Court delivers more agony for Allison’s family at Baden-Clay’s murder downgrade appeal

Two years after a Queensland jury found him guilty of murder, the High Court today heard arguments for and against

Two years after a Queensland jury found him guilty of murder, the High Court today heard arguments for and against the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay’s conviction.


The Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions is fighting for the reinstatement of the former Brisbane real estate agent’s murder conviction in the High Court of Australia, after it was controversially downgraded to manslaughter on appeal last year. The Court of Appeal ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict of murder a Queensland Supreme Court jury reached in 2014, instead substituting manslaughter.

But this morning, Walter Sofronoff, QC, for the Crown, argued that Baden-Clay’s cold-blooded disposal of his wife Allison’s body and the lies he told police and continued to tell throughout his trial made him a man capable of murder.

Baden-Clay’s defence team maintained there was still no evidence to prove their client had intended to kill his wife.

Defence barrister Michael Byrne, QC, was grilled at length about evidence his client gave denying he had anything to do with wife Allison’s death.

The Crown argued this evidence from Baden-Clay meant the Queensland Court of Appeal erred in finding there remained a reasonable hypothesis that Ms Baden-Clay died unintentionally.

Justice Patrick Keane said the evidence was ” inconsistent with any notion at all of an unintended killing by him.” “Only an altercation that results in her death solves his problem,” he said.

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts says a decision on whether Gerard Baden-Clay is guilty of murder or manslaughter can be expected in two to three months. “The question that the High Court has to answer is whether the jury got it right in finding that Gerard Baden-Clay intentionally killed his wife or whether, as the defence contends, it was manslaughter, ” he said.

The court has reserved its decision on whether to reinstate Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

This means an agonising wait of another three to six months for the members of Allison’s family to finally have peace of mind and justice for Allison.

Allison Baden-Clay’s sister, Vanessa Fowler, says the family remains determined to “achieve justice” and has been overwhelmed by community support. Ms Fowler said the process continued to be a “very long and challenging road” but she thanked the High Court for hearing the case and the Department of Public Prosecution for its tireless work.

The case has angered many people who say it’s stories like this that encourage violence against women and prove that our justice system is not strong enough to protect those who need it most.

Do you think the High Court will overturn the decision of downgrading Baden-Clay’s conviction?

  1. Heather Pepper  

    Unfortunately I don’t think they will reinstate the original verdict of murder. Our courts seem to go softly softly erring on the least sentence/verdict it can. I know that lawyers are there to represent their clients however it is and will always be morally wrong. Murder is murder if he didn’t intend for his altercation with her to end in her death then the most reasonable action would have been to call for help. This man hid his wife’s body and then reported her missing once confronted with the evidence that he was responsible for her death he still didn’t confess that he had killed her either intentionally or not! He still hasn’t come out and stated that his actions killed his wife why should they now put forward that if he did kill his wife it was an accident.

    • Janyce  

      Don’t agree at all with what you said, because the jury got it ‘right’ first time round, MURDER!
      And the five Judges’ will re-instate it…….

  2. yvonne stengel  

    he will be out in a few years where as his wifes family have a life sentence hope he doesnt get his kids

  3. John B  

    Sadly, the prosecutor’s argument that the evidence shows that Baden-Clay was ‘capable’ of murder doesn’t prove the intent to ‘commit’ the murder of his wife. I’ve got a terrible feeling that he’s going to get away with this and that the manslaughter conviction will stick.
    This demonstrates the need for a charge of Felony-Murder to reactivated so people life this grub can receive their deserved comeuppance. Felony Murder allows that, if a person dies during the commission of a major crime (a felony, such as committing grievous bodily harm), the charge would automatically be Felony-MURDER; even if the death was accidental and/or unintended.

  4. Bronwyn  

    There was plenty of ‘pre-meditation’ on his part…….

    Remember what he asked a staff member to do in 2008?

    He promised his lover he’d be with her by 1July, 2012.

    He wanted his wife’s Superannuation funds, & Life Insurance monies’, worth just on $1 million, to pay HIS debts.

    His lies’ from the get-go, & whilst under Oath in Court, are just the pits.

    He’s been convicted of MURDER by twelve of his peers.
    So that decision MUST stand, IF there’s any justice in this terrible world.

    If it doesn’t, then throw out the justice system, sack all those involved, & start again with something that actually makes the ‘time fit the crime’, not just ‘slaps on the wrist’, & letting criminals’ back on the streets via Parole, who then go & commit equal, if not more heinous crimes eg Bayley, raping & murdering Jill Meagher.

    • Sharron Hampton  

      Well said Bronwyn. You have expressed exactly what I and the majority of Australia feel. The legal system and those that work within it seem to be able to make such incomprehensible judgement calls despite as you say a Jury convicting him of Murder. There is no accountability to those, including parole officers who release these people or down grade their sentences. Perhaps performance and salary reviews, as is carried out by many employers, need to be considered then we would see appropriate sentences for the crimes committed.

      To John B – how was Bayden Clay going to get the funds to clear his debt and be with his lover by 2012? Bayden Clay is no more a man of integrity than I am the Queen of England. His late wife’s live was worth a lot as is those of their children but his-throw away the key

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