Queensland

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial Live Coverage: Day 12, Week 4

Baden-Clay 'just wanted sex' with mistress

Gerard Baden-Clay says he told his "volatile" mistress what she wanted to hear and it was a "no brainer" that he chose his wife Allison over her.

Courts

This afternoon ...

* Mr Baden-Clay demonstrated for the jury how he cut himself shaving on the morning he reported his wife missing, using a pink highlighter pen.

The court has previously heard from forensic experts who have said the injuries on Mr Baden-Clay's face were more consistent with fingernail scratches than cuts from a modern razor.

* The 43-year-old recounted his movements on April 19, 2012, telling the court he was bitten by a caterpillar while watching his children compete in a school cross-country carnival that day. He said an "itching scratch" spread over his chest.

* He fumbled, however, as he recalled the morning he reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012.

"I started getting the children ready for school and I think I texted Al," he said.

"Actually, I think I texted her before I had all the children up. And I tried calling more than I texted."

* Mr Baden-Clay also told the court he asked police how he could help search for his wife in the days after she disappeared but was told "in no uncertain terms" not to join the search.

GBC judge

Court has adjourned, bringing the 12th day of the trial to an end.

 

GBC Defence

Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC has shown the jury a log of calls and text messages to and from the Baden-Clays' mobile phones.

Mr Baden-Clay has explained a number of the calls, noting his wife received a text message from an unknown number about 4.30pm on April 19, 2012.

GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said his lawyer Darren Mahony advised him to visit a GP to document the injuries on his face.

Mr Baden-Clay said he visited two GPs the following day.

He said Mr Mahony also advised him not to give a formal statement to police.

Gerard Baden-Clay's solicitor Darren Mahony leaves the Brisbane Supreme Court on December 14, 2012 after his client is ...
Gerard Baden-Clay's solicitor Darren Mahony leaves the Brisbane Supreme Court on December 14, 2012 after his client is refused bail. Photo: Michelle Smith
GBC Defence

However, Mr Baden-Clay said he continued to speak to police, agreeing to let them search his Brookfield home and eventually have it declared a crime scene.

Mr Baden-Clay said he also asked police how he could help search for his wife.

"I was told in no uncertain terms, 'please do not, the police and the SES are doing it ... and we don't want a whole heap of amateurs running around potentially stuffing things up'," Mr Baden-Clay said.

SES volunteers leave Brookfield Showgrounds on April 30, 2012 to search for Allison Baden-Clay.
SES volunteers leave Brookfield Showgrounds on April 30, 2012 to search for Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Marissa Calligeros
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GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said he later received a call from his father Nigel.

"Dad called me and said he was concerned about the line of questioning I was being asked [by police]," he told the court.

"I said, 'Dad I don't think there's any need to do that' ...

"In the end I said, 'yes, that's alright'."

Mr Baden-Clay said his father put him in touch with a lawyer from Toowoomba, Craig Thompson, who referred him to a criminal lawyer on the Gold Coast, Darren Mahony.

The two lawyers, who had attended Toowoomba Grammar School with Mr Baden-Clay, advised him not to speak to the police again.

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Mr Baden-Clay said two police officers arrived at his house soon after he called triple-0 to report his wife missing.

He said he answered their questions frankly, even telling them about his long-time affair with Ms McHugh.

"I just wanted them to find Al ... so whatever they asked I helped them with. At that stage, no one in our family was aware of the infidelity and I think I asked Dad to leave the room at that point and I told them I'd had the affair with Toni in the past," he said.

"I couldn't understand why it might assist them, but they asked me the question and I told them the truth.

"I half expected Allison to walk in the door at any moment, or to get a call that she'd been found and was fine."

At the time of Allison's death, the Baden-Clays' lived in this home in Brookfield.
At the time of Allison's death, the Baden-Clays' lived in this home in Brookfield. Photo: Court Exhibit
GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said he phoned his dad Nigel Baden-Clay to ask whether he had seen Allison.

"I didn't want to be alarmist or anything," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay said his father arrived at his house a short time later and sat with the children.

He said he set out searching for his wife. 

"I didn't want to panic. I still thought Al must still be on her walk somewhere," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay's sister Olivia Walton, who was visiting from Townsville at the time, also set out searching for Mrs Baden-Clay.

Gerard Baden-Clay's father Nigel and mother Elaine, with Gerard Baden-Clay's sister Olivia Walton and her husband Ian.
Gerard Baden-Clay's father Nigel and mother Elaine, with Gerard Baden-Clay's sister Olivia Walton and her husband Ian. Photo: Marissa Calligeros
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The court has been shown a text message Mr Baden-Clay sent to his wife at 6.41am on April 20, 2012.

The text message read: "Al ,getting concerned. Where are you? The app doesn't say either? H and S up now. I'm dressed and about to make lunches. Please just text me back or call! Love, G."

Mr Baden-Clay said he tried to remain "as calm and as normal as possible" for the sake of his children.

"I didn't give them any indication there was anything untoward at that stage," he said.

GBC Defence
Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's face.
Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's face. Photo: Court Exhibit

Mr Byrne: "Were you giving much thought to your face at that time?"

Mr Baden-Clay: "No not at all, just cross with myself for having cut myself, that's all."

"It was probably around that time ... that I started to get concerned that she wasn't home yet, because she had that conference that she needed to go to. When I left the bathroom, I put her hot rollers on."

Mr Byrne: "Is that something you often did?"

Mr Baden-Clay: "Yeah ... I would often put the rollers on for her yes."

