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“I'd be uncomfortable”: Police closing in on missing campers suspect

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The families of campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay - who went missing 19 months ago - have spoken publicly for the first time, sharing their desperation for answers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Hill, 74, and Ms Clay, 73, were last seen on March 20 last year while on a camping trip in a remote area of East Gippsland, Victoria.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Hill left his home in West Gippsland the day prior, collecting Ms Clay from her Pakenham home before they travelled to Wonnangatta Valley in his white Toyota LandCruiser.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Hill didn’t tell his wife that he was with Ms Clay, and was last heard from on November 20 via HF radio, stating he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Clay told friends she was going away and was expecting to return on March 28 or 29.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police believe a third party was involved in their disappearance and launched a renewed appeal for information as they narrow down their search.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844954/clay-russell.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bf837acd1b0b4b11b68e2686ca14e3da" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Victoria Police</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Mr Hill’s daughters say they believe he is no longer alive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t really believe he could be alive. He wouldn’t hide,” his daughter Debbie </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/family-of-missing-wonnangatta-campers-russell-hill-carol-clay-break-silence-as-police-close-in-on-what-happened/news-story/22eea65cb86ed84a6b45351551321438"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s really hard. It’s not getting any better. It’s not knowing … you’re just stuck.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s nothing to go by,” Colleen said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Clay’s sister Jill said she believes something went wrong, and has a message for whoever was responsible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I immediately knew there was something horribly wrong,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My message is that you’re undertaken a heinous act. You’ve got to live with that for the rest of your life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We need closure. We need to know what happened and we need to know where their bodies are so we can put them to rest.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robyn, Mr Hill’s wife, also said she feared the worst while speaking to </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">NCA NewsWire</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in May.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I won’t ever see him again,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I can’t see how they will come home. He hasn’t spent any money, he hasn’t done anything. I just want them found, one way or the other.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Hill’s vehicle was found by fellow campers the day after he last made contact. The vehicle showed signs of minor fire damage, and was found next to their completely burnt-out campsite.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844956/clay-russell2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7607cfa3c5694886ad75b0a4dd2b96cb" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Russell and Ms Clay’s campsite. Image: ABC</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since then, police have extensively searched the area, with members of the local police, Missing Persons Squad detectives, search and rescue squad, air wing, dog squad, and Australian Federal Police assisting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police later moved the search 80km northwest in April, but the search stopped after detectives found two shovels in thick bush off the Great Alpine Road.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, police have not been able to link the shovels to the pair’s disappearance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper is confident the investigation’s twists and turns are leading police to a suspect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’d be uncomfortable,” Stamper told 7 News, in a big hint that police are close to a breakthrough.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every day takes us further from the last time Russell and Carol were last seen alive, however I want to reassure the community that we are far from giving up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Both families are also still desperate for answers about what happened to Russell and Carol and why, and I know our investigators are doing all they can to try and get those answers for them."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To aid in their investigation, police are calling for anyone in the Wonnangatta area around March 20 to get in contact regardless of whether they say or heard anything.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Detectives also wish to speak to anyone in the area around Howitt Plains and Zeka Spur Track on March 19 and 20, as well as anyone in Wonnangatta Valley and Wonnangatta Station between March 20-24.</span></p> <p><strong>Anyone who sees Mr Hill or Ms Clay are urged to call triple-zero, while anyone with other information relating to their disappearance should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</strong></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Victoria Police / Facebook</span></em></p>

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“It didn’t stack up”: ICAC investigation into Gladys Berejiklian begins

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On the opening day of a corruption inquiry into Gladys Berjiklian, private evidence was revealed of the then-premier expressing her “shock” when she was forced to sack former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video evidence was recorded over a month ago, prior to the former Premier announcing her shock departure from the top job.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the clip from 2020, Ms Berejiklian is questioned via video link by Scott Robertson, the Council Assisting of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Mr Robertston directed his questions towards what she knew about Mr Maguire’s allegedly corrupt behaviour when she asked him to resign  as Parliamentary Secretary in 2018.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844928/icac1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ad5c3f39aedf4c75924e2c789902fcfe" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: ICAC</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Did you suspect Mr Maguire was engaged in corrupt conduct?” Mr Robertson </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/icac-gladys-berejiklian-corruption-inquiry-first-day-hears-private-evidence/f054f374-bf74-4af2-9b92-2a99a81c1a23" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">asked</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I couldn’t make any assumption at that stage, he was professing his innocence,” Ms Berejiklian replied.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After being repeatedly pressed about her suspicions, Ms Berejiklian eventually answered “no”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the recording finished, Mr Robertson told the Commission that there were questions about whether the evidence should be accepted in the current investigation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If not, Mr Robertston continued, the Commission should “consider why Ms Berejiklian did not make a report to this Commission concerning Mr Maguire”.</span></p> <p><strong>The current investigation</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ICAC is investigating allegations that Ms Berejiklian breached her own ministerial standards by not disclosing her relationship with Mr Maguire when she was Treasurer under Mike Baird or to her own cabinet when she was Premier.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There will be evidence to the effect that a number of public officials would have acted differently if they knew about Ms Berejiklian’s relationship with Mr Maguire,” Mr Robertson </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/investigations/live-streaming-of-public-inquiries/operation-keppel-live-stream" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in his opening address.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Robertson provided examples of Ms Berejiklian declaring past conflicts of interest, such as the appointment of people she knew to government boards, and the employment of her cousins by the public service.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Ms Berejiklian “never gave a disclosure to the NSW ministerial code of conduct about Mr Maguire”.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844929/icac2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/334e03d0134049d6856159180fd42c92" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: ICAC</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Berejiklian is also being investigated for three other allegations surrounding the awarding of two grants to the Riverina Conservatorium of Music and the Australian Clay Target Association in Wagga Wagga.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, it is alleged that she breached the public trust by failing to report any suspicions of corrupt conduct in relation to Mr Maguire.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Allegations that Ms Berejiklian behaved in a way “that was liable to allow or encourage” Mr Maguire’s allegedly corrupt conduct are also being investigated in the inquiry.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.</span></p> <p><strong>“It didn’t stack up”</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michael Toohey from the Office of Sport appeared as the first witness, and rubbished the $5.5 million grant awarded to the Australian Clay Target Association. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There wasn’t any real design work … it didn’t stack up,” Mr Toohey told the ICAC.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Maguire publicly touted the project and claimed that the gun range could be used as the venue of the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games if it received funding.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Invictus Games doesn’t have shooting events,” Mr Toohey said.</span></p> <p>Day two sees second witness speak</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/berejiklian-inquiry-live-updates-paul-doorn-to-appear-as-icac-investigation-into-conduct-of-former-nsw-premier-continues-20211018-p590zt.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">day two</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of the inquiry, the ICAC heard that the Office of Sport was asked to draft an urgent funding submission for the grant, despite the office regarding it as a low priority project.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Former Office of Sport executive director Paul Doorn told the ICAC on Tuesday that he could not remember why the submission was so urgent.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844930/icac3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f37a0f9a86a24cb49468ef43b22580ae" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paul Doorn appears as a witness during day two of the ICAC’s investigation. Image: ICAC</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He already told the ICAC that the project didn’t appear to benefit the state of NSW, and upgrading the Wagga Wagga club could pose a risk of cannibalising any events that would go to the government-owned shooting facility in Olympic Park.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Why would you invest in a facility where you’ve already got a facility that could host [major events?” Mr Doorn said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The commission also heard that Mr Maguire, who was the member for Wagga Wagga, lobbied for government funding for the facility twice, but that the proposal lacked details.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Doorn also agreed that he would have told the government that the information provided was insufficient for funding to be allocated to the gun club.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The investigation is ongoing, with Mr Baird, Stuart Ayres, John Barilaro, and Ms Berejiklian to give evidence over the next two weeks.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: 9NEWS</span></em></p>

