News State QLD News Jury shown graphic photo

Jury shown graphic photo

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The jury in the murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has been shown a graphic photo of his dead wife’s body where it was found on a creek bank in Brisbane.

The photo shows the body of a long-haired woman lying on her side with her arms splayed, dressed in what appears to be exercise clothes.

The prosecution has opened its case against former real estate agent in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

The 43-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

Crown Prosecutor Todd Fuller said Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was found by a kayaker on the bank of Kholo Creek under a bridge in Brisbane’s west on April 30, 2012.

Mr Fuller said the swollen body, later identified as Allison, was in “an advanced state of decay” with her jumper inside out and pulled up over her head as though she had been dragged.

He said because of the advanced state of decomposition the cause of death couldn’t be identified but there was no evidence Mrs Baden-Clay died of natural causes.

Baden-Clay had reported his wife missing from their Brookfield home 10 days before her body was found.

The former real estate agent told police he’d left her watching TV at 10pm on April 19, 2012, but neighbours told officers they’d heard arguing and female screams.

Plant samples from Ms Baden-Clay’s body showed something happened at their Brookfield home, and blood traces in the couple’s car indicated how she was taken to the creek, the court was told.

Mr Fuller said scratches on Baden-Clay’s face, which the accused said were from shaving, were “Allison Baden-Clay’s mark upon him”.

“The Crown says that Allison Baden-Clay did not die of natural causes but she in fact died at the hands of her husband,” Mr Fuller said.

“The body was taken to Kholo Creek to hide the truth and for the elements to take its toll.”

The father of three was under substantial financial pressure with large unpaid loans and a looming deadline for payment on his recently purchased real estate business, the court heard.

He was also under significant relationship pressure juggling a long-running affair with a former colleague while promising to work things out with his wife, who knew about the tryst.

He’d told his lover, Toni McHugh, they’d be together by July 1, 2012, and in an April 11 email from his alias “Bruce Overland” he told her “This is agony for me too … leave things to me now. I love you.”

Ms Baden-Clay, who had two life insurance policies, was reported missing the day she was due to come face to face with Ms McHugh at a real estate conference, the court was told.

Mr Fuller said previously that when the two women had come together there’d been “significant fallout”, including Ms McHugh having to leave her job in Baden-Clay’s real estate business.