Mr Baden-Clay said his second daughter had woken by that time and dressed for school.

"I started getting the children ready for school and I think I texted Al," he said.

"Actually, I think I texted her before I had all the children up. And I tried calling more than I texted."

Mr Byrne: "What happened when you called the phone?"

Mr Baden-Clay: "It went through to her voice mail."

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quote

Mr Baden-Clay he woke the next morning and was rushing to get ready for work. He said he would usually shower in the morning and then shave.

"That morning I didn't. I actually shaved first and then I showered," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay has demonstrated with a highlighter pen how he shaved that morning.

"On that occasion I was using obviously my normal razor, which was quite old and blunt, because it was blunt I was pushing down quite firmly on my skin and flicked up and that's when I cut myself," he said.

"The reason I think it happened the second time - and that hurt a lot - I released before the previous cut ... I had a bit of an issue shaving around those cuts and cut myself again."

Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's face.
Police photograph of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's face. Photo: Court Exhibit
GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said he handed his mobile phone to his wife soon after arriving home.

Mr Byrne said evidence showed Mr Baden-Clay's phone was put on the charger at 1.48am on April 20, 2012.

"Did you have anything to do with that?" Mr Byrne asked.

"No I do not," Mr Baden-Clay.

Mr Byrne said: "Can you say whether or not Allison came to bed that night?"

Mr Baden-Clay: "No I have no recollection of that ... I have no recollection of whether or not Allison came to bed that night."

Mr Baden-Clay said he was a heavy sleeper but would wake if the children made "the slightest noise".

GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said his wife was wearing her pyjamas as they spoke on the couch that night.

"She had a sloppy joe of some sort over the top and blue hiking socks, which were actually mine, which she wore around the house as slippers," he said.

"Did you see her wearing anything else that night?" Mr Byrne said.

"No. When we got home she was already wearing that," Mr Baden-Clay replied.

"When you got home with the girls what were you wearing?" Mr Byrne asked.

"I was wearing my usual business clothes; black pants, a white shirt and corporate Century 21 tie. I got changed into what I would normally wear to bed which was a t-shirt and an old pair of boxer shorts," Mr Baden-Clay said.

GBC Defence
Allison Baden-Clay.
Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Supplied

Mr Baden-Clay said his mother collected his daughters from school that afternoon because Mrs Baden-Clay had a hairdressing appointment.

He joined his children and parents for dinner that night. He said Mrs Baden-Clay was home when he arrived home with the children.

"She was home when we got home," he said.

He said he and wife put the children to bed and then sat down to discuss the day and their plans for the following night.

Mr Baden-Clay said his wife had two questions for him about his affair.

He said she asked about how he celebrated his Ms McHugh's birthdays.

"I said I couldn't remember one," he said.

"The other question was, 'Do you regret the whole thing, or just being caught?' I repeated to her what I had said the night before."

GBC Defence

Later that day Mr Baden-Clay said he stopped by the Pullenvale house of his friend Robert Cheesman where he had been "project managing" some renovations to prepare the property for sale.

Mr Baden-Clay said he cut himself while changing a light-fitting in the main bathroom.

"I was using a ratchet screwdriver, which I'd borrowed from my father, and when I was using that screwdriver ... it slipped off and drove a little divot into the palm of my hand," he said.

The court was shown a photograph showing the injury on Mr Baden-Clay's right palm.

Police photograph of Gerard Baden-Clay's hands.
Police photograph of Gerard Baden-Clay's hands. Photo: Court Exhibit
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GBC Defence
Heated argument: Gerard Baden-Clay.
Heated argument: Gerard Baden-Clay. 

Mr Baden-Clay said he was bitten by something while watching his children compete in their school's cross-country carnival.

"I was standing at the southwest corner of the oval. I was talking to Cameron Early under a nice big bunch of trees. He was the president of the P&C and I was his vice president and all of a sudden something bit, me stung me on my neck.

"Soon after I had a spreading itch all over my chest."

Mr Byrne asked: "Do you know what caused that?"

"I don't know. Other people said it might have been a caterpillar," Mr Byrne replied.

"So after that, anyone who asked, I said it was a caterpillar bite."

GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said some weeks earlier he had gone through his daughters' wardrobes and bedrooms to select clothes and toys which could be passed on to family members or to charity.

He said Mrs Baden-Clay loaded some of the toys into her car on the morning of Thursday, April 19, 2012.

"Allison was either going to take them to give to charity if she had time on Thursday, or I think she thought perhaps ... if she didn't have time on Thursday ... maybe on the weekend," Mr Baden-Clay said.

"They were loaded into the car so they would be out of the way ...

"I didn't see Allison do it, but I didn't do it ... I just assumed Allison put them in there on Thursday."

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
GBC Defence

Defence counsel Michael Byrne QC has turned his questioning to the events of April 19, 2012.

Mr Baden-Clay said he attended a Kenmore Chamber of Commerce meeting that morning. He said his wife dropped their daughters to school before going to work.

quote

Mr Baden-Clay said his wife asked: "Do you regret the whole thing or just being caught?"

Mr Baden-Clay said: "I told her that I regretted it very much indeed and I told her I was very, very remorseful and I wished it never happened and I told her how much I appreciated how she was handling things and how she was being so understanding and forgiving of me."

GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay said he drew a floor plan of Ms McHugh's apartment in his wife's journal at her request.

He said his wife circled the edge of a room marked "Bed 1".

Mr Baden-Clay said the circle referred to the position of a couch on Ms McHugh's verandah where they had spent time sitting together.

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