Queensland

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial Live Coverage: Day 3, Week 1

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Here is a recap of the day's events in Court 11 ...

* The trial ended for the week with Gerard Baden-Clay's father Nigel Baden-Clay in the witness box. He told the court about his movements on April 19 and 20, 2012. He spoke highly of his son, saying they had a close relationship. But he said he was not privy to the details of his son's marriage.

"To me they seemed to be a happily married couple," Mr Baden-Clay Snr said.

* The court also heard from a number of residents in the Brookfield and Anstead areas who each recalled hearing unusual noises around the time Allison disappeared: some heard dogs barking; others heard screams; two heard loud thuds.

* Video recordings of police interviews with the Baden-Clay girls were also played to the court. Detectives asked the girls about their parents cars - a silver Captiva and a white Prado. The girls were also asked whether they had heard their parents fighting on the night before waking to find their mother missing. Each girl replied, "No". The sisters were also asked whether they had heard any car sounds that night. Again, the girls replied, "No".

Gerard Baden-Clay's lawyer Peter Shields (left) arrives at court with Gerard Baden-Clay's parents Nigel and Elaine.
Gerard Baden-Clay's lawyer Peter Shields (left) arrives at court with Gerard Baden-Clay's parents Nigel and Elaine. Photo: Renee Melides
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Gerard Baden-Clay's sister Olivia Walton and her husband Ian Walton arrive at court.
Gerard Baden-Clay's sister Olivia Walton and her husband Ian Walton arrive at court. Photo: Renee Melides

Before the court adjourned, Mr Byrne questioned Nigel Baden-Clay about his movements on the morning of April 20, 2012.

Mr Baden-Clay Snr told the court he had received a phone call from Gerard to say Allison was missing about 6.40 or 6.45am.

He said he rushed to his son's home to be with his grandchildren, while Gerard set out looking for Allison.

Mr Baden-Clay Snr said his daughter Olivia, who was visiting from Townsville with her three children, also drove to Gerard's house, but took a different route and stopped along the way to ask people if they had seen Allison.

The police arrived at the Baden-Clays' house about an hour after Mr Baden-Clay Snr did. 

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The court has adjourned for the day, bringing the first week of the trial to an end.

Due to the expected length of the trial, the court will not sit on Fridays.

Nigel Baden-Clay will return to the witness box on Monday morning.

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Mr Byrne is questioning Nigel Baden-Clay about his movements on the afternoon of April 19, 2012.

He said his three granddaughters were at his house that afternoon and had been for a swim in their pool.

"I remember Gerard dropping in the sausages early in the afternoon," he said.

Mr Baden-Clay Snr said Mr Baden-Clay returned about 5pm.

"I asked him [Gerard] where Allison was and he said no, she wouldn't be coming," he said.

The family had a "fairly short" dinner together.

Mr Baden-Clay Snr said Mr Baden-Clay left with his daughters "fairly early" about 6.30pm because "he would have wanted to get them to bed".

Marissa Calligeros

Mr Baden-Clay Snr is now being cross-examined by his son's defence counsel Michael Byrne QC.

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GBC Defence

Mr Baden-Clay Snr said he was not aware of Allison's depression until about four or five years into his son's marriage.

He repeated that the couple was very private.

"Fairly early in their marriage, Elaine and I were asked not to come to visit them without phoning first and we interpreted that as they wished to have their privacy. They didn't readily share with us any aspects of their marriage," he told the court.

"We respected their privacy and we respected that's how they wanted to live their lives."

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Mr Baden-Clay Snr said he was very close to his son Gerard and loved Allison.

"To me, they seemed to be a happily married couple," he said.

Gerard and Allison Baden-Clay on their wedding day.
Gerard and Allison Baden-Clay on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied
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Nigel Baden-Clay Snr was with his wife Elaine, daughter Olivia and Olivia's three young children on the morning Gerard rang.

The group was in the Baden-Clays' study talking via Skype with their son in Canada, whose baby had been born the night before.

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The senior Baden-Clay said Gerard called him on the morning of April 20, 2012.

