Real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay “effectively and efficiently” killed his wife in a violent struggle in reaction personal pressures, a court has heard.
Husband, real estate agent, adulterer and efficient killer – those were some of the roles played by Gerard Baden-Clay, jurors in his murder trial have been told.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller began his closing address in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Tuesday, accusing Baden-Clay of “efficiently” murdering his wife in a struggle at their home.
Mr Fuller told the jury Baden-Clay had presented a number of faces to different people during his life, including the facade of the anguished husband at his own trial.
On April 19 or 20, 2012, he played the role of effective and efficient killer by ending his wife Allison’s life and leaving no significant evidence, the prosecutor said.
He urged jurors to look closely at a photograph of jagged scratches on Baden-Clay’s cheek taken by police the day he reported his wife missing.
Several experts have told the court they were probably caused by fingernails, and were unlikely to have been caused by a blunt razor as Baden-Clay has maintained.
Mr Fuller said the scratches were evidence that Allison had struck out in defence during “close hand contact”, unable to injure her husband in any other way.
“There was a struggle between the two of them and she left her mark upon him, he said.
“They are damning and link to the act of violence without any doubt.”
Mr Fuller said Baden-Clay was reacting to an accumulation of pressure due to factors including a struggling business, large debts and the double life he was leading with mistress Toni McHugh.
The prosecutor dismissed the 43-year-old’s claims he hadn’t loved Ms McHugh and pointing to an April 11, 2012, email in which Baden-Clay told her: “This is agony for me … leave this to me now. I love you”.
Baden-Clay wanted to be with Ms McHugh but didn’t have the courage to leave his wife, Mr Fuller said.
“Does that not show the pressure and the place this man was in come the 19th of April 2012?” he asked jurors.
The court was shown diary entries written by Mrs Baden-Clay in 2010 that spoke of her regret about getting married, her fear of being alone and how she blamed herself for the breakdown of her marriage.
“I would give anything if my partner would love me and make love to me,” she wrote.
“If my relationship ends it will be because I didn’t work hard enough.”
Mr Fuller dismissed suggestions by Baden-Clay’s defence team that Mrs Baden-Clay could have fallen or jumped to her death, saying these had been effectively ruled out by expert witnesses.
Her body was found on April 30, 2012, on a creek bank at Anstead in Brisbane’s west, 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their home in nearby Brookfield.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Mr Fuller is expected to finish his closing address on Wednesday before the judge sums up the trial and the jury retires to consider its verdict.