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The offence of a child possessing spray paint without a lawful purpose in NSW

<p><em>Image: Getty </em></p> <p>Once just an American holiday that Australians would see on the big screen in movies like ET, Halloween has slowly, but steadily made its way to our shores.</p> <p>And every year it just seems to get bigger here.</p> <p>The shops have been full of decorations and paraphernalia for weeks, and now that Sydney, and most of New South Wales, are no longer under lockdown restrictions, it’s likely that many families are looking forward to participating on 31 October 2021, taking the opportunity to get together with the neighbours, have some fun and feel a sense of ‘normalcy’.</p> <p>But what’s it going to be like to celebrate Halloween in the time of Covid?  Well, it’s undoubtedly going to be an event that puts health and safety first.</p> <p><strong>Health Advice</strong></p> <p>Families are being encouraged to check in with the<span> </span>NSW Health website<span> </span>to check on any restrictions in their local area.</p> <p>These are likely to include using hand sanitiser and face covering, only handing out and accepting individually wrapped treats, keeping group and visiting sizes down, and exercising physical distancing.</p> <p><strong>Stay on the right side of the law!</strong></p> <p>Of course, children should always be supervised by a responsible adult who can oversee their personal safety.</p> <p>Anyone driving should remember that Halloween tends to be a night that kids rule the streets, so drivers need to be wary, particularly at dusk when visibility is reduced.</p> <p>Pedestrians should stick to footpaths and designated crossings, and also be aware of road safety.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this is also a night where the kids can get out of control!</p> <p>‘Sugar highs’, peer pressure and the false confidence provided by a superhero costume can lead to some kids and teens behaving badly – potentially even finding themselves on the wrong side of the law by engaging in activities like egging houses and cars, damaging plants and foliage, and other<span> </span>acts of vandalism and graffiti.</p> <p><strong>The offence of graffiti in NSW </strong></p> <p>Section 4 of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW), a person who marks a premises or property can face a penalty of up to 12 months in prison and/or a $2,200 fine if the prosecution is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that:</p> <ol> <li>The marking was done intentionally,</li> <li>There was no consent from the owner of the premises or property that was marked on;, and</li> <li>Either:</li> </ol> <ul> <li>A graffiti implement was used for marking the premises or property. This includes, spray paint, maker pen, or anything designed to produce a mark that’s not readily removable by wiping it (or by use of water or detergent); or</li> <li>The marking was done in such a manner that it isn’t readily removable by wiping it (or by using water or detergent).</li> </ul> <p><strong>The offence of a child possessing spray paint in NSW </strong></p> <p>Section 8B of the Act<span> </span>makes it an offence for a person under the age of 18 years to possess spray paint in a public place. The maximum penalty for this offence is 6 months in prison and/or an $1,100 fine.</p> <p>A ‘public place’ is defined as<span> </span>a place (whether or not covered by water), or a part of premises,</p> <p>that is open to the public, or is used by the public whether or not on payment of money or other consideration, whether or not the place or part is ordinarily so open or used and whether or not the public to whom it is open consists only of a limited class of persons, but does not include the premises of a school or other educational establishment.</p> <p>The defences to this particular offence are where:<br />(a)  the spray paint  was intended for a defined lawful purpose, being the lawful pursuit of an occupation, education or training, or</p> <p>(b)  the spray paint was for another defined lawful purpose and was at or in the immediate vicinity of the place where the spray paint can was being used or intended to be used for that defined lawful purpose.</p> <p><strong>The offence of intentionally or recklessly damaging a property in NSW</strong></p> <p>Graffiti vandalism by way of marking surfaces can also result in criminal charges of<span> </span>intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging property, which is an offence under<span> </span>section 195 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)<span> </span>and comes with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.</p> <p>Intentionally means wilfully or purposely, while recklessly means foreseeing the possibility of damage or destruction but proceeding regardless.</p> <p>Courts have found that property is considered to have been damaged where:</p> <ul> <li>There is permanent damage,</li> <li>There is temporary functional derangement,</li> <li>There is temporary impairment of usefulness,</li> <li>The physical integrity of the property is altered, or</li> <li>The property is rendered imperfect or inoperative.</li> </ul> <p>Some examples of conduct found by the courts to constitute damage include:</p> <ul> <li>Placing a blanket in a toilet and flushing,</li> <li>Letting down the tyres of a car,</li> <li>Painting graffiti on walls or floors, and</li> <li>Breaking a raw egg on the windscreen of a car.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The offence of trespassing in NSW </strong></p> <p>Trick or treaters should also be aware that not everyone participates in Halloween and for some it can be a real nuisance, and if you’re on someone’s property and they don’t want you there, you can also be charged with trespassing.</p> <p>Trespassing – which is also known as entering inclosed lands without permission – is an offence under<span> </span>section 4 of the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 (NSW),<span> </span>which makes it an offence to enter inclosed lands without permission which carries a maximum fine of $550.</p> <p>Section 4A of the Act<span> </span>imposes steeper penalties for remaining on the premises after the owner or occupier directs you to leave. In such a case, the maximum fine is $2,200 where the land is a ‘prescribed premises’ such as a school, hospital, child care centre or nursing home,  or $1,100 in all other cases.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-offence-of-a-child-possessing-spray-paint-without-a-lawful-purpose-in-nsw/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></p> <p> </p>

