news

For five weeks in 2016, Belle Gibson held a secret job at a Melbourne strip club, & more in News in 5.

– With AAP.

1. For five weeks in 2016, Belle Gibson held a secret job at a Melbourne strip club.

During a court appearance yesterday, Belle Gibson continued her claim that she had absolutely no idea where her finances were coming from.

The 27-year-old, who was fined $410,000 after breaching consumer law, appeared at the Federal Court in Melbourne on Thursday after failing to pay the fine.

The disgraced blogger claimed she had brain cancer that was cured through using natural remedies plugged in her wellness app, The Whole Pantry, and duped her Australian consumers – many of whom had cancer – out of half a million dollars.

Since being issued the fine in 2017, Gibson has not paid a single cent, even after facing several warnings. She claims she simply cannot afford to.

Throughout her appearance in court, the cancer con artist was unable to the answer the majority of the court’s questions, often claiming that she “did not remember” or she “didn’t know”.

The court heard that Gibson earned $16,000 in 2016 and $20,000 in 2017. In the past two years, however, financial analysis found that the 27-year-old has spent $91,000, including $13,000 on clothing, accessories and cosmetics and $45,000 on “discretionary” items.

When asked to explain bank deposits from a woman named Maxine, Gibson said she the money was for running errands like picking up a dress.

On Thursday night, A Current Affair reported the payment was from Maxine Fenson, the owner of one of Melbourne’s most well-known gentleman’s clubs.

Fenson told the show Gibson had undertook paid work – $25 an hour to help organise and market an adult industry awards night – for five weeks in 2016.

“She needed a job and I needed someone to help me with an event coming up,” Maxine told reporter A Current Affair.

“I didn’t really know too much (about Gibson), I knew the name but I didn’t read anything about her previously.”

When asked in court if she had considered cutting back on her spending to repay her fine, Gibson replied “no”.

Consumer Affairs now has six months to push for her to be declared bankrupt or re-examine Gibson to see if they can get the funds another way.

2. A Qld man said “sweet as” when he learned he had murdered his housemate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Siale Tinoai stabbed his housemate 200 times then replied “sweet as” to police who informed him Craig Stuart Field was dead.

Prior to the murder, Tinoai drew a picture depicting himself, wrote the words, “Craig, you’re gonna die” on it and left it on a table in their Brisbane sharehouse.

He and Mr Field, 43, shared a house for people with mental health care needs with three others in Slacks Creek in January 2013.

Their relationship began to sour after Mr Field wrongly accused Tinoai of stealing a video game.

On the day of the killing, a woman who lived on the lower floor heard heavy footsteps above, then Mr Field yell “help, help”.

She ran upstairs to see Tinoai on top of him in the lounge room and repeatedly stabbing him.

“Help me. He’s trying to kill me,” Mr Field said repeatedly.

Police and paramedics were called but Mr Field, a father of two teenage boys with intellectual disabilities, died at the scene.

Tinoai fled but was soon found by police, when he claimed Mr Field attacked him with scissors over the alleged theft of video games.

“Some c*** tried to stab me so I defended myself and killed the c***,” he told them.

“I grabbed the scissors … then I pushed him on the couch and went on him and started shanking him.”

Tinoai, 27, who also assaulted a corrective service officer and dog while in custody, was sentenced to life in jail in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday.

Justice Peter Davis opted against extending his non-parole period beyond the mandatory 20 years after considering his youth, violent upbringing and borderline personality disorder.

With time in pre-sentence custody already served, he could be released in 14-and-a-half years.

Mr Field was rendered defenceless by Tinoai sitting on his upper body as he stabbed him.

“The assault upon him was excessive, indeed gratuitous, and (he had) complete disregard for the life of another person,” crown prosecutor Mark Green said.

“There must have been some level of awareness on the part of the defendant that Mr Field had become defenceless and did not pose, in any way, a possible threat to him.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr Field died six days before a court date to determine if he was mentally well enough to get his children back from foster care.

Family members wailed as details of his death were heard.

His sister Heather Saint told the court it had put significant strain on the extended family over care arrangements for his two sons.

His son Keiran Field, who has autism and Asperger’s, said he had moved from home to home since his father died.

“That was tough. I don’t like that at all,” he said.

3. Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley faces time in prison over $200m drug plot.

He once stood tall on the podium – an elite sportsman, a world champion and Olympic silver medallist, now Nathan Baggaley faces years behind bars.

On crutches, wearing shorts and thongs, the kayaker faced a NSW court on Thursday over an alleged $200 million drug plot that ended with 600kg of cocaine tossed overboard during a sea chase off the northern NSW coast.

Baggaley, 43, had been charged with aiding or abetting the alleged 2018 cocaine importation and taken to the Byron Bay court for an extradition hearing.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy agreed to the extradition of Baggaley, who will face court in Brisbane on Friday.

His brother Dru Baggaley 36, and co-accused Anthony Trevor Draper, 54, are already before the Queensland courts over the same alleged plot.

Dru Baggaley was arrested after his inflatable boat was allegedly detected by air surveillance some 70 kilometres off Byron Bay in August 2018.

While being chased by authorities, he and Draper allegedly threw overboard about $210 million of cocaine they had picked up from a larger vessel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Packages of cocaine allegedly linked to the haul have since washed up along the Queensland coastline as far north as Bundaberg.

Nathan Baggaley was arrested after a police raid of his home and business seized cash, white powder believed to be an illicit substance and encrypted mobile phones, the Australian Border Force says.

It will be alleged the kayaker played a key role in the alleged cocaine plot, arranging the importation and paying for the boat used to collect the cocaine with money from the criminal syndicate, ABF says.

He was charged with aiding and abetting the importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

Australian Federal Police acting Detective Superintendent Melissa Northam said the joint investigation was proud to have stopped 587 kilograms of cocaine from hitting Australian streets.

“We remain determined to bring everyone involved in this plot to account,” she warned in a statement.

The trio face maximum life sentences if convicted of possessing a commercial quantity of drugs and drug importation.

4. An 82-year-old woman has been attacked by a teenage boy in Tamworth.

A teenage boy out on bail has been arrested after he allegedly broke into the NSW home of an 82-year-old woman before robbing and indecently assaulting her.

It’s believed the 14-year-old and another young male entered the Tamworth property about 5am on Wednesday, stealing cash from the woman and a tablet device.

“It’s alleged the woman was then indecently assaulted by the males,” NSW Police said in a statement on Thursday.

The pair fled after the woman sounded an alarm.

The 14-year-old was arrested at a nearby home hours later and charged with several offences, including aggravated break and enter, aggravated indecent assault and breach of bail.

He was refused bail to appear at a children’s court on Thursday.

Police are still searching for the other young male.

5. New Zealand has launched a ‘buy-back’ scheme for guns following newly-implemented weapon laws.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Zealand has launched a multimillion-dollar, six-month “buy-back” scheme to compensate owners of powerful but newly banned semi-automatic weapons prohibited in the wake of deadly attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Minister of Police Stuart Nash said in a joint emailed statement on Thursday that $NZ208 million ($A198 million) had been set aside to compensate owners of the banned semi-automatic firearms up to 95 per cent of the original cost.

They have until December 20 to hand in their weapons.

“Police have detailed plans in place for the next step, which is the collection of firearms from the community. It will be a huge logistical exercise and is expected to get under way in mid-July,” Nash said.

Parliament passed the gun reform law – the first substantial changes to the country’s gun laws in decades – by a vote of 119 to 1 in April.

The vote came less than a month after its worst-ever peacetime mass shooting in which 51 people were killed and dozens injured in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

The new curbs bar the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a certain capacity and some shotguns.

Existing gun laws had provided for a standard “A-category” gun licence covering semi-automatics limited to seven shots.

Police estimated around 14,300 military style semi-automatics would be covered by the new legislation, though the government said it was difficult to predict the exact number.

Almost 700 weapons had already been handed in before the compensation scheme was launched and almost 5,000 had been registered by owners with police while they awaited collection.

The government has also begun work on a second arms amendment bill to tackle issues regarding a gun registry, among others. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Monday that she expected the government to announce its plans for the law in the next few weeks.

With a population of just under five million, New Zealand is home to an estimated total of 1.5 million firearms, making it the country with the 17th highest rate of civilian firearm ownership in the world, according to the Small Arms Survey.

00:00 / ???