The mistress of accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay says he promised to leave his wife and had set a deadline in the weeks before Allison Baden-Clay vanished.
Real estate worker Toni McHugh wept as she detailed her on-again, off-again relationship with her former boss during Baden-Clay’s murder trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
Baden-Clay, 43, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Allison Baden-Clay in April 2012.
Ms McHugh said she’d began an affair with the real estate agent when she joined his business as a sales manager in 2008.
They would meet as often as four times a week, working back late or at her unit, and colleagues knew of the affair.
She was devastated when Baden-Clay broke it off in September or October 2011 after his wife found out, but then he called her out of the blue in December 2011 to tell her he planned to leave his wife for her.
They resumed their relationship in secret, and Ms McHugh said when she confronted Baden-Clay about their future he promised he’d leave his wife by July 1, 2012.
He repeated the promise in an April 3, 2012 email that was shown to the jury and said: “I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it – I will be separated by 1 July”.
Then on April 11, Baden-Clay sent another email: This is agony for me too … leave things to me now. I love you.”
On April 19, the night before Allison was reported missing, Ms McHugh said she “lost it” with her lover during a phone call when she learned Allison would be at the same real estate conference she was attending.
“How could you put us in that situation? You need to tell her,” she told him “in a rage”.
The following day on the phone he sounded “distressed” and told her Allison was missing, that they couldn’t talk and told her to “lay low”.
On April 21, he rang to say police would need to speak to her and said: “Tell the truth. Just tell the truth”.
Ms McHugh said Baden-Clay rang her while she was in the interview room to find out whether she’d told police they were back together, and she said yes.
She told the court he told her in a later phone conversation “I need you to know that I don’t know what’s happened here. I need you to know I love you.”
They met one final time in one of Baden-Clay’s rental units in Fortitude Valley.
“He told me that I would have to fall in love with somebody else,” she said.
“He suspected that things weren’t going to be looking good for him.”
She said they had no contact after that.
Allison’s body was found on a creek bank on April 30, 2012, 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their nearby home in Brookfield, in Brisbane’s west.
The trial continues.