Gerard Baden-Clay claims he planned to stay with his wife
Gerard Baden-Clay claims he planned to stay with his wife
GERARD Baden-Clay said he had no plans to leave his wife Allison for his mistress Toni McHugh despite confirming July 1 as the date in an email.
He told Brisbane Supreme Court he hoped that would make Ms McHugh leave him because of another broken promise.
July 1 was Allison's birthday.
"I don't honestly know where that (date) came from," he said.
I just gave her a date because we were in a face to face conversation.
"She wanted me to leave Allison.
"If we were speaking personally to one another I pretty much agreed to anything she asked to keep her happy.
"I was braver when we weren't face to face."
Shown another email Ms McHugh sent to his Bruce Overland account, Mr Baden-Clay said it again showed she was trying to pressure him and convince him how easy it would be to leave Allison and be with her.
But he said she could not force him to do that.
Mr Baden-Clay said he gave her the date to get her off his back.
"She was agitating, and getting agitated and upset about things," he said.
"I anticipated that time would come and go and Toni would be frustrated by that.
"I really wanted for her to make the decision to leave me.
"I presumed that would lead to her coming to that sort of conclusion.
"In her eyes, I had ended everything with her when Allison found out about the affair.
"She was very much left without a choice in the matter.
"I felt that she would probably be able to get on with her life better and be able to move on if she were the one making the decision to leave me."
Mr Baden-Clay said he was fine if Ms McHugh got angry and declared he had broken yet another promise and left him.
"I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it - I will be separated by 1 July," it read.
Mr Baden-Clay said he never intended to keep that commitment.
He was shown another email he sent Ms McHugh on April 11, 2012.
"This is agony for me too. I love you," it read.
"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. GM".
The court has previously heard GG stood for gorgeous girl and GM for gorgeous man.
"It's my way of trying to placate her and calm her down," Mr Baden-Clay told the court of the email.
"I consistently did that over the three years.
"I would gain the courage to be firmer about ending things.
"She would erupt and I would try to calm her down."
Journalists put Baden-Clay trial in jeopardy
A SHERIFF will investigate a juror's note about a journalist and cameraman approaching them during the lunch break.
Justice John Byrne told the juror they were right to bring the matter to him.
He said journalists should "know better than to approach a juror in a criminal trial".
Justice Byrne told the jury the media was in a separate room which was why they had not seen them in the courtroom.
He told them the media could see and hear the courtroom.
Justice Byrne described what had happened as "untoward conduct" at first blush and he hoped it would not happen again.
Jurors are not visible on the screens in the media room.
Media cannot get access to the courtroom because of the huge public interest in the case which has people lining up from 5.30am to ensure a seat in the public gallery.
Gerard Baden-Clay describes his mistress as 'fragile'
GERARD Baden-Clay claimed he only told his mistress Toni McHugh he loved her because she was "fragile".
It had been some months since his wife found out about their affair and he was under intense scrutiny.
Mr Baden-Clay said Ms McHugh had been texting him, which his wife Allison had seen, and tried to call numerous times.
He said he would ignore calls from her number but would hang up if she phoned from an unknown number.
"She was struggling with getting another job," he said.
"She was emotionally struggling.
"I felt a great deal of responsibility for that."
Mr Baden-Clay said he contacted Ms McHugh around Christmas time in 2011 and met her at a coffee shop at Taringa.
"I just wanted her to know that I didn't hate her and to apologise," he said.
"She asked me if I loved her.
"She was very fragile, I could tell.
"I told her I did … but I didn't."
Mr Baden-Clay told the court that he had broken contact with Ms McHugh after Allison put conditions on their relationship.
He said after breaking it off with Ms McHugh, he told his staff what had happened and then told the principal at Brookfield Primary School because he was worried about the children.
"I didn't want him finding out through the tuck shop rumour mill which is how it happened anyway," he said.
"So if any issues with the children we could be made aware of it."
Mr Baden-Clay said it was "very uncomfortable at first" between him and Allison after the affair was out in the open.
He said Allison told him that to make up for his breach of trust, he must submit to conditions.
