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Baden-Clay could be free in four years

Gerard Baden-Clay may be released from prison in as little as four years, after his murder conviction was downgraded to manslaughter.

Gerard Baden-Clay may be released from prison in as little as four years, after his murder conviction was downgraded to manslaughter.

Baden-Clay was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Alison Baden-Clay, in 2014.

His legal team was able to get the conviction downgraded to manslaughter by arguing that Gerard, who has always said that he knows absolutely nothing about what happened to Alison on the night she disappeared from their home, may have killed her by accident.

Gerard’s face was badly scratched when police turned up to investigate Alison’s disappearance. He said he cut himself shaving.

Now his legal team says the scratches may well have come from Alison, during an argument over Gerard’s affair.

The Queensland Court of Appeal agreed, saying that the jury may well have believed that Gerard had lied about how he got those scratches, but that didn’t mean that he was a murderer.

The crime of murder requires an intent to kill. Manslaughter refers to an accidental death at hands of another.

The Queensland judges said the “jury could not have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the element of intent to kill … had been proved”.

Gerard had been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. He will now need to sentenced for manslaughter, although he is expected to appeal that charge, too.

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