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Home and Away star accused of "stomping" on woman's head

<p>A former <em>Home and Away</em> star, who has been accused of "stomping" on a woman's head during a violent altercation, was cast to appear on Seven's reality show <em>SAS</em> while battling “declining mental health and escalating drug use” according to court documents. </p> <p>Orpheus Pledger has been accused of the violent alleged assault that took place on March 25th, and was arrested on Thursday following a three-day manhunt by police after he absconded from a Melbourne hospital on Tuesday while on remand.</p> <p>At a bail application that lasted two days, the court heard details of Pledger's years-long deterioration of his mental health, in addition to his alleged prolonged and increasing drug use.</p> <p>A police statement submitted to the court alleged that Pledger was dealing with “declining mental health and escalating drug use” between February 2021 and his alleged attack in March this year. </p> <p>Court documents also alleged that Pledger has been “refusing to engage with mental health services and appears to spend his Centrelink payments on drugs” and had been known to police for many years. </p> <p>During a difficult period with his mental health and drug use, Pledger was cast on Seven's reality show <em>SAS</em>, before he abruptly quit after just two episodes over concerns of his "erratic behaviour". </p> <p>At the bail application, documents alleged the accused is at an “extreme risk of further assaulting” the alleged victim, although Pledger’s lawyer Jasper MacCuspie argued his client’s mental health would deteriorate if he were to remain in custody.</p> <p>Pledger’s matter will be heard again by the Melbourne Magistrates Court in May, where he will face the charges of assault. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Seven </em></p>


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This resort only lets 28 people in at a time

<p><em><strong>Travel writer Rachael Burnett describes a luxurious experience at Queensland’s Orpheus Island Resort, the exclusive resort that only lets 28 people in at once.</strong></em></p> <p>It's become a cliché that exclusive tropical resorts have the power to magically dismiss the stressful detritus that builds up on our souls throughout life.</p> <p>The Orpheus Island Resort, off the coast of north Queensland in Australia, is the reason why.</p> <p>As my helicopter soars over the Great Barrier Reef on our way to the resort, it occurs to me that I'm not escaping the proverbial grind of reality. I'm just trading one reality for another.</p> <p>And with views like these, I don't want to trade back.</p> <p>If anything, Orpheus presents a heightened reality: Drinks constantly on hand, decadent food, deep blue water and unspoiled beaches. Without overbearing waiters hovering around you all the time, this could easily be mistaken for a dream.</p> <p>Only 28 dreamers are allowed on Orpheus at a time. The resort's 14 rooms accentuate the secluded atmosphere, while the dining options, like the roomy verandah, where you can enjoy meals and a cheeky drop, underline it.</p> <p>There's a distinctly un-hotel feel to the resort, and it's clearly by design. It's easier to unwind when you feel like you're staying at a rich friend's house.</p> <p>My room has eschewed the stale welcome mint approach for a complete cheeseboard and fruit platter partnered with a bottle of champagne, which I can enjoy on my own private terrace with ocean views.</p> <p>Make that a very rich friend.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="498" height="245" src="" alt="In -text (1)"/></p> <p>The island's agenda is very firmly centred on relaxation: you'd think hammocks grew on palm trees here. I could get a lot of reading done, but there's too much else to do.</p> <p>The enticing ocean views offered by just about every vantage point on Orpheus are a little too inviting: I want to get out on it or deep beneath it. Fortunately, both options are on the table.</p> <p>Snorkelling is a given at a place like this, but there's nothing routine about the galaxy of aquatic life on parade beneath the waves. At one point, I'm surrounded by a cloud of fish, and the colours threaten to overwhelm me. I let them.</p> <p>Back on the shore, crabs and stingrays look on as I remove my mask and prepare for the cruise.</p> <p>The neighbouring island is accessible by boat, but the Orpheus resort wouldn't just put you on a dinghy and hope for the best. That's why I'm on a sunset cruise, enjoying a lychee martini and a grazing platter. The word spoiled comes to mind.</p> <p>Orpheus is home to bushwalks with eye-popping views from Picnic Bay. Again, I'm drawn to the water, so I grab a kayak and paddle into the mangrove forest.</p> <p>Stingrays languidly comb the shallows and tiny crabs scuttle along the mangrove roots as I drift by. The only sound is the gentle lapping of the water against my kayak.</p> <p>Up ahead, a deserted beach calls me over for a swim. Who am I to say no?</p> <p>It's hard saying farewell to the tropes of the tropics, but once back on the mainland, I find it's a long goodbye. Far from typical Australian coastal towns, Townsville and Cairns keep the island vibe going with award-winning beaches, boardwalks, lagoons and fresh seafood.</p> <p>As I stare down a plate of crocodile sliders with wattleseed damper at Ochre Restaurant in Cairns, I know it's almost time to wake up from this dreamy reality.</p> <p>I've always liked a sleep-in. Maybe I'll give my rich friend a call.</p> <p>What’s your favourite place to visit in Queensland? Share your travel tips in the comments below.</p> <p><em>* The writer travelled as a guest of Queensland Tourism</em></p> <p><em>Written by Rachael Burnett. First appeared on <a href=""><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"></span></strong></a>. Image credit: Orpheus Island / <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href=""></a></strong></span></em></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>5 secret destinations you haven’t heard about (yet)</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>10 romantic getaways to recapture the passion</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>5 hotel experiences you can only get in New York City</strong></em></span></a></p>

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