Rozelle store owner Adeel Khan arrested over blast that killed three people

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More to come, the store owner has been arrested in explosion that killed 3.
September 23, 2014 – 9:57AM

Facing three murder charges: Adeel Khan.

Facing three murder charges: Adeel Khan. Photo: Supplied

The owner of a Rozelle convenience store that was destroyed by fire that killed three people has been arrested at his hospital bed.

Adeel Khan is expected to charged with three counts of murder in relation to the blast and subsequent fire earlier this month, polices sources.

Bianka O’Brien, 31, her baby son Jude and their neighbour Chris Noble, 27, all died in the Darling Street fire.


Mon 8 Sep 2014,

The father and husband of two victims of a shop explosion in Sydney last week says he is devastated by the loss of his wife and their 12-month-old son, who “made everyone smile”.

The NSW Police Arson Squad is leading a criminal investigation into the Rozelle blast and fire on Thursday that killed Bianka O’Brien, 31, and her son, Jude, along with 27-year-old Chris Noble.

John O’Brien described his wife of eight years as “an inspiration to all who knew her”, saying she was a wonderful wife and an even better mother.

He said people gravitated towards her because of her “beautiful and warm personality”.

“Bianka and I were together for eight years, married for two, and to say she was the love of my life is an understatement,” he said in a statement.

“I can’t believe how quickly those eight years have flown by but they have definitely been the best years of my life.

“I know I was truly loved by her and the feeling was entirely mutual.”

Jude O'Brien

Photo: Jude O’Brien, 1, “never stopped smiling”, his father John says. (Supplied)

Mr O’Brien said he loved his son Jude with all his heart, describing him as the perfect baby who “never stopped smiling”.

“By far the proudest moment of my life was becoming a father,” he said.

“Jude had just started to walk and was only just discovering the world around him. Everything was exciting to him and he was just a joy to be around. He made everyone smile.”

He said the events of the past few days had been devastating, but he has been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

“Finally, I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of Chris Noble and everyone else who has been affected by this,” he said.

The owner of the convenience store on the Darling Street block, Adeel Khan, remained in intensive care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Asbestos concerns at blast site

Concerns over asbestos contamination and an exclusion zone around the site the explosion and fire were discussed at a town hall meeting on Sunday.

The area around the blast site has been described by investigators as “very dangerous” and shut off to residents and business owners since Thursday.

Inspector Gary Coffey assured the gathering that authorities were addressing concerns over asbestos and the impact of an exclusion zone around the site.

“We understand the very real need to restore this community in a timely manner so that the healing process can begin,” Inspector Coffey said.

“I can assure you that we are all working very hard every minute of the day to try and achieve this.

“The priorities for the police operation are to assess the asbestos management at the site, reducing the exclusion zone to allow unaffected businesses to re-open and to provide pedestrian access to those businesses and crime scene examination.”

Local business owner Steve Isaac said his electrical store on Darling Street had been closed since Thursday and the exclusion zone set up around the blast site had been having a major impact on his business.

“Because it’s a crime scene and the street is closed off, it’s hard to get deliveries in and out and we’ve had a lot of cancellations,” Mr Isaac said.

“Most of us have had to stay shut.”

Inspector Coffey said a demolition order had been issued for the building next to the convenience store on Darling Street.

An accredited company carried out an asbestos inspection on Friday and told police asbestos had been detected on the ground and immediately around the site.

“An asbestos exclusion zone was put in place at the site, and the clean up commenced (on Saturday), and at the same time a hygienist commenced air monitoring at several locations around the site,” Inspector Coffey said.

“The result we received was that there was no airborne asbestos detected.

“Early this morning asbestos clean up at the site recommenced and we will be conducting further testing today and these results will determine how quickly we can reduce the exclusion footprint so that businesses can re-open.

“The site itself is very dangerous and the conditions are constantly changing, and we’ll keep everyone informed of developments.”

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Mick Featherstone, ex Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

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15 years as a copper earning better than most was not enough for this snake.

Greedy people cannot help themselves to the big pie it seems. Including coppers who are supposed to fight against this stuff. “Mike Featherstone” might sound like a new Hollywood Cop comedy film that might of been played by the late great Robin Williams…but this ex copper is a crim, a traitor and a grub, a liar, informant and insider.

