Murder of Allison Baden-Clay

Allison June Baden-Clay[1] (née Dickie; 1 July 1968 – 19 April 2012[2][3]) was an Australian woman whose body was discovered on 30 April 2012, ten days after she was reported missing by her husband Gerard. On 13 June 2012, Gerard was charged with murder and interfering with a corpse. On 15 July 2014, he was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence. Gerard appealed the conviction and on 8 December 2015, it was downgraded to manslaughter. In August 2016, the High Court of Australia re-instated the murder conviction, despite all the evidence being circumstantial.[4]

Allison Baden-Clay
Allison Baden-Clay.jpg
Born
Allison June Dickie

(1968-07-01)1 July 1968
Died19 April 2012(2012-04-19) (aged 43)
Cause of deathHomicide
NationalityAustralian
Spouse(s)Gerard Robert Baden-Clay (1997–2012; her death)
Children3

BackgroundEdit

Gerard Robert Baden-Clay was born Gerard Clay in Bournemouth, England, on 9 September 1970.[5] His family migrated to Rhodesia in 1980, where they changed their family name to "Baden-Clay" to associate the family with his father's grandfather, Lord Baden-Powell of Scouting fame. The Baden-Clay family later migrated to Australia.[6] Allison June Dickie married Gerard on 23 August 1997.[5]

DisappearanceEdit

At 7:15 am on Friday, 20 April 2012,[7] Gerard reported Allison missing from their home at 593 Brookfield Road, Brookfield, Queensland.[8] He claimed she sometimes went for a walk at 5am and assumed she had done so that morning. She was always back in time for their daughters' breakfast, and he became concerned when she had not returned home.[9]

Discovery of her bodyEdit

On 30 April, a woman's body was found by a canoeist at Kholo Creek, Anstead, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the Baden-Clay home in Brookfield. The following day, the body was confirmed to be Allison.[10] Her funeral was held in Ipswich on 11 May.[11] The autopsy report stated that the cause of death could not be determined.[12]

Trial and convictionEdit

On 13 June 2012, Gerard was formally interviewed at Indooroopilly police station and charged with Allison's murder and for interfering with her corpse.[13] He maintained his innocence and said he would "be strenuously defending the charges".[14] Gerard's bail application was denied on 22 June because Justice David Boddice said he posed a "significant flight risk".[15]

The trial began in the Brisbane Supreme Court on 10 June 2014. Gerard pleaded not guilty to the charges.[16] On 15 July, he was found guilty of murdering Allison.[17] He was given a life sentence with a non-parole period of fifteen years.[18] The charge of interfering with a corpse was dropped.

Defence Appeal to the Queensland Court of AppealEdit

On 7 August 2015, Gerard appealed his conviction.[19] On 8 December, his conviction was downgraded to manslaughter,[20][21] on the ground that the evidence at trial was not able to exclude a reasonable hypothesis that “there was a physical confrontation between [Baden-Clay] and his wife in which he delivered a blow which killed her (for example, by the effects of a fall hitting her head against a hard surface) without intending to cause serious harm".[22]

Prosecution Appeal to the High Court of AustraliaEdit

The decision of the Court of Appeal was controversial. There was a strong public reaction and a large rally calling for an appeal to the High Court was organised. On 18 December, a crowd estimated at around 4,000 people gathered in King George Square in the centre of Brisbane to support the proposal that the decision be appealed.[23] Some members of the legal profession, in turn, were vocal in defending the decision handed down by the Court of Appeal. Prominent Queensland lawyer Terry O'Gorman, for example, said that, "You don't have a murder case or any other case decided by who can yell out loudest in the media" and that "those who don't like it have to cop it because that is the law."[24] However, in an unusual move, the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions decided to appeal against the downgrade.[25][26] The following year, on 31 August 2016, more than four years after Allison had died, the High Court of Australia restored the original trial murder conviction.[27] [28][29]

Later developmentsEdit

In February 2017, Allison's father was appointed the executor of her estate. It was ruled that Gerard Baden-Clay was not entitled to any benefits from her death.[30]

