Liberal Party MPs resign from NSW parliament following corruption allegations and a confession by one to lying to ICAC.


More crooks bite the dust in NSW, what a lying conniving crew they are!

MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell resign from NSW parliament after ICAC revelations

State Political Correspondent
Sydney
Tim Owen leaves ICAC yesterday after giving evidence.

Tim Owen leaves ICAC yesterday after giving evidence. Source: News Corp Australia

Andrew Cornwell and his wife Samanatha Brookes arrive at ICAC.

Andrew Cornwell and his wife Samantha Brookes arrive at ICAC. Source: News Corp Australia

TWO suspended Liberal Party MPs have resigned from NSW parliament following corruption allegations and a confession by one to lying to ICAC.

The resignations of Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell were announced to NSW parliament.

NSW Premier Mike Baird says by-elections will be held in the two Hunter Valley seats, despite the state election being only seven months away.

“Everyone in NSW, everyone in the electorates has the right to feel appalled, angered and betrayed,’’ said Mr Baird, who earlier called for the two to quit following revelations at the Independent Commission against Corruption of illegal donations paid by property developers.

Mr Owen today admitted lying to ICAC about returning $10,000 he received from property developer and Newcastle Mayor Jeff McCloy.

Instead he says the money was used for his campaign, in breach of electoral funding laws.

Mr Cornwell has also admitted accepting payments from property developers.

Mr Owen and Mr Cornwell last week stepped down from the parliamentary LIberal Party following the allegations at ICAC. Both initially said they would quit politics at the next election.

Mr Baird it was not up to him to decide the future of the MPs, who were no longer members of the Liberal Party.

But the Premier said words could not explain how disappointed and angry he was at the behaviour exposed by ICAC.

Mr Owen, under cross examination at ICAC, today admitted evidence he gave yesterday about a meeting with Mr McCloy was false.

The penalty for giving false evidence to ICAC is up to five years jail.

Questioned by counsel for Mr McCloy, Mr Owen also admitted that he had met with Mr McCloy last Sunday to discuss what he would tell the commission.

Mr Owen yesterday told ICAC he met Mr McCloy in Hunter Street Newcastle in December 2010 and was given an envelope full of cash. He said he thought about it and decided that he should return the money.

YESTERDAY: MP said no to cash

He told the commission that he dropped it back to Mr McCloy’s letterbox with a note which said: “No Thanks.”

Today he admitted that story was false, and the money — $10,000 — was used for his campaign. According to Mr McCloy’s counsel, Mr Owen had wanted to say the amount was $2000 and that he had given it back.

Quoting Mr Owen’s evidence from Monday, Mr McCloy’s lawyer asked “if the words that follow … ‘and then I went back to his house after that and basically dropped the envelope back in his letter box’,’’ were false.

“Yes. It was,’’ said Mr Owen, a former deputy commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“You said ‘I think I just put a little note on it that said no thanks’, that answer was false?’’ Councillor McCloy’s lawyer pressed.

“Correct,’’ Mr Owen said.

He had told Mr McCloy that he would have to get divorced if he admitted taking the money, the hearing heard.

Mr Owen denied he was asked by Mr McCloy to come clean about the cash.

“You said ‘my wife will divorce me. I’ve sworn on a stack of bibles that I didn’t receive any money,’’ Mr McCloy’s lawyer said.

“I didn’t say that to him, no,’’ Mr Owen said.

The two had shaken hands after the meeting, Mr McCloy’s lawyer said.

Mr Owen said he had wanted to make a statement at the end of proceedings yesterday admitting that his earlier testimony was false, but wasn’t given a chance.

He agreed that he and Mr McCloy had made a tentative agreement to give false evidence to ICAC. “I’m not proud of it.”

He said that Mr Cornwell had told him that ICAC had overheard a conversation between Mr Cornwell and his wife about accepting a separate $10,000 in cash from Mr McCloy.

Mr Owen didn’t know if that was why Mr Cornwell had admitted taking the money.

Mr Cornwell last week admitted receiving $10,000 from Mr McCloy, which he said he handed to his Liberal branch treasurer who in turn donated it to the party.

Mr McCloy has denied this and has rejected calls to stand down as Newcastle mayor – calls repeated today by Minister for Local Government Paul Toole.

Mr McCloy is due to give evidence to ICAC later this week.

Mr Cornwell also admitted that being given $10,000 by property developer Hilton Grugeon for a painting worth far less than that was an attempt to bribe him, and that he had obtained a personal financial benefit.

LIBERAL CASUALTIES OF NSW ICAC:

ARTHUR SINODINOS (NSW Senator)

- Steps down in March as federal assistant treasurer over his dealings with controversial company, Australian Water Holdings.

BARRY O’FARRELL (Ku-ring-gai)

- Resigns as NSW premier on April 16 after misleading ICAC over a $3000 bottle of wine.

- Not accused of corruption.

