have missed an earlier flight and ended up on MH17.

Mr Rizk, a local real estate agent, and his wife, who have two children, were due to return home from Europe today after spending a month abroad on holidays.

Other victims are 27-year-old Melbourne student Elaine Teoh, Sister Philomene Tiernan — a teacher at eastern Sydney’s Catholic girls’ school — and Perth management consultant Nick Norris, who was travelling with his grandchildren.

Denis Napthine, the Premier of Victoria, said it was likely there were permanent residents of Australia travelling on other passports who were also killed in the crash.

Albert Rizk (on left) and wife Marie (third from left) the couple believed to be on fligh

Albert Rizk (on left) and wife Marie (third from left) the couple believed to be on flight MH-17. Source: Supplied

The airline confirmed that those on board included 28 Australians, as well as 154 Dutch, 43 Malaysians, 12 Indonesian (including one infant), nine from the UK, four German, four Beligum, three Filipinos, one Canadian. The nationalities of 41 others on the plane were still unknown.

RELATED: The lives lost on MH17

RELATED: Passenger’s tragic last words

RELATED: The families that should have been on MH17

Malaysia Airlines plane shot down

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smouldering in a field July 17, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine near the Russian border. Source: Getty Images

REACTION

Government minister Ian MacFarlane has played down the possibility that Vladimir Putin could be excluded from the G20 summit in Brisbane in November.

“It’s not a security forum and therefore while we need to be mindful that an investigation does have to take place and we do have to obviously see exactly what’s happened here, in terms of the G20, it is an economic forum not a security forum.”

In the US, Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, and possible presidential candidate, said in a television interview that indications pointed to Russian-backed side and action was needed to “put [Vladimir] Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by”.

“The questions I’d be asking is, number one, who could have shot it down? Who had the equipment? It’s obviously an anti-aircraft missile. Who could have had the expertise to do that? Because commercial airlines are big targets, but by the time they got over that part of Ukraine they should have been high, so it takes some planning [to target such a plane].

“And the Ukrainian government has been quick to blame it on terrorists, which is their name for the Russian insurgents. And there does seem to be some growing awareness that it probably had to be Russian insurgents.”

A firefighter stands among the wreckage. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

A firefighter stands among the wreckage. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

AIDS CONFERENCE

One of those on board was HIV researcher Joep Lange, who was on his way to Melbourne from the Netherlands to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference, AIDS2014.

As many as 100 of the passengers were thought to be headed to Melbourne for the conference. Organisers have confirmed it will go ahead as planned

“The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today,” a statement from the International AIDS Society said.

“At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.”

The event is to be held in Melbourne from July 20-25.

People stand next to the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FA

People stand next to the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Australian passport found at Malaysia Airlines wreckage site. Photo: Live Leak

Australian passport found at Malaysia Airlines wreckage site. Photo: Live Leak Source: Supplied

Earlier, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko was quoted as saying the plane had been shot down by a ground-to-air missile.

According to CNN senior US officials have concluded the plane was shot down but were divided over the origin.

“One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday,” CNN is reporting.

A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit.

RELATED: Russian rebels ‘likely responsible’

RELATED: Warnings ignored on Ukraine’s airspace

INTERCEPTED PHONE CALLS

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has reportedly released recordings of intercepted phone calls between Russian military intelligence officers and members of terrorist groups that took place about 20 minutes after the crash.

One call was apparently made by Igor Bezler, who the SBU says is a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Igor Bezler: “We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).”

Vasili Geranin, a colonel in the main intelligence department Russian Federation armed forces then asks: “Pilots. Where are the pilots?”

Bezler replies: “Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.”

“We have just shot down a plane” (translated)

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A second call was between militants nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” about 40 minutes later.

“It’s 100 per cent a passenger (civilian) aircraft,” Major is recorded as admitting that he had seen no weapons on site. “Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.”

Australian Federal MP Christopher Pyne said there was no doubt that the plane was shot out of the sky. But Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that at this stage it had been unable to verify the cause of the tragedy.

Earlier Mr Gerashchenko told the Wall Street Journal pro-Russia rebels had set up a ground-to-missile battery near the Russian border by the town of Snizhne.

“They clearly thought that it was a military transport plane that they were shooting at,” he said. “They were the ones who did this.”

Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lump

Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

WHAT HAPPENED?

The plane appeared to have broken up before hitting the ground, and the burning wreckage — which included body parts and the belongings of passengers — was scattered over a wide area.

It came down near the town of Shaktarsk, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, and shocking photos of bodies among the wreckage have been posted on Twitter.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/xzcGQxbzqWKQW6VqrZX4PzLKRv_cnPXa/promo229894102&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

“Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border,” the carrier said in a statement on Facebook.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing an act of terrorism and called for an international investigation into the crash.

Some are blaming Russia for allegedly supporting the separatists but a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said allegations that Russia had been involved in the incident was “stupidity”.

Ukrainian woman lies down in front of Dutch embassy holding a poster reading “Putin is a

Ukrainian woman lies down in front of Dutch embassy holding a poster reading “Putin is a killer”. AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov Source: AP

Mr Putin has blamed Ukraine for the crash, “Undoubtedly, the government in whose air space this happened bears responsibility for this terrible tragedy,” a Kremlin statement says.

Putin reportedly opened a meeting with his economic advisers by calling for a moment of silence over the crash.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy,” he said, according to the statement.

The village of Grabovo is currently under the control of the separatists and the area has seen severe fighting between the two sides in recent days.

A man stands next to the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines plane. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FA

A man stands next to the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines plane. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

SEPARATIST MOVEMENT

Ukraine is a country in crisis. The region where MH17 went down has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists in recent days. Ukraine has been in crisis ever since pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by a protest movement among citizens wanting closer ties with the European Union. Russia later annexed the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, and pro-Russians separatists in the country’s eastern regions began occupying government buildings and pressing for independence. Moscow denies Western charges it is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest.

Wreckage near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGE

Wreckage near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Luggage on the site of the crash of the crash. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET

Luggage on the site of the crash of the crash. Picture: AFP /DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Flames among the wreckage. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET

Flames among the wreckage. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

SEPARATISTS BLAMED

In a statement, Mr Poroshenko said the plane “disappeared from radar screens”.

“In recent days, this is the third tragic accident after the Russian territory were downed aircraft AN-26 and SU-25 Armed Forces of Ukraine. We do not exclude that this aircraft was also shot down, and stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not commit any action to defeat the purposes of the air,” Mr Poroshenko added.

A defence expert told the BBC that shooting down a plane at that height would have required a long-range surface-to-air missile — possibly guided by radar.

Oleg Tsarev, one of the leaders of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, told Time that the rebels did not shoot down the plane.

“We don’t have weapons that can take down a plane from that altitude,” he said, minutes after news of the crash broke.

But there are reports that rebels did have an anti-aircraft military station and the Russian state media even congratulated the rebels on their new Russian-made Buk missile launchers seized from a Ukrainian air force base.

“The Donetsk resistance fighters have captured an anti-aircraft military station,” the Kremlin’s main television network Vesti announced three weeks ago.

Since then there have been regular downings of Ukrainian aircraft including an AN-26 military transport plane, which was shot down on Monday. Its four crew members were taken hostage after they ejected from the aircraft, rebels later confirmed.

According to The Telegraph, the DPR also posted a Twitter picture of a missile system that it captured when it overran a Ukrainian army garrison on June 29.

A spokesman told Voice of Russia radio at the time: “The forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic assumed control of A-1402 (regiment’s) military base” and boasted of capturing the Buk launcher.

Ukrainian government forces manoeuvre a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher. AP Photo/Dmit

Ukrainian government forces manoeuvre a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher. Picture: AP / Dmitry Lovetsky Source: AP

 

A similar weapon was reportedly seen by an Associated Press journalist on Thursday in Snizhne.

As news spread of the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight, the separatists deleted the Twitter photo of the captured missile system.

A raft of global airlines, including Air France, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, swiftly responded to the disaster by saying they had been avoiding airspace over eastern Ukraine due to safety concerns.

Qantas has confirmed that it has not flown the route across the Ukraine in recent months because it recognised the risks presented by the separatist conflict, during which the aircraft were being shot down.

They were further advised on Thursday to avoid Ukraine’s airspace

In France, a statement by junior transport minister Frederic Cuvillier said he had advised “French airlines to avoid Ukraine’s air space as long as the reasons behind this catastrophe are not known.”

FLIGHT PATH

Flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12:15pm (Amsterdam local time, 8:15pm AEDT) on Thursday and was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6:10am (Malaysia local time, 8:10am AEDT) the next day.

A Malaysian official tonight told a news conference the flight path was approved by the International Civilian Aviation Organisation and was in unrestricted airspace.

The plane disappeared from radar when flying at 10,000 metres cruising altitude, Interfa-Ukraine reports.

The Daily Beast reported the plane’s “black box” was on its way to Moscow for “investigation”.

But the head of Ukrainian Emergency Situations has since reportedly claimed that search efforts at the scene are being hampered by “armed terrorists”.

In response to the disaster Thai Airways said its flights to Europe have been rerouted to avoid Ukrainian airspace.

The company didn’t say when the route changes were made effective or how many flights were affected.

America’s FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has also banned US flights from entering the airspace of eastern Ukraine. Via Mashable.

“The FAA has made official what most airlines were already doing: American flights are barred from entering the airspace of eastern Ukraine “until further notice,” the agency says. Flights were already officially barred from Crimea and surrounding areas.”

The crash comes just four months after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which remains missing

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak said he was “shocked” by the reports. “We are launching an immediate investigation,” he said.

The Kremlin said US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had discussed the crash over the phone.

He said US would offer any assistance it could to determine what happened.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”

A statement from the White House said there needed to be a “full, credible and unimpeded” investigation and urged all concerned — Russia, pro-Russians separatists and the Ukraine — to agree to an immediate ceasefire so investigators could gain access to the crash site.

Malaysia Airlines shot down on Ukraine-Russia border.

Malaysia Airlines shot down on Ukraine-Russia border. In this Press Association graphic the earlier figure of 295 was given before the airline revised the figure to 298. Source: Supplied

Malaysian airlines flight MH17: Tony Abbott says ‘Russian-backed rebels’ likely to blame on ‘grim day’ for Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the deaths of 300 people on board a downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet is a grim day for the nation and a grim day for the world.

At least 27 Australians are among the dead after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, where many of the passengers were due to catch connecting flights to Australia.

Today Mr Abbott said the plane seemed to have been shot down “by Russian-backed rebels”.

He indicated he believed that Russia or Russian arms played a part in the disaster.

“This look less like an accident than a crime,” he told Parliament.

“The bullying of small countries by big ones, the trampling of justice and decency in the pursuit of national aggrandisement, and reckless indifference to human life should have no place in our world.”

“Our hearts go out to the families of all the dead.”

Mr Abbott said Russian ambassador to Australia Vladimir Morozov was being summoned by Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop to seek assurances that the Russian government would fully cooperate with the investigation.

Australian officials are seeking to get access to the crash site and a DFAT team is being sent to Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

“Australia will be working at the United Nations Security Council for a binding resolution calling for a full and impartial investigation with full access to the site, with full access to the debris, with full access to the black box and with full access to all individuals who might be in a position to shed light on this terrible event,” he added.

‘Tyrannical, wild act’, says Shorten

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the shooting down of MH17 was shocking and bewildering.

“Travelling at six miles’ height, this is unimaginable. This is a violation of the rules of civilisation. This is a tyrannical, wild act,” he said.

Mr Shorten said the Government had Labor’s full support.

“The missile that brought down MH17 and the missiles that have claimed numerous other Ukrainian aircraft could not possibly be made by the people who’ve possibly fired them,” he said.

“These separatist terrorists are obtaining these instruments of murder from elsewhere.”

Mr Shorten said it was time for national unity.

“It is a time for temperate responses, for cool heads and measured action,” he said.

“That is indeed the strongest possible response that Australians expect from us.

“This horrific situation can seem far removed from our daily lives but there is no question that the conflict in this disputed part of the Ukraine has now reached Australia.”

Many passengers heading to Melbourne HIV/AIDS conference

It is believed that a number of people on board the crashed flight were on their way to a Melbourne HIV/AIDS conference.

The 20th International AIDS conference is due to start in Melbourne on Sunday and run until July 25.

The International AIDS Society has confirmed its former Dutch president Joep Lange was killed in the crash.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop is due to address the HIV/AIDS conference on Monday.

“I know there will be many empty spots,” she said.

“I think that what we’re doing is mourning with all the world and all that have been lost. We want to see justice but in a measured way.”

The shooting down of MH17 comes while the search goes on for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished mysteriously on March 8.

18/07/14 Updated 35 minutes ago

Up to 27 Australians were among 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet which was shot down over Ukraine with the loss of all on board.

Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was apparently blown out of the sky by a missile near Ukraine’s border with Russia.

Dutch authorities have confirmed 27 Australians were on board the plane. DFAT says it is working to confirm that figure.

US vice president Joe Biden says the aircraft was “blown out of the sky” and it was “not an accident”.

Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists it is currently fighting in the east of the country have both denied shooting the plane down.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said it would be an “unspeakable crime” if the aircraft was proven to have been shot down.

“If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.

However, he emphasised that there are no hard facts at the moment.

The Prime Minister said the Government was making arrangements to deploy consular staff to Kiev to provide whatever assistance they could.

Passengers on board MH17

  • Netherlands: 154
  • Australia: 27
  • Malaysia: 23
  • Indonesia: 11
  • UK: 6
  • Germany: 4
  • Belgium: 4
  • Philippines: 3
  • Canada: 1

Source: Dutch officials

Earlier Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said the downing of the airliner was an act of terrorism.

Media reports suggest the aircraft was downed by a Buk ground-to-air missile.

Russia’s Interfax news agency says pro-Russian separatists have claimed to have found the plane’s black box.

Malaysia Airlines said flight tracking data indicated the plane was at its cruising altitude of 33,000 feet (10,000 metres) when it disappeared.

The BBC is quoting one farm worker in the area as saying, “I was working in the field on my tractor when I heard the sound of a plane, then a bang and shots”.

Another said: “There was thick black smoke from a nearby factory. From my balcony I saw a plane begin to descend from a great height and then heard two explosions.”

The disaster comes just four months after Malaysia Airlines lost contact with flight MH370, another Boeing 777 carrying more than 200 people. The fate of that aircraft remains a mystery.

On Twitter, Mr Poroshenko described the incident as an attack by terrorists.

“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Mr Poroshenko said in a statement posted on the president’s website.

Malaysian president Najib Razak said he was “shocked”.

“I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed,” he said on his Twitter account. “We are launching an immediate investigation.”

The White House says US president Barack Obama has ordered senior US officials to remain in close touch with Ukrainian officials about the downed plane.

Mr Obama has spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin about the crash.

“The Russian leader informed the US president about an air-traffic controllers’ report that came just before their phone conversation that a Malaysian plane crashed in Ukraine,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Other airlines are now avoiding east Ukrainian air space, including Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa.