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“A proud day”: NSW announces $500 million boost for domestic violence survivors

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced a new $484 million support package for survivors of domestic violence.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Perrottet </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/nsw-domestic-violence-government-invests-500-million-dollars-to-increase-refuges-social-affordable-housing/76011799-24d0-417f-8ba1-d0a787d59418" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">announced</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> the package during Tuesday’s press conference, saying the investment was “the biggest single investment in domestic violence” in the state’s history.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Currently, one in two women seeking a place at one of these refuges is turned away due to a lack of space, according to domestic violence campaigners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new measures will include 75 new and refurbished refuges, with many to be built in regional and rural areas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said she was pleased that a “large” part of the investment was going to regional NSW.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVMIeuqBV3t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVMIeuqBV3t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bronnie Taylor MLC (@bronnie.taylor)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Coming out of lockdown, we know specialist services will be in high demand in the weeks and months ahead,” Domestic Violence NSW chair Annabelle Daniel said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Particularly in regional, remote and rural NSW.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The funds will also be directed towards specialist services, as well as social and affordable housing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Both are critical in supporting women and children leaving domestic violence and enabling them to build new futures together,” she </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-19/new-refuges-for-women-escaping-domestic-violence/100549520" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said one woman killed every nine days by a current or former partner on average.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This will change lives, this will save lives,” he said of the new package.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wendy, a survivor of domestic violence, also appeared at the press conference and spoke about how support services helped her recover from the experience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was an emotional mess and I had nowhere safe,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I woke up every day in an environment that was no longer safe for me and I found it difficult to get out.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844933/domestic.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fae18ce01ecb403dbc5378e895b2002e" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wendy spoke to reporters about her experience. Image: ABC News / YouTube</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wendy went on to describe how access to affordable housing helped her rebuild her life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I found stability, I am studying, I am doing law,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s not just about getting out of a domestic violence situation, it’s about what you’re surrounded with afterwards.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Taylor said it was “a proud day” for NSW.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This really matters and it really counts, because what it enables people to do is to go forward and live their best life.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: ABC News / YouTube</span></em></p>

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“17 days of hell”: Missing man charged for wasting police time

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A New Zealand man who went missing with his three children has been charged with wasting police resources following a 17-day search for them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thomas Phillips, 34, is due to appear in the Te Kuiti District Court in November in relation to the search and rescue operation called Operation Marokopa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The man will be appearing on the 5th of November on a charge of causing wasteful deployment of police personnel and resources,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/marokopa-mystery-father-three-kids-spent-17-days-in-bush-man-charged-with-wasting-police-time/5ZYETBLUYJRDDQIDWLVKIY3PJY/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">police said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Operation Marokopa was related to the search for Mr Philips and his three young children: Jayda Jin, 8; Maverick Callum-Phillips, 6; and Ember Phillips, 5.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The family went missing on September 11 in a remote area of Marokopa, on New Zealand’s North Island.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The search began on September 12, when Mr Philips’ car was discovered below the tideline at nearby Kiritehere Beach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On September 28, Mr Phillips and his children </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/new-zealand-family-returns-home-safe-after-12-days-missing" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">appeared at his parents’ family home</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Marokopa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though he is yet to speak publicly about the disappearance, his family say he had taken the children camping in dense bush.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He apologised to his sister for putting the family through the lengthy ordeal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inspector Will Loughrin, Waikato West Area Commander, said the disappearance of Mr Phillips and his children put the rest of their family through “17 days of hell”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police said it was unclear how the group survived for so long in the rough conditions of the bush.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They were using a tent. They were in dense bush area.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inspector Loughrin said the group had set up a tent in an area about 15km away from where Mr Phillips’ ute was found.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When he announced their return, Inspector Loughrin also said it was unknown how they got around the remote, forested areas, or whether they had any help.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The search effort saw police deploy a fixed-wing plane and drones to search the area, with the assistance of the Coastguard and Raglan and Taranaki surf lifesaving teams.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mayor John Robertson said the family’s sudden reappearance was “unreal” when interviewed at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“After three weeks, all the sorts of emotions you go through of all those initial days of hope. We knew he was a good bushman … most thought he’d gone to the bush,” Mr Robertson said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And then, you know, the search changed over the days. And now - wow. Most of us thought we would never see (this).”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Robertson said it would be difficult to find someone in the area where Mr Phillips’ car was discovered.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You really have to know it, but I guess he’s a bushman and he would know the area well,” Mr Robertson said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I guess he could live in a tent, though I don’t know the details of how long he was in the bush or where he was.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s another mystery to this. Three weeks is a lot of time for kids to be with him and survive all that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police said they would provide no further comments as the matter was before the courts.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Waikato Police / Facebook</span></em></p>

