How to Build a Legit Business with Mobster Principles

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You’d likely first be hesitant to take advice from a known mobster. But when you take into account the fact that, according to Ramsden Lawyers Gold Coast, the mafia is the longest running corporation in history, it’s practically a guarantee that they know the ins and outs of running a successful business. That being said, there are several tips mobsters have shared with those wanting to build a legitimate, successful business, even with little experience. Check out the tips below on how to build a legitimate business with mobster principles... Read more

Michael Cardamone charged with murder of Victorian mother Karen Chetcuti


Karen Chetcuti’s neighbour Michael Cardamone charged with her murder at Whorouly

Update 11.43am 19/01/2016

Karen Chetcuti was incapacitated then murdered by her neighbour after she dropped into his house to pick up a punnet of tomatoes, Victorian police have alleged.

Key points:

  • Karen Chetcuti’s neighbour, Michael Cardamone, charged with her murder

  • Body believed to be of Ms Chetcuti found in scrubland

  • Ms Cetcuti allegedly killed when she visited Cardamone, 48, for tomatoes

Michael Cardamone, 48, was this morning charged with Ms Chetcuti’s murder at an out-of-sessions court hearing held at the Wangaratta police station about 1:30am.

He appeared again on Tuesday morning, this time near migration agent Melbourne, where police laid another charge of breaching parole against him.

He was remanded in custody.

Ms Chetcuti, a 49-year-old mother of two, was reported missing after disappearing from the small town of Whorouly, near Wangaratta last Tuesday night.

Police search and rescue found a body believed to be that of Ms Chetcuti near Lake Buffalo on Monday afternoon.

The body was found in scrubland off a dirt track and is yet to be formally identified.

A post-mortem examination is being conducted.

Ms Chetcuti’s house shared a boundary with Cardamone’s property, the out-of-sessions court hearing was told.

Detective Senior Sergeant Sol Solomon told the hearing Ms Chetcuti visited Cardamone’s house on Tuesday, January 12 to get a punnet of tomatoes.

Police alleged Cardamone overpowered and incapacitated her, and murdered her somewhere between Whorouly and Dandongedale.

It was also alleged that Cardamone, took Ms Chetcuti’s car and burnt it two days later.

The car was found on a bush track near Reform Lookout, not far from Myrtleford.

Cardamone said very little during the brief hearing, responding with his date of birth and address when requested.

He appeared in a white t-shirt, dark tracksuit pants and socks, freshly changed from his aussie inspired custom football jersey he was known for.

He declined to make a statement and said only that he was on prescription medication.

Bail justice Michael Guinane told the hearing the law in Victoria did not allow bail on a murder charge and the outcome of the hearing was fixed.

Chetcuti ‘closely involved’ in Whorouly community

Ms Chetcuti had worked at the Wangaratta Council for 20 years.

The council’s chief executive said staff had been offered counselling.

Brendan McGrath said she was considered a close friend and valued colleague by all who worked there.

“We’re all very shocked and saddened, and we feel for her children and her former husband who was an employee of ours formerly, and the broader Whorouly community, who she’s been very closely involved with,” he said.


 

Update 5.36pm 18/01/2016

The body of missing mother of two, Karen Chetcuti, is found near Lake Buffalo in Victoria’s north-east.

Video of the sad news  Karen Chetcuti-Body Found

Police have found the body of missing mother of two Karen Chetcuti near Lake Buffalo in the state’s north-east.

Ms Chetcuti, 49, from Whorouly, near Wangaratta, had not been seen since she was reported missing on Wednesday after failing to show up to work at the Wangaratta council.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2016/01/18/body-found-in-search-for-missing-woman.html#ooid=RtdWY5MDE6XfzQNN-As1rP-QqTCBuK5R
Search efforts focused around Lake Buffalo, south of Myrtleford, on Monday. The body was found in the scrub-land at the Lake Buffalo weir wall off Croppers Creek Road about 1.35pm.

CCTV footage of Karen Chetcuti leaving ALDI in Wangaratta on Tuesday.CCTV footage of Karen Chetcuti leaving ALDI in Wangaratta on Tuesday.

Police are yet to formally identify the body but it is believed to be Ms Chetcuti.

Police arrested Ms Chetcuti’s neighbour Michael Cardamone, 48, on Sunday in connection with the suspicious disappearance.

Though Mr Cardamone told Fairfax Media on Friday he was the last to see her, he denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Victoria Police divers search the the Ovens River for Karen Chetcuti.Victoria Police divers search the the Ovens River for Karen Chetcuti. Photo: Mark Jesser

Mr Cardamone is assisting police with inquiries. No charges have been laid.

In a bizarre twist, Fairfax Media understands Mr Cardamone was arrested after he phoned relatives on Saturday claiming he had been kidnapped and was in the boot of a car.

Police, who were notified of the call by his solicitor, located the car in Melbourne, eventually intercepting it in Ringwood after Mr Cardamone allegedly evaded police.

SES begin another search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti late on Saturday.

SES begin another search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti late on Saturday. Photo: James Wiltshire

 

Police, along with SES crews including dive teams, have been searching the areas of Whorouly and Myrtleford trying to find any sign of Ms Chetcuti since her disappearance.

The last confirmed sighting of Ms Chetcuti was at the Whorouly Hotel on Tuesday at 7.20pm.

 

Ms Chetcuti’s burnt-out red Citroen was found found on a dirt road near Myrtleford at 5.15am on Thursday.

When police searched her home they found the lights on and her phone and handbag left behind.

Ms Chetcuti lived alone at the Whorouly property, sharing custody of her two teenage children with her former husband.

Speaking before her body was found, friend Greg Haysom said Ms Chetcuti was a “major part of Whorouly” and recently helped raise over $20,000 for the football club change rooms.

Mr Haysom described Ms Chetcuti as a “great mother” to her two children.

“I don’t think you will find anyone who would say a bad word about her, she has the most infectious smile,” he said.


scumbag rapist neighbour has been arrested over her disappearance, police divers searching wells.

MAJOR UPDATE 11.50AM 17/01/16

A 48-year-old man has been taken into custody by Victorian police investigating the disappearance of Karen Chetcuti.

The 49-year-old mother of two was last seen in her home town of Whorouly – in Victoria’s north east – on Tuesday night.

Her burnt-out car was found 20 kilometres away on Thursday.

Police have declared a crime scene at the property of her neighbour, Michael Cardamone.

Police have declared a crime scene at the property of her neighbour, Michael Cardamone.

Police have declared a crime scene at the property of her neighbour, Michael Cardamone.

He has previously denied any involvement in Ms Chetcuti’s disappearance.

Police divers are searching wells on the missing mother’s property.

Ms Chetcuti was reported missing by a concerned friend on Wednesday at 9:30pm after she did not show up for work that day.

Following her disappearance, police found Ms Chetcuti’s purse and handbag at her home, but her mobile phone was missing.

Earlier this week, Detective Sergeant Sol Soloman from the homicide squad said her disappearance was out of character.

“She is described by people who know her as being very punctual, efficient, she’s very highly thought of.

“Local police went to her home and she wasn’t there. Her car was missing but it was discovered that there were lights on in the house and her handbag and purse were still there.”

Police on the property of Karen Chetcuti on Sunday morning, where divers are searching wells. Photo: Police on the property of Karen Chetcuti on Sunday morning, where divers are searching wells. (Supplied: Reece Rayner)


Convicted rapist says he was the last to see Whorouly mother Karen Chetcuti before she disappeared

January 16, 2016 – 3:43PM

Tammy Mills, Tom Cowie

Police arrive at Karen Chetcuti's house on Saturday.Police arrive at Karen Chetcuti’s house on Saturday. Photo: James Wiltshire

A convicted rapist says he was the last person to see a mother-of-two before she disappeared from the small Victorian country town of Whorouly.

Michael Cardamone told Fairfax Media he was not involved with Karen Chetcuti’s disappearance, now the subject of a homicide squad investigation, but he was the last person to see her before she went missing.

“I don’t know what’s happened,” he said.

Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti.Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti. Photo: Facebook

Mr Cardamone, who was released from jail last year after serving nine years for rape, lives around the corner from the 49-year-old mother in the town of Whorouly, near Wangaratta.

Their properties share a boundary.

Victoria Police say the last confirmed sighting of Ms Chetcuti was leaving the Whorouly Hotel at 7.20pm on Tuesday.

Police released this photo of Karen Chetcuti's car.Police released this photo of Karen Chetcuti’s car.

But Mr Cardamone said he had invited Ms Chetcuti to his home to collect some tomatoes that he had grown and she was at his property from 8.40pm to 9.15pm that night.

“When she left here, she took off towards home,” he said.

He said the container of tomatoes she had taken was later found on a bench in Ms Chetcuti’s home.

Police and SES search Karen Chetcuti's property at Whorouly.Police and SES search Karen Chetcuti’s property at Whorouly. Photo: Blair Thomson

Mr Cardamone was also interviewed by other media on Friday, telling them he had spoken to Ms Chetcuti over the fence at 9.15pm on Tuesday after he had been picking tomatoes.

Police searched parts of Mr Cardamone’s property on Friday and he said detectives had questioned him.

“I’m stressed out to the max, I haven’t been sleeping,” he said.

Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti.

Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti. Photo: Facebook

Mr Cardamone said he was being targeted because of his “incarceration”. He said investigators were welcome to search his home.

He said a white car had been seen leaving Ms Chetcuti’s home on Tuesday night, with her red car following behind. Her car was found burnt-out in Myrtleford, about 20 kilometres away, at 5.15am on Thursday.

Mr Cardamone said he saw Ms Chetcuti’s red car parked in a side street near the Target store in Myrtleford sometime before it was set alight.

It is understood another neighbour saw a white car leaving the Ms Chetcuti’s home on Tuesday night, but it is unclear as to what time.

Police said they were speaking to a number of people in relation to the disappearance.

Homicide Squad investigators visited Mr Cardamone’s home shortly after 2pm on Friday.

Three detectives spent about five minutes at the home, knocked on his door and checked around the back and garage.

There was no sign of Mr Cardamone, though his white ute was parked outside. Detectives would not say why they were there.

Earlier on Friday, homicide squad detective Sergeant Sol Solomon said suspicions were raised about the disappearance when Ms Chetcuti did not turn up for work on Wednesday.

He said police checked her home and found the lights had been left on, and her handbag and wallet were still there. At that stage, her car was still missing.

“It certainly paints a picture of the involvement of a second party in her disappearance,” he said.

“There was no sign of any struggle or disturbance having occurred there.”

Ms Chetcuti, the mother of two teenagers, is well-known and liked in the Whorouly and Wangaratta area.

She had moved from Melbourne to Whorouly with her husband, who she is now separated from, to run the pub about two decades ago. The pair were publicans for about five years before Ms Chetcuti began working for the City of Wangaratta, where she had most recently been a records coordinator.

“Karen is a popular and valued member of staff,” City of Wangaratta chief executive officer Brendan McGrath said.

Friend Greg Haysom said Ms Chetcuti, who serves on a number of committees, is a “major part of Whorouly” and recently helped raise over $20,000 for the football club change rooms.

Mr Haysom described Ms Chetcuti as a “great mother” to her two children.

“I don’t think you will find anyone who would say a bad word about her, she has the most infectious smile,” he said.

Detectives continued to search Whorouly and Myrtleford on Saturday.

Police focused on a number of areas of interest, including the properties behind Ms Chetcuti’s.

The area is mostly sparse farmland and long grass, but officers did go through a junkyard of old cars a couple of kilometres behind the missing woman’s property.

There were also line searches in long grass adjacent to where her burnt-out car was found on Thursday morning.

The car, now at Wangaratta police station, was found engulfed in flames on Halls Road, which becomes a dirt road leading up to a lookout in Myrtleford, about 20 kilometres from Whorouly.

The road runs next to state forest, in which specialist police on dirt bikes went into on Friday morning.

On the other side of it is paddocks, which police and SES focused on for their line searches. Houses are nearby.

Police released new photos of Ms Chetcuti and her car in a further attempt to garner information as to her whereabouts.

Detectives would like to speak to anyone who saw Ms Chetcuti or her red 2004 Citroen Sara, with registration XWC 149, any time after 7.20pm on Tuesday.

They would also like to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area.

Detectives said they have also narrowed down Ms Chetcuti’s movements on Tuesday, releasing security vision of her at Aldi in Wangaratta between 5.12pm and 5.17pm before she went to the Whorouly Hotel for a drink.

Detectives said on Friday she had not been seen or heard from since she left the hotel at 7.20pm.

This is despite her neighbour Mr Cardamone claiming Ms Chetcuti had been at his property between 8.40pm and 9.15pm.

Investigators urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.


Hunt continues for missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti

January 17, 2016 – 6:51AM

Tammy Mills, Chris Vedelago

The search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti is entering its fourth day, with the police focus still squarely on the Whorouly and Myrtleford areas.

Police arrive at the house of the man who says he was the last person to see Karen Chetcuti the day she went missing.Police arrive at the house of the man who says he was the last person to see Karen Chetcuti the day she went missing. Photo: James Wiltshire

The investigation into the disappearance of a Whorouly woman took a turn on Saturday night, with police now searching for a convicted rapist who said he was the last to see her before she disappeared.

Homicide Squad detectives visited the home of Michael Cardamone, whose property borders missing woman Karen Chetcuti’s​, twice on Saturday to speak with him, but he was not home. It is understood police could not locate him.

They have refused to comment on whether Mr Cardamone, a convicted rapist, is a person of interest, though Mr Cardamone himself told Fairfax Media and News Corp in bizarre interviews on Friday that he believed he was being targeted because of his prior offence.

Police arrive and door knock at the house of the man who gave Karen Chetcuti tomatoes on the day she went missing. James WiltshirePolice arrive and door knock at the house of the man who gave Karen Chetcuti tomatoes on the day she went missing. James Wiltshire Photo: James Wiltshire

In both interviews, conducted separately, he was adamant he had nothing to do with her disappearance and said he was the last to see her. He told Fairfax Media the well-known and well-liked 49-year-old had come over to his house to collect tomatoes, which he grows. She stayed there, he said, from 8.40pm to 9.15pm on Tuesday.

