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Perth mum Janet Kirby jailed over drunken crash that killed her daughter


‘Drinking game’ before fatal crash

Janet Kirby had a fatal car crash after playing a drinking game.

A mother who was drunkenly skylarking with a carload of teenagers before she crashed and her teenage daughter was thrown to her death from the boot has been sentenced to a four-and-a-half year jail term.

Janet Louise Kirby cried in the dock of the District Court this morning as Judge Linda Petrusa said her offending was egregious and the sentence had to send a message to the community that driving was a privilege and cars were a lethal weapon.

Supporters of the 48-year-old grandmother, who had been playing a drinking game with her 15-year-old daughter Lois before she got behind the wheel of the car and lost control on Marmion Avenue on March 14 last year, sobbed uncontrollably when the jail term was handed down.

“This event is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy which could have been avoided,” Judge Petrusa said.

“It is a serious example of dangerous driving.”

Kirby had a blood alcohol level of 0.110 – more than twice the legal limit – when she crashed as she was driving six passengers aged 15 to 20 to a party in Ridgewood.

Egged on by the teenagers, two of whom were travelling in the rear luggage compartment of the Jeep Cherokee without seats or belts, Kirby started tailgating a moped and swerving from one side of the road to the other in an attempt to scare the rider and his pillion passenger.

She then attempted to overtake the moped and lost control of the jeep, which crossed two lanes and landed on its roof.
Louis died from multiple injuries after she was thrown from the car and three other passengers were injured.

Judge Petrusa said she accepted that Kirby had no previous criminal record, posed a low risk of re-offending and was genuinely remorseful.

“There can be no greater deterrent sentence than the one you have imposed on yourself,” she said.

But Judge Petrusa said Lois’s death was also a loss to her father and siblings and the sentence had to send a message that driving was a privilege.

“Your inaccurate belief as to your level of intoxication and your desire to keep Lois smiling may explain your decision to drive, but it does not excuse it,” she said.

“The deliberate skylarking was so hazardous that your earlier failures seem almost minor in comparison.”

Kirby will be eligible to apply for parole after serving two-and-a-half years in jail and was also disqualified from driving for three years.


Perth mum Janet Kirby jailed over drunken Merriwa crash that killed teenage daughter

Updated about 5 hours ago

A Perth drunk driver who crashed her car after trying to scare a moped rider, killing her teenage daughter who was in the boot, and injuring three others, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail.

Janet Kirby, 48, was twice the legal alcohol limit when she lost control of her car in the northern suburb of Merriwa in March last year.

She had been playing drinking games with her daughter Lois, 15, before driving the teenager and four friends to a party in Perth’s northern suburbs.

However Kirby lost control of the vehicle after swerving across the road to try to scare the moped rider and his pillion passenger.

Lois, who with one other passenger was travelling unrestrained in the luggage compartment, was thrown from the vehicle on Marmion Avenue and died.

Police who attended the scene smelled alcohol on Kirby’s breath, and she later recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.11.

District Court Judge Linda Petrusa called the crash a “tragedy” but said it was “a tragedy that could have been avoided”.

“You failed in your responsibility at the first hurdle and compounded it by deliberately skylarking,” Judge Petrusa told Kirby.

She described Kirby’s actions as “deliberate” and a “grave breach of the standards” expected by drivers on the roads.

“As wretched as the death of Lois is … it cannot be forgotten your actions caused injuries to three others,” Judge Petrusa said.

“And you placed at risk the lives of … two others in the car and the two young people on the moped.”

Judge Petrusa said while she accepted Kirby was genuinely remorseful and suffering significant emotional pain, a message had to be sent to the community that driving was a “privilege” and motorists needed to take into account the safety of others.

Kirby will have to serve a minimum of two-and-a-half years behind bars before she can be released on parole.

From other news sites:

Tennis match-fixing: 40 games targeted by bookmakers during three-month period in 2015


More than 40 professional tennis matches were flagged for potential match-fixing by international bookmakers in just a three-month period last year — an average of more than three times a week.

Key points:

  • At least 20 players involved reported to world tennis authorities
  • Blacklist contains more than 350 names
  • Two players are low-ranked Australians
  • Third review for the sport in 11 years

The fixtures took place at tournaments in countries including Colombia, Morocco, Russia and Germany between September and November 2015, eight years after tennis first vowed to fight the scourge of corruption.