Have a lot more but needed to see it mainstream first for legal reasons folks…

Michael Featherstone, former senior Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

Tue 2 Sep 2014, 6:46pm

Former senior police detective Michael Featherstone

Photo: Michael Featherstone is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation. (Tony Phillips)

A former senior police detective is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Investigators are probing Michael Featherstone’s links to senior serving and former police officers on the Gold Coast and elsewhere, his possible connections to bikies and his role in cold-calling companies alleged to be involved in fraud.

The companies, which advertise horse-racing betting software and other investments, are alleged to have defrauded hundreds of people across Australia in scams worth millions of dollars.

The ABC can reveal that officers from the Queensland police anti-bikie taskforce Maxima found suspected links to Mr Featherstone, a former fraud squad detective and one-time head of Surfers Paradise CIB, while investigating fraud allegations against members of the Black Uhlans and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs earlier this year.

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

Police raided a number of premises including the Southport offices of Mr Featherstone’s private investigations company Phoenix Global, taking away computer equipment.

They referred the matter to the CCC because of the body’s forensic accounting expertise and the possible involvement of police officers in protecting Mr Featherstone, his clients and associates.

One senior police officer told the ABC: “We realised we can’t have police officers investigating his links with other police.”

I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.

UKHBB director Johnny Kane

The CCC has set up an operation called Lima Violin II to investigate fraud allegations involving three companies: UK Home Based Business (UKHBB), Lay Trading Solutions and Pegasus Trader.

However, a parallel investigation by the ABC’s 7.30 program has uncovered evidence of the involvement of Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global, not only with two of these companies but a range of alleged Gold Coast scams dating back almost 10 years.

They are linked to the Gold Coast private investigator in various ways – through his involvement in recruiting and managing patsy directors on behalf of others, by his own direct role as a director or shareholder, or by his providing advice on how to set up, run and protect such operations.

The ABC has identified dozens of customers of UKHBB who between them lost almost $4 million.

Several have told the ABC they received emails earlier this year saying their accounts had been suspended because of a “software problem”.

But the ABC has established that there was no software problem: the order to close UKHBB came late last year from Phoenix Global.

Correspondence obtained by the ABC shows Phoenix Global recruited and gave day-to-day instructions to the directors of UKHBB and Pegasus Trader to carry out banking and other administrative jobs.

Security guard recruited as UKHBB frontman

Johnny Kane, who works as a security guard, was recruited to be the director of UKHBB.

Security guard Johnny Kane

Security guard Johnny Kane

He has described to the ABC how Mr Featherstone convinced him to be the front-man for UKHBB and other companies, though Mr Featherstone had no official links with these companies and was not part of their management.

Mr Kane said his duties had also included picking up large quantities of cash from the bank and delivering it to the offices of UKHBB and Phoenix Global.

“Before Christmas I was asked to do that for about four days,” Mr Kane said.

“We’re talking $40,000 per cheque, three times a day, for about a week.

“I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.”

 

Extract of UKHBB bank statement showing cheque withdrawals Infographic: An extract of a bank statement for UKHBB, showing cheque withdrawals.

In an email from Phoenix Global to Mr Kane dated December 12, Mr Featherstone’s son Zach asked him to “be available to close the UKHB bank accounts on the 24th of December 2013″.

Bank statements show UKHBB collected at least $4 million in fees for trading licences in the second half of last year. More than a quarter of this was received in December.

Almost $500,000 was immediately withdrawn from the account by cheque in round amounts of between $5,000 and $40,000. A few weeks later the account was empty.

Separately, the ABC has established Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global have played a central role in a series of other race-betting syndicates with a network of associates in Australia and overseas, one of whom is a convicted fraudster.

In an email discussing one such venture, Mr Featherstone wrote earlier this year: “This initiative should raise a lot of $$, but it is important that it is coordinated professionally… you will also need to consider timing and the medium of delivery, so that it doesn’t appear to be a scam or cash grab.”

Other documents show Phoenix Global used the name of someone who never worked at the company to create fake payslips that were used this year to obtain $150,000 of car finance as well as credit cards for one of these race-betting syndicates.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Featherstone denied any involvement in the running or management of UKHBB or any other race betting or software operation.

He acknowledged the instruction to close the UKHBB account had come from his office but said it was a “risk management” measure because of a “security breach”, without providing further details.

