The Job Seeker Training Con- New legislation on track to stop the RIP OFFS


Plenty to come with this huge scam, no wonder private training “Colleges” and the like are popping up like flies to a pile of shit.

Money for nothing, scrounge as much money as you can from the hopeless job seekers and the desperate with pathetic unneeded useless courses unsuitable for their needs, and signing them to huge debt,  all for the gov kickbacks.

Falsifying applications, interviews, outcomes for more gov bonuses. What is yet to come, is the people behind some of these companies are retired or ex Federal and State MP’s who were smart (silly) enough to jump on the band wagon! These payments amount to billions over the time, and most in need get nothing out of it, nor have their circumstances improved.

The bloody rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Some involved with ICAC are yet to be exposed on gov contracts to house these gov job seeker services. Wrapping up long over valued leases.


UPDATE 11/03/15

New legislation to ban training providers from offering ‘miraculously’ short diploma courses

Training providers will be banned from offering “miraculously” short diploma courses, and from offering students incentives to sign up, under new legislation to be introduced by the Federal Government.

Assistant Training Minister Simon Birmingham said he was “very concerned” the Government’s vocational education loans scheme (VET FEE-HELP) was being abused and announced a range of measures to crack down on rogue providers.

“I’m very concerned about the range of distortions and abuse of the VET FEE-HELP scheme that’s occurring around Australia,” he told the ABC.

“I’ve had all too many examples of students who are being ripped off, vulnerable people taken advantage of, all of it being put on a tab for the taxpayer.

“So these reforms are designed to clamp down on dishonest behaviour, unethical behaviour amongst vocational education and training providers and make sure we restore integrity to a very important system.”

VET FEE-HELP is a HECS-style loans scheme that requires students to repay the Commonwealth once they earn a certain amount.

Senator Birmingham said he had heard “horrible stories” about dodgy training providers offering students laptops, meals, prizes and cash to sign up for courses that they did not need or would not lead to a job.

In some cases, he said students had been told the course in which they enrolled was free, when it was not.

“There’s no doubt that especially in relation to incentives and inducements for sign up, that has been a widespread activity over the last few months, if not couple of years since Labor opened up this system in 2012,” he said.

“Our reforms will shut the door on that.”

Under the changes, training providers would be required to have a minimum number of units of study in their diplomas and advanced diplomas, they would be banned from offering inducements or incentives to encourage students to sign up for courses, and they would be required to “properly assess” a student’s educational abilities before enrolment.

If the cost of these reforms is we see some dubious providers go out of business, then I’ll be quite happy to see that occur as long as we see a system that’s sustainable for the long haul.

Assistant Training Minister Simon Birmingham

Training providers would also be banned from accepting course fees in a single up-front transaction, to give students more time to consider their options.

“We are addressing the gaping holes that existed in the guidelines when Labor opened the scheme up in 2012 and making sure that through doing that, we restore some quality to the system,” Senator Birmingham said.

The Government estimated the changes would prevent students from taking out $16.3 billion in bad loans over the next 10 years, but Senator Birmingham admitted it would come at a cost to the sector.

“That will come at some cost to the industry, but ultimately I’m determined that these measures will shut down bad business models,” he said.

“If the cost of these reforms is we see some dubious providers go out of business, then I’ll be quite happy to see that occur as long as we see a system that’s sustainable for the long haul.”

According to Government figures, more than 180,000 students accessed the VET FEE-HELP scheme last year, taking out more than $1.6 billion in loans.


Update 4 Mar 2015

Evocca College under investigation by the Australian Skills Quality Authority after reports of low graduation rates

Update 4 Mar 2015

Figures obtained by the ABC show Evocca College has a graduation rate of about 10 per cent despite claiming more than $290 million in government funding via the VET FEE-HELP student loan scheme.

The figures show out of 38,213 students who signed up to its diploma courses in the past four years, only 2,058 were handed diplomas by October 2014.

There were 16,567 students who officially cancelled and 3,897 who timed out of the course.

The college said about 15,000 were still on track to graduate.

More than 20 former Evocca employees spoke to the ABC about questionable practices at the college after concerns about the training provider were first aired in January.

Since then the graduation rates of the college have been the subject of debate.

Now more allegations have come to light including that it enrolled students ill-equipped for diploma level courses without enough support, that it enrolled students who did not pass the required literacy test, and that it backdated tutor qualification forms to pass federal government audits.

Former staff claimed the college actively sought to hamper students who wanted to leave the college and cease adding to their government training debt.

An email obtained by the ABC shows the college sent an email to staff stating that “cancellation is a banned word”.

There’s a large amount of tax-payers’ money going into these colleges, it’s crucial tax-payers are getting value for money.

Australian Skills Quality Authority chief commissioner Chris Robinson

The college rejected suggestions it was taking advantage of the the VET FEE-HELP student training loan scheme, which was opened up to diploma courses in recent years.

In a statement, a company spokesman said they had a team of people dedicated to reaching out to students who were not attending.

“In cases where we have been through all possible processes endeavouring to re-engage a student, but have not been able to do so, we will cancel their enrolment, and have many thousands of documented cases to back this up,” he said.

The spokesman said the enrolment figures were not accurate and did not take into account “the flexible model that we deliver in allowing students more time than many other providers to complete their courses at no additional cost, which provides for differing levels of ability and also a variety of personal circumstances”.

It comes after a senate inquiry into the training loan scheme handed down its interim report on Monday.

Under VET FEE-HELP students can borrow up to $96,000 from the government for training, plus a 20 per cent loan fee, but not make repayments until they earn more than $53,000.

The loans attract interest in line with inflation (indexation) and the level of debt accrued can affect people’s ability to take out some types of loans in the future.

Free iPads ending up at pawn shops

One of the key criticisms of many new players in the diploma-level training market is the use of incentives such as free laptops and iPads to sign students up to courses, and ultimately training debts.

In Sydney’s west the Mega Cash pawn shop around the corner from Evocca’s Mt Druitt campus sees up to five students a day trying to pawn their computers.

“I was getting about five a day, last week,” manager Dean Rasmussen said.

“We can’t take the iPads because as the college tells us, they still own them until the student finishes the course so they cannot legally sell it or loan [it].”

There are similar reports in other states.

Evocca has 40 campuses around Australia and enrols about 15,000 students.

Evocca said the computers were loaned to students in line with a scheme with Federal Government approval.

“They are provided as a necessary tool with which students may become familiar with technology and also complete their studies, especially as many do not have the immediate wherewithal to purchase their own,” a spokesman said.

Former employee Steven Fogerty said the computers were useless as learning tools because they did not come equipped with relevant learning software such as Microsoft Office.

“The concept of giving students an iPad is purely an incentive because they’re a toy,” he said.

Regulator to investigate

The federal regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, said it has been investigating a number of complaints about Evocca.

Chief commissioner Chris Robinson said some related to recruitment practices and others related to its operations.

He said the ABC raised new allegations the regulator was not aware of.

“We certainly are concerned about some of [the allegations],” he said.

“It would be very good if people have information and concerns in the way Evocca has operated to come through ASQA.”

He said the regulator audited 4,000 colleges in the past three years and suspended or chose not to renew many providers.

“Certainly not enough providers are fully compliant at all times,” he said.

“There’s a large amount of tax-payers’ money going into these colleges, it’s crucial tax-payers are getting value for money.”

Staff come forward

More than 20 former Evocca employees have come forward to the ABC with concerns about the college’s operation.

Mr Fogerty was a business management tutor at Mt Druitt campus for six months.

He said they regularly discussed at morning meetings the low educational ability of students recruited by the company’s sales agents.

“We’d all say we know this is wrong,” he said.

In vocational training, students typically progress through Certificates I to III or IV before undertaking a diploma level course, unless they have extensive workplace experience.

Mr Fogerty said he had one student who had vision and hearing impairments who was enrolled despite not writing 100 words as required by the Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) entrance test.

This student was then given little or no extra support despite his impairments.

“They would let anyone into this college. Your intellectual abilities were not even considered,” he said.

“If you were an Australian citizen and you could sign your name, you’re in.”

Other students included migrants with poor English skills, single mothers and elderly people, many of whom he said did not get appropriate learning support.

Evocca said it had a thorough pre-enrolment process that ensured students understood the requirements and were capable of completing the course.

“It is due to these self-imposed standards of closely vetting any potential student that, although we receive many thousands of inquiries annually, only 14 per cent of these result in enrolments,” a company spokesman said.

Claims of backdating forms

Former Queensland branch manager Michelle Naylor said when the college was audited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority it deliberately backdated staff qualification paperwork to pass the audit.

“We were asked to go through everyone’s qualifications,” she said.

“If they didn’t have qualifications we were asked to sign a form called Working Under Supervision and unfortunately I had to backdate a couple of those to the term the tutors commenced work.

“I didn’t know I was supervising them, I thought they had qualifications and experience.

“I knew I was doing the wrong thing.”

The college denied any wrongdoing and said it would “update” paperwork of those who were required to be supervised while they were in the process of obtaining their Certificate IV in Workplace Training.

“This was an internal administrative process, which was in part designed to ensure some transparency and accountability for those who were undertaking this training, to ensure that it was completed in a timely manner, and that those being supervised were of an acceptable standard,” a spokesman said.

Students say they lose out

Dylan Palmer would travel three hours each day to study digital gaming at Evocca’s Brisbane campus.

He was referred to the course by a friend who received $100 cash from Evocca and Dylan received a free laptop.

“It was a lot of fun at first but as I went on it kind of jumped from point A to point C without ever really explaining point B and it just got really confusing for me,” he said.

I did struggle. It was very, very hard. There’s nothing for disabilities. They’ve got nothing in place, no protocols, nothing.

Leanne Fraser

The 21-year-old has Asperger’s syndrome and said he did not receive sufficient support.

“Sometimes they’d just say ‘watch the video again’.”

He now has a $27,000 VET FEE-HELP debt.

Also in Queensland, single mother Leanne Fraser would travel two hours each day for a diploma in tourism.

She has multiple sclerosis and said there was no help for students with a disability.

“I did struggle. It was very, very hard,” she said.

“There’s nothing for disabilities. They’ve got nothing in place, no protocols, nothing.”

A college spokesman said the Evocca teaching model was based on doing everything it could to support students.

“[There is] a robust system in place for the ongoing management of students, including regular one-to-one catch ups with tutors, to ensure that these objectives are achieved.”


23rd February 2015

Unemployment in Australia is at its highest in 12 years. The Government’s solution is an innovative billion-dollar scheme called Jobs Services Australia. But the initiative is failing.

Now, a Four Corners investigation shows how the scheme is being manipulated and, at times, systematically exploited. Reporter Linton Besser reveals the corruption at the heart of the program aimed at helping some of this country’s most vulnerable people.

He travels to suburbs where unemployment is a way of life. He meets Kym, struggling to find work and pull her daughter out of a cycle of poverty.

There to help are private and not-for-profit job agencies, paid by the Government to help find work for Kym and others like her. These agencies have blossomed thanks to the privatisation of the Commonwealth Employment Service in 1998, and are thriving on contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Unemployment is now big business in Australia. Each year the Government spends about $1.3 billion on its welfare to work scheme.

But what happens when there are simply not enough jobs to go around?

What Four Corners discovers is a system open to abuse where the unemployed have become a commodity. Some agencies bend the rules, others break them.

“I would say about 80 percent of claims that come through have some sort of manipulation on them.” – Agency whistleblower

Four Corners goes inside the industry, finding shocking evidence of fraud, manipulation, falsified paperwork, and the recycling of the unemployed through temporary jobs.

Hours are bumped up, wages are inflated, and in many cases, vital evidence to support claims from the taxpayer appears to have been falsified. One former jobseeker tells Four Corners her paperwork appears to have been completely forged.

In recent years Government checks have forced some companies to pay back millions of dollars, but few are sanctioned. Former job agency employees say crucial internal records are adjusted in preparation for government audits.

“That, I guess, caused alarm bells for me… Claims that have been claimed, signatures that weren’t on them, and we were sort of told, you know, if the signature’s not on it, get it any way that you can.” – Former job agency employee

As the nation grapples with rising unemployment, Four Corners raises uncomfortable questions about the charities and profit-takers making a buck from Australia’s jobless.

“THE JOBS GAME”, reported by Linton Besser and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 23rd February at 8.30pm on ABC. The program is replayed on Tuesday 24th February at 10.00am and Wednesday at midnight. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview


Government recovers over $41 million worth of false claims after ‘rorting’ of Job Services Australia scheme

23/02/15

The Federal Government has clawed back more than $41 million worth of false claims by private employment agencies in just the past three years.

The agencies are contracted by the Government under a privatised welfare-to-work program called Job Services Australia, a sprawling $1.3 billion-a-year scheme designed to get the unemployed into work.

A Four Corners investigation has found rorting of the scheme is rampant. Forgery, manipulation of records and the lodgement of inflated claims for fees are widespread.

One former agency employee said he had seen “thousands” of jobseeker records doctored by his agency to support suspect claims against the taxpayer.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, have been recouped at times by the department.

Rupert Taylor-Price

The managing director of a private employment agency told Four Corners: “There are incentives to be involved in sharp practices from a financial and performance perspective.”

“We had to do the same thing [because] everyone was doing it,” the source said.

“The Government does not want to expose the whole industry.”

Three years ago a top-level inquiry into just one type of fee found spectacular rates of failure, forcing cancellation of that particular fee and prompting industry-wide ructions.

Ominously, the inquiry noted that just 40 per cent of the claims it examined could be confirmed by documentary evidence, or by the testimony of jobseekers and their employers.

The Abbott administration has made some changes to the scheme that take effect mid-way through this year.

But critics say these changes will do little, if anything, to stop widespread gaming of the contract.

Only one in 10 enjoy ‘a better chance of gaining employment’

The ABC has learned that fraud investigators attached to the Department of Employment have launched probes into many of the major agencies contracted to the program since its inception in 1998.

For-profit companies, including the market leader, Max Employment, have been investigated for particular allegations, as well as well-loved Australian charities including the Salvation Army.

There are a variety of means by which the contract is exploited.

The ABC is not suggesting that any particular agency is engaged in the full range of rorts, or other means by which the contract can be optimised.

But despite a long parade of whistleblowers detailing allegations of the misappropriation of taxpayer funds by some agencies, and highly questionable practices by others, the government has declined to detail instances where it has ever sanctioned any single agency operating under the scheme.

But what the department does is only reclaim those from the failures it finds. So even if you are going to put in claims that have a failure rate, you’re still going to have a lot of them not found and keep the money … there’s still an incentive to make the claim.

Rupert Taylor-Price

In one case to be examined on Four Corners, investigators were forced to shelve their inquiries when they discovered a departmental official had explicitly told the agency that it could still collect fees for services the Government knew had never been delivered.

Rupert Taylor-Price, whose software company analyses government data generated by the program, says the scheme is being routinely “optimised” to the detriment of jobseekers.

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, have been recouped at times by the department,” Mr Taylor-Price said.

“But what the department does is only reclaim those from the failures it finds.

“So even if you are going to put in claims that have a failure rate, you’re still going to have a lot of them not found and keep the money … there’s still an incentive to make the claim.”

He says he believes only one in 10 participants in the program enjoy “a better chance of gaining employment”.

The program was created 17 years ago, when the Howard government effectively privatised the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES).

