Cairns stabbing: Eight children found dead at a home in Cairns-Mum charged with murder

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RIPkids19th Dec 2014

An absolutely horrific situation up in Cairns, 8 kids found dead in house, more to come!!! It’s understood a woman has been taken to hospital with stab wounds.The children are reportedly aged between 18 months and 15yrs

Mersane Warria has been arrested over the children’s deaths.

Mersane Warria has been arrested over the children’s deaths.

Mother arrested for murder after children found dead in Cairns home

MAJOR UPDATE Sat 20 Dec 2014, 9:30am

The 37-year-old mother of the children found dead in a Cairns home yesterday has been arrested for murder.

Cairns Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said the mother was lucid and awake and speaking with police.

The bodies of eight children were found following a multiple stabbing on Friday morning.

The children, aged from 18 months to 14 years, were found in Murray Street, Manoora, where the 37-year-old woman was also located with chest and neck wounds.

“The 37-year-old mother of several of the children involved in this incident has been arrested for murder overnight and is currently under police guard at the Cairns Base Hospital,” he said.

“Overnight we had the forensic people in the house. The deceased have been removed from the house.

“Today we will have our coroner and pathologist conducting their investigations with the assistance of the family.”

Detective Inspector Asnicar said police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths and are comfortable the community is safe.

He dismissed speculation the Manoora house had been the subject of calls from the Department of Social Services.

“It’s not a problem house, as has been speculated,” he said.

Anyone who is distressed by this story is advised to contact the following organisations:

“This is an ordinary neighbourhood, a lot of good people, a lot of kids in the area. This is something that has caught everybody by surprise.”

Investigations are continuing throughout today and police said autopsies on the children would also occur today.

Police said a number of possible weapons including knives were located in the house.

Seven of the children found dead are siblings and the eighth child is a niece of the woman arrested, police said.

Police said the suburban Cairns home will be locked down for several days while forensic officers conduct their work.

Acting Chief Superintendent Russell Miller said the investigation would take time and officers from Brisbane and Townsville arrived yesterday afternoon to assist with the complex investigation.

Ms Warria, 34, is undergoing a mental health assessment in Cairns hospital, where she was transported after sustaining serious injuries. She suffered stab wounds to the chest and neck.

“She was having a bad night; I heard her fighting with someone this morning about 4am,’’ a neighbour, Tahnia Ruttensteiner, said.

Ms Ruttensteiner said she saw Ms Warria “moving stuff out of the house”, claiming she was going to “make a new start”.

“I last saw her about 6am, then it was quiet.

“She was putting furniture and stuff out the front on the street, giving stuff away to family and friends.

Relationships Australia has set up an office close to the murder scene.

Spokeswoman Debra Bennett said the organisation is inviting people in the community to seek counselling there if they feel they need to speak to someone.

“There’ll be a whole range of support services so we encourage people to take advantage of that and to encourage other members of their family and the community if they feel they’re struggling with this experience it’s really important that people don’t try to do this on their own,” she said.

Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing their own child. The word filicide derives from the Latin words filius meaning “son” or filia meaning daughter and the suffix -cide meaning to kill, murder, or cause death. “A filicide” may refer to the parent who killed his or her child as well as to the criminal act that the parent committed.


 

A Mobile Police Facility has been established, and officers from the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection and Investigation Unit, Scenes of Crime and Scientific section are investigating at the scene.

Eight children dead after stabbing at Cairns home

Updated 4 minutes agoFri 19 Dec 2014, 1:58pm

Emergency crews were called to an address in Murray Street in the Cairns suburb of Manoora. (ABC News: Sharnie Kim)

Emergency crews were called to an address in Murray Street in the Cairns suburb of Manoora. (ABC News: Sharnie Kim)

Authorities have confirmed that eight children have been killed at Cairns in far north Queensland.

It is understood there was a mass stabbing and a woman has been injured.

Details of the tragedy are unclear.

Emergency crews were called to an address in Murray Street at Manoora around 12:30pm (AEST).

A crime scene has been declared.

ABC reporter Sharnie Kim says there are police at the property, which has a small park at the back.

“There are about a dozen police vehicles at the scene including the region’s most senior detective inspectors,” she said.

“Part of the road has been blocked off and a police paddy wagon with lights flashing is at the property as well.

“The media are about 20 metres away from the property.”

Police will hold a media briefing shortly.

More details soon.

manoora-4870, cairns-4870, qld


The Daily Telegraph

December 19, 2014 1:47PM

Police on the scene of a major incident in the Cairns suburb of Manoora.

Police on the scene of a major incident in the Cairns suburb of Manoora.

Queensland Police have confirmed that eight children have been found stabbed to death at a home in Cairns.

Emergency crews were called to an address in Manoora a short time ago.

It is understood that a woman has been taken to hospital.


Death investigation, Cairns

Cairns detectives have established a crime scene and begun an investigation into the death of eight children in Manoora this morning.

Police were called to the Murray Street residence around 11.20am following reports of a woman with serious injuries.

During an examination of the residence police located the bodies of the children, all aged between 18 months and 15 years.

The woman, believed to be aged in her 30s, is receiving treatment for her injuries and is currently assisting police with their investigations.

A Mobile Police Facility has been established and officers from the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection and Investigation Unit, Scenes of Crime and Scientific section are conducting an investigation and examination of the scene.

The road is currently closed and no further information is available at this stage.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.

For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444 or Policelink.qld.gov.au 24hrs a day.

MARTIN PLACE SIEGE REVIEW-Terms of Reference

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MARTIN PLACE SIEGE – JOINT COMMONWEALTH – NEW SOUTH WALES REVIEW

17 December 2014

Prime Minister

Premier of New South Wales

E&OE

In the aftermath of the horrific Martin Place siege and following the tragic loss of innocent lives, we must learn what we can from this incident and implement any changes necessary at the State and Federal level.

The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments will urgently conduct a review into the Martin Place siege and what lessons can be learned from the events leading up to and surrounding the siege.

As our State and Commonwealth law enforcement and security agencies work together to keep Australia safe, the review will identify important lessons for the future.

The review will examine and make recommendations about a wide range of issues including the circumstances surrounding hostage-taker Man Haron Monis’ arrival in Australia and subsequent granting of asylum and citizenship; what information agencies had about him and how it was shared; and whether relevant national security legislative powers could have been better used.

The Terms of Reference for the review are attached.

As we work to learn what we can from these terrible events, we acknowledge once again the courage and professionalism shown by our law enforcement and security agencies and emergency services.

We are determined to ensure that nothing stands in the way of ensuring the people who put their lives on the line to keep Australia safe can get their job done.

We have asked the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Secretary of the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet to commence the review immediately, drawing on expertise from within our relevant jurisdictions and consulting as necessary with other States and Territories.

The review will report by the end of January 2015.

Martin Place Siege – Terms of Reference

On 17 December 2014 the Prime Minister and Premier of NSW established a review, for consideration by the Commonwealth and NSW Cabinets, of lessons learnt from the Martin Place Siege of 15-16 December 2014.

The aim of the review is to identify lessons for the future: what worked well and what might be improved.

The review will examine and make recommendations in respect of Commonwealth and NSW agencies and the cooperation between them, in relation to:

  • the arrival of Man Haron Monis in Australia and subsequent grant of asylum, permanent residency and Australian citizenship;
  • support received from, or any other interactions Man Haron Monis had with, government social support agencies;
  • information held by Commonwealth and NSW agencies about Man Haron Monis for the period prior to and following his arrival in Australia up until the siege including how any information relevant to public safety was shared between, and used by, agencies;
  • the interaction of Man Haron Monis with the NSW justice system;
  • Man Haron Monis’ access to firearms;
  • whether, how and at what stage relevant national security legislative powers including Control Orders were or could have been used in relation to Man Haron Monis’ activities of security concern;
  • any lessons learnt by the NSW and Australian Federal Police about the handling of the siege;
  • the effectiveness of public communication including coordination of messaging between the Commonwealth, NSW and jurisdictions; and
  • the effectiveness of coordination more generally between the Commonwealth and NSW.

The review will take account of the parallel investigations into the incident including by the NSW State Coroner, and NSW Police and Australian Federal Police.

The review will prepare a report for consideration by the Commonwealth and NSW Cabinets by the end of January 2015.

17 December 2014

Update Martin Place siege: Hostages taken in Lindt Chocolate shop-Ends in tragedy

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This is a very serious situation taking place live on TV. All sorts of reporting about who and why they have taken hostages…Lets hope the hostages get out alive- UPDATE Unfortunately that has not been the case. I personally think they needed to react much much earlier and take the asshole out.The dust will settle and all that will be analysed. My thoughts are really with the family and friends of hostages both dead and alive.

There are hundreds and hundreds of bouquets, it’s probably about 15 metres by 15 metres and growing rapidly… the thing that struck me is that these aren’t just random bouquets, people have gone to the effort of writing personal notes to the families and to the victims.

ABC 702 reporter John Donegan

sad update this morning, he also made hostages film this tape yesterday afternoon causing great anguish and stress, as the hostages cannot understand why a few simple demands had still not been met (in their eyes) which would enable their release.Compelling viewing (removed by youtube ATM)

sheikh-haron-october2014_redacted

letter-to-pm-tony-abbott-1nov13_redacted

about-sheikh-haron

Hauntingly I have been able to find his website via the archives online and check out this ominous warning in relation to channel 7 and something they broadcast quite a while ago, in 2011 (Click image to enlarge

Haron promise


 

A good insight, until we get the official reports from the enquiry I will not be posting any more news media…

Sliding door tragedy of the Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place

 AT 9.44am on Monday, the sliding doors closed at the Lindt cafe. Seventeen hours later, two lives would be lost and an evil sham sheik would have changed our nation forever.

HE orders a skinny flat white.

He is in a hurry, yet there’s time to admire the vaulted ceilings of the former bank chamber.

The four well-dressed ladies around the corner seem so happy. Here’s an old fellow alone at a table. Then, they call his name. “Chris?” Wow. That was quick.

Chris Kenny does not see a middle-aged man with the scruffy beard, a father of four who likes his coffee.

He is sitting at a table, a sawn-off shotgun in a blue bag, chatting with the cafe manager.

Kenny, a senior journalist at The Australian, is walking out the door.

His phone is ringing and his mind is elsewhere. It’s 5AA, a South Australian radio station, for a pre-arranged interview.

Kenny sits at an outside table, a few metres from the automatic doors. He discusses the state Liberal Party’s apparent need for generational change.

As he finishes, three motorcycle police pull up with sirens blaring.

A woman tells officers she has tried to enter through the cafe’s sliding doors. They have been locked shut.

UNIMAGINABLE END FOR A PERFECT LIFE

10 FATEL FAILURES THAT LED TO TRAGEDY

NINE SILENT MINUTES THAT BEG SO MANY QUESTIONS

DUMP HIS BODY AT SEA, MUSLIM LEADERS SAY

BARISTA ELLY CHEN ESCAPED WITH LIFE

Kenny’s interview started at 9.40am. He may have been the last person to walk through the sliding doors of the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.

He belongs now with David Johnson, the Lindt cafe worker given the day off, and his colleague Bruno, who turns up just before 10am for his shift.

He belongs with us, on the outside, if only just, in the chaos of sirens and roadblocks, where the confusion is captured by a Sydney cabbie blocked in Elizabeth St: “Bastards. Terrorism in Sydney. My god.”

INSIDE the cafe, palms are pressed against glass.

The mood Kenny witnessed has dissolved in the theatrics of a movie scene, starring a villain who delivers bad lines for the next 17 hours.

Eighteen staff and customers have been ordered to put their hands up.

They have been told to lie down. There are screams and sobs. Someone vomits.

The man with the bandana and the shotgun wants to be called “the brother”.

He says he is from the Islamic State. He says he has bombs.

Man Haron Monis is doing what he has done since he arrived in Australia in 1996.

As a proclaimed IS extremist, he is pretending to be something he is not: until recently, before the most unlikely of conversions, he was a Shi’a – not Sunni — Muslim.

He has terrorised before, by words and deeds, though not like this.

He has chosen an unusually nice grouping of people to menace.

John O’Brien, the 82-year-old, is on his annual ritual of a coffee after his eye check-up upstairs. Three lawyers, including Katrina Dawson and her pregnant colleague Julie Taylor are catching up.

Dawson is indulging a daily routine in being here: she had asked along another friend this morning, but she had missed the call.

Among four Westpac people is the Indian father, Viswakanath Ankireddy, who would ring his wife during the crisis and his colleague, Puspendu Ghosh, still abuzz from a recent skydive. Selina Win Pe is with them to discuss IT issues: soon, under threat of a gun, she will be making demands of a prime minister.

The cafe staffers, their fellow prisoners, share a genuine camaraderie that defies many workplaces.

Tori Johnson, 34, is the sort of manager who sticks his tongue out in Christmas Party photos.

He is from a close-knit family: he hopes to one day marry his partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn.

The staff share qualities with their customers that Monis can not claim.

They laugh in their spare time. They love. They have much to give and stand to be missed.

They belong on the outside. Monis, it subsequently seems, has never belonged.

Monis has a plan.

 Like all his plans it runs short of a logical conclusion. As far as it goes, it succeeds within the first hour or so.

His impact is almost Dystopian. The streets are emptied and barricades rise. Trains are stopped and offices are evacuated.

The Martin Place Christmas tree suddenly soars like a relic from another era.

Elly Chen, normally a smiley 22-year-old, is working only her sixth day at the cafe.

She holds up a black flag with white Arabic text to the window, directly behind the cafe company’s Christmas message.

It is an opening shot in Monis’ message which, like all of Monis’ messages, runs foul of logic.

And there is a lag, almost as if the world is granted time to process events.

For hours, no one is saying what is going on. Monis wants to speak to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He wants his siege to be announced as an attack by ISIS.

He orders an ISIS flag delivered. He has hostages deliver these messages to news outlets from about noon.

It’s still unclear how soon dialogue is established with police negotiators.

John O’Brien was one of the first to escape. Picture: Toby Zerna

John O’Brien was one of the first to escape. Picture: Toby Zerna Source: News Corp Australia

O’BRIEN has a headache when he spots his chance.

It’s maybe five hours since he would have left of his own accord, perhaps for a hit of his beloved tennis.

He, along with lawyer Stefan Balafoutis, has been allowed to go to the toilet.

They spot a green button at the bottom of a glass door and wonder if the button will open the door. They discover it does.

The cameras track their first uncertain steps on the street, driven by an overwhelming mix of relief and adrenaline, while TV commentators fumble for the right verb — release or escape?

Chen’s expression captures the same anguish and fear when she spills into the street soon afterwards.

She has followed colleague Paolo Vassallo, and precedes Bae Jie-Un.

Monis is enraged by the escapes. He speaks of “an eye for an eye”. None of his demands have been met.

What would have followed had they been — he promised limited releases of hostages for each — is unclear.

Jarrod Hoffman is one of several hostages ordered to spread Monis’ gospel.

It is probably Hoffman, a 19-year-old student, who rings 2GB’s Ray Hadley.

Hadley reports hearing a Middle-Eastern Australian voice giving instructions in the background.

More calls are later made to the Daily Telegraph and TV stations.

Hoffman explains that he is on speaker and that he has a gun pointed to his head. “If someone else runs, someone dies,” Hoffman explains.

Later in the day, Monis orders hostages to record video messages for media organisations.

They are sinister viewing. The hostages speak of “we”, as if they are willing.

Some look more nervous than others. Taylor is businesslike: “We are here with … ummm our brother, who has asked for three simple things, and the first is that Tony Abbott calls him, live in the media, to have a short conversation. . . we can’t understand why that hasn’t happened.”

Mother-of-three Marcia Mikhael has been pressed into Facebook postings by early afternoon. Her formalness is unusual in the social media age, but then again, her words read like a poor joke.

Like Taylor, she is a very successful person, a Westpac executive and fitness business owner. Yet no one inside the cafe can argue against Monis, a nobody in the outside world.

Onlookers feel surges of futility.

Yet only the hostages burn with the violation of being manipulated as pawns. Only they can properly express the growing fear reflected in increasingly tense messages.

“Dear friends and family…” Mikhael’s Facebook message reads.

“The man who is keeping us hostage has asked for small and simple requests and none have been met. He is now threatening to start killing us.”

Such communications are unprecedented, at least in Australia.

They are a product of a new age of technology and terror. Media outlets mostly heed police bans and do not publish or broadcast Monis’ messages.

Yet Monis grabs some underground traction. He resorts to YouTube and these video messages are said to spread.

The hostages’ families, meanwhile, are fretting.

“Please do not share or spread any messages released by the hostages as the terrorist is using them as a means of communication,” writes Mikhael’s niece. “This could put my aunty and the others in grave danger.”

Another hostage, Fiona Ma, uses Facebook as a source of hope. She has been posting and reading messages throughout the day, prompting this latter message: “I’m getting your messages everyone! Thank-you you beautiful souls…Guys I love each and everyone of you.”

OVER 17 hours, Monis does not get what he wants.

Instead, he muddles and confounds.

In doing so, like in his past, he inspires others to rise above his “antics” — as one acquaintance puts it — and seek to overcome the hurt he inflicts.

The hostages have a world’s prayers. It isn’t enough, not on this battleground, not even with hundreds of heavily armed cops just metres away. Monis has an unfair advantage. He has unpredictability — and his gun.

His skittishness grows later in the day. He paces and herds the hostages from one end to the other — this followed rotations when hostages held their hands on the windows.

He shouts and uses Louisa Hope, an MS sufferer with a walking stick as a “shield”. Later, Monis still grips her as he started to tire, despite the protests of her 68-year-old mother, Robyn.

The refusals of her and O’Brien to yield to an armed crazy man’s wishes sound like the makings of folklore.

