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MARTIN PLACE SIEGE REVIEW-Terms of Reference

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MARTIN PLACE SIEGE – JOINT COMMONWEALTH – NEW SOUTH WALES REVIEW

17 December 2014

Prime Minister

Premier of New South Wales

E&OE

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

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

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

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

The Terms of Reference for the review are attached.

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

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

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

The review will report by the end of January 2015.

Martin Place Siege – Terms of Reference

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 December 2014

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

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

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

ABC 702 reporter John Donegan

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

sheikh-haron-october2014_redacted

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

about-sheikh-haron

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

Haron promise


 

Update 10.50AM 16/12/14

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

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

Photo

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

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

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

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

Katrina Dawson

Katrina Dawson

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


 

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

Tue 16 Dec 2014, 7:51am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martin Place Cafe Siege: Man Haron Monis named as gunman

Sydney siege gunman identified

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A man is holding several people hostage at Martin Place cafe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A terrified woman runs from the Lindt Cafe

A terrified woman runs from the Lindt Cafe Source: Supplied

A terrified Lindt employee runs to safety

A terrified Lindt employee runs to safety Source: Supplied

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two hostages run to safety outside the Lindt Cafe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three hostages escape Lindt cafe siege

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jihadist flag at city centre siege

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

Jihadist flag at city centre siege

Picture: Courtesy of Channel 7. Source: Channel 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siege at Martin Place.

Siege at Martin Place. Source: Supplied

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

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

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

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

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

Lindt Cafe released the following statement on their Facebook page.

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

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

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

BUILDINGS EVACUATED

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

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

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

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

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

The US Consulate has also been closed.

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

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

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

Courtesy of Channel 7. Source: Channel 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED: Martin Place long identified as potential terrorist target

 

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSPORT IMPACTED

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

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

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

RELATED: Sydney trains cancelled, buses diverted

Frightening siege at Lindt cafe Martin Place Sydney

Frightening siege at Lindt cafe Martin Place Sydney

Sydney siege: Gunman takes hostages in Lindt cafe

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

Related Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the scene: Wendy Frew, BBC Australia Editor Online

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

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

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

Sydney map

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

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

Terror threat

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

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

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

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

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

Only one person was charged with terror offences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

The Daily Telegraph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public transport between Central and Bondi Junction has been stopped.

Buses are diverting away from Elizabeth St and Hunter St.

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

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

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

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

Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Maritin Place.

Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

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

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

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

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

More to come.

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

Featured


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Featured


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

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

Tue 26 Nov 2013, 12:44pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coroner Iain West has reserved his decision.


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

Mon 18 Nov 2013, 12:04pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr Tang was drunk and had soiled himself.

The inquest continues.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three were also disciplined with “renumeration impact”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Coroner releases CCTV video of Gong Ling Tang

November 22, 2013

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gong Ling TangGong Ling Tang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Featured


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

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

Tue 9 Dec 2014, 3:34pm

Former rugby league player Craig Field outside Lismore Court.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thu 4 Dec 2014, 3:16pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No clear picture of incident, defence says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Wed 3 Dec 2014, 4:39pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He will continue his closing argument tomorrow.


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

Tue 2 Dec 2014, 5:43pm

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

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

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

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

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

“I shit myself,” he said.

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

“It happened too quickly for anyone to say anything.

“My thought was that I had to protect myself.

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

“His knees buckled and he just fell down.”

Field has pleaded not guilty.

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

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

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

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


Former NRL star Craig Field charged with murder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

 

 

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