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Baden-Clay faces court today charged with wife's murder


Police take Gerard Baden-Clay away to be charged
 for the murder of his wife Allison. Photo: Channel Nine





Gerard Baden-Clay held his daughters close as they sobbed at the funeral for their mother Allison last month.

Today, Mr Baden-Clay sits in a watchhouse cell charged with her murder.

With their father behind bars, the grieving Baden-Clay girls are in the care of their maternal grandparents Priscilla and Geoff Dickie.
The Baden-Clay family.
















Mr Baden-Clay was charged last night with his wife's murder.

Police confirmed this morning Mr Baden-Clay was also charged with one count of unlawfully interfering with a corpse.

A police source told brisbanetimes.com.au the charge was based on an "accumulation of evidence" rather than a single breakthrough in the case.

The 41-year-old went voluntarily with detectives to Indooroopilly police station, from his real estate office in Toowong Tower, about 3pm yesterday.

Shortly before 6.30pm, he was driven from Indooroopilly station in an unmarked police car to the Brisbane Watchhouse where he was formally charged with murder.

In the meantime, his three daughters were taken to Ferny Grove police station where they were collected by their grandparents who travelled from the Gold Coast to Brisbane to collect the girls.

Mr Baden-Clay's solicitor Darren Mahony told reporters outside the Indooroopilly police station his client intended to defend the charge.

“He is devastated and his intention is clearly to defend the charge vigorously," he said.

Today marks eight weeks since the mother-of-three disappeared from her home in the leafy western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield.

Mr Baden-Clay reported her missing on Friday, April 20, allegedly telling police he last saw his wife watching television in their living room about 10pm the previous night.

Police immediately mounted an extensive search for the 43-year-old former human resources executive, establishing a command post at the Brookfield Showgrounds just several hundred metres from the Baden-Clay home.

Community members held nightly prayer vigils for Mrs Baden-Clay as up to 50 State Emergency Service volunteers and 80 police scoured rough terrain and private acreage properties across Brookfield Valley.

As the search entered its 11th day, Mrs Baden-Clay's body was discovered by a canoeist under the Kholo Creek Bridge, confirming the worst for her family and friends.

Last night, Mrs Baden-Clay's family thanked police for their efforts.

"We would like to thank all the people who have worked so tirelessly in the wake of this terrible tragedy," the family said in a statement.

"We are extremely grateful for the support of the community, the people of Brookfield, the SES and the police who have gone beyond the call of duty.

"We love Allison and will always miss her dearly.

"We have a long road ahead of us coming to terms with this horrific crime."

During their two-month investigation, detectives seized a number of items and a laptop from the Kenmore home of Mr Baden-Clay's parents where the real estate agent stayed with his daughters for several weeks after his wife's disappearance.

Two weeks ago, police interviewed a female associate of Mr Baden-Clay.

Detectives had previously interviewed a former female colleague of the real estate agent.

Police also requested information from the public about the movements of the Baden-Clays' cars - a white Toyota Prado and a silver Holden Captiva - between 11.30pm on Thursday, April 19, and 4am on Friday, April 20.

Mrs Baden-Clay met her husband while both worked for Flight Centre. She was managing a Flight Centre branch in Ipswich at the time, while he worked as a consultant at the Toombul store.

Mrs Baden-Clay later excelled to become the global head of human resources for Flight Centre, before she and Gerard married and then settled in London for about a year.

Following their return to Brisbane, Mr Baden-Clay founded a real estate office with Century 21 in Taringa.

Mrs Baden-Clay stepped out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mother for her daughters.

At her funeral attended by hundreds, she was remembered as "a high achiever, a model mum and an unselfish soul".

Mrs Baden-Clay's older sister Vanessa Fowler pledged to fight for justice.

"Allison, there are many questions that are unanswered, many pieces of a puzzle that need to be put together, and we your family pledge to you that we will have these questions answered," she said.

www.BrisbaneTimes.com.au

14.6.12