O’Brien has refused to hold Monis’ flag or lie on the floor for him. Monis, according to a report in The Australian, leaves him alone after this.

It is many hours after O’Brien has gone.

Australia has gone to sleep, knowing the police will wait it out. It is about 2am, and fear and exhaustion are major factors.

The next 15 minutes stand to be forensically analysed in months ahead. For now, we must rely on witness accounts and unofficial sources.

We know that a plot has been hatched after Monis says “it will be in the morning”.

Comic book fan Joel Herat, 21, is a ringleader. A group of hostages figure that death will follow inaction.

A single shot rings out at 2.04am. It is said that the bullet slams into a door or the ceiling. Is it a warning shot aimed at dissuading those hostages who soon appear, arms raised, in the street? Herat shepherds a pregnant 30-year-old Taylor before making his own exit.

The hostages have smashed a side-door lock to escape. Ankireddy’s father sees his son’s escape on Indian TV.

Hostages were forced to hold up an Islamic flag at Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Hostages were forced to hold up an Islamic flag at Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. Source: Supplied

The cafe is darkened. It’s said that Johnson now tackles Monis and tries to grab his gun. It makes sense that Johnson would try to free his fellow hostages.

Such an act sounds true to his nature.

One newspaper report says that Johnson is beaten around the head before being killed with a head shot by Monis’ gun.

This may be the 2.13am shot that is played again and again the next day, the shot that leads a technical support sniper, perched at a Channel 7 window opposite, to say into his microphone: “Hostage down. Window two.”

What follows is officially known as the “emergency action plan”. Police in night goggles break in, setting off what looks and sounds like an indoor fireworks display. Stun grenades echo. Dozens of rounds are fired.

The outburst is timed at 34 seconds. When it ends an alarm rings and there is screaming. Monis is dead.

His shield Louisa Hope is shot in the foot, her mother Robyn in the shoulder.

Katrina Dawson is fatally wounded. Her loss, like Johnson’s, is inexplicable, and the floral memorial for their loss will lend itself to easy comparisons with Princess Diana’s death in 1997. It will seem so right that Johnson loved flowers.

It will seem so wrong that Dawson’s children, aged eight, five and three, wake the next morning to the worst news.

According to Channel 7, Monis greets the rush of officers with a lament: “Look what you’ve made me do.”

AS epitaphs go, Monis’ final words sound about right.

They befit a predator long practised in the role of playing the victim. They also raise questions about Monis’ goals. The only obvious thread in his public history, besides its oddness, lies in his drives. His religious and moral principles hold no coherence. His need for attention, however, is a constant. Publicity for Monis has never been a byproduct so much as an outcome.

In upturning his past in the days after his death, the thoughts of one of his previous victims jump out.

Man Haron Monis and Amirah Droudis.

Man Haron Monis and Amirah Droudis. Source: News Limited

Joan Senger once received a letter from Monis. Her son, Craig, an Australian trade official, had been killed in the 2009 Jakarta terror bombing.

Monis’ words had been hurtful and insulting. Speaking in 2013, Mrs Senger appears to have figured out Monis long before he stopped a city with a gun.

“I just don’t think he thinks like normal people think,” she said.

Unpredictable. Unhinged. Paranoid. These terms are used by those who knew Monis best. He was well-known to others as the sick sod who had linked fallen soldiers and bushfire victims to obscure religious scriptures.

He had been seeking sympathy since he first chained himself to a pole at the NSW Parliament House in 2000, when he demanded his family be brought from Iran and introduced himself as “Ayatollah”.

Those who knew him knew he played at roles. He was the “sham sheikh”.

He was the “peace activist”. Yet his performances served to mask the villain within. Monis tended to be scorned rather than feared, even though his history is potted with extreme violence and misogyny

Martin Place gunman caught on CCTV before siege

Update 10.50AM 16/12/14

THE manager of the Lindt cafe who was fatally shot in the Martin Place siege is being praised as a hero, responsible for allowing others trapped in the cafe to escape.

Tori Johnson, 34, was wrestling a gun from hostage-taker Man Haron Monis when he was killed.

Photo

Hero hostage: Cafe manager Tori Johnson was killed attempting to disarm the gunman.

It is understood the cafe manager decided to take action when the hostage-taker begun to doze off after the siege had been ongoing for 17 hours.

He lunged at the gunman’s weapon, enabling others to flee.

The second hostage killed has been identified as Katrina Dawson, 38. The mother-of-three is the sister of well known Sydney lawyer Sandy Dawson.

Katrina Dawson

Katrina Dawson

Ms Dawson was tragically killed trying to defend her pregnant friend, AAP reports.


 

Sydney siege: Two hostages and gunman dead after heavily armed police storm Lindt cafe in Martin Place

Tue 16 Dec 2014, 7:51am

Paramedics remove a person, with bloodstains on the blankets covering the person, on a stretcher after the end of the Sydney siege on December 16, 2014.

Paramedics remove a person, with bloodstains on the blankets covering the person, on a stretcher after the end of the Sydney siege on December 16, 2014.

About 2:10am (AEDT) there was a confrontation between police and self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis, who had taken 17 people hostage inside the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place on Monday morning.

Police said shots were fired and as a result, the 50-year-old gunman was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

It is not clear if the two hostages who died, a man aged 34 and a woman aged 38, were shot by the gunman or killed in the crossfire.

Monis, who was granted political asylum in Australia, took staff and customers in the cafe hostage shortly before 10:00am (AEDT) on Monday.

He was on bail for a string of violent offences, including being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife.

Monis was also facing more than 40 sexual and indecent assault charges and had a conviction for sending offensive letters to families of deceased Australian soldiers.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a statement commending the “courage and professionalism” of the police and other emergency services involved.

“Australians awoke to the news this morning that the siege in Martin Place has ended,” he said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded and the other hostages.”

This morning, NSW Premier Mike Baird addressed a media conference and said: “I come before you with the heaviest of hearts. Unbelievably overnight, we have lost some of our own in an attack we never thought we would see here in our city.

“In the past 24 hours, this city has been shaken by a tragedy that none of us could have ever imagined. The values we held dear yesterday we hold dear today. They are the values of freedom, democracy, and harmony.

“These defined us yesterday, they will define us today, they will define us tomorrow. Our first thoughts and prayers this morning are with the innocent victims of this horrendous, vicious attack.”

Following the confrontation, two women were also taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while a male police officer is in a non life-threatening condition after a gunshot wound to his face.

The police operation has concluded and the investigation into the entire incident will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command, a police statement said.

“All information will be provided to the coroner who will determine the cause of, and make any findings about, the events leading to the deaths,” the statement said.

Loud explosions and yelling could be heard from near the cafe at about 2:00am (AEDT) before officers rushed inside.

Just before police stormed the building, at least five hostages came running from the cafe with their hands up and one man lay down on the floor as police patted him down.

Minutes later what appeared to be gunfire and explosions could be heard.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the situation changed suddenly inside the cafe, allowing more of the hostages to escape.

Police then made the quick decision to put their emergency action plan into place and they moved inside the building.

Thanking all the officers involved in the siege, Commissioner Scipione said: “I want to point out they have saved lives, they have saved many lives.”

He said of the hostages: “I can only imagine the terror that they’ve been through. They are very brave people who in many cases were buying a cup of coffee and they got caught up in this dreadful affair.

“We should reflect on their courage, the courage that they displayed during the many hours in that room.”

He said it was an isolated incident and urged: “Do not let this sort of incident bring about any loss of confidence of working or visiting our city.

“It was the act of an individual. This should never destroy or change the way of our life.”

Soon after police entered the cafe, paramedic crews who had been stationed at the scene throughout the day were seen carrying people out of the building on stretchers, and one patient could be seen being resuscitated.

ABC reporter Siobhan Heanue said there were two volleys of gunfire and loud explosions, in the middle of which screams could be heard.

“The sound ricocheted throughout the tall buildings around the area… and hostages started pouring out of the building,” she said.

“Some running, some able to walk, some with their hands up, and some being carried by ambulance staff.”

An exclusion zone around Martin Place remains, with roads still closed, but the police presence has significantly diminished.

The ABC’s Nick Dole said police were working to secure the scene.

“Exactly what is going on inside we don’t know but we have seen evidence that perhaps police from the bomb squad would be in there,” he said.

“So police are working through the Lindt cafe to at least make it safe for investigators to go through.

“We’ve seen a robot – what looks like a police robot.

“Police are working very hard to make the crime scene safe so the investigation can continue.”

Hostages have been taken to a number of hospitals in the city.

Shortly after Monis locked the hostages inside the cafe, some were seen with their hands up while others were made to hold a black flag with Arabic writing against a window.

Heavily armed police officers took up positions in the pedestrian area, which was cleared for several blocks.

Several hours later, at about 4:00pm, two men ran from a front door of the cafe while a man wearing a Lindt apron came out of a side door.

About an hour later two women who worked at the cafe ran from the building.

Martin Place Cafe Siege: Man Haron Monis named as gunman

Sydney siege gunman identified

THE man who held several people hostage in a Sydney cafe for over 18 hours is a self-styled ‘sheik’ with a long history of run-ins with law enforcement.

Man Haron Monis, 50, is believed to have been killed when police stormed the Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place in a hail of gunfire shortly after 2am this morning.

Pic of Sheikh "man Monis" Haron charged with writing offensive letters to widows and fami

Sheik Man Monis Haron charged with writing offensive letters to widows and families of fallen Aussie soldiers outside Downing Court today. Source: News Limited

Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron and Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, was on bail on a charge of accessory to murder, relating to the death of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed and set alight in a stairwell of her Sydney apartment complex last year.

LATEST

Monis’s current partner has been charged with murder over the incident.

On granting bail, Magistrate Darryl Pearce saying the Crown’s noted the case against Monis was weak.

In March this year he was charged with more than 50 sexual offences including the 2002 sexual assault of a young woman which was allegedly carried out under the guise of ‘spiritual healing’.

His victim, 27 at the time, allegedly saw an advertisement for ‘spiritual consultation’ in a local newspaper and contacted him.

Man Haron Monis ‘Spiritual healer’ arrested for sexual and indecent assault — SCC Sex Cri

Man Haron Monis ‘Spiritual healer’ arrested for sexual and indecent assault — SCC Sex Crimes Squad Source: Supplied

He told her he was an expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic and advised her to visit his clinic.

Monis arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iran in 1996 and first became known to the public when he was charged with sending offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers who had died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the letters Monis called one Australian Digger ‘the son to a dirty pig, and to a dirty animal’, and urged the Diggers’ families to call on the government to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

In court Monis claimed he was a ‘peace activist’ and that his rights to free speech were being trampled.

Haron Monis was charged for sending hate letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghan

Haron Monis was charged for sending hate letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Here, he is pictured appearing for sentencing at the Downing Centre. Source: News Limited

It’s believed Monis lost a High Court appeal against his conviction just last Friday — an event which may have precipitated his decision to stage the Sydney siege.

Shortly before 9.45am yesterday morning Monis entered the Lindt cafe in the heart of Sydney, armed with a sawn-off shotgun and taking up to 20 hostages, several of whom managed to escape yesterday.

Emergency personnel wheel an injured hostage to an ambulance overnight. (AP Photo/Rob Gri

Emergency personnel wheel an injured hostage to an ambulance overnight. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) Source: AP

After a prolonged period of silence overnight, several hostages desperately fled the cafe before police stormed in shortly later.

Live images of the ensuing firefight were beamed around the world as one loud blast, possibly from Monis’s shotgun, was heard. It was followed by dozens of shots from automatic weapons and flashes from the tactical officers’ flash grenades.

Armed tactical response officers and emergency workers attend the scene (AP Photo/Rob Gri

Armed tactical response officers and emergency workers attend the scene (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) Source: AP

Several ambulances rushed an unknown number of people to hospital as medical teams performed CPR on people in Martin Place. One police officer was seen with blood rushing from his head.

It’s believed three people, including Monis, have died as a result of the firefight.


A man is holding several people hostage at Martin Place cafe

Staff and customers at the Lindt cafe hold what is believed to be a jihadist flag up agai

Staff and customers hold up what is believed to be a jihadist flag up against the window of the Lindt cafe. Source: Channel 7

  • As many as 30 people being held hostage at Lindt cafe
  • Police say at least one gunman involved
  • Incident not being treated as terrorism yet
  • Motivation of gunman unknown – but police have finally spoken directly with him
  • PM Tony Abbott urges calm: “The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people.”

HOSTAGES have emerged from the Lindt Cafe in central Sydney where they have been held by a gunman since just before 10am this morning.

Five people have now left the cafe which has been at the centre of a hostage crisis that has paralysed central Sydney and shocked Australia.

Their escape comes after NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn confirmed hostage negotiators were now speaking directly with the gunman.

“Police negotiators have had contact and will continue to have contact,” she said.

Two female Lindt employees ran from the building just before 5pm. Three other hostages, all men, ran from the cafe earlier this afternoon and are now speaking with police.

It was not immediately clear if any of the hostages were released or if they had escaped.

Hostages inside the café have spoken to media outlets. Two hostages have spoken to Sydney radio station 2GB while Ten News is reporting that they have also spoken to two hostages.

One of the hostages runs towards police from Lindt cafe in the central business district

One of the hostages runs towards police from Lindt cafe in the central business district of Sydney. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

A terrified woman runs from the Lindt Cafe

A terrified woman runs from the Lindt Cafe Source: Supplied

A terrified Lindt employee runs to safety

A terrified Lindt employee runs to safety Source: Supplied

Two of the first hostages to get away came out of the front door while the third came out of a fire door. All had their arms raised in the air.

Dramatic television images showed the terrified hostages running free from the buiding and being shielded by heavily armed police.

One was a man in a white shirt and blue jacket, another wore a white shirt, while the third was clearly the Lindt cafe worker dressed in black.

David Faktor, spokesman for St Vincent’s Hospital, told news.com.au that they have received “one male patient and he is in a satisfactory condition”. Mr Faktor would not comment on anything else in relation to the man’s condition but said “he is fine”.

The hospital is on standby for anything else that might eventuate from the siege.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed media tonight and praised police and security services for their work.

“I’ve received messages of support from a number of international leaders and I thank them for their encouragement on this difficult day. It has been a difficult day, it has tested us

He added that “like Australians in all situations, we have risen to the challenge”.

A hostage is seen outside the Lindt Cafe, Martin Place.

A hostage is seen outside the Lindt Cafe, Martin Place. Source: Getty Images

Two hostages run to safety outside the Lindt Cafe.

Two hostages run to safety outside the Lindt Cafe. Source: Getty Images

Dramatic scenes outside the Lindt Cafe as hostages run free after six hours of being held

Dramatic scenes outside the Lindt Cafe as hostages run free after six hours of being held captive. Source: Getty Images

The five hostages escape followed reports that as many as 50 people being held by a gunman at the popular cafe. However, when asked this afternoon about the number of hostages NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said: “That sort of number does not equate to what we are assuming.”

At least one offender took hostages at the popular Lindt chocolate cafe, in Martin Place, just before 10am.

Some members of staff could be seen wearing their shop aprons and standing with their hands up at the windows. There is also a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is believed to be the Black Standard, a flag that has been hijacked by jihadists and Islamists.

Hostages have reportedly called Channel 9 news late this afternoon – the second time media outlets have been called by those inside the cafe.

It’s believed hostages have been forced to call the television network.

This morning at least two calls were made to 2GB host Ray Hadley. He later spoke to the mother of an 18-year-old apprentice plumber who texted his mother from inside the cafe.

When she asked him how he was he replied: “I’m okay Mum, I can’t talk”. She hasn’t heard anything since then.

Deputy Commissioner Burn said police had spoken with the gunman for the first time since the siege began.

Three hostages escape Lindt cafe siege

Her information was that the remaining hostages hadn’t been harmed.

She said the gunman’s motivations were not known and it wouldn’t be helpful to “speculate”.

The incident has not been branded a terrorist attack yet, but police have confirmed they have “moved to a footing consistent with a terrorism event” in their response.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione earlier told reporters it remained a hostage situation “but we are ready to escalate if we need to”.

They did not have “direct contact” with the hostage-taker.

“We’re working through that – at this stage we’ve not got extensive communications … We are not dealing directly with him.”

It was not clear what the offender’s motivation was.

Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane told news.com.au at the scene this morning he believed there are 40 to 50 people inside the cafe, including customers and staff.

Other reports are suggesting there may only be 13 hostages and police have since said they believe there to be fewer than 30 hostages.

Police handcuffed a man 200m from the cafe siege but a police statement has since clarified the arrest was unrelated to the siege.

Jihadist flag at city centre siege

One of the men believed to be holding people hostage: Courtesy: Channel 7 Source: Channel 7

Jihadist flag at city centre siege

Picture: Courtesy of Channel 7. Source: Channel 7

The National Security Committee of Cabinet has met for briefings on the situation this morning.

At a press conference this morning Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government did not know whether the hostage situation was politically motivated.

“We don’t yet know the motivation of perpetrator, we don’t know whether it’s politically motivated although there are indications it could be,” he said.

“The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people… Australia is a peaceful, open and generous society and nothing should ever change that and that’s why I urge all Australians to today to go about their business as usual.”

Mr Abbott urged all Australians to go about their business as usual but if anyone noticed anything unusual they should call the National Security Hotline 1800 123 400.

He said that the ordinary business of government would go on and the Budget update would be released as planned.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said this afternoon: “We are being tested today in Sydney. The police is being tested, the public is being tested, but whatever the test …we will remain a democractic, civil society.

“There could be some disruption obviously, we are asking also to be patient … we will get through this.”

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione confirmed an “armed offender” was involved. Police were doing everything in their power to bring the situation to a “peaceful outcome”.