At least 20 of the players involved in those matches have been reported to world tennis authorities on previous occasions — a dozen of them were first flagged by integrity investigators as far back as 2008.

Explained: Andy Cunningham from sports integrity firm Sportradar demonstrates how monitoring betting odds can identify suspicions of a match fix

Several of the players also appear on a separate blacklist obtained as part of a Four Corners investigation into match-fixing and the underworld figures who control bookmaking across Asia.

The blacklist is maintained by a European bookmaker of tennis professionals not trusted to always play to win.

The list contains more than 350 names, including at least 10 who played at this year’s Australian Open.

Two of the players on the list are low-ranked Australians, but the majority hail from developing economies in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe, where integrity measures in the sport are at their weakest. Four Corners has provided the list to tennis authorities.

The revelations come five days after the heads of each major tennis governing body — the Association of Tennis Professionals, the International Tennis Federation, the Grand Slam Board and the Women’s Tennis Association — announced a review of the sports integrity regime by a London barrister, Adam Lewis QC.

The investigation was prompted by news reports out of London that linked top-ranked players to corruption in the sport, prompting a global furore and overshadowing the first grand slam on the tennis calendar, the Australian Open.

The review will be the third for the sport in 11 years.

Four Corners has interviewed those who conducted the previous two reviews, all of whom say the sports’ governing bodies are facing a growing problem with matches fixed every single week somewhere across the world.

Do you know more about this story? Email besser.linton@abc.net.au

Tennis buried report warning of ‘deliberate underperformance’

The first major warning was given to tennis by the man who would go on to become Australia’s anti-doping chief, Richard Ings.

As an ATP executive, he produced a scathing report in November 2005 that was meant to have been made public.

The Ings report warned tennis it was “an alarming wake-up call for the sport of men’s professional tennis and its governing bodies”.

“Deliberate underperformance by players and ensuing gambling and alleged corruption that results from such deliberate underperformance, appear to pervade all levels of the men’s professional game today,” the report stated.

Mr Ings recommended the establishment of a uniform anti-corruption code and an integrity unit to more fully investigate 37 matches that were highly suspicious.

But tennis buried the Ings report and did not act on either recommendation until a major scandal years two later.

The controversy centred on a match in Poland in 2007 involving then world’s fourth-best player, Nikolay Davydenko, after Britain’s betting exchange, Betfair, voided all bets on the match.

Although there was ultimately insufficient evidence to make a finding against the Russian, the team investigating that match also discovered damaging evidence about a far wider corruption problem.

This time the investigators identified another 44 matches that required urgent investigation and potential sanction against several key players.

Instead, tennis authorities set up a minimal integrity regime and decided not to go after the players involved, citing a new player code that would not be applied retrospectively.

‘There is still a huge question mark over integrity’

Mark Phillips, a betting analyst from Global Sports Integrity, was one of the investigators involved in the 2007/8 probe.

Bookmakers’ blacklist


One of the players embroiled in a feared match-fixing controversy at the Australian Open, David Marrero, has appeared on a secret blacklist of professional tennis players who have played in matches bookmakers deemed to be suspicious.

He told Four Corners he believed that had tennis followed up with their investigation it would have been able to root out the core people corrupting other players.

“We actually did a presentation, showed various parts of the investigation that we had done and then physically handed over data files and actual ring binders of evidence that we had collected,” he said.

“We were pretty experienced at investigating these types of matters and we believed the evidence to be very strong.”

One of the heads of the review, Ben Gunn, said tennis at the time was at a “cross roads”.

“I think it’s disappointing eight years later, having had two reviews eight years later, that it appears there is still a huge question mark over the integrity of some tennis games,” he said.

Bad Sport, a Four Corners investigation, can be seen at 8:30pm on ABC TV.

Tennis match-fixing scandal: How it unfolded

Updated Wed at 2:44pm

Tennis has ordered an investigation into its anti-corruption unit after it was left reeling by reports of match-fixing.

Here is how the story rapidly unfolded from when it first broke on January 18 to the announcement of the independent review panel on January 27.

Investigation reportedly uncovers evidence of match-fixing by core group of 16 players

January 18, 2016

BuzzFeed News and the BBC reveal details of a probe which found 16 players had lost games when suspicious bets were placed against them.

A US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon were among the core group, while one top-50 ranked player competing in the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set;

Players were reportedly targeted in hotel rooms and offered $73,100 or more per fix.