The new policy created a pseudo-marketplace of jobseekers who were forced under Centrelink’s rules to attend private agencies, which would be paid to find them work.

Since then, more than $18 billion has been spent on the welfare to work program – first labelled Job Network, and now known as Job Services Australia.

It has been a cheaper scheme than the CES, but critics say it has also been far less helpful at assisting long-term unemployed people back into work.

‘You can’t make people search for jobs that aren’t there’

Academics and experts have repeatedly pointed out the glaring paradox at the heart of the program: how can these agencies have any impact on the unemployed when the number of jobless far outstrip the number of job vacancies?

“[The welfare to work program] patently hasn’t worked,” said Professor Bill Mitchell, director of Newcastle University’s Centre of Full Employment and Equity.

“It’s an impossible task … there’s not enough jobs to go around. You can’t make people search for jobs that aren’t there, and that’s the dilemma of the whole system.

“We’ve had a demand-side constraint – not enough jobs – and all this vigorous energy and money being poured into a supply-side initiative as if that’s the problem.”

Periodically, the jobs program has been mired in scandal. A major Productivity Commission inquiry in 2002 made adverse findings about the program, including that the long-term unemployed were being “parked”.

It’s absolutely vulnerable to exploitation.

Former senior departmental investigator

Just three years after Job Network was launched, one prominent job agency was accused of shovelling thousands of people into phoney jobs.

In what has become a pattern, a subsequent inquiry cleared the agency of fraud but demanded the repayment of thousands of dollars.

Insiders have told Four Corners that department managers have been reluctant to tighten up the program’s governing contract to prevent blatant rip-offs.

“It’s absolutely vulnerable to exploitation,” said a former senior departmental investigator.

He said he had significant doubts about the will of successive governments to root out the fraud perpetrated against the contract.

“The department was more interested in getting its money back [than sanctioning agencies] … it’s very politically-driven,” the former investigator said.

The Department of Employment provided figures to Four Corners which showed that millions of dollars are routinely recouped from agencies, as a result of audits, self-identification by agencies and other “program assurance activities”.

In 2011–2012, $8.34 million was recovered.

The figure spiked to $23.81 million the following year after the inquiry into one particular type of fee.

And last year, another $9.12 million was reclaimed.

A department spokesman said typical repayments by agencies amounted to “less than 1 per cent of the amount paid each year”, and said it had “robust systems” to detect inappropriate claims for fees.

He would not answer a series of specific questions about past or current investigations conducted by the department.

“In cases of suspected fraud, matters are referred to agencies such as the Australian Federal Police and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions,” the spokesman said.

“Since 2006 the Department has made 38 referrals to the appropriate authorities.”

Background Information

RESPONSES TO FOUR CORNERS

Statement by Catholic Care in response to Four Corners

Statement in response – Four Corners Interview Request | 30 January, 2015

Statement by Salvation Army in response to Four Corners | 5 February, 2015

Statement by the Department of Employment in response to Four Corners

Statement from the Assistant Minister for Employment, the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP in response to Four Corners

RESEARCH

Letter of concern regarding the Job Network | November 1999

Job Services Australia review and evaluation | Department of Employment | 2014

Labour Force Figures, January 2015 | Australian Bureau of Statistics

Management of Services Delivered by Job Services Australia | Australian National Audit Office | 2013/14

ACOSS submission to APESAA | 2012

Rethinking Australia’s Employment Services | Whitlam Institute | UWS | 2011

A review of developments in the Job Network | Research Paper | Paliamentary Library | 24 December, 2007

Centerlink Quarterly Breach Data | Participation and activity test requirements and penalties for workforce age payments | 20 September 2003

Wage Subsidies | Job Access

Parliamentry Debate | Job Network question to Tony Abbott then Minister for Employment Services | 7 December, 1998

MEDIA

Unemployment | Topic Page | ABC News | Regularly Updated

Young Australians are not giving up on work, despite high unemployment | The Guardian | 17 February 2015

REMINDER: Why employment and unemployment are both rising in Australia | Business Insider | 16 February 2015

Social Service Agency Reacts to Welfare Contractor’s Controversy | Voice of OC | 17 June, 2014

Australia Unemployment Rate 1978-2015 | Trading Economics | 12 February, 2015

Job seeker funding still open to fraud, despite fee reforms | Sydney Morning Herald | 22 April, 2013

Federal Agency Finds Workfare Contractor Violated Wage Law | New York Times | 1 September, 2000

RELEVANT LINKS

Job Services Australia | The Australian Government employment services system that supports job seekers and employers.

Jobs Australia | The national peak body for nonprofit organisations that assist unemployed people to get and keep jobs

Max Solutions Training

Live baiting on Four Corners-greyhound racing -Life bans and prosecutions to follow


Many more about to be exposed, it makes me ask this question…

IF they had any honour and respect for their loved ones (people ,not dogs or animals they have proven that) who are about to be shamed, they would step up and say I fucked up! I got caught up whatever. The earlier participants speak up the better they will be received.

Otherwise, this is how it will be, little kids who loved their daddy, uncle, grandpa in photos with winners will grow to be disgusted. The public and punters etc are outraged but these tossers have their very own families and grand kids to answer to. WHY grandpa???????  is being asked all over Australia


 UPDATE 03/03/15

Greyhound Racing Victoria board resigns after report into live baiting at Tooradin

The board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has resigned after an interim report found no evidence board members knew about the practice of live baiting at the Tooradin trial track.

Racing Minister Martin Pakula said the industry needed a fresh start and a new board of three would provide the cultural change needed at GRV.

Ray Gunston, the former chief financial officer for Tatts Group, was appointed the new chair, along with former Victoria Police commissioner Ken Lay and Melbourne barrister Judith Bornstein.

The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria, Peter Caillard, resigned over the controversy last month.

The resignations came after Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna released a report which found there was no “direct” evidence of live baiting at any track other than Tooradin.

However the report said it would be “naive” to accept that the practice was not and had not been going on elsewhere.

On the balance of probabilities, Mr Perna said, GRV could not have been expected to know about the practice considering their lack of powers to inspect properties.

Mr Perna said there were currently only two compliance inspectors for the whole state, but noted that GRV had advertised to employ four more.

“The people that perform the compliance and welfare checks are restricted in their powers to attend at what they call a reasonable hour,” he said.

“That means there’s a degree of predictability.”

‘Small group’ responsible for unlawful activity

The report was ordered in response to revelations by Four Corners which found live animals were being used to blood greyhounds used for racing.

Mr Perna’s report also found there was no current evidence to substantiate the allegations of a cover-up at GRV in regards to live baiting at Tooradin or elsewhere.

This is beyond greyhound welfare. This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.

Sal Perna, Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner

He recommended increasing the powers of animal welfare compliance, education and integrity staff at GRV.

“This is a small group of people that are conducting unlawful activity,” he said. “I don’t think it’s representative of the industry.”

Mr Perna also called on GRV to make formal agreements with animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the immediate reporting of allegations of cruelty.

“This is beyond greyhound welfare,” he said. “This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.”

Mr Pakula asked the Department of Justice to examine what legislative changes were needed to increase animal welfare compliance powers.

He also asked the new GRV to get straight to work implementing the five interim recommendations from Mr Perna’s report.

They included increasing the powers of animal compliance officers, introducing new regulations for trainers, and new strict compliance rules for trainers and owners regarding the ownership and transfer of ownership of greyhounds.

Animal welfare ‘comes last’ in racing industry: RSPCA

The RSPCA said the greyhound industry’s efforts to regulate itself had been an “abject failure” and an independent body was needed to oversee the sport.

Its Victorian chief executive, Liz Walker, said the interim report lacked clear outcomes, and greyhound welfare seemed to come last.

“The evidence shows that under self-regulation, it’s been an abject failure,” she said.

“If the public are going to have confidence that greyhound welfare is going to be the utmost concern, then the only way forward is to have this independent body.”

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy welcomed the resignation of the board.

“As far as I’m concerned it is good that the board’s gone,” Mr Guy said.

“It sends a message, it sends a clear message to everyone in the greyhound industry that those who have been complicit or take part in live baiting should and will be brought to justice.”

He also said he supported a review into whether greyhound racing needed a greater level of oversight to protect animals.

“I think the time’s come for a discussion around animal welfare, which may be outside of the scope of what we’ve seen previously,” he said.

Mr Pakula was asked why the board members resigned if they had been cleared of wrongdoing.

“They’ve taken the view, which I share, that for the code to move forward and public confidence to be restored that a new start is required with a new board,” he said.

“We don’t for a moment believe the appointment of a new board itself will restore confidence.

“It will be about the way that the industry carries itself and the way it deals with those people who insist on doing the wrong thing.”


 

UPDATE 03/03/15

Queensland greyhound trainers Reg Kay, Tom Noble, Debra Arnold, James Harding and Tony McCabe have all been banned for life for their part in archaic live baiting practices. The five will never participate in the sport of greyhound racing again after being warned off racetracks and banned from training or owning greyhounds, as well as being banned from placing any wagers on greyhound racing.

Racing Queensland Chairman explained the reasons behind the decision.

“As a board we determined the actions of these individuals proved they should not be considered fit and proper persons to continue to be involved in the greyhound industry,” Mr Dixon said after a Racing Queensland board meeting at Deagon.

“The conduct we saw from these people in the evidence provided to us is not only against the rules of greyhound racing, it is deplorable by its very nature.

“There is no place for anyone who engages in this type of conduct in the industry.”

This conduct came to light after an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program, which exposed horrific cruelty in the widespread use of live animals such as piglets, possums and rabbits on mechanical lures as a means of ‘blooding’ greyhounds.

Racing Queensland’s probe into the cases of involving trainers Greg Stella and Michael Chapman is yet to be resolved.


update 20/02/15 Well done WA but is this retrospective?otherwise you will catch nobody going forward. There are thousands of rabbits free that were doomed to die alive a few days ago

WA imposes life ban, $50k fine for greyhound industry live bait offenders

Anyone found to be involved in the practice of live baiting in the greyhound industry will be banned from the sport for life, under tough new rules announced by Racing and Wagering WA.

The industry has been embroiled in a live baiting scandal in the eastern states but there is no clear evidence of the practice in WA.

Racing and Wagering WA said offenders involved in live baiting will face a minimum 10-year disqualification and $50,000 fine, in addition to a life ban from the sport.

Previously the penalty was a 12-month disqualification from the industry.

General manager Denis Borovica said offenders would not be able to participate in greyhound racing in any registered capacity for life.

“We felt that it would more appropriately reflect the zero tolerance we have for offenders by having a penalty provision that prescribes a period of not less than 10 years disqualification and a fine of $50,000 for any person found guilty of an offence involving live game,” he said.

“So effectively what the penalty means is that for 10 years you’re unable to set foot on the racecourse and after that you become a member of the public again, but you’ll only be a member of the public you will not be a participant of the racing industry again.”

The State Government said WA now has the harshest penalties for animal cruelty in the country.

latest 19/02/15

The entire board of Greyhound Racing NSW has been dismissed following revelations of widespread live baiting within the industry, the New South Wales Government says.

The board’s powers have been referred to interim chief executive officer and head of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Paul Newson.

NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said he dismissed the board because his government wanted to restore the integrity of the industry.

“They have agreed with me that the community has lost confidence in the industry, and we now need the clear air in order to reform and reshape the industry,” he said.


NOTICE FROM ROBBO, OWNER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SITE

To those highlighted (and those pending, you can’t delete every pic online)  in the gallery. Stop trying to threaten me via email etc or any other way you like because NOTHING will be removed. It does not work that way anymore…

The PIG/RABBIT/POSSUM is out of the bag and talking And I keep every instance of contact via communication, email, mobile, social media etc for safe keeping.

ROGUE TRAINERS GALLERY (added to daily)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

QLD

THIS IS trainer deborah arnold
DEBORAH ARNOLD -PRESIDENT of the United Queensland Greyhounds Association and a prominent trainer and breeder, owns kennels at 14 Wotan road, Churchable, Qld

“Um… If they do I don’t know about it and I don’t really want to know about it. Um, but yeah, so this is the…It’s cruel. Yeah. You know, it’s not…No, it’s not the done thing.”

Tom Noble I am ashamed

Tom Noble I am ashamed

TOM NOBLE, TRAINER, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, Churchable

“Yeah, one with no muzzle: that was $100. That was $50 there to kill the pig. They’re $50 each, them c**ts.”

(Footage of RSPCA inspectors at Tom Noble’s training track)

INSPECTOR: So have you ever used pigs? Have you ever been on this property and used pigs in the past?
TOM NOBLE: No, I haven’t.
INSPECTOR: Never?

REG KAY: 3 Greyhound of the Year titles and the “2008 Australian trainer of the year”

TONY MCCABE, TRAINER,

JAMES HARDING, TRAINER

MICHAEL CHAPMAN, TRAINER

GREG STELLA , TRAINER

STEPHEN SHERWELL, TRAINER

GERRI CRISCI, TRAINER

ANTHONY HESS, TRAINER

STEVEN ARNOLD, TRAINER

MICK EMERY, TRAINER

SAMANTHA ROBERTS, TRAINER
NSW

Liar, trainer and live baiter John Thompson

Liar, trainer and live baiter John Thompson

JOHN THOMPSON, TRAINER, Shannon Brook, NSW

“What people have got to realise: it’s like anything you do. You’ve got to come out of the old days into the new days. With the welfare of greyhounds now, your biggest factor is, is that it, it doesn’t happen that easy any more”

 

ZEKE KADIR, TRAINER break-in Centre, Wilshire Park, Londonderry, NSW

ZEKE KADIR, TRAINER break-in Centre, Wilshire Park, Londonderry, NSW

ZEKE KADIR, TRAINER break-in Centre, Wilshire Park, Londonderry, NSW
(The rabbits are tied to a hand-pushed lure controlled by Zeke Kadir, dragged along the ground at speed, pursued by dogs in so-called training.)

trainer Harry Sarkis

trainer Harry Sarkis

HARRY SARKIS, TRAINER, so many questions, read all about the luxury kennels built by TAFE and more read here

http://www.australianracinggreyhound.com/australian-greyhound-racing/new-south-wales-greyhound-racing/harry-sarkis-called-to-icac-over-tafe-fraud-inquiry/21203

(In a further blow to the industry, champion Londonderry trainer Harry Sarkis has been suspended pending an inquiry into vials of banned substances found at his kennels during an inspection.

Sarkis has trained champion dogs for more than 20 years, including Tenthill Doll and Kristy’s Charity, and reportedly paid $800,000 for Brett Lee at the end of its career.)

IAN MORGAN, TRAINER, The trainer was caught removing the possum’s fur and flesh from its mouth. He’s blooding one of his up-and-coming dogs, Cee Cee Quoted.Four days later, we caught Ian Morgan leaving his western Sydney home with Cee Cee Quoted, bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle.

JOHN CAUCHI, TRAINER, Box Hill
(footage of Cauchi swinging a live rabbit before a greyhound as it attacks it)

BRUCE CARR,  TRAINER,  has been suspended after GRNSW removed four live rabbits from his property.

JOHN O’BRIENTRAINER has admitted keeping eight live European rabbits in cages on his Congewai property, but denied any involvement in live baiting after  explosive evidence of systemic  cheating uncovered by ABC’s Four Corners program.