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Teen victim identified in alleged bashing death

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A teenager allegedly fatally assaulted has been identified, with his mother speaking for the first time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/crime/jason-galleghan-identified-by-police-as-victim-in-doonside-alleged-murder-c-4274352" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">announced on Tuesday</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that 16-year-old Jason Galleghan was the victim of an alleged bashing in Doonside, 40 kilometres west of Sydney, in August.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844919/doonside1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/275be1a9ed514039ab127ee7d637c3ac" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">16-year-old Jason Gallaghan. Image: NSW Police</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The teenager was found unresponsive at the home on Perigee Close, Doonside, on the afternoon of August 4, and died from his injuries several days later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Strike Force Brens, which was established following the alleged murder, has restuled in charges laid against seven people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those charged in relation to the incident include two boys aged 14 and 15, two aged 13, a 15-year-old girl, a 19-year-old woman, and a 29-year-old man.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All those charged remain before the courts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news_article?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGOTc5ODQuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> released through NSW Police, Jason’s mother Rachel thanked the public for their support and called for justice.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is still something that I can’t believe happened, I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I will never see my precious son Jason again, and that his life was taken at the age of 16,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Jason was such a kind person with a happy spirit; he was loving and generous and helpful to his sisters and to his family and friends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is just so utterly devastating and heartbreaking that his future has been taken away from him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have all lost the biggest part of us that can never be replaced, and I would like to ask that the community please continue their support to fight for Jason so that justice is served.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Strike Force Brens are continuing their investigations and have released new CCTV footage in a bid to identify two men walking in the area who may be of assistance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The second man can be seen wearing black pants, a red-and-black jumper, and carrying an item that is black, red and blue.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844920/doonside2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b50500536690471ea7d41490d7daee06" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The two men police believe have vital information relating to the investigation. Image: NSW Police</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The two men were walking in the vicinity of the Doonside home around the time of the assault.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blacktown Police Area Commander, Superintendent Steve Egginton, said the men may have vital information regarding the events leading up to Jason’s death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Strike Force Brens detectives have worked tirelessly to investigate the alleged murder of Jason and will continue to follow all lines of inquiry relating to this matter - leaving no stone unturned,” Superintendent Egginton said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant you believe it to be, to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police are urging anyone with information to contact Blacktown Police Station or Crime Stoppers.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: NSW Police</span></em></p>

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Laundrie lookalike ambushed at gunpoint

<p><em>Image: Instagram and Facebook</em></p> <p>A New Yorker bearing an uncanny resemblance to Brian Laundrie had a rude shock when US Marshals on the hunt for the fugitive pulled their guns on him during a nap on the Appalachian Trial.</p> <p>Ithaca couple Severin Beckwith and Anna Brettmann were taking a nap at the Lodge at Fontana Village Resort after lunch when they heard a knock and seconds later their door flew open.</p> <p>“Next thing I see is a bunch of guys with riot shields with ‘US Marshals’ written on them, handguns pointed at my face,” Beckwith told Fox News.</p> <p>The stunned hiker was promptly handcuffed as one of the feds helped Brettman get dressed.</p> <p>Beckwith, who resembles Brian Laundrie, the sole person of interest in his girlfriend, Gabby Petito’s murder, said he had a hunch why he was targeted on the Appalachian Trail, where tipsters have reported spotting the 23-year-old fugitive.</p> <p>The look-a-like told the New Yorker that one of the agents touched the side of his head and said he had a “notch in the upper part of my inner ear, just like his”.</p> <p>Making matters worse for Beckwith, was that he and Brettman, who had been hiking from Georgia to Virigina since late September – had booked their room with a credit card connected to an Empire State ID, the outlet said. Gabby was originally from Long Island.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844924/new-project-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/feb94d4bfe024e8bb1a4c2c9143d18ec" /></p> <p><em>Gabby and Brian together. Image: Instagram. </em></p> <p>Beckwith was quickly cleared because he didn’t have Laundrie’s telltale tattoos and he produced an ID that ruled him out as the wanted man.</p> <p>Following the marshals’ advice, Beckwith shaved his beard – but quickly regretted it “because I have much less of a chin that Laundrie does”.</p> <p>Beckwith suspects that an employee at Fontana Lake marina alerted the authorities to his presence and even snapped his photo, which a marshal showed the guest after breaking down the door.</p> <p>For their trouble, the lodge provided the couple with a free night’s stay and a complimentary breakfast.</p> <p>Last month, another Laundrie lookalike became a TikTok sensation overnight.</p> <p>The unidentified man, who created the @notbrianlaundrie account was seen doing his laundry in one clip and asking another TikToker for tips on how to avoid being “attacked” for being confused with the fugitive.</p> <p>Meanwhile, a woman who pioneered the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit told Fox News that the argument between Laundrie and Petito that people witnessed at Wyoming eatery in August may hold the key to the woman’s fate.</p> <p>“The restaurant incidient… is the second and most important,” Ann Wolbert Burgess told Fox News about two incidents that she raised as red flags before Petito’s death.</p> <p>The second incident being the domestic dispute called on August the 12th in Moab, Utah. Burgess is the author of “A killer by Design: Murders, Mindhunters, and My Quest to Decipher the Criminal.”</p> <p>“How she has to apologise for his behaviour is something that’s kind of characteristic, and this probably enrages him even more because he wants to appear in a certain way,” Burgess said of the incident at Merry Piglets, a Jackson Hole restaurant.</p> <p>Nina Celie Angelo, a photographer who witnessed the incident at the eatery, recently told Fox News Digital she believed Laundrie was arguing with staff over the bill or about money. She said his body language appeared “aggressive” and that he left and returned several times.</p>

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Woolies takes down “scary” displays while Coles stands firm

