Damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners-Don Dale detention centre

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Despicable, we have seen this overseas and thanked GOD it could never happen here. I think by the immediate actions of the Federal Government in calling and Royal Commission says a lot. Disgusting, if this is how my child might be treated if he committed crimes in NT, bloody hell, help us all! NO human deserves to be treated as a DOG or worse. NO matter what…(Robbo)

I am compiling all the videos so they can be seen together, folks. Appalling, never in my dreams did I think we treat anybody like this. ALL these kids are underage.No matter what they did or why they are there we as a society are not violent. I personally am not surprised the individuals shown reacted they way they did. It is a matter of survival! At least a dozen clips on the way stay tuned (Robbo)


NT Government counter-sues boys who were tear-gassed at Don Dale

29/07/16

The Northern Territory Government is counter-suing two boys who were tear-gassed by prison guards at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

The boys, whose names have been suppressed by the Northern Territory Supreme Court, lodged papers in June this year seeking damages for alleged mistreatment at the hands of staff at the facility.

But the NT Government’s response, filed on July 4, is seeking damages for an escape attempt in which the two boys stole a car, before using it to ram a roller-door and re-enter the prison.

The Government claims the two boys escaped from Don Dale on May 31, 2015, causing $89,000 in damage.

It also claims the boys caused $74,025.60 damage when they rammed a roller door at the prison using a stolen car on June 1, 2015.

The NT Government is seeking damages with interest and legal costs.

Both boys, and four others who are not being counter-sued, are seeking damages for the now-infamous tear-gassing incident in the old Don Dale centre as well as a string of other claims.

The writs filed by the boys seek general, aggravated and exemplary damages to “deter and punish” the NT Government.

One of the prisoners suing is Dylan Voller, who was the prisoner strapped to a restraint chair for hours with a spit hood placed over his head.

Another is Jake Roper, who was the boy who got out of his cell in the behavioural management unit of the old Don Dale centre, which instigated the tear-gassing of all prisoners in the area.

Here is the whole video in one go.I do prey that in the interests of the publics right to know and to educate our country I do NOT get a strike.







John Elferink sacked from Corrections in wake of Four Corners report; Adam Giles alleges culture of cover-up

Updated 19 minutes ago

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles has sacked his Corrections Minister John Elferink in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners, while alleging there has been a “culture of cover-up” within the Corrections system.

Key points:

  • John Elferink remains as Mental Health Minister, Attorney-General
  • Adam Giles alleges cover-up of video evidence
  • Staff seen in Four Corners report still in Corrections system

John Elferink, the minister responsible for young detainees in the Northern Territory, has been sacked in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners.

At a press conference today, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced he had taken over the portfolios of Corrections and Justice from Mr Elferink.

“Can I start by saying that anybody who saw that footage on television last night on Four Corners would undoubtedly describe it as horrific footage. I sat and watched the footage and recognised horror through my eyes,” Mr Giles said.

He said the footage aired in the Four Corners report had been withheld from him, Mr Elferink and “many officials in government” — with him only seeing it for the first time “on television last night”.

“I think over time there has most certainly been a culture of cover-up within the Corrections system,” he said.

“I think there’s been a culture of cover-up going on for many a long year. The footage we saw last night [went] back to 2010 — and I predict this has gone on for a very long time.”

He said his government had been “working very hard to try and fix many of those issues”.

“What we’re changing is a culture of an organisation within the youth detention system and I think we’ve come a long way in that time. That’s not to discredit any of that terrible footage we saw on Four Corners last night. It was terrible footage but we’re seeking to improve the system,” Mr Giles said.

When asked if he personally was comfortable with children being strapped into restraint chairs, Mr Giles refused to answer definitively.

“We’re going to have a look at that as part of the royal commission. We will have a review into that. I can’t talk about individual cases,” he said.

“There are kids who are trying to deliberately cause cranial issues by bashing their head against the wall.

“Prison officers need the ability to be able to de-escalate issues when children are not in … a calm environment within themselves and at all times those kids’ wellbeing is being put at the best possible place.

“Having said that, there is certainly footage last night, particularly the footage dating back to 2010, 2012 and 2014 where I don’t think the standards have been upheld.”

Mr Giles said the Northern Territory community was “sick of youth crime … they have had a gutful”.

“They’ve had a gutful of cars getting smashed up, houses getting broken into, people being assaulted. There’s no doubt. And the majority of the community is saying let’s lock these kids up,” he said.

 

Some staff from footage still with corrections

The Acting Commissioner of Corrections Mark Payne, who took over in 2015, admitted some staff seen in the Four Corners report were still working with NT Corrections.

“A number of the staff, particularly those who have become the subject of previous investigations, a number of those staff members are no longer with us in the organisation. They’ve either been terminated in their employment or have chosen to resign,” Mr Payne said.

“A number of staff members who may have been implicated to sustain charges, criminal or internal, remain with us.

“There were only two staff members identified in footage last night that still remain within the youth justice sphere.”

Asked if he held any concerns for the welfare of youth detainees, Mr Payne said he did not.

“I have no concern and, in fact, I should remind the public that we have the Children’s Commissioner and their staff come in to our facilities once a week,” he said.

“We have representatives and our elders visiting program coming into the facility.

“We invite people in tours of the facility so as I stated previously, when I came into the organisation I found certainly a different place and its certainly a different place today in 2016 to what was identified in the footage last night.”

Elferink office target of attack

Asked where the Mr Elferink was, Mr Giles answered: “I don’t know.”

“I imagine he’s are probably in his office. I’ve advised John that I am assuming the Corrections responsibility immediately and that occurred five minutes before I walked into this office,” he said.

Mr Giles said Mr Elferink would retain his other portfolios, including Health, Children and Families and Mental Health.

This morning, Mr Elferink’s Darwin electoral office was the target of a vandal graffiti attack with police attending the scene.

Mr Elferink is yet to speak publicly since the Four Corners report, in which he is featured offering ABC journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna a lift on his motorcycle to the Don Dale area where the so-called “riot” took place in 2014.

The ABC revealed the riot never happened and was concocted by prison authorities as an excuse for the use of tear-gassing of six boys.

The report has resulted in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announcing a royal commission into the Northern Territory’s juvenile justice system.


Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners

Video: LANGUAGE WARNING: Watch the video obtained by Four Corners (ABC News)

Vision of the tear-gassing of six boys being held in isolation at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014 has been obtained by Four Corners, exposing one of the darkest incidents in the history of juvenile justice in Australia.

The vision is part of an investigation featuring a chilling catalogue of footage revealing a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.

The tear-gassing incident was described as a “riot” at the time, with media reporting multiple boys had escaped their cells in the isolation wing of the prison, known as the Behavioural Management Unit (BMU), and threatened staff with weapons.

But CCTV vision and handy-cam recordings made by staff, obtained exclusively by Four Corners, show only one boy escaped his cell after it was left unlocked by a guard.

Former corrections commissioner Ken Middlebrook last year defended the officer’s actions in the wake of a damning report by the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner.