Mr O’Brien, a licensed trainer based west of Cessnock, was immediately stood down on Thursday after officers from Greyhound Racing NSW raided his property and found eight live European rabbits.

His property was raided the same week as five registered trainers and operators in western Sydney who were targeted by RSPCA NSW officers over live baiting.

Mr O’Brien stressed he had no intention of live baiting the rabbits,   saying he kept them to use for ‘‘finish-on-lure’’ trials, where a humanely killed rabbit is attached to the arm of the lure as incentive for the greyhound to chase.

‘‘How I do it is I get bush rabbits, wild rabbits, and I break their neck and remove their head and everything else, the intestines and stomach and the dead rabbits go on the lure,’’ he said.

‘‘My only problem was I kept the bunnies alive, a bunny out of the freezer can come out quite wet and cold and if you put it in the microwave then it can fall apart.

‘‘I was silly, but fresh is best, once you put a frozen rabbit on the lure,  the dogs are not that interested, they show more interest if they [rabbits] have just been gutted or have a bit of blood on them.

‘‘They only need it once, the dog at least has to know there is something on the lure.  It is a 100% difference in how they run, something cold on the lure coming out of the fridge is nothing to them.’’

VIC

BOB SMITH, Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) former integrity and racing operations manager 

the state’s former second in charge of greyhound racing, can be seen in the footage taken at the Tooradin trial track south-east of Melbourne.

Smith has been serving on a GRV steering committee and his involvement casts serious doubt over the regulator’s claims of integrity.

ANDREW MILLS, TRAINER the former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria, now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state

STUART MILLS A SUCCESSFUL TRAINER AND OWNER-OPERATOR OF TOORADIN no more (Large)

STUART MILLS A SUCCESSFUL TRAINER AND OWNER-OPERATOR OF TOORADIN no more (Large)

STUART MILLS, A SUCCESSFUL TRAINER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF TOORADIN, a GRV-approved and licensed trial track.

“Yeah, look, I think the, the live baiting and, and that has certainly been clamped down on in the last five years, um, and it’s cleaned right up.”
Early the next morning, we paid Stuart Mills a visit.

(To Stuart Mills) Caro Meldrum-Hanna from Four Corners. How are you?
STUART MILLS: Yeah, not bad.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA (to Stuart Mills): We’re just here to ask you a couple of questions.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: A clearly shaken Stuart Mills maintained his denials.
(To Stuart Mills) Have you been live baiting here, Stuart?
STUART MILLS: No.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Why do you think they were here yesterday?
STUART MILLS: You ask them that.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Did you?
STUART MILLS: Yeah.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: And what did they say?

Mills gets told to shut up by someone off screen and walks away

PAUL ANDERTON, TRAINER, and former steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria.

NEVILLE KING, TRAINER, and the president of Cranbourne Racing Club

DENNIS DEAN, TRAINER,

DARREN MCDONALD, PREMIER TRAINER, a Two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year; more than $4 million in prize money.

(It’s the 18th of November, 2014. Darren McDonald, dressed in a white t-shirt, attends Tooradin, carrying a hessian sack. A tiny, pink piglet is lifted out, tied down, its little legs kicking.As the mechanical lure starts up, McDonald and handler Chris Connelly appear, two greyhounds straining on leads. As they near the camera, muzzles can be made out on each dog.After two laps, the muzzles are removed. The piglet can be heard squealing as it’s mauled to death off-camera. Seventy-two hours later, Darren McDonald and his star dogs are at the annual Greyhound Melbourne Cup, the richest night on the racing calendar.)

Trainer of the Year – Darren McDonald...What he should be saying

Trainer of the Year – Darren McDonald…What he should be saying

Live possums, rabbits, piglets  and other small animals are being used as live lures in training and secret trials. Some of the biggest names in greyhound racing will be shamed tonight on Four Corners. What the governing bodies could not do within their multi billion dollar industry, an animal welfare group could. On a shoestring budget they were able to discover in a few weeks. The dirty secret the hold industry knows about and ignores.Pathetic, sad, and will disgust most Aussies.

It makes a joke of this page they boast

http://www.greyhoundracingthefacts.com/


NSW and Victorian industry awards nights set down for Friday have been postponed, as has an awards night in Queensland.

GRV has resolved to suspend any greyhound trained and/or owned by the 10 persons suspended by the board, on Friday, February 13, in relation to live baiting. The dogs will reportedly not be able to race until investigations into the allegations are completed.

GRV MOVES TO SUSPEND GREYHOUNDS

17/02/2015

On the advice of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has resolved to suspend any greyhound trained and/or owned by the ten persons suspended by the board, on Friday 13 February, in relation to live baiting. This suspension will continue until the Racing Integrity Commissioner and GRV have concluded their investigations into these serious allegations.

update 17/02/15

Live baiting claims a shock: racing chief Really, 5 years in the job and your shocked, you should be bloody sacked. It is common knowledge if the industry and EVERYONE turned a blind eye for decades

VICTORIA’S racing integrity commissioner believes the illegal practice of live baiting is isolated in the greyhound industry.

SAL Perna says the allegations of live baiting aired in an ABC report were a shock and he was only aware of one instance, which was disproved, in his five years in the job.

MrPerna says the extent of the practice isn’t known. “My guess is that it is isolated but I really don’t know yet,” he told reporters on Tuesday. He says he will investigate the extent of the problem.


The State Government has promised to crack down on the industry, with Racing Minister Martin Pakula labelling the live baiting practice “barbaric, abhorrent and illegal”.

RSPCA chief Dr Liz Walker said she was “stunned” Greyhound Racing Victoria’s stewards did not discover the practice, which was instead exposed by a small team of Animals Australia activists.

More than 70 greyhound trainers have been implicated in the scandal, with at least 20 people suspended from the industry across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The ABC’s Four Corners program last night aired videos showing small animals squealing as they were flung around training tracks as bait.

The footage showed dogs released to chase a possum as it was flung around a racing track 26 times at high speed until it was left hanging by its spinal cord.

One well-known interstate trainer was recorded excitedly telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in.

Other injured animals were stuffed into small boxes.

Among those implicated has been two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year Darren McDonald, who was allegedly caught on camera carrying a piglet inside a sack into the Tooradin property where dogs then mauled the animal.

Also shamed was successful Victorian trainer Stuart Mills, the brother of Andrew Mills, who was a former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader.

Another former Greyhound Racing Victoria steward, Paul Aderton, who policed the industry in his former role, has also allegedly been caught training his dogs with live bait.

Mr Pakula promised to stamp out the cruel and illegal ­training technique.

On Monday night he announced he would be cancelling Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Industry Award Night, which was due to take place this Friday.


This is from a jurno at http://www.australianracinggreyhound.com overnight

ABC live-baiting investigation draws blood

Written By 9 hours ago

Queensland wrap-up:

  • Prominent greyhound breeder and trainer and president of the United Queensland Greyhound Association Deborah Arnold allowed her 70 greyhound puppies and racing dogs at her property ‘Dessa Downes’ in Churchable to be filmed by Four Corners. “The kennels have to be RSPCA QLD-approved,” said Arnold. “It definitely meets the requirements.” When questioned on the practice of live-baiting, Arnold denied any knowledge of it: “If they do I don’t know about it, and I don’t really want to know about it.”
  • Undercover footage from Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia earlier filmed a training track in Churchable, Queensland, across the road from Arnold’s property. On film, it captures Arnold and her dog Dorak Des chasing a live pig on the lure while Arnold asks “what’s the quickest been today” before being informed her dog is.Arnold is later asked by Four Corners what mantra is at the forefront of greyhound racing in 2015, to which she states, “animal welfare.”
  • Professor of animal behaviour and animal welfare science Paul McGreavy offered his comments on the matter of live-baiting coming from a decade of research into the breed, insisting there are breeds far more dangerous and that greyhounds are simply “chasing to catch, not to kill”. He emphasises the dogs “love racing, they love moving around that speed – they’ll be getting off on this,” and that they “are so sedentary when they’re not exposed to this stimuli.”
  • Animal Liberation Queensland investigator Hailey Cotton reveals the first tip-off regarding live-baiting in Churchable was passed to her: “Their words to me were ‘something really bad is going on there,’ and they said ‘it smells like death’”.
  • Undercover cameras were placed in the property of prominent Queensland trainer Tom Noble, a celebrated, award-winning greyhound trainer with almost 50 years in the game. His break-in centre is the epicenter of greyhound training in Queensland, and the live baiting footage of Deborah Arnold’s dog occurred on his track.
  • More than 40 owners, trainers and handlers are recorded on camera while live baiting occurs on Tom Noble’s property. “These people are leading trainers, they’re training their dogs with these methods,” said Cotton. “They’re then going on to win races using these methods, so the whole integrity of greyhound racing is really brought into question here.”
  • Footage confirms four times a week, piglets and later possums are flung around Noble’s track 26 times at high speed. The piglet is shown squealing with a man on the camera swearing at it, and one or two dogs are let loose to chase, grab and maul the possum while it’s still alive. Some 56 minutes later, the lure stops and the possum is snapped in half, the corpse still attached by its spinal cord, with the men in the footage making light of the situation.
  • Discussion of dumping dead dogs is captured on film, leading the investigation to ask NSW greyhound trainer John Thompson about the issue. Animal Liberation Australia links him as the man in the footage telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in so the live baiting of its mother can begin. “They ripped the baby from the mother, they tied the mother on the lure, and they then stick the baby’s head in the sand to kill it while its mother is watching on, all the time laughing and joking on how amusing it is,” said Hailey Cotton.

Victoria wrap-up:

  • In mid-November 2014, Lyn White of Animals Australia simultaneously led an investigation at the Tooradin Trial Track in Victoria after a tip-off. Considered to be in the heart of greyhound racing territory in the state, the track is run by owner operator Stuart Mills, whose brother is Andrew Mills, former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state.
  • Lyn White reveals 17 people were captured live baiting the first time undercover footage was recorded. The first trainer identified is former steward of Greyhound Racing Victoria Paul Anderton, who arrives as Stuart Mills attaches a lure on a wooden plank with leather straps, before returning with a live rabbit and stretching it out tightly as he buckles it down flat. The rabbit is shown returning five minutes later, mauled but still alive and twitching in agony. “It tells me this is a practice that has been going for an acceptable level to trainers for years and years,” White said.
  • Anderton’s dogs went on to win three races days after being captured on the footage in Tooradin. President of Cranbourne Racing Club Neville King is also filmed on camera live baiting two days before Christmas at Tooradin.
  • Trainer Dennis Dean and a young girl watch as live rabbits are leashed and thrown to the dogs to kill. CEO of Greyhound Australasia Scott Parker was questioned on his thoughts of live-baiting behaviour during the revelations of the footage and the discovery of children being brought to watch while it occurs: “I think that’s ridiculous and abhorrent. I don’t support that at all. I’m not aware of it, and never heard of it, live baiting is illegal as well as being wrong and against the rules of greyhound racing.”
  • Footage of dogs on the Tooradin track is shown, encouraged to savagely kill several rabbits, which are skinned or tied as they maul them.
  • Former steward at Greyhound Racing Victoria Amanda Hill says there was a problem inside GRV regarding regulators failing to pick up and follow on rumours of live-baiting in the state: “Lack of resources, lack of funds, lack of knowledge, or plainly, they don’t want to accept that it’s a possibility.” She believes some trainers are “doing it to try and get an edge. It’s probably harder to get caught live baiting than what it is to using performance-enhancing drugs.”
  • Hill left GRV in 2004 and became the Chair of Stewards in Greyhound Racing Tasmania, where she was able to do better in stopping live baiting. In 2008, Hill caught a female trainer red-handed live baiting a possum. Possum carcasses were found all over the track, and it remains one of two cases in the past decade where a steward has followed through and successfully convicted a live baiter.
  • Hill identifies two-time Australian greyhound trainer of the year Darren McDonald as one of the figures caught on film three days before the 2014 Melbourne Cup, engaging in live baiting at Tooradin alongside handler Chris Connelly. He is shown on camera carrying a sack with a tiny pink piglet before placing it on the lure. The two men remove the muzzles on their dogs after two laps and the dogs maul the piglet, heard squealing as it dies off-camera. McDonald has since transferred all of his greyhounds to his wife’s name.

New South Wales wrap-up:

  • McDonald’s top sprinter Keybow is revealed by Four Corners to have been broken in across the border in NSW at Londonderry by Zeke Kadir.
  • Four Corners received a tip-off within the industry that Kadir was rumoured to be the best live baiter within the state, and that it occurred at his property as part of his training purposes. “He mentioned that he broke (in) Keybow, and he talked about how he gets live rabbits from a person he knows, and he gets about 30 a week,” a private investigator for Four Corners confirms.
  • Footage shows Zeke Kadir using the rabbits tied to a hand-pushed lure, controlled by Kadir. They’re dragged along the ground at speed pursued by dogs in training. On January 12, 2015, the footage captures Ian Morgan arriving at the venue for a private session, where a native possum is strung to the lure struggling to escape as two muzzled greyhounds attempt to bite the possum. Four minutes later, the muzzles come off and the cry is captured off-screen of the possum’s demise. “I am fearful at how widespread this is, and the consequences for literally thousands of animals each year,” said Lyn White.
  • Morgan is later seen removing the dead possum from his greyhound, Cee Cee Quoted. Four days later, Four Corners catches him leaving his Western Sydney home bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle, where Cee Cee Quoted places third. John Cauchi, of Box Hill, was also caught practising live baiting by hand.

Aftermath:

  • Four Corners notes requests for interviews with the regulators in all three states caught live-baiting were declined, deferring comment to CEO of Greyhounds Australasia Scott Parker. “I don’t suspect this is a systemic problem at all,” Parker said. “It’s illegal, abhorrent, and totally rejected by the industry.”
  • When asked about how three tracks have been confirmed to have had live baiting occurring on site that have not been detected by regulators, Parker surmises “our controlling bodies do a great job, but it’s a big industry and a lot of these facilities are a long, long way away from Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane – and that’s why compliance officers are employed to get out there.”
  • In Queensland, RSPCA caught the live-baiters at Tom Noble’s establishment during their follow-up raids and saved a live piglet tied in a sack moments away from being bound and baited. Tom Noble was on-site, as well as his staff James Draws and Tony McCabe. They denied any wrong-doing despite being caught on film. RSPCA eventually found a second piglet hidden inside a shed on the property, wounded from a previous live-baiting session.
  • At Tooradin, Stuart Mills was watched closely, but no animals were caught on-site. Four Corners visited him the next day of the raids, and he’s clearly shaken as he maintains his denials about live-baiting.
  • Zeke Kadir’s property was visited, but he refused to answer Four Corners’ reporters on live baiting.
  • Four Corners’ investigations are now a criminal matter, with state charges imminent.