Asked about the fake payslips, Mr Featherstone’s lawyer said his client had provided a statement to police that “a person or persons had unlawfully used its brand to create a false document and forged our client’s signature to gain an advantage

Featherstone delivered speech for high-ranking officer

Who is Michael Featherstone?

Mick Featherstone served in the QPS from 1981 until late 1996.

Called as a witness by the 1997 Carter Inquiry into police involvement in the drug trade, he denied wrongdoing over the alleged disappearance of more than $20,000 in seized drug money while it was in his custody at Southport watch house.

He was also investigated over allegations he planted drugs on a suspect with whom he was personally connected, and his connection to a barrister who was under police investigation. No charges were ever brought against him.

Mr Featherstone resigned from the QPS at age 33. According to the QPS he did so under special arrangements following a recommendation from the Commissioner. Media reports at the time said this allowed him to get a significant payout.

Phoenix Global has provided “compliance” services to a range of companies on the Gold Coast, some of which are race-betting operations registered in Vanuatu.

It specialises in finding and removing adverse or defamatory internet posts about its clients, and offers investigative services to people facing criminal charges.

Mr Featherstone’s clients have included convicted child rapist John Chardon, whose wife Novy is missing, presumed dead; convicted fraudster Glenn Connelly; and Mario Girardo, who was jailed in 2010 over kidnap and extortion.

He has also worked for three-time bankrupt property spruiker and so-called “King Con” Dudley Quinlivan, and is a director of several companies connected to Michael King, who is being prosecuted by ASIC for allegedly acting dishonestly over a $150 million loan.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading, which licences private investigators, declined to say whether it had ever received complaints about Mr Featherstone or Phoenix Global.

Mr Featherstone has been photographed socialising with senior serving officers, was endorsed online by a Brisbane inspector and even gave a speech at a recent send-off for a high-ranking Gold Coast officer.

According to his lawyer, Mr Featherstone “was asked to make a short speech” at the event, a “farewell retirement for an officer he had served with in the 1980s”.

The lawyer said Mr Featherstone “has no friendship or association with any serving police officer”.

A former detective has told the ABC that he discovered Mr Featherstone’s social links to this high-ranking officer while investigating fraud allegations on the Gold Coast and raised it with his superiors.

“They told me, ‘don’t go there’,” he said.

Mr Featherstone was the subject of a detailed complaint to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission in 2010 after it emerged he had done the work of Gold Coast police in collecting witness statements in a trespass case where the complainant was one of his clients.

There is no evidence of any action being taken against him.

NSW private investigator Ken Gamble, working on behalf of a group of scam victims, presented a detailed brief of evidence naming Mr Featherstone to the Queensland police fraud squad in 2012, but received no response.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said in a statement it had requested further information from Mr Gamble and that it had not been provided.

Mr Gamble said police had never made such a request and the QPS statement was “false and misleading”.

Former nightclub owner alleged to be key figure in scams

A key figure in the scams is alleged to be Phil Cropper, who is said to have been the sales manager of UKHBB and to have run other boiler-room operations linked to Mr Featherstone.

Mr Cropper, a former nightclub owner who was acquitted of an extortion attempt on actor Russell Crowe in 2002, is thought to have fled overseas since the raid on Mr Featherstone’s premises and the ABC has been unable to contact him.

Mr Kane said he now faced bankruptcy because of lawsuits filed against him by victims.

Mr Kane said that while UKHBB was operating he had frequently sought and received reassurance from Mr Featherstone that what he was being asked to do was legal.

He said his home had been raided by police in February and he had later been shocked to find how widely known Mr Featherstone’s activities were on the Gold Coast.

“When I went to Legal Aid to tell them about my story, they finished my story for me. They knew exactly what I was talking about,” he said.

“They rattled off a list of names and said ‘did you work for one of these people?’ and I knew all the names.

“One of the names was Featherstone.”

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Kiwi jockey David Walker bet scandal disgraces the industry again!


Kiwi jockey disgraced in betting scandal that shocks industry

Walker

Will he ride again? Disgraced jockey David Walker bets on rival horse.In a story that has shocked the typically clean natured New Zealand racing scene, jockey David Walker has had his riding licence suspended after an investigation was launched into one of his rides at Awapuni earlier this year.