“I am not in the business of overuse of force. There were two sprays from an aerosol in the area. Now it wasn’t overuse of gas,” Mr Middlebrook told the ABC at the time.

But CCTV vision from the incident shows 10 bursts of tear gas being sprayed into the enclosed area over the space of one-and-a-half-minutes.

All six boys were exposed to the tear gas, five while still locked in their cells.

Not all the children were misbehaving — two boys can be seen on CCTV calmly playing cards before being exposed to the fumes. Another can be seen repeatedly smashing the wall of his cell with a broken light fitting.

The 14-year-old boy who escaped his cell can be heard repeatedly asking how long he had been in isolation and requesting to talk to staff.

Instead of negotiating with the boy, prison staff can be heard laughing and mocking him, calling the boy “an idiot” and a “little f****r”.

Four Corners has managed to track down several of the boys who were tear gassed. They describe being highly distressed, afraid for their lives, and say that two years on they are now suffering from disturbing flashbacks and nightmares from the ordeal.

The CCTV vision also shows the children’s reactions as they are affected by the gas, running to the back of their cells, hiding behind sheets and mattresses, gasping for air, crying, and bending over toilets.

One boy is left in his cell and exposed to tear gas for eight minutes. He is seen lying face down on the floor with his hands behind his back, before being handcuffed by two prison officers wearing gas masks and dragged out of his cell.

‘Ticking time bomb’ of potentially unlawful solitary confinement

The use of tear gas at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in 2014 came after months of tension, repeated escapes and incidents at the centre, which was staffed with under-trained Youth Justice Officers, in what has been described as a “ticking time bomb” by former staff.

Three weeks before the tear-gassing incident, five boys had escaped from Don Dale.

When they were recaptured, they were placed in the isolation wing of the prison for between 15 and 17 days, in what were described by both children and staff as appalling and inhumane conditions.

They were kept locked in their cells for almost 24 hours a day with no running water, little natural light, and were denied access to school and educational material.

The boys being kept in isolation were accidentally discovered by a group of lawyers, including solicitor Jared Sharp, when they were taken on a tour of the facility in August 2014.

“We all sort of looked at each other in shock that there was kids in these cells, because there was signs of life in there but we didn’t know who was in there or what was happening, or how long they’d been there,” Mr Sharp told Four Corners.

“To what extreme is that, is to my view is torture. To my view that is treating kids in a way that is just entirely unacceptable,” he said.

Human Rights Lawyer Ruth Barson said the isolation of the children was a clear violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture.

“The UN’s expert on torture has said there are no circumstances that justify young people being held in solitary confinement, let alone prolonged solitary confinement,” Ms Barson told Four Corners.

“I think the NT and in particular Don Dale has a long way to go to ensure their practices are compliant with Australia’s obligation on the convention against torture and against the right of the child.”

Government says improvements made

In the days after the tear gassing, NT Corrections Minister John Elferink praised the actions of his staff and the prison security dog used on the night of the incident.

“I congratulate again, and place my support behind, the staff who made this decision. The staff worked hard, Fluffy the Alsatian worked hard and, as far as we are concerned, it was a problem that was solved quickly,” Mr Elferink told Parliament.

In the wake of the incident, the Don Dale centre was closed and the children were moved to the run-down, old Berrimah adult prison.

The NT Government commissioned an independent report into the incident by former Long Bay prison boss Michael Vita, which was released in January 2015.

Mr Elferink told Four Corners the Government had learned from the mistakes of the past.

“It was a system that needed improvement. It was a system that had fundamental problems, which is why I’ve worked so hard to improve it and it has been improved,” he said.

“That was a circumstance that clearly demonstrated to me that something had to be done, which is what the Vita Report was all about.

“Those circumstances have now been changed… we hope that they won’t be repeated.”

NT Children’s Commissioner Colleen Gwynne confirmed to Four Corners there are still ongoing issues with youth detention in the Northern Territory, with many of her 2015 report recommendations still not implemented.

“The response has not been as urgent as we would have liked. The issues raised in that report are extremely serious and I would like to see a more full response,” she said.

“[We need] some urgency and some dedicated resources thrown at this.”

What happened to Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski

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Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Search continues for Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski

Update 21/07/16

Karen Ristevski at her Bella Bleu business at Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes. Picture: Kylie Else

A MELBOURNE woman who went missing three weeks ago was at risk of losing the family home.

The financial sufferings that surround Karen Ristevski’s mysterious disappearance have been revealed and the family has been in about $600,000 in debt for the past decade.

Mrs Ristevski had a fight with her husband Borce about their financial problems on June 29 and left her $1.1 million home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s northwest, about 10am to clear her head.

The 47-year-old has not been seen since.

The Ristevski family owns the Bella Bleu boutique at the Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes in Melbourne’s northwest and another store in Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north.

The Australian reports property records show a shopping centre lodged a caveat over the Ristevski family home earlier this year, believed to be due to unpaid rent.

A caveat is a document that can tag another person’s land and stop it from being sold or transferred into another name.

The Ristevskis’ home. Picture: Ellen Smith

The Ristevskis’ home. Picture: Ellen SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Ristevski and his brother Vasko previously owned clothing manufacturer and wholesaler Blue Laser Jean Co, according the The Australian, and the company racked up $600,000 of unsecured debts after one of its major customers restructured.

Real estate group Vicinity and financial company Perpetual are believed to have lodged the caveat over the family home. The Australian understands Vicinity is the landlord at the Broadmeadows shopping centre where one of the Bella Bleu stores operates.

Victoria Police said investigations around Mrs Ristevski’s disappearance were ongoing and officers previously expressed grave concerns for the woman’s welfare.

Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, and husband, Borce. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, and husband, Borce. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAPSource:AAP

Karen Ristevski went missing without a trace after going for a walk from her home on June 29.

Karen Ristevski went missing without a trace after going for a walk from her home on June 29.Source:Supplied

She hasn’t used her phone or accessed her bank accounts since she went missing.

Police were searching the Maribyrnong River last week, which snakes behind Ms Ristevski’s home.

There has been a wave of support on social media to find the popular dress shop owner.

“We’ve laughed together, dressed and undressed together, and shared our highs and lows,” friend Connie Johnson posted on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

Police questioned Mr Ristevski earlier this month over the disappearance and he has been released pending further inquiries.

SES searching behind the Ristevski's house at Avondale Heights for missing Karen Ristevski. Picture: Hamish Blair

SES searching behind the Ristevski’s house at Avondale Heights for missing Karen Ristevski. Picture: Hamish BlairSource:News Corp Australia

Last week the family shut down a press conference after a Channel 7 reporter asked Mr Ristevski if he killed his wife.

Ms Ristevski’s aunt, Patricia, was upset by the question.

“That’s really not appropriate at the moment … honestly, I have to say, that is really inappropriate … this is about Karen, this is not about anything else, this is about finding Karen,” she said.

Ms Ristevski is 160cm tall, with a slim build and shoulder length brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a black jacket and jeans and is known to frequent Taylors Lakes.

Police say her disappearance is out of character.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.


