Baden-Clay murder trial is not a ‘soap opera’, says defence

Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Supplied Gerard Baden-Clay. Photo: Ten News
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The trial of accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay is not a “soap opera” or a “whodunit play”, a court has heard.

Mr Baden-Clay’s defence barrister Michael Byrne, QC, began his closing address to the jury before a packed courtroom in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Monday.

A former prestige Brisbane real estate agent, Mr Baden-Clay is accused of killing his wife Allison at their home in the leafy western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield on April 19, 2012 and dumping her body in nearby Kholo Creek at Anstead.Full coverage

Mr Byrne reminded the seven men and five women of the jury to ignore media coverage of the trial and consider only the facts presented in the courtroom.

“Ladies and gentlemen … this is a murder trial,” he said.

“That may sound odd to you because if you have been following what’s been happening outside this courtroom, you might be mistaken for thinking it’s been a great big media event.

“It’s not that. Nor is it a soap opera, in which various titillating elements are brought out for the amusement of the media, and it is not a whodunit play.

“Your task as the jurors is to assess the evidence, to do it coldly, by that I mean dispassionately and objectively.

“It is not to be your own detectives, do your own investigations or to be caught up in the hype that has been in the various forms of media over the last three weeks.”

Mr Byrne said the onus was on the prosecution to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that Mr Baden-Clay killed his wife of 15 years.

“The prosecution case, as you heard opened some time ago, was that he somehow violently ended her life in the very home that they shared with their three young daughters,” Mr Byrne said.

“This man, Gerard Baden-Clay, who on the evidence you have heard has never displayed violence, whose acquaintances, friends, family and children have never seen to be violent or indeed to ever argue with his wife, the Crown say on that night in April, 2012, he violently murdered her.”

Mr Byrne said the jurors must assess each piece of evidence and decide if the only “rational inference” was that Mr Baden-Clay murdered his wife.

He said the jury could consider the alternate verdicts of murder or manslaughter, but noted they had to find Mr Baden-Clay intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm to find him guilty of the higher charge.

“Members of the jury, once you have carefully considered all of the evidence, it’s my submission to you that you will not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Gerard killed Allison.

“And once you do reach that point, then it is your duty to find him not guilty.

“It’s not a favour to him, it’s not any type of merciful verdict. In fact you may not feel terribly sorry for him. Some of his foibles, some of his bad qualities have been exposed in this trial.

“It’s not about feeling sorry for anyone, not him, not Allison, not the girls. It’s whether the evidence satisfies you of reasonable doubt of his guilt. And in my submissions it does not.”

Mr Baden-Clay forfeited his right to have his defence counsel effectively have the final say in the trial after choosing to adduce evidence and step into the witness box.

The queue to the Supreme Court complex on George Street extended 100 metres from the entrance to the building on Monday morning as curious onlookers and avid court watchers gathered to see the final days of the trial.

The trial is being broadcast into two other courtrooms, such is the intense public interest in the case.

The trial before Justice John Byrne continues.

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Sex offender security bracelets ‘lose signal’

Police are searching for Andrew Darling, who cut through his monitoring device.Electronic bracelets used to monitor some of Victoria’s worst sex offenders at an Ararat facility intermittently lose signal, leading to confusion among the officers guarding the centre.
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Police Association secretary Ron Iddles said some signals did not register on the monitoring system at the Corella Place facility.

‘‘For whatever reason, the signalling stops,’’ he said.

‘‘[The guards] think there’s an issue but the prisoner is there.’’

Mr Iddles spoke on Monday following the escape of convicted child rapist Andrew Darling, who has been on the run for more than 24 hours after cutting through his monitoring device early on Sunday morning.

Mr Iddles said the recent introduction of GPS had improved the bracelets but problems with signalling remained.

‘‘We’ve got to make sure the system is working 100 per cent and it’s not at the moment,’’ he said.

Victoria’s Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard said bracelets relied on mobile phone coverage and prisoners were subject to other forms of surveillance, including staff supervision.

‘‘They work as we expect them to work,’’ she told radio station 3AW.

Darling, 42, triggered an alarm after removing his tracking device shortly after 2.30am on Sunday.

Community and Public Sector Union industrial officer Andrew Capp said the escape exposed flaws in the monitoring system.

He said union members were concerned they would be held accountable for deficiencies in the technology.

‘‘It’s incumbent on Corrections Victoria to look at … whether they need to invest in new technology,’’ Mr Capp said.

Corella Place houses some of Victoria’s worst sex offenders.

The 55-bed facility accommodates offenders who have finished their sentences but are deemed to be an unacceptable risk of reoffending.

There are no walls surrounding the facility, but the offenders living there are monitored with GPS ankle bracelets and cannot leave without permission.

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Macey Stewart through the yearsphotos

Macey Stewart through the years | photos A young Macey training in the wet.
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Macey sporting a neck brace after a 2012 accident left her injured.

Macey sporting a neck brace after a 2012 accident left her injured.

Macey sporting a neck brace after a 2012 accident left her injured.

Thirteen-year-old Macey Stewart, in 2009 after the National Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide where she came away with a silver medal, as a first year under 15.

Twelve-year-old Devonport cyclist Macey Stewart is making her mark on the track. She was the August 2008 Junior Sport Award female individual winner. Picture: Katie McDougall.

