Baden-Clay marriage was under financial pressure
A JURY has heard how the Baden-Clay marriage was suffering financial and relationship issues when Allison died.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told the court Gerard Baden-Clay told police his wife had a history of depression but he thought her state of mind was "pretty good" when he reported her missing on April 20.
He said Mr Baden-Clay told police his wife was managing her depression with medication but he was not sure if she was using any at the time.
Mr Baden-Clay allegedly told police there was no indication the marriage was going to end but an affair he ended the previous year had put a strain on the marriage.
He allegedly said "things between them were pretty good" and they were having counselling.
The court heard a Relationships Australia counsellor had suggested they spend 15 minutes every night to allow Allison to vent her feelings and discuss what was happening in their marriage.
Mr Fuller said Allison had told the counsellor about feelings of inadequacy and guilty for what had occurred between her and husband.
He said Mr Baden-Clay went with his wife to the last appointment on April 16, 2012.
Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay told the counsellor his wife did not trust him but expressed an desire to have a future with her, that he wanted to "wipe the slate clean".
He said the accused man had been having an affair with Toni McHugh, who had been working in his real estate office since 2007.
Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay ended the affair when his wife found out in late 2011 but he resumed contact again in December - telling Ms McHugh he loved her and was sorry.
He said they set July 1 as the date Mr Baden-Clay would leave his wife but he needed to sort out some financial issues first.
"They started planning a life together," he said.
Ms McHugh deleted all texts and emails when she heard Allison was missing but police were able to recover their communication.
Mr Baden-Clay would send emails from an email address with the name Bruce Overland.
In one email to the Bruce Overland account in February, two months before Allison disappeared, Ms McHugh asked why she should believe anything had changed now their affair had resumed.
"Im sick of hiding … Im sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn't find out," the email read.
"She gave you an ultimatum and you honoured it??? If I were to do the same tomorrow … I doubt you'd be able to pay me the same respect.
"Why should I accept anything less than she would?"
Less than a month before Allison died, Ms McHugh sent an email about finding a place for Mr Baden-Clay to live when he left his wife.
"It would me so much easier if you did just move in with me," the email read.
"She can get her own place and the week you have the children you move back to the house.
"She doesn't need to know where you're staying!
"Sorry it's up to you to work out and I shouldn't interfere. I'm sorry."
On April 3, 2012, an email from the Bruce Overland account sent a reply.
"I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it - I will be separated by 1 July," it read.
Then on April 11, 2012: "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," the email continued.
"I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you. GM."
The court heard GG stood for gorgeous girl and GM for gorgeous man.
Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay spoke to Ms McHugh the night he is accused of murdering his wife.
He said Ms McHugh told him in no uncertain terms he must tell his wife they would both be at a real estate conference the next day.
Mr Fuller said Mr Baden-Clay had the opportunity to murder his wife on the evening of April 19, 2012.
"The crown case is a circumstantial one," he said.
"The Crown says that Allison Baden-Clay did not die of natural causes and she in fact died at the hands of her husband.
"He was under financial pressure and significant relationship pressure.
"He wanted to leave his wife and be with Toni Mc Hugh.
"Although on the other hand he was saying he wanted his marriage to work.
"Until October, 2011, the evidence will show you he was able to keep those two parts of his life apart even though people at work were aware of his affair.
"However when those two parts of his life came together previously, there had been significant fallout.
"He had to end his relationship with Toni McHugh, he had to dismiss her from employment and his wife had come to work at the real estate agency.
"Those two women were about to come together again on April 20, 2012."
Police officer Murray Watson told the court he had known Mr Baden-Clay for many years through Rotary and Chamber of Commerce.
He agreed he believed Mr Baden-Clay was "one of the nicest guys in the world".
Gerard Baden-Clay says he last saw his wife watching TV
GERARD Baden-Clay told police he last saw his wife Allison watching TV about 10pm on April 19 and then went to bed.
He tried to call three times and sent her a text when he woke to find she was not there.
Mr Baden-Clay told police he assumed she had gone for her morning walk but he was a heavy sleeper and could not be sure.
He phoned the woman his wife was supposed to attend a real estate conference with and found they were supposed to meet about 8am.
At 7.15am on April 20, Mr Baden-Clay phoned 000 and told the operator his wife was not at home and he did not know where she was.
Police arrive soon after and saw marks on Mr Baden-Clay's face which he told them was shaving cuts.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said three experts would testify those cuts were more consistent with fingernail marks.
"The body was taken to Kholo Creek to hide the truth and for the elements to take its told," he said.
"Plant samples recovered from the body tell us, the Crown says, something happened at their Brookfield home, such that some of those plant samples became entwined in Allison Baden-Clay's hair before she was transferred to Kholo Creek.
"The blood in the car tells us the car was used to transport her to Kholo Creek.
"The blood in the car suggests Allison Baden-Clay had an injury of some sort at the time she was in the back of that vehicle.
"The scratches to his face show us an injury consistent with fingers, Allison Baden-Clay's mark upon him."
Allison Baden-Clay's body held no clues to cause of death
ALLISON Baden-Clay's body did not have identifiable injuries that enabled pathologists to determine a cause of death.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told Brisbane Supreme Court the mother of three was found at the base of the steep banks of Kholo Creek.
He said there was a 14m drop from the bridge to the body's position on the muddy creek bank below.
Mr Fuller said a canoeist was paddling up stream when he spotted the body - pictured in a photo shown to the court wearing sneakers and a blue outfit - on April 30.