<p><em>Image: Facebook and Getty</em></p> <p>A Coles customer did not receive quite the reaction they were expecting after sharing her concerns on Facebook over “frightening” in-store Halloween displays.</p> <p>The concerned mother slammed the Halloween displayed she encountered at the storefront of Coles' Ferny Grove store in Brisbane, claiming it is too scary for children.</p> <p>But a lot of people commenting on the post disagreed, accusing the shopper of being "overly sensitive”, and instead vehemently hoping the decorations would remain up.</p> <p>The display in question features a large skeletal prop looming over the front counter at the Brisbane shopfront, as well as several skeletons playfully suspended from the ceiling.</p> <p>“I was quite taken aback by the Halloween display at the storefront counter with the skulls and quite scary/frightening things and gravestones for young children to see,” wrote the concerned mum.</p> <p>She explained that she mentioned her concern for young children to the woman at the checkout and asked if she could raise it with the manager, but says her request was denied.</p> <p>“I do think that you should try to keep Halloween decorations in all stores light and not leaning too dark and scary/frightening for young children,” she said.</p> <p>“Not all of us want to explain to young children why there’s a skull at supermarket entrances when they cannot understand things yet, but just sees images and cannot choose what they wish to see or not.”</p> <p>A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that stores are getting into the spirit of Halloween with spooky displays. “Every year we see more customers looking for ways to celebrate the fun of Halloween and some of our stores are getting into the spirit with spooky decorations.”</p> <p>“Our intention is to inspire customers, not frighten them, so we are grateful for customer feedback and will follow up with our stores.”</p> <p>Despite several customers echoing similar sentiments over the spooky Halloween displays popping up in Coles stores, the majority of people defended the supermarket.<br />“I couldn’t disagree more. My three and six-year-old love the display, it’s a work of art and a great conversation piece,” wrote one Ferny Grove shopper in defence of the supermarket.<br />"I’ve heard many positive comments and think this sensitivity is too much."<br />Another wrote: “I really hope these stay".<br />"The Ferny Grove team put an amazing amount of effort into it and the majority of locals love it. Hopefully one negative Karen doesn't ruin it for the rest of us,” they said.<br />A third shopper wrote: “Love the Halloween display. My children have been brought up to be resilient and I talk to them and explain things, so they don't become scared of a plastic display."</p> <p>It’s not just Coles copping flak from customers over their Halloween displays, with Woolworths being forced to take down their spooky display in a Western Australian store.<br />A local mother shared a post to Facebook on Friday, asking for the Grim Reaper skeletal display at Woolworths Esperance be taken down as it was “too scary”.</p> <p>“We want all customers to feel comfortable and welcome in our stores, and appreciate this customer's feedback on the decorations at her local store,” the Woolworths store said in a statement.<br />“We have passed this feedback on to the store team, who have since amended the display.”</p>

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UK drug trafficking grandmother dies in prison

<p dir="ltr">A 72-year-old British woman who had been sentenced to eight years in a Portuguese prison for smuggling drugs has died behind bars.</p> <p dir="ltr">Susan Clarke was arrested alongside husband Roger, 73, as their cruise ship sailed into Lisbon in December 2018. Police were acting on a tip-off, and found 9kg of cocaine in the linings of four of the couple’s suitcases on board the luxury Marco Polo cruise liner.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple claimed they thought they were smuggling exotic fruit after Roger picked up the suitcases while the ship was docked in St Lucia. However, they had previously been caught smuggling 240kg of cannabis into Norway in 2004, but skipped bail and changed their names from Button to Clarke.</p> <p dir="ltr">Eventually, they were extradited and served time in a Norwegian prison. It is believed the couple had carried out multiple smuggling trips before a sniffer dog detected drugs in their old Nissan in Oslo.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple are from the southeastern English town of Chatham, in Kent, and tried to reinvent themselves as British expats living in Spain. But it is believed they worked for a drug gang, regularly smuggling cocaine into Europe on up to six cruises a year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Susan found a lump in her breast last year and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer, but was due to be transferred to a British prison to serve out the rest of her sentence. A source told<span> </span><em>The Mirror<span> </span></em>that doctors had decided there was nothing they could do for her, so they ceased all treatments.</p> <p dir="ltr">A month ago, she had one last visit with Roger, seeing him through a Perspex window. The source told<span> </span><em>The Mirror,<span> </span></em>“She was in so much pain. Roger seems to think they had won a battle to come back to the UK too, so he’s devastated that she wasn’t well enough to make the move.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She died on Sunday, after spending two years sharing a 3m x 3m rat-infested cell with three other women at the maximum security Portuguese prison, EP Tires in Sao Domingo de Rana, west of Lisbon.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

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REVEALED: Horrific texts between dad and girlfriend hours before son dies