"I agreed to do that whatever she wanted because I was committed," he said.
"I wasn't able to go out to any night time appointments unless Al approved it, for want of a better description.
"Sometimes I went to visit Rob, Peter and Stu for example, she would need to know where I was.
"She needed complete control and access to my phone.
"So every day whenever I came home I would basically hand my phone to her."
Mr Baden-Clay said he gave her password to Allison so she could open his iPhone.
"She would have it and she would check any of my texts, call history and emails - or could if she wanted it," he said.
"She would give me my phone if it rang or a text would come through, she would read the text and hand it to me to respond.
"Then I would give it back and she would give it to me in the morning before I went to work."
Mr Baden-Clay said Allison started working in the real estate office shortly after learning about the affair.
He said she was "quite understandably" anxious about going into the office knowing "she was the wife who had been cheated on".
"So she had to gather the courage to be able to do that," he said.
"I spoke to all the staff as well … they were all lovely people but just asked them to be mindful of Allison's situation."
Mr Baden-Clay said he tried to ignore Ms McHugh until he contacted her for coffee that Christmas.
But then contact resumed thereafter without Allison's knowledge.
"I never called her. She only ever called me," he said.
"After she called me I would delete that history of that call from my phone record.
"There were no text messages.
"That's when we utilised that other email account that I had that Allison didn't know about."
Mr Baden-Clay said he set up the Bruce Overland email account when he was setting up dummy accounts to subscribing to other real estate business mailouts to get some inside knowledge of what they were doing.
He said he was "doing my best to distance myself from Toni", responding only to emails she sent and answering the phone when she called.
Mr Baden-Clay said Ms McHugh would usually call about 5pm when she knew Allison would be at home or looking after the children.
He said he had sex with her twice more after Allison found out about their affair.
In an email -dated February 20, 2012 - shown to the court, Ms McHugh about her disappointment with the situation.
"Im sick of hiding … Im sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn't find out," she wrote (sic).
"Why should I believe things are going to be any different than the past. I shouldnt … that's the reality.
"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?
"All I'm doing at the moment is pacifying your ****** relationship!!
"that's = not fair G.."
Mr Baden-Clay said the email showed he was often forced to placate her.
"The challenge I consistently wrestled with was that whilst I was trying to push her away because of her fairly volatile personality, and that's sort of expressed a little bit here, in my weakness I tended to rollover and say whatever she wanted to hear," he said.
"This is an indication here of the fact she understood that I really did love Allison , I did want to commit to her and the girls and I wasn't going to be doing that with her."
Mr Baden-Clay said after seeing two other marriage counsellors - but Carmel Ritchie seemed to fit.
"I really felt the connection with her, Allison mentioned she liked her as well which was good for me because I liked the structure, the method, the way she dealt with me," he said.
"We talked about the affair with Toni.
"My desire was to do everything I possible could to help Allison to be able to work through that for us to be able to move forward together.
"She expressed her view then that it would be useful to help Alison to be able to express her feelings and ask any questions she wanted about details about the relationship in order to help to recover from it."
Mr Baden-Clay said he was initially resistant because another counsellor had suggested something similar - that "Allison could vent whenever she wanted".
He said that counsellor said it was "part of the healing process that she should be able to go back and revisit those things".
"What I had experienced was that it seemed to me not be helping Alison very much to be constantly having all of these issues running around in her head and constantly challenging me about them," she said.
"Whenever she did that she seemed to me to regress and it seemed to me quite strange to suggest it would help someone get better mentally by going back and revisiting these painful experiences."
"But what Carmel further explained was that it wasn't an anytime, anywhere, anything situation.
"What she recommended was to structure and formalise it and set aside a period of 15-20 mins every second night where Allison could then ask any questions she had, express any feelings she had.
"My job was to answer any question that Allison had and to listen to any feelings she might express.
"I felt a sense of acceptance and relief that there was a context that was put in and there was that formalised structure.
"I knew that for me it would be certainly easier to deal with on a 15-20min basis every couple of nights.