“We have a number of incidents that people believe are connected to the city events

a lot of people concerned when they see police vehicle drive down their street, (that area is involved). This is not the case.”

He said there were a number of officers on standby and was satisfied with the response so far. “It’s as good as you will get anywhere.”

Major landmarks in Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House, have been evacuated as polic
Police are patrolling landmarks around Sydney in response to the Martin Pl hostage siege.

Police are patrolling landmarks around Sydney in response to the Martin Pl hostage siege. Source: Getty Images

In a statement earlier, Mr Abbott said he had also spoken with NSW Premier Mike Baird and “offered him all possible Commonwealth support and assistance”.

“This is obviously a deeply concerning incident but all Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner,” he said.

Mr Baird said his thoughts and prayers were with those affected.

“I’ve spoken to Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione & have full confidence NSW Police are working effectively to resolve the situation,” Mr Baird said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he had spoken with Mr Abbott this morning and offered him the Opposition’s full support.

“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the innocent people involved … (and) also with their families who are seeing this incredibly distressing situation unfold, along with the rest of Australia.

“Australians can be assured that we are one when it comes to keeping Australians safe.”

Tactical response officers arrive at the scene. Picture: Toby Zerna

Tactical response officers arrive at the scene. Picture: Toby Zerna Source: News Corp Australia

Siege at Martin Place.

Siege at Martin Place. Source: Supplied

Earlier today, Sydney talkback show host Ray Hadley reportedly spoke to one of the hostages inside the cafe off air.

A spokesman for 2GB said Hadly spoke to someone who he believed was a hostage inside the cafe.

The radio presenter called the number more than once and passed the name and details onto the police.

The Sydney Opera House, which was evacuated earlier today, has cancelled tonights performances, while police have urged people to stay away from the central city tonight for their own safety.

International reaction to the crisis has been swift with Canadian PM Stephen Harper tweeting his support and US President Barack Obama being briefed on the situation at the White House.

Lindt Cafe released the following statement on their Facebook page.

“We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and kind support over the current situation at the Lindt Chocolate Café at Martin Place. We are deeply concerned over this serious incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the staff and customers involved and all their friends and families. The matter is being dealt with by the authorities and we are waiting for any updates from them.”

Also on Facebook were pages supporting the gunman, including one called “Lindt cafe bombers supporters facebook page”. Facebook swiftly removed the page, and urged users to report any offending pages immediately for them to remove.

Police have set up an exclusion zone around the cafe in Martin Place.

BUILDINGS EVACUATED

A Lindt cafe worker who managed to get out of the building told Nine News: “Everyone was sitting down, the door was locked. There was one guy walking around with a hat and a beard.”

Channel 7 reported that a woman told police that she saw a man near the cafe at 9.44am carrying a blue sports bag with what she thought was a gun inside.

The chocolate shop is 30 or 40 metres from the Channel 7 offices so they have cameras trained on the building. Channel 7 was evacuated.

Martin Place is home to several prominent buildings, including NSW Premier Mike Baird’s office, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Westpac Bank and the Commonwealth Bank headquarters as well as the US embassy and the Seven Network. The Supreme Court, Sydney Hospital, State Library of NSW, and NSW parliament were also in lock-down.

The Sydney Opera House was also in lock-down for a short time as authorities enacted a cluster of security measures across the city.

The US Consulate has also been closed.

Seven reporter Chris Reason is currently on the corner of Philip and Hunter St where all five floors of Channel 7 staff were evacuated. He told news.com.au that he is with several hundred people from Seven and surrounding buildings.

He confirmed that police entered Channel 7 at 10am to use their building as a viewing point after the incident first happened at 9.44am.

Sydney siege: Heavily armed police run near Martin Place
Courtesy of Channel 7.

Courtesy of Channel 7. Source: Channel 7

A map of Sydney shows where the Martin Place Lindt Chocolate cafe is located.

A map of Sydney shows where the Martin Place Lindt Chocolate cafe is located. Source: News Corp Australia

At 10.20am the entire building was evacuated and the central hosting duties was transferred to Melbourne to broadcast out of there.

Police have erected a large black shield to cover the corner of the Lindt Store from view.

Mr Reason said: “It’s tense, people are obviously concerned for the people inside. During the initial minutes when the evacuation happened there was, of course, a lot of concern, a lot of anguish from some staff. But nobody resisted, we all followed police orders. Right now, outside the building there is a mix of curiosity and concern and hope that the people inside get out OK.”

Currently there are at least 100 police and tactical units stationed in Martin Place

“I was at a cafe right next to the Lindt Store when I noticed people suddenly running towards the building and looking in. At 9.45 I sort of approached and realised what was happening. At first we thought it was an armed holdup because the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) is next door and there were armoured vehicles outside. When we saw the hostages against the windows holding up the flags it was quickly apparent that this was severely urgent.”

When asked whether he thought why the men may have chosen Martin Place, he said: “It’s hard to tell, as we saw in the terror raids in September, Martin Place would be a target. It might not be iconic Sydney location but it is deeply symbolic, on top of our building (Seven) is the State Government, the treasurer the minister, beside it is the financial heart of Sydney with the reserve bank and right in the centre is the cenotaph and ANZAC memorial so it ticks so many boxes when trying to make a political statement.”

There are State Government agencies in the same building and police have shut down traffic in a wide perimeter surrounding the incident. Surrounding buildings are also in lockdown.

RELATED: Martin Place long identified as potential terrorist target

 

There is no confirmation yet whether this is a terrorist attack.

A police statement confirmed that they were dealing with an armed incident and specialist officers were attempting to make contact those inside a cafe.

“Some nearby offices have been evacuated as a precaution. Anyone else in the area encompassing Hunter, George, Elizabeth and Macquarie streets bordering Martin Place is directed to remain indoors and away from open windows. Anyone in the vicinity but outside that area is free to leave their buildings,” the statement said.

“Police urge members of the public to remain calm and note that an appropriate police presence is in place.

Elsewhere in Australia, security has reportedly been increased at the Gabba ahead of the cricket and the Lindt Cafe in Melbourne has been closed with police patrolling the streets outside.

TRANSPORT IMPACTED

The Martin Place train station is shut and trains and buses around the area are being diverted or stopped, including trains between Bondi Junction and Central. Roads are blocked.

A Transport for Sydney spokeswoman told news.com.au that conditions were still changing and they would follow directions from police.

“This is chilling,” said The Morning Show host Kylie Gillies of the scene as she watched on with host Larry Emdur from the Channel 7 news studios. The duo are now off air.

RELATED: Sydney trains cancelled, buses diverted

Frightening siege at Lindt cafe Martin Place Sydney

Frightening siege at Lindt cafe Martin Place Sydney

Sydney siege: Gunman takes hostages in Lindt cafe

Hundreds of armed police have sealed off Martin Place in Sydney’s central business district

Related Stories

At least one gunman has taken several people hostage at a cafe in the Australian city of Sydney.

Pictures on Australian television show at least three people with their hands up against a window, and a black flag with Arabic writing.

Hundreds of armed police have sealed off Martin Place in Sydney’s central business district.

New South Wales police have asked people to avoid the area.

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter said that gunfire had been heard at the scene, the Lindt chocolate cafe – but this has not been confirmed.

No injuries have been reported from the incident, according to a police spokesperson.

At the scene: Wendy Frew, BBC Australia Editor Online

Martin Place is a public pedestrian thoroughfare through the heart of Sydney, joining its parliamentary, legal and retail districts.

It is full of media, members of the public and the police, with what appear to be anxious colleagues of people trapped inside the building, waiting for news. Several surrounding blocks are cordoned off.

Police are at this stage not giving media briefings at the site, there are dozens of police cards have arrived at the scene – with more continuing to come.

Sydney map

Police have also said that they are dealing with an “incident” at the Sydney Opera House which has been evacuated.

Local media are reporting that a suspicious package was found there on Monday, though it was unclear whether it was connected to the Martin Place incident.

Terror threat

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the Martin Place incident as “deeply concerning”.

“All Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner,” he said in a statement.

A National Security Committee of Cabinet has been convened for Monday morning, the PM’s office said.

Australia has been facing a growing terror threat in recent months, in part connected to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.

In September, the largest anti-terror raids in Australian history were carried out in Sydney and Brisbane after intelligence emerged that people were planning to carry out random attacks on Australian soil.

Only one person was charged with terror offences.

Anti-terror legislation was passed in October, which critics said was too severe.

Mr Abbott has said the threat meant “the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift”.

About 70 Australians are believed to be fighting in the Middle East while another 20 have returned home.

Australia recently introduced tough legislation to combat the threat from returned fighters

The Lindt Cafe is located in a plaza in the heart of the city’s financial and shopping district that is usually packed with shoppers at this time of year.

It is home to the state premier’s office and the headquarters of two of the nation’s largest banks.

The state parliament house is also only a few streets away.


 

The Daily Telegraph

  • 12 hostages thought to be held
  • Public transport shut down between Central and Bondi
  • Channel 7 offices evacuated

A hostage has been forced to hold up an Islamic State flag in the window of a shop in Martin Place that is currently under siege.

It is believed there are 12 hostages in the store and an ISIS flag has been placed in the window.

Martin Place is the main financial area of the Sydney CBD.

The scene of a seige at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Martin Place.

The scene of a siege at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

The scene of a seige at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Martin Place.

The scene of a siege at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Twitter image of a seige at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Maritin Place.

Hostages hold up an IS flag at Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Public transport between Central and Bondi Junction has been stopped.

Buses are diverting away from Elizabeth St and Hunter St.

There are various road closures in place and motorists are advised to stay away from the area.

In September Federal Police made a host of arrests after allegedly uncovering a plot to abduct a random Australian and execute them by beheading in a public place, possibly Martin Place and post the act on social media.

Hostage in the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Maritin Place.

Hostage in the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Maritin Place.

Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Just before 10am it is believed an attempted robbery was taking place when the offender then took a number of hostages inside the Lindt Chocolate shop.

The area has been cordoned off and police are urging people to stay away.

Police do not know how many hostages are in the shop or what the offender is armed with.

The Lindt shop is usually very busy with four or five staff at this time.

More to come.

Update – Sam was found sadly in local pond -Public help is needed regarding the missing 2 year old boy, Sam

Featured


Body of missing toddler Sam Trott found in lake, family pays tribute to ‘affectionate and loving’ childThu 11 Dec 2014, 1:12am

The family of a Perth toddler who went missing on Tuesday has thanked the community for their assistance after his body was found by police divers.

Sam Trott disappeared from his Walbrook Mews home in the northern Perth suburb of Landsdale, just after 10:30am (WST) on Tuesday.

He is believed to have left through the front door of the house when it was apparently left open by tradesmen.

Police called off an extensive search for two-year-old Sam on Wednesday morning and cleared volunteers from around a lake in Warradale Park, near the boy’s home.

Volunteers who had gathered to help with the search wiped away tears as news broke that the body had been found.

In an emotional address to the media, Sam’s grandfather Geoff Trott said the family was struggling to come to terms with their loss.

“Sam was so dear to us all and his premature passing is a tragedy we are still struggling to deal with,” Mr Trott said.

“He was a happy, affectionate and loving child, with an in infectious smile and brought so much sunshine into our lives.”
Video: Toddler’s grandfather reads message on behalf of family (ABC News)

He said the family wanted to express its heartfelt support to those involved in the search and to police for their rapid response and ongoing support.

“We also deeply appreciate the countless messages of support, prayers and kind thoughts of so many,” he said.

He said Sam’s parents Matthew and Lyndal were “devastated”.

“Sam could not have been blessed with more devoted parents than Matt and Lyndal, who have loved him unconditionally since the day he was born,” Mr Trott said.

“As with all parents, they’ve strived to give him the best life possible, and since his diagnosis of autism they’ve been unrelenting in their quest to create every opportunity for him to thrive and to fulfil his potential.”

Police inspector Gary Lewis, who coordinated the search, also paid tribute to the hundreds of people involved in the search.

“I would just like to make particular note of the immense community support that was provided by the community members of the Landsdale community and the greater surrounds,” he said.

“At 3 o’clock this morning we had people from as far as Rockingham and Warnbro arriving to assist with our inquiries.

“I’d also like to pay particular thanks to the vast numbers of SES, fire brigade and police and other members of the emergency services that came out and assisted, including the Salvation Army and the St Johns Ambulance.”

He said he had not seen such a community response in his 30 years in the police force.

“I’ve seen a massive response in regional WA, but this is unbelievable and unprecedented in the metropolitan area,” Inspector Lewis said.

WA Premier Colin Barnett also thanked the community for joining the search.

“People came out of their houses and helped search, and I very much thank them for that ,” he said.

The mood was sombre as many of the volunteer searchers remained at the site, sitting in small groups as police addressed the media.

Others arrived with flowers at the park and the family’s home.

Kristi McIntyre came from Coogee to search Tuesday night and again on Wednesday and said she felt absolutely heartbroken by the outcome.

“I shudder to think at any time, but particularly this close to Christmas, that this family’s lost their baby,” she said.

“My youngest is five and I said to my partner, ‘I can’t sit on the couch, if it was us, I would want everybody out searching’, and I was available to be here and in myself I just had to be here.”

Getting this out there please help more news to come guys
Public help is needed regarding the missing 2 year old boy, Sam.Because of the time and evening getting dark, little Sam will be looking for somewhere to go sleep.Asking for everyone in the Landsdale area, and nearby, to thoroughly search everywhere in their backyards, inside vehicles, under vehicles and anywhere a small boy might seek shelter.Anyone who sees Sam is asked to call Police immediately on
131 444.

Support from the public has been overwhelming!
Thank you for your continuing support.

 

Coroner slams Victoria Police over drunk man left to die in rain

Featured


Check out these coppers, life is sooo funny, hahaha I’m a copper I would treat my dad the same NOT. Bloody disgrace the way they treated this unwell human being in need of medical care…Such heroes make us so bloody NOT PROUD

CCTV released of dying man Gong Ling Tang outside Dandenong police station

Tue 26 Nov 2013, 12:44pm

The Victorian Coroners Court has decided to release police surveillance vision of a drunk man who died after being left by officers outside Dandenong Police Station.

The footage shows Gong Ling Tang, 53, unable to walk as officers lead him outside in May 2010.

The police involved tried to prevent the footage from being released, but the coroner ruled it was in the public’s interest.

Tang’s family has been desperately fighting to have the footage released to show how his dignity was never respected.

Mandarin interpreter Yu Lipski was working at the Dandenong police station the night Tang died.

It was her phone call to Fairfax Radio two weeks later which blew the whistle on the police and triggered a coronial inquiry.

Ms Lipski says she has always had enormous respect for police but she says that night their behaviour was atrocious.

Jane Dickson, president of Liberty Victoria, praised Ms Lipski for her efforts to protect Tang and report the incident at her workplace.

“She has my greatest admiration, I think it must have been extraordinarily difficult to have acted so courageously,” she said.

“Both in the way in which she sought to protect the unfortunate deceased man [and] to then to reveal the circumstances in which she was required to act as an actual interpreter to bring them [the police officers] forward publicly.

“That’s whistle-blowing in its truest sense.” 

Tang ‘crawled like a dog with blood in his mouth’

Earlier in the day on May 12, 2010, Tang’s wife called police to report her husband was at the house drunk and in breach of an apprehended violence order.

He was arrested and sent to the lock up at Dandenong Police Station to dry out.

The police did not know Tang was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and was bleeding internally. As the night wore on his organs began to shut down. He was in agony.

Ms Lipski saw him rolling on the floor of the cell which was stained by blood and urine. She knew he was in trouble.

She says Tang said he needed a shower and that he needed to go to the hospital, but the police did nothing.

Tang was eventually released and was seen crawling out of his cell on his hands and knees, unable to walk.

Ms Lipski said he was subjected to ridicule by the police all night. 

“The officer yelled at him, ‘get out and get up, I saw him crawling out of that cell door like a dog with blood in his mouth,” Ms Lipski said.

“He couldn’t move, he was trying to make some sound, he was disoriented, you could tell he was in pain.

“I could see a human suffering right in front of my eyes. I felt very sad.” 

Tang was then dragged out of the station by two female police and left by a roller door in a garage. Clutching his stomach, Tang repeatedly pressed an intercom button.

After several minutes two officers returned. One grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and pushed him outside into the rain.

Ms Lipski retrieved an umbrella for Tang as he lay dying in the rain. She also fetched water for him to drink while the police looked on.

Eventually an ambulance arrived to collect Tang at 9:00pm but by then he was in multiple organ failure.

Taken to intensive care, he died at Dandenong Hospital at 11:30 the next morning.

We let him down, we let his family down: police commissioner

The coronial inquest was told Tang died from advance chronic liver disease and gastro-intestinal bleeding. Contributing factors included hypothermia, bordering on severe.

Five police officers, all women, dealt with Tang that night and declined to give evidence.

One officer cited mental distress while another said she risked being prosecuted for manslaughter.

Asked if Tang was treated humanely, the Sergeant in Charge Megan Whitehead said: “I thought he was treated the same way as anyone we get in here”.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright apologised to Tang’s family. 

“We fell well short of the standards expected in terms of both the care we showed and the respect and dignity we provided,” he said.

“We missed many opportunities to get medical assistance for Mr Tang. 

“I find his treatment deeply distressing, we should have done better for Ling Tang. 

“We let him down, we let his family down and we let the community down.”

Ms Dixon says what happened to Tang could still happen again.

“Liberty Victoria’s not confident that these sorts of events won’t happen again,” she said. “Police are being expected to act as jailers.

“The numbers of people in custody has increased so dramatically in recent times. It’s very difficult to be confident that there won’t be further cases of dehumanising treatment.”

Coroner Iain West has reserved his decision.