The search for Mrs Chetcuti is entering its fourth day, with the police focus still squarely on the Whorouly and Myrtleford areas.

The last confirmed sighting police have of Ms Chetcuti was leaving the Whorouly Hotel at 7.20pm on Tuesday.

SES begin another search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti late on Saturday.SES begin another search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti late on Saturday. Photo: James Wiltshire

State Emergency Service personnel searched Mr Cardamone’s farm on Friday and he said police had spoken to him.

There was no sign of Mr Cardamone on Saturday and his white ute remained in the driveway.

Fairfax Media was told on Saturday there may be at least three suspects being investigated over the disappearance.

Meanwhile, the SES conducted line searches in the paddocks that surround Ms Chetcuti’s home, as well as behind the Whorouly Hotel.

Police also searched old cars in a junkyard, situated about two kilometres behind Ms Chetcuti’s.

Line searches were also happening in paddocks next to the road where the mother-of-two’s car was found burnt out 20 kilometres away in Myrtleford.

The red Citroen was dumped and set alight in Halls Road, which becomes a dirt road leading up to a lookout close to the town.

Police released further details and a photo of the 2004 Citroen Xsara, registration plate XWC 149, on Saturday in the hope it would elicit more information.

“Detectives are now piecing together Karen’s movements and are requesting public assistance,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

They confirmed an earlier sighting of Ms Chetcuti, at the Aldi supermarket in Wangaratta between 5.12pm and 5.17pm on Tuesday.

Police said she was then at the Whorouly Hotel until 7.20pm.

Suspicions were raised when she did not turn up for work at the City of Wangaratta on Wednesday, where she most recently worked as its records coordinator.

A friend reported her missing later on Wednesday before her burnt-out car was found at 5.15am on Thursday. That, plus the state her house was left in – undisturbed, but with her car gone, handbag still there and lights still on – triggered a homicide squad investigation.

“It certainly paints a picture of the involvement of a second party in her disappearance,” Detective Senior Sergeant Sol Solomon said in an interview on Friday.

“There was no sign of any struggle or disturbance having occurred there.”

Ms Chetcuti is the mother of two teenagers, is well-known in the Whorouly and Wangaratta area.

She had moved from Melbourne to Whorouly with her husband, who she is now separated from, to run the pub about two decades ago. The pair were publicans for about five years before Ms Chetcuti began working for the City of Wangaratta.

Investigators urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.



 

Police question convicted rapist who was the last person to see missing mum-of-two Karen Chetcuti… after her burnt-out car was found in bushland

  • Wangaratta, VIC mother-of-two Karen Chetcuti was last seen on Tuesday
  • Police questioned her neighbour, convicted rapist Michael Cardamone
  • He was the last person to see the 49-year-old Wangaratta council manager
  • Ms Chetcuti’s car was found burnt out on Thursday 20km from her home
  • Homicide detectives believe she is the victim of foul play

A convicted rapist who claims he is the last person to see missing Karen Chetcuti has been questioned as police reveal they hold grave fears for the mother-of-two.

Michael Cardomone, who was released from jail in July 2015 after serving nine years for rape, denied any part in the disappearance of Ms Chetcuti, from Whorouly, Victoria.

His property was searched and he questioned by detectives about Ms Chetcuti, who was last seen on Tuesday at around 7.20pm.

Mr Cardomone said he had invited the City of Wangaratta manager to pick tomatoes about 9pm on Tuesday, The Age reported.

Convicted rapist Michael Cardomone claims he is the last person to have seen missing mother-of-two Karen Chetcuti (pictured) but denies he had anything to do with her disappearane

Ms Chetcuti was last seen on Tuesday evening, when she was captured on CCTV at a supermarket and attended a pub near her home. Convicted rapist Michael Cardomone also says he saw her later that night

Ms Chetcuti's burnt out car, where it was found near Myrtleford, VIC, about 20km from her home

The scene where Ms Chetcuti's car was found burnt out, near Myrtleford, 20km from Whorouly

Ms Chetcuti's burnt out car was found on Thursday morning

Police released this image of Ms Chetcuti car, as it appeared before it was burnt out

Homicide Squad detectives, the Missing Persons Squad, sniffer dogs and local SES members were searching bushland near where her car was found

Homicide Squad detectives, the Missing Persons Squad, sniffer dogs and local SES members were searching bushland near where her car was found

Earlier that evening, Ms Chetcuti left the Whorouly Hotel in Whorouly, south of Wangaratta, at around 7.30pm.

Mr Cardomone and another neighbour are both believed to have seen a white car leaving Ms Chetcuti’s property on Tuesday evening, with her red sedan following.

A concerned friend reported her missing on Wednesday after she did not turn up for work, and her car was found burnt out 20km away from Whorouly on Halls Road, Myrtleford on Thursday morning.

Police fear Ms Chetcuti may be a victim of foul play. They continued the search for her on Saturday morning

Ms Chetcuti, 49, is a mother to two teenagers and a manager at the City of Wanagaratta

Mr Cardomone said he saw her car parked in the town ‘sometime’ before it was torched, The Age reported.

‘That’s totally alarming to us – the vehicle being burnt in that fashion,’ Detective Sergeant Sol Solomon told 3AW on Friday.

‘(She) didn’t turn up for work on Wednesday, which is highly out of character for her.

‘She’s well known as being highly punctual, highly thought of and very efficient in her life.’

Homicide detectives suspect she was the victim of foul play.

‘I strongly suspect that there is someone, or some others involved,’ Detective Sergeant Sol Solomon told reporters on Friday.

‘I really hope she’s still alive, she could be still alive, but the longer it goes, the more grave the situation becomes,’ he said.

Det Sgt Solomon said what was found at Ms Chetcuti's home - lights on, her purse and handbag left behind, but no mobile phone to be found - was 'a situation that appeared out of order'

On the evening she was reported as last being seen, she went to the Whorouly Hotel

Ms Chetcuti left the hotel about 7.30pm on Tuesday evening. Her neighbour, convicted rapist Michael Cardomone, claims he saw her later that evening, about 9pm

CCTV footage of Ms Chetcuti at a supermarket at 5pm on Tuesday shows her wearing a cream or yellow tank top and a dark skirt.

Ms Chetcuti is 175cm tall, of a medium build, with dark brown shoulder-length hair.

Her two children, aged 14 and 15, are staying with their father, who is separated from their mother.

Police have been providing support to the family.

Det Sgt Solomon said there was no suggestion the father was involved in the disappearance.

Homicide Squad detectives, the Missing Persons Squad, sniffer dogs and local SES members were searching bushland near where her car was found, 50km from Wangaratta.

The search for Ms Chetcuti, who left her house with the lights on and bag and purse at home – but not her mobile phone – resumed at first light on Saturday.

Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia Saturday’s search was focusing on Whorouly, Ms Chetcuti’s home town.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw Karen or her red 2004 Citroen Sara, registration XWC 149, any time after 7.20pm on Tuesday.

They also want to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area.

Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia Saturday's search was focusing on Whorouly, Ms Chetcuti's home town

Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia Saturday’s search was focusing on Whorouly, Ms Chetcuti’s home town

CCTV footage of Ms Chetcuti at a supermarket at 5pm on Tuesday shows her wearing a cream or yellow tank top and a dark skirt


https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/30600196/body-of-missing-victorian-whorouly-woman-karen-chetcuti-has-been-found/

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:

  • Mother of two Karen Chetcuti is last seen leaving the Whorouly Hotel at 7.20pm on Tuesday
  • Ms Chetcuti is reported missing by a concerned friend at 9.30pm last Wednesday, and the search begins
  • Ms Chetcuti’s car is discovered burnt out 20 kilometres from her home, in Myrtleford, on Thursday morning
  • Neighbour Michael Cardamone says he was the last to see Ms Chetcuti, but denied any involvement in her disappearance.
  • Detectives visit Michael Cardamone’s home for questioning on Saturday, but he was not there
  • Police receive a report Michael Cardamone had been kidnapped on Saturday afternoon
  • Patrolling police find Michael Cardamone in a vehicle on Punt Road, St Kilda before 5am Sunday. He was pursued by the police Air Wing until he pulled over and arrested in Ringwood around 6am
  • Police search Michael Cardamone’s home on Sunday and declare the property a crime scene. Victoria Police divers in the Ovens River as part of the search
  • The body of Ms Chetcuti has been found at Lake Buffalo

Doing it 4 Allison – Justice Needs To Be Served!

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UPDATE 30/12/2015

scroll down for our well known member and world class photographer GerryRocks coverage of the outpouring of support for Allison and a demand for justice. The DPP are going to appeal this joke of a downgrade -Robbo

QUEENSLAND’S Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict.

Baden-Clay, who was last year sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Allison, had his murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter in a shock appeal ruling earlier this month, sparking community anger.

DPP Michael Byrne QC will make an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision.

The Courier-Mail exclusively revealed yesterday that Mr Byrne had privately told the Queensland Government he will appeal to the High Court to reinstate Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January,” Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said in a statement on Wednesday. (scroll down for her full statement)

This will give the DPP 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court.

The defence will then be given 21 days to outline its argument before the High Court schedules a date to hear the applications.

Mr Byrne had advised Allison’s family of the decision to appeal on Wednesday morning after finalising his decision on Tuesday, Ms D’Ath said.

In its shock ruling, the Court of Appeal argued the jury that convicted Baden-Clay of murder last year couldn’t have known beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill Allison.

The decision outraged the community, with more than 100,000 people signing an online petition requesting the Queensland Attorney-General to file an appeal.

Thousands of people have also gathered in Brisbane’s CBD over the past fortnight to protest against the manslaughter verdict

FULL STATEMENT

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said today: “I have been advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions has advised the Dickie family this morning that he will be making an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the recent Court of Appeal decision that saw Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter. This has been the result of the DPP finalising his decision yesterday.

Thousands have attended a rally to protest the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January 2016. The process then provides the DPP with 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court. The defence will then have a further 21 days to do the same.

“Subject to these processes being finalised, the High Court will then schedule a date to hear the applications.

“Given this legal process is underway, I will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter.


 

DSC_7184

G’day folks, it’s been awhile!  A picture paints a thousand words!

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we’d have a scene played out like the one on Friday. The Court Of Appeal’s decision has left most with a bad taste in their mouths, many questioning the justice system. I couldn’t let Friday pass by without attending and the capturing images. It was so wonderful to see the community of Brisbane come together and rally behind Allison’s family and friends, also giving support the victims of domestic violence.

DSC_7120

DSC_7121 DSC_7122 DSC_7141 DSC_7144 DSC_7148 DSC_7190 DSC_7195 DSC_7206 DSC_7207 DSC_7282 DSC_7292 DSC_7316 DSC_7323 DSC_7329 DSC_7339 DSC_7345 DSC_7354 DSC_7355 DSC_7369 DSC_7373 DSC_7380 DSC_7384 DSC_7393 DSC_7398 DSC_7412 DSC_7422 DSC_7428 DSC_7434 DSC_7435 DSC_7438 DSC_7451 DSC_7445 DSC_7470 DSC_7455 DSC_7471 DSC_7478 DSC_7494 DSC_7561

Gerard Baden-Clay Appeal 7th August 2015-UPDATED 8TH DECEMBER 2015

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Mountains of stuff on here about the tragic death of Allison by her husband Gerard Baden Clay. To catch up here is a link to posts tagged with Allison below

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/?s=alison+baden+clay&submit=Search

ALSO feel free to use the menu up top to get the full picture.


update 30/12/15

QUEENSLAND’S Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict.

Baden-Clay, who was last year sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Allison, had his murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter in a shock appeal ruling earlier this month, sparking community anger.

DPP Michael Byrne QC will make an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision.

The Courier-Mail exclusively revealed yesterday that Mr Byrne had privately told the Queensland Government he will appeal to the High Court to reinstate Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January,” Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said in a statement on Wednesday. (scroll down for her full statement)

This will give the DPP 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court.

The defence will then be given 21 days to outline its argument before the High Court schedules a date to hear the applications.

Mr Byrne had advised Allison’s family of the decision to appeal on Wednesday morning after finalising his decision on Tuesday, Ms D’Ath said.

In its shock ruling, the Court of Appeal argued the jury that convicted Baden-Clay of murder last year couldn’t have known beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill Allison.

The decision outraged the community, with more than 100,000 people signing an online petition requesting the Queensland Attorney-General to file an appeal.

Thousands of people have also gathered in Brisbane’s CBD over the past fortnight to protest against the manslaughter verdict

BADEN-CLAY: Case for murder revealed

 

FULL STATEMENT

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said today: “I have been advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions has advised the Dickie family this morning that he will be making an application to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the recent Court of Appeal decision that saw Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter. This has been the result of the DPP finalising his decision yesterday.

Thousands have attended a rally to protest the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

“I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January 2016. The process then provides the DPP with 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court. The defence will then have a further 21 days to do the same.

“Subject to these processes being finalised, the High Court will then schedule a date to hear the applications.

“Given this legal process is underway, I will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter.

Gerard Baden-Clay and the high bar for prosecution

Updated about 3 hours ago

How is Gerard Baden-Clay able to argue that he might have killed his wife accidently, when, at trial, he denied having anything to do with her death? Arlie Loughnan explains the appeal court’s decision.

The Queensland Court of Appeal has upheld Gerard Baden-Clay’s appeal against conviction for the murder of his wife, Allison Baden-Clay. The court overturned the jury’s verdict that Baden-Clay was guilty of murder, and substituted a conviction of manslaughter for Allison’s death.

From the time of Allison Baden-Clay’s disappearance from her home, and the discovery of her body in April 2012, this case has attracted significant media attention. The crime and the trial coincided with increasing public awareness about family violence in general, and the deaths of women at the hands of their male partners in particular.

All the elements of the Baden-Clay case – the death of a much-loved woman with young children, and a middle-class family struck by infidelity, marriage problems, depression and debt – propelled the case to the front page in newspapers around the country.