“Lufthansa has decided to avoid the east Ukrainian air space by a wide margin with immediate effect,” a company spokesperson said.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: Official statements

Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago

Malaysia Airlines MH17: Phone tap reveals pro-Russian separatists claiming responsibility for passenger plane downed over Ukraine

Updated 30 minutes ago

Igor Bezler

Photo: “We have just shot down a plane”: Pro-Russian separatist Igor Bezler.

Ukrainian wire taps appear to have captured pro-Russian separatists claiming responsibility for shooting down a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 289 people on board, including at least 27 Australians.

Ukraine’s Kyiv Post newspaper has posted what it says is a conversation between a separatist commander and Russian intelligence officer Vasili Geranin.

In the transcript, released by Ukraine’s security service, the separatist, identified as Igor Bezler, says: “We have just shot down a plane. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).”

The paper also has a transcript of what it says is a conversation between two separatists identified as “Major” and “Greek”.

“The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first 200. We have found the first 200 – a civilian,” Major says, referring to the codeword for a dead person.

“In short, it was 100 per cent a passenger aircraft.

“These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.””

The paper also posted part of a third conversation between Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin and an unidentified militant.

“Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one – fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this,” the militant says.

“They say on TV it’s AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?”

Kozitsin replies: “That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f***ing flying. There is a war going on.”

Military analysts have speculated that militants mistook the passenger jet for a military aircraft.

Earlier Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said the downing of the airliner was an act of terrorism.

“MH-17 is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack,” he tweeted.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said it would be an “unspeakable crime” if the aircraft was proven to have been shot down.

“If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.

US vice-president Joe Biden earlier said the aircraft was “blown out of the sky” and it was “not an accident”.

Reuben Johnson from defence publication Jane’s Military says all the missile systems in the area of Ukraine where the plane was downed had been seized by separatists.

“We have some telephone recordings that were intercepted by the Ukrainian security service … that has the separatists talking to each other, saying ‘We shot down a plane’,” he said.

“So there’s not too much that’s left to the imagination.”

The conversation between Major and Greek, as posted by the Kyiv Post:

Major: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

Greek: Yes, Major.

Major: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first 200. We have found the first 200 – a civilian.

Greek: Well, what do you have there?

Major: In short, it was 100 per cent a passenger aircraft.

Greek: Are many people there?

Major: Holy sh**t! The debris fell right into the yards [of homes].

Greek: What kind of aircraft?

Major: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

Greek: Is there anything left of the weapon?

Major: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

Greek: Are there documents?

Major: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.


 

This is what Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia Airlines and others are saying about the MH17 crash. There are claims the passenger jet, with nearly 300 people on board, may have been shot down by a missile. All the passengers and crew are dead.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko

This is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack.

We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak

I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

On reports MH17 was shot down:

Look, we just have all sorts of reports and claims flying around. That’s all we have at the moment – reports and claims. I’m very conscious of the fact that the Ukrainian president has made that statement (on the plane being shot down).

I believe they’ve been other statements from people in authority in Ukraine, but we just can’t say.

If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice.

On what the Government can do for families:

We can assure families that at the highest levels of government we feel for them. We grieve with them, we pray for them. That’s the first thing we do, and the second thing we do is to try to provide whatever practical assistance we can in terms of counsel, in terms of repatriation of remains and so on.

This is just a very, very sad time made worse by reports that it might be a crime rather than an accident.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs

The loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine is a tragedy.

Initial reports indicate there were 295 people on board and there are no survivors of the crash. We have grave concerns that a number of Australians may have been on board the flight. Officials are urgently working to seek confirmation with relevant authorities.

If you have any concerns for the welfare of Australian family or friends, you should attempt to directly contact them.

If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call DFAT’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or within Australia on 1300 555 135.

Spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin

The president of Russia asked the prime minister of Malaysia to convey his deepest sympathy and support to the victims’ families.

US president Barack Obama

The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia/Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.

I have directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why.

And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.

Boeing

Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones.

Boeing stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities.

 

4 thoughts on “28 Aussies among 298 killed as Malaysia Airlines ‘blown out of sky’ by missile over Ukraine”

  1. What is happening to this world we live in? My thoughts are with the family and friends of not just the 27 Australians but all the innocent people killed in this despicable act who were just going about there business.I don’t think I will ever fly overseas again.

    Like

  2. Gee up to 108 delegates may of been on board that plane on their way to Australia for a world conference on HIV…Tragic

    Like

  3. Spend your life saving folks (and yourself even) and researching the terrible disease that is HIV/aids to be killed on a flight to share knowledge with other experts from around the world. A sad moment in history.

    Like

 

Wear Yellow for Allison Baden-Clay Day August 1st 2014

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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 

Donate to the Baden-Clay children | BSB: 084 737 | Account Number: 943 084 078.

http://wearyellowforallison.weebly.com/

I will also include information on how to send cards of support and condolences to Allisons family shortly

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Appeals against Murder Conviction

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Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

Just to lighten the mood, GBC needs reminding he was over confident before too! How wrong he was!

cop shop

update 20/07/14

GERARD Baden-Clay was wheeling and dealing behind bars to gain up to $2 million if he’d been acquitted of murdering his wife Allison.

The day before the remorseless killer was found guilty, he bragged to prison guards he would soon be a free man.

And he was set to be a wealthy one too.

Baden-Clay would have walked out to a media deal of at least $600,000, negotiated by his family as he awaited trial.

He also would have collected up to $1 million from his wife’s insurance policies and $440,000 from selling a Gold Coast investment property he had owned with his wife.

Behind the scenes, TV producers flew up to Brisbane to woo the Baden-Clays with huge sums of money if he walked and talked.


 

Allison Baden-Clay’s family make plea as Gerard’s lawyers launch appeal against murder conviction

9 hours ago July 18, 2014

WIFE-killer Gerard Baden-Clay is prolonging the agony of Allison’s family and friends, appealing his conviction just two days after being sentenced.

He claims the jury was “unreasonable” when they found him guilty of murdering his wife and that a “miscarriage of justice” had occurred.

The challenge will likely take more than six months to get to court.

Last night Allison’s family told of their anguish at the appeal.

“It’s been a difficult time for the family, just let her rest in peace,” one of Allison’s relatives said

Baden-Clay was condemned in court by Justice John Byrne for using his wife’s struggles with depression in an attempt to beat the murder charge.

Baden-Clay’s defence team of barrister Michael Byrne QC and solicitor Peter Shields filed the paperwork yesterday shortly before midday.

The appeal claimed a miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been directed the presence of Allison Baden-Clay’s blood in her car was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt it could only have got there from an injury that occurred on the night she died.

It also argued the trial judge should have directed the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Baden-Clay took his wife’s body to Kholo Creek in order to use it as “post offence conduct going to guilt’’.

Baden-Clay’s legal team also claimed the judge should not have told the jury they could consider whether he had “attempted to disguise marks on his face’’ by making razor cuts.

Lawyers are given one month to lodge an appeal. It would then be listed for hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Appeal notices are usually subject to significant refinement before written outline of arguments are lodged closer to the hearing date.

When the matter makes it to the court, Baden-Clay will appear before a panel of three judges. His lawyers will outline why they believe the trial failed and the Crown will respond.

If he is successful, he could be acquitted or the case could be tried again.

update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

An image of a bearded Gerard Baden-Clay that was tendered

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“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.

“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.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

 

Gerard Baden-Clay found GUILTY OF MURDER

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update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“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.

“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.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


 

got him1

A Slide show covering the tragic events that resulted in Gerard being found guilty of Murdering his wife Allison

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have included the Allison’s family’s Victim Impact Statements in the GBC MENU or feel free to access each family members page and make a contribution here

Priscilla Dickie   Vanessa Fowler   Geoff Dickie

SENTENCE

Gerard Baden-Clay, on the night of 19 April 2012, you murdered your wife, Allison.

The killing was not premeditated. But it was violent. That night, you were under considerable stress.

Your financial circumstances were, as you confessed to police, dire. Your domestic circumstances were no better.

You had resumed your affair with Toni McHugh. You kept telling her that you loved her.

You led her to understand that you intended to leave Allison and to be with her.

That afternoon, you told Ms McHugh that Allison would be at the conference Ms McHugh was to attend in Brisbane the next day.

Allison knew nothing about the resumption of the affair.

You deceived her into believing that it had ended in September 2011.

If the two women were to meet the next day, the consequences could have been dramatic, as you realised.

Your unsuspecting wife was doing her best to maintain the marriage.

A relationship counsellor had devised a plan. It allowed for Allison to express to you her feelings about the affair in a brief session every second day.

You had agreed, reluctantly, to that.

The first session happened the night before Allison died; and it had turned into an interrogation.

Allison remained tormented by the affair. She pressed you for details. On the night she died, Allison again questioned you about the affair. All the pressures proved too much for you.

The prosecution suggested that you smothered Allison; and that looks likely.

But whatever the mechanism, your violent attack caused her death.

Her fingernails scratched your face – the act of a desperate woman struggling for life.

Those marks are only consistent with your guilt.

Your shameful conduct after murdering Allison bespeaks a profound absence of remorse.

You took her body to Kholo Creek.

There you disposed of her in an undignified way: dumping her over a ledge to leave her lying in mud, exposed to the elements, insects and wildlife.

Then you put in place – and persisted in – a deception plan.

You used a razor to cut yourself near where she had scratched you, trying to disguise the injuries she had inflicted in defending herself.

You drove around the streets of Brookfield pretending to look for her. You have insinuated that mental illness may have led to drug overdose or suicide.

And besmirching Allison’s memory in that way is thoroughly reprehensible.

You have no criminal history. But you are definitely not of good character.

You are given to lies and other deception: so much so that whatever you may say on any application for parole, 15 years or more hence, will need to be assessed with considerable scepticism.

The   community,   acting   through   the   Court,   denounces   your lethal violence.

The impacts on Allison’s family have been grave.

Their victim impact statements poignantly express their pain.

You took a devoted, loving mother from her three girls, blighting their lives.

Pursuant to s.159A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, I declare the

762 days spent in pre-sentence custody from 14 June 2012 until today to be imprisonment already served under the sentence.

The law provides but one penalty for your awful crime. I impose it.

You are sentenced to imprisonment for life.

Baden-Clay defence offered manslaughter

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team made an application for the case to proceed as a manslaughter charge due to a lack of evidence showing intent to kill. Nine News

MAJOR YELLOW DAFFODIL  UPDATE 11.53 AM 15/07/14

After more than 22 hours of deliberations the jury has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of killing his wife Allison Baden-Clay, the mother of their 3 children.

To the relief of everybody, the jury has seen through his mountain of lies and secrecy, the double life, the excuses and false explanations. Gerard Baden-Clay was the one and only suspect from the very first day and was doggedly investigated by the dedicated QLD Police Service.

How this poor excuse for a human being has manged to fool so many for so long is astounding, but it all came crashing down this afternoon not long after the jury handed in their verdict after they deliberated for over 22h hours.

guilty

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

RESERVED FOR UPDATES AFTER VERDICT ANNOUNCEMENTS

The statement made outside court by a family Representative

Here is Allison Baden-Clay’s family’s full statement courtesy of our friends at the Brisbane Times

“Today, we, Allison’s family and friends, are relieved that we finally have justice for Allison.  The evidence presented at this trial has proven that Gerard Baden-Clay is responsible for the murder of his wife Allison.

It has been a long wait over the last two years, and this result today marks the beginning of our long journey towards healing, and finally allowing us to mourn and grieve for this beautiful woman.

Today is not a win for our family, for it will not bring our beautiful Allison back. However, it is the closure of another chapter in this journey for our family. We have lost Allison and nothing that has happened here will bring her back.  We as a family will grieve her tragic death forever, the memories tarnished by the fact that she was taken from us in such horrific circumstances.

We would like to thank the Queensland Police Service and the CIB officers involved in the investigation, the SES volunteers who searched night and day in all weather, the scientific experts and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who have all worked tirelessly to ensure that we have justice for Allison.  We would also like to thank them for their compassion and support over what has been the darkest of times.

To all of our family and friends that have sat in the court each and every day supporting our beloved Allison, we thank you and hope that you too now find some peace from this result.

Throughout this time, those in the close knit Brookfield community and those in the media and wider public have shown us empathy and compassion for which we are enormously grateful. More so, however, we have appreciated your efforts to protect the privacy of Allison’s daughters.

Our primary concern has always been and remains the emotional and physical well-being of Allison’s three beautiful daughters.  We will help them to rebuild their lives and ask for your support, cooperation and privacy in order to do this.  We have a long way to go ensure that they will cope with a future without their mother.

Allison was a kind-hearted, generous woman, a loving wife and devoted mother whose legacy will continue if we all remember that life is precious and to take the time to be kind, smile at those who pass you by and live for today.

We, her family and friends, didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but Allison will always remain forever in our hearts.

Thank you”

Gerard Baden-Clay given life sentence for murder of wife Allison

Updated 1 minute ago

Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

A Supreme Court jury has convicted the 43-year-old of killing the mother-of-three at their Brookfield home and disposing of her body under the Kholo Creek Bridge, more than 13 kilometres away.

Allison’s family shouted “yes” as the verdict was read out, while security asked for a short break because Baden-Clay was struggling to breathe.

Baden-Clay, who had protested his innocence in the witness box, faces a non-parole period of 15 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Allison’s mother, Priscilla Dickie, said Baden-Clay had “betrayed” her daughter.

“We have all been robbed of Allison’s love,” she said. “The discovery of our darling daughter was absolutely devastating.

“The tragedy of it all is she had so much to offer.”

Allison’s father Geoff Dickie told the court he had been left “devastated by the murder of my precious, gifted and talented daughter”.

It was a case about sex, lies and murder that gripped the city of Brisbane for two years, and the ever-growing queues outside the Supreme Court were a testament to the public’s fascination with the sordid story.

In life, Allison Baden-Clay was a dancer, teacher, successful career woman, devoted wife and mother of three girls.

In death, she became well-known for all the wrong reasons.

Her disappearance in 2012 shocked the tight-knit affluent community of Brookfield. Well-wishers and concerned residents laid flowers at her home, not knowing what else to do.

At the same time, hundreds of police and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers swung into action, combing surrounding suburbs for any trace of the missing woman.

“Please help us, because there are three beautiful little girls of Allison’s wanting to see their mother,” her father had pleaded.

Her mother urged: “Our lives will never be the same – we must, must find her – she’s so precious.”

Premier vowed resources to find Allison

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman vowed to commit whatever resources were necessary to finding her.

“I’m just very sad for the family and friends. It’s obviously just incredibly distressing,” he said at the time.

Timeline: Baden-Clay murder

However, from the moment Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012, police knew this was no ordinary missing persons case.

He had told them she went for an early morning walk and never returned home.

But marks on his face alerted police that something more sinister may have happened.

Hours turned into days, and on April 30 a lone kayaker discovered what was later confirmed as Allison’s body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 10 kilometres from the family’s home.

That day, police refused to say whether Baden-Clay was a suspect.

On June 13, however, he was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.

Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison Baden-Clay near Kholo Creek.