Post program:

  • In Victoria, GRV chair Peter Caillard has welcomed a $6 million government investment for investigative resources for GRV to help detect and prevent practises such as live-baiting from occurring in the future. In addition, GRV have also announced that dead animals will no longer be allowed to assist in the training of greyhounds. “The use of live animals is already outlawed. GRV will also outlaw the use of dead animals in greyhound training whether on private premises or registered training premises,” Mr Caillard said in a press release. Caillard has also agreed to cancel the Greyhound Industry Awards night, which was to be held this Friday night, after instruction from MP Martin Pakula. The Darren McDonald-trained Sweet It Is was the frontrunner to take out the highest honour, 2014 Victorian Greyhound of the Year.
  • In New South Wales, GRNSW have announced that a taskforce has been established to investigate the extent of the live-baiting practices in the state. The taskforce will be led by former High Court justice and eminent legal practitioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC, QC. The taskforce will look into the training methods used in NSW and will arrange for trial tracks and training facilities to be monitored. It is also set to examine whether GRNSW and relevant agencies such as the RSPCA NSW have the necessary powers to correctly investigate animal cruelty allegations. “We need to stamp out live baiting once and for all. Not only is it illegal but it is sickening and we are disgusted with what we have witnessed on air,” GRNSW CEO Brent Hogan said in a press release. “GRNSW welcomes Michael McHugh’s acceptance to head this taskforce and is committed to working closely with him and the taskforce as quickly as we can. The taskforce will help ensure that live baiting and other acts of animal cruelty identified in NSW are eradicated as quickly as possible.”

 

This sort of thing is what the sport keeps hidden away, But it gets worse

This sort of thing is what the sport keeps hidden away, But it gets worse

A must watch tonight on the ABC on Four Corners 8.30pm

Greyhound racing: Live baiting revelations on Four Corners to be ‘extremely damaging’ to greyhound racing industry

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-16/evidence-of-live-baiting-in-greyhound-racing/6121688

Mon 16 Feb 2015, 9:47am

Australia’s greyhound racing industry is in turmoil ahead of an explosive Four Corners report, set to air tonight, that reveals conclusive evidence of live baiting.

Live baiting is the practice of using small live animals in secret greyhound training sessions.

It has been banned and criminalised for decades, but trainers and owners across the country have been using the illegal training method in the belief that it will improve a dog’s performance.

Live baiting carries substantial financial penalties and sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment. The evidence that will be broadcast tonight on the ABC could have a massive impact on the industry.

The RSPCA, in conjunction with police in NSW, Victoria and Queensland raided five properties on Wednesday last week after the Four Corners program, in conjunction with Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland, confidentially handed over the results of its investigation into the sport to the state-based RSPCAs more than a fortnight ago.

Tonight in its exclusive report, Four Corners will reveal how trainers and owners across the country, working in concert with licensed trial track operators, are training their dogs using banned methods and engaging in illegal activity.

Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia.

Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Adam Wallish

This behaviour constitutes cheating under the laws of greyhound racing.

Tracking dogs and their trainers from private training facilities and on to official race meets and using undercover investigators to infiltrate the industry, the program has discovered the integrity of potentially thousands of races and millions of dollars in prize money is now in question.

Aware that the Four Corners program was set to air, Greyhound Racing NSW, Greyhound Racing Victoria, and Racing Queensland, the sport’s statutory regulators, moved to suspend more than 20 trainers, owners and trial track operators late last week.

In another attempt to pre-empt the program, on Sunday, Racing Queensland announced a $1 million taskforce to combat live baiting and other allegations of cruelty.

But the regulators’ attempts to act raise further serious questions about their ability to fulfil obligations and adequately police the sport in addition to carrying out their dual role as the sport’s promoter. Australians are now wagering a staggering $4 billion on the sport annually.

It is also revealed the illegal activities have remained undetected by the regulators, and makes it clear self-regulation has been a failure. At the same time, the evidence could prompt governments to reconsider their support and endorsement of the sport.

‘This story will be explosive’

In an internal memo written by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and obtained by Four Corners over the weekend, GRV’s chief executive officer Adam Wallish encouraged trainers and owners to start strategising and preparing to react publicly after the Four Corners program airs tonight.

“Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia,” Mr Wallish wrote.

“As a group of people that love the greyhound breed we should all be shocked and outraged by the allegations in the story and prepared to fight the small minority that continue to partake in such practices jeopardising the future of the sport and indeed the future of the breed itself.”

Mr Wallish also urged the greyhound racing community to focus their anger on the wrongdoers in their sport, rather than the messenger.

“You will be emotional, you might be angry. Don’t be angry at those that attack us, regardless of their position. Be angry at those within the sport that are doing the wrong thing and undermining the values for which we stand,” he wrote.

“This time is a testing one for all of us in the industry and we need to stay resolute in our desire to exceed social standards and public expectations.

“The future of the sport and the wonderful greyhound breed necessitates it.”

Greyhound Racing Victoria has also set up a counselling telephone hotline to support those affected emotionally by the allegations. The hotline is contactable on (03) 8329 1100 and will be available from 7:30am on Tuesday morning.

The program, Making a Killing, will broadcast tonight on ABC1 at 8:30pm. Anyone with further information can contact Four Corners


Tooradin track closed after claims greyhound trainers used live bait

GREYHOUND Racing Victoria has suspended 10 people and closed the Tooradin Trial Track for alleged live baiting.

The news comes in the wake of revelations a Geelong-trained greyhound tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine (known as ice) after a race in Warragul on January 17.

GRV has confirmed the RSPCA is investigating the Tooradin track and Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna is involved.

GRV chief executive Adam Wallish said live baiting, where a dog is given a live animal to hunt down in the lead up to a race, was a criminal and abhorrent practice.

“The use of live bait in the training of greyhounds is disgusting and has no place in our sport.

Any person engaged in live baiting can expect to be disqualified and prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for these individuals,” Mr Wallish said.

“In accordance with GRV’s Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines those responsible face a 10 year ban from the sport.”

Live baiting was a criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and attracted a jail term of up to two years and a fine of more than $30,000, he said.

“GRV takes matters of animal cruelty extremely seriously. Allegations of live-baiting are extremely disappointing and GRV supports the RSPCA and Victoria Police’s efforts to investigate any wrong-doing within the sport of greyhound racing,” Mr Wallish said.

A spokesperson for RSPCA Victoria confirmed it had executed warrants and conducted an inspection at a greyhound training facility in south-east Victoria.

The inspection had resulted in the launch of an investigation into greyhound training practices, she said.

Lara trainer Jenny Hunt said she was “gutted” and “bewildered” her dog Jubilea Bale tested positive to drugs, and planned to travel to Warragul to have “a look around”.

“I’ve asked all my employees and they all said they have nothing to do with it (ice),” Hunt said.

Greyhound Racing New South Wales also suspended five people and closed Sydney’s Box Hill Trial Track this week for alleged live baiting.

The RSPCA said anyone who had information about cruel or illegal practices in the greyhound industry should report it immediately by calling 9224 2222.

 


Live animals allegedly used as bait in greyhound racing

February 15, 2015

Natalie O’Brien

Greyhound racing is in the spotlight amid allegations of live baiting.Greyhound racing is in the spotlight amid allegations of live baiting. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers

More than 20 greyhound racing dog owners and trainers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland have been suspended after a series of raids which allegedly discovered the illegal use of live animals being used to bait and lure dogs.

The shock revelations come just a year after the industry regulator NSW Greyhound Racing told a parliamentary inquiry it had no evidence that such alleged crimes were occurring in the $144 million a year industry.

The inquiry’s deputy chairman and Greens MP John Kaye at the time claimed Greyhound Racing NSW had “dodged a bullet” and issues like animal welfare and the allegations of live bait had been put in the “too-hard basket”.

Late on Thursday, Greyhound Racing NSW announced it had stood down five industry participants and one licensed trainer for alleged live baiting offences and closed down the Box Hill trial track. Victorian greyhound racing authorities also announced it had suspended 10 people for allegedly using live baits at a track in Tooradin, south-west of Melbourne.

In Queensland seven trainers have been suspended after they were allegedly about to use live pigs as bait for their dog training. Racing Queensland’s General Manager of Stewarding and Integrity Operations Wade Birch said the trainers had been stood down and their greyhounds scratched from all competition pending an investigation.

“This decision was based on further information received by Racing Queensland, the substance of which required immediate action by stewards,” said Mr Birch.

The RSPCA has been involved in raids but officials refused requests for any information. A statement released by a media spokeswoman said they “had received a number of complaints regarding animal cruelty and greyhounds, these are currently under investigation”.

Fairfax Media reported in 2013 that the illegal practice of allowing animals to be killed by greyhounds as part of their racing training was still occurring in NSW.

Problems have beset the industry over decades. As far back as 1972, newspaper reports revealed that a leading greyhound trainer and industry figure were fined and narrowly escaped jail for using a possum and a rabbit for live baiting at a track in Kellyville. The magistrate at the time said their previous good behaviour had saved them from a custodial sentence.

In 2013 there were shocking revelations at the parliamentary inquiry about the barbaric act of live baiting including details about the use of guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, kittens and possums which have had their claws and teeth removed so they can’t hurt the dogs being mauled to death in training sessions.

“I have been told ‘anything that squeals will do’,” an industry stakeholder, whose identity has been suppressed, said in a written submission to the parliamentary inquiry.

TV vet Dr Robert Zammit had also backed up the claims in his evidence to the inquiry and RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O’Shannessy said they had also received anonymous complaints but so far they had been unable to substantiate the claims. He encouraged people to come forward with information.

Dr Kaye said on Saturday that slowly public pressure is forcing Greyhound Racing NSW to admit what most people have known for decades.

“It’s clear that live baiting still occurs and that the dogs are brutalised, and rabbits, cats and possums are being ripped apart while they are still live,” said Dr Kaye.

“Greyhound Racing NSW dismissed allegations before a NSW Upper House Committee of live baiting, claiming they lacked evidence. Suddenly, they act against five participants suspected of live baiting and one trainer with live European rabbits on his premises.

“The regulatory body had been told of possums that had their teeth and claws ripped out and that then died in terror and agony, yet they failed to act until they faced the threat of media exposure,” he said.

ABC’s Four Corners program will screen a program on Monday night about greyhound racing.

Dr Kaye said the failure to crack down on live baiting by the regulatory authority for the past six years, is another reason for stripping the industry body of its animal welfare and regulatory functions.


 RESPONSES TO FOUR CORNERS

Racing Queensland’s response to Four Corners | 13 February 2015

Greyhound Racing Victoria’s response to Four Corners | 12 February 2015

Greyhound Racing NSW’s response to Four Corners

MORE INFORMATION

Participants Stood Down With Immediate Effect | Greyhound Racing, NSW | 12 February, 2015

Letter from Adam Wallish to Clarify Issues on the Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines | Greyhound Racing Victoria

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 | Victorian Government

Is the use of live baits and lures in greyhound racing and other dog racing illegal? | RSPCA

Own motion investigation into Greyhound Racing Victoria | Victorian Ombudsman

Legislative Council Select Committee on Greyhound Racing in New South Wales

Animal Welfare Guidelines | Greyhound Racing Victoria | 2014

Investigation into the ACT racing industry | Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission | 2011

Report on Own Motion Inquiry into Betting Activities of Racing Officials Employed by the Victorian Racing Industry | Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner | June 2012

Implementing the recommendations arising from the Review of Integrity Assurance in the Victorian Racing Industry

Animal welfare act review report and recommendations | Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries | 2013

Queensland Animal Care and Protection Act 2001

Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986

Greyhound Racing Information | Animals Australia

MEDIA

Fallout spreads as industry braces for Four Corners probe | Australian Racing Greyhound | 16 February, 2015

Stewards query Kay; some finish-on-lure trials put on hold | Australian Racing Greyhound | 16 February, 2015

Greyhound racing: Live baiting revelations on Four Corners to be ‘extremely damaging’ to industry | ABC News | 16 February, 2015

Live animals allegedly used as bait in greyhound racing | Sydney Morning Herald | 15 February, 2015

Queensland sets up taskforce as greyhound racing hit with cruelty claims | Courier Mail | 15 February, 2015

Tooradin track closed after claims greyhound trainers used live bait | Geelong Advertiser | 15 February, 2015

Victorian greyhound racing authorities suspend 10 people for allegedly using live rabbits as lures | ABC News | 14 February, 2015

Queensland legend Reg Kay denies involvement in live-baiting raid | Australian Racing Greyhound | 14 February, 2015

Greyhound owners, trainers suspended | Sydney Morning Herald | 14 February, 2015

Greyhound racing industry hounded by claims of abuse | Illawarra Mercury | 1 August, 2014

Greyhound racing industry ‘dodged a bullet’ | Sydney Morning Herald | 30 March, 2014

Greyhound inquiry by NSW Parliament: committee member and Greens MP John Kaye critical of welfare inaction | ABC News | 28 March, 2014

Logan to get new greyhound racing track, at expense of Gold Coast | Brisbane Times | 16 March, 2014

NSW greyhounds boss rejects claims of cronyism, bullying | Sydney Morning Herald | 9 February, 2014

Vets claim live animals used as bait to train greyhounds | Sydney Morning Herald | 24 November, 2013

Greyhound racing industry denies claims of widespread animal doping | ABC News | 16 October, 2013

Greyhound racing industry hit with doping, cruelty, collusion allegations | 7.30 | 16 October, 2013

The unbearable lightness of being a greyhound | The Conversation | 2 December, 2012

The quick and the dead | Background Briefing | 11 November, 2012

Allegations of doping in greyhound racing industry | 9 November 2012

Hounded to death | Sydney Morning Herald | 25 October, 2004

Grandmother accused of trying to kill step-grandson, 11, three times


None of this sounds like multiple coincidences does it? Grandmother or not, What sort of person would allegedly and continually try to kill children in their care and not expect to be caught. I shudder to think what may of happened if this woman was not arrested prior to the festivities of tonight! She can’t be named but the dad(s) are outraged as they should be that this has been allowed to fester over several years after suspicions were first raised. More to come

(Please not this is not the same grandmother that is charged with murdering 8 family members recently. This is another tragic crime in QLD.)

 KATE KYRIACOU, THOMAS CHAMBERLIN
courier mail logo
Woman charged over attempted fire murders

BRISBANE’S “house of horrors” grandmother tried three times to kill her 11-year-old step-grandson – once in a fire and twice by suffocating him in his bed, police will allege.

The 58-year-old Caboolture woman will face court today charged with four counts of attempted murder, attempted arson and interfering with a corpse.

Police this month revealed they were investigating the deaths of two boys, one aged three years and the other seven months, at the Morayfield home, as well as the attempted murder of two boys, aged 11 and nine, in a fire.

WARNINGS IGNORED: Children not separated

Police will allege the 11-year-old boy woke on two separate occasions to the grandmother trying to smother him in his bed. They will claim she used a pillow and a tea towel in her attempts to murder the boy.

They said both deaths and the fire occurred when the grandmother was at the house.

It is understood investigators will rely on the boy’s version of events – a version denied by the grandmother.

Eleven year old boy involved in the incident.

Eleven year old boy involved in the incident.

Detectives yesterday confirmed they were continuing their investigations into the suspected murders of the two younger children – one being the woman’s seven-month-old grandson.

“Today is one step, there are still further steps to be taken in the investigation, so today is just one step,” Detective Acting Inspector Ben Fadian said.

The Courier-Mail can reveal police charged the woman with interfering with a corpse under the belief she lied about how and where the youngest boy died.

Police renewed their investigation into the death of the three-year-old boy, who died in July 2013 from a suspected infection, following a fire at the family’s Morayfield home on February 27.

The two older boys claimed to have been trapped inside their bedroom during a fire that broke out when they were being cared for by their grandmother. Police enlisted the help of the fire brigade to recreate the fire in an effort to determine why the boys had been unable to escape from the bedroom.