The report looked at analysis of betting on 26,000 tennis matches and contained evidence of suspected match-fixing by gambling syndicates based in Russia and Italy uncovered as a result of an investigation in 2008, but over which no action had been taken.

ATP ‘absolutely rejects’ claims evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed

January 18, 2016

The president of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) says the governing body “absolutely rejects” that evidence of match-fixing in the sport has been suppressed or overlooked.

“The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn’t being thoroughly investigated,” said Chris Kermode at a press conference at Melbourne Park.

Tennis’s big names react to the allegations

January 20, 2016

With the allegations emerging as 2016’s first major got underway, high-profile players were immediately put on the spot by the media. Aussie young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis was one of the first to speak, admitting he had been approached by “randoms” on social media to fix matches.

Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic fronted the press, dismissing a report in an international newspaper that he “wanted to lose” a match in 2007 and saying he felt terrible when he has been asked to fix a match in 2006, while retiring Australian great Lleyton Hewitt also went on the offensive after a blog linked him to the list of 16 names.

Novak Djokovic: “Speculation”

What it is to say?

Anybody can create a story about any match.

That’s my point. There hasn’t been too many matches where top players lost in last decade or so in early rounds. You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it.

I think it’s not supported by any kind of proof, any evidence, any facts. It’s just speculation. So I don’t think there is a story about it.

This is now the main story in tennis, in [the] sports world, there’s going to be a lot of allegations.

Andy Murray: “More transparent”

If there is corruption in any sport, you know, you want to hear about it.

As a player you just want to be made aware of everything that’s going on. I think we deserve to know everything that’s sort of out there.

Some of it will be true, some of it might not be true. But I’m always very curious with that stuff across really all sports, as well. I think sports could in general be much, much more transparent.

Roger Federer: “Names”

I would love to hear names.

Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?

It’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport.

So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be.

Lleyton Hewitt: “Absurd”

I think it’s a joke to deal with it. Obviously, there’s no possible way. I know my name’s now been thrown into it.

I don’t think anyone here would think that I’ve done anything (like) corruption or match-fixing. It’s just absurd.

For anyone that tries to go any further with it, then good luck. Take me on with it.

Yeah, it’s disappointing. I think throwing my name out there with it makes the whole thing an absolute farce.

Online bookmakers suspend betting on a mixed doubles match at the Australian Open

January 24, 2016

Betting agency Pinnacle Sports received large bets from a small number of people on Sunday’s doubles match between Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero.

The agency said it was unusual for such large bets to be placed on minor matches. It was later revealed at least 19 other bookmakers including Ladbrokes also cancelled their betting markets on the match, according to historical betting data available online.

Hlavackova and Kubot won the match 6-0, 6-3 in 49 minutes, with the New York times reporting on Monday that the unusual betting patterns on the match had led Pinnacle Sports to suspend markets 13 hours before the scheduled start.

Spanish doubles player Marrero appears on blacklist of players who bookmakers deem suspicious

January 25, 2016

A secret bookmakers’ blacklist of tennis players is handed over to authorities, with ABC’s Four Corners revealing Marrero’s name is featured in the document.

The list is maintained by one of Europe’s biggest bookmakers.

The development comes after the president of the International Tennis Federation, David Haggerty, told Four Corners: “Players at all levels are vulnerable to corruption.”

Tennis announces independent review into the effectiveness of tennis’s anti-corruption program

January 27, 2016

Adam Lewis QC is appointed to lead an independent review panel to report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Tennis Anit-Corruption Program, aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the game.

The chairmen and chief executives of tennis’s governing bodies, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, commit to fund and implement all actions recommended by the panel.

 

Brissy cop charged with murder over baby son’s death in 2014-Still not named


Update 1/02/16

Brisbane policeman Colin Randall appears in court over alleged murder of baby son

A senior police constable from the Brisbane region has been remanded in custody after facing court charged with the murder of his two-month-old son more than 18 months ago.

Colin David Randall, 38, faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court for a brief hearing this morning.

Police and the Crime and Corruption Commission have spent more than a year investigating the baby boy’s death, but it was not reported to the public until the weekend.

Randall was remanded in custody and the matter is due to return to court next month.

Cop’s murder charge a ‘tragic event’

POLICE are expected to allege an officer charged with murdering his baby son was having an extramarital affair with a woman in the Queensland Police Service.