Photo: Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison near the Kholo Creek location where her body was found in Brisbane’s west, June 23, 2014. (AAP: Dan Peled)

Crown case against Baden-Clay circumstantial

By its own admission, the crown’s case against Baden-Clay was a circumstantial one, but the accumulation of evidence was powerful.

A post-mortem examination failed to determine a cause of death due to decomposition, and apart from a chipped tooth and possible bruising, there were no fractures to Allison’s body.

A court photo shows marks on the face of accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay.

Photo: Marks on the face of Gerard Baden-Clay. (Supplied)

But forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne believed Allison did not die from natural causes.

The crown said she died at the hands of her husband, the last person to see her alive.

At the time of her disappearance, Baden-Clay had marks on his face and body that drew the attention of police.

He had excuses for them, though: he had cut himself shaving in a rush; the marks on his neck were where he had crushed a caterpillar that had landed on him while he was watching one of his daughters compete in a cross-country race; and marks on his hand were from a screwdriver that slipped while he was helping renovate a friend’s house, but marks on his chest and shoulder could not be explained by him.

However, three forensic experts testified that marks on Baden-Clay’s face were likely fingernail scratches and Baden-Clay’s claim that they were from a razor was simply implausible.

They said marks on Baden-Clay’s body could also be from scratching, although they were less conclusive.

Then there was the dripping blood found in the boot of Allison’s four-wheel drive. DNA testing confirmed it was Allison’s.

Baden-Clay’s double life

The murder trial exposed a couple living very different lives publicly and in private.

On the face of it, the Baden-Clays were a successful family, running their own prestige real estate company.

But they were in deep financial trouble and Baden-Clay was having trouble paying off loans to friends.

In desperation, he had begged the state Member for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flegg, for a loan of up to $400,000, fearing he would go bankrupt without it.

Baden-Clay was also caught between two women: his wife and lover.

Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh

Photo: (L to R) Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh. (Supplied/AAP)

In marriage counselling, Baden-Clay had professed to want a future with Allison, but at the same time was vowing to leave his wife on her birthday for former employee Toni McHugh.

An email trail between Ms McHugh and a secret account set up by Baden-Clay under the name Bruce Overland portrayed a tumultuous affair, and growing frustrations from Ms McHugh about her lover’s unfulfilled promises.

“Well you’ll have to forgive me that I feel disappointed when this happens. I’m sick of hiding,” Ms McHugh wrote on February 20, 2012.

“I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn’t find out.

“Why should I believe things are going to be any different than the past[?]“

Ms McHugh wrote on March 27 she had looked at rental properties.

“It would be so much easier if you did just move in with me,” she said.

“She can get her own place and the week you have the children you move back to the house.”

I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat – all so she doesn’t find out.

Toni McHugh in an email to Baden-Clay

 

Baden-Clay wrote on April 3: “I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it – I will be separated by 1 July.”

He also wrote an email on April 11 – referring to Ms McHugh as GG – their names for each other were Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Boy.

“This is agony for me too. I love you,” he said.

“I’m sorry you hung up on me. It sounded like you were getting very angry. I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you. GB.”

Until April 2012, Baden-Clay had been able to keep his two worlds separate, but they were about to collide spectacularly.

On April 20, Allison and Ms McHugh were due to attend the same real estate conference.

In the witness box, Baden-Clay passed off his declarations of love to Ms McHugh as empty promises to appease a volatile, unstable and confrontational woman who was infatuated with him.

He portrayed himself as a philanderer, but no murderer: he had affairs with numerous women, but was never going to leave his wife.

Baden-Clay admitted he deceived Allison, Ms McHugh, his family and friends, and in return for his deception they gave him their loyalty.

“My intention was to end any relationship with Toni McHugh and solidify and continue my relationship with Allison for our future together,” he said in the witness box.

But the crown submitted Baden-Clay and Ms McHugh were very much entwined and his deceptive conduct showed what he was capable of.

Allison’s mental health raised at trial

The jury saw two faces of Allison. The defence painted a picture of a woman plagued by depression and unable to cope with the pressures of life.

They pursued the possibility that Allison could have taken her own life or wandered off into the night to her death.

According to testimony from Baden-Clay’s father, Nigel, and sister Olivia Baden-Walton, Allison was so incapacitated she could not get off the couch.

But her friends and family told a different story: she was a woman who was happy and feeling positive before she disappeared.

A GP, two psychologists and a psychiatrist who had treated Allison all said she was not a suicide risk.

Marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie, who consulted with the couple just days before her death, also testified that Allison was hopeful for her future and wanting to make her marriage work.

One thing was clear, however: their marriage was in crisis. Allison’s journal revealed a woman tormented by self-doubt.

“I don’t want to be alone,” she wrote.

“I am afraid of being alone and lonely, maybe because I think I can’t handle it. I am afraid of failing – failing in my marriage and what people will think.”

Allison also had lingering questions about her husband’s affair with Ms McHugh. Some were answered, some were not.

Questions like how many times did they go to the movies together? How did they pay for hotels? Where did they have sex in her apartment? Sex in the family car?

“Did she ever say: ‘I feel bad because you’re married?’”

Three daughters left behind

The trial was the first time the public had heard the three Baden-Clay children speak about their mother’s disappearance.

Heartbreaking video recordings of police interviews with the girls, then aged 10, eight and five, taken on the afternoon their mother was reported missing showed their fear, distress and confusion at what was happening around them.

Baden-Clay wiped away tears while watching his daughters sob as they were quizzed by detectives.

Each described being put to bed by their parents. The middle girl remembered her mother singing Away In A Manger to her.

“Dad said mum had gone for a walk,” the eight-year-old said.

The youngest child said: “She was walking for a long time and we think she twisted her ankle.

“I didn’t get to see her at all because I was fast asleep.”

The eldest recalled seeing her mum on the couch watching TV when she got up to get a glass of water.

“Dad was trying to keep calm for us, but I don’t actually know what was going on in his head,” she said.

She saw “scratches” on her dad’s face, but none of the girls heard anything during the night.

The families and supporters of the Baden-Clays have sat through each day of the trial listening to evidence almost too painful to bear.

They are bound by grief, but divided by loyalty.

The guilty verdict gives them an answer – wanted or not.

But one question remains, and only Baden-Clay can really answer how he murdered his wife.

Amidst the murky personal drama are three little girls who lost their mother and will now have to learn to live without their father.

A JURY has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of murdering his wife Allison.

The former Brookfield real estate agent, 43, pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court at Brisbane at the opening of his trial six weeks ago.

A jury of seven men and five women delivered its verdict shortly after 11.50am today after deliberating for 21 hours before reaching a decision.

Justice John Byrne asked the jury to retire to deliberate on Thursday at 11.10am.

Jurors lined up across one side of the court as they were asked by the judge’s associate: “Do you find the defendant Gerard Robert Baden-Clay guilty or not guilty of murder?’’

The family of Allison Baden-Clay, including her parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, who are seated in the packed public gallery of court 11, cheered as the jury replied: “Guilty”.

The accused was seated in the dock and stood to talk to his lawyer Peter Shields as the judge discharged the jury and thanked them for their service.

Justice Byrne told the jurors he was grateful for their service.

brisbane times

Gerard Baden-Clay appeal likely: legal expert

Date
July 16, 2014 – 2:29PM
Gerard Baden-Clay's defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right).

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right). Photo: Claudia Baxter

 

Wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay will almost certainly appeal his conviction and sentence, a Queensland criminal law expert says.

Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland says Baden-Clay’s legal team will be poring over transcripts of his 21-day trial to find grounds for an appeal.

Baden-Clay has 30 days to lodge an appeal, or apply for grounds to seek an extension of time to lodge an appeal, following his life sentence on Tuesday for the murder of his wife Allison in 2012.

“There’s a very good chance he will appeal,” Professor Douglas said.

“I haven’t been through the fine grain of the transcript, so it’s very difficult for me to suggest that there are clear-cut unambiguous grounds that are likely to lead to success, but certainly that’s what the defence lawyers will be doing now.

“They’ll be looking at every word and every direction, everything the judge said and everything that was presented in the trial.”

Under Queensland law, there are three avenues of appeal, one being error of law, as in whether the judge has made incorrect directions to the jury.

Another is if it can be shown the jury reached a “dangerous” verdict out of step with the evidence presented.

The third avenue is miscarriage of justice, which can cover a variety of scenarios including whether jurors have been found to undertake their own research outside the courtroom or if any evidence presented was prejudicial against the defendant.

Professor Douglas believes Baden-Clay’s legal team could pursue a miscarriage of justice appeal because one juror had downloaded overseas’ material on jury deliberations.

She said this might be enough grounds for an appeal application, but his lawyers would then need to prove, for the appeal to be upheld, that the juror’s action impacted on the defence’s case.

“No trial’s perfect,” she said.

“It may be possible for Baden-Clay’s defence team to identify errors in the trial or problems in the trial.

“That will get them through to the appeals stage where they can then appeal against the conviction.”

Professor Douglas said she was not familiar with the entire Baden-Clay trial but had been impressed by Justice John Byrne’s handling of the matter.

“Justice Byrne’s a very experienced trial judge … he’s been very conservative in what evidence he’s allowed into the trial,” she said.

“He has excluded some relevant evidence on the basis that it would be too prejudicial in the circumstances. I think he’s been very careful with his management of the evidence.”

 

GBC Trial Day 19.5 (the weekend)

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Something to get the chat going for the weekend

Baden-Clay murder trial: Large crowds in court evidence of a healthy legal system, top barrister says

11/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has seen a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding

The high level of public interest in the Gerard Baden-Clay trial is nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact makes for a healthy legal system, a top barrister says.

The former real estate agent’s murder trial attracted crowds to the Brisbane Supreme Court, with extra courtrooms opened for people who queued day after day to gain entry, and a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General says these special arrangements for large-scale trials are made to ensure openness and transparency in the justice system.

This transparency is key to keeping Australia’s legal apparatus – everyone from police to barristers and judges – held to account, says Ken Fleming, QC.

Mr Fleming was the defence barrister for former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel and has worked as a United Nations prosecutor on international war crimes trials.

“Everyone should be held accountable for what they’re doing, and the open scrutiny of it is a very important thing,” he said.

“You just can’t have things going on behind closed doors, because that engenders fear of the unknown.”

Mr Fleming says the “whole delivery of justice” depends on high levels of public interest, because people can see and understand the process.

Seeing mystery unravel part of appeal, barrister says

The courts are not, however, in danger of turning into another form of entertainment – rather, they always have been.

“You only have to think about the French Revolution and the guillotining in the forecourt of the Notre Dame,” Mr Fleming said.

Although some people may attend just to see a mystery unravel, he believes many also have a genuine interest in watching the ins and outs of the legal process.

There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

Ken Fleming, QC

“You only have to look at some of the British television programs to see how we love a good murder mystery,” he said.

“There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

“They just have a genuine interest in what’s going on.”

Glen Cranny, a defence lawyer and partner at Gilshenan and Luton Lawyers, also believes a high level of public interest is healthy for the criminal justice system generally.

“People might come for any number of reasons, and some might come for mawkish reasons,” he said.

“Nevertheless, I think the benefits of having an open and transparent system … far outweigh any perverse interest some people may get out of such proceedings.”

Public pressure witnesses face may discourage some: lawyer

Publicity and public interest in a case can also encourage other complainants or witnesses to come forward and give evidence, where they may have otherwise been unaware or not confident enough.

Rolf Harris‘s case in England, for example, involved people who were coming forward as complainants once they, I think, had the courage that there were protections and systems in place for their story to be told,” Mr Cranny said.

But this benefit has a flip-side: that very publicity could make people apprehensive about revealing their story.

“I think there is a tipping point where some people might think they could do without their face or name being splashed on TV as a witness, or as a complainant,” Mr Cranny said.

“They would be happy to be involved in the process in a low-key way, but don’t want to be engaged … in anything that might in some way feel like a circus to them.”

Reputational issues should also be factored in, especially when a person’s conduct, while lawful, may not hold them in a good light.

“We’ve seen in a recent high-profile case … a lot of focus on extra-marital affairs and so on,” Mr Cranny said.

“There are people who are involved in those relationships, who haven’t broken the law, but have become very prominent just through their personal lives.”

Mr Fleming says that while public interest could make some people “a bit reluctant”, he had not seen any evidence of public attendance impacting on witnesses.

“It is on display and in a sense it’s theatre,” he said.

“But once people are resigned to the fact that they will be giving evidence, I don’t think too much stands in their way.”

Opening additional courtrooms and keeping the public away from “where the action is happening” also means witnesses are only faced with a very small and confined audience in the main court, Mr Fleming said.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne has asked a jury to retire to consider a verdict in the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay.

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 18

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No news tonight folks

JURY IN THIS TRIAL RETIRED TO CONSIDER VERDICT AT 11.10AM TODAY

Crazy update WTF Juror(s)

Baden-Clay murder trial: Jury told not to seek outside help as it retires to consider verdict on former Brisbane real estate agent accused of murdering wife

1.20pm

The Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial took a dramatic twist today when the judge warned the jury not to seek outside help in their deliberations.

The former Brisbane real estate agent has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison and dumping her body under the Kholo Creek bridge in April 2012.

The jury was sent out to begin its deliberations today after Justice John Byrne finished his summing up.

But after two hours of deliberations the jury came back into the courtroom and it emerged that one of them had downloaded a document from the internet on how to behave while on a jury.

Justice Byrne sent the jurors back with a warning not to use any outside aids or seek to receive any new information.

“What was done was wrong,” he said. “I am however grateful it was brought to my attention.”

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne has asked a jury to retire to consider a verdict in the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay.

Baden-Clay, 43, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison at their Brookfield home and to dumping her body 13km away at the Kholo Creek Bridge at Anstead on April 19, 2012.

He asked the jury to retire at 11.10am.

Justice Byrne discharged three reserve jurors who had patiently listened to evidence over the past month. (disappointing for them I am sure!)

He thanked them for their service.

brisbane times

“content kindly supplied by Brisbane Times” 

www.brisbanetimes.com.au

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brisbanetimes.com.au reporter

10:52am: Justice Byrne has turned his attention to the prosecutor’s closing address.He acknowledged the prosecution case is a circumstantial case.“A circumstantial case, however, can be powerful,” he said.11:10am: Mr Baden-Clay is sitting motionless in the dock as Justice Byrne continues is summing up.His sister Olivia Walton and brother Adam Baden-Clay are seated in the public gallery behind the dock.MrsBaden-Clay’s parents, Priscilla and Geoff Dickie, are seated in the public gallery on the opposite side of the courtroom with Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth, who oversaw the police investigation.

11:11am: Justice Byrne has concluded his summing up of the case.His has dismissed the three female reserve jurors.
11:11am: The remaining seven men and five women of the jury have retired to consider their verdict.
11:12am: “I ask you now please to retire to consider your verdict,” Justice Byrne said.11:13am: Court has adjourned.

The wait begins.

11:26am Recap: Justice Byrne’s final instructions to the jury:

“If you find that you need further direction on the case, please send a written message through the Bailiff.

