GBC Trial Day 19.5 (the weekend)


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 3


The Allison Baden-Clay Murder

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

Source

AAP
12 Jun 2014 – 11:11 AM  UPDATED 12 Jun 2014 – 6:52 PM
A woman’s cry and screams were heard coming from the Baden-Clay’s house the night Brisbane mother Allison Baden-Clay vanished, a court has heard.

A woman’s cry rang out in the Baden-Clays’ suburban Brisbane street the night Allison Baden-Clay vanished, a court has heard.

Neighbours have told the murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay they heard a yell or screams coming from the direction of the couple’s house on the night of April 19, 2012.

Baden-Clay, a former real estate agent, reported his 43-year-old wife missing from their Brookfield home in Brisbane’s west the next morning.

He is standing trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court charged with her murder.

“I can’t describe it as a scream, it was more of a startled, cut-short exclamation,” said Kim Tzvetkoff, who lived across the road from the couple.

His wife Julie said she heard “a sharp yell out, like an urgent yell out”.

“I believe it came from the area of the Baden’s house,” she told the court.

Several streets away, Fiona White said she heard two high-pitched screams, like “someone falling off a cliff”, about the date of the woman’s disappearance.

Another local woman told the court she heard an argument, a scream, a “loud thud” and the screech of car tyres that night.

Under cross examination she agreed she didn’t tell police when they doorknocked her house 10 days later, and didn’t report it until May 30.

And a man who lived 500 metres from the bridge above where Allison Baden-Clay’s body was found said he heard two heavy thuds “like a sandbag” being thrown on the ground, then a car door shutting that night.

Meanwhile, Gerard Baden-Clay’s father told the trial that although he was very close to his son, Gerard and Allison had been a “private” couple.

Nigel Baden-Clay’s first statement in the witness box was to correct the prosecutor’s pronunciation of his son’s given name.

Mr Baden-Clay told the court he found out about Allison’s depression well after she married his son, and that sometimes when he visited them the house would be in semi-darkness, with Allison lying on the couch.

He said his son phoned him on the morning of April 20, 2012.

“Gerard said to me, dad, I don’t want to alarm you but have you seen Allison?” he said.

“She hasn’t come back from her walk yet and I’m a bit worried about it.”

According to Mr Baden-Clay, his son sounded “anxious but trying to be calm” and the older man went straight over to mind the children while his son looked for his wife.

Allison Baden-Clay’s body was found 10 days later on a creek bank in nearby Anstead.

Baden-Clay, 43, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

He again shed tears during Thursday’s proceedings when a distressing video recording of his youngest daughter being interviewed by police the day her mother went missing was played to the jury.

Baden-Clay cried in the dock on Wednesday when similar recordings of his two other daughters were shown.

The trial continues.

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 2


The Allison Baden-Clay Murder

The Allison Baden-Clay Murder

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

Court shown emotional tapes of police interviews with Allison Baden-Clay’s daughters

Updated Thu 12 Jun 2014, 6:01am AEST

A Supreme Court jury has been shown tapes of emotional interviews with two of the daughters of Allison Baden-Clay, whose husband is on trial for her murder.

The police interviews were recorded in April, 2012, on the day Allison was reported missing by her husband.

Her body was found on a creek bank under the Kholo Creek bridge at Anstead in Brisbane’s west, about 10 kilometres from the couple’s Brookfield home.

Gerard Baden-Clay, 43, a former real estate agent has pleaded not guilty to murder.

He cried in the dock as he watched the recorded interviews with his daughters.

In one of the interviews, one daughter broke down in tears while describing her family’s efforts to find Allison that morning.

When I said ‘where’s mum,’ he said ‘I think she’s gone for a walk’.

Allison Baden-Clay’s daughter

She said she had noticed nothing unusual about her mother when she had put her to bed the night before, or when she had seen her watching TV on the couch later that night.

She also said she noticed a band-aid on her father’s face the following morning.

Her younger sister likewise heard nothing unusual during the night, but also spotted the band-aid on her father’s face the following morning.

“He scraped himself with his old shaver thing,” the girl told police in a separate interview also recorded the day Allison was reported missing.

The younger child said she had never seen or heard her parents fight, while her older sister said their arguments were brief.

The court also heard the older daughter describing the family’s concern when her mother did not return from a morning walk on the day she disappeared.

She said she believed her mother had gone for a walk around 5.00am, but had not returned two hours later.

“We were all sitting at home and getting ready for school … and really worried,” she said.

“Our grandfather and aunty came to help just search around to see if she was still walking or not.”

She said she remembered waking up and looking at a clock, that it was 6.30am and that her dad was awake.

“When I said ‘where’s mum,’ he said ‘I think she’s gone for a walk’.

“She wasn’t there coming up the driveway.

“Dad was trying to keep calm for us. I don’t know actually what was going on in his head,” she said, crying and taking tissues.

Prosecutor Todd Fuller has told the court experts will testify the scratches on Gerard Baden-Clay’s face were more consistent with an injury caused by a fingernail than a razor.

TRIAL FACTS -THE LEGAL EAGLES IN THE CASE

Justice John Byrne: Justice Byrne has presided over recent high-profile cases including the trials of Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel and convicted triple murderer Max Sica. The Brisbane Boys’ College graduate studied law at the University of Queensland. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 1989 and was appointed senior judge administrator of the court in 2007.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC: One of Queensland’s top silks, Mr Fuller is an assistant director of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He studied law at the University of Queensland and was admitted as a barrister in 1989. Mr Fuller was appointed principal crown prosecutor at the DPP in 2003. In recent years, he has successfully prosecuted cop killers Phillip Graeme Abel and Donna Lee McAvoy and triple murderer Max Sica.
Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle: Mr Boyle acts as a consulting Crown prosecutor for the Director of Public Prosecutions. He graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Laws in 1984 and was admitted to the bar just four years later. He was involved in successfully prosecuting the man and three teenagers convicted of bashing to death the uncle of rugby league star Johnathan Thurston in 2011.
Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC: Formerly the deputy director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Byrne now sits on the opposite side of the bar table. He studied law at the University of Queensland and was first called to the bar in 1977. He defended Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel last year and represented cop killers Phillip Graeme Abel and Donna Lee McAvoy. It will be the first time Mr Byrne meets Mr Fuller in a Supreme Court trial since the trial of Abel and McAvoy in September last year.
Defence solicitor Peter Shields: Mr Shields, a former police officer, is one of few accredited criminal specialist solicitors in Queensland. He studied law at the Queensland University of Technology and was admitted to practice as a solicitor in Queensland and New South Wales in 1998, before opening his own practice in New Farm.