A senior constable from Brisbane Region has been charged with murder.
Why the hell has is taking so long to name one of their own? Queensland Police Service pays its senior constables between $68,894 and $82,638 a year. I GUARANTEE Jo Blow doesn’t get these pathetic privileges for something no where near the crimes relating to a death of a child
By Matt Eaton

Sat 30 Jan 2016, 5:15pm

A 38-year-old Queensland Police senior constable has been charged with murder over the death of his baby son.

Police charged the man after a joint investigation by the child trauma task force within the child safety and sexual crime group, state crime command and the ethical standards command.

The investigation related to the death of a two-month-old boy at a property in Victoria Point on Brisbane’s bay-side on June 28, 2014.

The officer from the Brisbane region, who had already been suspended from duty with the Queensland Police Service, is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.

At a media conference on Saturday afternoon, Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said he could not release too many details about the case other but confirmed “there were fairly significant injuries to the baby”.

He said the officer involved was suspended about a month after the child’s death and defended the decision by investigators not to speak publicly on the officer’s alleged involvement before today.

In terms of any sort of infant homicide, they aren’t necessarily made known to the media.

Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon

“Our community needs to have confidence, in fact great confidence, that no matter who is responsible for these types of crimes, that its police service will be relentless and committed in ensuring that the investigations are brought to conclusion and that the offenders are brought to justice,” he said.

“Now this is a very tragic event, with the loss of a young, innocent life and the devastation of a family.

“I’m a father — these sorts of crimes, irrespective of who commits them, are tragic and terrible.

“I can only say that we are committed, as we have been in this instance, to making sure the offender is brought to justice.

“Particularly in this one, we’ve [been] very careful, hence our involvement with the Crime and Corruption Commission to make sure everything has been done properly.”

Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon said they would have kept the investigation away from public attention regardless of who was involved.

“In terms of any sort of infant homicide, they aren’t necessarily made known to the media,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter whether there’s a police officer charged or a member of the community.

“They are extremely difficult, complex and protracted investigations where you have expert evidence involved and they take many, many months to resolve.”

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said the officer was suspended on full pay but now that he had been charged this would be reviewed.


Police officer still paid after baby’s death

Updated: 6:27 pm, Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Queensland police officer accused of murdering his baby son has spent the last year-and-a-half suspended from duty on full pay.

The 38-year-old senior constable was charged with murder on Saturday morning after his two-month-old son succumbed to ‘fairly significant injuries’ at Victoria Point in Brisbane’s east in June 2014.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the baby’s death was immediately considered suspicious and the officer was suspended ‘about a month after the incident’.

‘The usual procedure we have is when under investigation, before any charges are laid, the officers are suspended on pay,’ Mr Gollschewski told reporters on Saturday.

‘Now that he has been charged that will be reviewed and consideration will be given to suspension without pay.

‘That’s a technical legal matter that has to be considered properly.’

Queensland Police Service pays its senior constables between $68,894 and $82,638 a year.

But Mr Gollschewski defended the amount of time the investigation took, saying infant homicides were difficult to investigate because they relied upon medical expert evidence that could take months to obtain and verify.

‘This is a very tragic event with the loss of a young innocent life and the devastation of a family,’ he said.

‘These types of investigations are very difficult, challenging and, in this instance, quite protracted.’

He also defended the decision not to release any information about the incident before now, including the fact an officer was suspended on suspicion of a child’s murder, because detectives needed to maintain ‘the integrity of the investigation’.

The deputy commissioner said the lengthy investigation was aided by the Crime and Corruption Commission and various experts.

‘Our community needs to have confidence, in fact great confidence, that no matter who is responsible for these types of crimes, the police service will be relentless and committed to ensuring the investigations are brought to a conclusion,’ he said.

‘And that the offenders are brought to justice.’

Mr Gollschewski refused to provide any details about the incident itself, saying the matter was now before the courts.

The officer is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.


 

Brisbane cop to appear in court charged with baby son’s death

January 30, 2016 – 5:12PM

Queensland Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski addresses the media with State Crime Command Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon, after a 38-year-old senior constable was charged with the murder of his baby son.Queensland Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski addresses the media with State Crime Command Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon, after a 38-year-old senior constable was charged with the murder of his baby son. Photo: Kim Stephens

A Queensland police officer will face court on Monday charged with the murder of his baby son in 2014.