Karen Ristevski: Police search riverbanks

Combing the banks of the Maribymong river, police and SES crews search for missing Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski. Courtesy Seven News Melbourne

Mr Ristevski, who was questioned by police and released without charge, was asked directly by a Channel 7 reporter in a press conference on Thursday if he had killed his wife.

Mr Ristevski, arm-in-arm with his wife’s visibly distressed 21-year-old daughter Sarah, did not answer, with Ms Ristevski’s aunt Patricia interjecting, saying Mr Ristevski was too distressed to speak.

Karen Ristevski's daughter Sarah, and husband Borce have appealed for help.

Karen Ristevski’s daughter Sarah, and husband  Borce have appealed for help.  Photo: Penny Stephens

“That’s really not appropriate at the moment … honestly, I have to say, that is really inappropriate…This is about Karen, this is not about anything else, this is about finding Karen,” she said.

The family then left immediately.

Before the exchange, which occurred near the banks of the Maribyrnong River where police are searching, Patricia pleaded with the public to come forward if they have any information.

“We’re hoping that today we will find something that will lead us to Karen,” she said.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah. Photo: Supplied

“We have nothing so if you have something that you know, something that you have seen, you’ve heard something, someone has spoken to you about something, anything, please, we’re asking you to help us.

“It’s not possible for someone to just disappear, it’s not Karen, Karen would not leave us.”

The police and SES are searching Avondale Heights and along the Maribyrnong River for missing woman Karen Ristevski.

The police and SES are searching Avondale Heights and along the Maribyrnong River for missing woman Karen Ristevski.  Photo: Penny Stephens

She described the last 15 days as a “nightmare”.

She said she did not know anyone who would want to harm her niece.

Police have released photos of a handbag and purse like Karen Ristevski's in case someone finds them.

Police have released photos of a handbag and purse like Karen Ristevski’s in case someone finds them. Photo: Supplied

“If that was the case, we would already know something about that, it would be an ongoing thing,” she said.

Police and State Emergency Service volunteers are searching a 60 hectare area between Canning Reserve, off Canning Street, and Afton Street, which runs along the Maribyrnong River.

<br>

The family home, which backs onto the river, sits in between.

Inspector Stephen Dennis said police have “grave concerns” for Ms Ristevski’s welfare, with her phone still off and her bank account untouched.

He said she was last seen at her home.

“We can’t say what route she may have taken from the house, so it’s still up in the air for us at this stage,” he said.

Inspector Dennis said Ms Ristevski may have had a gold-coloured Coach handbag and purse with her. Earlier, police released a photo of the items in the hope someone may come across them.

SEARCH AREA

Ms Ristevski ran formal wear shop Bella Bleu in Taylors Lakes, which she owned with her husband.

Her daughter made an emotional plea for help to find her mother last week.

Sarah told radio station 3AW she had reached out to her mother’s friends on Facebook but to no avail.

“There’s no leads at all, no sightings, nothing,” she said.

“I’ve logged onto her Facebook and contacted all of her friends. No one has seen her.”

Ms Ristevski is described as 160cm tall, with a slim build and shoulder length brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a black jacket and jeans.

Anyone who sees Ms Ristevski is urged to contact triple zero or anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to http://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.


abc.net.au

Relatives plead for information about missing Melbourne woman

Updated Thu 14 Jul 2016, 1:56pm

The aunt of missing Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski has made an impassioned plea for information as police search the Maribrynong River for her niece’s belongings.

Ms Ristevski, 47, was last seen leaving her Avondale Heights home in Melbourne’s north-west on June 29 after having an argument with her husband about financial issues relating to their family-run business.

Her family said she had medical issues and it was out of character for her to be away for so long without contacting her husband and daughter.

About 20 SES crews joined police on dirt bikes to search the banks of the Maribyrnong River and water police were out on the water.

Officers were looking for Ms Ristevski’s handbag, a Coach brand gold bag, and her Coach brand wallet.

Ms Ristevski’s aunt, Patrice (who did not want her surname used) pleaded for help from the public.

“We have nothing, so if you have something that you know, something that you’ve seen, you’ve heard something, someone’s spoken to you about something, anything, please, we’re asking you to help us,” she said.

“Whatever you’ve got even just a suspicion it doesn’t matter. We have nothing.

“Somebody knows something out there. It’s not possible for someone to just disappear like this.”

Victoria Police Inspector Stephen Dennis said her disappearance was being treated as suspicious and they were still hopeful of finding her alive.

“There has been nothing from Karen to date,” he said.

“We have grave concerns for her welfare because she’s been gone for just over two weeks now,” he said.

“She maintains regular contact with her family and it’s out of character, from everything we’ve been told to this stage for her to just vanish.”

A reporter asked her husband Borce Ristevski, who was also present, if he murdered his wife.

Patricia said the question was inappropriate and the family walked away.

First posted about 7 hours agoThu 14 Jul 2016, 7:23am


Disappearance of Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski ‘highly irregular’, police say

Updated 2 Jul 2016, 2:22pm

Police in Melbourne are concerned for the welfare of a 47-year-old woman who has not been seen since Wednesday, calling the behaviour “highly irregular”.

Karen Ristevski of Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s north-west, was last seen leaving her home on Wednesday morning, wearing a black blazer, jeans and carrying a silver handbag.

She works in retail at the Watergardens Shopping Centre but did not turn up for work at the family business.

Senior Constable Ante Sandric said Ms Risteveski has health problems but her family is worried because her disappearance is out of character.

“Our main concerns are that she hasn’t been seen since leaving her house at about 10:00am on Wednesday,” he said.

“Family haven’t been able to contact her and she hasn’t turned up to work and this is highly irregular.”

Ms Ristevski’s mobile phone is turned off and police said they had very few leads about her disappearance.

Ms Ristevski is described as being Caucasian, about 160cm tall, with a slim build and short brown hair.


Police believe missing Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski could have been murdered

THERE are still no answers into the mysterious disappearance of Karen Ristevski, but police now think she could be dead.

The Melbourne woman left her luxury home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s northwest, about two weeks ago.

She had just had a fight with her husband Borce and she needed to get some fresh air.

They had been arguing about financial issues affecting the family business.

Since she walked out the door, nobody has heard from the woman.

Her husband and daughter are broken and hope is fading with no confirmed sightings.

The 47-year-old went missing about 10am on June 29 and concerns for her safety came after she didn’t show up to work at the Bella Bleu boutique at the Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes in Melbourne’s northwest.

Her daughter Sarah broke down following Ms Ristevski’s disappearance as she called for the public to help find her mother alongside her father.

“I just want my mum to come home,” she told media.

“It’s not like her to miss work as well.

“It’s not like her.”

It was not out of character for Ms Ristevski to leave the house to clear her head, but she always came home.

“That was the last thing she said to me: ‘I’m going to go and clear my head’,” Mr Ristevski told media.

“She has always walked back in the door after calming down.”

Earlier this week police questioned Mr Ristevski over his wife’s disappearance.

A Victoria Police spokesman told AAP on Tuesday they interviewed the man as part of an ongoing investigation into the woman’s disappearance. He was released pending further inquiries.

