Sorry it's taken me so long to post following my morning in court. I also shouldn't post using my phone in a bus as I re read my post and it made little sense!
The overflow court room
I have never been in an overflow courtroom before and it was a very interesting experience. The normal courtroom is very serious and full of lots of official people including the judge, barristers, lawyers, bailiffs, security and the families of the parties involved. Not so in the overflow court. It was like movie night without the popcorn! There were 2 big screens set up just in front of the first set of lawyer tables so the room was about half the size. The rest of the room was screened off. The screen on the left was for exhibits such as the map of Brookfield that OW used to describe where she drove searching for Allison. On the right the screen was divided into 4 sections like the brady bunch screen. Top left was a close up of the judge. Top right was a close up of the witness giving evidence. Bottom left was the judges view looking at the prosecution lawyers with GBC sitting behind them in the dock and the public gallery behind. On the right was the defence. The room was packed including about 20 private high school girls. People were sitting on the floor and it was very uncourt like. People were finally allowed to sit in the dock after some time.There were only two court ladies sitting with the video machine thing.
Many in the overflow room reacted to various witnesses, including one lady who yelled out to Olivia on the screen "you are lying!" When Nigel made his now infamous judgement on dark clothes being a manifestation of depression, there were great stirrings in the room with most of the people there commenting on their level of depression based on what they were wearing. Lots of vocal interaction which would not happen in the courtroom. Laughing and a few claps. I kept thinking we are going to get in trouble. I am following the Oscar Pistorius trial and on one day there were lots of outbursts in the overflow room that I think the judge could hear and she had words to them . Lucky today we were on a completely different floor. I have to say there was a hell of a lot more atmosphere in that overflow room than I have ever seen in a courtroom. And a great close up of the witnesses that you normally don't get to see. So if anyone is worried about not getting a seat in the courtroom don't worry, go to the overflow room and get a seat early.
He was well spoken with little accent. We were nearly sent into a hypnotic trance with his striped tie from the video feed ( the reason newsreaders wear plain ones). He looked uncomfortable to begin with. He took responsibility for filling in the life insurance claim forms for GBC to sign and for GBC notifying the life insurance company on the day Allison's body was found. His reason this was done was he said due to the terms in the policy that requires immediate notification of an event (death). I found this very interesting because I have collected hundreds and hundreds of life insurances for deceased estates that I have administered. Not one of those was rushed to "comply with the terms of the policy". I would say to clients at a first meeting, let's get the funeral sorted and paid and a death certificate, then we will notify all the companies, banks, share registeries etc. Not once did I ever get a reply from a life insurance company upset that they weren't notified the day of the persons death. Never ever ever.
He also took responsibility for GBC lawyering up the day Allison was reported missing. OW told him that there were police everywhere and Nigel found that very concerning. Me, I would have thought that's amazing, all these wonderful police taking Allison's disappearance so seriously and so quickly. But no he is worried they are suspecting his son has done away with her. He had good reason though given the horrific scratch marks on his face that were weeping for all to see.
Confirmed her name as Olivia ? Baden Walton. Can't remember her middle name. She gave a very polished testimony. She appeared calm and was very well spoken, however her constant wringing of her hands showed her underlying feelings. You have heard the reports of her testimony, a very mixed recollection of Allison. She described her as very capable, smart etc on the one hand but then as someone not able to cope with life. She described in great detail that the prosecution just let her go on with, about all the support and help she gave Allison such as caring for Allisons children and teaching her how to cook basic meals etc. She seemed confused throughout her relationship with Allison about why she couldn't cope yet what I found really odd was that she appeared not to try to raise it with Allison and offer to take her to the doctor or get her help. I just couldn't understand this. Sure Allison was a private person but if Olivia really had to do all she said she did for Allison then she had every right and reason to get serious with Allison about the underlying cause of Allison's problems.
I feel the prosecution got all this info about Allison's problems about depression out in the open so it takes the wind out of the defences sails so to speak. When the prosecution on redirect asked Olivia is she had any concerns about Allisons mood in that last week, she thought about her answer carefully and said a clear no, though she then added she could never read Allison! She was certainly pushing the depression agenda. The other agenda that she was pushing was that the birth of Adams baby upset Allison as she wanted a boy. I think the defence are trying to use this as a catalyst as a reason for Allison to kill herself. It's clearly clutching at straws in my opinion.
One tidbit, Olivia's husband was a friend of GBC and he and Olivia met at Allison and GBC's wedding in August 1997.
Oh my, what a lovely lady. Everyone in the overflow room wanted to clap when she finished her testimony and some did, there were some cheers! Beautifully dressed and ready to testify. She was ready after 2 yrs to speak up for her daughter, and that she did, very well. When asked if Allison would have been upset about Adam's son, she exclaimed, of course what mother who has 2 or 3 girls wouldn't. She said she herself was thrilled to have a boy after her 2 girls. So again took the wind out the defences sails so well by being over the top about it and not frightened by admitting Allison would have wanted a boy. But she made it sound like it was no big deal just one of those things. She was very concerned about the state of the house when they arrived as it was so clean and sterile. I don't think she meant that it smelt like bleach or cleaning fluids as she would surely have said that. She said that Allison was clean but the house as one would expect with 3 children was usually a bit untidy. She could not believe how the house looked and was very concerned by it. The defence barrister wasn't happy with her using the word sterile and she had a go at him about well what word would you like me to use. How about very very clean! She was also upset that a round photo was not in its usual place near the entry. It was a photo taken at their wedding of the back of Allison and GBC representing them walking towards their future. A common wedding pic, I have one too.
His testimony was fairly short as his wife had done most of the talking to GBC when they arrived so he didn't have a lot to add to what she had said.
She was nervous and anxious to help with her testimony. Clearly Allison's best friend, knew about the depression and said Allison had got through it and was fantastic. Did not know Allison had found out about Toni but had asked Allison several times was GBC having an affair as she was suss about him. No doubt Allison was embarrassed that her friend was right all along and didn't want to be told, I told you so. You would think that Olivia and Kerry Ann were describing two completely different people in their evidence about Allison. Clearly Olivia overemphasised the depression and Kerry Ann glossed over it. I only heard the morning session so did not get to hear the defence questioning Kerry Ann.
Well I wouldn't know because I was on the bus! Bugger.
Brilliant, thanks Ali!