Devonport’s 2012 Young Citizen of the Year award winner Macey Stewart and Citizen of the Year Bob Vellacott with their award certificates at the Mersey Bluff. Picture: Kelly Slater.

Macey Stewart suffered a fractured skull, a pinched vertebra in her neck and a small bleed in her brain in a horrific smash in Canberra in July, 2012.

FIRST WHEEL: Devonport’s Macey Stewart wins the Latrobe women’s wheel race ahead of Victorian backmarker Lauretta Hanson in 2013. Picture: Stuart Wilson.

Devonport’s Macey Stewart, 14, won two national titles at the Australian Junior Track Cycling Championships in 2010. Picture: Tony Cross.

Cyclist Macey Stewart, of Devonport, ahead of a 2014 Australia Day barbecue.

Cyclist Macey Stewart, of Devonport, ahead of a 2014 Australia Day barbecue.

Macey Stewart was given to OK to ride the stationary bike, after a cycling accident in 2012.

Aspiring Olympic cyclist Macey Stewart

Winning and reaching her goals drives Macey and she has reaped the rewards of her dedication over many years.

Despite a brain injury, Macey Stewart is raring to get back to training for the Rio Olympics and ruing the days and competitions that go by while she is forced to stay off the road and in a neck brace in 2012.

Macey on the dais as as youngster.

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Winter in the Southern Highlands: PHOTOS

The Southern Highland News is asking readers to send in their photos to show off the beauty of the Highlands in thefrosty season that is upon us.
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So far this winterwe’ve had fog, rain, sleet andcrispfrosty mornings, but will we get snow this season? Time will tell.

If you have captured an icy moment in the Highlands, share your winter photos with us by posting them to our Facebook wall or emailyour winter photos to [email protected]南京夜网.au

Winter in the Southern Highlands: PHOTOS Frost in the Southern Highlands. Photo by Dawn Dodwell

Sutton Forest. Photo by Dawn Dodwell

Photo by Dawn Dodwell

Frost in the Southern Highlands. Photo by Dawn Dodwell

Frost in the ponds at Bowral. Photo by Dawn Dodwell

Frost blankets a red car in the morning. Photo by Emma Biscoe

Frost blankets a lawn in Bowral. Photo by Dominica Sanda

A typical winter morning in Canyonleigh where the mercury sits at 0 degrees. Photo by Terry Biscoe

A frosty winter morning in Canyonleigh. Photo by Terry Biscoe

Julie Powell took this photo on a misty morning.

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

Canyonleigh. Photo by Lisa Romano

The frost settled on a child’s gumboot in Mittagong. Photo by Beejay Byrne

A photo of the best frost of the season. Photo by Janelle Menzies

Winter in Glenquarry. Photo by Janelle Menzies

Photo by Boris Zemljacenko‎

A winter sunset. Photo by Julie Powell.

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’Miners still searching for first win

AIMING AHEAD: Nic Cranston looks for a way through in Saturday night’s match for the Bathurst Goldminers against the Wagga Wagga Heat. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 070514zbball2THE Bathurst Goldminers looked competitive many times during both matches of the weekend’s double header at home, but the team still couldn’t find a way to their first win of the men’s State League season.
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A late flurry of points almost got the Bathurst team a shock win over the Wagga Wagga Heat on Saturday night, but they fell short to finish 95-88 down. The team returned on Sunday, with less players on the bench, where they were humbled 82-51 by the Canberra Gunners.

The Goldminers got an early lead on the Gunners, but the visitors soon hit back to finish the first quarter up 21-13. The opening 10 minutes saw the Goldminers have more of the ball, but the Gunners were efficient with their time in offence.

At half-time the score was a low 33-17 following some inaccurate shooting from both teams.

Canberra committed more players to their full court press in the second half, but Goldminers continued to cope well with the tactic and had their best quarter of the game.

Unfortunately for the home side, the Gunners found space of their own with the ball, sinking a handful of threes to lead by 57-32 at the last break.

The fourth quarter had the highest tempo of any as both teams took more shots on impulse, resulting in a fairly even quarter up until the final whistle.

Goldminers player Matt Chapman wasn’t delivered a birthday present on the scoreboard, but he still saw plenty to be happy about from the Sunday game.

“Against today we were really short on numbers. We almost played with an entirely new team to the one that played last night. Everyone stepped up well so you’ve got to be happy,” he said.

“There was a lack of numbers, a lack of size but in saying that I don’t think the size difference bothers us that much. I think we match up really well with a lot of their bigs and a lot of our smaller guys stepped up.

“We’re just one or two bigger players off matching up with these teams consistently all the time.”

Chapman said the team produced some memorable basketball towards the end of Saturday night’s close loss, something he’d like to see more.

“We won that fourth quarter 25 to seven, which was a great effort. It’s a pity it was the reverse the quarter before, where it would have been about the same amount,” he said.

“It was the same old story for us. That third quarter always gets us, but to come back and only give seven points to Wagga was a really good effort by the boys and they should be proud.”

WAGGA WAGGA HEAT 95 defeated BATHURST GOLDMINERS 88 and CANBERRA GUNNERS 82 (Mitchell Brown 14, Evan Fowler 14, Nick Jackson 12) defeated BATHURST GOLDMINERS 51 (Lawrence Misfud 19, Matt Chapman 12, Hayden Tinkler 8, Tom Ozolins 8)

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