“Likewise, should you wish to be reminded of evidence, let the Bailiff know, and make a note of what you want. In that … the court would recommence. When you return to the courtroom I would provide such further assistance on the law as I can or arrange for the relevant part of the transcript to be found for you and read out, if need be.”

11:31am: Once the jury has reached its verdict it will return to the courtroom where Justice Byrne’s associate will ask:“Have you agreed upon a verdict?”If so, the jurors will reply “Yes”.The associate will then ask: “Do you find the accused Gerard Robert Baden-Clay guilty or not guilty of murder?”The jury’s speaker will then state the verdict.The associate will then ask: “So says your speaker, so say you all?”That is the time-honoured method for inviting the whole of the jury to signify that the verdict announced by the speaker is indeed the unanimous verdict of the jury.If so, the jury will collectively confirm the verdict by saying “Yes”.

11:33am: If the verdict is guilty of murder, no further verdict will be taken.However, if the verdict is not guilty, Justice Byrne’s associate will ask: “How do you find the accused again naming him guilty or not guilty of manslaughter?”The jury’s speaker will answer.The jury will then be asked again to collectively confirm the verdict is unanimous.

12:43pm: Justice Byrne acknowledged the jury had requested for a copy of his summation of the closing addresses from the prosecution and defence counsels.He declined the request and asked the jury to give a written note to the Bailiff requesting for parts, or all, of his summation to be read again in open court.The jury has resumed its deliberations.

1:13pm: The jury has been called back into the courtroom for another direction from Justice Byrne.“There’s been an important matter drawn to my attention,” he said.Justice Byrne said a juror had downloaded material from the internet about how a jury might deliberate its verdict.“I expected that my direction given twice orally and once in writing that you must not inquire outside the courtroom about anything that related to the trial was clear and emphatic,” he said.“What was done was wrong.”

1:16pm: The material downloaded from the internet related to commentary from the United States about the role of a jury.“You scarcely need to know what some overseas commentator speaking about a different system happens to the think,” Justice Byrne said.(seriously pissed off)

—————————————————————————————————-

GBC Collage...He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

GBC Collage…He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

Baden-Clay murder trial: Jury told not to seek outside help as it retires to consider verdict on former Brisbane real estate agent accused of murdering wife

3.15pm

The Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial took a dramatic twist today when the judge warned the jury not to seek outside help in their deliberations.

The former Brisbane real estate agent has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison and dumping her body under the Kholo Creek bridge in April 2012.

The jury was sent out to begin its deliberations today after Justice John Byrne finished his summing up.

But after two hours of deliberations the jury came back into the courtroom and it emerged that one of them had downloaded an overseas guide to jury service from the internet.

Justice Byrne sent the jurors back with a warning not to use any outside aids or seek to receive any new information.

“What was done was wrong,” he said. “I am however grateful it was brought to my attention.”

Allison’s body was found on the creek bank 10 days after Baden-Clay reported her missing from their Brookfield home.

Prosecutors finished summing up their case yesterday before the jury was given directions by Justice Byrne.

The seven men and five women were told they were judges of the facts and must carefully consider the weight and quality of evidence against Baden-Clay.

They were told to consider finding the 43-year-old guilty of manslaughter, if they did not find him guilty of murder.

Justice Byrne said the defence case asserted that Allison died from suicide, falling off the Kholo Creek bridge, a drug overdose, or serotonin syndrome, while the prosecution’s case was that Baden-Clay was a liar who killed his wife and dumped her body.

He told the jury to set aside sympathy and prejudice and carefully consider the evidence against Baden-Clay.

The court heard the case against Baden-Clay was a circumstantial one, but direct evidence was not necessary to convict him of murder.

Justice Byrne concluded his address to the jury today by reminding them there was no definite cause of death.

He told the court the prosecution had argued Allison had died of unnatural causes, and only the person who killed her knew the method of her death.

Earlier this week, the jury heard closing arguments from both the defence and prosecution.

In his final comments to the jury yesterday, crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told them to consider Baden-Clay’s actions on the day his wife disappeared along with the scratches on his face, the leaves in Allison’s hair, and the blood in her car.

Justice Byrne dismissed the three reserve jurors, thanking them for their service and dedication.

Baden-Clay murder trial: Jury hears closing arguments from prosecution

Updated Wed 9 Jul 2014, 9:14pm AEST

Jurors in the murder trial of accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay have been told they have the option of convicting him of manslaughter if they do not think he is guilty of murder.

Prosecutors have finished summing up their case against the former Brisbane real estate agent, who has denied killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

Her body was found on a creek bank 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their home in nearby Brookfield.

Justice John Byrne has now begun summing up the case for the jurors.

Prosecution wraps up case

In his final comments to the jury, crown prosecutor Todd Fuller today told them to consider Baden-Clay’s actions on the day his wife disappeared along with the scratches on his face, the leaves in Allison’s hair, and the blood in her car.

The trial has heard about Baden-Clay’s infidelities, and Mr Fuller says a conversation between the accused and his mistress Toni McHugh the night before Allison’s disappearance might have put significant pressure on Baden-Clay.

“What was going to happen if Allison Baden-Clay found out [about the affair] for a second time?” Mr Fuller said.

“He tried to live without Toni McHugh and couldn’t do it. He had to have her back in his life.”

He told the jury Baden-Clay may have felt he had no other choice but to kill his wife.

“This was a man who was having to deal with the consequences of his own actions, over a long period,” Mr Fuller said.

“Perhaps he felt he had no other choice. No other choice than to take his wife’s life.

“That’s not to say it was premeditated. But when a decision had to be made, that decision was made.

“And consistent with how he behaved in his relationship up to that time with both of these women, calmly and rationally decided to cover it up.”

Mr Fuller also ran though the actions of Baden-Clay on the morning of his wife’s disappearance.

“Gerard gets up, checks emails, then begins a series of calls and texts to Allison almost straight away. Gerard doesn’t bundle his children in the car and go looking. He calls his parents.

“Within 25 minutes he calls the Indooroopilly police.”

He also said Baden-Clay did not tell police of his concerns regarding Allison’s mental health, “yet in this trial her mental health is amplified out of proportion to justify what Baden-Clay did”.

Judge begins summing up the ‘circumstantial’ case

Justice Byrne began his directions to the jury explaining the legal process and advising them there was no burden on Baden-Clay to establish any fact, let alone his innocence.

“He is presumed to be innocent. The burden rests on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused. If you are left with a reasonable doubt about guilt, your duty is to acquit,” Justice Byrne said.

“If you are not left with any such doubt, your duty is to convict.

“This is a circumstantial case. Both direct and circumstantial evidence are to be considered. It is not necessary that facts be proved by direct evidence.

“To bring in a verdict of guilty based entirely, or substantially, on circumstantial evidence it must not only be a reasonable inference, it must be the only reasonable inference.

“You do not have to believe the accused told you the truth before he is entitled to be found not guilty. Baden-Clay’s decision not to provide a formal statement to police is not evidence against him.”

Justice Byrne told the jury that although the indictment charge was murder, they could consider a charge of manslaughter as an alternative.

“Were you to find the accused not guilty of murder, you would consider whether he is guilty or not guilty of manslaughter,” he said.

Justice Byrne also told the jury to consider the difficulty of witness recollections two years after the event, and cautioned about things allegedly said by the deceased.

The jury will have transcripts of witness testimony to take into their deliberations.

Justice Byrne will continue his summing up tomorrow before the jury are expected to begin their deliberations.

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 17

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All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

brisbane times

“content kindly supplied by Brisbane Times” 

www.brisbanetimes.com.au

and

brisbanetimes.com.au reporter

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC will continue his closing address to the jury today.

10:09am: Court is in session.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC has turned his attention again to the pressures mounting on Gerard Baden-Clay in the weeks before his wife’s disappearance.

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay admitted his wife no longer trusted him to marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie.

“He is there because his wife wants him there. He just wants to get on with his life and wants to wipe the slate clean,” Mr Fuller said.

The Baden-Clays visited Ms Ritchie on Monday, April 16, 2012.

Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared four days later.

10:11am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay and his long-time mistress Toni McHugh were still in daily contact in April 2012.

Mr Baden-Clay has claimed Ms McHugh pursued him.

But Mr Fuller pointed to emails Mr Baden-Clay sent to Ms McHugh in April telling her he loved her.

“His responses are completely inconsistent with his claims,” Mr Fuller said.

10:14am: Mr Baden-Clay is seated in the dock wearing a dark suit, yellow tie and glasses.

His sister Olivia Walton and brother Adam Baden-Clay are seated directly behind him in the public gallery.

Mrs Baden-Clay’s parents, Priscilla and Geoff Dickie, are seated on the opposite side of the courtroom with Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth who oversaw the police investigation.

10:16am: Earlier, the court heard members of the jury were “approached” on Tuesday.

Justice john Byrne thanked the jurors for bringing the “approach” to his attention and said the Court Sheriff would investigate the matter.

10:23am: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to the phone conversation between Mr Baden-Clay and Ms McHugh on the evening of April 19, 2012.

The pair had a seven minute conversation from 5.03pm and then a 10 minute conversation at 5.15pm.

“Between 5.03pm and about 5.40pm he is taking to Toni McHugh with a couple of interruptions, 30 odd minutes,” Mr Fuller said.

“What sort of things do they talk about? Their days, what they are doing, she knows he’s at the supermarket buying sausages.

“But we know that that’s inflamed once he says, ‘oh there’s something I need to tell you’.”

The court has previously heard Ms McHugh and Mrs Baden-Clay were due to come face-to-face for the first time at a real estate conference the following day.

“He tells you he’s not worried about these two women coming together … but he continues in this conversation to raise it,” Mr Fuller said.

“And even in the words that he uses, ‘two of my employees are going’.

“He doesn’t even have the courage to say straight up that Allison is going to be there tomorrow when he knows that she is going to the conference.”

The court has previously heard Ms McHugh flew into a rage and demanded Mr Baden-Clay tell his wife of the impending run-in.

“You might think that’s a significant pressure on him,” Mr Fuller said.

10:31am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay faced having his double life exposed at the run-in between his wife and his love.

“You see he had tried to live without Toni McHugh and he couldn’t do it,” Mr Fuller said.

“When an ultimatum came a second time which choice would he make?”

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay a choice on April 19. He said Mr Baden-Clay was “either going to be a coward or a fool”, or “the man who makes the decisions in is marriage” and tell his wife of the looming meeting.

“You may think the personal risks to him both professionally and in his own family life were huge,” Mr Fuller said.

He said Mr Baden-Clay’s marriage and circle of friends was at jeopardy, as well as his business.

“You add that to the scratches on his face, the leaves in her hair, the blood in her car,” Mr Fuller said.

10:38am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay immediately spoke of his affair when asked about his marriage by police on the morning he reported his wife missing, despite not wanting his family to know.

10:42am: Mr Fuller has examined the first text message Mr Baden-Clay sent his wife on the morning he reported his wife missing.

The text message sent at 6.41am read: “Al, getting concerned. Where are you? The app doesn’t say either? H and S now up. I’m dressed and about to make lunches. Please just text me back or call! Love, G.”

Mr Baden-Clay told police it was not unusual for his wife to take early morning walks.

Mr Fuller noted Mr Baden-Clay did not ask his wife what she would be home from her walk in the text message.

And he noted Mr Baden-Clay made reference to the “Find My Phone” application the couple had installed on their mobile phones.

“Why is that in the text message?” Mr Fuller asked.

10:45am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay did not call his wife’s family and friends until 8am.

He called his parents and his close friends first.

10:52am: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to a list of questions in Mrs Baden-Clay’s diary.

The questions relate to Mr Baden-Clay’s affair with Ms McHugh.

“These were rudimentary questions. How many times did you go to the movies? What did you see? Did you kiss and hug?” Mr Fuller said.

Mr Baden-Clay has claimed he and his wife discussed those questions on the night of Wednesday April 18, 2012.

“These questions and the answers that he gave were asked on the 19th, you might think,” Mr Fuller told the jury.

He said Mr Baden-Clay had made passing reference to having a 15 minute conversation on the night of the 19th with his wife in two interviews with police.

The couple had been advised by marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie to sit for 15 minutes each night to allow Mrs Baden-Clay to air her feelings about the affair.

10:57am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay did not call his wife’s parents until 9.51am on the morning she disappeared.

He did not call his wife’s best friend Kerri-Anne Walker until 9.58am.

Mrs Baden-Clay had been missing for three hours by that time.

10:57am: Court has adjourned for a morning tea break and will resume at 11.15am.

11:17am: Court has resumed and Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller has continued his closing address to the jury.

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay failed to tell police he had argued with his long-time mistress Toni McHugh on the night he last saw his wife.

11:18am: Mr Fuller said he also failed to tell police he contacted Ms McHugh the day after reporting his wife missing.

“This time he tells her he loves her,” Mr Fuller said.

“The man who tells you he tried to break up with her so many times …

“He had throughout his relationship with her manipulated her, you might think.”

11:23am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay was a man concerned only for himself.

“It’s all about him, his life, his business, his needs,” he said.

11:26am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay was at risk of being exposed a serial adulterer and a failed businessman on the night his wife disappeared.

“The way he was finally exposed in this trial,” Mr Fuller said.

“So you can see what he had to lose ladies and gentleman.

“It wasn’t about the pressures on her, her mental health, her drug use, her wondering off in the middle of the night completely inexplicably.

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

“Perhaps he felt he had no other choice, no other choice but to take his wife’s life?

“When a decision had to be made, that decision was made.”

11:29am: “Is it highly unusual for him to kill his wife? The Crown says it isn’t because that’s what he did,” Mr Fuller said.

Of the alleged struggle between Mr Baden-Clay and his wife on the night of April 19, 2012, Mr Fuller said: “It was personal, it was close, it was violent.”

11:30am: “He wanted to wipe the slate clean,” Mr Fuller said.

With those words, the prosecution rests.

11:34am: Justice John Byrne has begun his summing up of the case for the jury.

He will direct them on their duties and explain the nature of evidence in a criminal trial and the notion of reasonable doubt.

11:38am: Justice Byrne has advised the jury to decide the case “exclusively upon the evidence”.

“If, outside this courtroom, you have herd or read, or otherwise become aware of information about the events with which this trial is concerned or about the accused, it is of critical importance that you put any such information completely out of your minds,” he said.

“Have regard only to the testimony, the exhibits, and the admissions made here in this courtroom since the trial began.

“Ensure that no external influence plays part in your deliberations.”

11:52am: “In order to convict, you must be satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, of the elements that made of the offence charged,” Justice Byrne said“As no one claims to have seen the accused kill his wife, this is a circumstantial case.”Circumstantial evidence is evidence of circumstances that can be relied upon not as proving a fact directly but instead pointing it its existence …”It is not necessary that facts be proved by direct evidence.”

11:54am: “To bring in a verdict of guilty … guilt should not only be a rational inference, it must be the only rational inference that could be drawn from the circumstances,” Justice Byrne said.

 

12:16pm: Justice Byrne has explained how the jury may convict Gerard Baden-Clay of murder.