Gerard Baden-Clay was tried for murder in 2014. As it was not possible to determine what caused Mrs Baden-Clay’s death, the trial hinged on circumstances surrounding her disappearance and death – the evidence of her blood in her car, the scratches on Gerard Baden-Clay’s face, and his account of his actions at around the time of the crime. A jury convicted Baden-Clay of Allison Baden-Clay’s murder. He was sentenced to life in prison and required to serve a minimum of 15 years’ jail time.

Baden-Clay appealed the decision. Arguing that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable, and questioning the trial judge’s summing up of the evidence, Baden-Clay sought to have his conviction overturned. Baden-Clay claimed that the jury could not have been satisfied to the criminal standard of proof – beyond reasonable doubt – that he had the necessary intent for murder.

In Queensland, murder requires a lethal act, and an intent to kill or commit grievous bodily harm. The issue on appeal was whether the evidence introduced at trial could support the jury’s conclusion that Allison Baden-Clay’s death was murder, not manslaughter – an unlawful killing that falls short of murder.

Allowing Baden-Clay’s appeal, the Queensland Court of Appeal concluded that the prosecution case had not ruled out the possibility that Gerard Baden-Clay killed his wife without intending serious harm, and that he disposed of her body at Kholo Creek, and lied about the causes of the marks on his face to cover up his actions. This meant that the jury’s conclusion that the killing was murder could not be sustained.

Although the finding that Baden-Clay was responsible for his wife’s death has not been questioned, his successful appeal has raised questions about our criminal justice system. It seems hard to understand how Baden-Clay is able to argue that he might have killed his wife accidently, when, at trial, he denied having anything to do with her death, and knowing nothing about how her body ended up at the creek.

It’s important to recall that, under our laws, the accused does not have to prove his innocence – it’s up to the prosecution to prove guilt. The presumption of innocence is a cardinal feature of our criminal justice system. It means that the accused person can test the case against him, and that his ‘defence’ can be that the prosecution have not made out the charge against him. This sets a high bar for the prosecution, but it is a protection against wrongful convictions.

Our criminal court system has to strike a balance between two fundamental goals. On the one side is the principle of finality – whereby a trial court’s adjudication of a matter concludes the legal issues for the accused and the victims. On the other side, the court system must also provide for review of any errors made by courts in trial or sentence.

This is where appeal courts come in – reviewing decisions where there may have been a mistake that affected the outcome, and safeguarding the high esteem in which our justice system is held.

The action of an appeal court overturning a jury decision is not that common, and does not cast doubt on the integrity and the value of jury decisions in criminal trials in general. Juries are central to the operation of criminal trials and the involvement of lay people in criminal justice is regarded as a positive feature of our system. Juries participating in criminal trials, and courts of appeal reviewing decision-making, are each key aspects of the legitimacy of our criminal laws and processes.

Arlie Loughnan is Associate Professor in Law at University of Sydney.

 

Major update 8th December 2015.

The day the Justice System proved it is BROKEN. please share your thoughts in the comments section!

 What justice? There’s none for Allison

NOW we know when a woman’s murder is not a murder.

It’s when a man who swore throughout his five-week trial that he had nothing to do with it and gets convicted of murder changes makes an appeal to argue his wife’s death was ‘unintentional’. And wins.

It seems incredible that while Gerard Baden-Clay insisted he had no hand in his wife’s 2012 death during a trial involving hundreds of witness statements, he can say on appeal that he did cause it — by accident — and be believed.

You can’t have it both ways — be completely uninvolved but also have killed someone — but now you can, apparently. What a joke.

Where is the justice in this decision for the dead mother of three young girls? Where are the consequences for a man who may now be free in five years.

The shock felt by those close to the late Mrs Baden-Clay as they learned her husband would get away with manslaughter is echoing across social media as Australians react angrily.

Many are justifiably struggling to believe that Queensland appeal judges found there was not reasonable evidence Baden-Clay intended to kill his wife because it wasn’t proven he meant to do it.

One Twitter user summed up the sentiments of many when he wrote: “That’s one small step for low-life, one giant leap backwards in the fight against domestic violence #endviolenceagainstwomen”.

How disgusting that just a few years is all a woman’s life is worth if the injuries on her body are not bad enough to implicate intent to kill or there’s not enough blood in the house to imply a struggle, or no recorded history of domestic violence.

Newsflash Queensland justice system: Many woman never report abuse, and can you blame them when they see outcomes such as this.

As Australia grapples with an epidemic of violence against women that has claimed an average two women’s lives a week this year, this verdict is an insult to every woman killed by a partner or ex.

It’s a mockery of the pain of relatives of dead women and a message to women living in fear of death at the hands of their partner that the justice system has holes the size of Uluru.

As Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty and former Victorian police chief Ken Lay have kept family violence high in the public consciousness in 2015, prompting grumbles about too much talk of it dominating media.

But with findings like this potentially opening the cell doors after an obscenely short stretch for someone who killed their partner can there ever be enough?

Gerard Baden-Clay may soon be free to resume normal life with the children he caused to be motherless. Allison is still dead.

The fight for real justice for victims of violence against women in Australia must now go up a gear. This finding shames the lot of us.

Gerard Baden-Clay: Murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter over death of wife Allison

Updated 22 minutes ago

Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction for killing his wife Allison has been downgraded to manslaughter.

Court of Appeal Justice Hugh Fraser set aside the murder finding today.

During Baden-Clay’s appeal four months ago, his lawyers argued he panicked and unintentionally killed the mother-of-three during an argument at their home in Brookfield, in Brisbane’s west.

In delivering their findings, the Court of Appeal judges found that while Baden-Clay lied about the cause of the marks on his face and tried to hide his wife’s body, there was a reasonable hypothesis he was innocent of murder.

They found the jury could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the element of intent to kill or do grievous bodily harm had been proved.

Baden-Clay, 45, reported his wife missing in April 2012 and her body was found 10 days later beside a creek.

He was convicted last year and jailed for life, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

Baden-Clay’s lawyer Peter Shields said there was immense public interest in the case, and urged the public to read the findings before they criticise the decision.

“They were very considered reasons of a very experienced court,” he said.

“I do think the public understand that it is open justice.

“They can make their own view, based on the facts.”

Allison’s family said they were disappointed by the decision and remained supportive of the original findings of the court.

“[The family] await the legal process to play out in the hope that justice for Allison will be served,” a statement released by the Dickie family said.

“As always, the efforts of the family remain centred around the wellbeing of Allison’s daughters, who now face a further period of uncertainty.”

 FULL JUDGEMENT CAN BE READ BY CLICKING LINK BELOW

http://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2015/QCA15-265.pdf


Appeal begins for Gerard Baden-Clay

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay will argue his conviction was ‘unreasonable’

 

LAWYERS for Gerard Baden-Clay will today argue that his conviction for the murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay should be quashed on the grounds it was ‘unreasonable’.

12.25pm: The appeal hearing has finished and the three judges have reserved their decision. They will give a written judgement, expected within three months.

12.23pm: Mr Copley, for Baden-Clay, said Allison’s blood in her car could have been from “some innocent incident” on another day.

12.21pm: Justice Catherine Holmes put to Mr Byrne the scenario that there had been an argument between Baden-Clay and his wife and that she had fallen, hit her head and died and that he had panicked.

“What’s wrong with that as a reasonable hypothesis,” Justice Holmes said.

Mr Byrne said the trial judge left murder open to the jury because there was such a long period of denials by Baden-Clay including his lengthy court testimony. Mr Byrne has concluded his arguments and defence barrister Michael Copley is addressing the court again.

12.05pm: Michael Byrne QC, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions said the evidence suggested it was likely Allison was put in the third row of seating of her Holden Captiva and transported to Kholo Creek Bridge after a fatal attack.

“It’s a short series of dots to connect the proposition he drove her there but it is still not one that needed to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

He added that if the jury inferred the blood in her car was from after the fatal attack, it indicated there had been an injury to hide that may have been undetectable due to decomposition.

Olivia Walton, center, sister of convicted murderer Gerard Baden-Clay arrives at court wi

Olivia Walton, center, sister of convicted murderer Gerard Baden-Clay arrives at court with defence lawyer Penny White. Source: News Corp Australia

11.55am: Mr Byrne said the lack of conclusive opinion from experts on the finer scratches did not affect the jury’s ability to reach their verdict.

Moving on to the other defence arguments, Mr Byrne went through some of the key evidence against Baden-Clay.

He said the former real estate agent must have known of the possibility his wife and mistress would meet at a conference they were both to attend on the day he reported her missing.

“There are scratches to his face that were not there on the 19th (the day before she was reported missing).

“There is the leaf litter which is in our submission significant.”

The fact there were six different types of leaf all of which could be found in or adjacent to the couple’s property was a telling feature, he said.

When all the factors were put together, it was not necessary for the Crown to show Baden-Clay moved his wife’s body to the bridge for a murder verdict to be open.

11.44am: Gerard’s defence barrister has concluded his arguments and Michael Byrne QC, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, has begun addressing the court about the Crown case.

Mr Byrne, addressing the defence grounds for the appeal, said there had been evidence the broader marks on Baden-Clay’s face were older than the finer injuries.

It was open for the jury to accept the broader marks were from fingernails and the finer marks from a razor at a later time, and to infer Baden-Clay had attempted to disguise the scratch marks.

11.32am: Allison Baden-Clay’s death could have been from an unintentional killing arising out of an argument, making a murder conviction unreasonable, her husband Gerard’s defence barrister has told the court.

The argument could have been related to his affair with former staffer Toni McHugh and may have escalated to violence, resulting in the scratches on Baden-Clay’s face.

He was then left with a “dead wife”, and the situation of people knowing about the affair and his promises to Ms McHugh that he would leave his wife by July 1.

“And he’s panicked,” Mr Copley said.

“A jury could not rationally conclude he murdered his wife based on the fact he told a lie about how the injuries were inflicted.

“The possibility is open that everything he did in the days after the killing was attributable to panic.”

11.22am: Continuing his argument that the verdict was unreasonable, defence barrister Michael Copley said the couple’s daughters had not heard any screaming or fighting on the night and no blood was found in the house.

“There were scratches to his face but the contention is and was those scratches don’t reveal anything at all about the intention that he had when he was engaged in some sort of (altercation) with his wife.”

The scratches revealed only that Allison was “close enough” to inflict them and that there was some sort of altercation.

The “fact the doctor can’t determine the cause of death” was strongly in favour of a conclusion the death was other than intentional.

Prosecutors had argued the scratches were inflicted by Allison in self-defence “fighting for her life”.

But there were other possible explanations including that they were inflicted in anger or in the course of a struggle, Mr Copley said.

There was nothing to show if Alison had scratched her husband at the start or an argument or during the middle, with all possibilities open.

11.13am: The defence says the prosecution had asserted there was an accumulation of pressures on Baden-Clay, including from his long-running affair with his former staffer Toni McHugh.

But the evidence did not support that Baden-Clay was going to leave his wife, Mr Copley said.

“He told his wife in 2010 he no longer loved her. But…he didn’t act on the absence of love.

“He stayed in the marriage.”

The affair with Ms McHugh was discovered in 2011 and Baden-Clay still stayed at the home.

“The notion he was moving towards a departure from his wife is not sustainable.”

Prosecutors had also cited the business pressures on Baden-Clay and the fact he had borrowed money from friends and not paid them back.

“Sure there were financial pressures but my contention … is that hadn’t increased dramatically. That hadn’t changed substantially.”

11am: Baden-Clay’s defence barrister has told the court the murder conviction was unreasonable.

“What evidence was there that elevated the case from an unlawful killing to one of an unintentional killing?” Mr Copley said.

He said a premeditated killing had not been alleged, with prosecutors stating “there was uncharacteristic conduct engaged in by my client”.

There was no evidence of prior violence in the relationship and no evidence either party were abusers of illicit drugs or alcohol, he said.

10.50am: The next element of the appeal was that the jury should have been directed they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Baden-Clay put his wife’s body at the creek where she was found, before they could rely on that conduct as capable of proving he killed his wife.

Justice Holmes asked Mr Copley: “How do you get there?”

“Why couldn’t you come to the conclusion he was the killer without needing to know how it was the body arrived at the creek?” Justice Holmes said.

“Why couldn’t he have called someone … to aid him to take the body away?”

Gerard Baden-Clay’s father Nigel arrives at court.

Gerard Baden-Clay’s father Nigel arrives at court. Source: News Corp Australia

10.45am: Before moving on to the other grounds of the appeal, Mr Copley concluded that experts had not agreed definitively that the smaller marks on Baden-Clay’s face were caused at a different time and by a different implement.

The jury had been invited to infer guilt from evidence which had not been established, he said.

“The evil of that is for all we know the leading of that circumstance could have … tipped the balance in favour of a verdict of guilt in the minds of some or all of the members of the jury. We just don’t know.”

10.30am: In terms of the timing of when the facial injuries occurred, an expert gave evidence at the trial that he could not separate the various injuries from photos, Mr Copley said,

“If the experts couldn’t say whether those injuries … had been inflicted at a different time … how could the jury have been capable of resolving (the matter)?”

The prosecution had to show the injuries on Baden-Clay’s face were inflicted at different times and by a different implement, otherwise there wasn’t a disguising element, he said.

Justice Catherine Holmes suggested both sides agreed at trial that the smaller red marks on Baden-Clay’s face were razor marks, as Gerard had said he cut himself shaving.

10:20am: Defence barrister Michael Copley QC opened the appeal by discussing injuries on Baden-Clay’s face.

He said prosecutors left it to the jury to conclude he tried to disguise scratches on his face by making further smaller injuries with a razor, and that this was evidence he had murdered his wife.

He says the evidence didn’t establish that the smaller marks on Baden-Clay’s face were made at a different time than larger scratches.

Gerard Baden-Clay’s sister Olivia Walton (centre) arrives at court with defence lawyers P

Gerard Baden-Clay’s sister Olivia Walton (centre) arrives at court with defence lawyers Peter Shields and Penny White. Source: News Corp Australia

Earlier: At least 150 people have gathered in the public gallery of the Banco court, a half an hour before Gerard Baden-Clay’s appeal.

Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, Allison Baden-Clay’s parents, are in the front row with s large family contingent wearing yellow ribbons.


 Gerard Baden-Clay: Court of Appeal reserves decision over murder conviction

7th August 2015

Allison Baden-Clay and Gerard Baden-Clay

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane has reserved its decision on a challenge against Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction.

Lawyers appealing against Baden-Clay’s life sentence, with a 15-year non-parole period, for the murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay in 2012 today said it was possible he unintentionally killed her.

The appeal decision will be handed down at a later date.

Ms Baden-Clay’s parents, Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, were among the 200 people present in court as legal counsel for the former real estate agent appeal on four grounds, namely that:

  • The verdict of murder was unreasonable;
  • A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury was not directed on evidence relating to the presence of Allison’s blood in the car;
  • The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury over evidence relating to the placement of Allison’s body at Kholo Creek;
  • The trial judge also erred in leaving to the jury that Baden-Clay attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.

Barrister Michael Copley QC, who alongside high-profile solicitor Peter Shields, was representing Baden-Clay, argued the fourth appeal ground first.

There’re no injuries on the body consistent with an intentional killing.

Michael Copley QC, representing Gerard Baden-Clay

Police had noticed scratches on the right-hand side of Baden-Clay’s face when they visited the family’s rented Brookfield home in response to his triple-0 call in April 2012.

Baden-Clay insisted he had cut himself shaving, but experts told the court during the six-week trial, they were more “typical of fingernail scratches” not “a razor blade injury”.

Mr Copley questioned the crown’s claim that scratches on Baden-Clay’s face were signs of Allison fighting for her life.

He said the scratches revealed that Allison had been close enough to scratch her husband and that their relationship was not in good shape.

But he said the marks did not reveal why she scratched him.

Mr Copley said there were no injuries on Allison’s body consistent with an intentional killing, which he said favoured an unintentional killing.

“A jury could not rationally conclude that he murdered his wife based upon the fact he told a lie about how the injuries were inflicted,” he said.

“There’re no injuries on the body consistent with an intentional killing.”

Earlier in the appeal hearing, Mr Copley argued that experts could not say whether two sets of marks on Baden-Clay’s face occurred at different times or were made by different implements, yet the jury was asked to do so.

“The jury was invited to infer a path of guilt to murder on the basis of conduct the evidence did not establish the appellant engaged in,” Mr Copley said.

Prosecutor Michael Byrne, who was acting for the Crown, said an expert did testify at trial that marks to Baden-Clay’s face were done at different times and open to the jury to consider.

He said medical witnesses were entitled to use their common sense and experience, and jurors were entitled to decide for themselves.

Mr Byrne said a lack of conclusive evidence from the experts was not prohibitive for the jury to act on.

‘No evidence that there had ever been violence between the parties’

In arguing the first point of the appeal, that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, Mr Copley said: “There was no evidence in this case that there had ever been violence between the parties.”

Mr Copley said part of the Crown’s argument at trial was that pressure from Baden-Clay’s mistress contributed to Allison’s death.

He said evidence in regard to Baden-Clay’s intentions concerning his wife and mistress were at best equivocal.

He said the notion that Baden-Clay was moving towards a departure from his wife was not sustainable from evidence at trial.

Mr Copley then moved on to financial pressures.

“Sure there were financial pressures … but they hadn’t increased substantially, they hadn’t changed dramatically,” he said.

Allison Baden-Clay was last seen on April 19, 2012.

Her husband reported her missing the next day, sparking a major police and SES search.

Ten days later her body was found on the banks of the Kholo Creek at Anstead.

Suspicion centred on Baden-Clay but it was not until nearly seven weeks later he was arrested and charged.

He has always maintained his innocence.

Baden-Clay was not at today’s hearing.

He remains at Wolston Correctional Centre where he has been since last year’s sentencing.

More on this story:

  • Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction
  • Allison Baden-Clay’s family detail their pain and devastation
  • Allison Baden-Clay murder: family members detail pain and devastation in statements to court

    Timeline: Baden-Clay murder trial

    By Josh Bavas and staff

    Tue 15 Jul 2014, 2:53pm

    Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been found guilty of murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

    Her body was found on a creek bank 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their home in nearby Brookfield.

    Baden-Clay was charged with murdering his wife and interfering with a corpse, pleading not guilty to both charges.

    And so began a month-long trial involving hundreds of witness statements and garnering massive public interest.

    Take a look back at how Allison Baden-Clay’s disappearance and the resulting murder trial unfolded.

    April 20, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay calls police about 7:30am to report his wife missing.

    Police seek public help to find 43-year-old Allison Baden-Clay, reported missing since the previous night.

    Authorities say she was last seen at her house on Brookfield Road wearing grey tracksuit pants and a dark top.

    April 22, 2012

    Inspector Mark Laing confirms Gerard Baden-Clay crashed his car into a bus terminal outside Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.

    April 23, 2012

    A major incident room is set up at Indooroopilly police station for investigation into Allison Baden-Clay’s disappearance.

    Her parents make a public appeal for help to find their daughter.

    Allison’s mother Priscilla Dickie makes an emotional plea to the media.

    “Please, please help us to find our dear Allison,” she said.

    Police ask local residents to search their properties for even the smallest piece of information.

    Superintendent Mark Ainsworth says Allison Baden-Clay’s disappearance is being treated as a missing person case; not a criminal investigation.

    He says Gerard Baden-Clay is not a person of interest.

    Allison Baden-Clay’s father Geoff Dickie praises efforts of police and SES in trying to locate his daughter over the previous weekend.

    “We are overwhelmed by the support in trying to locate Allison,” he said.

    “Please help us because there are three beautiful little girls – of Allison’s – wanting to see their mother as soon as possible.”

    April 24, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay speaks to the media outside his house.

    “I’m trying to look after my children at the moment, we’ve got three young girls. We really trust that the police are doing everything they can to find my wife,” he said.

    April 26, 2012

    A prayer vigil is held for Allison.

    Reverend Beverley Bell from the Anglican Parish of Kenmore says it is a difficult time for the community.

    “Just not knowing what’s happened and there’s that sense of helplessness; what can we do?” he said.

    Detectives seize bags of material from the Baden-Clay house and Gerard Baden-Clay’s office.

    April 27, 2012

    Brisbane police step up efforts to find Allison Baden-Clay by setting up a mannequin outside her family home at Brookfield.

    The mannequin is wearing clothing similar to what the 43-year-old was in when she was last seen by her husband.

    Emergency crews widen their search area.

    April 28, 2012

    Allison Baden-Clay has been missing for more than a week.

    Police say they still have few leads despite the major investigation.

    Gerard Baden-Clay releases a brief statement to media thanking the public for their support, saying his priority is the welfare of his wife and their three daughters.

    April 30, 2012

    A canoeist discovers a woman’s body on a creek bank under Kholo Bridge Crossing at Anstead in Brisbane’s west, 11 days after Allison Baden-Clay disappeared.

    Police remove the body and confirm they are now treating Allison Baden-Clay’s disappearance as a homicide investigation.

    Investigators wait for formal identification.

    Superintendent Mark Ainsworth says police are taking seriously the possibility that the body belongs to Allison Baden-Clay and her family is notified.

    “They’re devastated. You can’t explain it any other way,” he said.

    Police appeal for information from anyone who may have seen anything in the area the night she disappeared, including either of the family’s cars.

    May 1, 2012

    Police confirm the body found is that of Allison Baden-Clay.

    Superintendent Mark Ainsworth says her death is officially being treated as a murder investigation.

    “At this stage we are looking at an unlawful homicide investigation – we have been looking at that for some time now; we believe it has reached that level some time ago,” he said.

    Gerard Baden-Clay says he is devastated by the loss of his wife.

    In a statement released by his lawyer, Baden-Clay says his primary concern now is the care of his three daughters.

    He says he just wants to provide his children with some stability and normality given the tragic news and despite “the unrelenting media barrage”.

    A few kilometres away at Kenmore, Baden-Clay’s parents emerge from their home and lower their Australian flag to half mast.

    Neighbours do the same before they all hug each other in grief.

    Meanwhile, a SIM card is discovered in bushland near the search area.

    May 2, 2012

    Police say they are confident they will find the killer of Allison Baden-Clay.

    Investigators say a mobile phone SIM card found at the scene has no link to the case.

    Police say a post-mortem examination on the body will determine the next phase of the investigation.

    Gerard Baden-Clay asks the media for privacy and to let police do their investigations.

    May 10, 2012

    Police are stationed at a roundabout near the Baden-Clays’ Brookfield home.

    Police set up a roadblock on Brookfield Road and speak to drivers, hoping to glean information which may help with their investigation.

    Detectives want to hear from anyone driving in the area the night before Allison Baden-Clay was reported missing.

    May 11, 2012

    A funeral service is held at St Paul’s Anglican Church at Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

    Hundreds of mourners come to pay their respects, including Allison’s immediate family and husband Gerard Baden-Clay.

    Her sister Vanessa Fowler says there are still many questions left unanswered about the circumstances surrounding the 43-year-old’s death.

    “We, your family, pledge to you that we will have these questions answered. We will bring you justice because you deserve nothing less,” she said.

    “Allison, your loss has been felt throughout the entire country by people who do not know you.”

    Mourners are asked to donate to an appeal to support the Baden-Clays’ three young daughters.

    The cause of her death remains unknown.

    May 18, 2012

    Police again say they are confident they will make an arrest over her murder, four weeks after she was reported missing by her husband.

    Police say the killing was not random and the killer was known to Allison but they are yet to make an arrest.

    It is believed police are still awaiting autopsy and toxicology results to confirm her cause of death.

    May 25, 2012

    Police say they are continuing to examine a wide range of evidence.

    May 29, 2012

    Detectives investigating receive the toxicology results but will not release them publicly.

    June 13, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay talks to police at the Indooroopilly police station for several hours.

    His lawyers say he is expected to be charged with her murder later tonight. They say he is devastated and will vigorously defend the charge.

    Baden-Clay tells police Allison disappeared after going for a late night walk from their home.

    He is remanded in custody, formally interviewed and charged with murder and interfering with a corpse.

    June 14, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with murder, about two months after first reporting his wife missing.

    Prosecution grants a forensic order to allow police to obtain a DNA sample from him.

    His lawyers say the charges will be vigorously defended, and lodge a bail application in the Supreme Court.

    Residents around Brookfield tell the media of their shock.

    June 21, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay’s bail application begins in the Supreme Court.

    June 22, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay loses his bail application in the Supreme Court with Justice David Boddice saying the accused posed a significant flight risk.

    Prosecutor Danny Boyle earlier argued that Baden-Clay had a financial motive for killing his wife and also cited entries in Allison’s journal suggest the couple may have discussed an affair he had been having with a co-worker.

    Mr Baden-Clay’s barrister, Peter Davis SC, says the Crown’s case is circumstantial and weak.

    June 24, 2012

    A fundraiser is held for Baden-Clay’s three daughters.

    Mike Kaye from the Brookfield Uniting Cricket Club says the fundraiser is important to the family.

    “It’s an opportunity for Allison’s parents Geoff and Priscilla and brothers and sisters to thank the community for their support and also for all those who were out there searching,” he said.

    July 9, 2012

    The case returns to Brisbane Magistrates Court for a hearing.

    Magistrate Chris Callaghan says he is “flabbergasted” upon hearing it will take five months for police to fully examine the financial affairs of Gerard Baden-Clay.

    The court hears there will be 330 statements tendered to the defence but the prosecution says it will not have a forensic accountant’s report until November.

    The prosecution has been ordered to provide most of the brief of evidence to Baden-Clay’s lawyers within six weeks.

    September 3, 2012

    The matter returns to court where Baden-Clay’s lawyers express frustration that prosecutors still have not provided them with all of the witness statements.

    Prosecutor Danny Boyle tells the court 446 witness statements have already been provided to defence team but five statements, described as crucial, remain outstanding.

    The prosecution is ordered to provide outstanding documents by the end of the week.

    September 5, 2012

    A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Glenn Martin, gives Allison’s father Geoffrey James Dickie temporary control of her estate, including her life insurance policy.

    If Baden-Clay is acquitted of his wife’s murder he will resume his role as executor of her will.

    If he is convicted, Allison’s parents will be able to go back to court for a permanent order granting them control of their daughter’s estate.

    December 14, 2012

    Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence lawyer lodges a bail application in Supreme Court for the second time.

    His lawyer argues the Crown case has been weakened by the results of a post-mortem examination.

    They say it shows Allison Baden-Clay had traces of an anti-depressant drug in her blood – leaving open the possibility that she took her own life.

    But Justice Peter Applegarth dismisses the application, ruling there was no material change of circumstances and the strength of Crown case was unaffected by the results.

    February 6, 2013

    The Federal Court orders nearly $800,000 from two life insurance policies for Allison Baden-Clay will be held in trust by the court.

    Justice John Dowsett agrees the court should hold the money until after Gerard Baden-Clay faces trial.

    March 11-20, 2013

    Gerard Baden-Clay’s committal hearing begins.

    The Crown alleges Baden-Clay killed his wife because he wanted her insurance payouts to clear his debts and to be with his mistress.

    The court hears his wife had suffered from depression and had used medication to cope and that her marriage was troubled.

    Witnesses tell the court about hearing a woman yell the night Allison disappeared.

    A forensic expert says he believes injuries to Gerard Baden-Clay, which were photographed by police after he reported his wife missing, were caused by fingernail scratches.

    Allison’s friend Kerry Anne Walker is the first of more than 40 witnesses to testify.

    Queensland MP Dr Bruce Flegg tells the court he heard a woman scream on the night before Allison was reported missing.

    Speaking outside the court, Dr Flegg explains his decision not to report it to police that night, saying: “There was nothing to suggest it would be a criminal or police related matter.”

    Dr Flegg says he has known Gerard Baden-Clay “for a long time”.

    A senior Queensland Health forensic expert says some of Baden-Clay’s facial injuries may have been scratch marks but says it is possible some were caused by shaving.

    Two former real estate partners testify Baden-Clay was in debt and was warned to leave his wife or mistress or he would lose their business association.