The couple’s luxury home and surrounding areas were also searched by police.

Police have grave concerns as the mother has not used her ATM card and her mobile phone is switched off and detectives from the Missing Persons Squad are now investigating the mysterious disappearance.

The Herald Sun reports Ms Ristevski’s brother-in-law, Vic Ristevski, made another call to the public to help find her on Tuesday.

“It’s terrible … we are all shocked,” he told media.

“If you are still alive talk to us.

“If you don’t want to talk to your husband, give me a call or my wife.”

He said the family was close and the missing woman was happy while celebrating her daughter’s 21st birthday just a few weeks ago.

“It’s not like her. I don’t talk to her much but when we get together she is happy. He (Borce) is feeling awful, he can hardly talk,” he said.

“It is heartbreaking. I can hardly sleep at night. I wake up at 2am … it’s a nightmare.”

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.


theage.com.au

 July 3 2016

The daughter of a missing Avondale Heights woman has pleaded for public help to find her

Alexandra Laskie

The daughter of missing Avondale Heights woman Karen Ristevski has made an emotional plea for public help to find her mother.

Sarah Ristevski, 21, told 3AW she had reached out to her mother’s friends on Facebook but to no avail.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah.
Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah. Photo: Supplied

“There’s no leads at all, no sightings, nothing,” she said. “I’ve logged onto her Facebook and contacted all of her friends. No one has seen her.”

Sarah said she was desperate for her mother to return home.

Ms Ristevski, 47, has been missing since Wednesday.

She was last seen at her home in Oakley Drive, Avondale Heights, about 10am.

Police are focusing their search on an area of parkland in Avondale Heights, near a walking track to the rear of her property, which backs onto the Maribyrnong River, where Ms Ristevski is known to walk regularly.

It has been reported she went for a walk to “clear her head” after an argument with her husband, Borce, over financial issues. The couple own Taylors Lakes formal wear business Bella Bleu.

Senior Constable Adam West said police have grave concerns for Ms Ristevski’s because her disappearance was out of character.

Her mobile phone is switched off and she has not used her debit card.

At the time Ms Ristevski went missing, she was wearing a black jacket and dark pants. She has shoulder-length dark hair, is about 160 centimetres tall and has a slim build.

Former priest John Joseph Farrell jailed for at least 18 years over child sexual assaults


This is what the bloody church does, try to hide away filthy disgusting sexual offenders for years. BUT the time is up for the pathetic excuse, up until now known as Father F…Real name former priest John Joseph Farrell


‘Clear evidence’ of Catholic Church cover-up over Father ‘F’: former DPP director

Updated about an hour ago

The former director of the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is “clear evidence” the Catholic Church covered up the crimes of a paedophile priest.

John Joseph Farrell, formerly Father “F” under a decades-old suppression order, was sentenced to a minimum 18 years’ jail after being found guilty of 62 counts of child sex abuse in Armidale in the 1980s.

Pressure is mounting on the DPP to investigate the Catholic Church over its role in the cover-up of Farrell’s crimes, with the possibility of further criminal prosecution of senior Catholic Church leaders.

Since 1990, it has been against the law to conceal serious offences under 316 of the Crimes Act.

“I think this is very clear evidence of continuing cover-up,” former DPP director Nicholas Cowdery said.

“I don’t see how you can get away from that.”

Farrell has offered to give evidence against senior Catholic leaders who have repeatedly denied covering up his child sex crimes.

In documents obtained by 7.30, Farrell insists he admitted to Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Brian Lucas he sexually abused five boys between 1982 and 1984.

They have denied witnessing Farrell’s admission to child sex crimes.

Do you know more about this story? Email 7.30syd@your.abc.net.au

Farrell’s legal representative wrote to the Special Commission into Child Sex Abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in October 2013, saying Farrell offered to give evidence “contrary to the accounts given by Fathers Usher and Lucas”.

“Importantly, such evidence supports the proposition of a ‘cover-up’ and may provide evidence of offences such as misprision of a felony and the failing to disclose information concerning a serious offence,” the letter reads.

The confession

On September 3, 1992, Farrell was called to a meeting with senior Catholic church leaders in the in the presbytery of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

Present were Father Wayne Peters (now deceased), Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Lucas, now the national director of The Catholic Mission.

They have said Farrell admitted to “nothing specific” and that Farrell spoke about his “sexual fantasies”, according to the Whitlam Report into the affair, commissioned by the Parramatta and Armidale Diocese in 2012.

“Farrell said nothing on that occasion where he mentioned any names or any matters of child sexual abuse,” Reverend Monsignor Usher told 7.30.

A secret internal letter about the meeting sent in 1992, signed by Reverend Peters and addressed to the Bishop of Armidale, includes details of graphic sexual abuse inflicted upon five boys.

“Some of the boys involved may bring criminal charges against the Rev Farrell with subsequent grave harm to the priesthood and the church.”

Reverend Monsignor Usher disputes the letter’s version of events.

“He [Farrell] talked a lot about homosexuality or gayness but whatever Wayne Peters wrote did not come out of that meeting,” Reverend Monsignor Usher said.

“He may have had access to other information.”

‘Facts constitute serious indictable offences’

Mr Cowdery said it was in the public interest that clergyman that may have known about crimes, yet failed to report them to police, are referred to the DPP on the basis of Farrell’s testimony and the 1992 letter.

“In that letter, there is a very clear description of facts that would constitute serious indictable offences,” he said.

“That is, criminal offences that carry a penalty of five years’ imprisonment or more.”

Associate Professor David Hamer, a specialist in the law of evidence at the University of Sydney, said it is at the discretion of the DPP whether or not to prosecute.

“I’d imagine that someone senior in the NSW DPP would take a very close look at any charges that were laid in this case,” Associate Professor Hamer said.

Father Lucas has always maintained Farrell did not make any admission that required going to the police, and did not agree to an interview with 7.30.

NSW Police Strikeforce Glenroe, the DPP, the Sydney Archdiocese and the Bishop of Armidale have all been contacted for comment.


Victim of sexual abuse by Catholic priest felt ‘completely abandoned’ by church

 8 Apr 2016, 5:46pm

Victims of a former Catholic priest who sexually abused children in northern New South Wales in the 1980s have described the devastating impact of his crimes in statements read out in court.

John Joseph Farrell, 62, is awaiting sentencing for 62 offences involving 12 victims.

One victim said in his statement, which was read by his mother, the abuse was compounded by the fact that when he reported what happened to him, he was not believed.

“I felt completely abandoned by the institution I had put so much faith in,” his statement said.

The victim said he had enjoyed a happy childhood until the age of 11.

“When I met Farrell, all of that changed,” he said in his statement.

He said the Catholic Church merely protected Farrell.

The man also said it was no coincidence he started drinking after meeting Farrell.

He said he developed chronic alcoholism, never engaged in study or long-term employment and has had 20 different homes in the past 25 years.

Victim ‘never had a proper relationship’ after abuse

Another victim said that having to re-live the offences against him was traumatic.

“I have never been able to have a proper relationship because of what happened to me,” his statement said.