CHRIS HARTCHER (Terrigal)

- Steps down as energy minister in December, amid corruption allegations.

- Moves to the cross benches in February.

CHRIS SPENCE (The Entrance)

- Moves to the cross benches in February amid corruption allegations.

- Announces in June that he will not contest 2015 state election.

DARREN WEBBER (Wyong)

- Moves to the cross benches in February amid corruption allegations.

- Announces in June that he will not contest 2015 state election.

MARIE FICARRA (upper house MP)

- Allegedly solicited banned donation.

- Moves to the cross benches in April.

MIKE GALLACHER (upper house MP)

- Allegedly hatched a “corrupt scheme’’.

- Steps down as police minister on May 2.

- Joins cross bench.

TIM OWEN (Newcastle)

- Announces on May 12 that he will not contest the 2015 state election because of recurring health issues and ICAC allegations. Concedes banned donors “probably’’ contributed to his 2011 political campaign.

- Moves to the cross benches on August 6 on the first day of new round of ICAC hearings.

- Quits parliament on August 12 after admitting to lying to the ICAC about returning $10,000 to developer and now Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy.

ANDREW CORNWELL (Charlestown)

- Moves to the cross benches, resigns as government whip on August 6 after allegations he was offered $10,000 in a brown paper bag by developer and now Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy in his Bentley. He later admits to receiving the money, in addition to a $10,000 bribe from another developer.

- Announces on August 8 that he will not contest 2015 state election.

- Quits parliament on August 12.

With AAP


 ‘Not a nice look': suspended Liberal MP Tim Owen tells ICAC he returned an envelope stuffed with cash to property developer Jeff McCloy

Suspended MP was aware of illegal donations

Suspended Liberal MP for Newcastle Tim Owen has admitted to a corruption inquiry that he knew banned donors helped bankroll his 2011 election campaign.

A second state MP has told a corruption inquiry that property developer and now Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy handed over a wad of cash before the last state election, in breach of laws banning political donations from property developers.

In an explosive day of evidence on Monday, suspended Liberal MP Tim Owen told the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that he met Mr McCloy in Hunter Street, Newcastle before the 2011 election, where he was given a “thin envelope” stuffed with $100 bills.

'I must admit I thought, 'Hmm, what do I do with this?',' said suspended Liberal MP Tim Owen of an envelope of cash.

‘I must admit I thought, ‘Hmm, what do I do with this?’,’ said suspended Liberal MP Tim Owen of an envelope of cash. Photo: Phil Hearne

 Mr Owen, who won the seat of Newcastle, said Mr McCloy did not say anything as he handed over the money.

“What? No foreplay?” quipped counsel assisting the commission, Geoffrey Watson, SC.

“I took it at the time and I must admit I thought, ‘Hmm, what do I do with this?’ ” Mr Owen said.

Andrew Cornwell.
Andrew Cornwell. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Days later, he put the envelope of cash in Mr McCloy’s letterbox with a note to the effect of “no thanks”. bloody liar

“It just wasn’t a particularly nice look, I’ve got to say,” Mr Owen said.

The evidence comes days after Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell told the commission that Mr McCloy had given him an envelope containing $10,000 in cash at a clandestine meeting in Mr McCloy’s Bentley.

Mr Cornwell, who has taken leave from parliament and who quit the Liberal Party on Friday, has admitted to the inquiry that he took the money from Mr McCloy and that it went into his own campaign coffers. Since 2009, it has been illegal in NSW to accept campaign donations from property developers.

In another sensational development, Mr Owen admitted that after he gave evidence in a secret hearing at the ICAC in May, he met Mr McCloy at a coffee shop in Sydney.

It is an offence to discuss evidence given in private hearings but Mr Owen claimed he was merely asking Mr McCloy if there was “anything else idiotic” he might have done in relation to Mr Owen’s campaign.

After the private hearing, Mr Owen announced that he would not contest next year’s election.

The inquiry heard that Mr McCloy and another property developer, Hilton Grugeon, jointly paid the $20,000 wage of Mr Owen’s campaign media adviser Luke Grant.

Mr Owen repeatedly tried to distance himself from a raft of illegalities regarding his election campaign funding. Under electoral funding laws, politicians are only guilty of a criminal offence if they were aware at the time they accepted the donation of “the facts that result in the act being unlawful”.

He claimed that he was too busy campaigning, or that he relied on others, including his campaign manager Hugh Thomson, or senior Liberal and former police minister Mike Gallacher, to advise him of the legalities of various donations.

“If they believed it was legal … then I took their word,” Mr Owen said. However, earlier on Monday he admitted  that he had known for years that banned donors helped to bankroll his campaign and it was “clearly not above board”.

“All I can say is, I am dreadfully sorry,” he said. Mr Owen claimed he “didn’t actually ping to the fact that something was illegal” until a few months after election.