    Queensland Police Service forensic accountant Kelly Beckett tells court Gerard Baden-Clay’s net financial position was about $70,000 and he owed more than $300,000 to family and friends.

    Baden-Clay’s former mistress Toni McHugh tells the court he told her to lay low in the days after his wife’s disappearance and that he could not afford a divorce.

    His lawyer says he is determined to clear his name.

    Outside court, Baden-Clay’s sister Olivia Walton defends her brother after speaking to the media for the first time.

    “Gerard is an innocent man and I’m here because I continue to support him,” she said.

    Outside court, Baden-Clay’s lawyer Darren Mahony says he believes the cross-examination of 40 witnesses went in his client’s favour.

    “We’re of the view that the evidence against Mr Baden-Clay has been significantly weakened by cross-examination during the court process,” he said.

    December 19, 2013

    Supreme Court Justice James Douglas argues marriage counsellor Ms Carmel Ritchie from Relationships Australia should give evidence at a pre-trial hearing about anything said during counselling sessions.

    Ms Ritchie tries to prevent evidence from the sessions being used in court, arguing it is protected by confidentiality provisions of the Family Law Act.

    February 3-4, 2014

    Gerard Baden-Clay’s re-trial hearing begins in Supreme Court.

    The court hears from pathologist Dr Nathan Milne who conducted the autopsy on Allison Baden-Clay.

    Counsellor Carmel Ritchie also gives evidence, saying Allison told her she had taken an anti-malarial tablet during her honeymoon that had caused psychotic episodes, depression and panic attacks.

    Ms Ritchie tells the court Allison spoke of: her husband’s affair with an employee; how she had confronted him when she found out; and he was now honest and taking responsibility.

    Ms Ritchie also speaks of a separate counselling session with Gerard Baden-Clay where they discussed the affair.

    June 2, 2014

    The pre-trial hearing continues.

    The court hears potential jurors will be polled prior to their selection and will be asked:

  1. If they or their immediate family lived in Anstead, Bellbowrie, Brookfield or Chapel Hill in April 2012;
  2. If they have ever contributed funds relating to the disappearance or death of Allison Baden-Clay;
  3. Whether they have ever expressed a view as to the guilt or innocence of Gerard Baden-Clay.
  • June 9, 2014

    A jury of seven men and five women, plus three reserves, is selected.

    June 10, 2014

    The murder trial begins.

    Gerard Baden-Clay officially pleads not guilty in the Supreme Court to murdering his wife more than two years ago.

    Justice John Byrne tells jury members to ignore all media coverage of the case during the next four weeks.

    July 9, 2014

    After a month-long trial, the prosecution and the defence finish wrapping up their final arguments.

    Justice John Byrne begins summing up the case for the jurors.

    July 15, 2014

    Baden-Clay is found guilty of murder.

Flowers for Allison, may justice has been served

Flowers for Allison, may justice has been served

Magpies players Dane Swan and Travis Cloke caught sexting appearing to contravene the AFL’s social media policy.


McGuire: ‘Idiots’ were sucked in

 swan and cloke story 2 swan and cloke story

UPDATE: COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has labelled star players Dane Swan and Travis Cloke “idiots” after explicit videos, photos and texts they sent on social media were leaked to the media.

According to a report in Woman’s Day, Swan sent a graphic video, sexually-charged texts and full-frontal nude pictures while Cloke sent a video and nude pictures including an image of himself performing a sex act.


Dane Swan and Travis Cloke on the front cover of Woman’s Day.

It is unclear when the photos and videos were taken. The magazine claims that the photos were sent to two women who wanted to remain anonymous.

To read the policy click here AFL’s social media policy

The AFL’s social media policy, which includes SMS and instant messaging, states the league is likely to view “accessing, downloading or transmitting any kind of sexually explicit material” as inappropriate.

“It would seem that somebody’s sucked these idiots into sending out photos and as a result they’ve got them and sold them to the media,” McGuire told Triple M today.

 

“Apparently they (the women) were offering them up to the TV stations who passed.”

 

“It’s got nothing to do with Collingwood, ring their managers and the players’ association,” he said.

Collingwood later released a statement, saying it wasn’t taking the matter any further.

“The club is aware three currently listed players were involved in consensual exchanges of messages and pictures via Instagram,” the club said in a tweet.

 

“The exchanges have been on sale to media outlets for some time and as a result have been obtained and published by a media publication.

“At this point, the club will not take any action as it considers this a private matter for the players.”

McGuire agreed the images and videos appeared to contravene the AFL’s social media policy.

“Good to know Swanny’s got some room for some more tatts,” he joked. You are hilarious McGuire, about time you bloody grew up too


Dane Swan and girlfriend Taylor Wilson.

Travis Cloke and Rebeccah Panozza. Picture: Alex Coppel

Cloke, 28, is engaged to Rebeccah Panozza while Swan, 31, has been in a relationship with Taylor Wilson for eight years.

The Herald Sun is seeking comment from the AFL and the players.


Collingwood stars Dane Swan and Travis Cloke in nude photo leak

Travis Cloke and Dane Swan.

KARA IRVING, AAP Herald Sun

COLLINGWOOD says it won’t be taking any action against stars Dane Swan and Travis Cloke after nude photos they sent on social media were published in a magazine this morning.

According to a report in Woman’s Day, Swan sent a graphic video, sexually-charged texts and full-frontal nude pictures while Cloke sent a video and nude pictures including an image of himself performing a sex act.

It is unclear when the photos and videos were taken. The magazine claims that the photos were sent to two women who wanted to remain anonymous.

Dane Swan and Travis Cloke on the front cover of Woman's Day.

Dane Swan and Travis Cloke on the front cover of Woman’s Day.Source:Supplied

The AFL’s social media policy, which includes SMS and instant messaging, states the league is likely to view “accessing, downloading or transmitting any kind of sexually explicit material” as inappropriate.

Travis Cloke.

Travis Cloke.Source:News Corp Australia

Dane Swan.

Dane Swan.Source:News Corp Australia

3AW reported that Collingwood wasn’t taking the matter any further, saying it was a private issue.

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire told Triple M that “what I am led to believe they have been completely stooged and sucked in”.

“Apparently they were offering them up to the TV stations who passed but Woman’s Day have taken them,” McGuire said.

“Good to know that Swanny has got some room for some more tatts.” You are hilarious McGuire, about time you bloody grew up too


 

Xana Kamitsis leaves the high end clothes for t shirts in Jail


Update 15/12/15

Former NT CrimeStoppers boss Xana Kamitsis jailed

Updated about 2 hours ago

Former NT Crime Stoppers chairwoman Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis has been sentenced to three years and 11 months in prison for fraud and corruption, suspended after 18 months.

Earlier this month, a Supreme Court jury found Kamitsis guilty of 20 counts of fraud, for rorting a NT Health Department scheme set up to give pensioners travel concessions.

Kamitsis has also pleaded guilty to corruptly giving benefits to NT ministerial staffer Paul Mossman and two additional counts of fraud.

The fraud committed by Kamitsis totals almost $124,000.

More to come.


 

Supporters’ shock as Darwin travel agent and socialite Xana Kamitsis heads to jail | NT News

Xana Kamitsis pictured on November 14, 2014, the day NT Police arrested her at her Altitude Travel offices in relation to alleged fraud charges, 20 of which she was found guilty of yesterday. Picture: Supplied

The prison van that likely transported her to Holtze jail – which also houses Peter Falconio’s killer Bradley Murdoch – was no doubt a downgrade from the limousines the jury heard she paid for with fraudulently obtained taxpayer money, during trips to Sydney and Melbourne between 2009 and 2013.

It’s also unlikely the bed will compare to the plush one she laid in at the Park Hyatt in Sydney while Mr McRoberts and his daughter also stayed there in 2010.

Kamitsis’ foray into the prison system came as a shock to many, particularly her supporters. Throughout the two-and a half week trial the courtroom was transformed into a who’s who of the Darwin glitterati. The partners of defence lawyers Jon Tippett QC and Peter Maley sat in on several days of proceedings, greeting Kamitsis with hugs before court began for the day.

Members of the Paspaley family also made appearances.

But only husband George Kamitsis and Charles Darwin University staffer Nigel Turvey were present yesterday as she was found guilty.

It was the first time her husband had attended the court proceedings. Mr Turvey, on the other hand, sat in the front row of the gallery every day of the trial.

He furiously took notes and complained to the officers of the court when journalists tweeted updates on their phones. Kamitsis remained composed throughout the trial, not crying once or showing any kind of extreme emotion.

She laughed and yawned at times, but for the most part remained alert and attune to everything that was being said about her. She matched black pants with a range of different coloured business shirts that varied from pale blue to pink and white. She left the court every day with Mr Tippett and Mr Maley, until yesterday


Former NT police commissioner John McRoberts and travel agent Xana Kamitsis were booked into same Melbourne hotel room, court documents show

Former Northern Territory police commissioner John McRoberts and Darwin travel agent Alexandra ‘Xana’ Kamitsis, who is currently facing fraud charges, were booked into the same hotel room in Melbourne in 2010, court documents show.

Kamitsis, who ran Latitude Travel, was also the chair of the Northern Territory branch of Crime Stoppers, and has been accused of rorting a NT Government scheme designed to subsidise the travel of pensioners.

In his opening statement to the Supreme Court, crown prosecutor David Morters alleged Kamitsis fraudulently obtained money from the scheme and used it for the benefit of family and friends, including $1,000 transferred to a “trip file” for Mr McRoberts.

It was not alleged that Mr McRoberts was aware of the transfer.

Mr McRoberts resigned as police commissioner in January this year, after the Government cited a perceived conflict of interest.

‘Very close friends’

Mr Morters said the crown would allege emails showed Kamitsis was “very close friends” with Mr McRoberts and this was “motive” for fraud.

Documents tendered to the NT Supreme Court today showed that in September 2010 Kamitsis booked a stay in the Park Hyatt’s Spa King room for herself and Mr McRoberts the following month.

The two nights’ accommodation cost a total of $1,100, and Kamitsis also paid for limousine transport at a cost of $210.

Court documents indicated that Kamitsis tried to organise a twin room at the hotel, but when one was not available asked for a rollaway bed to be included.

The ABC is not suggesting the pair were having a sexual relationship.

In November 2010, Kamitsis also organised limousine rides for Mr McRoberts and his daughter, who were in Sydney, the documents indicated.

“On 19 November 2010 a booking request was received by our business via email … from Kamitsis for a number of services,” said joint owner of CD Limousines, Cathy Porfida, in a statutory declaration submitted to the court.

Kamitsis requested five limousine transfers for Mr McRoberts and his daughter, including trips from Sydney airport to his hotel and rides to the theatre, the documents show, and paid for them in full.

It was not alleged that the limousine rides were paid for using funds fraudulently obtained by Kamitsis.

“I would appreciate if you could do the pick-up yourself please – as this is a VIP client,” Kamitsis said in an email to CD co-owner Vince Porfida on November 19, 2010 that was part of the court documents.

Concern elderly witnesses will remember ‘limited’ details

In some instances Kamitsis said the airfares cost more than they did when sending the invoice to the Department of Health for the pensioner concession entitlement, Mr Morters said.

He said a witness, who is a former employee of Latitude Travel, would testify Kamitsis insisted she process all invoices for travel herself.

Other witnesses would include elderly pensioners, but Mr Morters noted because of their age their ability to remember details would be “limited”.

The court heard that one of the elderly witnesses had died.

A statement from the current NT Assistant Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, was also in the court documents.

Mr Chalker said he was told that Kamitsis organised a flight upgrade for himself and Mr McRoberts in 2010 when they were travelling back to Darwin from Canberra.

“I was not aware that there was any financial cost for the upgrade,” Mr Chalker said in his statutory declaration.

The case continues.

Clarification: Latitude Travel in Darwin is not associated in any way with the company, directors, owners or staff of Latitude Group Travel based in Melbourne.

Xana’s tough prison days | NT News


Xana Kamitsis leaves the Northern Territory Supreme Court … her prison garb will be a long way from her habitual fashionable threads.

Guards have shared with the NT News what a newbie’s first few days of incarceration entail.

The travel agent and former chair of NT Crime Stoppers was jailed after being found guilty of defrauding the Health Department in the NT ­Supreme Court on Tuesday. Kamitsis was told she would be remanded in custody and was transported by prison van to the women’s section of the Darwin jail in Holtze, where she’ll be housed, at least for now.

Upon entry to the prison all inmates are subjected to a full strip search, showered and treated for nits and scabies. They are then issued with their prison ID tag.

Guards inside say newcomers are vulnerable because they don’t know how things work and can be subject to stand over and intimidation tactics by more experienced prisoners.

Demands are often made and although guards are there to keep prisoners safe, whining about having your breakfast taken is probably not worth the hassle or risk of becoming a bigger target.

It’s likely Kamitsis will share a cell in a compound that houses up to 24 low security prisoners.

Her new threads are worlds away from the tailored clothes she sported during her trial.

Like most of her fellow inmates she’ll be wearing a pair of basic shorts with an elastic band waist, made on-site at the prison, and a blue cotton T-shirt. Breakfast and dinner is served in the compounds but lunch is generally served in the general population area.

At 5.30pm accommodation areas are locked until morning but common areas inside the compounds can still be used, at least for low security prisoners.

Each prisoner is given a pass code for the telephone system and can pay to make calls. Approved phone numbers are given a prefix for example; Mum might be “1”. Prisoners can contact their lawyers and the NT Ombudsman free of charge.

Kamitsis will appear in court today.


Travel agent Xana Kamitsis checks in to Holtze jail after being found guilty of all 20 charges | NT News


Xana Kamitsis was found guilty of all 20 charges of obtaining benefit by deception. Picture: NT News

The 12 jurors took less than three hours yesterday to find the Darwin travel agent and former head of Crimestoppers NT guilty of all 20 charges of obtaining benefit by deception.

NT Supreme Court Acting Justice Dean Mildren remanded Kamitsis in custody after it was revealed she had booked a one-way ticket to the US.

Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw released a statement late yesterday that said the community should have “complete confidence in the integrity” of all serving police officers.