My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim.

Child sexual abuse victim

Another victim who was raped by Farrell was overcome with emotion as he was preparing to read out his victim impact statement in the witness box.

His partner stepped up to read the statement on his behalf.

In it, he said the abuse continues to cause him problems with intimacy.

“I feel unclean until I’ve showered [after sexual activity],” he said. “John Farrell has shown neither remorse nor regret for what he has done to me and others.”

Most of Farrell’s victims were altar boys in the Moree area, but three of the victims were girls.

A woman who was sexually abused by Farrell said in her statement that was submitted but not read to the court: “I naively assumed that God must have been okay with it.”

“My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim,” she said.


Convicted paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell given sentence of 29 years for 62 sex crimes

A former priest will got to jail following his conviction on 62 counts of abuse.

A PAEDOPHILE priest, who raped one of his victims on the church’s altar, has been sentenced to almost three decade behind bars.

At Sydney’s District Court on Monday Judge Peter Zahra said former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell “disregarded and took advantage” of his victims who he groomed over long periods of time.

Last month, Farrell was found guilty of 62 offences involving rapes and indecent assaults against three girls and nine boys over nearly a decade in the northern NSW towns of Moree and Tamworth.

As well as the 62 historical sexual crimes against children, a further 17 offences were taken into account when he was handed down a sentence of 29 years, with a non-parole period of 18 years.

He will not leave prison until 2033 at the earliest.

The disgraced ex-priest sat in the dock with his eyes closed as Judge Zahra told the courtroom how Farrell had assaulted his victims between 1979 and 1988.

Farrell was aware of, and exploited, the powerful position he held as a priest, the judge said.

Although some of Farrell’s crimes might have appeared to be spontaneous, they were in fact a result of the offender’s long-term grooming of the boys and girls which included gaining the trust of their parents, Judge Zahra continued.

At Farrell’s trial last month, the jury heard one of the victims, who was just 10 when the abuse began, was so trusting of the then-priest she convinced herself the assaults were “OK with God”.

The disabled victim, who can’t be identified, said in a statement tendered the court that the traumatising sexual abuse had continued throughout her teenage years.

“I naively assumed that God must have been OK with it,” she said.

Another of Farrell’s female victims would often try to escape when he visited her family home.

She would run to a friend’s house which led to her family becoming angry with her for being anti-social, she said in her victim impact statement.

“I kept the abuse quiet from my family as I was afraid of their reaction,” she said.

She told the court she had been robbed of her dream of having a husband and child.

“I have had plenty of boyfriends over the years but have always found sexual relations with them to be unpleasant,” she said.

“Although I made my body participate in the actions, my mind would remain detached.”

Before abusing the girls, Farrell had preyed on nine altar boys at Moree in the early 1980s.

He had raped one victim on the church’s altar and targeted others in a local swimming pool and during car trips to nearby parishes.

Many of those sitting in the public gallery of the courtroom wept as the sentence was handed down, while others clapped as the judge imposed a non-parole period of 18 years.

— with AAP


smh.com.au

Ex-Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell jailed for 29 years for child sex assaults

Emma Partridge

John Joseph Farrell during a previous hearing.John Joseph Farrell during a previous hearing. Photo: Barry Smith

Victims stood and clapped as one of the most notorious paedophile priests in NSW was sentenced to 29 years’ jail after committing 62 acts of child sex abuse in regional NSW.

Former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell, 62, sexually abused nine young altar boys and three girls between 1979 and 1988 in Moree, Armidale and Tamworth.

Victim Mark Boughton with his wife Belinda after former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell was sentenced to 29 years in ...Victim Mark Boughton with his wife Belinda after former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell was sentenced to 29 years in jail. Photo: Nick Moir

Farrell, also known as “Father F”, committed 27 acts of sexual assault, 48 acts of indecent assault and four acts of indecency.

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The “predatory” former priest was sentenced to a maximum of 29 years but a minimum of 18 years at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday.

He closed his eyes and showed no emotion during the three hour sentencing.

Victim Mark Boughton outside court.

Victim Mark Boughton outside court. Photo: Nick Moir

One of the people who clapped and cried was victim Mark Boughton and his wife, Belinda.

Outside court he said he hoped the outcome would allow himself and other victims to “have a life”.

“I’m very happy with the outcome; maybe it might show everyone else that they can stand up do the right thing and get these so called people off the street,” Mr Boughton said.

“Hopefully, everyone can get on, move on, have a life,” he said.

“Justice is served – he got what he wanted or what he needed, preying on kids. It’s not on – hopefully the world knows that now.”

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Peter Zahra spoke of how Farrell groomed many of his victims and exploited his position as a priest.

“The offender admitted he had a great deal of influence over the altar boys and he abused that position,” Judge Zahra said.

Judge Zahra said the offender, “disregarded and took advantage of the vulnerability of the child victims”.

“In relation to the altar boy victims, the offender knew there would be continuing opportunity because of the relationships he had developed with the victims and their parents.

“The offender created situations where he was confident he would not be detected even where his sexual abuse was, at times brazen in the extreme.”

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Bryan Rowe outlined a series of incidents in which Farrell groped, molested, raped or forced oral sex on the altar boys.

One altar boy who was indecently assaulted in a Moree swimming pool and later raped in the presbytery said, “It was the worst memory of [my] life.”

The victim went to report the sexual abuse to police in 2012 after viewing a Four Corners program.

He said he felt “embarrassed” and “ashamed” and said he hadn’t come forward earlier because “back in 1982 no one would have believed my words against a priest”.

Another victim had told the court that he was forced to perform oral sex on Farrell in a cellar when he was aged 10 or 11.

He said he told one of the brothers that he had been “hurt”.

Someone told him “they would sort it out” so the victim felt safe when he went back to church the following day.

But Farrell pulled his pants down at the altar and raped him.

“It felt like hours,” the victim said.

He said Farrell had threatened to kill him and his family if he told anyone about what had happened.

The former priest also molested three young girls. On one occasion he fondled the vagina of a little girl while she was at the dinner table with her family.

“The offender continued this conduct throughout the course of the meal during which he was engaging in conversation with other members of the family at the table,” Judge Zahra said.

Another victim, who was aged between nine and 11, was in Farrell’s bedroom at the presbytery when he was sexually assaulted with a toothbrush.

“I just want you to tell me if this hurts” or “how does this feel”, Farrell said at the time.

The victim cried and screamed out in pain.

Farrell was not suspended from public ministry until 1992.

His jail term will expire in 2044 but he will be eligible for parole in June 2033.


 

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


McGuire: ‘Idiots’ were sucked in

 swan and cloke story 2 swan and cloke story

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Dane Swan and girlfriend Taylor Wilson.

Travis Cloke and Rebeccah Panozza. Picture: Alex Coppel

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

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


Collingwood stars Dane Swan and Travis Cloke in nude photo leak

Travis Cloke and Dane Swan.

KARA IRVING, AAP Herald Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travis Cloke.

Travis Cloke.Source:News Corp Australia

Dane Swan.