He said he had known since late 2010 or early 2011 that Nathan Tinkler’s property development group Buildev helped to fund his campaign, and he was aware the company was a property developer. However, he insisted Mr Tinkler’s company “got nothing out of me, I can tell you”.

On Monday, Mr Watson foreshadowed that the commission would call federal Liberal MP Bob Baldwin, who supported Mr Tinkler’s plans for a coal loader in Newcastle.The inquiry has heard Buildev made donations to Mr Baldwin, but it is not illegal for property developers to give donations to federal candidates and politicians.


 ICAC: NSW MP Andrew Cornwell quits Liberal Party, won’t seek re-election after ‘huge mistake’

Fri 8 Aug 2014, 8:54pm

Newcastle MP Tim Owen stood aside from the parliamentary Liberal Party on Wednesday.

Photo: Newcastle MP Tim Owen stood aside from the parliamentary Liberal Party on Wednesday. (ABC: Nick Gerber)

Related Story: MP paid tax bill with developer’s cheque: ICAC
Related Story: Another Hunter Liberal MP drawn into corruption inquiry

Another New South Wales MP at the centre of a corruption inquiry has announced he will not re-contest the next state election.

Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, who stood aside from the parliamentary Liberal Party on Wednesday, said he considered the interests of his electorate and his family in making the decision not to stand for re-election.

“Following my appearance at the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) yesterday I have thought carefully about what is in the best interests of the people of Charlestown,” Mr Cornwell said in a statement.

“I have decided that I will not contest the next state election.

“Today, I tendered my resignation from the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division).

“I have sought parliamentary leave from the Speaker because these matters have significantly impacted my family and, while I take full responsibility for my own actions, I need to care for my family during this time.”

The announcement follows Mr Cornwell’s admission he paid his tax bill with a cheque from property developer Hilton Grugeon, which was given in exchange for an overvalued painting.

When asked why he did not refuse what was an illegal donation from a developer or take it to the police, he said: “It was a huge mistake.”

Tim Owen ‘knew’ developers were paying staffer

The evidence before the ICAC made it as “plain as day” that Newcastle MP Tim Owen knew one of his election campaign staff members was being paid by developers, the commission has been told.

Liberal Party campaign staffer Josh Hodges has admitted he knew his work on Mr Owen’s 2011 campaign was being bankrolled by Nathan Tinkler’s development firm Buildev and developer Bill Saddington.

Mr Hodges told the inquiry he was told to issue fake invoices to the development firms for consultancy work, totalling about $10,000.

The counsel assisting the commission, Geoffrey Watson SC, put to him: “You would have known they were property developers and because of that prohibited donors?”

Mr Hodges replied: “Yes.”

Mr Watson then asked: “Did you understand that this was a scheme, the point of which was to avoid the electoral funding laws?”

“I did, yes,” Mr Hodges answered.

Mr Watson tendered text messages and phone records that he said showed Mr Owen knew Mr Saddington and Buildev were paying Mr Hodges’ wages.

One text message Mr Owen sent on February 1, 2011, said: “Would Bill Saddington be happy to start paying him ASAP?”

Mr Watson said it also appeared that Mr Owen intervened when Buildev was late to pay Mr Hodges.

When the money had not come through four months after the election, Mr Owen’s campaign manager Hugh Thomson sent a text message asking him to call “DW” and “lean on him – it’s been promised for months”.

Mr Owens replied: “Will do.”

Phone records show Mr Owen then called Buildev executive Darren Williams, and the inquiry heard the money was then paid to Mr Hodges.

“It’s plain as day looking at all of this that Mr Owen was aware of the involvement of Buildev,” Mr Watson said.

Earlier, Mr Hodges told the hearing he had had discussions with Buildev about its plans to build a coal loader in Newcastle.

Mr Watson asked him if he could see anything wrong with a property developer pitching a proposal to a politician and his adviser while illegally bankrolling that politician’s campaign.

Mr Hodges replied: “He can’t achieve a lot when he’s not in Parliament.”

He said Buildev would have made donations to get “an ear” or “access”, but not an approval for the coal load project.

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Two men jailed for importing $122 million worth of ecstasy from Italy in tomato tins


The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins.

The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins. (Australian Customs)

Related Story: Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Two men involved in the importation of more than four tonnes of ecstasy hidden in tomato tins have been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.

Customs officers at the Port of Melbourne intercepted the ecstasy in the form of 15 million tablets hidden in 3,000 tins arriving from Naples, Italy, in 2007.

The drugs, found packed in a shipping container, weighed more than 4.4 tonnes and had an estimated street value of $122 million.

It was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world at the time of the seizure.

In 2012 the drug ring’s leader Pasquale Barbaro was sentenced to life in prison.

South Australian Carmelo Falanga, 49, was today sentenced to 23 years in prison with a minimum sentence of 16 years and six months.

Jon Visser, 63, of New South Wales, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison with a minimum eight years.

Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Updated Wed 1 May 2013, 8:15am

Trio jailed over ecstasy haul

Jailed drug smugglers (L-R) Salvatore Agresta, John Higgs, and Pasquale Sergi.

Three men have been jailed over their attempt to smuggle the world’s biggest haul of ecstasy into Australia.

A Victorian Supreme Court jury found the trio guilty of conspiring to smuggle more than 15 million ecstasy tablets into Australia from Italy in 2007.

The drugs weighed more than 4.4 tonnes, had an estimated street value of $122 million and were hidden inside tomato tins.

At the time of the seizure, it was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world.

Pasquale Sergi, Salvatore Agresta and John Higgs were sentenced to a combined total of 40 years in jail.

“You were all involved in a crime in which every one was playing for the highest stakes we have ever known in this country,” Justice Betty King said.

“That of obtaining possession of 15 million plus tablets of ecstasy

“You must have all been aware of the risk and the consequences of [your] involvement.

“You chose to take that risk and now you must all bear the consequences.”

Higgs, 65, who has a criminal history including a conviction for manslaughter, was sentenced to 18 years in jail with a non-parole period of 14 years.

Agresta, 44, who ran an Ascot Vale Deli where gangland identity Des Moran was shot dead in 2009, was sentenced to 12 years in jail to serve at least 8 years.

Sergi, 49, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, to serve a minimum 6 years and 9 months.

A fourth man who can not be named has also been jailed over the conspiracy.

The two ringleaders, New South Wales men Pasquale Barbaro and Saverio Zirilli, have already been jailed.

Drug dealer sentenced to life for world’s largest ecstasy haul

Updated Fri 25 May 2012, 9:05am AEST

It can now be revealed that drug king-pin Pasquale Barbaro, of Griffith, in New South Wales, is serving a life sentence for importing the world’s biggest ecstasy haul into Australia.

A suppression order on the sentence was lifted today, after a jury found four of his co-accused guilty of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Barbaro, 50, originally of Griffith, in NSW, pleaded guilty to charges including the importation of 15 million ecstasy tablets.

The drugs, which were estimated to be worth at least $122 million, were hidden in cans labelled as “peeled tomatoes” from Italy.

Barbaro will serve a minimum term of 30 years in jail.

In sentencing, Justice King said he was at the top of a “very well organised worldwide criminal group”.

“You, Pasquale Barbaro were at the apex of that criminality, at the very top of the tree in this country,” she said.

“Your purpose in attempting to possess the goods was to ensure financial riches of a quite astronomical order.”

Barbaro’s co-accused, Saverio Zirilli, 55, was sentenced to 26 years in jail with a minimum of 18 years.

Both men were also convicted of attempted possession of nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in bags of Columbian coffee beans.

Four others have been found guilty of one count each of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Ecstasy life sentence appeal rejected

Posted Thu 20 Dec 2012, 4:40pm AEDT

A man who was involved in Australia’s biggest ecstasy haul has failed to have his sentence reduced by Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

Pasquale Barbaro was charged after millions of ecstasy tablets hidden in tomato cans, were intercepted by Australian Federal Police in 2008.

Barbaro was given a life term in February with a non-parole period of 30 years, but appealed against the severity of the sentence.

The appeal was rejected last month, and can be reported now because a non-publication order has been lifted.

Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes – FOUND guilty -Update gets min 6yrs jail


Cast of TV show Hey Dad, including Robert Hughes, Sarah Monahan and Simone Buchanan.

Update Finally Jailed today 16/05/14

Robert Hughes, former Hey Dad! star, to serve at least six years in jail over child sexual and indecent assault

Updated 16 minutes ago

Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has been jailed for up to 10 years and 9 months for child sex offences.

Sleep well in jail "Hey Dad" Robert Huges

Sleep well in jail “Hey Dad” Robert Huges

The 65-year-old, who was last month convicted of 10 sexual and indecent assault charges dating back to the 1980s, will have to serve a minimum of six years behind bars.

District Court Judge Peter Zahra outlined each of the guilty charges against Hughes in his sentencing remarks, and raised the testimony of one victim who said she was too young to fight him off.

He said Hughes took advantage of opportunities with children and engaged in predatory behaviour and had “not expressed remorse”.

Judge Zahra also noted Hughes is in protective custody in jail and will continue to feel “social isolation”.

Hughes showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.

He had pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of sexually or indecently assaulting five girls between 1985 and 1990.

The charges relate to the abuse of girls dating back to the 1980s, when Hughes appeared on one of Australia’s most popular television sitcoms.

The victims were aged between seven and 15 years old at the time of the offences.

Dozens of people packed into the Sydney courtroom for the sentencing, prompting the closure of the public gallery on safety grounds.

Earlier this month Hughes’s sentencing hearing heard harrowing victim impact statements from girls still suffering from the abuse they endured.

One woman, now 37, said she would never have children because of Hughes, and had come to hate the word “dad”.

Another told the court that she wished Hughes “nothing but misery”.