Mr Kershaw said Acting Deputy Commissioner Jamie Chalker “did nothing wrong” after it was revealed during the trial he was the recipient of a flight upgrade paid for by ­Kamitsis. Mr Kershaw said Mr Chalker was simply an “unwitting and unknowing beneficiary” of the upgrade.

After the guilty verdict, Crown Prosecutor David Morters opposed bail because he was concerned Kamitsis might flee the Territory.

Mr Morters said police confirmed she had booked a “one-way ticket from Darwin to Sydney to Los Angeles for herself and members of her family on 19 December”.

“Imprisonment is an inevitable outcome of the activities the accused engaged in,” he said.

The maximum penalty for each charge is seven years’ jail.

Defence lawyer Jon Tippett QC said a prison sentence was “not inevitable” and the Christmas holiday to Aspen was planned for a long time.

Acting Justice Mildren refused bail but said she could reapply at a later date. Acting Justice Mildren said he would remain in Darwin until December 9.

“I can change that date if I need to because I’ve got a fully flexible fare,” he said, as the court erupted with laughter.

Mr Morters asked for the matter to be adjourned to allow both parties time to “gather our thoughts”.

Mr Morters said he wanted to know how Kamitsis intended to deal with another 85 outstanding charges, and if she would appeal the verdict.

Acting Justice Mildren adjourned the matter until Friday, with a sentencing date still to be confirmed.

The jury found the Darwin socialite intentionally deceived the pensioner travel scheme by submitting fraudulent invoices for flights that were more expensive than the ones she booked for her clients.

They found she had fraudulently obtained about $18,000 of taxpayer money.

It was then used to book flights, hotels and limousines for her son, mum, brother and sister-in-law and herself.

She also transferred $1000 obtained for flights for a pensioner, into the trip file of Mr McRoberts.

It was revealed during the trial that Kamitsis had an “intimate relationship” with both Mr McRoberts and former commander Richard Bryson.

The $1000 was used on flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, as well as airport transfers and accommodation at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne so her “VIP client” could attend the 2010 AFL Grand Final rematch.

Mr McRoberts resigned earlier this year after it was alleged he interfered in her ­investigation.

Mr Bryson was demoted to superintendent in May after it was found he failed to declare a conflict of interest, that he and Kamitsis were friends.

Mr Kershaw said his priority was “to uphold and enforce the highest standards of conduct and behaviour. We have rigorous processes in place to ensure public trust in the probity of our officers’’, he said.

Mr Kershaw said Mr Chalker – who was chief of staff to Mr McRoberts in 2010 – “had no knowledge that funds were used or required for the flight upgrade”.

“A/Deputy Commissioner Chalker has assisted fully in providing a statement for the trial,” Mr Kershaw said.

He said Mr Bryson was investigated earlier this year. “As appropriate action was taken then, no further action will be taken now,’’ he said.

Mr McRoberts did not return the NT News’ calls.


Xana Kamitsis admits in court she had ‘intimate’ relationships with ex-NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts and former commander Richard Bryson | NT News

SHAE MCDONALD

NT News

November 24, 2015 12:23PM


Xana Kamitsis admitted in court to having had ‘intimate’ relationships with former top NT police officers John McRoberts and Richard Bryson

The two agreed facts were tabled in the NT Supreme Court on Monday, at the start of day four of her criminal trial into allegations she rorted an NT Government pensioner travel scheme.

They stated “the accused had an intimate relationship with John McRoberts” and “the accused had an intimate relationship with Richard Bryson”.

It followed the tabling of 138 agreed facts last week, where Kamitsis admitted she created invoices and itineraries for clients that were then sent to the pensioner travel scheme unit for approval.

Kamitsis confirmed she obtained the costs of airfares used in the invoices “by booking but never confirming the flights”.

The Darwin travel agent then transferred the approved money from the department’s credit card into her business bank account, before dispersing it into “relevant” tripfiles.

Flow charts given to the jury showed $1000 was transferred from a client’s tripfile into that of Mr McRoberts.

It was used to book flights, Park Hyatt Melbourne accommodation, limousine and car hire.

More than $700 was transferred into the tripfile of Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker for a flight ­upgrade.

A statutory declaration by Mr Chalker confirmed he was bumped up to business class on a Canberra to Darwin flight in September 2010.

“I was told by Commissioner McRoberts that Mrs Kamitsis had organised the upgrade. I was not aware that there was any financial cost for the upgrade,’’ he said.

Mr Chalker’s declaration was included in the agreed facts tabled last week.

They also confirmed Mr McRoberts was “a friend of the accused”.

On Monday the jury was read the statements of three pensioners whose completed travel application forms were sent to the pensioner travel scheme unit; two were witnessed by Kamitsis.

All three confirmed they had never seen the forms and their signatures were not the ones written on them.

Antonio Maia – who was born in East Timor and speaks limited English – said he could not read the writing on the form. “I have had a look at the signature and it is not my signature,’’ he said.

Mr Maia said he had never visited Kamitsis’ Latitude Travel business and “don’t know what this is all about”.

Flavia Perez gave evidence she provided the names, card numbers, dates of birth and travel dates to Kamitsis for both Mr Maia and his wife.

She said she did not fill in or sign either application form.

In cross-examination, Ms Perez confirmed she asked Latitude Travel to arrange flights on behalf of the couple, but she later asked for the dates to be changed from those listed on the forms.

Crown prosecutor David Morters closed the case after another two facts, relating to jury documents, were tabled in court.

The jury was excused about 3pm to enable defence lawyer Jon Tippett QC to “make an application” to Acting Justice Dean Mildren in their absence.

The trial continues.

Mr McRoberts resigned in January following allegations he interfered in the investigation of Kamitsis.

It is understood the Australian Federal Police’s investigation into Mr McRoberts has since been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and a special prosecutor from Victoria. An AFP spokeswoman said the review of the matter by the special prosecutor would “ultimately determine whether any further action is deemed necessary”.

Mr Bryson was demoted to superintendent in May after an investigation found he had failed to declare a conflict of interest.

Commissioner Reece Kershaw said at the time he believed the relationship between Kamitsis and Mr Bryson was “platonic”.

Supt Bryson told the NT News on Monday he was “unable to make any comment at this point in time”.

“I do not wish to say or do anything that may impact the current judicial proceedings,’’ he said. “I understand the Commissioner of Police will be making a statement at the ­appropriate time.”


Senior NT police officer suspended amid inquiry into former police commissioner John McRoberts

Updated 16 Jan 2015, 8:50am

A senior Northern Territory police officer has been suspended from duty amid an investigation that prompted the resignation of the commissioner, John McRoberts, on Wednesday.

The ABC understands senior crime Commander Richard Bryson was suspended after details emerged surrounding the circumstances that led to Mr McRoberts’ resignation, police said in a statement.

The Northern Territory’s Acting Police Commissioner says the public should have full confidence in the force, despite the resignation of the former Commissioner … and the suspension of a senior officer.

John McRoberts resigned on Wednesday despite denying accusations he involved himself in a criminal investigation, which gave rise to a conflict of interest.

“I have taken this action to enable a thorough investigation into the matters that have been brought to my attention and to ensure that the integrity of the Northern Territory Police Force is maintained,” Acting Commissioner Reece Kershaw said in a statement.

“The community of the Northern Territory should continue to have full confidence in the NT Police Force and its serving police officers, who keep people safe and carry out their duties diligently, effectively and with integrity.”

Police issued a statement early on Friday announcing that Acting Commissioner Kershaw would make a statement on “the forward direction of the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Service”.

Mr McRoberts resigned amid a formal investigation into his conduct.

Acting Chief Minister Peter Chandler said yesterday he asked for the resignation after he was made aware of allegations the commissioner involved himself in a criminal investigation where his relationship with the subject of that investigation gave rise to a conflict of interest.

The ABC understands Mr McRoberts was accused of attempting to quash a search warrant in the criminal investigation related to Darwin travel agent Xana Kamitsis.

Ms Kamitsis, the former head of Crime Stoppers NT, was arrested last November as part of an investigation into the alleged rorting of a government travel subsidy scheme.

The case is currently before the courts.

The ABC also understands Mr McRoberts advocated for the charges against Ms Kamitsis to be changed from criminal to civil ones.

This afternoon police released a statement announcing a senior police officer had been suspended.

Cmdr Bryson has been contacted for comment.

Strong local candidates: police union

The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) released a statement seeking to assure the community its members were “professional, hardworking and honest” in the wake of what it described as the “sudden resignation” of Mr McRoberts.

“Our association is clearly concerned about the circumstances surrounding the Commissioner’s resignation, however until the investigation is finalised Mr McRoberts, Commander Bryson, and any other member accused of misconduct are entitled to fair treatment and due process,” NTPA acting president Col Goodsell said.

“While we believe there are strong local candidates there is a need for a wide ranging process. We want the best person appointed to these two critical jobs as soon as possible.”

“We obviously want a transparent investigation to ensure our members and the public have confidence in senior police management into the future.”

Mr Goodsell said the NT Police force was professional, hard working and honest, “none more so then the investigators in this case who have clearly acted with absolute integrity and propriety”.

The last local officer to work his way through the ranks of the NT Police was Mick Palmer in 1988.

“While we believe there are strong local candidates there is a need for a wide ranging process. We want the best person appointed to these two critical jobs as soon as possible,” Mr Goodsell said.

“The NT Government should immediately initiate a professional recruitment process. Now, more than ever, there is a need for stability at the top to rebuild confidence and maintain the good reputation of the NT Police.”

Mr Goodsell said NT Police members deserved strong stable leadership from police management and the Government.

I reject the allegations: McRoberts

Mr McRoberts has rejected claims he interfered with a criminal investigation, and that he had any conflict of interest.

“I don’t accept I have a conflict of interest at all,” he told the ABC on Wednesday.

“I don’t accept that I have had in any way conflicted myself or interfered with any investigation.”

He said he agreed to resign so police would not be distracted from their duties.

Mr McRoberts joined the Northern Territory Police in 2009 after a 31-year career with West Australian police.

Deaths in custody, uniform changes and alcohol policy marked his tenure

His contract was renewed for five more years in May last year.

Topics: police, darwin-0800

First posted 15 Jan 2015, 7:25pm

More stories from Northern Territory


“Journalist lunatics” – 1; Travel agent – 1 in NT Supreme Court suppression standoff | The Northern Myth


Not long ago Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis might have been described in the media as a “glamorous socialite” or “highly respected businesswoman.”

Her profile at Ruby Connection describes her as a woman “recognised for her natural charm, elegant style and business savvy approach … Xana is extremely well connected within Darwin both politically and locally.”

Her current businesses ventures include Latitude Travel, a highly successful niche travel and event management company for high-end business and corporate executives with clients from all over the world.

Late yesterday afternoon Justice Mildren published his decision in The Queen v Alexandra Kamitsis. Following her committal in the Darwin Magistrate’s Court earlier this year on 132 counts Xana has been indicted in the Supreme Court on 30 “representative” counts of obtaining a benefit for herself or another by deception and a number of counts of stealing pleaded as alternatives to most of the deception charges.

As Justice Mildren noted, the particulars of the obtain benefit by deception counts that Xana faces:

… mostly relate to an allegation that the defendant, who was the principal of the travel agency business called Latitude 69 Pty Ltd presented invoices in relation to a pensioner concession entitlement for amounts which were not the proper amount payable for the pensioners’ travel concession.

In relation to three of the counts it is alleged that the persons concerned had not sought payment of a pensioner travel concession.

Justice Mildren’s decision did not concern Xana’s substantive trial–that will start in mid-November–but related to an application by Xana to suppress media reporting of her name and the publication of identifying material, including photos and footage taken at the time of her arrest in November 2014.

In support of the suppression application Xana’s barrister John Tippett pointed to a number of articles published in the local journal of record the NT News between November 2014 and as late of the day of the hearing on Friday last week.

Justice Mildren resisted the temptation to adopt Tippett’s more florid language used to describe the offending pieces–for that we’ll have to rely on the subject of Tippett’s objections.

The NT News reported that Tippett told the Court there had been an “overkill” of stories since Xana’s arrest.

He said the repeated use of video footage and images of the socialite in handcuffs was damaging her right to a fair trial. Mr Tippett said media reporting of Kamitsis had been “completely over the top” and could “deeply prejudice” a jury.

He made particular reference to the NT News and political reporter Christopher Walsh, who he accused of having a “fetish” for Kamitsis … “We’re dealing with journalist lunatics.”

Tippett told the Court that the NT News articles spoke for themselves and demonstrated baseless allegations unconnected with the present charges. Tippett wanted “a small window” to ensure that Xana gets a fair trial in November.

Justice Mildren noted that an examination of the articles revealed allegations:

… that the defendant has been connected with the resignation of the former Commissioner of Police; it has been alleged that the former Commissioner was forced to resign after he had had improperly sought to interfere in the police investigation into the original charges which were brought in the committal proceedings; that the Commissioner of Police had an improper relationship with the accused; that the accused had provided “benefits” to the Police Commissioner; that another senior police officer had been suspended; that the defendant had been involved in a corrupt arrangement with a former ministerial chief of staff against whom corruption charges have now been brought; and that the defendant has also recently been charged with three counts of corruptly giving a benefit and one count of criminal deception.

He referred to submissions from counsel for the ABC, the NT News and Channel 9 that argued the quality of the journalism was not irresponsible and was fair and proper. The judge was having none of that, noting:

In my opinion, Mr Roper’s submission understates the overall effect of the articles published in the NT News.

After consideration of the applicable law and observing that most, if not all, of the material the subject of the articles would be inadmissible as evidence at her trial, Justice Mildren noted that in order for Xana’s application to succeed she needed to show that there was a proven substantial or real risk that the material would seriously interfere with the administration of her trial and thus constitute a contempt of Court.

He found that the evidence before him did not meet that test and Xana’s application should be dismissed.

But before the “lunatics” in the Darwin press pack could toast a victory for press freedom, Justice Mildren, noting that the trial is close handy, issued a stern warning to the media to be “very careful and circumspect” about publishing any material about which Xana had complained.