“Before you convict the accused of murder, you must be satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt of two distinct matters:

* That he caused the death of his wife; and

* That he did so with an intention to kill her or at least to cause her some grevious bodily harm.

“Neither the prosecution nor the defence contend for manslaughter.”

12:38pm: Justice Byrne has recounted the evidence of forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne who conducted a post-mortem examination of Mrs Baden-Clay’s body.He has reminded the jury Dr Milne could not determine a cause of Mrs Baden-Clay’s death.
12:39pm: Mr Baden-Clay is seated in the dock with his hands folded in his lap.He has shown no emotion.
1:00pm: Court has adjourned for lunch and will resume at 2.30pm when Justice John Byrne will continue his summing up for the jury, revisiting the evidence presented by each witness in the trial.

2:32pm: Court has resumed.

Justice John Byrne has turned his attention to the issue of Mrs Baden-Clay’s history of depression.

2:48pm: Justice Byrne has reviewed the evidence of defence witness forensic psychiatrist Dr Mark Schramm who spoke of the nature of depression and suicide.Dr Schramm said Mrs Baden-Clay may have been on the verge of relapse into her depression, but could not say if she was “actively depressed” at the time of her disappearance.Justice Byrne has also pointed to the evidence of Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie who saw Mr and Mrs Baden-Clay on Monday, April 16, 2012.

She recalled Mr Baden-Clay saying: “I want to build a future together, not regressing. I want to get on with life and wipe it clean.”

The prosecutor used those same words to finish his closing address to the jury earlier today.

2:53pm: There was a commotion in the courtroom when a juror’s chair broke during Justice Byrne’s summing up.A replacement chair was quickly found by the bailiff and Justice John Byrne continued with his address.

3:02pm Recap: Earlier, Justice Byrne told the jury it could consider the lessor charge of manslaughter.“You may wish to consider first murder, which is the more serious [charge],” he said.”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.”

3:03pm: Justice Byrne has recounted the evidence heard at the trial about the blood stain found in the boot of Mrs Baden-Clay’s Holden Captiva.The blood, he said, was matched to Mrs Baden-Clay’s DNA.

Allison Baden-Clay's car when it was examined by forensic experts.

Allison Baden-Clay’s car when it was examined by forensic experts. Photo: Court Exhibit

3:14pm: Justice Byrne has turned his attention to the injuries which appeared on Mr Baden-Clay’s face on the morning he reported his wife missing.He has recalled the evidence from the forensic experts who testified about the scratches at the trial.* Dr Margaret Stark, a specialist forensic physician, said the “yellowy” injuries on Mr Baden-Clay’s face were “typical of fingernail scratches”.

* Dr Robert Hoskins said the “browny, raggedy-edged” abrasions were “characteristic of fingernail scratches”. In the opinion of Dr Hoskins it was “extremely implausible” that those injuries were caused by Mr Baden-Clay’s razor blade, as he claimed.

Like Dr Stark, Dr Hoskins also found the fingernails on Mrs Baden-Clay’s left hand could have caused the scratches on her husband’s face.

* Forensic medical examiner Dr Leslie Griffiths said the injuries on Mr Baden-Clay’s face resembled “abrasions”, not “cuts or nicks” that a razor blade might cause.

* Forensic physician Professor David Wells, who assessed photographs of the scratches on Mr Baden-Clay’s face said, “I can’t see how a razor blade from that type of razor … could produce that pattern of injuries.

3:22pm: Justice Byrne has turned his attention to the issue of “lies” and the prosecutions allegations that the Mr Baden-Clay lied about how he sustained the scratches on his face.“It would be wrong to approach the case on the basis that, if the accused told lies, he must have killed his wife,” he said.”If you find that what the accused said about injuring himself while shaving was false, still there is more for you to consider.

“Sometimes, where there appears to be a departure from the truth, it may not be possible to say that a deliberate lie has been told …

“If you conclude that the accused lied because he realised that the truth would implicate him in killing his wife, you would need carefully also to consider whether the lie reveals a consciousness of guilt.”

3:23pm: Court has been adjourned for a 10 minute break.

3:40pm: Court has resumed.

Justice Byrne has turned his attention to the notion of intent.

“You cannot use his disposal of her body – if that is what he did – as supplying proof of an intention to kill his wife,” he said.

“Before you may use the accused’s conduct as tending to prove an implied admission of either element, you must first be satisfied that the conduct is not explicable on some other, unrelated basis.”

3:47pm: Justice Byrne has turned to Mr Baden-Clay’s evidence.

Mr Baden-Clay stepped into the witness box on the 11th day of the trial.

He denied killing his wife and maintained that the injuries on his face were shaving cuts, not fingernail scratches inflicted by his wife.

3:54pm: Mr Baden-Clay is sitting motionless in the dock as Justice Byrne continues his summing up.

Homicide detectives, including Superintendent Mark Ainsworth, remain in the front row of the public gallery.

4:16pm: Justice Byrne has reached the final page of his summing up to the jury.

4:20pm: Justice Byrne has concluded his summing up of the evidence presented at the trial, apologising to the jury for any repetition.

He said he would summarise the closing addresses of the prosecution and defence from 10am tomorrow.

Court has adjourned.

brisbane times

 

 

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Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial: Prosecutor tells jury of ‘close-up violence’ between couple before wife’s death

The prosecution in the Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial has described a violent struggle during which Allison Baden-Clay left scratches on her husband’s face as she fought for her life.

Prosecutor Todd Fuller told the Supreme Court jury in Brisbane there was “close-up violence” and “there was a struggle and she left her mark on him”.

He was referring to scratches, seen on Baden-Clay’s face in photographs shown to the jury, which the accused had described as shaving cuts.

But the prosecutor said the scratches were typical of fingernail injuries. They were “damning and linking to the act of violence,” he said.

Mr Fuller said the scratches suggested “someone striking out in the only fashion they could” against Baden-Clay.

He said Allison “was overpowered quickly and unable to resist”.

“While he inflicted upon her injuries that caused her death, the lack of injuries to him speaks as much of the nature of the violence used on her as the scratch on the face,” he said.

“It was efficient and effective. What can be in the mind of the person who’s carrying that act out, other than the intended outcome?”

Mr Fuller made his remarks as the prosecution summed up its case against the former real estate agent, who is accused of murdering his wife and dumping her body under a bridge in April 2012.

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Fuller said Baden-Clay’s multiple infidelities proved he had the “bravado and confidence” to try to get away with killing his wife.

He said the affairs with more than one colleague showed “the level of deception, it shows you what this man is capable of doing, his level of bravado and confidence in what he can carry out and carry off”.

Allison had tried to share her husband’s passions and energy and he had repaid her by telling staff that he still loved another woman, Mr Fuller said.

The prosecutor said it was very unlikely Allison walked from her home in Brookfield 13 kilometres to where her body was found at Kholo Creek bridge.

“You can safely assume her body was dumped where it was found, 13 kilometres from her home,” Mr Fuller said.

“She did not fall or jump down there, she was thrown down there.”

The prosecutor said six types of leaves found in Allison’s hair were also found at her home and the only rational conclusion was that her head came into contact with the leaves at her house, perhaps during a struggle while she was unconscious and she was dragged.

Mr Fuller also highlighted blood found in one of the family cars, describing it as a piece of circumstantial evidence that points to violence.

The prosecutor said the strength of the circumstantial case lay in the accumulation of objective facts.

“These facts lead to an inevitable conclusion,” he said.

“The crown says the killing was this man’s reaction to a particular set of circumstances … over time. A set of circumstances which with respect were of his own making.”

The prosecutor’s submissions will be followed by a summation by Justice John Byrne, before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

Earlier, defence lawyer Michael Byrne finished his closing statement to jurors, saying Baden-Clay was not the sort of person who would kill his wife in cold blood.

“He is not the sort of person who would cold-bloodedly kill his wife, nor would he explode in a rage of temper,” Mr Byrne said.

Mr Byrne told the court the cause of Allison’s death could not be determined, leaving open the possibilities she could have drowned, fallen or jumped from a height, or died from alcohol or anti-depressant poisoning.

He said there was a lack of evidence in the prosecution’s case.

“If you are left with a reasonable doubt, it is your duty to acquit,” Mr Byrne said.

 

 

 

GBC Jury retired for Deliberations

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update

12:43pm: Justice Byrne acknowledged the jury had requested for a copy of his summation of the closing addresses from the prosecution and defence counsels.

He declined the request and asked the jury to give a written note to the Bailiff requesting for parts, or all, of his summation to be read again in open court.

The jury has resumed its deliberations.


This is what these last days are about. Who is telling the truth, the facts, the most likely scenarios? The jury will NEED to apply this to everything they have heard and seen

bs_meter

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

 

Sometime Thursday the jury might be directed to go and deliberate on their verdict in this trial! It may take an hour, it may take 8 days (Rolf Harris Trial) How will they know they have got it right? They will not, in my opinion this is no LAB, no science. It comes down to people and their gut feelings. The common sense they have accumulated over their life times

Otherwise we would have computers collating the data and telling us how it is…(Thank god that is not the case)

It comes down to people like me or you who will decide the fate of Gerard, the one and only suspect and person on trial accused of killing his wife Allison. Mother of their 3 girls.  (for a pittance I might remind you)

So what now? All the evidence, all the facts, the fiction, the lies, the truth, the witnesses with an agenda. Either via family ties, monetary gain or loss, fame, fortune or indeed notoriety. It all ends with the jury. The time has come for our legal system to accept the judgement of a select group who represent our community.

SPACE RESERVED FOR WHEN DELIBERATIONS BEGIN

How about this Unlawful Killing option (Manslaughter?)

What the law says

Sections 303 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

A person who unlawfully kills another under such circumstances as not to constitute murder is guilty of manslaughter

 

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused killed the deceased and that he did so unlawfully. Unlawful simply means not authorised, justified or excused by law. It is not an element of the offence that the accused intended to kill the deceased or to do the deceased any particular harm.
  2. It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Unlawful Killing/Manslaughter is life imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the Supreme Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Self Defence
  2. Defence of another person
  3. Insanity
  4. Identification i.e. not the accused
  5. The killing was not unlawful
  6. An ordinary person in the position of the accused would not have foreseen the death of the deceased as a possible outcome of his act.
  7. The person is not dead i.e. death cannot be proved

What about Murder? here is what the law says

What the law says

Sections 302 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. A person who unlawfully kills another under any of the following circumstances, thatistosay-
    • (a) if the offender intends to cause the death of the person killed or that of some other person or if the offender intends to do to the person killed or to some other person some grievous bodily harm;
    • (b) if the death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose, which act is of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life;
    • (c) if the offender intends to do grievous bodily harm to some person for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a crime which is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant, or for the purpose of facilitating the flight of an offender who has committed or attempted to commit any such crime;
    • (d) if death is caused by wilfully stopping the breath of any person for either of such purposes;

is guilty of murder.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The person is dead;
  2. The accused killed him; that is he caused his death; and
  3. The accused did so intending to cause his death, or at least to cause him grievous bodily harm

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Murder is life imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the Supreme Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The person is not dead.
  2. The death was not caused by the actions of the accused
  3. Self defence or in defence of another
  4. Accident
  5. Identification i.e. not the accused.
  6. Insanity
  7. Provocation (This is a partial defence only, which may reduce the charge to manslaughter.)

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 16

Featured


This is what these last days are about.Who is telling the truth, the facts, the most likely scenarios? WE need to apply this to everything we have heard

bs_meter

Defence counsel Michael Byrne’s submissions will be followed by prosecutor Todd Fuller and Justice John Byrne, who will sum up the case before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

IT is day 16 of the trial of former Brookfield real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay, 43, who stands accused of murdering his wife Allison Baden-Clay, 43, on April 19, 2012.

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

9:45am: The 16th day of the trial is about to resume in Court 11.

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence barrister Michael Byrne QC will end his closing address to the jury, before Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC begins his final address today.

* Mr Byrne said there are too many gaps in the Crown‘s circumstantial case against his client. He pointed to the lack of forensic evidence linking Mr Baden-Clay to the crime scene at Kholo Creek where his wife’s body was found. He also pointed to the lack of blood in the house and car port.

* Mr Byrne conceded Mr Baden-Clay had been a serial adulterer during his marriage but said his infidelity did not amount to evidence in the case against him.

* The defence again pointed to Mrs Baden-Clay’s history with depression to suggest she stepped out for a walk in the early hours of the morning of April 20, 2012, to “clear her head” and “at some time and for some reason” ended up in the river.

9:55am: The trial will again be broadcast into two other courtrooms, such is the high level of public interest in the case.The proceedings will be broadcast into the Banco Court which seats 147 people.

10:12am: Mr Byrne has resumed his closing address to the jury.

He displayed two PowerPoint slides to the court.

The first read: “Gerard Baden-Clay is presumed to be innocent. He may be convicted only if the prosecution establishes that he is guilty of the offence charged.”

The second read: “If you are left with a reasonable doubt about guilty, your duty is to acquit: that is, to find Gerard Baden-Clay not guilty.”

10:15am: Mr Byrne said Mr Baden-Clay was not the sort of man to kill his wife and mother of his children in “cold blood” and was not the type to “explode in anger”.He said his client was of good character despite his previous infidelity.
10:19am: Mr Baden-Clay is seated in the dock wearing a dark suit and tie and glasses.His sister Olivia Walton and brother Adam Baden-Clay are seated in the front row of the public gallery directly behind the dock.Allison Baden-Clay’s family and friends are seated on the opposite side of the public gallery with homicide detectives involved in the case.
10:24am: Mr Byrne has reminded the jury, again, to ignore what he has described as “sensationalist media coverage” of the trial.“Your task and indeed your duty, your sworn duty, is to ignore all that,” he said.”You’re not here to deliver a verdict based on what the media would like you to do …”Your duty is to return a true verdict according to the evidence and that is a simple proposition.”
10:27am: “Once you have dispassionately, objectively assessed the evidence – the whole of the evidence – you would not and you could not find Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of the murder of his wife,” Mr Byrne said.“There is no cause of death, there’s no motive that stands to scrutiny, there’s no realistic means of him doing the things the prosecution says were done by him as part of a scenario.”Mr Byrne said the Crown could not establish how Mr Baden-Clay violently killed his wife in a house with three young children, or how he transported the bodytoKholo Creek without leaving a trial.”The verdict on that evidence should be one of not guilty,” he said.”Thank you for your attention.”

10:28am: The defence rests.

10:28am: Prosecutor Todd Fuller QC has begun his closing address to the jury.The prosecution was effectively afforded the final say in the trial because Mr Baden-Clay decided to step into the witness box to adduce evidence.
10:31am: “Human behaviour is sometimes inexplicable,” Mr Fuller said.He said the Baden-Clays lived a facade.To the outside world, they were a happily married couple.In reality, both Mr and Mrs Baden-Clay were desperately unhappy.Mr Baden-Clay was embroiled in multiple affairs with different women throughout his marriage.

“He had an affair with a women in the office where his father worked,” Mr Fuller said.

“That shows you the level of deception. That shows you the level of bravado.