This is a very tragic event with the loss of a young, innocent life and the devastation of a family

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski

The senior constable’s two-month-old boy died after suffering “significant” injuries at his home at bayside Victoria Point, south-east of Brisbane, on June 28, 2014, Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said on Saturday.

The 38-year-old was stood down on full pay one month after the child’s death, when an investigation was launched.

He was not on duty at the time the boy died.

The Brisbane region senior constable was arrested and charged on Saturday after a protracted probe involving multiple investigatory agencies, including the police Ethical Standards Command and the independent Crime and Corruption Commission.

As the matter is before the courts, Mr Gollschewski declined to elaborate on how the baby boy is alleged to have died but said the injuries that caused his death were severe.

“It’s a complicated one, other than to say there were fairly significant injuries to the baby,” he said.

“This is a very tragic event with the loss of a young, innocent life and the devastation of a family.

“These types of investigations are very difficult and challenging and in this instance quite protracted.”

Mr Gollschewski defended Queensland Police Service not revealing one of their officers had been stood down subject to a murder investigation until he had been charged.

“As with any of these types of investigations, they are very difficult, it’s very important they are conducted in a way that the evidence is preserved and that we are able to present that to a court so a proper determination can be made,” he said.

“Our community needs to have confidence, great confidence, that no matter who is responsible for these types of crime, the police service will be relentless and committed to ensuring investigations are brought to their conclusion and the offenders are brought to justice.”

State Crime Command Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon said all infant murder investigations were lengthy and detailed ones.

“In terms of any infant homicide they are not necessarily made known to members of the media, it doesn’t matter if there is a police officer charged or a member of the community, they are extremely difficult, complex and protracted investigations,” she said.

“Where you have experts involved and they take many, many months to resolve, this particular case is no different to other cases involving infant homicides.”

Mr Gollschewski said the alleged crime was a particularly tragic one.”I’m a father, these sort of crimes, irrespective of who commits them, are tragic and terrible,” he said.

“I can only say that we are committed, as we have been in this instance, to making sure the offender was brought to justice.”

The baby’s father has been remanded in custody to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, February 1.


 

 

 

Mitchell Pearce-Another NRL moron and deviant loser who can have no excuses


NRL star Pearce filmed simulating lewd act with dog on Australia Day
20:51 AEDT WED 27 JAN 2016

Mitchell Pearce was asked to leave the apartment after stimulating a sex act with a dog.
ABC licensed

New South Wales State of Origin player and Sydney Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce’s immediate playing future is in jeopardy after he was filmed in an apparent alcohol-fuelled incident on Australia Day.

Key points:

Mitchell Pearce filmed simulating lewd act with dog
Also tried to kiss girl before being asked to leave
NRL asks Sydney Roosters for report into incident
Grandstand’s Andrew Moore “sick to death of drunken bums”
A video showing Pearce engaging in a lewd act involving a dog has aired on the Nine Network.

Pearce, in a seemingly intoxicated state, can be seen in the video forcing an unwanted kiss on a female, who tries to reject his advances.

He then turns his attention to the woman’s dog, announcing: “I’ll f*** that dog, I don’t give a f***, I don’t have a sexuality.”

The 26-year-old, who was shirtless but wearing shorts, is then seen to simulate sex with the dog.

The woman tells him to stop but Pearce continues to simulate sex before the woman takes the dog away and tells him to leave.

The woman also suggests that Pearce urinated on her couch.

“Get out. Out. Out,” she is heard saying.

The NRL has asked the Roosters for a report into the incident after the club advised the league about the matter.

“The [NRL] integrity unit will work with the Roosters to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately,” an NRL statement read.

The Roosters confirmed they would also launch their own investigation.

“The club will conduct an internal investigation and will be making no further comment at this time,” a statement read.

Grandstand’s Moore ‘sick to death of drunken bums’

ABC Grandstand’s senior rugby league commentator Andrew Moore said the sport had again been tarnished as a result of the latest incident involving Pearce.

“I’ve earned my living out of rugby league for many years,” he said.

If [this] is what drunken boys do, well, we’ve got a bigger problem across society than I ever imagined. It’s not what people do.

Grandstand NRL commentator Andrew Moore
“I’m sick to death of idiotic drunken bums ruining the reputation of this great sport, year in, year out. It is only one or two of them, it doesn’t matter.