“I hate anyone looking at me. I have no self worth,” she said.

“I never thought I’d see this day. For 26 years I’ve tried to deal with the fact that this just happened. Maybe now I can try to piece my life together again, to not feel ashamed or dirty.

“I hope the punishment fits the crime and you will have to suffer for years to come just like I have … I wish you nothing but misery.”

The jury initially returned a guilty verdict on nine of the charges against Hughes, before taking one more day to find him guilty of a final indecency charge dating back to 1990.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one charge of indecency charge.

One of the victims who Hughes indecently assaulted was seven when he put her hand on his genitals.

Another child was nine when Hughes told her to swim between his legs at Manly Beach. His swimmers were pulled down.

During the trial the court heard of sleepovers at Hughes’s home where the actor would walk naked into the room where the girls were sleeping and expose himself to them.

Hughes denied this, saying he slept naked and often used the bathroom at night but would never walk into the room where the girls were staying.

The trial lasted almost six weeks.

When the verdicts were read out Hughes stood up in the dock and yelled: “I am innocent.”

The actor is expected to appeal against the sentence.

3PM 07/04/14

UPDATE HUGHES FOUND GUILTY ON 10 OF 11 CHARGES
Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has been found guilty of nine of 11 charges of sexually assaulting young girls in the 1980s.

A jury delivered its verdict after a trial lasting almost six weeks at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.

Hughes had pleaded not guilty to the 11 charges that he either sexually or indecently assaulted five girls between 1985 and 1990.

The victims were aged between seven and 15 at the time.

Robert Hughes trial: Former Hey Dad! star guilty of one of final two indecency charges

Updated 6 minutes ago 08/04/14

Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has been found guilty of one of his remaining two indecency charges.

Hughes was found guilty on nine other charges of sexual and indecent assault of young girls dating back to the 1980s.

The jury returned to consider the remaining two charges Tuesday morning.

Hughes has now been found guilty on one charge, dating back to 1990, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other.

The 65-year-old sat quietly in the dock as the verdict was read out.

The trial lasted almost six weeks.

Earlier today, the judge dismissed an application from Hughes’s lawyer to dismiss the jury before it gave verdicts on the final two charges, due to the reporting of yesterday’s guilty verdicts.

“It is my respected submission that media reporting of the accused has been so extensive and pervasive that it is an impossibility to suggest jurors haven’t been exposed to it,” Greg Walsh told the court.

Crown Prosecutor Gina O’Rourke told the court the media reports were based on information the jury had already heard in court.

“This case has received significant media attention and it was inevitable that the nine counts were going to be reported,” she said.

“The media simply reported what the verdicts were and the outburst (by Hughes).

“The reports referred to evidence that the court and jury heard during the trial.”

In delivering his decision on the application, District Court Judge Peter Zahra noted the jury had been diligent and had listened to his instructions about avoiding media reporting of the case.

“The material that I have seen so far is regrettably what had been reported during the trial and I say regrettable because it has been inflammatory…I don’t propose to discharge the jury,” he said.

On Monday Hughes was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and seven counts of indecent assault.

The victims were aged between seven and 15 years old at the time.

District Court Judge Peter Zahra had asked the 12-person jury to deliver at least a majority decision of 11 on the remaining two counts of indecency.

Hughes had pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges of sexually or indecently assaulting five girls between 1985 and 1990.

As the verdicts were read out yesterday Hughes stood up in the dock and yelled: “I am innocent.”

Mr Walsh says it is anticipated the actor will appeal.

He told reporters outside the court that Hughes was a broken man and that he believed it was not a fair trial.

Hughes will be sentenced in May.

Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes exposed himself to young female co-star on set in the 1980s, court hears

February 24, 2014 3:33PM

FORMER Hey Dad! STAR Robert Hughes exposed himself to a young cast member on set at the same time other young girls complained about being woken in the night by his sexual advances, a jury has heard today.

Hughes, 64, has pleaded not guilty to a string of child sex offences, said to have occurred mainly in the mid-1980s.

Update 26/02/14

The boyfriend of an alleged victim of Robert Hughes said he would insist on taking her to bed and touch her

February 26, 2014

AN ALLEGED child victim of Hey Dad! Star Robert Hughes says he molested her at night and then gave her teddy back and told her she was a “good girl”.

Hughes in a publicity still for the popular Channel Seven show.

Hughes in a publicity still for the popular Channel Seven show.

The woman said she would often go to sleepovers at his Artarmon house, in Sydney’s north when the two families were neighbours.

He would walk into the bedroom at night while she slept on a mattress on the floor, she said.

“I remember Robert coming in and telling me to roll over then he would put my hand with his hand,” the victim told the jury on Wednesday.

He helped her masturbated him and rub his sperm on her genitals, she said.

The women who is now 35 said she started sleeping on her stomach and putting her hand underneath her after the incidents started to occur regularly.