There should be no further publication of photographs of the defendant showing her in handcuffs or being placed in the back of a paddy wagon. There should be no reference to the other outstanding charges which are being held in abeyance pending the outcome of these proceedings. There should be no suggestions that the defendant is the centrepiece of a web of deception or anything like that. There should be no reference to other suggestions of a scandalous kind and in particular as to the defendant’s relationship with the former Police Commissioner, ministers or former ministers of the Crown or their staffers, there should be no attempt to link the defendant with suggestions of travel rorts by other travel agencies.

Xana didn’t get her suppression order but, as Tippett told the media outside Court, “This is a very significant warning to the press that my client is entitled to a fair trial.”

I mark that as a close run draw.

For those interested in the rise and rise of the suppression order, particularly in Victorian Courts, this recent piece by the ABC’s Liz Hobday on a recent Melbourne Press Club debate provides some fascinating background.

===============================

Photo: Google. https://profiles.google.com/112771618702248950860/about

Mexican “Safari” ends in murder for Aussies Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman


Missing Surfers

THE coastal Mexican region where the bodies of two men were found in a burnt-out van, likely to be identified as a pair of missing Australian surfers, has earned a reputation as the country’s murder capital.

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman were travelling the picturesque coastline of northern Mexico in search of the kind of off-track surf beaches you wouldn’t find in a Lonely Planet guide.

Mr Lucas’s partner Josie Cox, who he had planned to propose to, said the men were a couple of “very keen and confident surfers” and “may have gone in search of waves in remote villages close by”.

It was on those remote roads they were driving overnight that it appears the pair ran into significant trouble.

The men were believed to be camping en route from Topolobampo to Guadalajara but, unusually, had not made contact with their girlfriends or family members for more than a week.

As Australian authorities communicated news of a “tragic event” to the families of Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman, reports emerged two bodies had been found in a torched vehicle appearing to have once matched the description of the blue and white camper they were driving.

Mexican authorities inspect a burnt-out van suspected to belong to a couple of Australian tourists missing for more than a week, in Sinaloa, Mexico. Picture: AP PhotoSource:AP

The WA friends were only about 25km from bustling modern cities and tourist attractions. Although most parts of Mexico are safe to visit when precautions are taken, away from the tourist cities and under cover of darkness are when many areas reveal how they’ve been touched by the country’s roaring underground drug trade and organised crime.

La Trobe University Institute of Latin American Studies senior fellow Dr Barry Carr says the two travelling surfers may be an extreme example of what can go wrong in the country.

“Parts of Mexico have a partly deserved reputation for being a dangerous place,” he tells news.com.au.

“If I was giving advice to friends of mine about driving, I would tell them two things: don’t drive at night and don’t, under any circumstances, get off the main highways. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, classically, and it looks like that unfortunately may be the case for these young men.”

Dr Carr says that the picture of the burnt-out vehicle, while not a signature of any particular criminal group, was an extreme example of fairly common gang behaviour in many parts of rural Mexico.

“There is the so-called war on drugs in Mexico that has been raging since 2006. Around 102,000 have been killed and 32,000 have been disappeared. Disappeared people is a very common phenomenon — disappeared foreigners is less so but very unfortunately it does happen,” he said.

“These guys were outsiders, there is nothing to suggest that they were involved in anything illegal. They could have been lost, they could have been carrying valuables, they simply could have been picked up, robbed by some local thugs or could have fallen victim to some sort of stand-over tactic.”

Adam Coleman (pictured) had been on his way to meet up with his girlfriend in Guadalajara. Picture: FacebookSource:AAP

Rural kidnapping, robberies and theft not necessarily connected with the drug trade is a risk travellers take when going off-road in Mexico.

The state of Sinaloa, where Mr Coleman and Mr Lucas had travelled, has long been a notorious area for crime and is on the radars of international government authorities such as Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with warnings often in place.

Home to one of Mexico’s most significant international drug trafficking and organised crime syndicate, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Mexican state has both benefited and lost out from the distribution of cocaine and other drugs the organisation specialises in.

“There’s no secret there’s white powder behind a lot of the wealth in that state,” Dr Carr says.

One of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, rose to international infamy pulling off an incredible escape from a Mexican prison in July.

The municipality of Navolato, about 25km west of the city of Culiacan, has been the site of countless murders and mafia activity in recent years.

Reports from local media detail burnt-out cars discarded on the streets of the notorious town, and brutal deaths likely associated with the drug trade, Dr Carr says.

Adam Coleman. Picture: FacebookSource :AAP

Dean Lucas. Picture: FacebookSource :Supplied

Although nothing has been confirmed of the identity of the bodies found in the van in Navolato, nor the whereabouts of the two missing men, those close to the men are fearing the worst.

Mr Coleman’s Mexican girlfriend, Andrea Gomez, told the Associated Press she and Mr Lucas’s partner, Josie Cox, will travel to the Sinaloan capital of Culiacan to see if the two bodies are the men.

“Everything points to it being them because the van matches; it had a bicycle,” Ms Gomez said.

She said that Ms Cox was bringing Mr Lucas’s dental records for matching and she had “pieces of dreadlocks” that Mr Coleman had given her.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the families and issued a statement on their behalf on Sunday, saying they were aware the van had been found and a “tragic event” had occurred.

“The families hold deep fears for the safety of their sons, but stress that they are still waiting for details to be confirmed,” a statement from the department said.

An online fundraising campaign to support the families of the two men has received more than $22,000 in a matter of hours.

Fault Lines travels to the troubled Mexican state of Michoacan to find out what happens when vigilante groups take on powerful drug cartels.


Missing surfers: Families of Australians Adam Coleman, Dean Lucas head to Mexico amid reports unidentified bodies found in van

Updated about 5 hours ago

The families of two West Australian surfers missing in Mexico hold grave fears for their safety, amid reports two bodies were found in a burnt-out van similar to the one the men were travelling in.

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman were travelling in a van towards Guadalajara, but failed to arrive at their destination by November 21 as planned.

A media outlet in Mexico said two bodies had been found in a burnt-out Chevrolet van matching the description of the one the men were travelling, but local police have not confirmed or denied if they are the Australians.

Mexican authorities will run DNA tests on the two charred bodies and the girlfriends of the men are helping with DNA testing, an official told Reuters.

The official from Sinaloa’s local prosecutor’s office said the bodies were too charred to identify.

A photo of the burnt van shows a bicycle on the back and a spare tyre, similar to the one the men took on their road trip. Local reporters have told the ABC food tins and cooking utensils were also found in the van.

“Nothing is confirmed, it’s just a similar van,” Dean Lucas’s girlfriend Josie Cox told the ABC.

“[It’s] most likely theirs but I’m keeping positive it’s not.”

The torched van was found in the state of Sinaloa — one of the most dangerous and violent places in Mexico, home to powerful gangs and drug cartels.

The US State Department has advised people not to travel there outside of one major city, and says travelling on anything other than major toll roads is especially dangerous.

The families of the two men said they were aware the van had been found and that a “tragic event” had occurred, but still did not know exactly what had happened.

“The families and partners are aware the van in which they were travelling has been located by Mexican authorities and that a tragic event has occurred,” the families said in a statement released by DFAT on Sunday.

“The families hold deep fears for the safety of their sons but stress that they are still waiting for details to be confirmed.”

Family and friends have paid tribute to the men on social media.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it “is providing consular assistance to families in Australia who are seeking to establish the welfare of other family members in Mexico.”

“Due to privacy reasons we will not be making further comment.”

From other news sites:

  • Yahoo!7 News: Burnt van fears for missing WA surfers in Mexico

  • Everything points to it being them’: Girlfriend of one of two Australian surfers missing in Mexico gives police a DREADLOCK of his hair to help identify the charred bodies in their firebombed van

    • Australian surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman are missing in Mexico
    • The two men, both 33, were last seen Friday, November 20, buying a map
    • Their girlfriends hope to provide Mexican authorities with DNA samples
    • Mr Lucas’ girlfriend, Josie Cox, arrived in Mexico with his dental records
    • While Mr Coleman’s girlfriend, Andrea Gomez, has pieces of his dreadlocks
    • Mexican authorities located the van the two Australian men were driving
    • Local media outlets have reported the discovery of the burnt campervan 

    Mr Lucas’ girlfriend, Josie Cox, arrived in Mexico on Sunday before she revealed her boyfriend was planning to propose.

    Mr Coleman’s girlfriend, Andrea Gomez, said Ms Cox brought Mr Lucas’ dental records with her.

    Josie Cox, Dean Lucas's girlfriend, has flown to Mexico to try and help find him and Adam Coleman. She arrived on Sunday with his dental records

    Mr Coleman's girlfriend, Andrea Gomez (right with her boyfriend), has 'pieces of his dreadlocks' to help authorities identify if one of the bodies found in a burnt-out campervan found in Navolato belongs to her partner

    Mexican news outlets have reported finding a burnt Chevy on the side of a road with two bodies inside

    Along with ‘pieces of dreadlocks’ given to Ms Gomez by her partner, the pair hoped authorities would be able to confirm whether or not the bodies found were those of their loved ones.

    ‘Everything points to it being them because the van matches, it had a bicycle. But nothing is confirmed yet,’ Ms Gomez said.

    At first, Ms Gomez and Ms Cox had wanted to travel to the Sinaloa capital of Culiacan on Monday with the items for DNA testing, but now they would travel to Mexico City to make contact with the Australian Embassy.

    Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman, from Golden Bay – an outer southern suburb of Perth, were reported missing after they organised ‘solid plans and reservations’ to be in Guadalajara, Mexico by November 21, but failed to arrive.

    Mexican news outlets reported the discovery of a burnt caravan containing two bodies as the families of the two men were informed their vehicle had been found and a ‘tragic event [had] occurred’.

    Family are currently travelling to Mexico and Ms Cox revealed on Sunday night Mr Lucas was going to ask her to marry him.

    Dean Lucas (left) and Adam Coleman (right) from Western Australia went missing while driving through Mexico in a blue and white Chevy

    Ms Cox revealed that Mr Lucas had been planning to propose to her before he went missing

    Pictured is Mr Coleman with his girlfriend Andrea Gomez, who had been planning to meet with him soon

    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed the van has been found in Mexico 

    Mexican authorities are yet to identify the bodies who were found in a destroyed Chevy in Navolato, one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico, about 10.30pm.

    Sinaloa, home of the powerful cartel led by fugitive drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, stretches down Mexico’s Pacific coast and would be on the route of most road trips to Guadalajara from western Canada.

    Ms Cox has taken to social media appealing for any information that may help find the Australian men who were last seen in the coastal town of Los Mochis, with a witness saying the pair were buying a map.

    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a statement on the missing surfers confirming their van has been located in Mexico.

    Mr Lucas' girlfriend Josie Cox earlier posted on Facebook that their families were devastated to learn local authorities had officially classed the pair as missing. Pictured is Mr Coleman

    Ms Cox said the men had 'solid plans and reservations' to be at Guadalajara by November 21, but never arrived. Pictured is her boyfriend Mr Lucas

    Ms Cox said the men had ‘solid plans and reservations’ to be at Guadalajara by November 21, but never arrived. Pictured is her boyfriend Mr Lucas

    A social media campaign has been launched to find two West Australian surfers. Above is Mr Lucas (left)

    Adam Coleman pictured with his girlfriend, Josie Cox

     Ms Cox is pictured here with Mr Lucas during various travels the pair took together

    ‘Dean and Adam were travelling in a van, departing from Topolobampa on Friday 20 November to Guadalajara but did not arrive on their scheduled date,’ the statement said.

    ‘The families and partners are aware the van in which they were traveling has been located by Mexican authorities and that a tragic event has occurred.

    ‘The families hold deep fears for the safety of their sons but stress that they are still waiting for details to be confirmed.’

    The local media publications have also translated Ms Cox’s plea for help in to Spanish in a bid to help try and find the pair.

    ‘The last confirmed siting [sic] was disembarking the ferry from Cabo to Topolobampa on Friday 20th November at 10pm. They were supposed to drive to Guadalajara after this, and never arrived,’ Ms Cox wrote on Facebook.

    Mr Lucas has also booked flights to the U.K. from Los Angeles within three days but there is now doubt whether he will be catching the flight.

    Family members of the pair are heading to Mexico as they await confirmation 

    The pair had ‘solid plans and reservations’ to be in Guadalajara, Mexico but never arrived 

    ‘They are very keen and confident surfers from Australia and may have gone in search of waves in remote villages close by. We suspect they free camped somewhere on route from Topolobampo to Guadalajara overnight.,

    ‘Their family and I are devastated and would kindly urge that you share this as far as you can and on any relevant social media sites or pages to help us find our boys.’

    Ms Cox’s recent update on the search also suggested there is devastating news.

    ‘We’d like to update everyone to announce we have had some distressing developments which we have not yet had confirmed.

    They were last seen buying a map by a witness in the Mexican coastal city of Los Mochis

    The keen surfers from Golden Bay, an outer southern suburb of Perth have not made contact with their families for over a week

    The van has a distinct red door on the back with the registration plates BSN - 2713

    ‘We would appreciate any updates on information if you know anyone that has any, but ask that the Lucas and Coleman family have some privacy at this time,’ she wrote on Facebook.

    Another friend of the pair also posted images of the men on social media while also suggesting their phones were stolen.

    ‘They have been driving through Mexico in this van and it’s been reported that Adam’s phone is now being used by someone else.

    ‘He is usually in regular contact with his mother and girlfriend so this is very out of character for him,’ she wrote.

    A friend of the pair has suggested that Adam Coleman's phone is being used by another person

    Local media organisations have also released photos of the pair in a bid to find any information that may help 

    In two hours a fundraising page for the pair's family members has raised over $4,000

     In two hours a fundraising page for the pair’s family members has raised over $4,000

    A gofundme fundraising page has also been set up to raise money for family members to help them travel to Mexico and continue their search for the pair.

    In nine hours 129 people have donated to the fundraising page raising over $16,000.

    ‘We are currently raising funds to help support both families in getting over to Mexico and bringing Dean and Adam back home to WA safely. any contributions is greatly appreciated,’ wrote the organiser of the page.

