More than four years after Gerard Baden-Clay killed his wife Allison, the Crown has argued its appeal against downgrading his murder conviction to manslaughter.
His affair, along with dire financial problems were cited as motives for the “calculated” killing of his wife before the High Court today.
Top barrister Walter Sofronoff QC opened the case for the Crown arguing Baden-Clay’s ongoing conduct was “not only calculated, but cold-blooded”.
“One could conclude about him that this was a man… who is capable of murder,” he told the packed courtroom in his opening address.
Sofronoff said the Court of Appeal had made several errors in downgrading Baden Clay’s conviction to manslaughter.
He also detailed an extra-marital affair with with colleague Toni McHugh as evidence of his motive, compounded by soaring debts.
“He was plainly a man on the evidence who was charged with sexual urges and who had had affairs with other women, but in the case of this woman he had pronounced and affirmed his love for her verbally and in writing as late as days before he killed his wife.”
While there is overwhelming evidence implicating the former Brisbane real estate agent in his wife’s death, his lawyer’s have consistently argued it is insufficient to uphold a murder conviction.
Last year they successfully appealed to have it downgraded to manslaughter.
Five High Court judges heard the submissions from both sides over around three hours, but have reserved their decision.
Allison’s family were seated in the front row, while her supporters overflowed into a second court room.
Many were dressed in her favourite colour yellow.
Baden-Clay reported Allison missing in April 2012, claiming she had not returned home from a walk the night before.
The mother-of-three’s body was found ten days later by a canoeist at Kholo Creek, about 13km from the couple’s Brookfield home.
In July 2014, he was given a life sentence with a non-parole period of 15 years for murdering his wife and disposing of her body.
The judges are expected to hand down their decision in two to three months, finally bringing to an end one of Queensland’s most high-profile criminal cases.
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