LegacyEdit

The Allison Baden-Clay Foundation was launched on 31 July 2015.[31] Its aim is to "create a Queensland community that acknowledges the prevalence of domestic and family violence".[32]

In March 2018, the first annual scholarship in Allison's memory for an aspiring ballet dancer was announced by the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, who had known Allison as a child.[17][33]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Baden-Clay guilty verdict: We finally have justice for Allison, family says". SBS News. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  2. ^ Calligeros, Marissa (31 May 2014). "The trial of Gerard Baden-Clay". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  3. ^ Stephens, Kim (7 August 2015). "Gerard Baden-Clay appeal: Was Allison's death murder?". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Baden-Clay jury seeks more guidance". www.theaustralian.com.au. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "The life and times of Gerard Baden-Clay, as supplied to police via affidavits used in bail application". News.com.au. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Gerard-Baden-Clay-consummate-salesman-narcissist-and-killer". Brisbane Times. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  7. ^ Murray, David (2014). The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay. Random House Australia. p. 4.
  8. ^ Sutton, Candace (13 June 2014). "Teddy bears, family portraits and children's drawings: Chilling crime scene photographs inside the Baden-Clay family home four days after Allison disappeared". Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  9. ^ Davies, Lisa (5 May 2012). "Friend of murdered woman laments: 'She told me things, I should have done more'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ Waters, Georgia (2 May 2012). "Police confirm body as Allison Baden-Clay". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  11. ^ Callinan, Rory; Jabour, Bridie (12 May 2012). "Reclusive side to grieving husband". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  12. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/allison-baden-clay-died-of-unknown-causes-pathologist-tells-court
  13. ^ Worthington, Elise (16 June 2012). "Baden-Clay remanded in custody on murder charge". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  14. ^ Sandy, Alison; Kyriacou, Kate (26 June 2012). "Gerard Baden-Clay's morning texts to dead wife". The Advertiser. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  15. ^ Remeikis, Amy (22 June 2012). "Accused wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay denied bail". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  16. ^ Norton, Francene (11 June 2014). "Baden-Clay murder trial: Supreme Court jury told of marriage and debt problems". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  17. ^ a b Gerard Baden-Clay murder conviction reinstated by High Court ABC News, 31 Aug 2016
  18. ^ Norton, Francene (16 July 2014). "Gerard Baden-Clay given life sentence for murder of wife Allison". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  19. ^ Mellor, Leonie; Taylor, John; Hatzakis, Maria (7 August 2015). "Gerard Baden-Clay: Court of Appeal reserves decision over murder conviction". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Gerard Baden-Clay: Murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter over death of wife Allison". ABC News. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  21. ^ R v Baden-Clay [2015] QCA 265.
  22. ^ "Baden-Clay and the perils of giving evidence in murder trials". Sterling Law. 13 December 2018.
  23. ^ Murray, David (2014). The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay. Random House Australia. p. 457.
  24. ^ Murray, op.cit., p.455.
  25. ^ Elks, Sarah (2 January 2016). "Queensland's high-stakes legal gamble over Gerard Baden-Clay". The Australian. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  26. ^ "High Court to hear appeal against Baden-Clay murder downgrade". ABC News. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Baden-Clay and the perils of giving evidence in murder trials". Sterling Law. 13 December 2018.
  28. ^ Wilson, Rae (31 August 2016). "High Court finds Gerard Baden-Clay murdered wife Allison". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  29. ^ The Queen v Baden-Clay [2016] HCA 35.
  30. ^ "Wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay not entitled to any of Allison's estate, court rules". ABC News. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Allison Baden-Clay Foundation targets violence". Brisbane Times. Australian Associated Press. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  32. ^ "About the Foundation". The Allison Baden-Clay Foundation. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  33. ^ Jessica van Vonderen (10 March 2018). "Allison Baden-Clay legacy lives on as ballet scholarship winner announced". abc.net.au.

Further readingEdit

"Baden-Clay and the perils of giving evidence in murder trials". Sterling Law. 13 December 2018.

External linksEdit