    A social media campaign has also been launched to help find the pair with the public using #FindDeanandAdam to share images and news of the men.

    The last confirmed siting was disembarking the ferry from Cabo to Topolobampa on Friday 20th November at 10pm

    Social media is reposting images of the Australians in hopes of finding any information about their disappearance

    Social media is reposting images of the Australians in hopes of finding any information about their disappearance

    A close friend's recent Facebook post reveals the family has received 'distressing developments' and their families are awaiting confirmation

    A close friend’s recent Facebook post reveals the family has received ‘distressing developments’ and their families are awaiting confirmation

Former top Vic Lib Damien Mantach charged over $1.5m taken from party


 Updated 18/11/15 2.30pm

Not the first time either…. he had a go at making some extra bucks in the apple isle of Tassie too a while back and was moved on…mmm just like those priests who have rumours made about them tongue in cheek)

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach has been charged with 44 counts of obtaining financial advantage totalling about $1.5 million.

In August, Mantach was accused of embezzling election campaign funds, with the money alleged to have vanished over four years to fund his lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad were called in to investigate.

Police said a 42-year-old man from Ocean Grove is to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon.


Victoria Police investigate Liberal Party state director over embezzlement claims worth $1.5m

Updated 20 Aug 2015, 7:27pm

The police fraud squad is investigating allegations former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach embezzled around $1.5 million of election campaign funds.

The money is alleged to have vanished over four years to fund Mr Mantach’s lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions linked to Mr Mantach, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

The Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad has been called in to investigate.

Liberal Party president Michael Kroger said Mr Mantach had admitted to wrongdoing.

“We feel profoundly betrayed and terribly disappointed with what’s happened,” Mr Kroger said.

Key points:

  • Liberal Party accuses former state director of embezzling $1.5m
  • Alleged theft happened over four years
  • Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad called in to investigate
  • Party believes Mantach took the money to fund his lifestyle

He said the party believed Mr Mantach had acted alone.

“We’re not aware that anyone at the party head office or any officials had any involvement at all,” he said.

It also emerged that Mr Mantach repaid tens of thousands of dollars during his time as state director of the Tasmanian branch.

In a letter to members posted on Facebook, Tasmanian Liberal president Geoff Page said in March 2008 that when he left the role, Mr Mantach fully repaid a liability of nearly $48,000 for personal expenses.

Mr Page said the division considered the matter closed and had robust internal financial processes.

Mr Kroger said he did not believe the missing money influenced the 2014 election result, or that it would affect the next federal election.

Liberal leader Matthew Guy said the party was furious at what he called a “pretty basic effort at embezzlement”.

“We want our money back,” he said.

“We want this matter sent to the police and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that justice is done.

“I saw someone making a comment that we’re white hot with anger, that’s just the start of it.”

Mr Kroger said the missing money was confined to the party’s Victorian division and he was confident some of it could be recovered through assets bought with the funds.

Mr Kroger conceded the Liberal Party had failed to properly monitor spending.

“Obviously it should have been picked up years ago — it wasn’t,” he said.

Former premier Denis Napthine, who led the party during last year’s campaign, said he was surprised and bitterly disappointed by the allegations.

The party’s administrative committee met this morning to discuss how to deal with the missing money.

Mr Mantach has been contacted for comment.


 

Paris attacks: Scenes of devastation in the French capital last draft


It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
FRANCE ONE DAY YOUR PLACE NEXT. GOING TO LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC AND CHILL OUT FROM THE CRAZY WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS HOW THE ENDED UP AFTER GOING TO SEE Eagles of Death Metal  (Who need support from every corner of the world)
Dying to see a band

Dying to see a band

La Belle Equipe

La Belle Equipe

Paris attacks: Scenes of devastation in the French capital


It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
FRANCE ONE DAY YOUR PLACE NEXT. GOING TO LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC AND CHILL OUT FROM THE CRAZY WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS HOW THE ENDED UP AFTER GOING TO SEE Eagles of Death Metal  (Who need support from every corner of the world)
Dying to see a band

Dying to see a band

+ Add New Category

La Belle Equipe

La Belle Equipe

Related Story: As it happened: At least 120 people killed in multiple Paris attacks

Related Story: Coordinated terror attacks leave France in shock
Related Story: Information for paris bombing map

About 120 people have been killed in multiple terrorist attacks in the French capital, including about 100 who were taken hostage at a rock concert, according to Paris city officials.

Here is a collection of images and footage from Paris as the situation unfolds.

Paris attacks: Weapons seized during pre-dawn raids, French PM warns more attacks being planned

French police seized “an arsenal” of weapons during dozens of pre-dawn raids against Islamist suspects in the early hours of Monday (local time), as prime minister Manuel Valls warned terrorists were planning more attacks in the wake of Friday night’s atrocities in Paris.

The raids focused particularly on the Lyon area, where police made five arrests and seized a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests and handguns.

Mr Valls said authorities have conducted at least 150 house searches in cities around France since the attacks.

Earlier reports had said pre-dawn police operations were carried out in the Paris suburb of Bobigny as well as in Jeumont, close to the French border with Belgium, and in the southern city of Toulouse.

Thirteen raids were carried out around the south-eastern French city of Lyon, a local police source said.

They led to five arrests and the seizure of “an arsenal of weapons”, including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests, handguns and combat gear, the source said.

French media have reported at least six people were arrested in another raid in the Alpine city of Grenoble.

Mr Valls said terrorism could hit again in “in days or weeks to come” and said the attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people, were “planned in Syria”.

He said French intelligence services had prevented several attacks since the summer and police knew other attacks were being prepared in France as well as in the rest of Europe.

“We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement … and all those who advocate hate of the republic,” he said.

“We know that operations were being prepared and are still being prepared, not only against France but other European countries too.”

On Sunday night (local time) French jets launched extensive air strikes on what the government in Paris said were Islamic State targets in the terrorist movement’s stronghold Raqqa.

Prosecutors earlier revealed a growing Belgian connection to the Paris attacks, with officials conceding a poor district in Brussels with past links to international terrorism is a “gigantic problem” and a hotbed for extremism.

A manhunt is also underway for Salah Abdeslam, a Belgium-born man identified as the only surviving terrorist from the attacks.

Seven UK terror attacks ‘stopped’ in last six months: Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron said UK security services had foiled about seven terror attacks since June.

“Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months, albeit attacks planned on a smaller scale [than Paris attacks],” he told BBC Radio 4.

“We have been aware of these cells operating in Syria that are radicalising people in our own countries, potentially sending people back to carry out attacks.

“It was the sort of thing we were warned about.”

In response to the Paris attacks, Mr Cameron said he wanted Britain to join the fight in Syria to carry out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants.

He will still need to convince more lawmakers to launch any action and will take a proposal to MPs soon.

Mr Cameron said Britain was engaged in a “generational struggle” against extremism and that he has boosted funding for security services in direct response to the threat posed by IS.

He also said there were “hopeful signs” from Saturday’s talks in Vienna on Syria that progress was being made on how to deal with the IS.

“You can’t deal with so-called Islamic State unless you get a political settlement in Syria that enables you then to permanently degrade and destroy that organisation,” he said.

ABC/wires


Paris attacks: What we know so far

A series of coordinated terrorist attacks ripped through Paris shortly after 9pm on Friday November 13. Here is what we know so far.

What we know about the attacks

What we know about the attackers

  • At least eight attackers were involved, operating in three separate groups.
  • Seven of them died, including six who detonated vests laden with explosives.
  • An international manhunt is underway for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the eighth attacker.
    • Abdeslam, 26, was questioned and released near the Belgian border soon after the attacks.
    • One of his brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, was involved in the attacks; he died after detonating his suicide vest on Boulevard Voltaire.
    • Another brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, was arrested in Brussels.
  • Another attacker was named as Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, who was identified from a severed finger at the Bataclan concert hall.
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to insults of Islam’s prophet and air strikes in IS territory.

What we know about the investigation

What we know about France’s response

  • French president Francois Hollande told the French people “we are going to fight and our fight will be merciless”.
  • France launched air strikes against IS militants in Syria.

    bbc.com

    Paris attacks: Bataclan and other assaults leave many dead – BBC News

     People could be seen escaping from the Bataclan concert hall shortly after a series of explosions

    France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 128 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

    Eighty people were reported killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took hostages before security forces stormed the hall.

    People were shot dead at restaurants and bars at five other sites in Paris. At least 180 people were injured.

    These are the deadliest attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

    French President Francois Hollande, visibly shaken, called Friday night’s almost simultaneous attacks “a horror” and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

    Paris saw three days of attacks in early January, when Islamist gunmen murdered 18 people after attacking satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol.

    Live: Follow the latest developments here

    In pictures: Paris shootings

    Eyewitness accounts from the scene

    The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.

    “At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood,” Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse.

    Speaking outside the Bataclan concert hall President Hollande said the attacks were “an abomination and a barbaric act”

    “They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”

    He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria”.

    Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.


    Attack sites:

    La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks

    Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district – at least 12 dead in gun attacks

    La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district – at least 5 dead in gun attacks

    Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead

    Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead

    map of attack sites

    The attacks took place at six sites across Paris, mainly in the centre of the city

    What we know

    #Paris: Power, horror, and lies


    Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.

    Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.

    “We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge said.

    Media captionAmateur footage captured the panic at the Stade de France in Paris, following a reported suicide blast

    The other target was the Stade de France, on the northern fringe of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 other spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.

    The president was whisked to safety after the first of at least two explosions just outside the venue to convene an emergency cabinet meeting. Three attackers were reportedly killed there.

    As the extent of the bloodshed became clear, Mr Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.

     Ben Grant: “There were a lot of dead people… it was horrific”

    Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.

    All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets will be shut on Saturday as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled, AFP reports.

    Police believe all of the gunmen are dead – seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces – but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.

    US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.

    UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do “whatever we can to help”.

    The Vatican called it “an attack on peace for all humanity” and said “a decisive, supportive response” was needed “on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all its forms”.

    Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany  

    Spectators flooded the pitch of the Stade de France after the France v Germany football match as news of the attacks spread
    Rescuers evacuate people following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris  

    Rescuers evacuate people following one of the attacks
    General view of the scene with rescue service personnel  

    Witnesses have been speaking of “carnage”

    Analysis: BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas

    It’s just 10 months since Paris was the scene of multiple terrorist attacks, first the massacre of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket.

    What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations.

    The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere. But how they’ve come to Europe is one of many questions that will have to be answered.

    Were the attackers French citizens? If so, how they were radicalised, armed and organised – was it in France, in Syria, and by whom? Why weren’t they detected? Is France, after two major attacks this year, uniquely vulnerable or does the carnage in Paris mean all of Europe faces new threats to our public places and events? And if a Syrian link is proven, will France recoil from that conflict or will it redouble its commitment to the fight against radical groups there?


    Are you in the area? Have you been affected by what has been happening? Do you have any information you can share? If it is safe to do so, you can get in touch by emailing [email protected].

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

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      Paris attackers most likely backed and trained by Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, says security expert

      Posted about an hour ago

      A security expert says it is “extremely unlikely” that the eight men who carried out the Paris attacks could have done so without military training in Iraq or Syria.

      The latest reports out of France suggest there were three teams involved in the weekend’s attacks that left 129 people dead.

      Neil Fergus, the chief executive of the security consultancy Intelligent Risk Group, said it appeared the terrorists had a significant support team.

      “There’s no doubt that they… certainly had accomplices that had done reconnoitring of those sites, and that means they had logisticians, transport people, they undoubtedly had a safe house, or indeed, multiple safe houses, people who procured the motor vehicles,” he said.

      “They had to have transported weapons, not just side-arms of course.

      “We know that they had Kalashnikovs, AK-47 long-arms, explosives, TATP explosives themselves have to be transported carefully and of course they were constructed into suicide vests or belts either before being sent to France, or Belgium and then to France, or in France.”

      Mr Fergus is certain the terrorists were trained by Islamic State in the Middle East, either in Iraq or Syria.

      “There have been improvised training camps in France that the French authorities have detected before, but this type of operation, these types of activities in which these eight perpetrators were involved evidence a great deal more sophistication in terms of training and experience,” he said.

      “For example we have eyewitness accounts of the way that they went about their evil business in the theatre, with one person providing very professional cover of the main assailant as he systematically executed people in that theatre.”

      He said the type of operation suggested a great deal of sophistication in terms of training and experience.

      What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way? It has implications for (Australia), and we need to study it carefully.

      Neil Fergus, chief executive of the Intelligent Risk Group

      “It’s not ad hoc training in a forest firing at some targets.

      “That’s people who have gone through proper military training, and indeed, as I said before, almost certainly, to do that sort of callous cold-blooded operation, they have been blooded in the fields of Syria or northern Iraq.”

      Mr Fergus said it was impossible to be certain, but knowing the very hierarchical, compartmentalised structure of IS, the operation was almost certainly authorised by Islamic State’s senior leadership group in the Middle East.

      “It would be almost inconceivable to think that a local cell would be able to gather all of the resources and capabilities, some of which are clearly from offshore, outside of France, to put this together,” he said.

      Security lessons for Australia

      Mr Fergus said the attack’s success pointed to a failure of intelligence in France.

      “What is incredible is that an attack, or a set of attacks of this nature and this complexity, were planned and executed without intelligence services in the region, or indeed in Europe, getting apparently any inkling, any indication that such a scale of operation would be in prospect,” he said.

      “The more people that are involved in an operation, the more likely that intelligence services will detect something is afoot.”

      Mr Fergus said there were security lessons Australia can learn from the attack.

      “I have no doubt that the senior security authorities in Australia, including Duncan Lewis, director-general of ASIO, will be keenly looking to French liaisons to understand their post-event analyses, particularly on whether there had been intelligence that had been missed, or indeed whether the perpetrators have exercised a heightened level of security to such an extent that they did slip under the radar.

      “And that has some implications not just for Australia but for the rest of the civilised world.

      “What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way?

      “It has implications for us, and we need to study it carefully.”

      Topics: terrorism, unrest-conflict-and-war, security-intelligence, defence-and-national-security, france, syrian-arab-republic, iraq

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