“Investigations to date show the children’s escape from the bedroom was intentionally impeded,” police said.

The seven-month-old baby who died with his grandmother and his father.

The seven-month-old baby who died with his grandmother and his father.

The father of the two older boys said he was horrified to learn the woman had been charged with attempting to murder one of his sons on three occasions.

“No one has called me,” he said. “I have no contact details for them (the boys). It’s pretty bad.”

The three-year-old boy died on July 27 after suffering flu-like symptoms. He was taken to hospital but went into cardiac arrest.

On September 27, seven months after the fire, the children’s mother found the baby boy dead in his cot.

The baby’s father at the gate to the property yesterday.

The baby’s father at the gate to the property yesterday.

The grandmother is believed to have told police she put the child to bed with a bottle the night before and got up at 2am to check on him after hearing him stir.

She said she woke at 7am to the sounds of the boy’s mother “screaming hysterically”.

The boy’s father said this month that he believed his mother was not capable of killing “anything”.

He said he woke one morning to the news his son was dead.

Yesterday, the man walked out of his house carrying a sign with the words “private property no entry”, saying he would expose “lies” and “corruption” in the case.

Police yesterday questioned the children’s mother about whether she had taken steps to protect the children.

Solicitor Tim Meehan, from Bosscher Lawyers, said the grandmother was “assisting police”.

Additional reporting Chris McMahon and Trenton Akers

Memories of laughter where there are children no more

NESTLED among stands of trees and tropical palms, at the end of a winding drive, is Brisbane’s “house of horrors”.

It’s a place where boys once laughed and played. Where a large block of garden provided endless room to run and chase. But there were no children behind the wire fence of the Morayfield home yesterday – the home where police suspect two children were murdered and another two locked in a fire.

It was once home to the children’s grandmother. Police say she was there when the three-year-old boy died.

She was there when a fire broke out inside the house, threatening two boys in their beds. And she was there when the youngest – an infant of seven months – died at night.

She was the last to see both boys alive and the only adult home when the fire started.

The woman’s son – and the father of the youngest boy – walked the neglected yard to place a sign at the property’s front gate. He said he would expose “lies” and “corruption” in the case.

In a previous interview, the man said his mother was a beautiful kind-hearted person.

“I highly believe my mother would not be capable of killing anything,” he said. “Why would she all of a sudden? She is still the same person from 20 years ago.”

The sign he held yesterday – “private property no entry” – warned media to keep away. It was a repeat of an earlier warning when a visitor threatened to assault journalists waiting in the street.

The home’s four bedrooms are no longer home to those who played and slept there. Two little boys are dead. Two older boys are now in a “safe house”.

The Courier-Mail was once invited inside, viewing the small room where the fire took hold. There was no sign of the flames the family claimed began when someone threw an object through the window.

The grandmother has denied any wrongdoing – both with the fire and the deaths of the two boys


Cops investigating murder of two children and attempted murder of another two children from same Morayfield family

Detective Acting Superintendent Damien Hansen talks to the press on the murder of two chi

Detective Acting Superintendent Damien Hansen talks to the press on the murder of two children and attempted murder of another two children at Morayfield earlier this year.

POLICE are investigating the murder of two children and attempted murder of another two children from the same family at Morayfield, on Brisbane’s northern outskirts.

Acting Detective Superintendent Damien Hansen said nobody has been charged yet.

On July 27, 2013, a three-year-old child was reported dead at the home.

On February 27, 2014, there was a suspicious fire in which another two children, aged 9 and 11, had their escape blocked.

He said the QFES has assisted in a reconstruction of the burning bedroom where the two kids where sleeping.

“Through our investigations with Queensland Fire and Rescue … forensically we are able to say the fire was deliberately lit,” Det Supt Hansen said.

“The children couldn’t open the door at the time.”

“The children were inside the room and could not exit the room.”

One of the children suffered burns to their lower limbs and was treated at the Caboolture Hospital. Both children were treated for smoke inhalation along with other occupants of the house.

Then, on 27 September, 2014, a seven-month-old was found dead.

Det Supt Hansen said the investigation escalated from police “linking all three incidents”.

“It was certainly something more than a coincidence,” he said.

He said the homicide squad was involved and the Coroner had also agreed to re-investigate the deaths as suspicious deaths.

“(They were) initially thought to be SIDS deaths,” he said.

He said the parents had been cooperative.

“I regard murder as one of the most serious offences, if not the most serious offence that can occur. To have it happen to defenceless children is just mind-boggling,” he said.

“They are all from the same family, with all the incidents occurring at the same home.”

“I can’t name the family for legal reasons or give the address but I am making an appeal that anybody who knows this family, anybody who happened to be in the Morayfield area on the evening of February 27, 2014, and saw anything suspicious … if they can contact investigators through crime stoppers.”

Police have released a video as part of the investigation, they say, “in order to bring this investigation to a close”.

Det Supt Hansen said: “We are very confident we have the right line of inquiry with this investigation and will have a conclusion in the near future.”

“The recreation of the burning bedroom is a key focus for our investigation and it is where we have developed strong leads and our main focus.”

Police say the investigation has been comprehensive and protracted and has been led by the Homicide Group with the assistance of the Child Trauma Taskforce and regional and forensic investigators.

Northern Territory to launch online public sex offender register-Please follow suit


Bruce and Denise Morcombe

Photo: Bruce and Denise Morcombe attended the announcement of the NT’s public sex offender register. (ABC News: Ruby Jones)

Convicted sex offenders in the Northern Territory will soon have their name, image, physical description and whereabouts posted on a government website.

Legislation announced today has been named Daniel’s Law after Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe, who was murdered in 2003 by a convicted sex offender on parole.

Although details have not been finalised, it was believed all of the information published about a sex offender would be publicly accessible.

The NT Criminal Lawyers Association slammed the idea, saying naming and shaming made it harder for offenders to rehabilitate without making anyone safer.

NT Attorney-General John Elferink said it would be the first website of its kind in Australia and it was expected to be launched next year.

Western Australia has an online sex register but access has several tiers of restrictions.

It is not yet clear how approximate the location information for the NT register will be. Mr Elferink said the website would include the “regional whereabouts”.

We truly hope that the introduction of Daniel’s Law will prevent another family going through the pain and grief we experienced following Daniel’s death.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe

“We’ll list them by geographical region reasonably close to where [people] live. It is not a system of exact addresses,” he said.

“They will be able to see who the sexual predators are in the community. They’ll be able to recognise the sexual predators and protect their children.

“We believe that the public’s right to know takes precedence over the privacy concerns for serious sex offenders.

“The initiative will allow individuals and families to familiarise themselves with important details and be more vigilant about named serious sex offenders living in and around the area.”

Daniel’s Law modelled on Megan’s Law in US

The NT chose to pursue its own legislation after a proposed national sex offenders register was knocked back at the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, according to Mr Elferink.

“From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so,” he said.

“Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.

“There is no guarantee a website would have protected Daniel. We know we should pull out all stops as a society and as a community to create for parents an environment to protect their children.”

He said the NT system would be modelled on Megan’s Law in the United States – the informal name for sex offender registration and community notification laws, which have been passed at US federal and state levels.

However, unlike Megan’s Law, Daniel’s Law will not list offenders’ exact address.

The Attorney-General said the Government had not yet decided on the definition of “serious sex offender”.

“We’ll create a definition which is appropriate and then have further flexible arrangements to make sure the right people are placed on our serious sex offenders website.”

He said parents were in a better position to protect their child when they were armed with detailed information.

“While the Northern Territory Police will continue to track and monitor around 200 sex offenders in the community, this tool is designed to deliver information to the community about the most serious offenders in an easy, user-friendly way,” he said.

‘You’d hate to be the last state to have a register’

Daniel’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe, who have been calling for the introduction of a national child sex offender register, said they hoped the NT register would spread across the country.

“Of course sometimes one can imagine the paedophiles and the predators on the NT sex offenders register may well not want to be in the NT any longer,” Mr Morcombe said.

“They may migrate to other states and territories.

“You’d hate to be the last state to have a sex offenders register up and running. You’re going to get truckloads of people you don’t want in your state.”

The couple, who were in Darwin for the announcement, said they commended the NT’s decision.

“The NT has taken a leadership step,” Mr Morcombe said. “They were the first to do so.

“This is for ordinary Australians. It is to get the good people at arms length from the predators.

“We want protection for our kids.

“Daniel’s Law we are confident will assist in the mission to make sure kids of Australia are safe.

“We think it is breathtakingly simple but at the end of the day will make a massive difference for children right around the country.

“I am sure the feedback from that will migrate to other states and they’ll say, ‘Why not us?'”

Daniel disappeared when he was 13 while waiting for a bus at Woombye on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003.

His remains were found in bushland eight years later.

His convicted killer, Brett Peter Cowan, had a long history of sexually abusing children.

He had been arrested and sentenced in 1989 for two years in jail after molesting a boy in a public toilets.

Four years later, while living in a caravan park in Darwin, Cowan attacked a six-year-old boy. He later pleaded guilty to gross indecency, grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty.

He was sentenced to seven years’ jail and released on parole four years later.

‘Terrible idea will turn people into vigilantes’

Public online sex registers make it harder for offenders to rehabilitate, increase the chance they will re-offend, and do not make anyone safer, according to NT Criminal Lawyers Association president Russell Goldflam.

He said the NT Government’s proposal was “terrible”.

From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so. Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.

John Elferink, NT Attorney-General

“Laws like this have been tried in the US, mainly over the last couple of decades,” he said. “They don’t result in anyone being safer or the level of recidivism being decreased.

“There are some real costs. They are expensive to run but more importantly is they can get in the way of people being rehabilitated.

“This can result in people going underground instead of engaging with those who can assist them to stop reoffending

“In a place like the the NT we expect anyone who is going to be put on the register will leave the NT and go somewhere else. That doesn’t help anybody. It just makes it harder to keep track of them.”

He said the system would further stigmatise, prejudice and stereotype convicted sex offenders.

“A very significant range of laws operate to protect the community from people who may be at risk of reoffending,” he said. “There is already a register, already a provision for for identifying offenders, already laws to detain serious repeat sex offenders.

“Where these laws have been passed in the US – and they have in some places included exact places where people live – vigilantes have murdered people on the list or people they believe are on the list, even if they weren’t child sex offenders.

“The Attorney-General says this will make people be more vigilant.

“Our concern is this will make more people into vigilantes.”

Police investigate into transgender woman’s killing by chef Marcus Volke


This terrible murder-suicide only gets more bizzare and disturbing, as police continue to investigate how it unfolded. It appears Volke killed and dismembered his shemale partner and was attempting to dispose of the remains by cooking the parts up. The apartment block had been reeking for days when police eventually were called to investigate.

Double life of a killer husband: ‘Chef’ who murdered transgender wife was really a male prostitute who hid job in brothel from family and worked under the name ‘Heath XL’

  • Husband Marcus Volke was secretly working as a male prostitute
  • He killed and then dismembered his transgender wife on Saturday night
  • The remains of Mayang Prasetyo were found in a Brisbane apartment
  • Volke is believed to have murdered then dismembered the 27-year-old
  • Media have previously reported Volke was a chef who worked on cruises
  • But a friend of the couple said the 28-year-old was a male prostitute
  • Volke and Ms Prasetyo met in 2009 while working at a Melbourne brothel 
  • Ms Prasetyo is known as Febri Andriansyah, according to her Indonesia passport

The man who is believed to have killed then dismembered his transgender wife in an horrific murder-suicide in a Brisbane apartment was secretly working as a male prostitute, it has emerged.

Friends revealed the truth about Marcus Volke’s double life and also criticised a Brisbane newspaper for its portrayal of victim Mayang Prasetyo.

Interior designer Alex Devantier, who knew the couple well, told Daily Mail Australia Volke had never worked as a chef but used it as a cover story to avoid telling his family and close friends the truth about his life as Heath the male prostitute.

Friends have revealed Marcus Volke (pictured here with Mayang Prasetyo) was a male prostitute, not a chef as previously reported

Friends have revealed Marcus Volke (pictured here with Mayang Prasetyo) was a male prostitute, not a chef as previously reported

Mayang Prasetyo was found dismembered in a Brisbane apartment she shared with her husband on Saturday

Parts of Ms Prasetyo's body were found strewn across the couple's new Teneriffe apartment

Parts of Ms Prasetyo’s body were found strewn across the couple’s new Teneriffe apartment

Ms Prasetyo, 27, was described as ‘happy, cheerful person’ and an ‘angel’ by friends.

Mr Devantier said that the front page headline featuring the term ‘shemale’ was extremely offensive to both her and the transgender community.

He asked The Courier Mail to donate profits from Tuesday’s edition to the Gender Centre – a not-for-profit which raises awareness of transgender issues – and Ms Prasetyo’s family.

Three days ago, parts of Ms Prasetyo’s body were found strewn across the couple’s Teneriffe apartment in Brisbane’s inner-city, with some cooking in chemicals on a stove.

Police arrived at the couple’s home after receiving reports from neighbours about a bad smell coming from the Commercial Road apartment on Saturday night, just weeks after they had moved to the Queensland capital.

Volke fled the scene and was later found in an industrial bin with his throat cut in nearby Dath Street.

It has also been revealed Ms Prasetyo travelled as a man named Febri Andriansyah on an Indonesian passport.

He advertised himself as a 'young sexy Australian boy, very friendly and easy going, discreet and professional'

Marcus Peter Volke, 28, slit his own throat as he fled the Brisbane apartment where he is believed to have dismembered his Indonesian wife

Marcus Volke’s emergency electrician call released

The 27-year-old was known as Febri Andriansyah, according to her Indonesian passport

The 27-year-old was known as Febri Andriansyah, according to her Indonesian passport

Interior designer Alex Devantier said Volke and Ms Prasetyo married in Europe in August 2013 

Interior designer Alex Devantier said Volke and Ms Prasetyo married in Europe in August 2013 

Volke and Ms Prasetyo met in 2009 while working at Melbourne brothel Pleasure Dome

‘They were leading double lives because of the lives they were leading,’ Mr Devantier said.

‘Marcus wouldn’t even tell his closest friends of the life he was leading.

‘They lied to their families, so their families didn’t realise what they were actually doing.’

In an online advertisement under the name Heath XL, Volke describes himself as a ‘young sexy Australian boy, very friendly and easy going’.

The ad went onto to say: ‘I can be your companion for an hour or as long as u want, for a dinner, a hot session, holidays or more’.

But Mr Devantier - who was close to the couple - has revealed Volke was a male prostitute

But Mr Devantier – who was close to the couple – has revealed Volke was a male prostitute

He worked under the name Heath and was registered as a private escort in Melbourne 

He worked under the name Heath and was registered as a private escort in Melbourne 

Mr Devantier met Volke and Ms Prasetyo – who were married in Europe in August 2013 – four years ago in Melbourne and introduced them.

He said the pair worked at Melbourne brothel Pleasure Dome in 2009 and were employed there as escorts for about two months.

‘Mayang left the agency because she was so popular that all the other transsexuals hated her and that’s why she asked me to build her own website to get away from those who were jealous of her achievements,’ Mr Devantier said.

‘They both went into private escorting. I actually helped Marcus register as a private escort in Melbourne and then with his advertising.’