Court shown footage of drunk man who died after being left outside police station

Mon 18 Nov 2013, 12:04pm

Victoria’s Coroners Court has been shown police surveillance vision of a drunk man who died after being left outside the Dandenong police station.

The footage shows Gong Ling Tang, 53, staggering and unable to walk as officers lead him to a roller door on the night of May 12, 2010.

Intoxicated and disoriented, Mr Tang then stumbles about the exit, but does not leave, and instead repeatedly presses an intercom button.

After several minutes, the two officers return to push him outside at about 8pm.

Another camera shows him lying in the rain outside the roller door, apparently clutching his stomach.

Two police officers and a Chinese interpreter come to check on him and an ambulance is called for at 8.13pm.

The inquest into his death has previously heard that Mr Tang had earlier complained of abdominal pain and asked to go to hospital.

An ambulance arrived shortly before 9pm after police made a second call for help.

Mr Tang died at the Dandenong Hospital of a gastrointestinal haemorrhage the following day.

He had been arrested earlier in the night for breaching an intervention order by visiting his wife at her home in Oakleigh in Melbourne’s south-east.

Mr Tang was drunk and had soiled himself.

The inquest continues.


Police criticised for treating man who died shortly after leaving Dandenong drunk tank as a ‘joke’
Last moments in police custody

A CORONER has slammed the conduct of police who ignored repeated pleas for help from a man who collapsed and died soon after being released from the Dandenong drunk tank.

Ling Gong Tang, 53 crawled from the Dandenong police station in May 2010 before collapsing after spending four hours in the cells for being drunk in a public place.

Whilst in custody, Mr Tang, who suffered acute liver disease, made repeated requests for medical assistance and had solied himself – which some police considered “a bit of a joke”.

His release was captured on CCTV, with one witness telling the inquest she “saw him crawl on his hands and knees, like a dog”.

“The vision is extraordinary. No police offered or felt compelled to offer Mr Tang any assistance,” State Coroner Iain West said.

Deceased man Gong Ling Tang is seen crawling towards the cell door at Dandenong police st

Deceased man Gong Ling Tang is seen crawling towards the cell door at Dandenong police station.

After attempting to return to the police station Mr Tang was refused entry.

“He is eventually pushed out into the cold night, in bare feet and in a shocking state, with blood escaping from his mouth,” Mr West found.

When police called an ambulance, it took 40 minutes to arrive because Mr Tang’s condition was described as “non-urgent”.

When paramedics eventually arrived, they found Mr Tang sopping wet because he had been lying unprotected in the rain.

Gong Ling Tang allegedly pleaded with police to be taken to hospital after being arrested

Gong Ling Tang allegedly pleaded with police to be taken to hospital after being arrested for being drunk in May 2010.

Although the coroner ruled Mr Tang died from acute liver disease, he found hypothermia played a contributing role.

“Mr Tang’s exposure to the elements outside the police station contributed to the development of that hypothermia,” Mr West said.

Each of the officers involved in Mr Tang’s care have denied responsibility.

“The five primary police officers who were involved in the care or who had contact with Mr Tang have expressed little or no responsibility for any of the decisions.’’

The 53-year-old died hours after being left outside the police station following his rele

The 53-year-old died hours after being left outside the police station following his release from custody.

The five members have already been subject of internal disciplinary proceedings.

One member has been sacked over Mr Tang’s death, another demoted and two others have been placed on good behaviour bonds and ordered to undertake “courageous conversation” courses.

Three were also disciplined with “renumeration impact”.

Mr West criticised the police’s own investigation, and recommended all internal interviews with members be recorded and observed by an independent, legally-trained person appointed by the Department of Justice.

Gong Ling Tang is seen lying on the road after he was left outside of Dandenong police st

Gong Ling Tang is seen lying on the road after he was left outside of Dandenong police station.

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has already apologised to Mr Tang’s family, conceding police failed to treat him with dignity and respect.

In a further response to the ruling, Acting Commissioner Jack Blayney said it he had the deepest regret about what happened to Mr Tang, offering his condolences to his family.

He admitted that because of police treatement, Mr Tang was not afforded the dignity he deserved.

Mr Blayney said Victoria Police were considering the recommendations given by the Coroner.

Improvements had already been made to their police, Spt Balyney said, and police had a duty of care to those in custody.

He said he did not want to make it a gender issue, but acknowledged that those involved who had been disciplined were female officers.

“I don’t believe this is a gender issue,” Spt Blayney said.

He said he knew nothing of any payment to Mr Tang’s family.


 

Coroner releases CCTV video of Gong Ling Tang

November 22, 2013

 

 

 

GRAPHIC VISION WARNING: CCTV recording of Gong Ling Tang at Dandenong police station on the night of May 12, 2010. (NO AUDIO)

A coroner has released CCTV video taken inside and outside a police station of a man who died hours after being released from custody.

The video shows Gong Ling Tang crawling out of his cell after being freed and being led out of Dandenong police station, barefoot, by police before he is seen lying in a puddle of water.

Deputy state coroner Iain West said on Friday there was no compelling reason not to lift a suppression order on the video, recorded on May 12, 2010, because it was in the public interest and because Mr Tang’s death was effectively a death in custody.

Police witnesses Kate Griffiths, Megan Whitehead and Kay Price outside the Coroners Court during the Gong Ling Tang inquest.Police witnesses Kate Griffiths, Megan Whitehead and Kay Price outside the Coroners Court during the Gong Ling Tang inquest.

Mr Tang, 53, was arrested for public drunkenness and for a suspected breach of an intervention order. He spent four and a half hours in a police cell, during which he complained of abdominal pain and asked to be taken to hospital.

Mr West said the CCTV video was the best evidence of how Mr Tang was treated in custody and the public was entitled to see it.

He said the police treatment Mr Tang received before he died was one of the reasons an inquest was held. He said the video effectively spoke for the five police officers who were not compelled to give evidence at the inquest.

Gong Ling TangGong Ling Tang

Mr Tang’s family supported applications by media to have the video released. Genna Angelowitsch, a lawyer representing the family, welcomed the release of the footage.

“The family are grateful that the tragic final hours of their husband and father have been revealed,” Ms Angelowitsch said.

“The police who were there did not give evidence but the CCTV footage shows their actions.”

Mr Tang was found by paramedics lying in a puddle and with his clothes drenched. He died in hospital the next day from a gastrointestinal haemorrhage caused by liver disease, the inquest heard. He also had diabetes and was an alcoholic. Hypothermia was one of six factors that contributed to his death, the Coroners Court heard.

The CCTV video , which was played to the court during the inquest, shows Mr Tang lying on his back in a police cell and rolling from side to side. When he crawls out of the cell police watch from the corridor.

The video also shows the Chinese national struggling to stand while outside the station.

After the inquest, media, including Fairfax Media, applied for Mr West to raise a suppression order on the video in the public interest and to ensure the open administration of justice.

Mr West said it was appropriate after the inquest to release the video, as doing so would not have any bearing on the findings he would make.

Mr West accepted a submission from a barrister representing Victoria Police that Mr Tang’s dignity and reputation could be harmed if the video was made public.

He said the video showed Mr Tang in a dishevelled, intoxicated and unwell state and that he appeared extremely vulnerable. He said it was for these reasons the CCTV vision was such crucial evidence, because it showed the level of care police should have applied, but did not.

Mr West accepted the vision was confronting and possibly distressing, but rejected a submission from barristers representing some of the police officers at the station that day that the footage would inflame rather than inform the public.

He said he accepted media companies would act responsibly when publishing the footage, and dismissed concerns the footage would be sensationalised or shown out of context.

After he made his ruling, a barrister representing two of the police officers who dealt with Mr Tang applied to have the officers’ names suppressed because they were still serving officers and the “nature of the activity depicted” might “arouse strong emotions”.

But Mr West dismissed the application because the officers had already been named in media reports and photographed outside court.

During the inquest Victoria Police apologised to Mr Tang’s family and friends and admitted he did not receive the respect, dignity and protection he deserved.

Mr Tang’s nephew, Tommy Luong, said the family had welcomed the apology and were not waiting to hear what findings Mr West passed.

Mr Luong said Mr Tang’s wife and daughter were still distraught at his death and the way he was treated.

Ms Angelowitsch said the family was also grateful towards interpreter Yu Shu Lipski, who stayed with Mr Tang while an ambulance called and had given evidence during the inquest.

Ms Lipski said she was shocked and saddened by the way police treated Mr Tang, and had ridiculed him while in custody. She said one officer had laughed herself to tears when told Mr Tang had soiled himself.

Victoria Police also apologised to Ms Lipski for what she had witnessed.

Four officers – Megan Whitehead, Kaye Price, Kate Griffiths and Fiona Jones – were interviewed by police in relation to Mr Tang’s death, but were never disciplined. The Director of Public Prosecutions never pursued criminal charges.

Mr West said he would release his findings at a later date.

 

Ex Rugby league star Craig Field guilty of manslaughter of Kelvin Kane

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Big fall from grace for this ex league star, he was doing what most thugs do, but didn’t get away with it this time.

Craig Field guilty of manslaughter of Kelvin Kane outside Kingscliff Hotel in 2012

Tue 9 Dec 2014, 3:34pm

Former rugby league player Craig Field outside Lismore Court.

Photo: Craig Field has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Kelvin Kane. (ABC North Coast: Margaret Burin)

Former rugby league star Craig Field has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of a man outside a hotel in northern New South Wales in 2012.

Field, 41, admitted to punching 50-year-old Kelvin Kane outside the Kingscliff Hotel but his defence team argued he did not deliver the blow which caused a fatal brain haemorrhage.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and West Tigers half-back pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Kane.

Field told the court during his trial that he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

The defence and prosecution agreed the fatal blow connected with the left side of Mr Kane’s jaw, but there had been conflicting evidence about where the punch thrown by Field landed.

Field told the court his punch grazed Mr Kane’s right temple.

The court also heard another man, Shaun Fathers, could have thrown up to six blows towards the deceased.

But Mr Fathers told police during the investigation none of his punches connected with Mr Kane’s body.

The prosecution told the court medical evidence supported the proposition of a single punch being landed.

Field was refused bail and his sentence date will be set on Monday.


Craig Field trial: Third man’s punches crucial in murder case against former rugby league star, defence argues

Thu 4 Dec 2014, 3:16pm

The role of a third man involved in a scuffle outside a hotel on the New South Wales far north coast is emerging as a crucial factor in the murder trial of a former football star, defence lawyers say.

Craig Field, 41, has admitted to punching 50-year-old Kelvin Kane outside the Kingscliff Hotel in 2012 but his defence team has argued he did not deliver the blow which caused a fatal brain haemorrhage.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and West Tigers halfback has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Kane.

Field told the court he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

The defence and prosecution agreed the fatal blow connected with the left side of Mr Kane’s jaw but there had been conflicting evidence about where the punch thrown by Field landed.

Field has told the court his punch grazed Mr Kane’s right temple.

But today the jury heard a third man, Shaun Fathers, could have thrown up to six blows towards the deceased.

Earlier in the trial the prosecution quoted a police interview with Mr Fathers in which he admitted to throwing punches but denied any of them connected.

The prosecution told the court medical evidence supported the proposition of a single punch being landed.

No clear picture of incident, defence says

Defence barrister Tony Bellanto told the court there was divergence in the evidence about how Mr Kane fell, whether it was forward, sideways or crumbling.

He said the case was clouded in uncertainty and there was no clear picture of what happened.

Mr Bellanto likened the differing witness statements to magnets which had the effect of repelling each other.

For the second time in as many days he gestured towards his client while addressing the jury.

“This man is not a murderer,” Mr Bellanto said.

“He’s not a person who should be found guilty on manslaughter on this evidence because he didn’t do anything which involved criminal liability.”

Both sides have told the jury medical evidence backed their version of events and have agreed Field at times acted as a peacemaker as tempers frayed during a drinking session that began in the afternoon and lasted into the night.


Murder case against former NRL star Craig Field a ‘terrible irony’ – barrister

Wed 3 Dec 2014, 4:39pm

The defence barrister representing a former rugby league star has told the Supreme Court there is a terrible irony in the murder case against his client.

Craig Field is accused of murdering 50 year-old Kelvin Kane during a scuffle outside the Kingscliff Hotel in 2012.

The prosecution has told the court all the medical evidence points towards the blunt force of a single punch causing a fatal brain haemorrhage.

A witness has told the court he heard a massive, bone-shattering punch connect then saw a man fall to the ground like a rag doll.

There has been conflicting evidence about where Field’s punch landed, and the defence has argued that a second man also punched Mr Kane during the scuffle.

Field has pleaded not guilty, and told the court he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

Both sides agree the former Rabbitohs, Manly and Wests Tigers halfback was at times acting as a peacemaker as tempers frayed during a drinking session that began in the afternoon and lasted into the night.

Defence barrister Tony Bellanto told the court it was a terrible irony that of the two people who showed the least amount of aggression in the whole episode, one was sitting in the dock and the other was deceased.

He described the evidence against his client as a ‘Clayton’s case’.

At one stage he pointed towards Field and told the jury ‘this man is not a murderer, and he’s not a person who could be convicted of manslaughter on this evidence.’

He will continue his closing argument tomorrow.


Former NRL star Craig Field tells jury he threw a single punch to Kelvin Kane, because he was scared of being hit

Tue 2 Dec 2014, 5:43pm

Former rugby league star Craig Field has told the jury in his murder trial he threw a punch outside a hotel in northern New South Wales because he was scared of being hit himself.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and Wests Tigers halfback today took the witness stand for the first time.

He is standing trial for the murder of 50-year-old farmer Kelvin Kane.

The jury has heard the men were involved in a scuffle in the carpark of the Kingscliff Hotel in July 2012.

Field today said he was not looking to hurt anyone, but threw a single punch because he saw Mr Kane’s hand cocked and was afraid he was about to be hit.

“I shit myself,” he said.

“I found myself in a predicament I wasn’t comfortable in and didn’t want to be in.

“It happened too quickly for anyone to say anything.

“My thought was that I had to protect myself.

“He (Mr Kane) didn’t fall directly onto his back.

“His knees buckled and he just fell down.”

Field has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution has alleged the blunt force of that blow was enough to cause a fatal brain haemorrhage.

But the defence has told the court Mr Kane was punched by another man, Shaun Fathers, just seconds earlier.

It called an expert in forensic medicine, Professor John Hilton, who said he had seen similar cases where victims kept functioning for almost a minute before collapsing.

The jury will hear closing arguments from both sides tomorrow and is expected to retire to consider its verdict on Thursday.


Former NRL star Craig Field charged with murder

July 16, 2012
Charges against the former rugby league star are upgraded to murder after the alleged assault of a 50-year-old man in Kingscliff

Former NRL player Craig Field has been charged with murder after a man he allegedly assaulted on the NSW north coast died in hospital, police say.

Kelvin Kane, 50, was found unconscious outside the Kingscliff Beach Hotel on Marine Parade, Kingscliff, by police and paramedics about 9.15pm yesterday. Police allege that he had been punched on the head before falling to the ground.

Mr Kane was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and taken to Tweed Heads Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition this morning, a hospital spokesman said. He was placed on life support but died this afternoon, Tweed Heads Local Court was told.

Accused ... former Souths player Craig Field.Accused … former Souths player Craig Field. Photo: Steve Christo

Shaun Fathers, 41, and Field, 39, were arrested at a Kingscliff home and taken to Tweed Heads police station, where they were charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm this morning before Mr Kane’s death, police said.

The charges for both men were upgraded to murder this afternoon. Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Tom Ivey did not apply for bail for Field in court, AAP reported.

Both men will remain in custody until they appear before Lismore Magistrates Court on August 21 through a video link.

Kelvin Kane ... died after allegedly being punched by Craig Field.Kelvin Kane … died after allegedly being punched by Craig Field. Photo: Sarah Coulton, Queensland Country Life

A hotel staff member said this morning there was a fight but would not comment any further.

Roy Bartholomew, who sold cattle for Mr Kane last week, said he was a “man’s man” who “loved company and loved life”.

“He’s very open and relaxed and happy-go-lucky,” Mr Bartholomew said, adding that Mr Kane bred Charolais cattle and Charolais and Brahman cross cattle in Queensland, where he owned some property.

Mr Kane’s relative said this afternoon that his family were too upset to speak publicly.

Police appealed for anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Field, 39, started his league career with Souths in 1990 and was promoted to captain in 1994 before leaving them in 1996. He spent two seasons at Manly before joining Balmain Tigers, which became Wests Tigers in 2000. He was dropped from the club by 2002.

He had a playing and coaching stint with Pia in France in 2002 and 2003 before returning to Australia. Field had most recently been the head coach of the Cudgen Hornets A Grade side in the Gold Coast/Tweed Rugby League competition.


 

 

 

Berrimah jail’s most famous residents and criminals

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Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALO

Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALONE

BERRIMAH prison, described in 2011 as “only fit for a bulldozer”, is finally closing, with the last prisoners transferred on Friday.

Since it was built in 1979, the prison has been home to some of the Territory’s most notorious criminals.

Originally built for about 100 prisoners, the jail’s population swelled to nearly 800 as successive governments took hard-line approaches to crime and sentencing.

In its 35 years, the prison became increasingly dilapidated and overcrowded. Prisoners complained of rotten food and hot, overcrowded, rat-infested cells.

By the time the former Labor government announced the $500 million prison in Holtze, the legal community, human rights advocates and prisoners were heaping criticism on the jail.

In its final years, it saw repeated breakouts, riots and deaths.

NT Ombudsman Carolyn Richards, noted in 2011 that the rat problem was so bad that one inmate was bitten on the scrotum in his sleep.

