A last-minute defence witness in the murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has offered a possible explanation for shouts and screams heard the night his wife vanished.
A former neighbour of the Baden-Clays testified on Thursday about shouts and a scream she said she and her teenage daughter made on the night of April 19, 2012.
The new testimony of Stephanie Apps in Baden-Clay’s murder trial came as the court heard that weeks before Allison Baden-Clay vanished, her husband contacted his local state MP in distress to ask for a $300,000 loan.
And day seven of the trial also heard from forensic experts who testified that marks seen on Baden-Clay’s face the morning he reported his wife missing were highly unlikely to be shaving cuts.
Ms Apps told the Brisbane Supreme Court how her daughter screamed in fright after apparently running into a spider’s web outside their house just before 10pm on April 19, 2012.
She said she and her teenaged son and daughter had just arrived home in the car and she was shouting at them to stop fighting.
“She (my daughter) screamed and she had apparently run into a spider’s web so it was quite a loud scream,” she said.
“I was actually cringing because the neighbourhood was very quiet.”
Last week, several neighbours told the trial they heard suspicious noises coming from the Baden-Clays’ home late at night on or about April 19, 2012, including a loud exclamation, yells, and high-pitched screams.
Ms Apps said she reported what happened at her house to police but was never asked to make a statement.
She said a private detective came to her house on Sunday and then Baden-Clay’s defence asked her to make a statement.
In other evidence, a friend of Moggill MP Bruce Flegg told the court she rang Baden-Clay at Dr Flegg’s request in March 2012.
Sue Heath said the real estate agent, who she knew through Dr Flegg, said he was having financial trouble and asked if the politician could lend him about $300,000.
“He was normally very confident and he was genuinely really quite distressed,” she said.
Meanwhile, three forensic experts told the court that scratches on Baden-Clay’s face and body seen after he reported his wife missing looked like fingernail marks and not shaving cuts.
The court has heard that Baden-Clay said the facial injuries were shaving cuts.
“I find it extremely implausible,” forensic doctor Robert Hoskins said.
“Whilst we all know that people can cut themselves shaving, typically those are small cuts which are one or two millimetres in size and not broad and of the character seen here.”
The experts said red marks on Baden-Clay’s neck also looked like fingernail scratches through clothes while other red marks on his chest were difficult to explain.
Jurors in the trial were told that on Monday they will visit the Baden-Clays’ former home and the scene where Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was found to help them better understand the evidence.