“It is one or two too many constantly.”

Pearce, whose father Wayne is an Australian Rugby League commissioner and a former New South Wales State of Origin captain, has previously been involved in off-field incidents that made headlines.

He was fined $20,000 and stood down from an NRL match in 2014 following his role in an incident involving a female patron in a Kings Cross nightclub.

That incident also cost Pearce his spot in the Blues’ line-up for State of Origin I that year.

External Link: nrl tweet on pearce
Moore said Pearce had previously been warned to stay away from alcohol.

“He has had issues with the drink for far too long and won’t address it,” he said.

“His father is someone I’ve known for two decades or more, one of the ultimate cleanskins of rugby league and someone who is on the board of the ARL Commission.”

Moore said there was no excuse for Pearce’s behaviour.

“I’ve seen it on social media, ‘Isn’t this what drunken boys do?’ Well no, it’s not,” he said.

“And if it is what drunken boys do, well, we’ve got a bigger problem across society than I ever imagined.

“It’s not what people do.”

Should Pearce’s contract be terminated by the Roosters, it would not be the first occasion a club has severed ties with a player because of off-field incidents.

Canberra, the Roosters and Cronulla each parted ways with Todd Carney during his NRL career, with the Sharks sacking the playmaker in 2014 after a photo emerged on social media of him appearing to urinate into his mouth.

Joel Monaghan quit the Raiders before he could be sacked after a photo was published on Twitter of the former Australia and New South Wales representative simulating a lewd act with a dog in 2010

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


McGuire: ‘Idiots’ were sucked in

 swan and cloke story 2 swan and cloke story

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Dane Swan and girlfriend Taylor Wilson.

Travis Cloke and Rebeccah Panozza. Picture: Alex Coppel

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

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


Collingwood stars Dane Swan and Travis Cloke in nude photo leak

Travis Cloke and Dane Swan.

KARA IRVING, AAP Herald Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travis Cloke.

Travis Cloke.Source:News Corp Australia

Dane Swan.

Dane Swan.Source:News Corp Australia

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

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

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

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


 

Michael Cardamone charged with murder of Victorian mother Karen Chetcuti

Featured


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

Update 11.43am 19/01/2016

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

Key points:

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

  • Body believed to be of Ms Chetcuti found in scrubland

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

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

He appeared again on Tuesday morning, where police laid another charge of breaching parole against him.

He was remanded in custody.

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

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

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

A post-mortem examination is being conducted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He appeared in a white t-shirt, dark tracksuit pants and socks.

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

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

Chetcuti ‘closely involved’ in Whorouly community

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

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

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

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


 

Update 5.36pm 18/01/2016

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

Video of the sad news  Karen Chetcuti-Body Found

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

MAJOR UPDATE 11.50AM 17/01/16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

January 16, 2016 – 3:43PM

Tammy Mills, Tom Cowie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their properties share a boundary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti.

Missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti. Photo: Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detectives continued to search Whorouly and Myrtleford on Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hunt continues for missing Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti

January 17, 2016 – 6:51AM

Tammy Mills, Chris Vedelago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homicide detectives suspect she was the victim of foul play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police have been providing support to the family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:

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

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


Update 15/12/15

Former NT CrimeStoppers boss Xana Kamitsis jailed

Updated about 2 hours ago

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

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

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

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

More to come.


 

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

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

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

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

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

Members of the Paspaley family also made appearances.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Very close friends’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concern elderly witnesses will remember ‘limited’ details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The case continues.

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

Xana’s tough prison days | NT News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kamitsis will appear in court today.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr McRoberts did not return the NT News’ calls.


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

SHAE MCDONALD

NT News

November 24, 2015 12:23PM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trial continues.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Updated 16 Jan 2015, 8:50am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr McRoberts resigned amid a formal investigation into his conduct.

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

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

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

The case is currently before the courts.

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

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

Cmdr Bryson has been contacted for comment.

Strong local candidates: police union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I reject the allegations: McRoberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topics: police, darwin-0800

First posted 15 Jan 2015, 7:25pm

More stories from Northern Territory


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mark that as a close run draw.

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

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

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

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


Missing Surfers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adam Coleman. Picture: FacebookSource :AAP

Dean Lucas. Picture: FacebookSource :Supplied

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Updated about 5 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From other news sites:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Adam Coleman pictured with his girlfriend, Josie Cox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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