Former NT Supreme Court Chief Justice Dean Mildren said in 2011 that the prison failed to meet international standards, with Correctional Services Commissioner Ken Middlebrook saying it should be bulldozed.

Instead, the prison will be refitted at a cost of $800,000 and transformed into a detention centre for the NT’s juvenile offenders.

1. Bradley Murdoch

CONVICTED in 2005 of the 2001 execution-style murder of British traveller Peter Falconio, Bradley Murdoch is serving a life sentence with a 28-year non-parole period.

Previously convicted in WA for firing a rifle at a group of Aborigines in Fitzroy Crossing, and with racist insignia tattooed on his arms, Murdoch will be at least 74 when he is released, and has been moved back and forth between Berrimah and Alice Springs prisons.

2. Lindy Chamberlain

THE Chamberlain trial was the most publicised in Australian history.

When Lindy and Michael Chamberlain’s two-month-old daughter Azaria was taken by a dingo at Uluru in 1980, police launched a murder investigation, claiming that Lindy slit her daughter’s throat and left the body in nearby scrub.

The jury found her guilty and sentenced her to life, with appeals going all the way to the High Court. The chance discovery of further evidence near Uluru led to her release in 1986.

3. Douglas Scott

DOUGLAS Scott was 26 when he was found hanged in his cell on July 5, 1985.

His widow, Letty, spent decades pushing for a proper investigation into his death, which sparked the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

A coronial inquiry and the Royal Commission both found that Scott had committed suicide, a claim Letty rejected until her death in 2009.

4. Douglas Crabbe

IN AUGUST 1983, Douglas Crabbe, then 36, drove his 25-tonne truck into a crowded bar near Uluru, killing five.

After two trials in Darwin, Crabbe was sentenced to mandatory life in prison, and married his wife, Mary, in a secret wedding ceremony inside Berrimah in 1988.

5. The Pine Gap 4

THE group of four Christian pacifists staged an illegal “citizen’s inspection” of the US/Australia spy facility at Pine Gap, in 2005, and were charged under obscure national security legislation dating back to the 1950s.

Bryan Law, Donna Mulhearn, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie trekked for seven hours to reach Pine Gap, sneaked in and took photos of themselves on the roof. They were issued fines and spent a week in Berrimah after refusing to pay.

6. Andy Albury

ALBURY, the closest thing Australia has to Hannibal Lecter, was convicted of the gruesome murder of Gloria Pindan on Mitchell St in November 1983. One of only two men in the NT who will never be released from prison, the former abattoir worker is the prime suspect in 14 unsolved murders in Queensland.

7. Martin Leach

IN JUNE 1983, Leach stabbed and raped Charmaine Ariet and killed her cousin Janice Carnegie near Berry Springs. Along with Andy Albury, Leach will never be released.

In Berrimah prison in 1988, he tried to kill pedophile John Michael Knox with a garden hoe. He was found not guilty on grounds of insanity.

8. Daniel Heiss

HEISS served 23 years in jail, mostly in Berrimah, for shooting dead Peter Robinson in 1990, after Robinson first fired at Heiss. He was known for two audacious escapes.

9. Shonky

NICHOLAS “Shonky” Cassidy, a former Hells Angel, hit Andy Griffiths with his ute, before dumping the body in June 2011. He was sentenced to two years with a 14-month non-parole period, and will have to serve an additional 15 months because the crime was committed while on parole.

10. Ben McLean and Phu Ngoc Trinh

The childhood friends were found guilty of murder after throwing two sex workers off the Adelaide River bridge, into croc-infested waters in 2004. They were sentenced to life, with non-parole periods of 25 years.

White Ribbon Day Nov 25th 2014. What are you doing to stop the violence?

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NOV25

EVENTS CAN BE FOUND HERE http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/events

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.

Vision
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.

Mission
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.

White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women), formally becoming a Foundation in 2007.

White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, annually on November 25. White Ribbon Day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10).


Thousands march in Melbourne against family violence amid calls for health officials to do more

Tue 25 Nov 2014, 8:31pm

Walk Against Family Violence

Thousands took to Melbourne’s streets to take part in the Walk Against Family Violence (ABC News)

Related Story: Defence force, military get behind White Ribbon Day

One woman is killed by a violent partner each week in Australia.

Two of the leading figures in the fight against family violence, Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and Rosie Batty, led more than 1,000 people through the streets of Melbourne today in a march to stop violence against women.

On the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr Lay said Australia could not arrest its way out of the situation.

“I think that for far too long family violence and resolving family violence has been left in the hands of police,” he said.

“We cannot simply arrest our way out of this. We need to change attitudes, it’s in the schooling, it’s in families.

“Clearly, fathers and mothers have got a responsibility to teach their children about gender inequity, teach their children to treat each other decently.

“They are partly responsible for this, no doubt.”

There were also calls for doctors and health officials to do much more to stop family violence, with new research published in The Lancet.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty, who co-authored the Lancet paper, is a GP and the head of primary care at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice.

She said the health system needed to be more focussed and streamlined when it came to addressing family violence.

“What we’re really looking for health professionals to do is provide a first line response that listens, validates, acknowledges what women and girls have been through in terms of violence against women and provides them with a pathway to safety and healing,” she said.

“To do that we need to strengthen the role of the health sector.”

Health sector ‘lacks awareness, training’ in family violence

In January 2013 Professor Hegarty called for GPs to be trained to recognise signs of domestic violence.

Since then, she said the health system had been slow to recognise the need for change.

“I think there’s been a large movement in the awareness in community campaigns with the development of Our Watch and other activities through White Ribbon,” she said.

“So I think people are becoming more aware that domestic violence or family violence is a problem in our community.

“What we haven’t found is the health sector responding.

We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty

“We haven’t got regular training or supervisional mentorship in medical nursing or public health or other curricular on a regular basis.

“We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.”

Professor Hegarty said substantial system and behavioural barriers existed in the health system.

“We haven’t got an enabling policy environment,” she said.

The Lancet paper examined five country case studies, including India and Spain, and how they responded and dealt with family violence.

Professor Hegarty said developing low-income countries such as India had made progress in addressing family violence in conjunction with their HIV-AIDs strategy.

“In fact, it’s been interesting to look at people who have done violence interventions attached to health interventions for HIV,” she said.

“That’s been showing some promise in a way we haven’t had those epidemics like that, and therefore I think health has been a little bit behind.”

She said Australia had a large focus on the national plan, which has been excellent to prevent violence against women and children.

“(But) it needs a whole spectrum across the ecological model from the community,” she added.

“(An) ecological model goes from a community to an individual, and often a health practitioner is seeing someone at an individual level. We need everybody to be activated.”


 

White Ribbon Day sparks more than 1,000 events across Australia in campaign against domestic violence

Tue 25 Nov 2014, 12:07pm

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised the involvement of Australia’s military in White Ribbon Day, saying it sends a signal that strong men protect others and do not condone domestic violence.

Speaking at a White Ribbon Day function in Canberra, Mr Abbott said shocking statistics associated with domestic violence crimes prompted the Government to allocate $100 million as part of an action plan to combat violence against women.

“It’s really good to see the participation of our armed forces in White Ribbon Day … because the presence of our armed forces, the presence of our police is a sign that tough, strong men protect others, they don’t persecute them. That the toughest and the strongest men are peacemakers, not brutes,” he said.

“Every week a woman dies somewhere in our country in a domestic context. One woman in three will experience violence at some stage of her life.

“One woman in five will experience sexual violence at some stage in her life. It’s just wrong. It must stop,” he said.

“Government has a role to play, that’s why this Government is investing some $100 million in our Second Action Plan to combat violence against women.”

Army chief Lieutenant-General David Morrison told a White Ribbon breakfast in Adelaide stories about the ANZAC spirit also needed a greater focus on the women who were involved.

He said many stories about World War I focused on stories about Anglo Saxon men.

“Unless they’re (women) included in the story, I think what we run the risk of is compounding this idea that Australia is a man’s country, a man’s world, where men get ahead,” he said.

“Men are promoted on their potential, women are only ever promoted on their proven performance. I don’t think we’re going to progress as a nation if that’s the case.”

Luke Batty death brought issue home for victims

White Ribbon ambassador John Caldwell told the ABC’s Breakfast program the tragic death of 11-year-old Luke Batty at the hands of his father earlier this year had brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds.

“When I saw his (Luke’s) photo and I thought, ‘that could have been me,’ and never before have I really thought of myself as one of the lucky ones, but that made me feel like I was one of the lucky ones,” Mr Caldwell said.

Mr Caldwell was nominated as Australian of the Year for Victoria in 2014 and said the nomination of Luke’s mother Rosie Batty for Australian of the Year in 2015 helped to highlight why the issue of domestic violence should be taken seriously.

It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours.

White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies.

“I grew up in Melbourne in a house that was plagued by domestic violence,” he said.

“I guess as a kid hiding under the bed I always felt so helpless and now as an adult, I don’t need to. I get to take back the power that I lost as a kid, but also to educate other children that you don’t have to stay silent yourself.

“Even for kids, there are people you can talk to. As a child, hiding under a bed hearing screams outside and not sure what you will find when you eventually walk out – I used to liken it to, as the eye of a cyclone. It would go quiet. Is it safe to go out? And then it erupts again.”

Mr Caldwell said nobody came to help despite people knowing what was happening and White Ribbon Day was about breaking that silence.

“It was known what was going on outside of the house and nobody would do anything, and that’s why White Ribbon Day is so important, because it is a male-led campaign,” he said.

White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said more than 1,000 events would be held across Australia to promote White Ribbon Day, including a walk through Melbourne’s CBD by members of both the Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs as part of the Walk Against Family Violence.

“It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours,” she said.

NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said several hundred people, mostly men, had marched from Randwick to Coogee in Sydney’s east in an event co-hosted with Randwick Council this morning.

He said those present, including many police officers, pledged an oath to help reduce violence against women.

“The oath is all about never ever condoning or committing acts of violence against women in any form. It’s about having those conversations with men acting as role models for other men,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said domestic violence cases were the single biggest crime police attended.

Phone app hidden function to protect domestic violence victims

In a bid to help protect victims of domestic violence, a free Australian mobile phone app was been launched in time for White Ribbon Day.

Buzz News looks like a regular news app on a mobile phone, but has a hidden function that allows people to secretly contact friends and call for help.

Developed by the Lisa Harnum Foundation, the app was named after the woman who was murdered by her partner Simon Gittany in Sydney in 2011.

Foundation executive director Aileen Mountifield said the phone app could save lives.

“If a perpetrator is used to checking his partner’s phone all that will come up is news, entertainment news, sports news, local news, national news,” she said.

“So that’s a deterrent hopefully that he won’t go to the help button because under the help button she would have stored her safe contacts, so if in distress all she has to do is open the app and press send.”

Newborn baby dumped down drain in Quakers Hill , 30-year-old mother charged with attempted Murder

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What a sad but also appalling situation, for a mother (or father or both) to dump a baby physically down the drain, allegedly dropping the tot 2.4 metres. Thank god for a real hero and the babies guardian angel in cyclist family David Otte and his daughter Hayley who were riding past and heard the cries.

It is disgusting, but I understand the bleeding hearts who will rush to the mothers defence. This is bullshit.Take or leave the baby in hospital when it was born.


 update 25/11/2014

Dramatic moment miracle baby was pulled from storm drain after surviving five days

  • Newborn survived in five days before cyclists heard cries
  • Boy has bleeding on the brain but is in a stable condition
  • Mother, 30, made full confession, police tell court
  • She hid pregnancy from family and father

THE boy miraculously found alive in a storm drain after being allegedly dumped by his mother is bleeding from the brain but in a stable condition in hospital.

And as Sydney prays he recovers fully from his injuries this morning, a fresh image has emerged showing the dramatic moment rescuers pulled him to safety.

It shows a policeman holds aloft the boy, swaddled in a pink blanket, after going into the 2m drain after emergency services were tipped off by a couple of cyclists who heard the baby’s cries. The cyclists anxiously watch on.

The newborn’s 30-year-old mother was formally charged with the sickening incident in Blacktown Local Court yesterday.

DUMPED BABY HAD LUCK AND ELEMENTS ON HIS SIDE

Photo

Clip from The Today Show which captured the dramatic moment the drain baby was pulled alive from his home of five days. Picture: Jason Donnelly Source: Twitter

Despite the charge, the Samoan woman has been given the privilege of naming him – and has chosen a biblical name.

For legal reasons we cannot reveal it, but it is associated with one of the most infamous child death cases in Australian history.

Police told the court she had made a full admission, saying that she had put “the less than 24-hour-old baby down the drain knowing it may kill the baby”.

She allegedly went straight from Blacktown Hospital to the drain.

Also yesterday, it emerged the woman had hid her pregnancy from her family.

’Shame!’ Drama oustide drain baby court

Family and friends of the woman who dumped her newborn baby down a drain leave Blacktown Court. They cannot be identified for legal reasons. Picture: John Grainger. Source: Supplied

Her son lay for five days undiscovered inside the pit off a cycleway next to the M7 at Quakers Hill until bike riders heard him crying on Sunday morning and he was recovered, severely dehydrated.

Experts have said the combination of the lack of rain, insulation from the heat by concrete and babies’ natural ability to survive without food in early life all contributed to his survival.

Doctors confirmed his condition had improved in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Family and community services minister Gabrielle Upton declined to comment when asked last night if she knew the mother had been allowed to name her baby.

Police will allege his mother left Blacktown Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, November 18, after giving birth at 1am that morning.

A soft toy is left at the site beside the M7 in Quakers Hill where the newborn was found

A soft toy is left at the site beside the M7 in Quakers Hill where the newborn was found on Sunday. Picture: Melvyn Knipe Source: News Corp Australia

She allegedly caught a bus and train to the stormwater drain, where she dumped the newborn. He was about 17 hours old when he was forced inside a small opening with a 200kg concrete lid covering the drain.

The woman broke up with a boyfriend in the early stages of her pregnancy this year and hid it from him, as well as from her family. It is possible he never realised he was to become a father.

The site where the drain is located along the M7 cycleway.

The site where the drain is located along the M7 cycleway. Source: Supplied

“It’s shocking. We had no idea, she seemed fine. I just thought she had put on a bit of weight,” a close family member said.

The court heard the woman, who lives in Quakers Hill with her aunt, uncle and a cousin, had no community ties and was a flight risk

Her immediate family members live in Samoa, where her parents are heavily involved in church missions.

Grasping each other’s hands and holding back tears, her relatives sat in court yesterday as a mental health examination was ordered. Outside the court a bystander shouted: “Shame.”

She made no application for bail, which was formally refused. The woman is due to appear in Penrith Local Court on Friday. The baby will remain in the care of the state.

Inside the drain you get a clearer indication of the 2.4m drop the child enduredafter bei

Inside the drain you get a clearer indication of the 2.4m drop the child endured after being dumped beside the M7. Picture Cameron Richardson Source: News Corp Australia

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the

Westlink M7 staff use a crane to put the cover back onto the drain after it was removed earlier to save the baby. Picture: Cameron Richardson Source: News Corp Australia

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the scene. Picture: Cameron Richardson Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Moment miracle baby was plucked from drain


update 24/11/2014

Samoan Mother of baby boy abandoned in drain near Sydney’s M7 charged with attempted murder

Mon 24 Nov 2014, 7:01am

A 30-year-old woman has been charged with the attempted murder of her newborn baby boy, who was found in a drain in Sydney’s west.

Cyclists heard the baby crying from the bottom of a two-and-a-half-metre drain near the M7 motorway at Quakers Hill on Sunday morning.

Police conducted an extensive search to find the baby’s mother, including hospital record checks and doorknocks.

On Sunday afternoon a 30-year-old woman from Quakers Hill was arrested after attending Blacktown police station.

She has been charged with attempted murder and will face Blacktown local court today.

It is believed the baby was born on Monday and police will allege he was placed in the drain the following day.

The baby was taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

The woman has been refused bail and has been remanded in custody.

Baby sounded like a ‘kitten screaming’

David Otte and his daughter Hayley said they were riding along the M7’s cycleway when they thought they heard a kitten screaming.

“No-one in their right mind would ever come across something like this,” Mr Otte said.

They could hear the baby’s cries from a small opening in the drain but were unable to lift the lid.

“We couldn’t get it off. We couldn’t get it off, we had to wait to help the police,” he said.

“Luckily we were there, right place right time. There was someone looking over us and told us to stop and have a look.

“At the end of the day we need to find what the truth is behind it and really find out if we can help the little fella.”

Both he and his daughter were deeply shaken and thought at one point the baby had died.

“All I wanted was for this baby to be safe so I’m glad that we got there and saved him,” Hayley Otte said.

Newborn would not have survived hot day

As Sydney’s west sweltered in 40 degree plus heat on Sunday, the chances of the baby surviving if he was not found were slim, police said.

Inspector David Lagats said finding the baby inside a drain was horrific.

“It was already undernourished and dehydration would have taken effect,” he said.

“The baby was conscious and breathing.

“He was removed from the drain and placed in the care of police.

“Ambulance were called and he’s been taken to the Westmead Children’s Hospital.”

ASHLEE MULLANY AND AAP
The Daily Telegraph
November 23, 2014 4:25PM

Newborn found in drain beside Sydney's M7
 This newborn baby boy was found down a drain at Quakers Hill this morning. Picture: NSW Police

THE mother of a baby found in a drain at Quakers Hill this morning has now been identified by police.

There are fears the newborn baby boy may have suffered internal injuries after being dropped down a 2.4m-deep drain near the M7 Motorway.

The dad and daughter who found the baby visited the Children’s Hospital at Westmead this afternoon to deliver a package of baby clothes.

David Otte and his daughter Hayley, as well as her mum Michelle, dropped off three sets of baby clothes, a new baby blanket and a face washer and towel.