The Central Districts jockey will face charges of pulling up a horse so he could collect from a head-to-head bet he ‘allegedly’ placed on a rival horse. The senior rider was aboard Watch Your Man who sat near the rear of the field but video shows he never gave his mount a chance and when he found clear running room, he simply sat on the horse and didn’t move a muscle.

When stewards questioned Walker about the ride he claimed that he was denied any clear running room but that he also had cramp in his hands – something he told stewards before the inquiry was launched. Further investigations by the Racing Integrity Unit concluded that Walker did place a bet, to which he has now admitted to, but in New Zealand it is legal to place a bet on a horse you are riding, however, placing a bet against a rival is not permitted and Walker faces serious charges.

Reports state that the bet was in excess of $500 which seems rather pointless, but he isn’t the first jockey to illegally wager on a race.

Remarkably, Walker was seen via CCTV footage to be collecting his winnings after the race. The rival horse, St Ransom, closed at $1.80 in the head-to-head market but the price was higher before the large bet was placed – leaving Walker to likely double his money.

Walker’s excuse of cramping in the hands is certainly one of the strangest we have come across, as cramping in the hands is a very rare trait for jockeys – he also showed no signs of loosening his grip throughout the race.

The Racing Integrity Unit is now investigating other rides by Walker but he has been charged with this offence and he can’t ride till his court hearing is finished.

If he is found guilty under rule 801, which is the act of committing a dishonest act to do with racing or betting, he can be disqualified for any period, including life. Walker has been charged with rule 707 which prohibits jockeys betting on horses they are not riding.

RIU general manager Mike Godber said given the seriousness of the charges, his licence must be suspended immediately.

“The allegations before Mr Walker are serious and threaten the very fabric of thoroughbred racing.

“We therefore consider the continued participation of Mr Walker in racing prior to the JCA hearing would pose an unacceptable risk to the image, interests and integrity of racing,” he said.

People in the industry are now calling for change. There is not only the issue of David Walker, who should be made an example of in New Zealand if the laws don’t change, but also the rule that jockeys are allowed to bet on their own horses – coupled with the head-to-head betting options.

Such a betting option allows for this ‘spot fixing’ to be executed with ease and for jockeys who aren’t making steady money, this could become appealing to them. Why jockeys are allowed to place bets in races that involves them riding is beyond us, but rules are there to be changed and rewritten.

Walker isn’t, nor won’t be the last jockey to try and make an extra dollar on a race. Damien Oliver was a highly noted case when he bet $10,000 on a rival horse to win at Moonee Valley. He served his time and now most of the industry has moved on – but the lesser known David Walker might not be so lucky. The 38-year-old has struggled with weight and getting rides throughout his career, and now trainers have a reason to shun him. He also loses out his ride on Scapolo in the $200,000 Group One Makfi Stakes at Hastings tomorrow – the first Group One of the season.

The Makfi Stakes includes the Australian performed Veyron, Survived, Sacred Star and Xanadu. Sportsbet.com.au have a fixed odds market set with recent winner I Do the current $4.80 favourite upon the scratching of Silent Achiever.

JODHI Meares drunk driving-Pathetic tap on wrist needs APPEAL

Gallery

This gallery contains 6 photos.


What a laugh the rich and famous must have at us normal folks.

Drink and drive, no probs,

No licence no probs,

Multiple driving infringements and penalties, no probs.

Hire a so called celebrity lawyer, bang some heads and get of for sweet FA!

Oh my mail has been stolen for 10 years, I didn’t get the fines. REALLY.

You managed to get the invites to B grade red carpets arrive…Selective these thieves who steal useless mail! We used to say there are 2 sets of rules,

I am no longer sure how many sets they are. The rich (and de-facto rich via marriage) seem to have magic powers when dealing with magistrates. Especially in SYDNEY.

It is outrageous a women with her driving record was dealt with this way. The DPP better appeal or they will be dealing the the precedent of J. Meares forever more ( not that that means much) Continue reading

WA Police Commissioner’s son Russell O’Callaghan faced Fremantle Magistrates Court on a string of serious assault charges and threats to kill his former partner.


Well wont this be interesting, THE son of WA Police Commissioner in the shit after to cover-up fiasco over treasurer Buswell’s pissed crash scandal. This kid nearly blew himself up in a drug lab a while ago!

