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News in 5: Dad's warning after girl’s death; Fake cancer woman jailed; Family kidnapping charges.

-With AAP

1. Grieving dad issues warning to parents after toddler died just 300m from home.


The family of a three-year-old toddler who died after being hit by a ute on a Perth Highway urged other parents to check their locks in order to avoid another tragedy.

Angel Atkins died after wandering from her Gosnells home about 6am on March 23 while her parents were asleep. She was struck by a Toyota Hilux on Albany Highway about 300 metres from the rented property and suffered critical injuries.

Her father Wayne Atkins told Seven News the tragedy could have been avoided. He said Angel was able to twist the lock on the home’s front door and wander from the house because it wasn’t fitted with a deadlock and they did not have a key for the security screen.

Consumer Protection spokesperson David Hillyard said landlords were legally required to provide a deadlock on a front door or a triple lock security door.

Wayne appealed to other parents to check their locks to make sure the standard was being met.

He held no malice towards the 30-year-old driver who struck his daughter.

“I’ve got no hatred for him,” he said.

2. Adelaide woman jailed after faking a cancer diagnosis to scam family and friends.

Kelly Val Smith “created a fanciful world” to scam tens of thousands of dollars from her family and friends over a fake cancer diagnosis and other lies.

The Adelaide woman told her victims she had ovarian cancer, that her son needed a serious heart operation and that she was to get a $1 million victims of crime payout.

She duped some into buying expensive properties on a promise she would gift them large sums of money, in one case $2 million.

She also convinced the same person to cover the $97,000 cost of booking a 70-person suite for an event in Melbourne.

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In sentencing on Wednesday, South Australian District Court Chief Judge Michael Evans said Smith had told a string of lies over an extended period of time in her desire to be liked.

“You created a fanciful world that gave you empowerment,” Judge Evans said in reference to a psychological assessment of the 40-year-old.

“However, you were unable to control it.”

Judge Evans said Smith’s offending between 2012 and 2015 breached friendships as she preyed on people who had no reason not to trust her.

“Your offending was elaborate and yet unsophisticated. It was consistent and persistent over a long period of time,” he said.

“You lied for your own financial advantage and also in an attempt to be liked and accepted.”

At one stage Smith covered up her lack of funds with the excuse that her bank account had been frozen after being hacked.

She apologised for her actions but Judge Evans said it was difficult to accept that she was genuinely contrite given her late guilty pleas and her failure to repay most of the money.

One of her victims, Michelle Ingley-Smith said she didn’t believe Smith was sorry for what she had done, describing the apology read to the court as disingenuous.

“Her actions were evil as far as we are concerned,” Ms Ingley-Smith told reporters outside court.

“She has dragged us through a system in which we’ve finally seen justice prevail.”

Judge Evans jailed Smith for four years and 19 days and imposed a non-parole period of two years.

3. Three men charged with kidnapping a NSW mother, grandmother and children.

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A NSW mother trying to flee a broken relationship was kidnapped by her ex-partner, who also snatched her children and their grandmother, police allege.

It’s claimed the 41-year-old travelled with her two boys, aged 13 and 14, to her mother’s house in Ootha, near Condobolin to escape a “deteriorating” relationship with 44-year-old Jason Scott McKay.

Three men went to the house early on Tuesday morning and allegedly assaulted a 68-year-old male occupant and knocked him unconscious.

He was bound and left in a back room while two of the attackers poured petrol throughout the residence and set it alight, detectives say.

The man regained consciousness and raised the alarm, having been unable to find his 71-year-old partner, her 41-year-old daughter and two grandsons.

A manhunt was launched and on Tuesday evening the 71-year-old and two boys escaped from their alleged kidnappers near Windsor in Sydney’s northwest.

McKay’s 23-year-old son, Adam Thomas McKay, and Samuel Towney, 29, were arrested near Sackville shortly after.

Jason McKay and his 41-year-old ex-partner were found in bushland about 20km north of Windsor a few hours later.

Adam McKay, Towney and Jason McKay were charged with a string of offences including destroy/damage building by fire with intent to murder.

Towney and Adam McKay did not make an application for bail and it was formally refused in Penrith Local Court on Wednesday.

They are expected to appear in Parkes Local Court on December 17.

Jason McKay was refused bail and is expected to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Thursday.

The 68-year-old man is recovering in Orange Base Hospital.

Anyone needing help is urged to call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

4. Religious schools may be given power to reject students or teachers based on sexuality.

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A long-awaited review into religious freedoms in Australia does not recommend any changes to the basis on which faith-based schools can reject students or teachers, the attorney-general has confirmed.

Some states – but not all – already allow schools to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

Commonwealth laws also contain some provisions to permit faith-based schools to exercise this discretion.

A Fairfax Media report suggested a religious freedoms review recommended the right be enshrined in the federal Sex Discrimination Act to ensure a consistent national approach.

The review’s panel, chaired by former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock, said it accepted the right of schools to select or preference students who uphold their religious convictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison played down the proposal on Wednesday, saying such exemptions to anti-discrimination laws already exist.

“We’re not proposing to change that law to take away that existing arrangement,” he told reporters on the NSW Central Coast.

Attorney-General Christian Porter later clarified that no changes to the current arrangement, created by Labor in 2013, are proposed in the report.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he can’t believe the prime minister hasn’t ruled out the “silly” idea completely.

“The fact is every child is entitled to human dignity. We shouldn’t even be having this debate,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne, demanding the government release the report.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Labor’s concerns about discrimination against children were jumping the gun, insisting the government would “get the balance right” and leave existing laws untouched.

But Special Minister of State Alex Hawke strongly supports the proposal, saying it is up to individual Christian schools to negotiate their handling of gay students.

The Ruddock review was commissioned after the 2017 national same-sex marriage vote and handed to the government several months ago, but is yet to be released.

Gay rights activists have slammed the proposal as a shameful assault on equality.

5. Victims of faulty breast implants in France have been granted a new appeal hearing.

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France’s top court has granted a group of victims of faulty breast implants a new hearing in their case against the German company that certified the manufacturing process.

The Court of Cassation overturned a 2015 judgement by an appeals court in Aix-en-Provence, which ruled that TUeV Rheinland had fulfilled its obligations under European law.

French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), now defunct, made the implants using cheaper industrial silicon instead of medical-grade silicon. The fraud was discovered in a check by French authorities, who recommended that all women with the implants should have them removed.

In an initial 2013 judgement, a commercial court ruled that TUeV Rheinland, which had awarded the company European CE mark certification, and its French subsidiary were liable.

It ordered them to pay 3000 euros (A$4873) each as preliminary damages to almost 1700 plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas was jailed for four years in 2013 over the implants, with French criminal courts ruling that TUeV Rheinland was itself a victim of the fraud.

In a separate case taken by victims in Germany, the German Federal Court of Justice last year ruled that TUeV Rheinland was not liable.

Wednesday’s ruling said the French appeals court had not addressed the plaintiffs’ argument that TUeV Rheinland should have realised that PIP had not purchased enough medical-grade silicon for the quantity of implants it was selling.

The appeals court had also failed to properly address possible influence by PIP over TUeV Rheinland’s French subsidiary, it said.

The appeal will now be heard again by the Paris Court of Appeal.

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