It was Allison Baden-Clay's strength as she was being killed
that won her justice in the end.
In her final moments, the Brisbane mother-of-three lashed out
at her husband, clawing at his cheek as he snuffed out her
More than two years on from her violent death, that final act
has brought her justice.
Former real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay was found guilty
of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, meaning he'll
spend a minimum of 15 years behind bars for killing the
mother of his children.
The damning fingernail scratches on his right cheek on April
20, 2012 - the day he reported his wife missing - were enough
to persuade the Brisbane Supreme Court jury he was guilty of
Allison's grieving family paid tribute to her final act
during emotional victim impact statements that spoke of the
former beauty queen's resilience.
"One thing we have seen from this trial was that Allison was
strong and she fought to the death," said her sister Vanessa
Fowler as she stared down Baden-Clay.
"Even when taking her last breath she left her mark to ensure
you paid for your evil ways."
Allison's parents have been left not only to mourn their
daughter, but also to raise their three grief-stricken
granddaughters and answer all the questions they have about
what happened to their mother.
"They miss her terribly and cry for her at night," Allison's
mother Priscilla Dickie said of the girls, aged seven, 10 and
"They have been condemned to a life sentence without the love
and companionship only a mother can give."
The calm demeanour Baden-Clay had maintained during his trial
crumbled after a jury unanimously found he'd done everything
he so vehemently denied.
Wearing a dark suit and a tie of yellow - his wife's
favourite colour - he silently wept and trembled in the dock
as those who had taken him into their lives spoke of the
immense pain he had caused.
At times he also shook his head, as if in disagreement.
"We accepted you into our family and you abused our trust
with your lies and deceits," Allison's father, Geoff Dickie,
said as he stared down his son-in-law from across the court
"You asked me for my daughter's hand in marriage and I
consented and gave you permission. But I didn't give you
permission to betray her."
After a trial of more than six weeks, the jury accepted
Baden-Clay murdered his wife in a violent struggle in April
The trial heard he was under significant personal and
financial pressure and had promised his mistress Toni McHugh
he'd be separated by July 1 that year.
In sentencing, Justice John Byrne said it looked likely
Baden-Clay had smothered his wife in an attack that wasn't
premeditated, but was violent.
After the "undignified" dumping of his wife's body on a muddy
creek bank, Baden-Clay tried to fake shaving cuts to cover up
his wife's claw marks and he went on to insinuate his wife
might have taken her own life, the judge said.
"Your shameful conduct after murdering Allison bespeaks a
profound absence of remorse," Justice Byrne told him.
"You are given to lies and other deception, so much so that
whatever you may say on any application for parole 15 years
or more hence, will need to be assessed with considerable
Baden-Clay's lawyer said it wasn't an appropriate time to
comment on whether his client would appeal.
Allison's family say their priority is on the three young
girls who still struggle every day with their mother's
"Their resilience to this tragedy is a result of Allison's
guidance and love," Mrs Dickie told the court.
She said Allison did not leave her girls that night more than
two years ago, and simply walk off into the night to fall or
jump from a bridge as Baden-Clay's defence team suggested.
She was murdered. By the man who promised to love her