“We wanted to see him, but the hospital said we weren’t able to at the moment,” Mr Otte said outside of hospital.

“We’d all really love a chance to see him again. Today has been such an emotional experience for everyone.”

Mrs Otte said the family was moved to give the little boy the gifts because “he really doesn’t have anything”.

“We have family, we have each other. He didn’t have anything.”

As a result of hospital record checks and doorknocks, the mother has been identified as a 20-year-old Quakers Hill woman.

She is currently assisting police with inquiries at Blacktown Police Station.

Mr Otte was cycling along the path with his 18-year-old daughter this morning when he heard the baby screaming.

“We were going on a leisurely ride, my daughter and I, and came across a noise that we could hear,” Mr Otte said.

“We actually thought it was a kitten and when we went down there we could hear exactly what it was, you could definitely tell it was a baby screaming.”

Mr Otte said he cycles on the path once a month and was about to turn around and head home when he heard the baby’s cries.

“Luckily we were there, someone was looking over us and told us to stop and have a look,” he said.

Cyclist David Otte and daughter Hayley found a baby boy whilst riding along a bike track

Cyclist David Otte and daughter Hayley found a baby boy whilst riding along a bike track beside the M7. Picture: Cameron Richardson bloody heroes!

Inspector David Lagats, from Quakers Hill police, said the boy was malnourished and undergoing medical tests at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

“He’s said to be in a serious but stable condition. The hospital estimates the baby to be two to three days old,” Insp Lagats said.

“He was already malnourished and dehydration would have taken effect so I would have had grave fears for the child’s welfare had it been exposed to this weather for the rest of the day.

“The umbilical cord had been cut and had been clamped. It appears to have had some medical intervention since its birth.”

Of concern is the height that the baby may have fallen from, Quakers Hill duty officer Inspector David Lagats said.

There was a gap between the ground and the concrete slab, big enough to put the child through, and police believe he dropped 2.4m.

Inside the drain you get a clearer indication of the 2.4m drop the child enduredafter bei

Inside the drain you get a clearer indication of the 2.4m drop the child endured after being dumped beside the M7. Picture Cameron Richardson

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the

Westlink M7 staff use a crane to put the cover back onto the drain after it was removed earlier to save the baby. Picture: Cameron Richardson

The child is thought to be of Indian or Middle Eastern appearance.

Some of the cyclists who found him saw an Indian male in an orange shirt walking on the cycle track moments after they heard the baby’s cries.

Senior-Constable Mark McAlister was among the first on the scene and climbed into the drain with another detective to pull the distressed baby out.

“When I arrived there were several bike riders, cyclists and pedestrians standing around the drain. Myself and several other police have come up, we heard something coming from the drain,” Sen-Constable McAlister said.

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the

Patrick Morgan, Mark McAllister and Darren McIntyre were the first police officers on the scene. Picture: Cameron Richardson

BUBS THAT WENT BEFORE…

August 2012: Six-week-old baby dumped on Joseph St, Lidcombe. Parents found arguing at Lidcombe station and child removed from family.

March 2013: Baby Ahn, abandoned hours after being born at Canterbury Hospital. 30-year-old Korean mother left him at the hospital.

April 2014: Baby “Mai”, 18-month-old left on the doorstep of a Western Sydney home. Mother was taken to immigration detention but released on a bridging visa.

“At least six of us have then lifted up the concrete drain lid, when we’ve opened it we’ve sighted the small baby wrapped up in a hospital blanket. He appeared very young.

“How could someone do it? I, myself, have kids and we’re expecting a baby in a few more months so it’s not good that someone’s going through this and has done this to a little one.

“It was a bit surreal really. It’s great that someone actually stopped and heard it and had the initiative to give us a call.”

A photo of the baby boy in Sen-Constable McAlister’s arms has been widely circulated on social media this morning as police attempt to find the baby’s parents.

Lisa Charet, district director from the Department of Families and Community Services, said it was likely the child would be released from hospital into the care of the state.

“At this stage we are really worried about his welfare and mum’s. We can give her the help and support that she needs. She must be feeling enormously distressed,” Ms Charet said.

The child’s cry was heard coming from beneath the concrete slab to the right. Picture: Ca

The child’s cry was heard coming from beneath the concrete slab to the right. Picture: Cameron Richardson

“When this sort of thing happens, people are in a place of desperation.”

With temperatures tipped to peak above 40C in Western Sydney today there were concerns the child would have died if he had been found later in the day.

ICAC: Former NSW minister Ian Macdonald to be prosecuted over Doyles Creek mine licence

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Wipe that bloody smile off your face McDonald, there will be no happy meals in jail when they finish with you (well apart from the I’m dying, have 34 cancers, amnesia and dementia and so on, which will be a disgraceful defence to those that suffer from those diseases

Long time waiting for this, with more crooks to come, including the outrageously corrupt and greedy Obeid Tribe

Update Thu 20 Nov 2014, 4:57pm

ICAC: Former NSW ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald to be prosecuted after corruption findings

Former New South Wales Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been ordered to appear in court after prosecutors decided to act on the findings of the state’s corruption watchdog.

Mr Obeid is being prosecuted for alleged misconduct in public office relating to restaurant leases at Circular Quay in Sydney.

Mr Macdonald is being prosecuted for two alleged offences of misconduct in public office over the awarding of a mining licence.

In June, Mr Obeid was found to have acted corruptly by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which said he “misused his position as an MP” to lobby ministers and a senior public servant over the retail leases.

The commission heard Mr Obeid had a secret stake in cafes and restaurants in the area through his brother-in-law, and he failed to disclose the stake when he lobbied other Labor ministers not to put the leases to a competitive tender when they expired in 2005.

“A court attendance notice was served on Mr Obeid this afternoon, following advice received from the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions,” ICAC said in a statement.

The court notice alleged Mr Obeid induced Stephen Dunn, a senior manager with the Maritime Authority of NSW, to “deal favourably” with Circular Quay Restaurants’ tenancies.

Mr Obeid fronted the media assembled outside his Hunters Hill home and said he would plead not guilty to the charges laid against him. Fraud from day 1, and the were ALL scared of him if you did not go past EO you got nothing back in the day in NSW parliment. Barely made a speech ever it at all, but was a POWER BROKER…WTF with the gutless party tribe (robbo)

“Those inquiries are nothing but sham inquiries that wanted to make ICAC look good,” he said.

He maintained his innocence and said he welcomed the prosecution.

“I have no concern whatsoever that in a court of law we’ll be able to fight the evidence, and I’m very confident,” Eddie Obeid said.

“I’m looking forward to telling the evidence we have. I’m innocent in every instance.”

ICAC’s Operation Acacia investigated Mr Macdonald’s decision to award the Doyles Creek mining licence in 2008, when he was resources minister.

The commission heard the then-Labor minister “gifted” the licence, in the Hunter Valley, to then-chairman of Doyles Creek Mining John Maitland without a competitive tender and against departmental advice.

The corruption watchdog recommended both Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland be charged.

ICAC said a court attendance notice had been served on Mr Macdonald earlier today, after the DPP provided advice that Mr Macdonald should be prosecuted for two offences of misconduct in public office.

Mr Maitland was being prosecuted for being an accessory to misconduct in public office, ICAC said.

The action follows widespread criticism of a lack of prosecutions resulting from the commission’s corruption findings.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said it was “about time” Mr Macdonald was prosecuted.

“Ultimately, what you need to see is prosecutions,” he said.

“Those prosecutions coming forward is going to give great confidence to the community.

“That is exactly what they want to see – if someone does the wrong thing and if they abuse public office, if they act in their own interest, if they undertake corrupt activity, well, there are consequences and they need to face them.”

The notice alleged Mr Macdonald “did in the course of and connected to his public office wilfully misconduct himself by granting Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd consent to apply for an exploration licence under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable cause or justification”.

He was also involved in misconduct “by granting to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd Exploration Licence No. 7270 under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable justification”, the court notice alleged.

A court attendance notice was also served on Mr Maitland for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office “in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

Mr Macdonald has previously described the ICAC findings as “false” and “based on guess work and conjecture”.

Mr Maitland has also rejected the findings.

The matters are listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on December 18.


 

Thu 20 Nov 2014, 12:34pm

Former New South Wales government minister Ian Macdonald has been ordered to appear in court after prosecutors decided to act on a corruption inquiry’s findings.

Mr Macdonald is being prosecuted for two alleged offences of misconduct in public office, after an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry relating to the awarding of a mining licence.

ICAC’s Operation Acacia investigated Mr Macdonald’s decision to award the Doyles Creek mining licence in 2008, when he was resources minister.

The commission heard the then-Labor minister “gifted” the licence, in the Hunter Valley, to then-chairman of Doyles Creek Mining John Maitland without a competitive tender and against departmental advice.

The corruption watchdog recommended both Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland be charged.

ICAC said a court attendance notice had been served on Mr Macdonald earlier today, after the DPP provided advice that Mr Macdonald should be prosecuted for two offences of misconduct in public office.

Mr Maitland was being prosecuted for being an accessory to misconduct in public office, ICAC said.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said it was “about time” Mr Macdonald was prosecuted.

“Ultimately, what you need to see is prosecutions,” he said.

“Those prosecutions coming forward is going to give great confidence to the community.

“That is exactly what they want to see – if someone does the wrong thing and if they abuse public office, if they act in their own interest, if they undertake corrupt activity, well, there are consequences and they need to face them.”

The notice alleged Mr Macdonald “did in the course of and connected to his public office wilfully misconduct himself by granting Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd consent to apply for an exploration licence under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable cause or justification”.

He was also involved in misconduct “by granting to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd Exploration Licence No. 7270 under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable justification”, the court notice alleged.

A court attendance notice was also served on Mr Maitland for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office “in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

Mr Maitland is also being prosecuted for giving false evidence at ICAC.

The matters are listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on December 18.

More on this story:

ICAC recommends cancellation of coal licences

ICAC finds Macdonald corrupt over Doyles Creek mine

Official advised against coal licence: ICAC

Coal licence a ‘goldmine’ for union boss: ICAC

 


  • Former Labor minister Ian Macdonald facing prosecution over Doyles Creek mine deal

    Date
    November 20, 2014 – 11:30AM

    Sydney Morning Herald State Political Editor

     Ian Macdonald facing prosecution over mining deal

    http://media.smh.com.au/news/nsw-news/ian-macdonald-facing-prosecution-over-mining-deal-6007934.html

    Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald is the first person to be prosecuted after an ICAC inquiry into the Doyles Creek mine deal

    Former Labor minister Ian Macdonald is being prosecuted for misconduct in public office following a corruption inquiry into the issuing of lucrative mining licences at Doyles Creek in the Hunter Valley.

    In a statement, the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced a court attendance notice was served on Mr Macdonald on Thursday on the advice of the NSW director of public prosecutions.

    Last year the ICAC found Mr Macdonald acted corruptly as a minister in 2008 by granting a licence at Doyles Creek to a company then headed by former union official John Maitland.

    Former Labor Minister Ian Macdonald exits the ICAC hearing in February 2013.Former Labor Minister Ian Macdonald exits the ICAC hearing in February 2013. Photo: Nic Walker

    The company, Doyles Creek Mining, was later taken over by NuCoal Resources. Mr Maitland made millions of dollars from the deal.

    The ICAC found Mr Macdonald awarded the exploration licence – without tender and against departmental advice – to his “mate” Mr Maitland, a former national secretary of the Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union.

    The court notice says that Mr Macdonald “did in the course of, and connected to his public office, wilfully misconduct himself” by granting Doyles Creek Mining consent to apply for exploration licences “without reasonable cause or justification”.

    The ICAC has also announced Mr Maitland is being prosecuted “for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office, in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

    He is also being prosecuted for giving false and misleading evidence to the ICAC.

    The announcement represents the first time prosecutions have been launched against key players in a series of major corruption inquiries into the handling of coal licences held by the ICAC involving Mr Macdonald and former Labor minister Eddie Obeid.

    The ICAC has also indicated more prosecutions could flow from its inquiry into Doyles Creek, codenamed Operation Acacia.

    The businessmen who bankrolled Doyles Creek Mining, Craig Ransley and Andrew Poole, were also found to have acted corruptly by the ICAC last year.

    The ICAC found Mr Ransley, Mr Maitland and Mr Poole deliberately set out to ensure they did not face a public tender for the licence and made false statements to the government to obtain the exploration approval.

    “The Commission is awaiting advice from the DPP in relation to further briefs it has provided with respect to Operation Acacia,” the statement said on Thursday.

    The Doyles Creek licence has been “torn up” by the NSW government on the advice of the ICAC, prompting legal action by NuCoal which has flagged it is seeking compensation of “at least” $500 million.

Brothers 4 Life- Four gang members charged with Mahmoud Hamzy’s murder

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Brothers 4 life: Four gang members to be charged with Mahmoud Hamzy’s shooting murder

Mon 27 Oct 2014, 11:03am

Three men and a woman from the Brothers 4 Life gang will be charged with murder, New South Wales police say.

Fellow gang member Mahmoud Hamzy was shot dead at a Revesby Heights home about 12:30am on October 29 last year.

Mahmoud Hamzy (left), a member of the Brothers 4 Life gang, was shot dead in 2013.

Mahmoud Hamzy (left), a member of the Brothers 4 Life gang, was shot dead in 2013.

A 32-year-old woman was arrested at her Dulwich Hill home in Sydney’s inner west early this morning.

She is in the process of being charged with murder and other offences relating to Hamzy’s shooting and another man who survived.

Three men, aged 22, 29 and 32, will also be charged with Hamzy’s murder when they each appear in Burwood Local Court today.

New South Wales Police Homicide Commander Mick Willing said all four are known gang members.

“The woman and those others that are charged comprise a core group of Brothers for Life associates and members,” he said.

Two to be charged over Joe Antoun shooting

The 32-year-old and 29-year-old men will also be charged with the shooting murder of convicted standover man Joe Antoun at his Strathfield home last December.

To date, Commander Willing said, four people had been charged in relation to the killing of Hamzy and four had been charged in relation to the killing of Antoun.

“Rest assured, more charges will be laid in the future as we intend to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who was involved in these ruthless crimes,” he said.


Four charged with murders of Mahmoud Hamzy and Joe Antoun

Police visit the Sydney address where they arrested the woman, 32, this morning. Picture:

Police visit the Sydney address where they arrested the woman, 32, this morning. Picture: Police Media

A WOMAN and three men associated with the Brothers for Life gang will today be charged with the 2013 shooting murders of Mahmoud Hamzy and Joe Antoun.

The woman — a 32-year-old from Dulwich Hill — was arrested at her home around 6am.

Detectives escort the woman into the police station after her arrest. Picture: Police Med

Detectives escort the woman into the police station after her arrest. Picture: Police Media

She is in the process of being charged with murder and other offences relating to the shooting death of Hamzy at Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights, on October 29 last year.

She will be refused bail and is expected to appear in Burwood Local Court today.

Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights: The scene of Mahmoud Hamzy’s execution. Picture: Bill Hea

Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights: The scene of Mahmoud Hamzy’s execution. Picture: Bill Hearne

Three other men — a 32-year-old, a 29-year-old and a 22-year-old — will also be charged with murder and other offences relating to the Revesby Heights shooting when they appear in Burwood Local Court on other matters later today.

Jersey Rd, Strathfield: The scene of Joe Antoun’s execution.

Jersey Rd, Strathfield: The scene of Joe Antoun’s execution.

The 32-year-old man and the 29-year-old man will also be charged with an additional count of murder for the roles they allegedly played in the fatal shooting of Joe Antoun at his home on Jersey Road, Strathfield, on December 16.

Botched gangland execution: Hamzy’s downfall

The arrests follow police ramping up their investigation into Hamzy’s death earlier this year.

In February, CCTV of three gunmen was released. They were filmed walking up to a suburban garage as they are about to execute Brothers for Life associate Hamzy.

A gun-flash can be seen as the three, each armed, unleashed a volley of bullets into Hamzy, who was inside the Revesby Heights home on October 29 last year.

Three people move up Bardo Circuit to the house they are targeting. Picture: NSW Police M

Three people move up Bardo Circuit to the house they are targeting. Picture: NSW Police Media

The actual target of the attack was Mahmoud’s cousin Mohammed, the leader of the Bankstown chapter of Brothers for Life. Mohammed fled the garage after the attack, leaving his cousin dying.

Police used the CCTV footage gathered from nearby residencies and information from the public to piece together a time line leading up to and after the murder.

The Nissan Tida police believe to be the getaway vehicle. Picture: NSW Police Media

The Nissan Tida police believe to be the getaway vehicle. Picture: NSW Police Media

One of the gunmen is believed to have been dropped off at Hurstville railway station not long after the murder.

“We believe the man at the railway station is one of the three seen getting out of a vehicle and walking to the residence where the victim was shot,’’ said Detective Superintendent Mick Willing.

“We are confident the person in this CCTV footage is also seen at the murder about 30 minutes before.’’

Police scour the scene in Bardo Circuit for evidence in the Hamzy execution.

Police scour the scene in Bardo Circuit for evidence in the Hamzy execution.

Just after the shooting a white Nissan Tida is seen to pull up in Bardo Circuit before the killers get in and leave the scene.

Police believe a burnt out Nissan Tida found in Jamison Park at Penrith two hours later was used to transport the shooters to the Revesby Heights shooting.

Who got Joe? Killers line up…

Police were forced to launch another investigation several weeks later when construction industry identity Antoun was gunned down at his front door as one of his six-year-old twin daughters clung to his leg.

Sydney career criminal Joe Antoun, aged 50, pictured here with his partner Teagan Mullens

Sydney career criminal Joe Antoun, aged 50, pictured here with his partner Teagan Mullens before his death. Picture: Supplied

Antoun, 50, was executed when he opened the door about 9.45pm and was shot four or five times in the head and chest.

