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Justice warns juror’s downloading is 'wrong'

Gerard Baden-Clay
Gerard Baden-Clay

1.30PM

THE jury deliberating in the Gerard Baden-Clay has been warned for a fourth time about seeking guidance outside the courtroom after a  juror brought in a document from an American jury commentator.

Justice John Byrne gave the seven men and five woman, who began deliberating at 11.10am, a stern warning about not seeking help from external sources and told them the behaviour was "wrong".

"You scarcely need to know what some overseas commentator speaking about a very different system of jury trials happens to think," he said.

Justice Byrne said the jury could use the guide to jury deliberations booklet which the court had approved to help them.

He said his associate will retain the document and not allow it to return to the jury room.

"I didn't expect to see you again so soon ladies and gentleman but there's been an important matter brought to my attention and I need to deal with it straight away," he said.

"I had expected my direction given twice orally and once in writing that you must not enquire outside the courtroom about anything that relates to the trial was clear and emphatic.

"It appears however that the direction has not been observed by one of you.

"That juror has apparently downloaded from the internet material relating to how a jury might approach its great responsibility of deliberating on the verdict.

"What was done was wrong.

"I am however grateful that what has happened has been drawn to my attention.

"Everyone appreciates that a juror's job is rarely easy.

"We all understand that jurors are often anxious about performing their role.

"They want to do it well and responsibly.

"And many will look for assistance.

"But, I repeat, that assistance must come from the court and only from the court and not from some external source."

Mr Byrne drew the jury's attention to what he had already said on the topic.

"You must not enquire outside the courtroom about anything that relates to the trial," he said.

"So you must not use any aid, such as a textbook to conduct research, and except in this courtroom you must not in any way seek or receive any information about questions that arise in the trial, or about the accused or any witnesses or the deceased.

"For example, by conducting research using the internet or by communicating with someone by phone, email, on Twitter, through any blog or website, including social networking websites such as Facebook, Linked In or YouTube."

 

11.15am:

THE jury has begun deliberating in the Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial.

Seven men and five women left the courtroom at 11.10 am to assess the evidence and submissions they have heard in the past 18 days.

Justice John Byrne excused the three reserve jurors who have also sat through the trial.

He said they might feel disappointed but thanked them for their service.

When they have reached a verdict, they will file into the courtroom and be asked if they have a verdict.

They will first be asked whether Mr Baden-Clay is guilty of murder.

If yes, Mr Baden-Clay likely will be sentenced. Life imprisonment is mandatory.

If not, the jury they will be asked whether they find him guilty or not guilty of manslaughter.

If guilty, he will be sentenced.

If he is found not guilty of either then he will walk free.

BELOW: ALLISON BADEN-CLAY'S JOURNAL ENTRIES (READ IN FULL SCREEN MODE)

 

8am:

THE jury tasked with deciding the guilt or innocence of Gerard Baden-Clay has been warned lies did not make him guilty of killing his wife.

Justice John Byrne, while delivering more than 1000 summary points, told them they could only use Mr Baden-Clay's lies against him if they believed he was lying to cover up his involvement in his wife Allison's death.

After 17 days of hearing evidence from 72 witnesses, the three Baden-Clay children and submissions from all parties, the seven men and five women on the jury are expected to begin deliberations today.

Justice Byrne told them they must make up their own minds about whether Mr Baden-Clay told falsehoods to police and, if so, whether he did so deliberately.

"It is however, necessary to approach, with considerable caution, the use you might make of a conclusion, were you to reach it, that he told lies to the police," he said.

"As people do sometimes have an innocent explanation for lying, take into account any such reason there was, or may have been, for the accused not to tell the truth.

"If a reason of that kind may account for the lie, you cannot regard the lie as indicative of guilt.

"It may be that, even if you were to find that the accused lied about his facial injuries because he realised that the truth would show him to be the killer, still you would not conclude that the lie shows that he realised that her death after scratching him with her fingernails would show that he had killed her intentionally.

"An accused person might tell lies for reasons other than a realisation that the truth of the matter would incriminate him.

"People do not always act rationally, and telling a lie may be explained in other ways.

"If the accused lied for some reason other than to avoid his incrimination in the death, that lie cannot be used as evidence that he killed his wife, let alone that he murdered her."

Mr Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison on April 19 or 20, 2012.

BELOW: ALLISON BADEN-CLAY'S JOURNAL ENTRIES (READ IN FULL SCREEN MODE)

To convict him of murder, the jury must find that he unlawfully killed another person, intending to cause that person's death or to cause grievous bodily harm.

If they believe he killed her but did not intend to cause her death or grievous injury, then manslaughter is an alternate verdict.

The jury could also believe his version of events to be true and acquit him.

Justice Byrne warned the jury they should assess the evidence dispassionately and only use the testimony and exhibits from the courtroom to reach their verdict.

"You should dismiss all feelings of sympathy or prejudice, whether it be sympathy for, or prejudice against, the accused or anyone else," he said.

Allison Baden-Clay.
Allison Baden-Clay.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller had earlier concluded his closing submissions to the jury - telling them Mr Baden-Clay was willing to do and say whatever he needed to look after himself.

"He had the opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, he had access to the vehicle that contains the blood of his wife, he lives in the house where the combination of leaves were found in his wife's hair is an exact match," he said.

"He has the scratches on his right cheek, he lies about those scratches. He attempts to disguise them.

"We have the real prospect of his wife and Toni McHugh coming together, the real prospect of him finally being exposed for the man that he was. The way he was finally exposed in this trial.

"Perhaps he felt he had no other choice, no other choice but to take his wife's life.

"The scratches on his face show he was in close contact with his wife, that she was struggling for her life.

"What could have been in this man's mind as carried that out...?

Police photographs of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's skin used as evidence in court.
Police photographs of marks on Gerard Baden-Clay's skin used as evidence in court. The Brisbane Times

"His frustrations from his marriage, the frustrations in his life not going where he thought it would be? The double life, the daily deceptions? The risk to him of it all coming crashing down?

"Like he told (counsellor) Carmel Ritchie, he just wanted to wipe the slate clean."

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Topics:  allison baden-clay editors picks gerard baden-clay



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