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May 19, 2015
The Queensland Court of Appeal has confirmed the year’s most hotly anticipated hearing will take place on August 7.
A jury convicted the former prestige real estate agent of his wife’s murder following a high profile trial last year.
He was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 15 years.
Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was found under the Kholo Creek Bridge 11 days after her husband reported her missing on April 19, 2012.
Gerard Baden-Clay has always maintained he is innocent of his wife’s murder.
Following a 21 day trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland last year, Baden-Clay was found guilty of killing his wife at their home in the leafy western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield.
Her body was dumped about 14 kilometres away, on the banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead.
Baden-Clay’s trial heard he was embroiled in an affair with his long-time mistress Toni McHugh and was under significant financial pressure, owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends, family and ex-business partners at the time of his wife’s disappearance.
His murder conviction marked a dramatic fall from grace for the former real estate agent, who prided himself on his lineage as the great-grandson of famed Scouts movement founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
His lawyers lodged an appeal two days after the guilty verdict was returned.
Baden-Clay claimed he was the victim of a “miscarriage of justice”, in the appeal papers lodged by his solicitor Peter Shields.
He has appealed his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was “unreasonable”, because the jury was incorrectly directed about evidence relating to blood found in the boot of Mrs Baden-Clay’s four-wheel-drive.
“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 the blood was attributable 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.
Baden-Clay has also claimed that presiding judge Justice John Byrne misdirected the jury about the injuries which appeared on his face on the morning he reported his wife missing, as well as evidence relating to the discovery of Mrs Baden-Clay’s body on the banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead.
“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 application says.
“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by marking razor cuts.”
The prosecution alleged Baden-Clay cut his right cheek with a razor in a failed attempt to disguise the scratch marks his wife had left on his face while fighting for her life.
Baden-Clay has maintained the injuries on his face were shaving cuts, but four forensic experts told his trial the abrasions were more consistent with fingernail scratches.
Baden-Clay’s trial, and his eventual conviction, was one of the biggest news events of 2014.
The father-of-three wept and shook violently after the seven men and five women of the jury delivered their guilty verdict.
His three young daughters with Allison, who are now being cared for by her parents, were not in court to hear the jury foreman declare their father guilty of their mother’s murder.
In February, it emerged the three girls remain unable to access their mother’s dual life insurance policies, collectively valued at nearly $800,000, until their father exhausts his legal avenues to have his conviction overturned.