Dane Swan.Source:News Corp Australia

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

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

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

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


 

Andrew Johns is a disgrace and an embarrassment. He has proven so time and time again!


ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

Some things (ungrateful millionaire ex player and media star)  DO NOT CHANGE

How long does the old boys club protect and support tools like him? There are too many better deserving to be in the spotlight than the likes of Andrew Johns.

Channel Nine dumps Andrew Johns from grand final day broadcast following drunken airport incident

Michael Carayannis and Michael Chammas

Channel Nine stands down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s NRL grand final broadcast following an intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Channel Nine has stood down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s grand final broadcast following the intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Johns, a regular member of Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, wasn’t included on the panel leading into the grand final coverage on Sunday.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster. Photo: Facebook / Helen Wright

He has also been told he will not be part of the broadcast of the all-Queensland grand final between the Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the former Newcastle halfback, who is deep in negotiations with Fox Sports about joining his brother Matthew at the pay TV network.

It also comes a fortnight after fellow Channel Nine rugby league commentator Brett Finch checked himself into rehabilitation following a stint back in April.

It comes after Johns was accused of “disgusting and disgraceful” behaviour, photographed lying on the floor at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport on Friday night after allegedly propositioning a married woman, who labelled Johns’ behaviour “a very bad example”.

Helen Wright, who later received an apology from the rugby league immortal, detailed Johns’ behaviour on Facebook, saying: “I wish that football commentators [had] more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public”.

“This is not an example that should be presented to children that were present! Many of the children had taken photos of him passed out. My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game. But not this aspect of the game. Regards Helen Wright.”


Andrew Johns apologises for ‘disgraceful’ behaviour at airport – after getting ‘drunk and making sexually explicit comments to a mum of three before passing out’

  • NRL immortal Andrew Johns has been accused of drunk behaviour
  • The formal NRL player allegedly passed out at Toowoomba airport
  • Helen Wright shared a photo of Johns on the floor on social media 
  • The mother-of-three claims he tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment
  • Ms Wright told Daily Mail Australia he has already called to apologise 

By Lucy Thackray for Daily Mail Australia

22:30 EST, 3 October 2015

A woman has accused former NRL player Andrew Johns of ‘disgusting behaviour’, alleging he was drunk and disorderly at an airport and tried to kiss her before passing out on the floor.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media.

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night.

The mother-of-three tells Daily Mail Australia Mr Johns made contact with her on Saturday, ringing to apologise if his behaviour had offended her.

The 42-year-old says while waiting for a delayed flight, Johns tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment when she refused.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night

‘When I refused to kiss him and replied I was happily married and had three sons his question to me was “did you have a cesarean birth?’

‘Disgusting, disgraceful and a very bad example for all to see.

‘Then he proceeded to pass out on the floor of the airport,’ she alleges.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them.

‘I wish that football commentators have more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public,’ Ms Wright posted.

‘This is not an example that should have been presented to children that were present!’

‘My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game.

‘But not this aspect of the game.’

Daily Mail Australia made numerous attempts to contact Andrews Johns’ management.

Channel Nine declined to comment.

The all Queensland NRL grand final will be held in Sydney on Sunday night.

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them


Problem after problem after problem

Ecstasy use controversy

On 26 August 2007 Johns was arrested for fare evasion on the London Underground, and subsequently found to be in possession of one ecstasy tablet. He was cautioned and released with no further charges. Johns initially claimed that an unknown person had pushed the tablet into his pocket which he later forgot to remove before leaving the crowded venue. This initial statement was met with a great deal of cynicism from both the press and the public. On 30 August, Johns revealed, live on the Footy Show, that he had regularly taken ecstasy throughout his playing career, mainly during the off-season. He claimed he had suffered from depression and bipolar disorder and the drugs helped him in dealing with the high level of psychological ‘pressure’ associated with his career as an elite sportsman Not long after the incident he released his ‘tell-all’ autobiography that went into further details regarding his depression and drug use while playing in the NRL.

The ARU released a press statement shortly after the controversy arose, stating that Johns’ drug use was known to the ARU and was a key factor in its decision to not proceed with contractual negotiations in 2004. Brett Robinson, then high-performance unit manager, said that, as well as Johns’ age and injury history, the knowledge of his drug taking had been influential in the ARU making its final decision.

When Johns was named the Best Player of the Last 30 Years in early 2008, the accolade allayed concern that Johns’ shock drug admission the year before had tarnished his remarkable efforts on the field for Newcastle, NSW and Australia. On receiving the award he was quoted as saying his health was now in great shape. “I’m at the best place I have been in a long time,” he said. “It’s not until you step away that I realise all the pressure I was under, I’m not going to miss playing at all.”
Racism controversy

In June 2010 during the lead-up to Origin II, New South Wales centre Timana Tahu withdrew mid-week from the NSW squad following reports Johns referred to Queensland player Greg Inglis as a “black cunt” during a training session.Johns was subsequently fired from his role as NSW assistant coach. Though he apologised for the incident on Tuesday 15 June,it is alleged it was not the first time Johns had used racist language in a football environment. Inglis has since demanded Johns be barred from any involvement in rugby league.

More Joyous Scandal

Johns was the catalyst to the More Joyous Scandal, engulfing leading Sydney horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, larrikin advertising figure John Singleton (racehorse More Joyous’s owner) and bookmaker and son of the horse trainer Tom Waterhouse. Johns passed information from Tom Waterhouse that horse More Joyous was “off” on to brothel owner Eddie Hayson and former jockey Allan Robinson. Singleton received word of this and, while visibly inebriated, verbally attacked Gai Waterhouse on live television. Johns feared his Channel 9 commentating career would be over due to the trouble he caused Tom Waterhouse, a Channel 9 advertiser. Johns’s commentating career survived, although his reputation was further damaged. Both Waterhouses were cleared of any major wrongdoing by a Racing NSW inquiry, however, Singleton and Gai’s longstanding partnership ended.



Nigel Lake suspended from WA Upper House, arrested carrying baseball bat, balaclava, police say


I wonder who this bloke was allegedly going to whack sneaking around with a baseball bat, in all black, latex gloves with balaclava in hand? Strangely, he was caught right near his bosses house! Some people just must be happy with a measly $166,000 a year job. More to come in Court March 18, 2015. This has been kept quiet since mid feb mind you when it happened. WA Politics just keeps on giving…

around By Graeme Powell and Andrew O’Connor

Police in Perth say the deputy clerk of the Legislative Council, Nigel Lake, was wearing latex gloves and carrying a baseball bat and a balaclava when he was arrested last month.

Police in Perth say the deputy clerk of the Legislative Council, Nigel Lake, was wearing latex gloves and carrying a baseball bat and a balaclava when he was arrested last month.

Police in Perth say the deputy clerk of the Legislative Council, Nigel Lake, was wearing latex gloves and carrying a baseball bat and a balaclava when he was arrested last month.

A police car patrolling the suburb of City Beach on the night of February 17 saw a man acting suspiciously on foot and stopped him.

It was alleged he was wearing a black hoodie, latex gloves, black pants and black shoes and was carrying a baseball bat and balaclava.