Mr Devantier, from Townsville, said he was in shock over the tragedy.

‘I still don’t believe he [Volke] did it. I can’t believe he did it. If he did do it, sometimes you can’t judge it, you can’t pick it,’ Mr Devantier said.

‘They were a loving and beautiful couple, and never a bad word from either of them about each other.

‘I looked after Mayang’s escort website and I was in communication with her all the time.

‘There was never any hostility towards each other.’

Queensland Police removed a toxic-labelled container on Monday, following the discovery of Ms Prasetyo's body parts found boiling in chemicals in a Brisbane apartment on Saturday night

Queensland Police removed a toxic-labelled container on Monday, following the discovery of Ms Prasetyo’s body parts found boiling in chemicals in a Brisbane apartment on Saturday night

Emergency services remove her body from the DoubleOne 3 Apartments in Commercial Road

Emergency services remove her body from the DoubleOne 3 Apartments in Commercial Road

Queensland Police made the grisly discovery of a woman's body parts just after 9pm on Saturday night

Queensland Police made the grisly discovery of a woman’s body parts just after 9pm on Saturday night

Officers have spent

Officers have spent Saturday night at the two crime scenes trying to find out what led to the tragedy

Mr Devantier and Ms Prasetyo’s other friends have called on The Courier Mail to donate its profits from Tuesday’s edition which labelled the transgender escort as a ‘shemale’.

When he saw the front page of the News Corp newspaper, Mr Devantier said he was disgusted.

He has asked for the donation to be made to the Gender Centre, which helps raise awareness of transgender, issues and Ms Prasetyo’s family back in Indonesia for her funeral costs.

‘We need to make the community aware of the difference between a post-op and pre-op transgender person, a transvestite, a cross dresser, et cetera,’ he said.

‘[Ms Prasetyo’s] family have just lost their sole source of income and money for putting the family’s second eldest and third eldest child – both girls – through high school and that was who she was to them, the breadwinner.’

Mr Devantier also urged people to a sign a change.org petition asking for The Courier Mail to ‘publicly apologise for articles relating to Mayang Prasetyo’.

At the time of publication, the petition had amassed more than 15,000 signatures.

Mr Devantier said Ms Prasetyo – who was a pre-operation transsexual – was months away from becoming a woman anatomically.

‘She said she knew from 10 years old that she believed she was a woman and I believe she was not far from her goal – it would have been months,’ he said.

The grisly death is being treated as a murder-suicide after Volke fled the scene and was later found in an industrial bin with his throat cut

The grisly death is being treated as a murder-suicide after Volke fled the scene and was later found in an industrial bin with his throat cut

Ms Prasetyo's remains were found at an apartment on Commercial Road and Volke's body was found on Dath Street

Ms Prasetyo’s remains were found at an apartment on Commercial Road and Volke’s body was found on Dath Street

Tue 7 Oct 2014, 12:39pm

Detectives investigating the grisly murder of a transgender woman have returned to the Brisbane apartment where it is believed she was killed by her partner.

Police believe the Indonesian woman, Mayang Prasetyo, was killed and dismembered by her 27-year-old partner and chef Marcus Volke some time last week in the apartment in Commercial Road, Teneriffe.

Neighbours complained of a foul smell at the weekend and police were called.

When officers arrived at the apartment Volke fled through a rear glass door and leapt over a balcony, leaving a smear of blood on a fence.

Volke’s body was later found in an industrial bin where it is believed he took his own life.

When police returned to the couple’s apartment they found his partner’s remains.

Police would not confirm reports that Volke had been cooking a part of his girlfriend on a stove top when they arrived at the scene.

Investigators are also looking at security camera vision taken near the apartment complex to help shed light on the events of Saturday night.

Authorities were still trying to contact her next of kin and would not confirm her name.

It is believed Volke met Ms Prasetyo while working on international cruise ships.

‘No indication anything wrong’

On Monday the man’s mother, Dorothy Volke, said she had not met her son’s girlfriend.

Ms Volke said she had no indication anything was wrong with her son.

“I’m not sure what he was doing – last we knew he was working on boats,” she said.

She said she did not know what company he was working for.

“I don’t know, he jumped around,” she said.

Volke was originally from the regional Victorian city of Ballarat, where his funeral will be held.

Just a normal couple, neighbour says

Neighbours alerted the building’s manager to the stench on the ground floor on Saturday.

Courtney Reichart first noticed the smell on Wednesday when she returned home from work.

She said it had got worse each day and still remained.

“On Saturday when I came out for a walk, it made your eyes water, it made you want to be sick,” she said.

“The smell it was like as if somebody had put out some dog food or red meat and left it out for a few days.

“It makes you feel sick that that poor girl sat there for however many days and we’ve been walking past, living our lives and thinking ‘hmmm what’s that smell’, but you don’t put two and two together.

“You don’t think that a bad smell equals a murder.”

The apartment complex opened about two months ago, during which time Ms Reichart met the couple a number of times.

She said she had never heard arguments and the couple owned dogs.

“Just a normal couple,” she said, adding that the girlfriend was “gorgeous”.

“They seemed quite friendly.”

Volke critical of violence against women

Volke’s Facebook page revealed he was a vocal critic against those who committed violence against women and animals.

Less than a month ago he posted a link to a news article about a man who was bashed for standing up for a group of women who were being threatened.

He commended the man for being a “champion mate”.

In June he wanted offenders castrated when two Indian girls were hanged after being gang-raped.

Police have urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Brisbane deaths: Man found dead in bin after woman’s remains discovered at Teneriffe unit

Updated yesterday at 5:19pmMon 6 Oct 2014, 5:19pm

Teneriffe murder-suicide

Photo: A blood trail was left at the back of the apartment block and the man’s body was found inside a commercial rubbish bin in Dath Street. (ABC News: Dean Bilton)

A man was found dead in a bin a short time after fleeing from a unit where a woman’s remains were discovered, police said.

Detectives said the two deaths in the affluent Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe were being treated as a murder-suicide.

Officers went to the apartment building on Commercial Road at about 9:00pm on Saturday after neighbours reported a bad smell coming from a unit in the complex.

Police said when they knocked on the apartment door a man fled through a rear glass door and leapt over a balcony.

Blood stains were left on a fence where he jumped down to a laneway.

Officers later found his body inside a green commercial rubbish bin in Dath Street.

Meanwhile a woman’s body parts were found inside the apartment.

“Police attended to the units at 113 Commercial Road, Teneriffe, conducting a welfare check because management were concerned about the welfare of some occupants,” Detective Senior Sergeant Tom Armitt said.

“On attendance we’ve had cause to commence an investigation in relation to a murder-suicide.”

Nearby residents described a huge commotion as a large number of officers and dog squad units scoured the area.

Forensic experts have been carrying out examinations at both crime scenes.

Teneriffe has undergone major residential development in the past decade and attracts a large number of young professionals.

Neighbour heard ‘a commotion’

ABC journalist Dean Bilton, who lives nearby, said: “We told police we heard a commotion on Monday night.

“We think it was the apartment concerned. We weren’t sure whether it had been a party or an argument but it now seems like it might have been something more sinister.”

He said other people living in the building had noticed a bad smell for several weeks.

He also said he thought the man who lived in the apartment had two Bulldog puppies which had been heard barking loudly for much of the past week.

Courtney Reichart and her husband Alex, who also live in the building, said they noticed a smell in the basement last Sunday but that there had been an issue with sewerage pipes.

Ms Reichart said she had noticed a strong smell on the ground floor this morning.

“I’ve walked in and out of the building a couple of times this morning … and the smell is quite pungent, it smells like rotting meat,” she said.

“I think it’s just from when they [police] keep opening the door to have a look.

“It’s quite bad, I smelt it a couple of days ago but it just smelt like dog food – we’ve got animals in the building so you don’t really think of anything.

“And as Alex said we’ve had sewerage issues.”

Mr Reichart said they moved into the block about six weeks ago.

“It’s worrying, having seen that, especially with all the turnout of the police last night,” he said.

“When 10 police start heading into your building you think something’s happening here.”

Police scientific and forensic officers have been examining both the unit and the area where the man’s body was discovered.


 

Brisbane trans murder: Mayang Prasetyo killed and cooked by chef husband

 October 07, 2014 12:20PM


http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/B2dm93cDqD-BbsIov4SQ__Am8BKDLG-N/promo236905905&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

A WOMAN brutally murdered and cooked by her husband in their Brisbane apartment has been identified as a transsexual “high-class” prostitute whose sex work paid for her family’s education in Indonesia.

Parts of Mayang Prasetyo’s body were found strewn around the inner-city apartment she shared with husband Marcus Peter Volke, 28, who was found boiling her body parts in chemicals on a stove and slit his own throat after fleeing from police on Sunday.

The couple had only been in Brisbane a few months. Pic: Facebook.

The couple had only been in Brisbane a few months. Pic: Facebook. Source: Supplied

 

Friends said Marcus Peter Volke and Mayang Prasetyo seemed normal and happy. Pic: Faceboo

Friends said Marcus Peter Volke and Mayang Prasetyo seemed normal and happy. Pic: Facebook. Source: Facebook

Ms Prasetyo, a 27-year-old sex worker, was charging up to $500 an hour for her services as a “top high-class Asian shemale” the Courier Mail reported, but dreamt of one day transitioning to “complete womanhood” and becoming a mother.

She had married chef Peter Volke in 2013 after the pair met on a cruise ship, according to friends, and had moved with her husband to Brisbane.

The pair appeared to live comfortably in the modern Ternerrife apartment they had shared for three months.

Friends and family back in Indonesia are mourning the loss of “Febri”, as Ms Prasetyo is also known.

Pictures from an online prostitution site offering services from Mayang Prasetyo.

Pictures from an online prostitution site offering services from Mayang Prasetyo. Source: Supplied

Her mother, Nining Sukarni, told the Courier Mail her eldest child paid to “put the sisters through school”.

Ads reveal Ms Prasetyo charged from $200 to $500 for her services as an “international escort”.

“Better in real life. Pictures are always real. Real deal pre-op functional hot TS. With a great fit and hot body to enjoy,” one advertisement read.

Another advertisement posted by the transsexual while she was in London last year described her as ‘busty’ and ‘extra hot in bed’ with a ‘big banana’, the Daily Mail reports.

Friends of Ms Prasetyo have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to the “larger than life” woman, and have remembered her as a “beautiful angel”.

Mayang Prasetyo posted glamorous pictures on her Facebook page.

Mayang Prasetyo posted glamorous pictures on her Facebook page. Source: Facebook

A former lover of Ms Prasetyo said she was “a true leader and a brave and courageous being”.

“I knew I had met an awesome person and made a new friend that I would never wish to lose …,” Brad Whitehouse wrote.

“It breaks my heart that so many of her friends, particularly in Indonesia will be devastated, and of course her family whom she had the spirit of utmost protection and betterment for.”

In the same post, Whitehouse wrote of his friend’s dream of one day becoming a mum.

“Mayang lived as a female and wished to make that big step one day and establish into complete womanhood, adopt, be a mother and a successful businesswoman,” he said.

Tributes have also been paid online to the pair by friends who remember them as a “happy married couple”, and family of the pair have said they showed no signs of problems in their relationship in the weeks that led to both their deaths.

Marcus Peter Volke had no criminal or drug history, according to police.

Marcus Peter Volke had no criminal or drug history, according to police. Source: Facebook

Mr Volke was originally from Ballarat, and had met his wife while working on a cruise ship.

A school friend told his home town paper, the Courier, he was “a little different”.

“He was a good guy, he was a bit up and down, he could lose his temper like anyone can but for the most part he was just like anyone else. He was just one of the boys,” he said.

“He was always a little different. He wasn’t a happy-go-lucky guy like the rest of us — he was a bit dark.”

Volke’s mother, Dorothy, said she had spoken with her son just a week before and he seemed “normal”.

“He was happy and he was coming home for Christmas, everything was normal,” she told the Courier Mail.

“He’d been on a ship, going from one country to another. They hadn’t been in Brisbane for very long, only a few months. They were starting to get settled.”

Mrs Volke said that although her son seemed normal, she hadn’t seen him in around 18 months.

“We didn’t know what was going on,” she said.

He was also passionate about animal cruelty and fascinated by diet information.

He was also passionate about animal cruelty and fascinated by diet information. Source: No Source

Marcus Volke was outspoken about violence against women. Pic: Facebook.

Marcus Volke was outspoken about violence against women. Pic: Facebook. Source: No Source

Friends of Ms Prasetyo have since revealed they had concerns about her husband saying he came across “extremely cold”.

Neighbours have also reported fighting coming from the apartment and it has emerged Mr Volke attended a hospital late last week and told staff his partner cut him in a domestic incident, according to the Courier Mail.

It was reports of a sickening stench, which one neighbour likened to dog food, that led police to knock on the door of the pair’s apartment to find the grisly scene.

Marcus Peter Volke. Pic: Facebook.

Marcus Peter Volke. Pic: Facebook. Source: Facebook

Police discovered Mr Volke in the filthy apartment, cooking body parts over the stove. When the man fled he inflicted a fatal knife wound to his throat, and detectives are treating the incident as a murder suicide.

Investigations are continuing into the horrific ordeal, and delving into the life of the chef who had no criminal history.

Friends remembered the pair as a beautiful married couple. Pic: Facebook.

Friends remembered the pair as a beautiful married couple. Pic: Facebook. Source: Facebook

Gerard Baden-Clay Appeals against Murder Conviction


SLAIN Queensland mother Allison Baden-Clay’s life insurance payout will go to a legal trust while her husband awaits the appeal of his murder conviction.

Today, the Federal Court ordered the sum of Allison’s TAL Life Limited policy — worth more than $412,000 in 2013 — be paid to the trust of solicitors representing her father, the estate’s executor.

It will be held in the trust account pending the final outcome of Gerard Baden-Clay’s pending appeal of his murder conviction.

The life insurance policy was jointly held by Allison, 43, and her husband, Gerard Baden-Clay.

It was one of two that were frozen after Baden-Clay was charged with his wife’s murder in June 2012.

Last August, funds from a Suncorp Life and Superannuation policy that was worth more than $347,000 in 2013 were ordered to be paid to Allison’s father’s representatives.

Allison’s parents, Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, are caring for the couple’s three daughters.

Baden-Clay, 44, tried to claim the insurance shortly after his wife’s body was found on a creek bank at Anstead in Brisbane’s west in April 2012.

After he was charged, the Federal Court became involved and froze the funds pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

A former real estate agent, Baden-Clay was found guilty last July of murdering his wife at their Brookfield home in Brisbane and dumping her body.

Details of their marital breakdown, financial troubles and Baden-Clay’s infidelities were laid bare during the four-week trial.

Baden-Clay is serving a life sentence and will be eligible for parole in 2027.

Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

Just to lighten the mood, GBC needs reminding he was over confident before too! How wrong he was!

cop shop

update 20/07/14

GERARD Baden-Clay was wheeling and dealing behind bars to gain up to $2 million if he’d been acquitted of murdering his wife Allison.

The day before the remorseless killer was found guilty, he bragged to prison guards he would soon be a free man.

And he was set to be a wealthy one too.

Baden-Clay would have walked out to a media deal of at least $600,000, negotiated by his family as he awaited trial.

