Gerard Baden-Clay
Gerard Baden-Clay

Why Baden-Clay's lawyers say he's not a murderer

LAWYERS acting for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed their arguments stating why they believe he should be convicted of manslaughter not murder. 

After one of the most talked about trials of the past decade, a supreme court jury found Baden-Clay guilty of murder in 2014.

But the Queensland Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and controversially downgraded it to manslaughter late last year. 

Now the Director of Public Prosecutions is seeking to have the original murder verdict reinstated in the High Court.

>> Read the defence's submissions here.

While the Crown filed arguments to support its case about three weeks ago, Baden-Clay's legal team has just submitted his defence to the High Court in response. 

Brisbane-based Peter Shields Lawyers argued in their submissions that a murder verdict required the prosecution to prove Baden-Clay intentionally killed his wife.

"The prosecution case was that various pressures weighing on (Baden-Clay) ... caused him to kill his wife," the document said. 

"There was no direct evidence (Baden-Clay) either caused the death (of Allison Baden-Clay) or did so with the intention necessary for murder. 

"Proof he caused the death depended upon the drawing of inferences. Proof that he killed with the necessary intent depended upon the drawing of inferences."

Allison's decomposed body was found on a bank at Kholo Creek in April 2012, over a week after her husband reported her missing from their Brisbane home.

No cause of death could be identified.

>>Read the prosecution's submissions here

Baden-Clay's legal team successfully argued in the state's appeal court that there was a reasonable hypothesis for a possible physical confrontation where a subsequent fall could have caused Allison's death.

"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," the appeal court found last year, after reviewing the trial evidence.

The DPP, however, is arguing the appeal court made a series of errors in downgrading the conviction to manslaughter.

The Crown submission on June 10 said there was no evidence to support an inference of "a blow'' or "a fall hitting her head against a hard surface" to compete with the prosecution case.

They instead direct the High Court towards evidence of Baden-Clay's communication with his mistress Toni McHugh - a co-worker he was having an affair with.

"His desire to be rid of his wife in order to be with Ms McHugh provides the reason why he would wish to kill his wife," the Crown submitted.

"… evidence of a clandestine love affair with another woman (and evidence of financial distress in this case) constitutes evidence of motive; and evidence of motive is evidence that can be used to infer murderous intent."

Baden-Clay wrote to Ms McHugh less than three weeks before his wife's disappearance saying: "I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it - I will be separated by 1 July".

A week later he wrote again: "This is agony for me too. I love you. I'm sorry you hung up on me. It sounded like you were getting very angry. I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you.".

The High Court hearing is on July 26. 

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