"And for Allison it would probably be better because she could formalise her thoughts and have a coherent conversation or expression of feelings rather than getting potentially overly emotional about things which occasionally had happened before."
'Affair started after lack of intimacy with Allison'
GERARD Baden-Clay told his real estate partners that he was only sleeping with Toni McHugh toward the end "for the sake of the business".
They had hit him up about the affair after suspecting it had been going on and he acknowledged it had.
"I admitted to them that there were occasions where I was effectively sleeping with Toni for the sake of the business," he said.
"I didn't want her to leave the business and I didn't want her to cause any dramas should the relationship end."
Mr Baden-Clay said that got back to Ms McHugh.
"She was quite justifiably very unhappy," he said.
"I think at that time the affair was in some sort of hiatus and we got back together because of the sake of the business."
Mr Baden-Clay broke down again as he told the court about Allison finding out about the affair.
Clasping his hands tightly and then wiping tears away with a handkerchief, he said his wife was "just in disbelief" when he confirmed what she had heard.
"She had been told about it by her friend Wendy," he said.
"She couldn't believe it and then when I acknowledged it she was in shock.
"She didn't yell or shout or scream or anything. That's just not Al, it's just not her.
"She got out of the car, she was just shaking her head.
"She sat on the little concrete curb thing next to the gardens there.
"I got out and came around and sat next to her.
"There wasn't much said. She was just shaking her head, she had her head in her hands.
"After a little while she said 'do you love her?' and I said 'no'.
"She said 'you need to make a choice', and it was just an absolute no brainer for me.
"I think I may have said' there is no choice, I want to be with you and the girls'.
"She said 'well you need to end it now'."
Mr Baden-Clay said he agreed and told Toni McHugh who reacted completely differently to his wife.
"She was very angry - she said she couldn't believe it," he said.
"She called me all sorts of names, she said I was scum of the earth, that I had ruined three years of her life.
"She yelled and screamed and threw things at me.
"She said she was never going to go back to work again so I didn't need to tell her she wasn't able to anyway."
Mr Baden-Clay told the court he slept with former Sunshine Coast real estate agent Jackie Crain at a conference in Sydney while he was having the affair with Ms McHugh.
"That was the only time that we actually had sex," he said.
'Affair started after lack of intimacy with Allison'
GERARD Baden-Clay had a "big vision" for his real estate business.
He wanted a network of offices right across the western suburbs of Brisbane that would cohesively work together as "one big team".
Mr Baden-Clay told Brisbane Supreme Court he wanted to apply the things he had learned during his time at Flight Centre because he liked the way it operated so successfully.
He said he wanted to operate differently to the way most real estate agencies ran where a franchise of the same brand down the road was one of the biggest competitors.
Mr Baden-Clay said he was still struggling with home life because Allison was not coping well on her own and their emotional relationship was deteriorating.
"She was at a point where she was throwing all of her energies in to the children," he said.
"She was getting progressively better generally.
"She was to take the children to ballet generally and she was getting more involved in those things.
"But that took a lot out of her emotionally and physically.
"So that when she wasn't out in public presenting that calm facade and looking after the children, she would, collapse is too strong a word, but once she was at home, often at home with (the youngest daughter) she would just collapse on the couch.
"When (the baby) was having a day time sleep Allison would as well.
"When I got home, often it was just a handover and I would look after the girls and Allison would go to bed."
Mr Baden-Clay said their physical relationship was non-existent.
"Allison just had no interest in any physical intimacy at all," he said.
"I just didn't want to force her and put her under any pressure so we just didn't.
"It became the norm that there was no physical intimacy."
Mr Baden-Clay said his business was expanding at the time and they had about 15 staff between 2008 and 2010.
He said Toni McHugh was one of those staff.
She was hired as a sales person after a history in property management, he said.
"She was a past client. Many of our staff were past clients," he said.
Mr Baden-Clay said he had started a fledgling property management business but the part-time person looking after it had to leave and he asked Ms McHugh to look after it.
He said he eventually got rid of it and Toni returned to sales.
"We developed more of a closer relationship," he said.
"She was having some problems with Rob.