He said her injuries were not consistent with falling from the bridge and body did not show signs of drowning or that it had been carried to its position from up stream.
"It was difficult to see the body from the bridge because of it's positioning underneath it," he said.
"Police repelled down off the side of the bridge to recover the body.
"The mud on the bank was not disturbed nor was the surrounding vegetation."
DNA tests determined the body belonged to Allison.
Gerard Baden-Clay, who has pleaded not guilty to murder, had reported her missing 10 days earlier.
Mr Fuller said Allison's body was so decomposed that a cause of death could not be identified.
He said there was no evidence to support any theory she had died of natural causes.
Gerard Baden-Clay's lawyer urges respect
THE jury to try real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been set - seven men and five women.
There also are three reserve jurors.
Two jurors were questioned about their answers to one of three questions on a questionnaire they were asked to fill out.
But all original jury selections remain after they were cross-examined.
Justice John Byrne is now making his opening remarks.
He said the jury must assess the evidence from witnesses testifying in the court and the facts placed before them.
"The verdict is your judgment," he said.
"You are the judges of the facts."
Justice Byrne said it was of critical importance for the jurors to set aside anything they had heard about the case.
He said they should not be influenced from any source outside this trial.
Justice Byrne said the jurors must not do any research of their own or seek any further information.
He said they could not use the internet or social media, such as Twitter or Facebook.
Justice Byrne said the jurors must not discuss the case with anyone outside the trial.
He said information in the public arena could be inaccurate - sometimes misleading and sometimes just plain wrong.
Justice Byrne said there were powerful reasons for not discussing the matter with anyone else or doing one's own research.
He said a juror proven to have used the internet for research on the case could cause the trial to abort.
Justice Byrne asked jurors to stop any family or friends from asking about the case because their opinion or view could inadvertently influence their opinion.
He said the jurors were the only ones who would hear all the evidence.
"Keep an open mind as the case progresses," he said.
Mr Baden-Clay's lawyer Peter Shields addressed the media outside court and asked them to respect the Baden-Clay family.
"Gerard has pleaded not guilty and his trial has begun," he said.
"At the commencement of the trial, Justice Byrne directed the jury to the danger of paying attention to anything other than the evidence which is placed before them in court.
"Accordingly the defence and my client's family will not be making any statement to the media or answering any questions asked by the media until after the verdict.
"I also ask the media to respect my client's family as they attend court in support of Gerard."
Baden-Clay parents could give evidence in murder trial
THE parents of Allison and Gerard Baden-Clay could be called to give evidence in the murder trial.
Justice John Byrne told the 15 jurors they must be impartial and all fair-minded people must see them as impartial.
To ensure jurors do not know anyone in the case, Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle read out the list of 77 witnesses proposed to testify in the four-week trial.
Allison's parents Priscilla and Geoff Dickie could be among those called.
Mr Baden-Clay's dad Nigel and his sister Olivia also might give evidence in the trial.
The prosecution could play recorded interviews with the three Baden-Clay children.
Mr Boyle also listed forensic pathologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, accountants, police officers and other forensic experts as possible witnesses.
He said there would be a number of people from the Brookfield area testifying as well as other people close to the Baden-Clays.
When Justice Byrne asked whether the jurors had any reason to be excused from the jury, none raised their hand.
They have each been given a questionnaire now to fill out before their place on the jury is secure.
If there are any concerns with their answers, they will be asked to return to the courtroom alone to be questioned further.
If any are dismissed from serving in the jury, the rest of the potential jurors will return for possible selection and process repeated.
Gerard Baden-Clay pleads not guilty to murder
MURDER accused Gerard Robert Baden-Clay has formally entered a not guilty plea for his wife's death as his trial begins.
Mr Baden-Clay, 43, is accused of murdering the mother of his three children at Brookfield, in Brisbane, on or about April 19, 2012.
A canoeist found Allison June Baden-Clay's body under a bridge at Kholo Creek, near Ipswich, on April 30, 2012 - 10 days after she was reported missing.
The initial jury is made up of seven men and five women.
Three women are reserve jurors, who will sit through the trial until deliberations.
They will only be part of the verdict decision if another juror is unable to proceed during the trial.
Prosecution and defence have declined 14 people for the jury panel.
Potential jurors were earlier walking between two courtrooms to come before both the Crown and defence teams, who will decide whether they take a place in the jury box.
Once a full panel is selected, jurors will then answer three questions before their place is confirmed.
They will be asked if they, or their immediate family, lived near Brookfield, at the time Allison was allegedly murdered.
Jurors also must disclose whether they have ever attended any fundraising event or contributed to any fund set up for Allison's disappearance or death.
They also will be asked whether they have ever expressed an opinion on Mr Baden-Clay's guilt or innocence.
Family asks for privacy for children during trial
Allison's family has released a statement thanking media for the respect they had shown in the past two years which they described as "the most devastating period of our lives".
But the statement, signed by the Dickie family, said they would not be doing any interviews during the trial and asked the media to refrain from photographing or filming the Baden-Clay children.
"As the trial is imminent, we understand public interest in the case will again escalate and we recognise the media has a role in responding to this," it read.
"We hope you can imagine the ongoing impact of these events on our granddaughters - it has been devastating and will be long lasting.
"Our primary concern remains their emotional and physical wellbeing.
"We are trying to help them rebuild their lives and ask for your support and cooperation in this."