1. Boy dies in Santa’s arms.
A Santa Claus impersonator has told the heart-breaking story of a terminally-ill five-year-old boy dying in his arms when he visited him in hospital.
Eric Schmitt-Matzen, from Knoxville, Tennessee, who works as a part-time Santa impersonator, had been called by a nurse to short notice at the boy’s hospital bedside, News.com.au reports.
The boy and the man had been having a conversation about him being Santa’s “number one elf” when he passed away, Mr Schmitt-Matzen said.
“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’”
“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.
“Everyone outside the room realised what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.”
Mr Schmitt-Matzen said he left the room in floods of tears and considered stopping his Santa gig after the heart-breaking experience.
However, after making another appearance he decided to carry on.
“When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realise the role I have to play. For them and for me.”
2. Sadistic father jailed for 19 years after torturing children.
A “sadistic” father who tortured and sexually abused four children at a remote South Australian property has been jailed for up to 25 years, according to AAP.
The man sexually assaulted his children, but also locked them in cages, tied them to trees and slammed their fingers in doors, a court has heard.
The abuse was committed over more than a decade at his house north of Port Augusta.
The 43-year-old was found guilty of his crimes, and on Monday sentenced to at least 19 years in prison.
3. SA police force hit with rape claims.
A damning report has rocked South Australia’s police force, with claims of rape and other sex attacks within its ranks.
One in three employees has been sexually harassed, according to the report, prompting SA Police Commission Grant Stephens to apologise and promise radical changes.
The report surveyed 2000 employees, and found that 20 employees said they were victims of sexual assault, including rape, in the past five years.