“He presented a number of faces to a number of different people, right up until his evidence in this trial.”

10:34am: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay reacted to the pressures in his life on the night of April 19, 2012.“What’s building on this man here? What’s changing in his life in the period we’re talking about here?” he asked.Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay’s actions were a “reaction to a particular set of circumstances that accumulated over time, a set of circumstances that were in fact his own making”.
10:35am: Mr Fuller is standing away from the bar table and is pacing back and forth as he directly addresses the jury.
10:37am: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to the nature of the circumstantial case against Mr Baden-Clay.“It’s like a television picture,” he said.If you stand close to a television screen, you see a series of small dots, Mr Fuller said.”Step back and you see the full picture,” he said.
10:43am: Mr Fuller said the defence theory, once placed in context, could not be substantiated.“You’ve been led astray,” he said.
10:45am: The jury has taken its first 10 minute break for the morning.
10:56am Recap: Here is an excerpt of Mr Fuller’s closing address to the jury:

“Human behaviour … is sometimes inexplicable against the background of the rest of [a person's] 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 that perhaps they never contemplated doing before.

“My friend has spoken about possibilities, opportunities, they happen everyday in our lives.

“We’re programmed from the way that we view the world to have expectations about how somebody should behave.

“But that’s one of the reasons why you’re here. Through your experience of people, of relationships, of behaviours, you see people step outside their characters.

“You have appreciation of how people under pressures sometimes react, because a criminal trial is not a computer program ladies and gentlemen. It’s not about us putting all of the data in, putting it through some algorithm and checking out the result at the end. And the simple reason for that – because it involves people.

“You’re participating in a process to determine if this man here has killed his wife.

“That is, that he unlawfully killed her without a justification, excuse … or authorisation … and that he did it with an intention.”

11:00am: The jury has returned and Mr Fuller has resumed his closing address.He has asked the jury to consider the evidence from the eyes of Mr Baden-Clay.
11:04am: “What does Allison tell us in death?” Mr Fuller asked.“Let’s start with where her body was found. You can safely conclude, in my submission, is that her body was dumped where it was found by [kayaker] Mr Joyce.”It’s over 13 kilometres from her home. It’s a 13 to 20 minutes drive. you would think it would take a considerable time to walk that distance.”Both of the Baden-Clay cars are at home, so she either had to walk there or be taken there by someone else.”Mr Fuller noted Mrs Baden-Clay was a reluctant exerciser and would avoid steep hills on her morning walks. He said it was unlikely the mother-of-three would walk 13 kilometres from her home on the morning she was due to meet a colleague at 8am to attend a real estate conference.

11:07am: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to the are surrounding Kholo Creek.“It’s a remote location,” he said.”There is room to stop a vehicle. It doesn’t need to be on the roadway.”
11:09am: “Would it be less obvious if you’re [parked] in a dark Captiva rather than a white Prado with damage to the front and personalised number plates?” Mr Fuller said.The prosecution has alleged Mr Baden-Clay put his wife’s body in the boot of hersilverHoldenCaptiva anddrovetoKholo Creek where he dumped her body.

Allison Baden-Clay's car.

Allison Baden-Clay’s car. Photo: Court Exhibit

11:14am: Mr Fuller said the banks around Kholo Creek may have been dry on the evening of April 19, 2012.He said the catchment area did not receive heavy rain until April 27, 2012, only three daysbeforeMrsBaden-Clay’s body was discovered.”Where’s the mud that’s going to be there on the 19th or the morning of the 20th?” Mr Fuller asked.The defence pointed to a lack of mud or grass in the HoldenCaptiva that Mr Baden-Clay might have traipsed back into the car after allegedly dumping his wife’s body to connect the real estate agent to the crime scene.”Don’t be distracted by the mud,” Mr Fuller said.

Under the Kholo Creek bridge.

Under the Kholo Creek bridge. Photo: Court Exhibit

11:21am: Mr Fuller said Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was dragged part way down the embankment of the creek to a concrete pylon beneath the bridge on Mt Crosby Road.

He said her body was pushed from the concrete ledge.

“Her body was pushed off the ledge and her body fell to where she was,” he said.

“And that’s the position in which she remained …

“She did not end up jumping off there, or falling off there, she was thrown down there.”

11:27am: Mr Fuller said there was little evidence to suggest Mrs Baden-Clay intentionally jumped from the Kholo Creek bridge.“You will safely conclude she was not suicidal or in some drug-induced delirium,” he said.Mr Fuller said Mrs Baden-Clay would have sustained substantial injuries if she had jumped.”There are none,” he said.He said forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne conceded Mrs Baden-Clay may have escape significant injury if she fell into a “depth of water”.

“Well ladies and gentlemen, the only way she could have fallen into a depth of water and ended up there, was if she was washed up on the bank,” Mr Fuller said, showing the court a photograph of Mrs Baden-Clay’s body on the muddy creek bank.

“She has not fallen from the bridge to end up in that position unless the water has carried her.”

But Mr Fuller said Dr Milne did not believe Mrs Baden-Clay’s body had been immersed in water.

Dr Milne conducted a post-mortem examination on Mrs Baden-Clay.

11:34am: Mr Fuller said time-lapse video prepared by the defence showing the rising and falling tides in Kholo Creek made it seem as though debris floated quickly through the water.There was in fact six hours between high and low tides, he said.
11:37am: Mr Fuller said it did not matter whether Mrs Baden-Clay’s body had been wet by the rising and falling tides if the defence theory was to be substantiated.“There needs to be a body of water sufficient to float her body up onto the plateau,” he said.The defence has suggested Mrs Baden-Clay’s was washed up onto a muddy creek bank after she took her own life from Kholo Creek bridge.
11:40am: Mr Baden-Clay is leaning back in his chair in the dock, writing notes on a pad of paper, as Mr Fuller displays crime scene photographs of his wife’s body to the courtroom.
11:44am: The court has adjourned for a 15 minute morning tea break.
12:07pm Recap: Here is another excerpt from Mr Fuller’s closing address …

“On the surface to so many of these witnesses the Baden-Clays seemed like a perfect couple … ” Mr Fuller said.

“But it was just a facade.

“A facade which had been carried on for a long period of time.

“You might think that inwardly they were very different. Two desperately unhappy people for different reasons. One of them, a woman who had battled for years, for years, to keep her marriage together, despite being told perhaps the cruelest thing that a wife can 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.

“My friend can quite easily say, ‘well the deception was really only the infidelity’. But was it?

“It is not the deception … every day for the three years that Toni McHugh was with him in the office, when he went home for ‘happy hour’ to spend some time with his wife and children, to help Allison through that part of the day, to simply then slink back to be with Toni McHugh at night.

“To conduct an affair in an office where his father was working. And not for the first time. Let’s go back to Michelle Hammond – the woman who worked at the agency next door. Not only his father worked with him at that time, but his mother. That shows you the level of deception.

“It shows you what this man is capable of doing. His level of bravado and confidence in what he can carry out and carry on. He simply presented a number of faces to a number of different people, right up until this evidence in this trial …

“He cried when he told you about the first time he realised he was in love with Allison Baden-Clay, but just think about his reaction when I asked, ‘when was the first time that you told her that you no longer loved her?’

“The Crown says that those roles contributed to the pressures that were building on him and culminated in his acts on the 19th and the early hours of the 20th of April 2012.”

12:09pm: “The key to the trial is in fact what’s building on this man here. What’s changing in his life over the period of time that we’ve looked at? What pressure have been brought to bear by his wife, by Toni McHugh and by the drama he was having in his business,” Mr Fuller said.“The Crown says the killing was this man’s reaction to a particular set of circumstances that accumulated over time, a set of circumstances which, with respect, were of his own making.”

12:10pm: Court has resumed and Mr Fuller has continued his closing address.

12:12pm: Mr Fuller asked the jury: “Do you know someone who’s good at covering their tracks?”

12:23pm: Mr Fuller reminded the jury two forensic toxicologists said it was unlikely Mrs Baden-Clay was adversely affected by the antidepressant drug Sertraline, sold as Zoloft.

Even forensic toxicologist Dr Michael Robertson, who was called by the defence, said the level of the drug found in Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was not consistent with Sertraline-related deaths.

12:26pm: Mr Fuller said Mrs Baden-Clay’s diagnosis with “major depressive disorder” in 2003 should not be “used against her”.

He said a diagnosis should not be relied upon to discredit a person in the face of the treatment a person has received or the medication they have been prescribed.

12:38pm: Mr Fuller said the jury could “safely put to bed” the defence theory that Mrs Baden-Clay was adversely affected by her antidepressant medication Zoloft.

The defence has suggested Mrs Baden-Clay was suffering Serotonin Syndrome prompted by her medication which caused her to become disoriented and possibly hallucinate.

Mr Fuller said Mrs Baden-Clay had managed her depression well and overcome the panic attacks she experienced during her second pregnancy in 2003.

“The panic attacks were linked with her … second pregnancy. Yet that somehow gets turned into 2012 ‘she must have overdosed’,” Mr Fuller said.

“If you exclude drowning, falling, jumping, drug toxicity, what are you left with?”

12:43pm: “That means she wasn’t affected by the drugs, she didn’t drown, she didn’t fall,” Mr Fuller said.

“You’ll find she was dumped at the creek when she was already dead.”

Mr Fuller said the jury did not have to determine the “mechanism” of Mrs Baden-Clay’s death.

“Only the person who killed her would know that,” he said.

“But it was efficient and effective.

“Effective because it achieved the desired result. Efficient because it didn’t leave any evidence.”

12:47pm: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to the Baden-Clays’ daughters on the night of April 19, 2012.

The three young girls slept soundly on the night their father allegedly killed their mother at their Brookfield home.

Mr Baden-Clay told the court sound travelled easily throughout their rented weatherboard home on Brookfield Road.

Mr Fuller pointed to a baby monitor on Mrs Baden-Clay’s bedside table.

“Why do you need a baby monitor if noise travels easily throughout the house?” he asked.

The lay-out of the Baden-Clay home.

The lay-out of the Baden-Clay home. Photo: Court Exhibit

12:52pm: “Let’s go to where did it happen,” Mr Fuller said.

“Her body tells us one more thing and that’s the leaves.”

The court has previously heard six different types of leaves where found entwined in Mrs Baden-Clay’s hair and resting on her jumper. The six species of plants were found growing around the Baden-Clays’ home. Only two species were found in the Kholo Creek area.

“The inextricably link Mrs Baden-Clay to her house and inextricably link her death to her house,” Mr Fulle  said.

“All six and no more and no less.

12:59pm: Court has adjourned for lunch and will resume at 2.30pm.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC has begun is closing address to the jury.

  • He set about methodically discrediting the defence’s theories about Mrs Baden-Clay’s death in pointing to evidence to suggest it was unlikely she walked 13 kilometres from her home to take her own life at the Kholo Creek bridge.
  •  He highlighted the testimony of defence witness Dr Michael Robertson to suggest Mrs Baden-Clay was not suffering adverse affects of her antidepressant mediation Zoloft when she set out for a walk to “clear her heard” in the early hours of April 20, 2012.
  • He said forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne did not find any injuries on Mrs Baden-Clay’s body to suggest she had fallen from a height.
  • He also recalled the evidence of microscopic algae expert Dr Jacob John who did not find evidence in Mrs Baden-Clay’s lungs to suggest she had drowned.

“If you exclude drowning, falling, jumping, drug toxicity, what are you left with?” Mr Fuller asked.

 Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC completed his closing address to the jury, saying Mr Baden-Clay was not a cold-blooded murderer.

“Once you have dispassionately, objectively assessed the evidence – the whole of the evidence – you would not and you could not find Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of the murder of his wife,” Mr Byrne said.

“There is no cause of death, there’s no motive that stands to scrutiny, there’s no realistic means of him doing the things the prosecution says were done by him as part of a scenario.”

2:33pm: Court has resumed and Mr Fuller has continued to his closing address to the jury.

He has again drawn the jury’s attention to the leaves found in Mrs Baden-Clay’s hair.

2:41pm: Mr Fuller said the only “rational conclusion” the jury could draw was that Mrs Baden-Clay’s head had come into contact with the leaf litter outside her house.

“And if her head came into contact with the leaf litter at her house, how is that possible?” he asked.

The court has previously heard six different types of leaves were found entwined in Mrs Baden-Clay’s hair and tangled in the sleeves of her jumper. The six species of plants were found growing around the Baden-Clays’ Brookfield home. Only two species of plants were found in the Kholo Creek area.

“So that’s what connects her to her house, ladies and gentlemen,” Mr Fuller said.

3:04pm: Mr Fuller has turned his attention to the scratches which appeared on Mr Baden-Clay’s face on the morning he reported his wife missing.

Mr Baden-Clay has maintained the injuries were shaving cuts, but four forensic experts who testified at the trial said the abrasions were more consistent with fingernail scratches.

The real estate agent told police he would usually “shit, shower and shave” each morning. But on the morning he reported his wife missing Mr Baden-Clay said he had showered before shaving because he was in a rush.

“If you have to do the same to things, is it any quicker to do them in reverse order?” Mr Fuller asked the jury.

3:20pm: Mr Fuller said DNA “belonging to someone else” was found under the fingernails of Mrs Baden-Clay’s left hand.

“Her left hand scratching the right side of his face,” Mr Fuller said.

He said the scratches on Mr Baden-Clay’s face were there “damning”.

“They are damning and link him to the act of violence without any doubt,” he said.

3:23pm: The jury has taken a 10 minute break.

3:35pm: Court has resumed.

“Now I want to talk about the pressures on Mr Baden-Clay,” Mr Fuller said.

3:39pm: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay was facing pressure from his wife, his long-time mistress Toni McHugh and his flagging business.

But Mr Fuller said the pressures upon Mr Baden-Clay did not necessarily result in an angry explosion.

He said a person could make a “calm decision” to respond to pressure with an act of violence.

Mr Baden-Clay has denied being under pressure from Ms McHugh and has denied being under significant financial stress at the time of his wife’s disappearance.

3:48pm: Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay failed to tell police about the heated argument he had with Ms McHugh on the afternoon of April 19, 2012.

“He says there is no tension at all. No issue with his wife at all. Everything was happy,” Mr Fuller said.

“But of course he fails to talk about the conversation he had with Toni McHugh.”

Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay’s responses to questions from police were “scripted to justify his behaviour”.

3:56pm: Mr Fuller has shown the jury further pages from Mrs Baden-Clay’s journal.

On one page Mrs Baden-Clay wrote her “Daily Disciplines” which included exercising and drinking water.

On the following page she wrote: “I have a loving marriage with a wonderful relationship with great sex.”

On other pages she wrote lists of gratitudes. She wrote the final list of gratitudes on June 1, 2010.

Gerard and Allison Baden-Clay on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied

4:02pm: The journal reveals the Baden-Clays’ marriage was in trouble just two months later.

On August 23, 2010 Mrs Baden-Clay wrote:

“I would give anything for my partner to make love to me.”

On December 8, 2010 Mrs Baden-Clay wrote:

“If would give anything if my partner would love me and make love to me.”

