Gerard Baden-Clay instructed his secretary to remove any sign of his mistress from his Brisbane real estate office before his wife Allison began working there part-time, a court has heard.
Mrs Baden-Clay learned of her husband’s long-running, illicit affair with his employee Toni McHugh in late 2011.
She had demanded he end the relationship and terminate Ms McHugh’s employment at Century 21 Westside.
Mr Baden-Clay complied with his wife’s wishes, ceasing the affair and asking Ms McHugh to resign in October 2011.
The former real estate agent now stands trial in Brisbane’s Supreme Court charged with his wife’s murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
In the weeks before Mrs Baden-Clay was due to begin working at her husband’s real estate agency, Mr Baden-Clay instructed his secretary Gabrielle Cadioli to remove “anything in the office that pertained to Toni McHugh”.
“He said that he’d been having an affair with Toni McHugh and that it had ceased and that she wouldn't be returning back to the office ... He said it was very difficult for him. He said ‘I love her’,” Ms Cadioli told the court on Wednesday.
“He said that all the staff members had to work together as a team to move forward.”
She said Mr Baden-Clay instructed her to remove any sign of Ms McHugh from the agency, “because Allison would be coming into the office”.
Mr Baden-Clay told each of his employees of the affair on the same day he fired Ms McHugh, four of whom were called to give evidence at his trial on Wednesday.
Rental manager Kate Rankin said Mr Baden-Clay told her there were a lot of trust issues he had to resolve with his wife, but that he intended to work on his marriage.
Mrs Baden-Clay began working at the office about four days a week in 2012, from about 9.30am to 2pm.
Ms Cadioli said she last saw Mrs Baden-Clay on the morning of April 19, 2012, when the 43-year-old mother-of-three attended a training session at the agency.
“She was happy. She was in a really good mood,” Ms Cadioli told the court.
“Allison enjoyed training. She was having a bit of a joke and was laughing with us that afternoon as well.”
Mrs Baden-Clay was due to attend a real estate conference the following day with Ms Rankin.
She never made it. She was reported missing by her husband at 7.15am the following day.
The trial before Justice John Byrne continues.