 

Lake, 49, was charged with possessing a controlled weapon and possessing a disguise intended for use in connection with committing an offence.

Police said further investigations led them to charge him with installing and using a tracking device.

Police would not reveal the identity of a potential target.

Lake was stopped near the home of his boss Nigel Pratt – the Clerk of the Legislative Council.

Mr Pratt was the deputy clerk of Tasmania’s Upper House from 2007 to 2013.

Lake has been stood down from his $166,000-a-year job pending his court appearance on March 18.

Legislative Council president Barry House said he took immediate action to suspend Lake when police notified him of the charges.

“We also took immediate steps to notify the CCC [Crime and Corruption Commission] because he’s a public official, and we’ve fully cooperated with police in the investigation.”

Lake acting clerk until Nigel Pratt appointed

Mr House said Mr Pratt had been appointed to the position in February 2014 after interviews with a “number of candidates” in November and December the previous year.

Lake had been acting in the role of Clerk of the Legislative Council until Mr Pratt’s appointment.

Mr House said there was nothing unusual about the hiring process.

“That was a perfectly normal process,” he said.

I just find it bizarre, simple as that. It’s a bit like a Monty Python episode, isn’t it?

WA Premier Colin Barnett

“We received several applications and we conducted interviews. A decision was made and the clerk was duly appointed.”

Mr House would not confirm that Lake was one of the applicants considered for the position.

He said no appeal had lodged against the appointment by any other applicant.

Like a Monty Python episode: Premier

Arriving at Parliament, Premier Colin Barnett expressed bewilderment at the turn of events.

“I just find it bizarre, simple as that,” he said.

“It’s a bit like a Monty Python episode, isn’t it?”

He said he was told of the arrest a couple of weeks ago.

Liberal Legislative Council member Robyn McSweeney said she was “absolutely appalled” while Police Minister Liza Harvey said she was surprised.

“However, you’re probably aware in my portfolio I get lots of surprises and lots of reports of strange goings on every day of the week,” she said.

Greens MP Lynn MacLaren said she was stunned to learn Lake was facing charges.

“It’s just shocking to hear this news,” she said.

“I think anyone would be shocked to find out that someone they work with every day has found themselves caught up in the law in this way.”

Greens Legislative Ms McLaren said there was no hint of any problem in her dealings with Lake.

“I thought he was very helpful in the council. He gives us advice on petitions, so he’s been very helpful and efficient in the advice that he’s provided,” she said.

Liberal Upper House MP Alyssa Hayden shared the disbelief of her Parliamentary colleagues.

“I’m blown away. Totally blown away,” she said.

Sydney terror raid-Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, arrested, hunting knife and flag seized


Omar al-Kutobi, a computer science student, and Mohammad Kiad, who moved into the property only last year

Omar al-Kutobi, a computer science student, and Mohammad Kiad, who moved into the property only last year

Friggin wannabe terrorists or facebook heroes by the look of them. Do not be deceived though, this is real and current and can bee happening in your very own street…Obviously they were not very clever pre posting a video leading to their arrest, amateurs really. But that is the way of the lone wolf it seems.

Sydney terror raid: Two men arrested, hunting knife and flag seized

Machete, flag and video found in terror raid
  • Two men arrested at Fairfield home hours before atrocity, say police
  • Machete, large hunting knife and IS flag seized.
  • Video, allegedly featuring one of the men, referred to IS attack
  • Neighbours described their ‘disbelief’ and ‘fear’
  • Premier Mike Baird said details of the plot were ‘beyond disturbing’

THE two men arrested in terror raids yesterday had been living in a small granny flat at the back of a share house in Fairfield, where neighbours today spoke of their disbelief.

Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, were arrested at the flat on Riverview Rd, Fairfield about 4pm yesterday by the Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce after a receiving information that an attack was imminent.

Police allege the pair had armed themselves with a machete and large hunting knife and were due to carry out a terror attack yesterday before police swooped.

Mohammad Kiad was arrested at his Fairfield home yesterday. Pitcutre: Supplied.

Mohammad Kiad. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Omar al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad. Pitcutre: Supplied.

Mohammad Kiad and Omar al-Kutobi. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Terror suspect Mohammad Kiad. Pitcutre: Supplied.

Omar al-Kutobi, a computer science student, and Mohammad Kiad, who moved into the property only last year. Pitcutre: Supplied. Source: Supplied

THE NEIGHBOUR

Roberto Macatangay has lived in a caravan at the back of the property and said he knew Mr Al-Kutobi, a computer science student, for about three years.

He said Mohammad Kiad moved into the property only last year.

“I’m scared that I’m living with these people, “ Mr Macatangay said. “They seemed to be really nice. They were sarcastic people but I didn’t mind that. We used to joke about religion, about Mohammad and Jesus Christ.”

The granny flat and car on Riverview street in Fairfield. Picture: Supplied

The granny flat and car on Riverview street in Fairfield. Picture: Supplied Source: News Corp Australia

The granny flat in Fairfield where two men hatched a plot to carry out a terror plot. Pic

The granny flat in Fairfield where two men hatched a plot to carry out a terror plot. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

The Fairfield house from the outside. Picture: Google

The Fairfield house from the outside. Picture: Google Source: Supplied

Mr Macatangay said he did not believe Kiad worked full-time, but may have been studying for a forklift licence, and often visited a nearby recreational centre to do weight-lifting.

The 25-year-old has permanent residency in Australia and Al-Kutobi was granted Australian citizenship last year, he said.

 They don’t mingle much
Manueal Abello, tenant in the main house 

On his Facebook site, Kiad listed himself as married but Mr Macatangay said the couple separated last year when he moved in with Al-Kutobi.

Neighbour Roberto Macatangay said he was ‘scared’ living next to two terror suspects. Pic

Neighbour Roberto Macatangay said he was ‘scared’ living next to two terror suspects. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Inside the Fairfield granny flat raided by police yesterday. Two men have been charged wi

Inside the Fairfield granny flat raided by police yesterday. Two men have been charged with plotting a terror attack. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

The facade of the granny flat where the plan was hatched. Picture: Supplied.

The facade of the granny flat where the plan was hatched. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Corp Australia

Mr Macatangay, a pensioner who moved to Australia from Hong Kong three years ago, said he was at home when heavily armed police stormed the property yesterday afternoon.

They carried out a search warrant at the property, sifting through the granny flat and Mohammad’s car, parked in the street, until the early hours of this morning.

“I was totally surprised and really scared because the gun was pointing at me,” Mr Macatangay said.

“I was watching TV in my caravan and suddenly the electrics turned off. I saw the police, they had their faces covered up with helmet and heavy machine gun. I didn’t know what was happening.

“They asked me about the people living there.”

The small, white granny flat remained locked yesterday. A small religious prayer flag could be seen hanging in a back room of the flat, along with study books, clothes and drawers that had been pulled out and left on the floor.

