Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty said she was stunned by the Queensland Court of Appeal ruling that downgraded Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction to manslaughter.
Queensland’s Chief Justice Catherine Holmes and two other Court of Appeal judges set aside last year’s trial verdict on Tuesday and changed it to manslaughter.
They found no solid evidence the former real estate agent, 45, intended to kill his wife, Allison, and said it was possible he killed her unintentionally during a violent clash.
Baden-Clay is now due to be re-sentenced in the new year.
Ms Batty, who became Australian of the Year in recognition for her national campaign against domestic violence since the death of her son, said she could not understand the court’s decision.
“It absolutely sends the same message that I’m saying all of the time, that we undermine, disregard a victim in a violent relationship,” she said.
“You know, the other high-profile case [of Oscar Pistorious] in South Africa, the same thing.
“Why is it so hard to believe when there is history of violence that that murder is not intentional?”
Ms Batty addressed a forum on the Sunshine Coast today and said the Baden-Clay decision had left her feeling “totally gutted”.
“I just can’t believe — and I don’t know whether I should say so or not — I just cannot believe a history of violence that’s very clear can be appealed and made to be manslaughter,” she said.
Queensland Government still considering legal response.
Queensland’s acting Attorney-General Cameron Dick said he was looking at the possibility of challenging the Court of Appeal ruling but that he was mindful of what he could say publicly about the case.