Tonight as they get ready for bed, brush their long hair, read their books and get a kiss goodnight, three little girls can rest easy knowing their mummy never chose to leave them. Throughout the Allison Baden-Clay murder trial there have been so many things that have disturbed, devastated and angered me but none more than the fact her husband, Gerard would rather have the nation, the community, her friends, her family but most tragically, her three daughters believing she intentionally took her life. But she never did. He took it from her.
Two years ago, on April 19, Allison put each of her girls in bed, the youngest she sung a song to before turning out the lights and closing their bedroom doors. They would never see her again. From the very first day when he reported her missing, Gerard seemed to me nonchalant, fake even. He was stoic, but then he had no reason to think his wife was dead…or at least that’s what he’d have us all believe. As soon as he emerged, two deep and bloody scratch marks carved into his lower left cheek…the crucial evidence that would later convict him and have Allison’s own mum Priscilla Dickie declare that even in death, her daughter was brave enough to leave a clue – the public was weary of him.
Ten days later, her body washed up on a creek bed, found by a local kayaker. Gerard was immediately on defense. The whole nation learned of her apparent ‘inability to cope with the pressures and demands of motherhood, of a marriage’. He wanted us to believe she was troubled, on medication, stressed and depressed. His family even buoyed his case reportedly recalling times when they’d visited her house and her curtains had been drawn. How many times have you forgotten to make your bed, fold the laundry or pull up the blinds before you’ve left the house? How many of us have sat around in our PJ’s until midday just because we felt like it?
If you take a look inside any normal family, you’re bound to find a mum who at times, struggles to cope. You’re going to find a mum who feels it’s all getting on top of her. It was just like that in Allison’s home. When she uncovered her husband’s affair, she turned to counseling. She chose to confide in her diary because she needed to write it down, get it all out. Ask questions, seek answers. She decided she needed to seek a doctor’s advice and medication. But what you wouldn’t have found in Allison’s home was a woman who was willing to take her own life. To abandon her children, her friends, her family.
Gerard wanted everyone to believe his wife was unstable. At times even an unfit mother. And certainly not his picture-perfect wife. He wanted us to believe she took her life.
Today as a jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of Allison’s murder, Gerard Baden-Clay has fifteen years to think about the lives he’s destroyed. He is guilty of murder, of lying, of deception but most of all of depriving his children of their mum. He is their father, it was his job to protect them, to love them, nurture them and keep them from harm. He did none of these things. Instead he took the person who meant the most to them.
Now three little girls have to live a life without their mummy, shadowed by the deep grief of their loss every single day. She never wanted to leave them. They were her world. As they tuck their heads into their pillows and sleep under the night sky there’s a bright star watching down on them, she knows some justice has been served and she knows her girls now know the truth…To make a donation to the Baden-Clay children you can help through the Late Allison Baden-Clay Children Appeal. Sanction Number CP5609 BSB 084 737 Account 133196502.