On one occasion after it had happened again, Hughes allegedly gave the girl back her teddy bear and told her “good girl, go back to sleep”, she said.

The woman said the same incident happened a number of times but she did not remember exactly because of her young age.

She said she would start making excuses not to go to sleepovers.

After the girl told her parents at the age of seven or eight, they took her to a psychologist, sold their house and moved away from Hughes.

Hughes, 64, has pleaded not guilty in the District Court to 11 child sex offences involving five alleged victims.

The boyfriend of another complainant also gave evidence at his trial on Wednesday.

The man, who dated the girl from when she was 16, said she had first told him about the famous actor at a conversation in her kitchen at Christmas, 1986.

The girl’s parents were friends of the Hughes family and they would often come over to their house when she was a child, he said.

“She asked if I knew the actor from Hey Dad! Robert Hughes,” he said.

“She said late in the evenings when it was bedtime Robert would be fairly insistent to take the children by himself to bed.

“He would then put his hands under the sheets and under their private parts.

“After a short period of time he would leave the room and go downstairs where (the adults) where socialising.

“It had been brought up again on occasion when Robert’s face was on the TV or a reminder of it.”

But Hughes’s barrister Greg Walsh said the former boyfriend had said she told about the Hey Day! actor in 1986 but the show didn’t go to air until 1987.

The trial before Judge Peter Zahra continues.

A District Court jury has today heard five now adult women came forward after media reports alleging Hughes indecently assaulted a young girl who was also working on the popular TV program.

Crown prosecutor Gina O’Rourke has said in her opening address to the jury that Hughes told one of the girls “here’s your teddy, go back to sleep” after rubbing himself against her while she was at his Sydney home for a sleepover.

It is alleged another young girl was indecently touched while he was administering ear drops for an infection she had from getting them pierced.

Four of the complainants knew the actor, who was extradited from London to Sydney in December 2012 to face the charges, through their family or young friends.

The first woman who will give evidence in the trial expected to last up to six weeks previously enjoyed the company of the actor, who was a friend of her parents, but she “eventually came to dread his visits”, Ms O’Rourke said.

She will allege that around the time she was 14 Hughes went into her bedroom after a family dinner party, placed his hand under her doona and through her underwear.

The jury heard that at another party he returned to her room but his time she resisted as he “crouched” beside the bed and placed his fingers inside her underwear.

“The accused became quite rough, pushing back against her resistance,” Ms O’Rourke said.

The woman, now aged in her 40s, is expected to tell the jury she told her mother confronted Hughes about the assaults after she confided that she didn’t want to go on a proposed holiday the two families were taking together.

“You will hear [from the complainant’s mother] that the accused appeared not to care and did not respond to or deny the allegations,” Ms O’Rourke said.

She made a formal statement to police in 2010 after she saw a television program interviewing the woman who alleged Hughes exposed himself to her on the set of Hey Dad! by removing his pants.

Two other women are expected to give evidence that Hughes snuck into the bedroom where they were sleeping at his family home.

The jury heard one described being told to “turn around” while he rubbed against her before giving her a teddy bear and saying “here’s your teddy, go back to sleep.”

On another occasion in the same bedroom Hughes allegedly told her “she was a good girl” after she attempted, but failed, to stop his advances.

The court heard two of the girls made statements to police in the 1980s but Hughes denied the allegations.

Ms O’Rourke said the fourth complainant, a former family friend of the actor, will tell the jury she received “16 long stemmed red roses” with a card saying “Happy Birthday love RH” for her 16th birthday after Hughes told her he wanted to have sex with her but she had informed him she was only 15 and below the age of consent.

On an occasion in 1989 when he drove the then 16 year old home, the court heard Hughes asked her “when they were going to do it” and she said she didn’t want to.

“Well that’s your loss, you won’t find out how good I am,” she alleges Hughes told her.

The trial continues before Judge Peter Zahra.

Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes exposed himself to young female co-star on set in the 1980s

The Daily Telegraph
February 24, 2014 2:01PM

Court Hears

  • Five now-adult women set to give evidence against him
  • One claims he rubbed his erect penis against her face
  • Daughter of Hughes’ friends was ‘assaulted after party’
  • He ‘sent roses for 16th birthday to girl he wanted sex with’
  • 64-year-old was extradited to face charges. He denies them all

FORMER Hey Dad! STAR Robert Hughes exposed his penis to a young cast member on set at the same time other young girls complained about being woken in the night by his sexual advances, a jury has heard today.

Hughes, 64, has pleaded not guilty to a string of child sex offences, said to have occurred mainly in the mid-1980s.

A District Court jury has today heard five now adult women came forward after media reports alleging Hughes indecently assaulted a young girl who was also working on the popular TV program.

Crown prosecutor Gina O’Rourke has said in her opening address to the jury that Hughes told one of the girls “here’s your teddy, go back to sleep” after “masturbating” against her while she was at his Sydney home for a sleepover.