<p><em><strong>Warning: This story contains graphic content relating to child abuse which may distress some readers.</strong></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Messages between a UK man and his partner accused of child cruelty have been <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/dad-talked-about-digging-sons-grave-in-texts-before-murder/news-story/1fe1500c080d5cae27d4676e4f234421" target="_blank">heard in court today</a>, including threats to end his six-year-old son’s life just two days before his death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thomas Hughes sent a text to partner Emma Tustin about digging the little boy’s grave after Tustin claimed Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was misbehaving.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Coventry Crown Court also heard that Hughes also said, “Kid’s getting ended when I’m back”, and that he would “take his neck off”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The messages came after Tustin took Arthur to a hair appointment at friend Catherine Milhench’s home on June 17 last year, just two days before he died.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors were told that stepmum Tustin complained to Hughes, saying that she “had to tell Arthur off” in front of Catherine’s partner Tobias Jarman.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ask T [Tobias] to dig Arthur’s grave for me please,” Hughes replied.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Tustin said Hughes would have to “pay double”, Hughes said: “F**k me I’ll pay quadruple”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin continued to complain about Arthur on June 15 in further messages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Backchatting me for joke threw himself on the floor shouting abuse. Still screaming,” she wrote in one message.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes replied: “Just gag him or something. Tie some rope around his mouth with a sock in it or something.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Wednesday, jurors watched CCTV footage of Tustin eating McDonald’s while Arthur was left in a hallway for 14 hours and made to sleep on the floor.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844851/hughes-court.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/87f6a6867337489e81482551de1fc84f" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes pictured with Arthur (left) and Tustin (right). Images: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They previously heard audio clips of Athur sobbing while being allegedly abused, which had been recorded by Tustin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In another recording for his uncle Blake, the boy can be heard saying: “Blake no-one loves me, Blake no-one loves me.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crying in another clip, he repeated the phrase, “Daddy’s going to throw me out the window” multiple times.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arthur was treated in a way that matched the “medical definition of child torture” prior to his death, and was deprived of food, a bed, and clothes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors heard that he was found unresponsive at home in Solihull on June 16 last year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arthur passed away in hospital the following day, with a post-mortem examination determining his death was caused by a “head trauma inflicted on him by an adult” that was consistent with being “vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctors also reported that he had been “poisoned with salt” and was covered with bruises.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The court was told that Tustin took more than 22 photos and videos of Arthur following the incident.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prosecutors said that Tusin took 12 minutes to call emergency services after she allegedly assaulted him, despite having her phone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They said she told paramedics Arthur “fell and banged his head and while on the floor banged his head another five times”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin and Hughes have been accused with multiple counts of child cruelty following their “systematic, cruel behaviour” and abuse in the weeks before he died.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One witness told the court that Arthur was “too weak” to hold a glass of water to his mouth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They said his “clothes looked dirty, his lips cracked, he could barely open his mouth to speak, his hair was dirty, his nails were dirty and he looked malnourished, gaunt and worn-out”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Both defendants participated in a campaign of cruelty intended to cause Arthur significant harm and suffering,” Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Violence and intimidation, both physical and verbal, were routine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Arthur’s visible injuries, his miserable physical condition and obvious despair provided each defendant with a daily reminder of the lengths to which the other would go to cause him harm.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors were told that Arthur died three months after he and his father moved into Tustin’s move, after he had been placed in Hughes care after his mum was jailed for 18 years for stabbing her boyfriend to death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children’s social services and police were contacted by Arthur’s grandmother in April 2020, as she expressed concerns over his care after seeing bruises on his back and Tustin was seen shoving him headfirst into the stairs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, “no concerns were raised” after children’s services saw Arthur on April 17, and no further action was taken.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin has admitted to child cruelty by “forcing him to stand, isolating him within the family home, and physically or verbally intimidating him”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes has denied a similar charge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Both also deny they murdered him or an allegation of child cruelty by feeding him salt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They are jointly accused of two counts of child cruelty by assault on multiple occasions, as well as by withholding food and/or drink.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The trial is ongoing.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual or physical abuse, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Supplied</span></em></p>

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Man digs backyard hole to “imprison” Dan Andrews

<p dir="ltr">A Melbourne man has been accused of causing damages of up to $1 million to a Telstra phone tower, as well as a strange plot to capture Victorian premier Dan Andrews.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nathan Glover, 44, appeared in court on Thursday, where a police summary was read about the events of October 7th.</p> <p dir="ltr">The report claimed that the man rode an electric scooter to the Telstra tower about 1.5 kilometers from his home, broke in and started a fire.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Glover denies any involvement in the act of arson.</p> <p dir="ltr">The fire caused about $1 million in damage and took telecommunications offline, endangering public safety by limiting access to emergency services.</p> <p dir="ltr">Upon searching the man’s home, police found magic mushrooms, cannabis, wire cutters, petrol, two samurai swords, and an electric scooter and clothing that match CCTV footage of the offender.</p> <p dir="ltr">They also found a six metre-by-1.5 metre hole in Mr Glover's backyard, which he allegedly told police was to imprison the Victorian premier.</p> <p dir="ltr">Police allege that an account on the encrypted messaging app Telegram with the name “Nate Glove” volunteered in September for “special ops”, in the chat group titled Hoodlums of Melbourne Special Ops.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m down for special ops, but only if I get to burn something down,” the account allegedly posted.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Those 5G towers would make a nice fire,” the chat’s administrator allegedly responded.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My thinking exactly,” the Nate Glove account allegedly replied.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nathan Glover has been charged with criminal damage by fire, possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing cannabis, possessing drug of dependence, and committing an indictable offence while on bail.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images</em></p>

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Rare photos from dingo expert unearthed that show Lindy Chamberlain’s innocence

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy Chamberlain’s world was turned upside down in August 1980, when she was jailed for the disappearance of her nine-month-old daughter Azaria.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy insisted a dingo took her daughter from their camping spot at Uluru, but many refused to believe the lack of evidence that pointed to a wild dog attack. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy served three years in jail over Azaria’s death, before being pardoned and set free when new evidence arose. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite many doubting Lindy’s story, one man named Les Harris, an </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">aeronautical engineer and part-time dingo expert, repeatedly tried to give the courts valuable evidence that would clear Lindy’s name. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now, 30 years on, a trove of material he collected throughout the case proceedings, including </span><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10079223/Dingo-expert-shown-Lindy-Chamberlain-did-not-kill-baby-Azaria-Uluru.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">photographs and a dingo skull</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, will go under the hammer at an auction house. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Among the valuable documents are statements he made explaining how dingoes can easily hold the weight of a baby without dragging it, could have removed clothes using their teeth, and eat their prey whole - with not even bones remaining.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Les Harris was the president of The Dingo Foundation in the early 1980s and based his evidence on his extensive knowledge of Australia’s wild dog. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He was interviewed for a documentary produced by Network Ten and screened in 1984 called <em>Azaria: A Question of Evidence. </em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Based on the factual evidence available at the very time that this happened, we believe that the probability that a dingo, took, killed and carried off Azaria Chamberlain, is of such a high order as to be nearly a certainty,” Harris said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During Lindy’s court proceedings, Les was constantly rebuffed as he tried to share this valuable information. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He wrote to magistrates and judges explaining why a dingo was almost certainly responsible for Azaria's death but his efforts were largely ignored.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harris’s collection of valuable material on Azaria’s death will be sold by </span><a href="https://sydneyrarebookauctions.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Rare Book Auctions</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, some years after his death in the New England region of New South Wales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harris was firmly among those who believed the Chamberlains had nothing to do with the tragic death of their daughter, which became one of the most high-profile cases in Australia. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Victorian radio duo under fire for “cruel” prank on unsuspecting NSW resident

