There are three little girls in Brisbane tonight that were not tucked into bed by their beloved mother.
They will not feel her touch, hold her warm hand or have her softly stroke their hair.
She will not attend their Christmas performance at school this year.
She will not be present in a few weeks on Christmas day to hand them their gifts from under the tree.
These three little girls will never feel their mother’s love with her physical presence ever again. She is a beautiful memory to them now.
She is gone because she was killed by their own father in their home while they slept in April 2012.
Allison Baden-Clay was murdered by one of the people in her life that was supposed to love and protect her the most.
Every Australian knows this story. Every Queenslander feels a connection to it.
Today the Queensland Court of Appeal shockingly overturned Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction and downgraded it to manslaughter.
According to legal experts, this could mean his sentence is reduced to as little as four or five years, after already serving three and a half years.
Despite Gerard Baden-Clay going to extreme, disturbing lengths for years to lie about what he did, his lawyers finally admitted his involvement while appealing the murder conviction – and only in an attempt to reduce his jail time.
— Ten News Melbourne (@tennewsmelb) December 7, 2015
He denied his involvement while appealing to the public for help to find his missing wife in the days after her disappearance. He maintained that pretence through his wife’s funeral, through the two months it took for police to build a case against him and through his police interview. He continued denying any knowledge of what happened to the woman he promised to put before all others through numerous court appearances – including bail applications, a six-day committal hearing and a 22-day trial. He lied to his own daughters.
And, while he maintained his lie through more than 45 days of court appearances, we, as taxpayers, footed the bill for the prosecution to slowly chip away at his lies.
Then, while serving time for murder and with nothing left to lose, he changed his mind.
What kind of a human being does that? He decided to admit to the world what we already deeply knew in our guts.
He decided to admit what the scratches on his face, the blood on the family car and the foliage found on Allison’s body already told us.
He decided to reveal his involvement in her death, not because of his overwhelming guilt after a jury had already seen through his lies. Or to allow the three young girls effectively orphaned by his actions access to their mother’s two life insurance policies, which are frozen until he exhausts more legal avenues.
He decided to admit it because he wants to leave jail. Because jail is hard.
It shows how weak he really is, but again we already knew that. Men that choose to be violent towards their wives or partners are incredibly weak humans.
Baden-Clay’s lawyers argued there was insufficient evidence to prove he intended to kill his wife, an essential element of a murder charge.
Please. Spare me.
How could we allow Allison’s little girls to grow up knowing that the person that took their mother’s life is out of prison?
How could we allow Allison’s parents to go to their graves knowing their daughter’s killer was free to roam Queensland’s streets?
No. Enough. Queensland is better than this. We are all better than this.
For more on the judgment, watch this news clip (post continues after video):
There is hope the appeal decision could be overturned by the Queensland Government taking the decision to the High Court.
Acting Attorney-General Cameron Dick has sought advice on whether or not the State should appeal.
In a statement he said: “I have requested legal advice today about the prospects of success on an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal involving Gerard Baden-Clay.”
“Once that advice has been received and considered, a decision will be made as to whether an appeal should be lodged.”
The Attorney-General must make a decision on any possible appeal within 28 days, though legal experts have already publicly stated the chances of an appeal are highly unlikely.
Acting Attorney General Cameron Dick and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk need to make a decision.
But we have not given up hope for Allison. Neither should the Queensland Government.
It is so important that the Queensland Government takes every single avenue available to it to find justice for Allison and her family. Justice for the 18 women who lost their lives to violence in Queensland so far this year.
Queensland is not a state that will ever accept violence against women. Queenslanders know that.
We want Allison’s little girls to know that forever too.