“I’m afraid of losing my marriage, being a single mum, my marriage failing …

“Maybe I am still harbouring regrets about getting married and did I make the right decision?”

4:13pm: Meanwhile, Mr Fuller said, Mr Baden-Clay was embroiled in an affair with his then-employee Toni McHugh.

Come 2012, Mr Baden-Clay was promising Ms McHugh he would be with her “unconditionally” from July 1.

“This man was in love with Toni McHugh,” Mr Fuller said.

“This man wanted to be with Toni McHugh. But he was straddling the fence – didn’t have the courage to go, didn’t have the courage to stay. Does that not show the pressure and the place that this man was in come the 19th and 20th of April 2012?”

Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh’s emails are submitted to the Brisbane Supreme Court where the father-of-three is standing trial for his wife Allison’s murder. Photo: Court Exhibit

4:23pm: “She fell for the Baden-Clay product and fell hard,” Mr Fuller said of Ms McHugh.

“She was obviously in love with this man had endured three years of a relationship with him every day that was brought to an end in 2011 … and he refuses to make contact with her.

“Then he comes back into her life and it [the affair] continues, but under different conditions.”

“But she still is gracious enough to give him the out, but he doesn’t take it.”

The court has previously heard Ms McHugh and Mr Baden-Clay met at a Kelvin Grove coffee shop in early 2012.

At the meeting Ms McHugh said: “If you want to be with your wife, be with her.”

4:28pm: Court has adjourned for the day.

Mr Fuller will continue his closing address tomorrow.

Allison Baden-Clay put her husband’s phone on charge at 1.48am and then went for a late night walk “to clear her head” on the day she disappeared, a Supreme Court jury was told yesterday.

Defence barrister Michael Byrne QC in his closing address to the Supreme Court in Brisbane put to the jury that the Brookfield mother-of-three first took a 100mg tablet of the antidepressant Zoloft before leaving the house in her walking clothes.

He said Ms Baden-Clay might have decided to walk out into the night, further than usual, against a background of mental turmoil over her husband’s long-running affair, which they had discussed in detail the previous two nights; the possibility she would run into his mistress at a real estate conference the next day; and her failure to bear him a son.

Mr Byrne said the drugs in Ms Baden-Clay’s system would peak in her blood stream and be absorbed by 4am. He said it was possible, with an increased dose that she experienced disorientation brought on by “serotonin syndrome” or perhaps just the greater than usual aberrant side-effects of Zoloft.

“And some time, for some reason, she ends up in the river,” he said. “The autopsy report can’t rule out drowning, it can’t rule out a possible fall, a jump from the bridge which could have rendered her unconscious, and either drowning or dying in the river.”

He told the jury it was a scenario they might reject, but it was one which they might think was open to them on the evidence.

Gerard Baden-Clay, 43, has pleaded not guilty before Justice John Byrne to murdering his wife and dumping her body 13.5km away at the Kholo Creek Bridge at Anstead on April 19, 2012.

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

 

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 15

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Defence counsel Michael Byrne’s submissions will be followed by prosecutor Todd Fuller and Justice John Byrne, who will sum up the case before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Gerard Baden-Clay trial: ‘Despicable morals’ do not make him a murderer, defence argues

Updated 6 minutes ago

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence lawyer has told jurors that while they may find his morals despicable, it is a far cry from labelling him a murderer.

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Allison Baden-Clay, and dumping her body under the Kholo Creek bridge in April 2012.

Today marks the start of the fifth week of the 43-year-old’s trial.

In his closing submission to the jury, defence barrister Michael Byrne QC reminded the jurors not to be swayed by “titillating” evidence or the “soap opera” portrayed by parts of the media.

Mr Byrne told the jury that Baden-Clay had never been a violent man and that the prosecution case was circumstantial and relied on inferences.

He told the jurors there was no direct evidence the former real estate agent killed his wife and that they could not join the dots if there was no evidence to join them.

“When you properly and critically analyse the evidence, you would not be satisfied that Gerard Baden-Clay is guilty of the offence,” Mr Byrne said.

The crown alleges Baden-Clay smothered and dumped Allison’s body under a bridge in the middle of the night before returning home to his children at Brookfield.

But Mr Byrne reminded the jury that pathologist Dr Nathan Milne could not establish a cause of death.

Mr Byrne said other causes, including anti-depressant toxicity, drowning or a fall from a height, were possible causes.

He told the court of a possible scenario that could explain Allison’s death.

“[Allison] is supposed to be going to the conference the next day. She avoids confrontation … what if she decides to go for a walk at that time to clear her head. What if, because of her depression, she takes Zoloft tablet around 10:00pm or 11:00pm,” he told the jurors.

“That would explain why she changed into [the] clothes which she is found in, leaves the house … but first placed Gerard’s phone she had possession of on the charger around 1:48am.

“She begins to walk her usual route along Boscombe Road and decides to walk a bit further … it’s about 4:00am … peak in the blood stream, medication is absorbed into her system.

“It’s no longer present in the stomach but we know the levels are in the blood. Maybe with that increase in dosage we have serotonin syndrome. Consider that as a scenario … and at some time, for some reason, she ends up in the river.”

He also stressed that apart from blood found in Allison’s car, no other blood was found and there was no evidence of a struggle in the couple’s house.

Mr Byrne said Baden-Clay explained to police in an open and candid way that marks on his right cheek were shaving cuts.

He told the jurors that, despite evidence from experts who said the marks were most likely from fingernails, they could not be 100 per cent certain this was the case.

“These scratches, any way you look at them … cannot themselves convict Gerard Baden-Clay of murder,” he said.

Baden-Clay has vehemently denied ever physically harming his wife or being under financial pressure at the time of her disappearance.

The trial heard details of Baden-Clay’s infidelities, including an affair with colleague Toni McHugh.

Mr Byrne said the crown’s case suggested Baden-Clay killed his wife because he wanted to leave her for Ms McHugh.

“You may find his morals despicable, but that’s a far cry from labelling him a murderer,” Mr Byrne said.

Mr Byrne said despite his client’s affair with Ms McHugh, Baden-Clay had no intention of leaving his wife and three young girls.

He said while it had not been a passionate union, there had been no history of violence in Baden-Clay’s marriage.

Mr Byrne described as “incredible” the Crown’s assertion that his client could violently kill his wife, dress the body and transport it to Kholo Creek in the middle of the night and drag it down to the bank, all while his children were asleep in bed.

Mr Byrne also told the jury financial records show his client had substantial personal assets at the time of his wife’s death, so the Crown’s case that he was under financial pressure is a furphy.

Defence submissions will be followed by a summing up of the case by prosecutor Todd Fuller and Justice John Byrne before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

Gerard Baden-Clay trial: ‘Despicable morals’ do not make him a murderer, defence argues

3pm

 Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence lawyer has told jurors that while they may find his morals despicable, it is a far cry from labelling him a murderer.

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Allison Baden-Clay, and dumping her body under the Kholo Creek bridge in April 2012.

Today marks the start of the fifth week of the 43-year-old’s trial.

In his closing submission to the jury, defence barrister Michael Byrne QC, reminded the jurors not to be swayed by “titillating” evidence or the “soap opera” portrayed by parts of the media.

Mr Byrne told the jury that Baden-Clay had never been a violent man and that the prosecution case was circumstantial and relied on inferences.

He told the jurors there was no direct evidence the former real estate agent killed his wife and that they could not join the dots if there was no evidence to join them.

“When you properly and critically analyse the evidence, you would not be satisfied that Gerard Baden-Clay is guilty of the offence,” Mr Byrne said.

The crown alleges Baden-Clay smothered and dumped Allison’s body under a bridge in the middle of the night before returning home to his children at Brookfield.

But Mr Byrne reminded the jury that pathologist Dr Nathan Milne could not establish a cause of death.

Mr Byrne said other causes, including anti-depressant toxicity, drowning or a fall from a height, were possible causes.

He also stressed that apart from blood found in Allison’s car, no other blood was found and there was no evidence of a struggle in the couple’s house.

Baden-Clay has vehemently denied ever physically harming his wife or being under financial pressure at the time of her disappearance.

The trial heard details of Baden-Clay’s infidelities, including an affair with colleague Toni McHugh.

Mr Byrne said the crown’s case suggested Baden-Clay killed his wife because he wanted to leave her for Ms McHugh.

“You may find his morals despicable, but that’s a far cry from labelling him a murderer,” Mr Byrne said.

Mr Byrne said despite his client’s affair with Ms McHugh, Baden-Clay had no intention of leaving his wife and three young girls.

He said, while it had not been a passionate union, there had been no history of violence in Baden-Clay’s marriage.

Defence submissions will be followed by prosecutor Todd Fuller and Justice John Byrne, who will sum up the case before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

10.50AM

Photo: Gerard Baden-Clay denies murdering his wife Allison. (AAP: Dan Peled)

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has entered its final stages in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

The 43-year-old is accused of killing his wife Allison in April 2012, but has pleaded not guilty.

Today marks the start of the fifth week of the trial and Baden-Clay’s defence barrister, Michael Byrne, is giving his closing submission to the jury.

Mr Byrne has told the jury that Baden-Clay has never been a violent man.

He also reminded the jurors not to be swayed by “titillating” evidence or the “soap opera” portrayed by parts of the media.

“When you properly and critically analyse the evidence, you would not be satisfied that Gerard Baden-Clay is guilty of the offence,” Mr Byrne told the jurors.

The crown alleges Baden-Clay smothered and dumped Allison’s body under a bridge in the middle of the night before returning home to his children at Brookfield.

He has vehemently denied ever physically harming his wife or being under financial pressure at the time of her disappearance.

Mr Byrne’s submissions will be followed by prosecutor Todd Fuller and Justice John Byrne, who will sum up the case before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

 

Are you more or less convinced of GBC guilt since the start of trial?

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GBC Collage...He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

GBC Collage…He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

Join in this poll and have your say in the comments. here are all the links you need to go over or follow what has been going on!

There have been thousands of comments over the duration of this trial, we are about to hear closing statements from the defence and the prosecution.

I’m wondering what or why some folks may or may not of changed their opinions based on THIS TRIAL

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Four Days to talk about GBC Trial-What now?

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GBC Collage...He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

GBC Collage…He is on trial charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

So its your site, so what would you like to see or read?

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Want us to have a poll or questionnaire to participate in?

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This is your chance to REALLY participate at a slower pace.

I can give you a page to work on and post when ready

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Have a say, be a critic, how better do we cover another crime and trial?

Sleep on it and let me know. Or get into it right now. You all know the contact buttons or just email me at aussiecriminals@gmail.com with the subject line GBC FEEDBACK

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How does that sound folks?

Click on the button above to take our short survey!

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 14

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All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Gerard Baden-Clay testifies: Live coverage of accused killer’s fourth day in witness box

Gerard Baden-Clay trial: Accused murderer cross-examined for second day

Updated 1pm

Accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay has denied smothering his wife Allison and dumping her body under a bridge during a second day of cross-examination at his murder trial.

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife, Allison Baden-Clay, whose body was found on a creek bank at Anstead in Brisbane’s west in 2012, 10 days after she was reported missing.

Under intense questioning from the prosecution, Baden-Clay told the Supreme Court he would never harm his wife.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller suggested to him that he was under significant personal and financial pressure on April 19, 2012, the day his wife Allison was last seen alive.

Mr Fuller: “You killed your wife, Mr Baden-Clay.”

Baden-Clay: “No I did not.”

Mr Fuller: “You killed her, either in or at Brookfield, that night or in the early hours of the morning.”

Baden-Clay: “No I 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.”

Baden-Clay: “That is not true.”

Mr Fuller: “Probably as you smothered her and took her life from her.”

Baden-Clay: “That is not true.”

The former real estate agent, who remained calm under cross-examination, told Mr Fuller he had no idea how he got an injury under his right shoulder, and denied overpowering his wife.

“I never did anything to physically harm my wife in any way, ever, so your supposition to then take it further, to suggest I did other things as well, is absurd and I object to it,” Baden-Clay said.

Mr Fuller continued: “You transported her to Kholo Creek and then dumped her underneath the bridge, unceremoniously.”

Baden-Clay replied: “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’re suggesting.”

He confirmed it was his suggestion to put location apps on his and Allison’s phones, but “on the one day I needed it, it failed me”.

The 43-year-old told the court he first heard of his wife’s body being found through the media but was later told officially by police.

The accused was also asked about his affair with Toni McHugh. He told the court that he informed his family about the relationship when he discovered the media was preparing a story.

“I didn’t anticipate that the police were going to inform the media but they did,” Baden-Clay said.

Baden-Clay told the court he had sex with Ms McHugh in the spare room and on a mattress in the lounge room of his Brookfield home.

He said he had told his wife about Ms McHugh’s visits to their home.

Baden-Clay said it did not enter his mind to call Ms McHugh to ask if she had spoken to his wife on April 20, 2012.

Baden-Clay says loyalty was to wife and children

The Crown began its cross-examination of Baden-Clay yesterday.

Mr Fuller suggested that scratches on the accused’s face in the days after Allison’s disappearance were not from shaving as Baden-Clay has insisted.

“I suggest to you what you did to your face wasn’t a shaving injury, that they were scratches by your wife’s fingernails at a time when she was struggling with you,” Mr Fuller said.

Baden-Clay replied: “No, that’s completely false.”

The former real estate agent also told the court he had tried several times to break off the relationship with Ms McHugh, who he said became more demanding as time went on.

Baden-Clay said Ms McHugh wanted him to get a divorce. He said he told her no, adding that his loyalty was to his wife and children.

He told the court he was concerned about the impact on his business if he broke the relationship off with Ms McHugh permanently.

Baden-Clay has now been stood down from the witness stand on his fourth day of giving evidence.

Further defence witnesses are being called.

10:22am: The 14th day of the trial is under way in Court 11.The trial is now being live streamed to two other court rooms, including the Banco Court, which seats 147 people.The Banco Court, which is usually reserved for ceremonial occasions, was filled with curious court watchers yesterday.
10:22am: Gerard Baden-Clay has returned to the witness box to be cross-examined by Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC.Mr Baden-Clay weathered more than three hours of intense questioning by Mr Fuller yesterday.The former real estate agent is dressed in a dark suit with a blue tie and glasses.

10:22am: Mr Fuller has turned his questioning to Mr Baden-Clay’s affair with his long-time mistress Toni McHugh.

“When did you tell your family of the affair?” Mr Fuller asked.

“When I was informed by someone in the media that they were going to be letting everybody know about it,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.

“I didn’t anticipate that the police were going to inform the media [about the affair] but they did.”

10:34am: Mr Fuller has asked Mr Baden-Clay why he chose to drive his wife’s Holden Captiva to search for her on the morning she disappeared.The HoldenCaptiva was parked in the car port that morning.Mr Baden-Clay’s white Toyota Prado was parked in the drive way in front of the car port.“You would have had to reverse it [the Captiva] out around the Prado and down the driveway?” Mr Fuller asked.“Yes. That was perfectly normal,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.”There wasn’t significant damage to the Prado?” Mr Fuller said.