"They had twin boys together.
"She had a son from a previous relationship. He didn't live at home.
"Like with all of my staff I tried to assist them and counsel them if I could with any of the issues.
"We became a bit closer through that process.
"We started a physical relationship that I think for both of us was purely for that… at the end of August 2008.
"The business was going great, just brought in two business partners and I didn't have any physical intimacy and we started that relationship."
Mr Baden-Clay said it began in the office when they were working back late and ended up having a "tryst in my car" which he said his family had labelled Snowy.
"Over the ensuring years I tried to break off with Toni on numerous occasions," he said.
"Sometimes we were successful for days, sometimes for a month or two but we always ended up recommencing that physical relationship."
Mr Baden-Clay said Ms McHugh broke up with her partner and assured him it was not because of him.
But he said he was concerned about it.
"For me it was really only a physical relationship and I didn't really want anything more," he said.
"As time went on she wanted me to divorce Allison and start a life with her.
"I told her categorically that I would not do that, that my loyalty -it doesn't feel right using that word - but my loyalty was to Allison and my children and I didn't want to jeopardise that."
Mr Baden-Clay said he did make promises to Ms McHugh because she had volatile moods and he was worried about the effect that would have on the business, especially since she "was quite a successful sales person".
He said he was always the one breaking things off.
"Typically it would be me telling Toni there wasn't a future for us because I wasn't going to leave Allison and the children," he said.
"And if there wasn't a future in it then it seemed there was no point in continuing it now.
"She would typically always get very upset about that.
"I was flattered at the outset because she looked up to me as a boss.
"I was getting acknowledgement and appreciation that I hadn't really had before but really it was for the physical intimacy."
Mr Baden-Clay said he was having counselling with his wife about the marriage but he did not talk about the affair.
"No I was ashamed of it and I had hoped to be able to end it and it would be something in our past that I would never have to deal with and we'd be able to move on," he said.
Baden-Clay never wanted third child but loves his daughter
GERARD Baden-Clay wasn't keen on having a third child but he broke down in tears again as he told a jury he could not imagine his life without that little girl.
He said he and Allison had found out the gender of their first two children but Allison did not want to know the third.
Mr Baden-Clay said they agreed he would find out and he was relieved to learn it was another girl.
"I had two daughters and I loved them more than anything," he said.
"And I understood them in a way.
"I felt a confidence that I knew how to change their nappies and care for them.
"So I was relieved but I was worried about how Alison would take that news."
Mr Baden-Clay said the pregnancy went well until the third trimester when there were more negative mood swings.
He said psychiatrist Dr Tom George took more of an active interest and role during that time.
Mr Baden-Clay said his wife had a Caesarean section so she had control over the pregnancy and birth.
"Her initial reaction was almost shock I suppose," he said when Allison saw it was a girl.
"Because I think she just had her heart and mind set on having a little boy.
"Of course I had six months knowing it was a little girl."
Mr Baden-Clay said he tried to convey to Allison that he was happy because he knew she wanted a boy for him.
"I can't imagine life without (my third daughter) she's - (he breaks down again) - she's just such a beautiful little girl," he said.
"Alison fell in love with her too and bonded with her just lie she had the other two.
"I can't imagine life without (the little girl) so I'm really glad we did have (her)."
Baden-Clay explains cheating: 'I just wanted sex'
MURDER accused Gerard Baden-Clay has revealed why he cheated on his wife Allison.
"I just wanted sex," he told Brisbane Supreme Court through tears.
"Allison and I hadn't had any physical intimacy for years.
"It's no excuse but that's why."
Mr Baden-Clay said his first affair went for a month.
"I just felt really bad about it," he said about why he ended it.
It was the third time Mr Baden-Clay had broken down in the first 15 minutes of his testimony this morning.
The first was while describing how withdrawn his wife had become from him.
He had told the court how he was working at Raine and Horne in Kenmore in 2004 and rushing home at 5pm for "happy hour" at home nearby.
"On most occasions I would do the majority of that happy hour routine," he said.
"On many occasions Allison would go to bed pretty much as soon as I walked in the door."