"He said, 'Dad I don't want to alarm you, but have you seen Allison?'" Mr Baden-Clay Snr told the court.

Mr Baden-Clay Snr said his son was trying to remain calm, but was obviously anxious.

"He didn't want to alarm us, but he alarmed us."

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Nigel Baden-Clay corrected Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller's pronunciation of his son's name.

"Slight correction, we christened him Gerard," the senior Baden-Clay said, pronouncing the name Ger-red.

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Breaking News

The 24th witness to take the stand is Gerard Baden-Clay's father Nigel Baden-Clay.

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The 23rd witness Brian Michael Mason has taken the stand.

The Anstead resident lives about 600 to 700 metres from the Kholo Creek bridge on Mt Crosby Road.

Mr Mason said he was woken by his German Shepherd howling about 12.30 to 1am on April 20, 2012.

"I had to get up to try to shut this dog up," he said.

"Once she quietened down I could hear other dogs howling as well."

Ms Mason said he also heard mumbling voices and assumed it was his neighbour having a "serious chat" to his dog.

GBCprosecution

The 22nd witness David Jenkinson has taken the stand.

He was woken by his dogs barking about 10.30pm on the night Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared.

"The first thing that we were alerted to was the dogs barking. That woke me up," he told the jury.

Mr Jenkinson said he then heard "two heavy thuds, one straight after the other".

He said the thuds sounded "like a cement bag or something heavy being thrown on the ground".

"And probably not too long after that, maybe half a minute, I heard what sounded like a car door close," he said. "They were the sounds I heard before the dogs continued to bark after that point."

He said he lives 500 metres "as the crow flies" from where Mrs Baden-Clays body was found under the Kholo Creek bridge.

Kholo Creek bridge.
Kholo Creek bridge. Photo: Court Exhibit
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The 21st witness, Kim Tzvetkoff, has taken the stand.

He has described hearing a "loud exclamation" on the night Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared.

"It was a loud exclamation, I can't describe it as a scream. It was more of a startled, cut short, exclamation," he told the jury.

"It didn't last very long at all. It was an abrupt, cut short, type of thing."

He said he believed it was a female voice.

Mr Tzvetkoff has been excused.

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Ms Rhodes has been excused.

The 20th witness, Brookfield resident Julie Ann Tzvetkoff, has been called to the stand.

She said she heard a "sharp yell out" on the night Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared.

She described the yell as "urgent" and said it lasted only a few seconds.

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GBCprosecution

The 19th witness to take the stand is Brookfield resident Anne Marie Rhodes.

She heard people fighting on the night Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared, before hearing a scream, then a "loud, dull" thud.

Ms Rhodes likened the thud to a sack of horse feed falling on concrete.

She told the jury she then heard the sound of tyres screeching towards Brookfield Showgrounds. 

Police established a command post at the Brookfield Showgrounds as they search for missing mother-of-three Allison ...
Police established a command post at the Brookfield Showgrounds as they search for missing mother-of-three Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Marissa Calligeros
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The 18th witness to take the stand was Brookfield resident Susan Ann Braun.

Ms Braun, who lives alongside her family's tennis centre on Broofield Road, was woken by a "loud human noise" on the night Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared.

"I was sound asleep and I heard a loud human noise," she told the jury.

"It woke me up with a fright."

She said she went back to sleep but was woken again a short time later by a second sound. She lay awake listening for more unusual sounds, but she heard nothing more.

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Court has resumed.

Kenmore Hills resident Fiona White has returned to the witness box.

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And here is a look back at key developments in the investigation and court case so far.

Courts

So far today ...

  • The court has heard more police interviews with the Baden-Clay girls in the months after their mother's death. Detectives asked the girls about their parents' cars, the layout of their Brookfield home and whether their father had any allergies.
  • The court has also heard from two Anstead residents, including Steve Courtney, who said the water was flowing quickly through Kholo Creek the day before Mrs Baden-Clay's body was found.
  • Kenmore Hills resident Fiona White was also called to the stand. She told the jury she heard two high-pitched screams late one night in the same week Mrs Baden-Clay disappeared. She likened it to a scream someone would make "falling off a cliff, being pushed".
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