His partner Teagan Mullens tried desperately to revive him before police and paramedics arrived

The father-of-two had been in and out of jail over the past three decades.

Joe Antoun’s twin daughters Lilly and Layla were at home when he was shot dead at his front door.

In 2001 he and his brother Antoine were charged with attempting to extort a Darling Harbour cafe owner before the conviction was quashed in 2006.

At the time police and crooks said a lot of people had reason to kill the known standover man.

Joe Antoun, pictured here with his family, was shot at least four times in the head and c

Joe Antoun, pictured here with his family, was shot at least four times in the head and chest.

Navid Khalili, 25, and Kasim Ali Khan, 24 — allegedly members of the street gang Brothers For Life — have already been charged over the Antoun hit.

The latest charges bring the people involved now to four.

Homicide Squad Commander Michael Willing has commended the police involved in the two mur

Homicide Squad Commander Michael Willing has commended the police involved in the two murder investigations.

Det-Supt Willing said today’s charges stemmed from outstanding police work.

“Their investigative nous and unyielding commitment has resulted in numerous people being charged with murder and other major criminal offences,” he said.

“To date, four people have been charged in relation to the murder of Mahmoud Hamzy and four have been charged in relation to the murder of Joe Antoun.

“Rest assured, more charges will be laid in the future as we intend to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who was involved in these ruthless crimes.”


‘Top Brothers 4 Life member’ Amanda Crowe stays under virtual house arrest over alleged hit bid

October 9, 2014

Court Reporter

Brothers 4 Life founder: Bassam Hamzy.
Brothers 4 Life founder: Bassam Hamzy. Photo: Supplied

A Sydney woman, charged with masterminding and orchestrating the attempted murder of three men during the Brothers 4 Life internal war last year, will remain under virtual house arrest after failing to have her bail conditions relaxed.

Amanda Crowe, 32, has been described by police in court documents as an unlikely right-hand woman to the violent gang‘s Blacktown chapter leader, Farhad Qaumi.

Qaumi, who was appointed “general” by gang founder and Supermax inmate Bassam Hamzy in 2012, is in custody on a string of firearms, drugs and gang-related charges.

Ms Crowe is accused of ordering Mobin Mirzaei, Mohammed Kalal and a third man who cannot be named for legal reasons to shoot Abdul Abu-Mahmoud on November 7 last year.

Mr Abu-Mahmoud was apparently targeted because his perceived links to a real estate agency meant he could find out where Qaumi lived.

On Thursday, Ms Crowe’s barrister Greg James, QC, said his client was caring for her elderly, infirm mother and needed some respite from being with her in their house around the clock.

He asked Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams to vary her bail conditions to allow her to leave the property during daylight hours as she was “under virtual house arrest”.

Justice Adams refused, saying Ms Crowe was accused of being either a leader of, or affiliated with, a “frightening criminal gang” .

Mr James said the case against Ms Crowe turned on a rollover witness who was in protective custody and “she is on the periphery” of the gang’s alleged activities.

Justice Adams said he was not in a position to assess the strength of the Crown case because a number of people had become Crown witnesses and would give evidence at trial about the gang and how it operated.

However, telephone intercepts showed Ms Crowe had “at the very least a sense of loyalty and submission to one or more members of the group”, Justice Adams said.

“The extent to which she is a leader is uncertain but, as a woman, it’s probably not great.”

He said that, given the seriousness of the charges – including three counts of causing wounding to a person with intent to murder, and the “character” of her co-accused gang members – the risk to the community was too great should her bail conditions be relaxed.

During an earlier court hearing, police alleged that, just after midnight on November 7, Mirzaei, Kalal and a third man stormed Mr Abu-Mahmoud’s car outside the Chokolatta Cafe in Bankstown with machine guns, firing through its windows so ferociously they destroyed a headrest.

Miraculously, the three men inside – Mr Abu-Mahmoud, Khalil Khalil and Hassan Soueid – survived.

Ms Crowe will appear in Burwood Local Court later this month.


Police unravel underworld shooting spree

Date

October 24, 2014

Drug cook Roy Yaghi, right, and his friend Jamie Grover.Drug cook Roy Yaghi, right, and his friend Jamie Grover. Photo: ABC Images

It began with a spray of bullets fired into a ute parked outside a home in the city’s south-west one night in August 2012, and what followed was three bloody months in Sydney.

There were five men dead by December and others lucky to be alive following a series of brazen shootings that were carried out at any time of day in car parks, outside family homes and even one as guests left a wedding.

But two years on, and following one of the largest police investigations carried out in recent years, homicide detectives are one by one closing in on those responsible.

Bachir Arja.Bachir Arja. Photo: ABC Images

Detectives involved in the major operation, known as Strike Force Earp, believe all five murders and a series of other shootings were carried out by the one criminal group based in the city’s west.

A key member of that group, a 28-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested and charged with murder when homicide detectives visited him at Silverwater jail on Friday.

It followed the dramatic arrest of another member, a 27-year-old, as he walked out of a Sydney courtroom on unrelated drugs charges on Tuesday.

Shooting victim Ali Eid.Shooting victim Ali Eid. Photo: ABC Images

Both men have been charged with the murder of father-of-four Ali Eid, who was shot dead in a brazen daylight execution at Punchbowl in November 2012. Mr Eid was doing tiling work on the half-finished property he was building for his young family in Lumeah Avenue.

The men have also been charged with attempted murder relating to an electrician who also was working on the home. Mohammed Hanouf was shot but survived the attack.

Head of the homicide squad Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said the investigation, which has involved thousands of hours of reviewing security footage and interviewing unco-operative witnesses, was “far from over”.

Victim: Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu.Victim: Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu.

“We believe the same criminal group is responsible for all five shooting incidents and we plan to make more arrests and lay more charges in the near future,” Mr Willing said.

Those other incidents include

  • the fatal shooting of known drug cook Roy Yaghi, 32, and Jamie Grover, 26, as they sat in a ute at Wentworthville on August 30, 2012;
  • the fatal shooting of Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu 23, and the wounding of two others as they left the wedding of another gang member at the Serbian National Defence Council at Canley Vale on November 5, 2012; and
  • the fatal shooting of Mr Eid’s relative, Bachir Ajra, 28, outside his family home in Punchbowl on December 18, 2012.

The members of this crime group have spent the best part of their adult lives in and out of jail, convicted of offences such as manslaughter, large-scale drug deals and armed robberies. Senior police have described them as more deadly and daring than the infamous Sydney crime group Brothers 4 Life.

While police believe the same group is behind all five murders, they do not believe the incidents are directly linked. The court was told on Tuesday that Mr Eid was killed over a drug debt.

It is understood that Mr Pisu was randomly hit when a gunman opened fire on a party leaving the wedding after someone was bad-mouthed during the celebrations.

Mr Yaghi, who had links to bikie gangs, was allegedly shot over a long-running dispute but his associate sitting in the car with him that night, Mr Grover, was collateral damage.

“This is a complex and challenging investigation but the detectives working on Strike Force Earp are some of the most tenacious police officers you will find,” Mr Willing said.

“I have every confidence in the work they are doing and know that they will bring more people to justice in the months ahead.”

The 28-year-old arrested on Friday will appear in Burwood Local Court on Monday.

His co-accused returns to court next month


 Related articles

So called COMANCHERO Bikie president Vince Focarelli’s son Giovanni shot dead in 4th assassination attempt

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Comanchero member Giovanni Focarelli shot dead as club president father Vince survives fourth attempt to kill him…These guys play with fire they are going to get burnt, but this story is mostly yet to be told and the facts from fiction get sorted out…Shame for Giovanni to die in such circumstances though.

Giovanni Focarelli, right, with father Vince outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court on January 12 this year.

COMANCHERO bikie Vince Focarelli has refused to tell police who shot and killed his son Giovanni in a ”targeted attack” in Adelaide’s north last night. (Son or stepson, does it matter?)

Update 24th November 2014

Do you have information about the shooting of Giovanni Focarelli?

CCTV footage showing the moment a man was shot dead in Adelaide in 2012 has been released by SA Police today in a bid to elicit additional information from the community to assist investigators.

Giovanni Focarelli was killed as he sat in the front passenger’s seat of a car stopped on Flame Ave, Dry Creek on Sunday January 29, 2012.

Also seriously injured in the attack was Mr Focarelli’s father, Vincenzo.

Police release CCTV of Giovanni Focarelli’s Dry Creek murder

Related Story: Top bikie’s son dead after double shooting
Police have released CCTV vision of the place where a man was shot dead in Adelaide nearly three years ago, hoping someone will come forward who can identify the attacker.

Giovanni Focarelli, 22, was sitting in the front seat of a car at Dry Creek in early 2012 when he was murdered.

His father Vince, who had bikie links, was seriously injured in the attack.

Vince Focarelli later flagged down a police car at suburban Prospect, with his son in the back seat of the car.

Police said an Adelaide bikie gang member was the key suspect and they hoped they were close to an arrest.

Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins of the major crime investigation branch said officers had been building their case.

“This footage is among the evidence seized by police. A small piece of information may be all it now takes to complete this criminal jigsaw puzzle and put the offender and any co-conspirators before the courts,” he said.

He said police would keep pursuing the case vigorously.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind both the offenders and the wider community that we do not file murder cases until they are solved and we will continue to pursue those responsible for this,” he said.

Detective Inspector Hutchins reminded people they could make an anonymous approach to police.

Bikie gang members are notorious for not assisting police in investigations and even going so far as to hide evidence, hinder police investigations and intimidate witnesses,” he said.

“Police will not be deterred and we remain extremely positive that the offender will be arrested.”

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9AM UPDATE

BIKIE lawyer Craig Caldicott told ABC Radio this morning that Mr Focarelli has managed to alienate large sections of the bikie community

“I’ve only obtained information from the media and from other people who indicate the father had a falling out with a member of the Hell’s Angels on a personal level. They had been friends and suddenly there was a falling out.’

“Out of the genesis from that Focarelli appeared to try to protect himself and from the New Boys then tried to brand himself a Comanchero and has managed to alienate large sections of the bikies fraternity.

Mr Caldicott said it appears that Focarelli has also made enemies with the Comancheros – and claimed Focarelli was not a member of the club despite claiming its presidency.

“No he isn’t,” Mr Caldicott said when asked if Mr Focarelli is a member.

“(His presidency) is a self-appointed title as far as I’m aware.”

Police at the scene confirmed that Giovanni’s body was in the back seat of a car on Prospect Rd, just outside Prospect Village Shopping Centre in Adelaide.

An SA ambulance spokeswoman said that a man with multiple gunshot wounds had been taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital.

She said he was in stable condition and walking when ambulance crews arrived at the scene.

Police confirmed the man was Vince Focarelli who has been the target of previous three assassination attempts.

Ten police vehicles sealed off Prospect Rd within minutes of the first reports about 9pm.

Police search the vehicle in which Giovanni Focarelli’s body was found in.

A blue sedan with West Australian registration plates was parked on Prospect Rd outside the shopping centre and Giovanni’s body was inside. The cars headlights and hazard lights were on.

TWO young women have narrowly avoided injury after being repeatedly fired at by a pistol-wielding gunman in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

A group of people who arrived at the scene at 9.35pm had to be restrained by police from entering the crime scene. One woman had to be tackled by three officers.

Minutes earlier, paramedics had gathered around the rear of the vehicle and they were believed to be checking a body for signs of life.

There were reports that an ambulance had earlier rushed a person to hospital.

Last month Giovanni was by his father’s side as Vince fronted court to face charges relating to a brawl at a Plympton hotel.

Giovanni was stabbed in the stomach and chest outside his father’s Hindley Street tattoo parlour Ink Central on May 22, 2010.

Vince, who survived a gunman’s ambush on December 15 at Munno Para and whose alleged associates engaged in a gunfight at a North Adelaide cafe, broke his silence to counter rumours that the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is plagued by infighting.

In a statement signed by him and released by him earlier this month, he called for privacy.

“Mr Focarelli denies there is any disharmony or in-house fighting within the Comancheros Motorcycle Club,” the statement said.

Mr Caldicott said it appears that Focarelli has also made enemies with the Comancheros, a club he is not a member of despite claiming its presidency.

“No he isn’t,” Mr Caldicott said when asked if Mr Focarelli is a member.

“(His presidency) is a self appointed title as far as I’m aware.”

Despite the rift between rival bikie gangs Mr Caldicott speculated that the shooting may have been over a drug deal going sour.

“The fact that it was at an oval at Dry Creek would tend to suggest it being a drug deal going wrong,” Mr Caldicott said.

“It may not have been necessarily anything to do with bikies, rather other people that Mr Focarelli’s managed to alienate over the years.”

EARLIER

COMANCHERO bikie Vince Focarelli has refused to tell police who shot and killed his son Giovanni in a ”targeted attack” in Adelaide’s north last night.

Police at the scene confirmed that Giovanni’s body was in the back seat of a car on Prospect Rd, just outside Prospect Village Shopping Centre.

Police believe Focarelli – the self-proclaimed leader of the Comancheros SA chapter – and his son had been shot in a ”planned” attack at Flame Ave, Dry Creek.

Police have cordoned off the street and are doorknocking residents.

THE SCENE AT DRY CREEK

Bleeding from up to four bullet wounds, Focarelli bundled his son, 22, into his Ford sedan and drove down Prospect Rd where he flagged down a police patrol for help.

Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle said police have spoken to Focarelli at the Royal Adelaide Hospital but ”he has declined to provide us with any information that might assist us in identifying the offender”.

”I would suggest it was a very planned and targeted attack,” he said.

”We have a scene at Dry Creek where we believe the shooting did take place.

”We believe Mr Focarelli was driving from there down Prospect Rd where he has come across a patrol and has stopped in front of that and sought assistance.”

Det Supt Moyle could not say whether Giovanni died at the scene of the shooting or if he was alive when his father sought police help.

THE SCENE ON PROSPECT RD

Vince Focarelli had boasted only weeks ago that he was “The only man on the planet with nine lives”.

Ten police vehicles sealed off Prospect Rd within minutes of the first call for an ambulance around 9pm.

A witness said an ambulance officer had told them that whoever was responsible for the shooting was still on the loose.

A blue sedan with West Australian registration plates was parked on Prospect Rd with its headlights and hazard lights on.

A group of people who arrived at the scene at 9.35pm had to be restrained by police from entering the crime scene. One woman had to be tackled by three officers.

Minutes earlier, paramedics had gathered around the rear of the vehicle and were believed to be checking a body for signs of life.

A nearby Prospect Rd resident said: “I heard a loud noise.

“It was a strange sound. I came down and there were police already here.

“As I got here, they rushed someone from the car to the ambulance.”

Police were searching the immediate area around the car for evidence.

Focarelli shooting

Det Supt Moyle stopped short of calling the latest shooting a bikie war but said police are concerned that the situation could escalate.

After a court appearance earlier this month, Vince bragged on Facebook that he “feels like a rock star” from all the media attention generated by his narrow escapes.

It was posted on December 16, the day after surviving his third assassination attempt after being shot in the leg at Munno Para West.

Vince and Giovanni Focarelli

Giovanni, in his early 20s, was stabbed in the stomach and chest outside his father’s Hindley Street tattoo parlour Ink Central on May 22, 2010.

Vince, whose alleged associates engaged in a gunfight at a North Adelaide cafe, broke his silence to counter rumours that the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is plagued by infighting.

In a statement signed by him and released by him earlier this month, he called for privacy.

“Mr Focarelli denies there is any disharmony or in-house fighting within the Comancheros Motorcycle Club,” the statement said.

Family and friends of Vince and Giovanni Focarelli arrive at the Prospect Rd scene last night

Danny Deacon, ex of Darwin mother Carlie Sinclair, arrested on suspicion of murder


They got him Danny Deacon , THE EX as most folks thought, after he allegedly returned to burial site, thank god for the family and friends who have fought so hard to keep the investigation alive, and the hard work at the NT POLICE force be those dedicated to find justice. Covert surveillance in this day and age is a huge investigative tool in all sorts of situations…Remember Kiesha? He pathetic parents (stepfather) caught a taxi to her burial site and the cops were waiting…

Missing woman Carlie Sinclair (inset) and her partner Danny Deacon, pictured speaking at a police press conference.
PHOTO: Danny Deacon said the last time he saw Carlie Sinclair (inset) they had a row before she walked off. (Supplied)

The former partner of Darwin mother Carlie Sinclair has been arrested on suspicion of her murder, sources have told the ABC.

Danny Deacon was arrested today after being seen close to where a body, thought to be Ms Sinclair’s, was found near Berry Springs, in Darwin’s rural area.

Police Commissioner John McRoberts would not name the man they had arrested, but said he had recently returned from interstate.

“I will say at this stage that he was known to Ms Sinclair and that’s as far as I can take it,” he said.

“The man that has been arrested left the Northern Territory soon after the disappearance of Ms Sinclair and has only just returned, in fact less than 24 hours ago.

Mr Deacon was the last known person to see Ms Sinclair, when she left a business in the Darwin suburb of Parap.

Mr Deacon told investigators the pair had had an argument while having a drink, and she walked off.

Body found in shallow grave

Mr McRoberts said a body, believed to be Ms Sinclair’s, had been found at Berry Springs, in Darwin’s rural area.

Police near the gravesite of Carlie Sinclair
PHOTO: Police near the gravesite of Carlie Sinclair at Berry Springs, near Darwin. (ABC News: James Dunlevie)

Mr McRoberts described the arrest as a “significant development”.

“Earlier today, as a result of a man being seen in the Berry Springs area, he has been arrested and we are now holding him in custody until the results are known of a comprehensive crime scene analysis which is currently underway,” Mr McRoberts said.