Mr Baden-Clay said he and his parents decided to start their own real estate business towards the end of 2004.
He said he was proving "quite successful in real estate", so they started a Century21 franchise from in Kenmore "from scratch".
"It was quite challenging to start with," he said.
"We started from nothing.
"We became quite successful very quickly."
Mr Baden-Clay said that "very first year" in 2005 he was awarded Quest's best real estate agency for the western suburbs.
Defence barrister Michael Byrne asked: "What's the home life like?"
"Not great," Mr Baden-Clay said.
"We had two young children and Allison wasn't coping really very well with that.
"With me having to work, I was at work all day, would come home at 5pm for happy house, have the children in bed and asleep by 7pm so if need be I could have evening meetings with clients.
"But Allison would often call during the day saying she needed me.
"So I would drop everything and go home.
"That was one of the benefits of having our own business and working so close to home."
Mr Baden-Clay said he could be home in 5-15minutes from wherever he was in the service area.
"As a new business it was important to gain some traction and profile in the area," he said.
"And I wanted to develop a good working relationship with other businesses in the area."
Mr Baden-Clay said he had joined the Kenmore Chamber of Commerce when he was with Raine and Horne but became president from 2005.
He said he would take his eldest daughter to breakfast meetings to give Allison some respite because "I normally did the morning routine well".
Mr Baden-Clay said communication with his wife had "deteriorated quite dramatically" by this point.
"The main reason for that was Allison was putting a lot of her best efforts into the children," he said.
"It was great on the one hand as it gave her some positives in her life.
"But that effort, and also if we ever went out, her putting on the facade of being all together was very draining for her.
"So whenever she came, she often went straight to bed because she was drained from those pressures and exertions.
"So we communicated less and less and less."
Mr Baden-Clay said Allison was still seeing psychiatrist Dr Tom George and taking anti-depressants.
"It certainly assisted with the depths of her depression and her anxiety," he said.
"The medication is an antidepressant so it assists with smoothing out those lower end of mood.
"It does unfortunately also tend to knock off the upper end of moods as well so great elation, pleasure, joy, happiness at the higher end gets sort of bluntened a little bit by the medication as well.
"She was just a lovely energetic person when we met and got married.
"She had a love of life and was very sociable
"But she became much more withdrawn through that period and she was just like … ( he breaks down crying) a blurrier image of herself."
Mr Baden-Clay said side effects of the drugs were weight gain and libido issues which Allison did have.
"Our sex life basically became nonexistent," he said.
"She did put on weight."
Mr Baden-Clay said his wife was "very keen to have a son" and he believed she wanted a son for his sake.
"I think she wanted to continue the Baden-clay name," he said.
"I wasn't keen."
Mr Baden-Clay said he was worried about the finances because they were living in a townhouse and would have to move.
"We discussed it at length and she became quite depressed about the prospect of not having a child," he said.
"I just wanted to make her happy," he said as he tapered off breaking down in tears again.
"I'd always just wanted her to be happy and so we agreed in the end.
"As soon as she found out she was pregnant her mood lightened immeasurably."
Baden-Clay trial draws dawn crowd lining up for a seat
INTEREST in the Baden-Clay murder trial in Brisbane has reached another peak with people lining up in the dark from early this morning.
It is day 12 and murder accused Gerard Baden-Clay will take his place in the witness box again.
He is accused of murdering wife Allison, the mother of their three daughters, at their Brookfield home on April 19, 2012, and then allegedly dumping her body near the Kholo Creek.
Her body was found 10 days after he reported her missing and was so decomposed that no cause of death could be identified.
Curious onlookers were lining up from about 5.30am to ensure their place in the line to get inside the supreme court complex on George St.
Security guards have been handing out tickets for spots in the courtroom where visitors want to get a look at the accused man.
There was already an overflow room and a media room - where screens broadcast directly from the courtroom - for the anticipated interest in the case.
Another courtroom has now been opened and linked up via video to try and accommodate the unprecedented attention this case has drawn.
Mr Baden-Clay will continue testifying at 10am.