He also would have collected up to $1 million from his wife’s insurance policies and $440,000 from selling a Gold Coast investment property he had owned with his wife.

Behind the scenes, TV producers flew up to Brisbane to woo the Baden-Clays with huge sums of money if he walked and talked.


 

Allison Baden-Clay’s family make plea as Gerard’s lawyers launch appeal against murder conviction

9 hours ago July 18, 2014

WIFE-killer Gerard Baden-Clay is prolonging the agony of Allison’s family and friends, appealing his conviction just two days after being sentenced.

He claims the jury was “unreasonable” when they found him guilty of murdering his wife and that a “miscarriage of justice” had occurred.

The challenge will likely take more than six months to get to court.

Last night Allison’s family told of their anguish at the appeal.

“It’s been a difficult time for the family, just let her rest in peace,” one of Allison’s relatives said

Baden-Clay was condemned in court by Justice John Byrne for using his wife’s struggles with depression in an attempt to beat the murder charge.

Baden-Clay’s defence team of barrister Michael Byrne QC and solicitor Peter Shields filed the paperwork yesterday shortly before midday.

The appeal claimed a miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been directed the presence of Allison Baden-Clay’s blood in her car was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt it could only have got there from an injury that occurred on the night she died.

It also argued the trial judge should have directed the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Baden-Clay took his wife’s body to Kholo Creek in order to use it as “post offence conduct going to guilt’’.

Baden-Clay’s legal team also claimed the judge should not have told the jury they could consider whether he had “attempted to disguise marks on his face’’ by making razor cuts.

Lawyers are given one month to lodge an appeal. It would then be listed for hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Appeal notices are usually subject to significant refinement before written outline of arguments are lodged closer to the hearing date.

When the matter makes it to the court, Baden-Clay will appear before a panel of three judges. His lawyers will outline why they believe the trial failed and the Crown will respond.

If he is successful, he could be acquitted or the case could be tried again.

update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

An image of a bearded Gerard Baden-Clay that was tendered

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been, but was not, directed that the presence of the deceased’s blood in a motor vehicle was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the presence of blood was attributed to an injury sustained to the deceased’s body on the evening of 19 April 2012 or the morning of 20 April 2012,” the application reads.

“The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant placed the body of the deceased at Kholo Creek in order to use such a finding as post-offence conduct going to guilt.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

 

Gerard Baden-Clay found GUILTY OF MURDER


update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been, but was not, directed that the presence of the deceased’s blood in a motor vehicle was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the presence of blood was attributed to an injury sustained to the deceased’s body on the evening of 19 April 2012 or the morning of 20 April 2012,” the application reads.

“The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant placed the body of the deceased at Kholo Creek in order to use such a finding as post-offence conduct going to guilt.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


 


got him1

A Slide show covering the tragic events that resulted in Gerard being found guilty of Murdering his wife Allison

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have included the Allison’s family’s Victim Impact Statements in the GBC MENU or feel free to access each family members page and make a contribution here

Priscilla Dickie   Vanessa Fowler   Geoff Dickie

SENTENCE

Gerard Baden-Clay, on the night of 19 April 2012, you murdered your wife, Allison.

The killing was not premeditated. But it was violent. That night, you were under considerable stress.

Your financial circumstances were, as you confessed to police, dire. Your domestic circumstances were no better.

You had resumed your affair with Toni McHugh. You kept telling her that you loved her.

You led her to understand that you intended to leave Allison and to be with her.

That afternoon, you told Ms McHugh that Allison would be at the conference Ms McHugh was to attend in Brisbane the next day.

Allison knew nothing about the resumption of the affair.

You deceived her into believing that it had ended in September 2011.

If the two women were to meet the next day, the consequences could have been dramatic, as you realised.

Your unsuspecting wife was doing her best to maintain the marriage.

A relationship counsellor had devised a plan. It allowed for Allison to express to you her feelings about the affair in a brief session every second day.

You had agreed, reluctantly, to that.

The first session happened the night before Allison died; and it had turned into an interrogation.

Allison remained tormented by the affair. She pressed you for details. On the night she died, Allison again questioned you about the affair. All the pressures proved too much for you.

The prosecution suggested that you smothered Allison; and that looks likely.

But whatever the mechanism, your violent attack caused her death.

Her fingernails scratched your face – the act of a desperate woman struggling for life.

Those marks are only consistent with your guilt.

Your shameful conduct after murdering Allison bespeaks a profound absence of remorse.

You took her body to Kholo Creek.

There you disposed of her in an undignified way: dumping her over a ledge to leave her lying in mud, exposed to the elements, insects and wildlife.

Then you put in place – and persisted in – a deception plan.

You used a razor to cut yourself near where she had scratched you, trying to disguise the injuries she had inflicted in defending herself.

You drove around the streets of Brookfield pretending to look for her. You have insinuated that mental illness may have led to drug overdose or suicide.

And besmirching Allison’s memory in that way is thoroughly reprehensible.

You have no criminal history. But you are definitely not of good character.

You are given to lies and other deception: so much so that whatever you may say on any application for parole, 15 years or more hence, will need to be assessed with considerable scepticism.

The   community,   acting   through   the   Court,   denounces   your lethal violence.

The impacts on Allison’s family have been grave.

Their victim impact statements poignantly express their pain.

You took a devoted, loving mother from her three girls, blighting their lives.

Pursuant to s.159A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, I declare the

762 days spent in pre-sentence custody from 14 June 2012 until today to be imprisonment already served under the sentence.

The law provides but one penalty for your awful crime. I impose it.

You are sentenced to imprisonment for life.

Baden-Clay defence offered manslaughter

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team made an application for the case to proceed as a manslaughter charge due to a lack of evidence showing intent to kill. Nine News

MAJOR YELLOW DAFFODIL  UPDATE 11.53 AM 15/07/14

After more than 22 hours of deliberations the jury has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of killing his wife Allison Baden-Clay, the mother of their 3 children.

To the relief of everybody, the jury has seen through his mountain of lies and secrecy, the double life, the excuses and false explanations. Gerard Baden-Clay was the one and only suspect from the very first day and was doggedly investigated by the dedicated QLD Police Service.

How this poor excuse for a human being has manged to fool so many for so long is astounding, but it all came crashing down this afternoon not long after the jury handed in their verdict after they deliberated for over 22h hours.

guilty

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

RESERVED FOR UPDATES AFTER VERDICT ANNOUNCEMENTS

The statement made outside court by a family Representative

Here is Allison Baden-Clay’s family’s full statement courtesy of our friends at the Brisbane Times

“Today, we, Allison’s family and friends, are relieved that we finally have justice for Allison.  The evidence presented at this trial has proven that Gerard Baden-Clay is responsible for the murder of his wife Allison.

It has been a long wait over the last two years, and this result today marks the beginning of our long journey towards healing, and finally allowing us to mourn and grieve for this beautiful woman.

Today is not a win for our family, for it will not bring our beautiful Allison back. However, it is the closure of another chapter in this journey for our family. We have lost Allison and nothing that has happened here will bring her back.  We as a family will grieve her tragic death forever, the memories tarnished by the fact that she was taken from us in such horrific circumstances.

We would like to thank the Queensland Police Service and the CIB officers involved in the investigation, the SES volunteers who searched night and day in all weather, the scientific experts and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who have all worked tirelessly to ensure that we have justice for Allison.  We would also like to thank them for their compassion and support over what has been the darkest of times.

To all of our family and friends that have sat in the court each and every day supporting our beloved Allison, we thank you and hope that you too now find some peace from this result.

Throughout this time, those in the close knit Brookfield community and those in the media and wider public have shown us empathy and compassion for which we are enormously grateful. More so, however, we have appreciated your efforts to protect the privacy of Allison’s daughters.

Our primary concern has always been and remains the emotional and physical well-being of Allison’s three beautiful daughters.  We will help them to rebuild their lives and ask for your support, cooperation and privacy in order to do this.  We have a long way to go ensure that they will cope with a future without their mother.

Allison was a kind-hearted, generous woman, a loving wife and devoted mother whose legacy will continue if we all remember that life is precious and to take the time to be kind, smile at those who pass you by and live for today.

We, her family and friends, didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but Allison will always remain forever in our hearts.

Thank you”

Gerard Baden-Clay given life sentence for murder of wife Allison

Updated 1 minute ago

Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

A Supreme Court jury has convicted the 43-year-old of killing the mother-of-three at their Brookfield home and disposing of her body under the Kholo Creek Bridge, more than 13 kilometres away.

Allison’s family shouted “yes” as the verdict was read out, while security asked for a short break because Baden-Clay was struggling to breathe.

Baden-Clay, who had protested his innocence in the witness box, faces a non-parole period of 15 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Allison’s mother, Priscilla Dickie, said Baden-Clay had “betrayed” her daughter.

“We have all been robbed of Allison’s love,” she said. “The discovery of our darling daughter was absolutely devastating.

“The tragedy of it all is she had so much to offer.”

Allison’s father Geoff Dickie told the court he had been left “devastated by the murder of my precious, gifted and talented daughter”.

It was a case about sex, lies and murder that gripped the city of Brisbane for two years, and the ever-growing queues outside the Supreme Court were a testament to the public’s fascination with the sordid story.

In life, Allison Baden-Clay was a dancer, teacher, successful career woman, devoted wife and mother of three girls.

In death, she became well-known for all the wrong reasons.

Her disappearance in 2012 shocked the tight-knit affluent community of Brookfield. Well-wishers and concerned residents laid flowers at her home, not knowing what else to do.

At the same time, hundreds of police and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers swung into action, combing surrounding suburbs for any trace of the missing woman.

“Please help us, because there are three beautiful little girls of Allison’s wanting to see their mother,” her father had pleaded.

Her mother urged: “Our lives will never be the same – we must, must find her – she’s so precious.”

Premier vowed resources to find Allison

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman vowed to commit whatever resources were necessary to finding her.

“I’m just very sad for the family and friends. It’s obviously just incredibly distressing,” he said at the time.

Timeline: Baden-Clay murder

However, from the moment Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012, police knew this was no ordinary missing persons case.

He had told them she went for an early morning walk and never returned home.

But marks on his face alerted police that something more sinister may have happened.

Hours turned into days, and on April 30 a lone kayaker discovered what was later confirmed as Allison’s body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 10 kilometres from the family’s home.

That day, police refused to say whether Baden-Clay was a suspect.

On June 13, however, he was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.

Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison Baden-Clay near Kholo Creek.

Photo: Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison near the Kholo Creek location where her body was found in Brisbane’s west, June 23, 2014. (AAP: Dan Peled)

Crown case against Baden-Clay circumstantial

By its own admission, the crown’s case against Baden-Clay was a circumstantial one, but the accumulation of evidence was powerful.

A post-mortem examination failed to determine a cause of death due to decomposition, and apart from a chipped tooth and possible bruising, there were no fractures to Allison’s body.

A court photo shows marks on the face of accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay.

Photo: Marks on the face of Gerard Baden-Clay. (Supplied)

But forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne believed Allison did not die from natural causes.

The crown said she died at the hands of her husband, the last person to see her alive.

At the time of her disappearance, Baden-Clay had marks on his face and body that drew the attention of police.

He had excuses for them, though: he had cut himself shaving in a rush; the marks on his neck were where he had crushed a caterpillar that had landed on him while he was watching one of his daughters compete in a cross-country race; and marks on his hand were from a screwdriver that slipped while he was helping renovate a friend’s house, but marks on his chest and shoulder could not be explained by him.

However, three forensic experts testified that marks on Baden-Clay’s face were likely fingernail scratches and Baden-Clay’s claim that they were from a razor was simply implausible.

They said marks on Baden-Clay’s body could also be from scratching, although they were less conclusive.

Then there was the dripping blood found in the boot of Allison’s four-wheel drive. DNA testing confirmed it was Allison’s.

Baden-Clay’s double life

The murder trial exposed a couple living very different lives publicly and in private.

On the face of it, the Baden-Clays were a successful family, running their own prestige real estate company.

But they were in deep financial trouble and Baden-Clay was having trouble paying off loans to friends.

In desperation, he had begged the state Member for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flegg, for a loan of up to $400,000, fearing he would go bankrupt without it.

Baden-Clay was also caught between two women: his wife and lover.

Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh

Photo: (L to R) Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh. (Supplied/AAP)

In marriage counselling, Baden-Clay had professed to want a future with Allison, but at the same time was vowing to leave his wife on her birthday for former employee Toni McHugh.

An email trail between Ms McHugh and a secret account set up by Baden-Clay under the name Bruce Overland portrayed a tumultuous affair, and growing frustrations from Ms McHugh about her lover’s unfulfilled promises.

“Well you’ll have to forgive me that I feel disappointed when this happens. I’m sick of hiding,” Ms McHugh wrote on February 20, 2012.

“I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn’t find out.

“Why should I believe things are going to be any different than the past[?]“

Ms McHugh wrote on March 27 she had looked at rental properties.

“It would be so much easier if you did just move in with me,” she said.

“She can get her own place and the week you have the children you move back to the house.”

I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat – all so she doesn’t find out.

Toni McHugh in an email to Baden-Clay

 

Baden-Clay wrote on April 3: “I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it – I will be separated by 1 July.”

He also wrote an email on April 11 – referring to Ms McHugh as GG – their names for each other were Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Boy.

“This is agony for me too. I love you,” he said.

“I’m sorry you hung up on me. It sounded like you were getting very angry. I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you. GB.”

Until April 2012, Baden-Clay had been able to keep his two worlds separate, but they were about to collide spectacularly.

On April 20, Allison and Ms McHugh were due to attend the same real estate conference.

In the witness box, Baden-Clay passed off his declarations of love to Ms McHugh as empty promises to appease a volatile, unstable and confrontational woman who was infatuated with him.

He portrayed himself as a philanderer, but no murderer: he had affairs with numerous women, but was never going to leave his wife.

Baden-Clay admitted he deceived Allison, Ms McHugh, his family and friends, and in return for his deception they gave him their loyalty.

“My intention was to end any relationship with Toni McHugh and solidify and continue my relationship with Allison for our future together,” he said in the witness box.

But the crown submitted Baden-Clay and Ms McHugh were very much entwined and his deceptive conduct showed what he was capable of.

Allison’s mental health raised at trial

The jury saw two faces of Allison. The defence painted a picture of a woman plagued by depression and unable to cope with the pressures of life.

They pursued the possibility that Allison could have taken her own life or wandered off into the night to her death.

According to testimony from Baden-Clay’s father, Nigel, and sister Olivia Baden-Walton, Allison was so incapacitated she could not get off the couch.

But her friends and family told a different story: she was a woman who was happy and feeling positive before she disappeared.

A GP, two psychologists and a psychiatrist who had treated Allison all said she was not a suicide risk.

Marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie, who consulted with the couple just days before her death, also testified that Allison was hopeful for her future and wanting to make her marriage work.

One thing was clear, however: their marriage was in crisis. Allison’s journal revealed a woman tormented by self-doubt.

“I don’t want to be alone,” she wrote.

“I am afraid of being alone and lonely, maybe because I think I can’t handle it. I am afraid of failing – failing in my marriage and what people will think.”

Allison also had lingering questions about her husband’s affair with Ms McHugh. Some were answered, some were not.

Questions like how many times did they go to the movies together? How did they pay for hotels? Where did they have sex in her apartment? Sex in the family car?

