Gerard Baden-Clay: 'My wife isn't home'
A jury hears the emergency phone call made to triple-0 by accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay on the morning his wife went missing.PT2M33S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3ac3v 620 349 June 18, 2014
Gerard Baden-Clay’s triple-0 call to police on the morning he reported his wife Allison Baden-Clay missing was heard for the first time on Tuesday.
The recording of the emergency call was played to Brisbane’s Supreme Court where Mr Baden-Clay stands trial charged with his wife’s murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
Mr Baden-Clay made the call at 7.15am on April 20, 2012.
Slain Brisbane mother Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Supplied
Operator: Police emergency. What’s your location?
Mr Baden-Clay: Good morning. Brookfield.
Operator: Where abouts in Brookfield?
Mr Baden-Clay: 593 Brookfield Road, Brookfield.
Operator: And what’s happening there?
Mr Baden-Clay: I don’t want to be an alarmist so I tried the 131 number but … My wife isn’t home. I don’t know where she is.
Operator: When did you last see her?
Mr Baden-Clay: Last night when I went to bed … I got up this morning and she wasn’t there, that’s not unusual, she often goes for a walk in the morning. I texted her, called her a number of times, I think she has the phone with her ummm, but, and …
Operator: What time does she normally get back when she goes for a walk?
Mr Baden-Clay: She has a seminar in the city so she was planning to leave by, you know, around seven. She’s not back home yet … I’m just driving the streets. My father has come over to look after the children.
The court later heard Mr Baden-Clay was met at his Brookfield home by first response police officers Constable Kieron Ash and Constable Leah Hammond.
Constable Ash told the court he noticed scratches on the right side of Mr Baden-Clay’s face, which he described as “red and raised”.
Constable Ash said he suspected a domestic dispute may have occurred and with Mr Baden-Clay’s permission searched the house for signs of a struggle.
“I looked in the sink, in the waste paper basket, down the sink hole and the towels in the en suite. I saw no traces of blood on any of those items,” Constable Ash said.
He said he saw no signs of damage in the house, or anything to suggest there may have been a struggle.
The court heard Mr Baden-Clay told police his missing wife would have access to only $20 because they were on the “bones of their arse” financially.
When questioned by police that morning, Mr Baden-Clay denied being estranged from his wife, but admitted to having an affair, which had put a strain on his relationship.
“We're working through it and in fact we went and saw a counsellor on Monday," he said.
Mr Baden-Clay said his wife seemed to be in a “pretty good” mood the night before, when he went to bed and left her watching The Footy Show on the couch.
He said she had a suffered depression in the past, which had been managed with medication. He could not tell police whether his wife was still taking medication at the time.
The court earlier heard that Mr Baden-Clay had had multiple affairs, while maintaining his marriage and a long-term illicit relationship with his former employee Toni McHugh.
He slept with a woman at a conference in Sydney, before phoning Ms McHugh to convince her to jump on a plane and meet him there.
Dr Nicholas Burke, who saw Mrs Baden-Clay after she had learned of her husband’s long-running affair in September 2011, told the court he found her be to “quite resilient”.
The GP said Mrs Baden-Clay had presented with low mood and anxiety, but showed great insight into her mental state.
"My opinion was that she wasn't at a high risk of suicide," Dr Burke said.
"She had a high degree of resilience."
Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie saw Mrs Baden-Clay on March 27, 2012.
Reading from her notes, Ms Ritchie told the court Mrs Baden-Clay said: "I'm feeling inadequate, not good enough, I believe I let it happen. Gerard's way is the right way. Gerard has had an affair for the last three years … I fear one day he will leave."
She noted that Mrs Baden-Clay said her husband had dismissed her depression in the past and told her to “get over it” or “snap out of it”.
She said Mrs Baden-Clay returned with her husband on April 16, 2012.
Ms Ritchie said she spent much of the counselling session with Mr Baden-Clay trying to convince him to spend 10 to 15 minutes every second night with Mrs Baden-Clay listening to her speak about her feelings.
She said he was very resistant to her suggestion, saying it was "regression".
Ms Ritchie read from notes she made about Mr Baden-Clay during the April 16 session.
"He said 'Allison does not trust me. She questions me. She says yes, when she means no. I used to blame Allison for disappointments in my life’,” Ms Ritchie said.
"He said 'I want to build a future together, not regressing. I want to get on with life and wipe it clean'."
The trial continues.