On Tuesday, July 15 2014, the much followed trial of Gerard Baden Clay for murder of his wife Allison Baden Clay finally reached its logical conclusion. The court had deliberated for 21 hours on the verdict and it came on the 21st day of the trial.
A packed courtroom heard the pronouncement of Gerard being awarded life sentence for murder which means a minimum of 15 years behind bars for the 43 year old.
The murder had taken the country by storm and the trial was keenly followed. It attracted large crowds to the Brisbane Supreme Court, so much so that extra courtrooms had to be opened for people who queued up every day. To keep the curious at bay, a ticketing system was even introduced. The special arrangements made, according to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General was primarily to ensure openness and a high degree of transparency to the proceedings.
Gerard clenched his fist and jaw as the verdict was delivered but the Allison family erupted in joy as a cheer went up in the courtroom. Her sister, Vanessa clasped her hand and whispered “thank you” to the jury. Allison’s mother read out an impact statement in court in a shaking voice that moved everyone to tears, even the convicted Gerard.
Allison leaves behind three young daughters who will now be brought up by their grandparents. Her father Geoff Dickie vowed to bring up his granddaughters in exactly the same manner that he knew his daughter would have wanted. He regretted the fact that he had been unable to protect his daughter from harm. “I’ve failed in my duty and I’ll have to live with that,” Dickie said.
The trial had revealed that all was not well in the Baden Clay family. A real estate agent, Gerard had been through financial problems after the Brisbane floods in 2012 which mainly affected his area of operation. Allison had been on anti-depressants, resulting in weight gain and loss of libido. This had made Gerard seek pleasure outside his home turf. In fact, Tony McHugh, former mistress of Gerard testified in court. The verdict draws the curtain down on one of the most high profile trials that had drawn unprecedented public and media attention.
Oct 07, 2014 1