“No. Someone side-swiped me,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

“And when had that occurred?” Mr Fuller asked.

“On the Monday,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.

“So you’d been driving the vehicle on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” Mr Fuller said.

“Yes,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

The court has previously heard Mr Baden-Clay had been involved in a minor car accident on the Monday morning.

“There was nothing to stop you taking the Prado?” Mr Fuller said.

“There was nothing to stop me taking the Prado with me, that’s correct,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

 Guys Im out for about 3 hours updates later on, Cheers Robbo

Allison Baden-Clay's car when it was examined by forensic experts.

Allison Baden-Clay’s car when it was examined by forensic experts. Photo: Court Exhibit

10:38am: Mr Fuller has asked Mr Baden-Clay why he phoned his own friends – Stuart Christ, Robert Cheesman and Peter Cranna – before phoning his wife‘s parents and friends on the morning she disappeared.

Mr Baden-Clay said he could not recall his “thought process” that morning.

However he said he phoned Mr Cheesman because his house was about to hit the market that day.

“So that was about managing your business, effectively,” Mr Fuller said.

“I was concerned about my wife but I also had my family and my business to worry about as well,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.

Under the Kholo Creek bridge.

Under the Kholo Creek bridge. Photo: Court Exhibit

10:45am: “When did you first become aware that Allison had been found?” Mr Fuller asked.

Mr Baden-Clay said he was at his Taringa real estate office when news emerged that a body had been found under Kholo Creek bridge.

He said he phoned his lawyer Darren Mahony upon hearing the news.

Mr Baden-Clay then travelled to Brisbane’s CBD where he met Mr Mahony and barrister Peter Davis.

“On the 30th of April we were at the office and a media came through somehow I don’t recall how I then went, I think I may have called Darren, I must have spoken to Darren and asked if he knew anything, because the police had been liaising with him as well,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

“He recommended that we meet together in the city and the police came and informed us at Peter Davis’s chambers.”

“The police told you that a body had been found,” Mr Fuller said.

“And they confirmed it was Allison,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

“I remember being physically shocked by that.”

“They didn’t tell you it was likely to be Allison or possible it could be Allison, they told you it was Allison,” Mr Fuller said.

“Correct,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

10:54am: Mr Fuller: “What was the loss to you [financially] if you and Allison had separated?”

Mr Baden-Clay: “You’re asking a lot of hypothetical questions that I’ve never really explored in detail myself so I’m not sure I can really answer that. Honestly, I can’t answer that.”

Mr Fuller: “There would have been financial consequences to you if you left your wife.”

Mr Baden-Clay: “Yes … If Allison and I had determined we were going to divorce … I don’t know how that would have played out, I honestly don’t know.”

Gerard Baden-Clay's former mistress Toni McHugh.

Gerard Baden-Clay’s former mistress Toni McHugh. Photo: Supplied

11:04am: Mr Fuller has turned his questioning again to the night of April 19, 2012.

Mr Baden-Clay’s long-time mistress Toni McHugh was due to come face-to-face with Mrs Baden-Clay at a real estate conference the following day.

Mr Fuller: “You’re double life would be exposed.”

Mr Baden-Clay: “No.”

Mr Fuller: “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 head that that was a concern.”

Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's face.

Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay’s face. Photo: Court Exhibit

11:20am: Mr Fuller: “You killed your wife, Mr Baden-Clay.”

Mr Baden-Clay: “No, I did not.”

The prosecutor put to Mr Baden-Clay that he had attacked his wife and the “only way” she could respond was to “lash out and claw his face”.

“That is not true,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.

Mr Fuller: “Probably as you smothered her and took her life from her.”

Mr Baden-Clay: “That is not true. I never did anything to physically harm my wife in any way, ever.”

11:25am: Mr Fuller suggested Mr Baden-Clay dragged his wife’s body to the boot of her Holden Captiva and then drove to Kholo Creek at Anstead where he dumped her body “unceremoniously” to “hurry back” to his sleeping children in the middle of the night.

“The suggestion that I would leave my children for any time, in the middle of the night, is absurd, let alone do the dastardly things you’re suggesting,” Mr Baden-Clay replied.

Allison Baden-Clay's body was discovered under the Kholo Creek bridge.

Allison Baden-Clay’s body was discovered under the Kholo Creek bridge. Photo: Court Exhibit

11:27am: Mr Fuller then suggested the deed was done by 1.48am on April 20, 2012, when Mr Baden-Clay’s iPhone was connected to his bedside charger.

Mr Baden-Clay denied that.

The 43-year-old also denied covering his “tracks” by putting boxes of toys into his wife’s Captiva and shaving to create cuts along the bottom edges of the scratches on his face.

Mr Fuller suggested Mr Baden-Clay was “pretending” when he told police he was worried about his wife’s whereabouts.

“I was a concerned husband and I am a very concerned father … it’s not a facade,” Mr Baden-Clay said.

Mr Fuller concluded his cross-examination.

Police photograph of toys in the boot of Allison Baden-Clay's car.

Police photograph of toys in the boot of Allison Baden-Clay’s car. Photo: Court Exhibit

11:28am: Mr Baden-Clay has been briefly re-examined by his defence barrister Michael Byrne QC to clarify points raised in the cross-examination.

Mr Baden-Clay has been excused from the witness box.

The court has adjourned for a short morning tea break.

11:56am: Court has resumed.

The defence team has called its first witness.

Ashton Ward has been called to the witness box. Mr Ward is the director of a Brisbane company called Khemistry which specialises in producing time lapse videos.

11:59am: The time lapse video showing the tides of Kholo Creek at Anstead has been played for the second time for the court.

The video was first shown to the jury during the opening address of defence counsel Michael Byrne QC.

Mr Ward has been excused.

Kholo Creek.

Kholo Creek. Photo: Court Exhibit

12:05pm: Forensic toxicologist Dr Michael Robertson has been called to the witness box.

Dr Robertson has been a toxicologist for the past two decades and practicing as a forensic toxicologist for the majority of that time.

He reviewed the results of a post-mortem examination conducted on Mrs Baden-Clay’s body.

“I did a file review on the documents I was provided and prepared a report based on that information,” he said.

Allison Baden-Clay had been prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft.

Allison Baden-Clay had been prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft. Photo: Andrew Meares

12:22pm: Mr Byrne asked Dr Robertson to comment on the adverse affects of the anti-depressent drug Zoloft of which the active component in the Serotonin.

Dr Robertson said elevated levels of Serotonin could cause “Seratonin toxicity” or “Serotonin syndrome” in patients.

“When you get too much of this drug you can get cases of more profound confusion, increased agitation, unusual behaviours … elevated temperatures,” he said.

Dr Robertson said the drug could promote “suicide ideation” in people using the medication.

12:39pm: Dr Robertson has been cross-examined by Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC.

Mr Fuller suggested the levels of the drug Sertraline, sold as Zoloft, found in Mrs Baden-Clay’s body did not cause her death.

“I can’t necessarily agree with that completely,” Dr Roberston said.

He said there could be various explanations for the elevated levels of Sertraline found in Mrs Baden-Clay’s decomposing body.

“Whether they indirectly had involvement, I don’t know,” Dr Robertson said.

Mr Fuller said the levels of Sertraline in Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was not consistent with levels typically reported in Sertraline-related deaths.

“Correct,” Dr Robertson said.

Dr Robertson has been excused.

12:44pm: Psychiatrist Dr Mark Schramm has been called to the witness box.

He reviewed Mrs Baden-Clay’s medical records upon the request of the defence team. Dr Schramm chiefly works within the Queensland prison system but also has a private practice at Toowong.

His report was reviewed by Professor Diego De Leo, a suicidologist, based at Griffith University.

12:53pm: Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC has asked Dr Schramm to comment on the nature of suicide.

Dr Schramm said more than half of people who committed suicide did not leave a note.

He recalled a well-respected study on suicide which he said found that “most people who took their lives did not leave a suicide note”.

“One-tenth to one-third do not leave notes,” Dr Schramm said.

Mr Baden-Clay has repeatedly pointed to his wife’s history with depression to suggest she took her own life.

Anyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 131 114 or Mensline on 1300 789 978.

12:56pm: Mr Byrne asked Dr Schramm to comment how often suicide was “unexpected”.

“It’s not uncommon that suicide, unfortunately, is a surprise,” Dr Schramm said.

“It is also the case that very often, and unfortunately, suicide is a surprise and that even in retrospect it has been impossible to predict.”

12:59pm: Dr Schramm has been cross-examined by Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle.

He conceded a woman’s “maternal instinct” would be considered a factor that would prevent suicide.

He also conceded a person making “short and long term plans for the future” would also  be considered a prevention factor.

Mr Boyle asked Dr Schramm about suicide in people who had been proactive in seeking help for depression and anxiety.

“Allison seemed to be a person who put her hand up and sought help,” Dr Schramm said.

1:08pm: “She suffered from major depression which is a major risk factor for suicide,” Dr Schramm added.

“One could imagine that the stress associated with the problems in the marriage could have contributed to thoughts of suicide.”

Anyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 131 114 or Mensline on 1300 789 978.

1:14pm: Dr Schramm has been excused.

That ends the defence case.

1:17pm: The jury has been excused to return on Monday when the prosecution and defence lawyers will make their closing address.

“I look forward to seeing you next at 10am on Monday,” Justice John Byrne said to the jury.

Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC will be required to deliver his closing address to the jury first on Monday because Mr Baden-Clay elected to adduce evidence and step into the witness box.

1:43pm Wrap: So far today …

  • Mr Baden-Clay repeatedly but calmly denied killing his wife and dumping her body at Kholo Creek.
  • The court heard from psychiatrist Dr Mark Schramm, who spoke about the unexpected nature of suicides, even in people suffering major depression.
  • The court also heard from forensic toxicologist Michael Robertson, who spoke of the effects of Serotonin Syndrome in people taking the anti-depressant Zoloft.
  • The defence closed its case.
  • Both parties will deliver their closing addresses to the jury on Monday.

1:46pm: Court has adjourned, bringing the fourth week of the trial to an end.

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 11.5

Featured


For Friday to Sunday discussion about the GBC Trial- In limbo until MONDAY

Pretty much free reign chance to discuss the case so far for those who have followed this case

(who by now know where to find the other stuff)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toni McHugh-Who are You? Go away now


Courtesy of Australian Women’s Weekly…

Toni McHugh: ‘My future with Gerard included his children’

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The mistress of convicted wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay believed she would eventually build a life with him and his three young daughters.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Toni McHugh has opened up about how she and the now convicted murderer had high hopes of setting up house together and getting shared custody of his children.

McHugh, who was engaged in a four year affair with Baden-Clay when he violently killed his wife of 14 years,  Allison Baden-Clay, says she always considered the couple’s children when they discussed a life together.

“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,” she told The Weekly.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s secret life of betrayal revealed

The former real estate salesperson also shared unsettling details about the moment she came close to Allison’s body.

“We drove over that 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,” Ms McHugh said.

When asked whether or not she felt responsible for Allison’s untimely death, McHugh, who describes herself as ‘Australia’s Monica Lewinsky’ – the most famous White House intern in history, said ‘No’.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s colleague tells: ‘I was working with a murderer’

“It is horrible to have it said that you are the motive (for murder),” she said.

“But no, I’m sorry, he wasn’t thinking about me. He was thinking about himself.”

While McHugh admits she’s still trying to come to terms with what’s happened, she is now planning to write a book about the case.

“I’m the only one who can tell this story,” she said.

Gerard Baden-Clay was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years behind bars for killing Allison and dumping her body in Brisbane’s Kholo Creek.

Read more of this story in the August issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly. 

AFP get another 135 kg of ICE worth $130m off our streets


Follow the money and the drugs will follow. The minnows they caught with the drugs are disposable, with a queue of guys ready to take their places.

That is a lot of money to the man on the street to lose, but if you haven’t seen the brilliant show called “breaking bad”. The drugs they lost are are a mere few batches away for the big players. Not much else the Australian Federal Police can do.

from the ABC Thu 31 Jul 2014, 9:36am

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine.

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine. (ABC News: Tony Nicholls)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have seized 135 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $130 million from a Melbourne apartment.

Police said they located four suitcases containing the drugs in an inner city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday night.

The drugs represent 1.3 million street deals, police said.

The AFP and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) executed search warrants in Melbourne yesterday and arrested four Taiwanese nationals, all aged in their twenties.

Eligo Taskforce since 2012:

  • Aprox $40 million in cash seized
  • Over $800 million of illicit drugs seized
  • $30 million in assets restrained
  • Identified more than 179 targets previously unknown to law enforcement officials
  • Disrupted 25 serious organised crime groups
  • Shut down 18 clandestine drug labs, three of which were commercial scale
  • Raised $12 million in tax assessments with 150 referrals to the ATO for further action on evasion and money laundering.

The seizure and arrests comes after intelligence from the Eligo National Task Force.

AFP Commander Bruce Giles said it was a significant seizure for the country and the state.

“Ice, we see as one of the most dangerous and insidious diseases in our communities and the fact that we have removed over 1.3 million street deals of methamphetamine has got to be good for the Victorian and Australian community,” he said.

“I think in terms of an organised crime syndicate operating in Australia, clearly they will see yet again that agencies cooperate effectively together to join forces to combat the drug trade.”

The four men, Chun Lan, 28, Ming Hsuan Ou and Li Ping Chen, both 23, and Shu Yi Lin, 20, appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court just before 1:00pm (AEST).

They were all charged with possessing and trafficking a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The court heard the men, who were assisted by a translator, have Australian tourist visas and their arrest yesterday is their first time in custody.

They have been remanded in custody until their next court hearing. Magistrate Jelena Popovic told the men they could apply for bail at any time.

They will return to court on November 5 for a committal mention.


A Melbourne ice haul of 135kg packed into suitcases has been uncovered after authorities tracked profits of a crime syndicate.

Authorities tracking money linked to offshore crime syndicates have seized $130 million worth of ice packed into plastic bags and stacked in four bulging suitcases in a Melbourne apartment.

Four Taiwanese nationals in Australia on tourist visas have been charged over the crystal methylamphetamine haul.

More than 135kg of the drug was seized, an amount which police say would have been on-sold to users 1.3 million times over.

A joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) operation netted the illicit product, after intelligence was provided through the Eligo national task force which tracks money laundering.

ACC national manager of investigations Richard Grant said people were increasingly being targeted by cartels and offshore syndicates, focused purely on profit.

“One of the things for the Eligo task force is going after the profits and this is how we were able to track these particular syndicate members to end up with these seizures,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

AFP commander Bruce Giles said the bust was significant and investigations into the exact source of the drugs were ongoing.

“Traditionally with this quantity of ice, you would expect it to come by land or sea,” he said.

The drugs were found in four suitcases in an inner-city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

Four men have been charged with a range of drug offences.

A brief hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday was told the men were in Australia on tourist visas and have no fixed address within the country.

Shu Yi Lin, 20, and Li Ping Chen, 23, were both charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ice suspected of being illegally imported.

Chun Lan, 28, and Ming Hsuan Ou, 23, were each charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ice.

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