It is alleged another young girl had her face rubbed against Hughes’s nether regions while he was administering ear drops for an infection she had from getting them pierced.

Four of the complainants knew the actor, who was extradited from London to Sydney in December 2012 to face the charges, through their family or young friends.

The first woman who will give evidence in the trial expected to last up to six weeks previously enjoyed the company of the actor, who was a friend of her parents, but she “eventually came to dread his visits”, Ms O’Rourke said.

She will allege that around the time she was 14 Hughes went into her bedroom after a family dinner party, placed his hand under her doona and though her underwear before rubbing her vagina.

The jury heard that at another party he returned to her room but his time she resisted as he “crouched” beside the bed and placed his fingers inside her underwear.

“The accused became quite rough, pushing back against her resistance,” Ms O’Rourke said.

The woman, now aged in her 40s, is expected to tell the jury she told her mother confronted Hughes about the assaults after she confided that she didn’t want to go on a proposed holiday the two families were taking together.

“You will hear [from the complainant’s mother] that the accused appeared not to care and did not respond to or deny the allegations,” Ms O’Rourke said.

She made a formal statement to police in 2010 after she saw a television program interviewing the woman who alleged Hughes exposed himself to her on the set of Hey Dad! by removing his pants and “making his penis sway.”

Two other women are expected to give evidence that Hughes snuck into the bedroom where they were sleeping at his family home.

The jury heard one described being told to “turn around” while he put his penis against her and, afterwards, gave her a teddy bear and said “here’s your teddy, go back to sleep.”

On another occasion in the same bedroom Hughes allegedly told her “ she was a good girl” after she attempted, but failed, to stop his advances.

The court heard two of the girls made statements to police in the 1980s but Hughes denied the allegations.

Ms O’Rourke said the fourth complainant, a former family friend of the actor, will tell the jury she received “16 long stemmed red roses” with a card saying “Happy Birthday love RH” for her 16th birthday after Hughes told her he wanted to have sex with her but she had informed him she was only 15 and below the age of consent.

On an occasion in 1989 when he drove the then 16 year old home, the court heard Hughes asked her “when they were going to do it” and she said she didn’t want to.

“Well that’s your loss, you won’t find out how good I am,” she alleges Hughes told her.

The trial continues before Judge Peter Zahra.

 

 

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Crime syndicate smashed by NSW police in $15m drug haul


Another one bites the dust, I love this news, it means less poison drugs containing who knows what is off our streets and not in our kids bodies. The one crap thing is we have very weak sentencing here for drug offenses, this strike force is ongoing with more arrests, get ready for the tap on the shoulder or guns in your faces boys!

One of the three men arrested at Gundagai yesterday

One of the three men arrested at Gundagai yesterday

Police say they have arrested 12 people over a $15-million drug haul seized in southern New South Wales.

Detectives began investigating what they have described as a major drug supply syndicate in 2012, forming Strike Force Oceanic.

They say the group has been producing and selling massive quantities of cannabis and the drug ice throughout the state’s south.

Police say the nine kilograms of ice seized would be worth around $9 million on the street.

Police say the nine kilograms of ice seized would be worth around $9 million on the street.

<

p>Officers pounced yesterday, arresting three men and allegedly seizing nine kilograms of ice, with an estimated street value of $9 million, in a raid at Gundagai.

Luigi Gino Fato, 62, and 40-year-old Hank Peter Pickett appeared briefly on serious drug charges in Wagga Wagga Local Court this morning.

No bail application was made and both men will remain in custody until they appear in Batemans Bay Local Court later this month.

The third man, a 63-year-old from Malua Bay, is yet to appear in court.

Detectives say the men are key players in the syndicate.

Police also raided another 11 properties yesterday in Sydney, Canberra and near Griffith, Cowra and Batemans Bay.

At a rural property at Crowther south of Cowra about 2,750 cannabis plants, with an estimated value of $5.5 million, were allegedly discovered.

Wagga Wagga Local Court heard this morning that Young Police Station is having difficulty storing such a large quantity of the drug.

Officers also seized seven guns, 60 kilograms of gunpowder, 90,000 rounds of ammunition and a number of vehicles, machines and documents during the raids.

A 36-year-old man was arrested at Sans Souci in Sydney’s south and charged with enhanced indoor cultivation that exposes a child over a hydroponic cannabis set-up allegedly found in the home.

He was then released on bail to face Kogarah Local Court next month.

In the nearby suburb of Miranda another man, also 36, was arrested and charged with enhanced indoor cultivation and drug possession.

He is free on bail and is due to face Sutherland Local Court next month.

A 40-year-old man was arrested in the ACT suburb of Palmerston and charged with drug supply offences.

He faced Queanbeyan Local Court yesterday.

A 46-year-old arrested at a Batemans Bay home was charged with drug supply.

He is being held in custody to face Narooma Local Court today.

Five other people had already charged over the syndicate before yesterday’s raids.

