The family of Brisbane mother Allison Baden-Clay have described in heartbreaking detail what Gerard Baden-Clay stole from them when he murdered her.
Allison Baden-Clay’s three young daughters cry out at night for “mummy”.
Now they’ll have to carry on without their mother, knowing it was their father who sent her to her grave.
Allison’s devastated family told the Brisbane Supreme Court of their enduring grief at the loss of a loving mother, daughter and sister.
Gerard Baden-Clay was convicted on Tuesday of murdering his wife of 14 years, and he’ll spend at least 15 years behind bars.
The 43-year-old real estate agent broke down when Allison’s mother Priscilla Dickie told him what he’d taken from his own children.
“They miss her terribly and cry for her at night,” Mrs Dickie told the court in her victim impact statement.
“You have changed your daughters’ destinies and sentenced them to a journey they must take through life without a mother and all I have left are the memories of a wonderful daughter.”
Allison’s elder sister Vanessa Fowler told the court of the incredible sadness that descends on her when her nieces “snuggle up” to her and say: “Auntie Ness, I miss mummy.”
“They look for their mother, cry for their mother, they miss their mother, they love their mother,” she said.
“… to know that they didn’t get to say goodbye, and now to know that their mother has been taken away from them at the hand of their father, is unimaginable.”
Allison’s father Geoff Dickie told the court he felt he’d failed his daughter by not protecting her, but he also felt deceived by Baden-Clay.
“He asked me for my daughter’s hand in marriage and I gave him my permission, but I didn’t give you permission to betray her,” he said.
“We accepted you into our family and you abused our trust with your lies and deceit.”
The family told too of the thoughts that torment them, of Allison lying “cold, wet and alone out in the elements under a bridge” while her husband enjoyed a warm bed and “lavish lunches” in the days after he reported her missing in April 2012.
They spoke too of the pain they felt when Baden-Clay set out to smear Allison’s reputation.
“I am devastated, incensed and outraged by the way you have damaged and sullied the memory of my daughter’s life by your statements and innuendos when she is not here to defend herself,” Mr Dickie said.
He said Baden-Clay’s affairs and deceitful ways reduced Allison from a happy capable woman to a wife concerned about saving her marriage.
“She was constantly trying to improve herself and her appearance to measure up to the expectations of her husband,” he said.
“She tried hard to save her marriage.”
Her sister described Allison as “strong, bright, and a determined woman who just wanted the best for her family”.
“She had an inner strength and endured without complaint more than anyone should ever have had to endure,” Mrs Fowler said.
“Some terrible lies have been told about Allison over the past few weeks.”