Sex abuse royal commission: Prosecutor defends using question of 12-year-old’s breasts in legal advice in Scott Volkers case


Updated 10 hours 41 minutes ago

A senior NSW prosecutor has defended using the question of whether 12-year-old girls have breasts to back up her finding that there was little chance former Olympic swimming coach Scott Volkers would be convicted of sex abuse charges.

In 2002 Volkers was charged with a range of sexual abuse offences relating to three young female swimmers – Julie Gilbert, Kylie Rogers and Simone Boyce – but those charges were later dropped.

A royal commission into child sex abuse is currently examining how sports bodies and top prosecutors handled the allegations.

Queensland Police reopened the case against Mr Volkers in December 2002.

In December 2003, Queensland‘s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought the advice of the NSW DPP as to whether the new brief of evidence supporting the allegations had reasonable prospects of conviction.

The NSW DPP, Nicholas Cowdery QC, tasked deputy senior crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC with preparing the advice.

In her advice, Ms Cunneen questioned whether the charges against Mr Volkers had a reasonable chance of success because it was legitimate to ask – following Ms Gilbert’s assertions that Mr Volkers had massaged her breasts – whether 12-year-old swimmers even had breasts.

At the royal commission on Thursday, Ms Cunneen said that was still a valid question for a jury to consider.

“If a defence counsel could raise a doubt that there was any palpable breast tissue, through the clothing of course, then we’d be in trouble trying to say that she had breasts,” she said.

On Tuesday, Ms Gilbert told the ABC’s 7.30 program Ms Cunneen’s questions regarding her allegations were deeply hurtful.

Advice based on whether jury would accept evidence: Cunneen

The counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, also asked Ms Cunneen whether it was fair to say she does not resile from her original advice to the Queensland DPP regarding any conviction being unlikely.

“I take it from the terms of [your] statement Ms Cunneen that you don’t resile in any way from the advice you gave in 2004 in relation to Mr Volkers?” she said.

Ms Cunneen answered that she stands by the advice.

Scott Volkers

“Bearing in mind it was 2004 and that maybe [there are] some considerations in relation to juries being more amenable in 2014,” she said.

“We were probably only two-thirds of the way through the evolution, in terms of public knowledge and acceptance of child sexual assault cases then.

“But no, I don’t resile from the advice at all.”

She told the commission the credibility of the three alleged abuse victims was not in question, rather she was questioning whether a jury would accept their evidence.

“Sexual assaults are harder to prove than murders and robberies because it so often comes down to one word against another,” she said.

“The judge would tell [the jury] ‘probably is not enough, the gravest suspicion is not enough, you have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that that happened’.”

Volkers was exempt from holding blue card: inquiry

Earlier, the commission heard Mr Volkers was exempt from holding a blue card in Queensland, despite the fact his application was rejected.

He applied for the blue card – which is needed for working with children – along with about 60 other employees from the Queensland Academy of Sport in mid-2008.

The royal commission heard Mr Volkers’ application was the only one to be issued with a negative notice and his application for a blue card was rejected.

The director of Queensland’s blue card system, Michelle Miller, told the inquiry the recommendation to reject Mr Volkers’ application was handed down before it was decided he was exempt from the requirement to hold a blue card because he was a government employee.

On Wednesday, Swimming Queensland chief executive Kevin Hasemann agreed to review Mr Volkers’ status as a life member of the organisation and a Hall of Famer.

Mr Hasemann admitted to the commission he did not investigate the allegations against Mr Volkers before employing him.

The hearing continues.

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Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 19


Feel free to join the conversation over at day 19.5, what we call the weekend chat until they resume on Monday, just click here !

UPDATE 4.15PM

update 3pm JURY been deliberating a total of about 10 hours now

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.

Update 11/07/14 10am Jury has a Question!

Courtesy of our friends the Courier Mail

In response to a note from the jury, Justice Byrne took them through sections of his summing up.

The jury speaker said he was not able to identify the passage the jury wanted more information on, instead referring a question from Justice Byrne to another panel member.

The juror identified the section as being to do with the evidence of Baden-Clay and whether he told lies.

Justice Byrne reread the passage to the jury.

“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 merely with respect to manslaughter as distinct from also revealing an intention to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm,” he said.

“You may only use the lie about cutting himself shaving – if it is a lie – as tending to prove the element of murder of an intention to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm if, on the whole of the evidence, the accused lied because he realised that the truth of the matter in that respect would show that, in killing his wife, he had intended to kill her or to cause her grievous bodily harm.

“It may be that, even if you were to find that the accused lied about his facial injuries because he realised that the truth would show him to be the killer, still you would not conclude that the lie shows that he realised that her death after scratching him with her fingernails would show that he had killed her intentionally.”

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

8.30am

The Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial took a dramatic twist yesterday 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 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.

“Clearly the direction has not been observed by one [juror],” Justice Byrne said.

“That juror has apparently downloaded from the internet material on how a juror might approach its great responsibility on deliberating on [a] verdict.

“What was done was wrong. I am, however, grateful it was brought to my attention.”

He reiterated that assistance must come from the court only and not an external source.

“You scarcely need to know what some overseas commentator speaking about a very different system of jury trials happens to think,” he said.

The jury returned to its deliberations but was sent home for the day at about 4:00pm and will resume its deliberations on Friday.

Allison’s body was found on the creek bank 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their Brookfield home.

Prosecutors finished summing up their case on Wednesday 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 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 on Wednesday, 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.

Remember this?

Notes From The Ringside….


Hey everyone, sorry these are so long in coming and I apologise PROFUSELY for the string of profanities that pepper these pages… But during the defence closing I was so angry that I’m pretty sure my chair was starting to smoulder and the smell of sulfur was drifting down from Court 11 through the air-conditioning vents to Level 3…. where we were sitting through the most preposterous closing argument on God’s green earth.

Until the shining beacon of all that is good and proper and just, Mr Sexy-As-Hell-Coz-His-Brain-Is-Huge (Todd Fuller QC) got up and blew he defence to smithereens. He stood for Allison. He fought for her tooth and nail. For anyone who is panicking; don’t. You could literally see the perspiration breaking out on a few foreheads and there were more than a couple of purple-clad supporters and family looking a little strained and nervous. But I can’t comment too much now. More post-verdict. My other posts will be popped up back then too, all the previous ones.

You’ll all hate me for this….There are more than 30 pages here and I know Moonraker is going to have a field day with the handwriting analysis… I’m so sorry – some of it is probably illegible but ask me below if you need clarification (all pages have numbers)…

Love to all and thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts and information with you. Justice for Allison is close. Stay true to your convictions and trust in the system xx

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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

and

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

 

 

“Content kindly supplied by Brisbane Times” 

and the hard working excellent journo

Marissa Calligeros

View more articles from Marissa Calligeros

www.brisbanetimes.com.au

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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.

 

 

 

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