<p dir="ltr">Victorian radio duo Will and Woody, who were looking to prank Sydneysiders enjoying ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday, came unstuck after their stunt backfired.</p> <p dir="ltr">The duo had posted on social media asking listeners to ‘dob in’ friends in NSW they wanted to prank on Monday, the first day of many COVID-19 restrictions easing in NSW. They explained, “On behalf of a Victorian we are going to stitch up someone in NSW who is enjoying their freedoms”.</p> <p dir="ltr">One such Victorian was Annaleigh, who was feeling “a bit salty” that her NSW-based best friend Mia had dinner plans that evening. She explained that like many other NSW residents, Mia had recently moved her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine forward so she could take advantage of the eased restrictions on Monday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Woody then called an unsuspecting Mia, introducing himself as “Trent Summers from the NSW Health department” and warning that he was “unfortunately not calling with great news”. He informed Mia that a number of people during her booking window had been injected with saline solution instead of the vaccine, but kindly reassured her that it wasn’t harmful, “it just means that you potentially haven’t had the second vaccination”.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said the only way to confirm would be to perform a blood test, and then, after asking if she had plans that evening, proceeded to suggest she wear a “hazard suit, face shield and gloves” to dinner with her friends. To this, she responded, “Oh, really? Umm, I’d probably just rather not go out.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The host continued, saying, “You’d probably also have to bring your own drinks and food. And you’d probably have to sit by yourself.” At this point, all she managed was a, “Yep,” her voice breaking – at which point Woody revealed it was a “stitch up” and let Mia know her friend was on the line. “What the hell? I’m literally tearing up in the gym. My god,” Mia said. “I was thinking, ‘I’ll have to cancel everything!’ I hate needles! That was so mean.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Listeners were quick to share their thoughts on social media, with one describing it as “not funny at all” and wondering if it was “potentially an offence”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/willandwoody?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@willandwoody</a> calling young woman - as a prank - impersonating <a href="https://twitter.com/NSWHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NSWHealth</a>, telling woman that her second dose may have been saline, not vaxx, has to get a blood test, wear full PPE and stay away from other people when out in public. Pretty fucked up. She was distressed, crying.</p> — Shane Bazzi (@shanebazzi) <a href="https://twitter.com/shanebazzi/status/1447439206888837120?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Another user pointed out that<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/impersonation-commonwealth-public-officials#:~:text=Impersonating%20Commonwealth%20public%20officials%20is,that%20may%20lead%20to%20prosecution" target="_blank">impersonating Commonwealth public officials</a><span> </span>was certainly an offence under the<span> </span><em>Criminal Code Act 1995</em>, Division 148. A Melbourne man was<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/abdulfatah-awow-faces-extraordinarily-serious-allegations-for-posing-as-a-health-official-for-sex/news-story/5c28e4896baa68a06d8a05616df46f14" target="_blank">charged in August</a><span> </span>for impersonating a health worker and threatening her if she didn’t perform certain sex acts. Per the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2010-127#sec.115" target="_blank">NSW<span> </span><em>Public Health Act 2010</em></a><em>,<span> </span></em>it is an offence to impersonate an authorised officer, as well as under the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/phawa2008222/s184.html" target="_blank"><em>Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008</em></a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/Aaron_OBrien9/status/1447472128702369795" target="_blank">tweeted</a><span> </span>that the stunt “wasn’t remotely funny”, and that there was a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/Schmallky/status/1447507276223299589" target="_blank">time and a place</a><span> </span>for jokes, “and this ain’t it, Chief.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: KIIS FM</em></p>

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Man charged after dog found tied to cement block underwater

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has been <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/crime/man-charged-after-dog-found-dead-underwater-in-yowie-bay--c-4211983" target="_blank">arrested</a> and charged after a dog was found dead over the weekend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police were called to the scene in Yowie Bay, in southern Sydney, at about midday on Saturday after swimmers discovered the two-year-old Belgian Malinois in the water.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Officers found that the dog had been tied to a cement block.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The dog was taken to a local vet to be examined.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After conducting an investigation, police executed a search warrant on Monday evening in Miranda and arrested a 49-year-old man.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Items were seized in relation to the investigation, including more than 117 grams of cannabis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the alleged owner of the dog, he was later charged with three offences, including "torture, beat and cause death of an animal", "commit an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal" and "possession of a prohibited drug".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The man was refused bail and will appear at Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images </span></em></p>

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"We have that evidence now": Maddy McCann case moving ahead

