'Cold-blooded': Final appeal in High Court for wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay

Wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay’s disposal of Allison’s body has been described as “calculated” and “cold-blooded” inside a packed courtroom.

Two years after being found guilty of murder, the High Court has heard arguments for and against the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay's conviction.

The High Court appeal against the downgrade has now ended after prosecutors have sought to overturn a controversial decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal late last year to change his conviction to manslaughter.

Gerard Baden-Clay's defence team has arrived for High Court hearing. Source: 7 News.
Gerard Baden-Clay's defence team has arrived for High Court hearing. Source: 7 News.
The couple in happier times on their wedding day. Source: Facebook.
The couple in happier times on their wedding day. Source: Facebook.

Walter Sofronoff, QC, for the Crown, argued that Baden-Clay’s repeated lying to police and the fact that he continued to tell lies throughout his trial made him a man capable of murder.

Sofronoff told the courtroom that Baden-Clay also attempted to used one of his daughters in a bid to conceal the marks on his face.

He reportedly told one of the girls the scratches Allison left on his face as she fought for her life were shaving cuts, which he requested she apply band aids to.

“It’s not just the conduct itself but the character of conduct that might give rise to an inference of intention, Mr Sofronoff stated.

“His preparedness to use his children, one could conclude about him he is someone who is capable of murder.”

Allison’s sister spoke to media outside the court. Source: 7 News.
Allison’s sister spoke to media outside the court. Source: 7 News.

The hearing commenced at around 10am on Tuesday after members of Baden-Clay's legal team and family arrived at the court precinct.

Allison's family and friends also arrived to the packed courthouse, dressed in yellow as a show of solidarity.

Following the conclusion Allison's sister, Vanessa Fowler spoke outside court saying, "Together, we will now await an outcome".

"Since the decision of the appeals court to overturn the murder conviction last year, we have been overwhelmed by the incredible support we have witnessed for Allison and our family.

"It continues to be a very long and challenging road, however we, Allison's family and friends, are determined to achieve justice for Allison."

Following an extensive search of the area nearby the family home, Allison's body was found on a creek bank in April 2012, ten days after Gerard had reported her missing from their Brookfield home.

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 because of decomposition, and besides a chipped tooth and possible bruising, there were no fractures to Allison's body.

Gerard Baden-Clay. Source: Supplied.
Gerard Baden-Clay. Source: 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.

The scratches that appeared on Baden-Clay's face. Source: Supplied.
The scratches that appeared on Baden-Clay's face. Source: Supplied.



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

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

On the face of it, the Baden-Clay family was successful, running their own prestige real estate company.

However in reality they were in serious financial strife and Baden-Clay was having trouble paying off loans to friends.

Allison Baden-Clay's parents Priscilla and Geoff Dickie leave court after the appeal by Gerard Baden-Clay over his murder conviction at the Court of Appeal. Source: Supplied.
Allison Baden-Clay's parents Priscilla and Geoff Dickie leave court after the appeal by Gerard Baden-Clay over his murder conviction at the Court of Appeal. Source: Supplied.

Baden-Clay was charged with her murder in June 2012 and convicted after a six-week trial in 2014.

He was sentenced to life in prison before his appeal.

It is expected the High Court judges will reserve their decision on Tuesday and publish it in three to six months.

News break – July 26

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