Russell O’Callaghan faces court on threat-to-kill charge against former partner

Russell O'Callaghan, the WA Police Commissioner’s son faced Fremantle Magistrates Court c

Russell O’Callaghan, the WA Police Commissioner’s son, faced Fremantle Magistrates Court on a string of serious assault charges, including threatening to kill his former partner.

THE son of WA Police Conmissioner Karl O’Callaghan has faced court on charges he threatened to kill his partner, while their five-year-old son was in the house.

Russell O’Callaghan, 33, appeared in Fremantle Magistrates Court on seven charges, including threatening to kill and deprivation of liberty.

The police prosecutor told the court Mr O’Callaghan is alleged to have held his partner captive in her Langford home for two and a half days, beginning on Sunday afternoon.

During that time he is alleged to have put metal scissors to her neck and threatened to kill her, grabbed her in a headlock and dragged her down the hallway, strangled her and punched her to the face and body.

It is alleged Mr O’Callaghan went to the woman’s house to stay on Friday night.

The couple got into an argument on Sunday and Mr O’Callaghan took the keys to the house, saying: “You’re not going anywhere, bitch. I’m not going anywhere.”

The court heard the doors to the house are always locked to prevent the couple’s autistic child from leaving.

At one stage Mr O’Callaghan is alleged to have pinned the woman to the floor.

When he allegedly held the scissors to the woman’s neck, he is alleged to have said: “I’m going to stab your f..king throat, bitch. I’m going to kill you. This is the end of your life, I am going to kill you.”

Police said Mr O’Callaghan left the house yesterday morning, and the woman ran to a neighbours and called police. Mr O’Callaghan was arrested yesterday afternoon.

In total, he has been charged with two counts of common assault, unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation, threatening to kill, depriving a person of their liberty and making a threat with an intent to hinder or prevent someone doing an act.

The police prosecutor opposed bail.

Mr O’Callaghan’s lawyer rejected the police bid to keep him in custody, saying he (Mr O’Callaghan) “utterly denied” making any threats to kill or assault his former partner.

“Until the credibility of the complainant can be tested it would not be fair to lock Mr O’Callaghan up for an extended period,” she said.

The court heard that in January 2011, his ex-partner took out a Violence Restraining Order against Mr O’Callaghan.

A few days after the order was in place he breached it by texting her, and just weeks before it was due to lapse he breached it again by meeting her, at her request.

The couple had since been seeing each other a few days a week prior to the incidents at the weekend, the court was told.

Mr O’Callaghan was remanded in custody until next Friday, to be assessed for home detention.


WA Police Commissioner’s son accused of assault and threats to kill

Date
August 13, 2014
Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan comforts his son Russell during his stay in hospital after suffering injuries in a drug lab blast. Photo: Channel Ten.Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan comforts his son Russell during his stay in hospital after suffering injuries in a drug lab blast. Photo: Channel Ten.

A son of Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has been charged with a string of serious offences including deprivation of liberty and making threats to kill against his former partner.

Russell Joseph O’Callaghan, 33, appeared in Fremantle Magistrates Court on Wednesday accused of seven charges, including unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm, making threats with intent and common assault with aggravation.

It will be alleged that O’Callaghan held his former partner against her will at her home between August 10 and 12.

He applied for bail but a decision on the application will be heard later on Wednesday.

The latest charges come after Russell O’Callaghan served eight months in jail for attempting to manufacture methamphetamines in 2011.

O’Callaghan suffered serious burns to his head, shoulders and arms when a clandestine drug laboratory exploded in the laundry of the Homeswest house in Carlisle in March 2011.

Four other people sustained burns in the explosion. Two children, aged three and four, escaped injury.

In September 2011, O’Callaghan was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to attempting to manufacture a prohibited drug, methamphetamine but served eight months before being granted parole.

Two other men were also charged with similar offences.

At the time, O’Callaghan’s defence lawyer Mark Andrews said his client’s role in the drug manufacture on that day had been “peripheral” and he had never been involved in cooking amphetamines before.

He said O’Callaghan had agreed to supply one packet of cold and flu tablets in return for 0.1g of methamphetamine, which has an approximate value of $100.

Comment has been sought from WA Police.

A spokeswoman for the Police Commissioner said he would not make public comment on the matter at this stage.

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