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A German prosecutor has doubled down on his claims that Christian Brueckner took and killed missing Madeleine McCann, saying he is “confident we have the man”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters named Mr Brueckner as the alleged prime suspect last year, Mr Wolters has also admitted that detectives have no DNA evidence or a body to support the allegations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re confident we have the man who took and killed her,” Mr Wolters told the </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/madeleine-mccann-prosecutor-100-convinced-25173564" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daily Mirror</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Wolters said the case against the 44-year-old, currently in prison in northern Germany for an unrelated charge, is circumstantial.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is now possible that we could charge. We have that evidence now,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But it’s not just about charging him - we want to charge him with the best body of evidence possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When we still have questions, it would be nonsense to charge rather than wait for the answers that could strengthen our position.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s why we said we’ll investigate as long as there are leads or information for us to pursue.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10075115/Prosecutors-100-sure-convicted-Christian-Brueckner-murdered-Madeleine-McCann.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">new evidence</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> includes phone analysis which places him at the resort where Madeleine disappeared, as well as an alleged confession Mr Brueckner made to a friend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is circumstantial evidence - we have no scientific evidence,” Mr Wolters said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If we had a video of the act or a picture of Madeleine dead with Brueckner on camera, we wouldn’t have to make a public appeal. But we only have circumstantial evidence.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Wolters admitted that prosecutors have no proof that Madeleine is dead, nor do they have evidence indicating how she died or linking Brueckner to her alleged murder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have no body and no DNA but we have other evidence. Based on the evidence we have, it leads to no other conclusion,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I can’t tell you on which basis we assume she is dead. But for us, there’s no other possibility. There is no hope she is alive.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/world/madeleine-mccann-german-prosecutor-claims-100-per-cent-sure-christian-b-killed-maddie/fe682412-fac8-4f51-ba3a-79526dd276f9" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Wolters’ claims</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, London Metropolitan Police maintain they are still investigating it as a missing person case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Madeleine disappeared in 2007, while her family was staying at the Praia de Luz resort in Portugal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is understood that Mr Brueckner was living in a camper van near the resort at the time of her family’s stay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Brueckner is also being investigated for several other incidents, including the murder of a teenage girl in 1996, and several sex-related crimes.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Grace Tame shares heartbreaking moment

<p dir="ltr">Grace Tame, the 2021 Australian of the Year, has applauded the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/australian-of-the-year-grace-tame-makes-heartbreaking-admission/news-story/07264d728cc1a88c94d4434196055ff2" target="_blank">recent decision</a><span> </span>the ACT made to raise the age of criminal responsibility while making a tragic admission of her own.</p> <p dir="ltr">The territory will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to raise the criminal age of responsibility from 10 to 14, with the legislation set to be introduced to parliament next year.</p> <p dir="ltr">The youth justice system will also go through a complete overhaul which has been endorsed by an independent review.</p> <p dir="ltr">Currently, children aged 10 or older across Australia can be held criminally responsible for their actions and sentenced to juvenile detention.</p> <p dir="ltr">31 UN member states have called on Australia to raise the age of responsibility to be in line with the 2019 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to Twitter, Ms Tame described the decision as a “bold” step for the territory.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A bold forward step by the ACT, raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. Locking up kids - many of whom are disabled, First Nations children and/or have experienced traumas including sexual abuse - solves nothing,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Here’s hoping this will lift the national standard.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Pictured above is me, aged 10. I was camping with my family on the East Coast of Tasmania. It was on this very trip that I first disclosed to my older cousin that I’d been molested as a 6-year-old.<br /><br />Abused and disadvantaged children deserve to be supported, not punished ❤️</p> — Grace Tame (@TamePunk) <a href="https://twitter.com/TamePunk/status/1447354879488368643?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">In a follow-up tweet, the 26-year-old shared a photo of herself when she was 10, which was the first time she disclosed the assault she experienced as a six-year-old.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Pictured above is me, aged 10. I was camping with my family on the East Coast of Tasmania,” she explained in the tweet.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was on this very trip that I first disclosed to my older cousin that I’d been molested as a six-year-old.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Abused and disadvantaged children deserve to be supported, not punished.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Tame shared the heartbreaking image days after she was the recipient of criticism from Janet Albrechtsen, a journalist at<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/grace-tame-is-surrendering-her-position-to-dirty-politics/news-story/a3757c7858897464a0df415cdb820a26" target="_blank">The Australian</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Albrechtsen claimed Ms Tame is “dividing the country” and “surrendering” to “dirty partisan politics” after the activist shared her views on the controversial interview Jessica Rowe conducted with senator Pauline Hanson.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Criticism is par for the course. You dish it, you take it. Nuanced conversation is crucial. Yesterday’s hit piece is ultimately another mark of progress. Just a few short years ago, survivor voices barely registered. Now we’re perceived as a powerful, influential force.</p> — Grace Tame (@TamePunk) <a href="https://twitter.com/TamePunk/status/1447031549371641856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Ms Tame became known for her activism after she participated in News Corps’ Let Her Speak campaign, following her win in the Supreme Court of Tasmania case that allowed her to publicly identify as a rape survivor.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @TamePunk / Twitter</em></p>

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"Stealthing" officially criminalised in the ACT.

<p>Stealthing, the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex, entered the cultural lexicon relatively recently but damaging consequences for victims have been prevalent for years.</p> <p>Canberra Liberal leader Elizabeth Lee introduced new legislation on Sunday to amend current consent provisions under the crimes act. The changes explicitly state that a person’s consent is negated if the other person intentionally misrepresents using a condom.</p> <p>The legislation was passed unanimously – which in the current global climate for women’s safety is hugely welcomed fact.</p> <p>The new legislation means that any “intentional fraudulent representation” about the use of a condom during sex will now be recognised as a crime.</p> <p>Sparked by an ongoing stealthing case in the Victorian courts, Ms. Lee strove to secure the bill in order to avoid similar, drawn-out legal processes.</p> <p>“We cannot wait for cases to come before the courts before stealthing is specifically outlawed”, she said.</p> <p>“We need to act proactively and send a clear message to community that his behaviour in unacceptable, and crime.”</p> <p>Lee acknowledges that having concrete laws regarding consent issues such a stealthing is a positive start, but that the issue runs deeper.</p> <p>“There is a reluctance to talk about consent openly and frankly. This needs to change, with effort from all sectors – community organisations, policymakers, law makers, law enforcement, educators.”</p> <p>Teach Us Consent, a platform lobbying for and providing holistic consent and sexual education created by Chanel Contos, shared anecdotal evidence of the physical and psychological impact of stealthing on victims.</p> <p>One such experience submitted to Teach Us Consent stated: "He gave me HPV which has associated impacts leading me to be put through four years of specialist gynaecologist visits costing 100s of dollars and significantly impacting mentally, physically and emotionally.”</p> <p>This anecdote is sadly not an anomaly.</p> <p>A Monash University study of more than 2,000 people in 2018 found that, of those surveyed, one in three women who'd had sex with men had been stealthed.</p>

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