Simon Gittany gets 26 years’ jail (min 18) for murdering Lisa Harnum


The previous post can be found here
Gets 26 years, min of 18 years before parole. Inadequate in my view. new girlfriend Rachelle Louise was not in court, ching ching,
If you have a spare 30 minutes watch the first part of the $150,000 interview and story right here folks, a real eye opener
17/02/14 update new interview with the 2 detectives who saw his violent side nearly 20 years ago, when Gittany bit part of one detectives ear OFF while being arrested…yeah the guy Rachelle said would make a fantastic dad.Until the little kid piddled his pants or something….

16/02/14 UPDATED WITH 2ND PART AFTER THE FIRST BELOW

GUILTY SIGN

Hopefully she will collect a big fat cheque today from TV today, pocket it, and never utter his name again, gotcha Gittany

Official Sentence summary  from today can be found below, full transcript to follow once released folks. (click for bigger view)

Gittany Sentence Summary 11-02-14

Simon Gittany sentenced to at least 18 years for fiancée Lisa Harnum’s murder

Murderer Simon Gittany’s violent past revealed

Simon Gittany has been sentenced to 26 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 18 years, for the murder of his fiancée Lisa Harnum.

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Sentenced to 26 years for tossing her off a highrise balcony

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Sentenced to 26 years for tossing her off a highrise balcony

Gittany threw Ms Harnum to her death from the balcony of their 15th floor apartment in inner Sydney on a Saturday morning in July 2011.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum, who presided over Gittany’s judge-only trial last year, today also handed down his punishment.

Justice McCallum said that jailing Gittany for life would be excessive, but his family in the court’s public gallery still erupted when she delivered the sentence.

“In the name of Jesus, that will never happen,” one family member yelled.

The judge ordered the family members to be removed from the court.

Earlier Justice McCallum had described the cruelty of the crime.

“Ms Harnum must have been in a state of complete terror in the moments before her death,” she said.

Justice McCallum described Gittany as “arrogant” and said he had punished Ms Harnum during their relationship for “small acts of defiance” such as wearing her hair down.

The court heard about Gittany’s previous potential for violence, including an incident in which he bit off part of a policeman’s ear in 1994.

“It has a troubling resonance with the present offence,” Justice McCallum said.

The judge told the court that she had excluded evidence from a surprise prosecution witness last week – a former colleague of Ms Harnum who said Gittany had previously threatened to kill Ms Harnum and make it look like suicide.

The businessman’s current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, who has fiercely defended Gittany and has been by his side for much of his trial, was not in court for the sentencing.

Gittany himself was led up from the cells beneath the courtroom, but showed no emotion as he listened to the judge’s comments.

AMY DALE
The Daily Telegraph
February 07, 2014

BALCONY killer Simon Gittany could spend 20 years in jail for the “cold and calculating” murder of his fiancee – a killing he almost successfully portrayed as suicide, his sentencing was told yesterday.

Justice Lucy McCallum also indicated the decision of Gittany’s family to “embark on a campaign” that doggedly protests his innocence over the killing of Lisa Harnum could be viewed as “an impediment to rehabilitation”.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC told the court it could be “very much guided” by the standard non-parole period for murder in NSW, which is 20 years.

In his closing sentencing submissions, Mr Tedeschi said Gittany had used “the height and gravity” of the 15th storey balcony as a weapon in throwing Ms Harnum to her death seconds after she had been “screaming for her life”.

Rachelle Louise arrives for the second day of sentencing submissions in boyfriend Simon Gittany’s case.

Rachelle Louise has been a very vocal supporter of Simon Gittany.

Rachelle Louise seemed to be in a good mood when she arrived at court today.

“Were it not for the observations of (witness) Joshua Rathmell and were it not for the pinhole camera which captured the offender dragging the deceased back inside … it was a cold and calculating way of killing her in a manner which would have enabled him to pass it off as suicide,” Mr Tedeschi said.

Justice McCallum said Gittany had “a defiant denial of guilt” and, along with his family and girlfriend Rachelle Louise, appeared determined to “maintain the rage until (in his mind) justice is done”.

Prosecutors say Gittany has shown no contrition or remorse, which makes it hard to assess his rehabilitation prospects, but his barrister has asked the court to hand down a sentence “significantly lower” than the 20-year minimum.

Barrister Philip Strickland SC said Gittany’s criminal record, which includes a conviction for biting part of a policeman’s ear off in 1994, shouldn’t be given much weight upon sentence.

The court heard the relationship he has with Ms Louise has “no features at all of an abusive relationship”.

More than 40 character references were tendered to the court on Gittany’s behalf, with Justice McCallum saying some appear “to be asking for mercy on the basis I might be wrong (in the guilty verdict).”

Mr Strickland said references spoke of a gentle Gittany with dreams of being a priest.

Mr Tedeschi said the references suggest “the offender is two completely different people. One person to his family and a completely different person presenting in the relationship (with Lisa Harnum).

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