A car belonging to one of the two men charged with plotting a terror attack remains on th

A car belonging to one of the two men charged with plotting a terror attack remains on the street after being searched by police. Source: News Corp Australia

THE TENANT AND THE OWNER

The owner of the property said Kiad and Al-Kutobi rented the two-bedroom granny flat at the back of the property for about $200 a week.

She said she had never been inside as they always kept it locked up.

Manuel Abello, a tenant in the main house, said the pair were nice but very private.

“They don’t mingle much,” he said.

“I never expected this at all. They are quite nice. Very rarely they have guests.” Kiad’s car is still parked out the front of the Fairfield property, with finger printing dust the only tell-tale signs of the police search on Tuesday.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn and Australian Federal Police Deputy Commis

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn and Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan address the media. Picture: AAP Image/Ava Benny-Morrison. Source: AAP

THE LAW

Police raided the men’s home and searched a car and where they work. Both men were charged with undertaking acts in preparation of planning a terrorist act and will face court this morning.

A number of items were seized in the raids including a machete, a hunting knife, a home-made flag representing terrorist organisation IS and a video which depicted a man talking about carrying out an attack.

Fairfield Local Court heard the pair have spoken with a lawyer, but he is unavailable to appear for them in court today.

The pair’s legal aid lawyer didn’t apply for bail on the mens’ behalf and it was formally refused by magistrate Vivien Swain. The men did not appear in court after asking not to be brought up from the cells.

Commonwealth DPP prosecutor Michael Allnut, centre, arriving at Fairfield court today whe

Commonwealth DPP prosecutor Michael Allnut, centre, arriving at Fairfield court today where two men appeared on terror charges. Picture: Ross Schultz Source: News Corp Australia

Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told the court the matter should be moved to Central Local Court due to “security issues.”

 We believe the men were potentially going to….kill somebody
Catherine Burn 

Two sheriffs officers today were searching bags and scanning every person who entered the complex ahead of the appearance of the two men.

Magistrate Vivienne Swain adorned the case until tomorrow, when both bail applications are expected to be heard.

A terror plot foiled last year allegedly involved kidnapping a person from Martin Place a

A terror plot foiled last year allegedly involved kidnapping a person from Martin Place and executing them. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

The men will be assisted in their applications by an Arabic interpreter.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said it will be alleged that the two were going to undertake an act of terrorism in Australia as revenge for incidents overseas.

“What we are going to allege is consistent with the IS messaging,” she said.

“We believe that the men were potentially going to harm somebody, maybe even kill somebody, and potentially using one of the items that we identified and recovered yesterday, potentially a knife.”

She added that police will allege the attack was due to be carried out yesterday, with a video shaping to be a key piece of evidence.

Police do not know the nature of the alleged terrorist’s target but urged people to remain vigilant, whether that be police, military or the general public.

“And a really, really important message about that vigilance is that everybody needs to remain alert and no matter what that piece of information is, it is really helpful,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

Marcia Mikhael crying while holding a flag inside the Lindt Cafe. Souce: Channel 7.

Marcia Mikhael crying while holding a flag inside the Lindt Cafe. Source: Channel 7. Source: Channel 7

The pair were not known to police, and police say they were only made aware of the planned activity recently.

AFP deputy commissioner Michael Phelan said the threat was acted on as quickly as possible.

Premier Mike Baird said he could not comment on what the accused terrorists were planning, but said it was “beyond disturbing”.

“I was very concerned. You can’t help but be on edge given the events that we have seen last December, the events we’ve seen around the world. This is an ongoing battle, an ongoing fight,” Mr Baird said.

The Premier thanked police for foiling the terror plot.

Police in a previous raid last year spoke of a plot to behead someone in Martin Place. It is understood that alleged plot involved abducting a random Australian, executing them by beheading in a public place, possibly Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD, and filming the act and posting it on social media.

Australian fugitive Khaled Sharrouf who fled Australia to fight with Islamic extremist in

Australian fugitive Khaled Sharrouf who fled Australia to fight with Islamic extremist insurgents in Syria seen with other ISIS extremists. Source: News Corp Australia

 Story by

Four men arrested over shooting attack at Sydney Rebels clubhouse


Tue 25 Nov 2014, 6:45pm

Man arrested at Bringelly

A 39-year-old man was arrested at Bringelly, in Sydney’s west. (Supplied: NSW Police)

 What a fine specimen, but who cares, it is what they get up to that matters. One by one let them be put away!
Related Story: Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

Four members of the Rebels bikie gang have been arrested over the shooting and assault of a fellow gang member in Sydney earlier this year, police say.

Detectives allege the men were involved in shooting a man three times in the leg outside a Rebels clubhouse in Minchinbury, in Sydney’s west, in July.

The 33-year-old victim was then allegedly attacked after he tried to run away.

This morning, a 39-year-old man was arrested at his Bringelly home and charged with discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participating in a criminal group.

Police said they also seized Rebels paraphernalia, cash and a vehicle from the man’s home.

Later, two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested at Silverwater and charged with the same offences.

They were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court tomorrow.

Another man, 37, was arrested during a car stop at Penrith and taken to Penrith police station, where he remains in custody.

The arrests follow the formation of Strike Force Rooftop within the State Crime Command to investigate the attack.

“All those arrested are members of the Rebels,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.”


Rebels member charged over shooting of another member – Gangs Squad

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:36:46 PM

Gangs Squad detectives have now charged a member of Rebels with the shooting and assault of another member in Minchinbury earlier this year.

Police will allege that shortly after 8pm on Monday 7 July 2014, a 33-year-old member of the Rebels was shot as he walked into an industrial unit on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury – the clubhouse of the Rebels Mt Druitt chapter.

After being shot three times in the leg, the man attempted to flee the location but was chased down by three men and attacked as he lay on the roadway on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury.

Police and emergency services were called to the location and the 33-year-old was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been released.

Detectives from State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad formed Strike Force Rooftop to investigate the incident and this morning (Tuesday 25 November 2014) arrested a 39-year-old man at a home at Bringelly.

During a search warrant, officers seized cash, Rebels paraphernalia and a vehicle for further examination.

The senior member of the Mt Druitt chapter of the Rebels was taken to Green Valley Police Station and charged with discharge firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participate in a criminal group.

He was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

9:20amTue 8 Jul 2014, 9:20am

A man with links to the Rebels bikie gang has been shot in an attack at Minchinbury in Sydney’s west.

The 33-year-old was found with several bullet wounds to his thigh, outside the Rebels clubhouse in Grex Avenue about 8:30pm (AEST) on Monday.

Police said he was shot after entering the clubhouse then bashed by a group of men.

He has been taken to Westmead Hospital where he is in a serious condition.

As a result of the shooting, heavily armed police from the Tactical Operations Unit raided the clubhouse just after 11pm but no arrests were made.

Police said anyone with information about the shooting, or anyone who witnessed the attack, should contact them.

This morning, an ABC News crew that turned up to film the crime scene was threatened by gang members.

Police reporter Lucy Carter said they were told to stop filming.

“Several men are guarding the entrance to the Rebels clubhouse, telling me and my ABC camera crew to f*** off and switch off our equipment or else,” she said.

She said two police cars, including the dog squad had now arrived.

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