“Based on the information we have, including comments made by the man, we are very confident that we know where Carlie is, although it will take us some hours, or possibly not even until tomorrow to be able to tell her family that we have, in fact, confirmed her identity and where she is.

Mr McRoberts said he expected there would be more details from the crime scene later today.

“Based on all the evidence that has been compiled, based on the fact that we now have a man in custody, based on the fact that we now have what is clearly a gravesite at Berry Springs, we are very confident that we have solved the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Ms Sinclair,” he said.

Ms Sinclair, 36, has not been seen since the evening of July 18, 2013, with police mounting a widespread publicity campaign to find her and offering a reward of $250,000 for information.

Mr McRoberts said information from members of the public was significant in helping the piece together their case.

Police said Ms Sinclair was last seen leaving the Parap decorative concrete business she ran.

She was then spotted on CCTV at a BP service station at nearby Fannie Bay.

Police at the crime scene near Berry Springs
PHOTO: Police at the crime scene and suspected gravesite of Darwin mother Carlie Sinclair near Berry Springs.(ABC News: James Dunlevie)

Police said Ms Sinclair had not been in contact with her son, Alex, since disappearing and had not accessed her bank account or used her mobile phone.

“Her sudden disappearance was completely out of character, and after being advised police immediately held grave concerns for her welfare,” Mr McRoberts said.

“It was simply too much to believe that Carlie would leave Alex behind.”

In January, the NT Supreme Court granted the Public Trustee management of Ms Sinclair’s estate, which included a property in Stuart Park, and several vehicles and bank accounts.

The media are being taken to the suspected gravesite at Berry Springs.


 Carlie Sinclair – Missing for Six Months

Wednesday 18-Dec-2013 12:31

Six months ago, little Alex Deacon’s mum, Carlie Sinclair, disappeared, sparking a Major Crime investigation that continues to build momentum.

The Northern Territory Police Major Crime Squad have been vigilant in their intelligence gathering and investigation, and are focussed on finding some closure for Carlie’s family.

“It has now been six months since Carlie was last seen alive,” said the head of Operation Samburu, Detective Sergeant Tony Henrys.

“In the lead up to Christmas, spare a thought for little Alex who will not be able to spend Christmas Day, Carlie’s birthday, with his mum.”

Carlie Sinclair was last seen alive by her partner Danny Deacon at their business premises, ‘Darwin Decorative Concrete’, late in the evening of Tuesday June 18.

Acting on information received early on in the investigation, Detectives and members of the Territory Response Group searched bushland and water courses in the vicinity of Parap, Stuart Park and Berry Springs. A search warrant was also executed at a Parap location, with soil samples gathered.

Two vehicles of interest were nominated back in early July, and Detectives are still calling for anyone who may have witnessed a white Hi-Ace van or late model silver Toyota Rav 4 around the Parap, Stuart Park, Cox Peninsular Road or Berry Springs area on the evening of June 18 or before midday on June 19 to contact Police.

“Detectives involved in this investigation are not prepared to give up. Every tiny shred of information is being thoroughly examined,” said Detective Sergeant Henrys.

“We would like to thank the community for their support thus far, and Police are very keen to speak to anyone who has information about Carlie’s disappearance.

“Somebody knows something. Somebody has the vital piece of information that will help us piece together this suspicious disappearance, and find some justice for Carlie, her parents, and her two-year-old son, Alex.

Carlie’s mother and father, Marlene and Robert, and brother, Kristian, have not given up on finding Carlie, and urge anyone with any information about Carlie’s disappearance to contact Police.

“Next Wednesday, while everyone celebrates Christmas with their families, we will be still wondering what happened to Carlie,” said Marlene Sinclair, Carlie’s Mum.

“If you know anything, anything at all, please call the Police. The small piece of information you have may be just what the Police need to make a breakthrough.”

You can report information to the Police anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Since the day the matter was reported to Police a team of investigators have been working on this case. We have not stopped and will not stop.”

“We continue to follow up on a number of matters and revise the evidence, statements and information we have already collected, looking for new leads to act on.

“We are determined to find out what happened to Carlie and to locate any person or persons that may have been involved in her disappearance,” concluded Detective Sergeant Henrys.

If you have information about the suspicious disappearance of Carlie Sinclair, please contact Police on 131 444, or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. You may be eligible for a reward.


                                         Carlie SINCLAIR

Police hold grave concerns for the wellbeing of missing mother of one, Carlie Sinclair, who has not been seen since the evening of Tuesday 18 July 2013 and are calling on assistance from the public to locate her.

Ms Sinclair, who resides in Stuart Park, was last seen on the evening of Tuesday 18 June and has not been heard from since. Ms Sinclair is described to be of Caucasian appearance, solid/heavy build, with blonde hair which she wears in a pony tail. She was last seen wearing a black mini-skirt, a horizontal striped black and white top with sleeves and brown ‘Havaianas’ thongs.

Police urge anyone who may have seen Carlie, who may have had contact with her since Tuesday, or who may know of her whereabouts, to contact Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Northern Territory Police Force

Missing Woman Carlie Sinclair – Update

Northern Territory Detectives investigating the suspicious disappearance of Ms Sinclair from Parap on Tuesday 18 June are currently searching an area in Acacia.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Henrys from the Major Crime Squad said Police had received fresh information concerning a vehicle in the vicinity of Livingstone Road.

“We are concentrating on an area of bushland and water courses close to the road. Members from the TRG and Crime Command are using a helicopter to co ordinate the search.

“Police continue to hold grave concerns for the welfare of Ms Sinclair and urge any person who has information to come forward.”

Anyone who may have information is asked to call Police on 131 444 or they may make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Christmas is Carlie Sinclair’s birthday – she has been missing for six months

SIX months ago a Territory woman disappeared from Parap sparking a major crime investigation.

Carlie Sinclair was last seen by her partner Danny Deacon at their business premises, Darwin Decorative Concrete, in the evening of Tuesday June 18.

Her two-year-old son, Alex Deacon, will spend Christmas – also Carlie’s birthday – without his mum.

Acting on information received early on in the investigation, detectives and members of the Territory Response Group searched bushland and water courses in the vicinity of Parap, Stuart Park and Berry Springs. A search warrant was also executed in Parap, with soil samples gathered.

Police are also still seeking anyone who may have seen a white Hi-Ace van or late model silver Toyota Rav 4 around the Parap, Stuart Park, Cox Peninsular Road or Berry Springs area on the evening of June 18 or before midday the following day.

“Somebody knows something. Somebody has the vital piece of information that will help us piece together this suspicious disappearance, and find some justice for Carlie, her parents, and her two-year-old son, Alex,” said head of Operation Samburu, Detective Sergeant Tony Henrys.

Det Sgt Henrys thanked the community for their support so far.
Carlie’s mother and father, Marlene and Robert, and her brother Kristian, have not given up hope of finding Carlie and urge anyone with information about her disappearance to contact police.

People can do so by ringing 131444 or making an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Hopes re-enactment could bring results one year after Carlie Sinclair went missing

POLICE have scoured waterways, bushland and drains; they have doorknocked homes, reviewed CCTV footage and made several high-profile calls for help.

Still the desperate search for Darwin mum Carlie Sinclair continues.A year on from her disappearance, four Northern Territory detectives are working full-time on the baffling case: re-examining evidence, reinterviewing people and poring over old statements.

It is all they can now do to bring closure to her loving family – parents Marlene and Robert, brother Kristian and, most importantly, her three-year-old son Alex.

Carlie, who would now be 36, was last seen by partner Danny Deacon at their Parap business, Darwin Decorative Concrete, on the evening of June 18, 2013. Mr Deacon told investigators the pair had an argument during a drink and she walked off.

Police suspect foul play and Mr Deacon, who has since moved to Perth, remains the only suspect.

“He was the last person to see her and he was in a domestic relationship with her,” investigator Acting Commander Tony Fuller said.

“He will remain a suspect until he’s eliminated.”

But building a case is difficult with no body and the trail has gone cold.

Acting Commander Fuller would not comment on the couple’s relationship, what evidence police have uncovered, or what lines of inquiry they were pursuing. But he said there were no “fresh” leads and her bank cards had not been touched since June 18.They have ruled out suicide and her devotion to Alex has all but ruled out the possibility she ran away.

“The mostly likely scenario is she met with foul play that night, by person or persons unknown to us at this stage,” Commander Fuller said.

Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since Carlie was last seen alive and police are making another public push for information.

“There must be someone out there who saw something or heard something that quite possibly hasn’t heard about Carlie’s disappearance,” Acting Commander Fuller said.

“It gets taxing over time, but those officers are very committed and they’ve only got one thing on their mind – that’s to get answers for young Alex.”

Police want to speak to anyone who has information, or who saw a white HiAce van or late-model silver Toyota RAV4 around the Parap, Stuart Park, or rural areas on the evening of June 18 or before noon the next day. Information can be given anonymously to police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

A Channel Nine special featuring re-enactments and interviews with Carlie’s family, friends and partner Danny Deacon will air tomorrow night in the hope of prompting someone to come forward with information.The project, shot on a shoe-string budget, has been more than four months in the making and taken presenter Jonathan Uptin and senior cameraman Graham Morrison beyond Darwin to Perth and Brisbane.

The re-enactments feature volunteer actors and are meticulous on detail, right down to the make and model car Carlie was driving when she went missing.

“One of the best things was there were so many people who volunteered their time and resources – these are people who didn’t want money,” Mr Uptin said. “Hopefully we’ll get a breakthrough; someone might be able to come forward.

“It’s something I’ve become emotionally invested in – it’s absorbed my life and I really want closure for the family. It sounds cliche but it’s true.”

The half-hour special will air at 6.30pm and lead into the second State of Origin clash between NSW and Queensland on Nine.

HOW IT UNFOLDED

JUNE 18, 2013: Carlie Sinclair is last seen by partner Danny Deacon at their Parap business, Darwin Decorative Concrete.

JUNE 28, 2013: Police search an area off Livingstone Rd, Acacia, after a tip-off Mr Deacon’s 4WD was seen in the area on June 18. It is one of several searches.

JULY 3, 2013: Mr Deacon asks Carlie to come home, saying: “Carlie, if you can hear this, you need to know that we both miss you very much, Alex and I are struggling on a daily basis.”

JULY 18, 2013: Mr Deacon reveals police have been watching his every move. He tells the NT News: “It is not nice being accused of it but at the end when you face reality that is what I expect them to do.”

DECEMBER 22, 2013: Days before what should have been Carlie’s 36th birthday, police and mother Marlene issue another public appeal for assistance.

JUNE 17, 2014: The eve of the one-year anniversary of Carlie’s disappearance. Police still count Mr Deacon as the only suspect, but say there are no fresh leads.


 

 $250,000 reward offered to find Carlie Sinclair

A $250,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the disappearance of Darwin mother, Carlie Sinclair in 2013.

The reward includes a recommendation of indemnity from prosecution for any accomplice who gives information leading to a conviction, provided he or she did not actually commit the crime.

Chief Minister Adam Giles announced that the Government had approved a reward to help Police in their search for the person or persons who may have taken the life of Sinclair.

“Around midnight on Tuesday June 18 last year, Police believe the young mum left her business address at number 209 Stuart Highway in Parap after an argument with her partner,” Mr Giles said.

“She left behind her personal belongings, her car and her young son.

“She has not contacted her family or friends since which relatives say is completely out of character.

“Her bank accounts have not been touched since the day she was last seen and Police suspect she may have been murdered.”

Despite an intensive, year-long Police investigation, they have been unable to find her or those responsible for her disappearance.

A team of detectives has interviewed witnesses, viewed CCTV footage, conducted aerial and ground searches of the local area and organised information stands in Parap to no avail.

It is hoped that the offer of this substantial reward may provide an incentive for someone to come forward with what they know, saw or heard.

“A single piece of information, no matter how small, may hold the key to solving this crime,” Mr Giles said.

“Carlie Sinclair’s family, particularly her young son, deserve answers about what happened to her and who was responsible.

“I urge anyone with information to contact 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The allocation of the reward will be at the discretion of the Police Commissioner.

Police struggle in search for Carlie Sinclair, $250,000 reward offered

Northern Territy Police say they are at the end of the line in their investigation into the disappearance of Darwin mother Carlie Sinclair, and are announcing a $250,000 reward to try an re-ignite interest in the case.

Ms Sinclair disappeared on June 18 last year, and Police Commissioner John McRoberts said the anniversary was a good time to try and get fresh leads.

“Rewards are something that are considered when the investigation gets to a point at which we have exhausted all other avenues. We are now at that point,” Mr McRoberts said.

“I think it is also fitting that we use the 12-month anniversary as an ideal opportunity to generate a great deal of public interest,” he said.

It is kown that Ms Sinclair left her business in Parap with her partner Danny Deacon at their Parap business, Darwin Decorative Concrete.

She was not seen again and her bank accounts have not been touched since in the past 12 months.

She was the mother of a three-year-old boy, Alex, when she went missing.

“This is a substantial reward that seeks to identify information that can lead to the successful prosecution of someone who was involved in the disappearance and potential murder of Carlie Sinclair,” NT Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

Mr Giles said he was not aware of the NT ever paying out reward money in relation to previous crimes.

Clive Palmer media adviser Andrew Crook charged over alleged kidnap of National Australia Bank executive


By the National Reporting Team’s Mark Solomons and Mark Willacy – exclusive

Fri 19 Dec 2014, 4:59pm

Clive Palmer‘s media adviser and confidant Andrew Crook has been granted bail after facing court charged over the alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive on an Indonesian island.

Crook was arrested this morning during police raids on properties in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

As part of the same operation, police from the state’s anti-bikie taskforce arrested Mick Featherstone, a Gold Coast private investigator and former senior detective at the centre of a year-long probe by Queensland‘s Crime and Corruption Commission into money laundering and police corruption.

Police also issued a warrant for the arrest of multi-millionaire property developer and former Sydney Swans , who lives in Bali.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Crook and Featherstone were held during morning raids at addresses in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm and Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast.

Crook was then taken to his Brisbane CBD office where police carried out further searches.

Officers also raided another Brisbane premises and seized documents.

On Friday afternoon Crook and Featherstone faced court charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, retaliation against a witness and attempted fraud against NAB.

Crook was bailed on conditions including that he surrender his passport and does not go within 100 metres of the NAB’s Southport branch.

The ABC understands Queensland Police will allege Crook and Mr Smith were involved in a January 2013 attempt to coerce a witness in a $70 million civil case involving Mr Smith to recant his evidence, using subterfuge and threats of violence.

Queensland Police say the charges stem from an elaborate scheme which police will allege was planned partly in Queensland. Section 12 of the Queensland Criminal Code allows for prosecutions for offences overseas where they would be considered crimes in Australia.

Police have been investigating claims Crook and Mr Smith lured the witness, an employee of the National Australia Bank, to Singapore and on to Batam Island in Indonesia using the pretence of a possible job offer from Clive Palmer.

It will be alleged that once on Batam Island, the witness was strip-searched, threatened and forced to make a statement recanting his evidence.

Clive Palmer calls raids a ‘black day for Australia’

Mr Palmer is not thought to have had any involvement in, or knowledge of the plot.

The federal MP arrived at Crook’s office during the raid and said he knew nothing of the allegations.

But he suggested the police actions could be politically motivated.

“I don’t know very much other than to say that Crook Media and Andrew Crook are responsible for all our media in Australia, was responsible for the Palmer United Party winning the last federal election,” he said.

“And of course, the LNP, the Liberal Government – Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott – don’t like the opposition we’ve been giving them in the Senate, they don’t like that sort of thing.

“I think this is a black day for Australia if any of this, which I don’t know anything about at the moment, has anything to do with political freedom in this country.

“I think it’s very important that there’s freedom of speech in Australia, that there’s diversity of opinion. I’m personally very concerned because Mr Crook is our media adviser and if they wanted to attack me or our party they can do that.”

Brisbane-based Crook has been Mr Palmer’s media adviser and spokesman since before the tycoon entered politics.

Since becoming a federal MP, Mr Palmer has retained the services of Crook and his PR firm, Crook Media, to handle his political media relations.

Clive Palmer chats with Andrew Crook Photo: Mr Crook has been Mr Palmer’s media adviser and spokesman since before the tycoon entered politics. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

Mr Smith made his fortune in the tourism industry after his AFL career.

Since 2009 he has been embroiled in legal action against the National Australia Bank, claiming the bank caused him to lose $70 million at the height of the global financial crisis.

He began building the biggest mansion on the Gold Coast, on Hedges Avenue at Mermaid Beach, but was later forced to sell it unfinished and at a loss.

Mr Smith then shifted his businesses to Bali, where he has developed luxury holiday accommodation. He also has interests in New Zealand and has re-invested in Gold Coast real estate in the past couple of years.

It is understood detectives from the Queensland police anti-bikie taskforce Maxima stumbled on evidence of the alleged January 2013 plot earlier this year while investigating Featherstone and his links to bikies, to former and serving police officers and his involvement with online betting syndicates on the Gold Coast.

The ABC revealed in September that Featherstone was the focus of a joint Maxima and Crime and Corruption Commission probe described as a “priority” investigation by CCC chairman Ken Levy.

In a parallel, four-month investigation, the ABC uncovered evidence Featherstone had for almost 10 years been involved in setting up and operating online betting syndicates alleged to have defrauded thousands of people across Australia of millions of dollars.

Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading (QOFT) this week renewed Featherstone’s private investigator’s licence, which had expired in October. It also renewed the licence held by his PI firm, Phoenix Global.

The office of Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, which oversees the QOFT, told the ABC it had conducted the required criminal history checks and could find no reason to deny Featherstone or his firm a licence.

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