“Did she ever say: ‘I feel bad because you’re married?’”

Three daughters left behind

The trial was the first time the public had heard the three Baden-Clay children speak about their mother’s disappearance.

Heartbreaking video recordings of police interviews with the girls, then aged 10, eight and five, taken on the afternoon their mother was reported missing showed their fear, distress and confusion at what was happening around them.

Baden-Clay wiped away tears while watching his daughters sob as they were quizzed by detectives.

Each described being put to bed by their parents. The middle girl remembered her mother singing Away In A Manger to her.

“Dad said mum had gone for a walk,” the eight-year-old said.

The youngest child said: “She was walking for a long time and we think she twisted her ankle.

“I didn’t get to see her at all because I was fast asleep.”

The eldest recalled seeing her mum on the couch watching TV when she got up to get a glass of water.

“Dad was trying to keep calm for us, but I don’t actually know what was going on in his head,” she said.

She saw “scratches” on her dad’s face, but none of the girls heard anything during the night.

The families and supporters of the Baden-Clays have sat through each day of the trial listening to evidence almost too painful to bear.

They are bound by grief, but divided by loyalty.

The guilty verdict gives them an answer – wanted or not.

But one question remains, and only Baden-Clay can really answer how he murdered his wife.

Amidst the murky personal drama are three little girls who lost their mother and will now have to learn to live without their father.

A JURY has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of murdering his wife Allison.

The former Brookfield real estate agent, 43, pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court at Brisbane at the opening of his trial six weeks ago.

A jury of seven men and five women delivered its verdict shortly after 11.50am today after deliberating for 21 hours before reaching a decision.

Justice John Byrne asked the jury to retire to deliberate on Thursday at 11.10am.

Jurors lined up across one side of the court as they were asked by the judge’s associate: “Do you find the defendant Gerard Robert Baden-Clay guilty or not guilty of murder?’’

The family of Allison Baden-Clay, including her parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, who are seated in the packed public gallery of court 11, cheered as the jury replied: “Guilty”.

The accused was seated in the dock and stood to talk to his lawyer Peter Shields as the judge discharged the jury and thanked them for their service.

Justice Byrne told the jurors he was grateful for their service.

brisbane times

Gerard Baden-Clay appeal likely: legal expert

Date
July 16, 2014 – 2:29PM
Gerard Baden-Clay's defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right).

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right). Photo: Claudia Baxter

 

Wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay will almost certainly appeal his conviction and sentence, a Queensland criminal law expert says.

Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland says Baden-Clay’s legal team will be poring over transcripts of his 21-day trial to find grounds for an appeal.

Baden-Clay has 30 days to lodge an appeal, or apply for grounds to seek an extension of time to lodge an appeal, following his life sentence on Tuesday for the murder of his wife Allison in 2012.

“There’s a very good chance he will appeal,” Professor Douglas said.

“I haven’t been through the fine grain of the transcript, so it’s very difficult for me to suggest that there are clear-cut unambiguous grounds that are likely to lead to success, but certainly that’s what the defence lawyers will be doing now.

“They’ll be looking at every word and every direction, everything the judge said and everything that was presented in the trial.”

Under Queensland law, there are three avenues of appeal, one being error of law, as in whether the judge has made incorrect directions to the jury.

Another is if it can be shown the jury reached a “dangerous” verdict out of step with the evidence presented.

The third avenue is miscarriage of justice, which can cover a variety of scenarios including whether jurors have been found to undertake their own research outside the courtroom or if any evidence presented was prejudicial against the defendant.

Professor Douglas believes Baden-Clay’s legal team could pursue a miscarriage of justice appeal because one juror had downloaded overseas’ material on jury deliberations.

She said this might be enough grounds for an appeal application, but his lawyers would then need to prove, for the appeal to be upheld, that the juror’s action impacted on the defence’s case.

“No trial’s perfect,” she said.

“It may be possible for Baden-Clay’s defence team to identify errors in the trial or problems in the trial.

“That will get them through to the appeals stage where they can then appeal against the conviction.”

Professor Douglas said she was not familiar with the entire Baden-Clay trial but had been impressed by Justice John Byrne’s handling of the matter.

“Justice Byrne’s a very experienced trial judge … he’s been very conservative in what evidence he’s allowed into the trial,” she said.

“He has excluded some relevant evidence on the basis that it would be too prejudicial in the circumstances. I think he’s been very careful with his management of the evidence.”

 

Gerard Baden-Clay Trial-Day 21-GUILTY MURDER


GERARD BADEN-CLAY HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY MURDERING HIS WIFE, SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

I will post the Victim Impact Statements in full as soon as I can

I have included them in the GBC MENU or feel free to access each family members page and make a comment here

Priscilla Dickie   Vanessa Fowler   Geoff Dickie

The gutless cowardly pathetic serial adulterer and excuse of a husband, father, businessman and community member, may each day be long and night lonelier, like Allison, whom you killed and left lifeless to rot in the forest!

DECISION NOW DUE 11.45AM

Verdict due 11.45 am today

Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)


Gerard Baden-Clay given life sentence for murder of wife Allison

Updated 1 minute ago

Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

A Supreme Court jury has convicted the 43-year-old of killing the mother-of-three at their Brookfield home and disposing of her body under the Kholo Creek Bridge, more than 13 kilometres away.

Allison’s family shouted “yes” as the verdict was read out, while security asked for a short break because Baden-Clay was struggling to breathe.

Baden-Clay, who had protested his innocence in the witness box, faces a non-parole period of 15 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Allison’s mother, Priscilla Dickie, said Baden-Clay had “betrayed” her daughter.

“We have all been robbed of Allison’s love,” she said. “The discovery of our darling daughter was absolutely devastating.

“The tragedy of it all is she had so much to offer.”

Allison’s father Geoff Dickie told the court he had been left “devastated by the murder of my precious, gifted and talented daughter”.

It was a case about sex, lies and murder that gripped the city of Brisbane for two years, and the ever-growing queues outside the Supreme Court were a testament to the public’s fascination with the sordid story.

In life, Allison Baden-Clay was a dancer, teacher, successful career woman, devoted wife and mother of three girls.

In death, she became well-known for all the wrong reasons.

Her disappearance in 2012 shocked the tight-knit affluent community of Brookfield. Well-wishers and concerned residents laid flowers at her home, not knowing what else to do.

At the same time, hundreds of police and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers swung into action, combing surrounding suburbs for any trace of the missing woman.

“Please help us, because there are three beautiful little girls of Allison’s wanting to see their mother,” her father had pleaded.

Her mother urged: “Our lives will never be the same – we must, must find her – she’s so precious.”

Premier vowed resources to find Allison

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman vowed to commit whatever resources were necessary to finding her.

“I’m just very sad for the family and friends. It’s obviously just incredibly distressing,” he said at the time.

Timeline: Baden-Clay murder

However, from the moment Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012, police knew this was no ordinary missing persons case.

He had told them she went for an early morning walk and never returned home.

But marks on his face alerted police that something more sinister may have happened.

Hours turned into days, and on April 30 a lone kayaker discovered what was later confirmed as Allison’s body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 10 kilometres from the family’s home.

That day, police refused to say whether Baden-Clay was a suspect.

On June 13, however, he was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.

Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison Baden-Clay near Kholo Creek.

Photo: Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison near the Kholo Creek location where her body was found in Brisbane’s west, June 23, 2014. (AAP: Dan Peled)

Crown case against Baden-Clay circumstantial

By its own admission, the crown’s case against Baden-Clay was a circumstantial one, but the accumulation of evidence was powerful.

A post-mortem examination failed to determine a cause of death due to decomposition, and apart from a chipped tooth and possible bruising, there were no fractures to Allison’s body.

A court photo shows marks on the face of accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay.

Photo: Marks on the face of Gerard Baden-Clay. (Supplied)

But forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne believed Allison did not die from natural causes.

The crown said she died at the hands of her husband, the last person to see her alive.

At the time of her disappearance, Baden-Clay had marks on his face and body that drew the attention of police.

He had excuses for them, though: he had cut himself shaving in a rush; the marks on his neck were where he had crushed a caterpillar that had landed on him while he was watching one of his daughters compete in a cross-country race; and marks on his hand were from a screwdriver that slipped while he was helping renovate a friend’s house, but marks on his chest and shoulder could not be explained by him.

However, three forensic experts testified that marks on Baden-Clay’s face were likely fingernail scratches and Baden-Clay’s claim that they were from a razor was simply implausible.

They said marks on Baden-Clay’s body could also be from scratching, although they were less conclusive.

Then there was the dripping blood found in the boot of Allison’s four-wheel drive. DNA testing confirmed it was Allison’s.

Baden-Clay’s double life

The murder trial exposed a couple living very different lives publicly and in private.

On the face of it, the Baden-Clays were a successful family, running their own prestige real estate company.

But they were in deep financial trouble and Baden-Clay was having trouble paying off loans to friends.

In desperation, he had begged the state Member for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flegg, for a loan of up to $400,000, fearing he would go bankrupt without it.

Baden-Clay was also caught between two women: his wife and lover.

Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh

Photo: (L to R) Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh. (Supplied/AAP)

 

In marriage counselling, Baden-Clay had professed to want a future with Allison, but at the same time was vowing to leave his wife on her birthday for former employee Toni McHugh.

An email trail between Ms McHugh and a secret account set up by Baden-Clay under the name Bruce Overland portrayed a tumultuous affair, and growing frustrations from Ms McHugh about her lover’s unfulfilled promises.

“Well you’ll have to forgive me that I feel disappointed when this happens. I’m sick of hiding,” Ms McHugh wrote on February 20, 2012.

“I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn’t find out.

“Why should I believe things are going to be any different than the past[?]”

Ms McHugh wrote on March 27 she had looked at rental properties.

“It would be so much easier if you did just move in with me,” she said.

“She can get her own place and the week you have the children you move back to the house.”

I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat – all so she doesn’t find out.

Toni McHugh in an email to Baden-Clay

 

Baden-Clay wrote on April 3: “I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it – I will be separated by 1 July.”

He also wrote an email on April 11 – referring to Ms McHugh as GG – their names for each other were Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Boy.

“This is agony for me too. I love you,” he said.

“I’m sorry you hung up on me. It sounded like you were getting very angry. I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you. GB.”

Until April 2012, Baden-Clay had been able to keep his two worlds separate, but they were about to collide spectacularly.

On April 20, Allison and Ms McHugh were due to attend the same real estate conference.

In the witness box, Baden-Clay passed off his declarations of love to Ms McHugh as empty promises to appease a volatile, unstable and confrontational woman who was infatuated with him.

He portrayed himself as a philanderer, but no murderer: he had affairs with numerous women, but was never going to leave his wife.

Baden-Clay admitted he deceived Allison, Ms McHugh, his family and friends, and in return for his deception they gave him their loyalty.

“My intention was to end any relationship with Toni McHugh and solidify and continue my relationship with Allison for our future together,” he said in the witness box.

But the crown submitted Baden-Clay and Ms McHugh were very much entwined and his deceptive conduct showed what he was capable of.

Allison’s mental health raised at trial

The jury saw two faces of Allison. The defence painted a picture of a woman plagued by depression and unable to cope with the pressures of life.

They pursued the possibility that Allison could have taken her own life or wandered off into the night to her death.

According to testimony from Baden-Clay’s father, Nigel, and sister Olivia Baden-Walton, Allison was so incapacitated she could not get off the couch.

But her friends and family told a different story: she was a woman who was happy and feeling positive before she disappeared.

A GP, two psychologists and a psychiatrist who had treated Allison all said she was not a suicide risk.

Marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie, who consulted with the couple just days before her death, also testified that Allison was hopeful for her future and wanting to make her marriage work.

One thing was clear, however: their marriage was in crisis. Allison’s journal revealed a woman tormented by self-doubt.

“I don’t want to be alone,” she wrote.

“I am afraid of being alone and lonely, maybe because I think I can’t handle it. I am afraid of failing – failing in my marriage and what people will think.”

Allison also had lingering questions about her husband’s affair with Ms McHugh. Some were answered, some were not.

Questions like how many times did they go to the movies together? How did they pay for hotels? Where did they have sex in her apartment? Sex in the family car?

“Did she ever say: ‘I feel bad because you’re married?'”

Three daughters left behind

The trial was the first time the public had heard the three Baden-Clay children speak about their mother’s disappearance.

Heartbreaking video recordings of police interviews with the girls, then aged 10, eight and five, taken on the afternoon their mother was reported missing showed their fear, distress and confusion at what was happening around them.

Baden-Clay wiped away tears while watching his daughters sob as they were quizzed by detectives.

Each described being put to bed by their parents. The middle girl remembered her mother singing Away In A Manger to her.

“Dad said mum had gone for a walk,” the eight-year-old said.

The youngest child said: “She was walking for a long time and we think she twisted her ankle.

“I didn’t get to see her at all because I was fast asleep.”

The eldest recalled seeing her mum on the couch watching TV when she got up to get a glass of water.

“Dad was trying to keep calm for us, but I don’t actually know what was going on in his head,” she said.

She saw “scratches” on her dad’s face, but none of the girls heard anything during the night.

The families and supporters of the Baden-Clays have sat through each day of the trial listening to evidence almost too painful to bear.

They are bound by grief, but divided by loyalty.

The guilty verdict gives them an answer – wanted or not.

But one question remains, and only Baden-Clay can really answer how he murdered his wife.

Amidst the murky personal drama are three little girls who lost their mother and will now have to learn to live without their father.

brisbane times

“content kindly supplied by Brisbane Times” 

Gerard Baden-Clay trial: Three days of deliberations and no verdict yet

July 14, 2014 – 6:31PM

The jury in the Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial are spending their fourth day deliberating a verdict on Tuesday.

The jury considering the fate of accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay is yet to reach a verdict after a third day of deliberations.

The seven men and five women of the jury returned to the courtroom briefly on Monday after requesting Justice John Byrne explain the nature of circumstantial evidence for the second time.

One juror sent a note to Justice Byrne requesting “another reading of the process and meaning and application of circumstantial evidence to arrive at a verdict”.

Justice Byrne re-read part of his summing up to the jury relating to circumstantial evidence.

“It is not necessary that facts be proved by direct evidence. They may be proved by circumstantial evidence alone, or by a combination of direct and circumstantial,” he said.

“So you should consider all the evidence, including circumstantial evidence.

“Importantly, to bring in a verdict of guilty based entirely, or substantially, on circumstantial evidence, guilt should not only be a rational inference, it must be the only rational inference that could be drawn from the circumstances.

“If there is any reasonable possibility consistent with innocence, it is your duty to find the accused not guilty.”

 

One juror lingered in the courtroom re-reading Justice Byrne’s summation which was displayed on a large screen, as the other jurors rose from their seats to return to the deliberation room.

The jury retired to consider its verdict at 11.10am on Thursday after hearing from 72 witnesses, including Mr Baden-Clay, and watching video recordings of police interviews with the Baden-Clays’ three young daughters.

Their deliberations were interrupted four times last week after it was revealed one juror accessed information on the internet and another juror requested the judge explain how the jury should view alleged lies told by Mr Baden-Clay.

The high-profile murder trial will enter its 21st day when the jury resumes its deliberations on Tuesday.

He has pleaded not guilty.


Remember this?


All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

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