News in 5: Mum of teen murderer speaks; Year 12 results leaked; 4-yo drowns in public pool.

1. ‘What did I miss?’ Mum of teen who murdered her own grandfather speaks for the first time.

Relatives of a Queensland woman who admitted murdering her grandfather say they’ll forever question whether they missed warning signs that could have prevented the horrific killing.

Brittney Dwyer, 20, last year drove to Adelaide with the intention of robbing pensioner Robert Whitwell of $114,000 in cash he kept at his home.

However, Dwyer ended up stabbing the 81-year-old to death and both she and friend Bernadette Burns, 22, have pleaded guilty to his murder.

Dwyer’s mother, Tonya, describes her daughter as strong-willed, adventurous and a “tomboy” growing up, but now questions whether she should have picked up on changes.

“What are the signs that I missed?” she told Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program.

“What didn’t I see?”

Brittney’s brother, Ryan Whitwell-Dwyer, also struggles to understand his sister’s motivation.

“I think about what I could’ve done to stop it,” he said.

Prosecutors have described the killing as “almost sociopathic in style” and court documents reveal Dwyer inexplicably washed the dishes as her grandfather died.

Previous hearings have also revealed she was motivated, to an extent, by the gruesome US series American Horror Story.

Dwyer formed a bond with high-school friend Shelby Lee Holmes after isolating herself as a teenager.

Mrs Dwyer says her daughter and Holmes were “a little bit dark” and would visit cemeteries and constantly text one another.


“Never did I think she was dark like that, talking about… blood and knives and slitting throats,” she said.

Holmes was involved in an initial bungled attempt to break into Mr Whitwall’s property but denies she could have warned the family of Dwyer’s sinister intentions.

Mrs Dwyer said she tried to warn her father not to keep the large sum of money at his house but he dismissed the concerns, which were overheard by Brittney.

“If there is any of the older generation that are keeping large sums of money at home, please don’t do that,” she said.

“It’s not safe.”

Dwyer and Burns are due to be sentenced this month, with Tonya telling Sunday Night‘s Melissa Doyle her daughter deserves “20 years in jail”.

“She did the crime. She admitted to it. She pleaded guilty,” she said.

“I have lost two people, I have lost my dad and I have lost my daughter, and I don’t know if I will ever understand the whole story.”

2. Online glitch sees false results of Queensland Year 12 students leaked weeks early.

Thousands of Queensland students were left confused when a computer glitch meant the results of their final exams were released online two weeks ahead of schedule.

According to The Courier Mail, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority admitted preliminary results of the Core Skills test were visible to some students for several hours on Saturday morning, despite the results not due to be officially released until November 15.


The marks – ranging from A to E – are used ‘behind the scenes’ to scale a student’s OP calculation, which is then used to rank students for entrance to courses at universities and other tertiary institutions.

Students who logged onto their accounts Saturday morning were able to see the grade for the Core Skills Test – sat by all students in the state – and word quickly spread online of the glitch.

The website was deactivated a few hours later, and students were advised to ignore the marks they had been given online until they were re-published on the official release date.

Most senior Queensland students still have final exams to sit this week, and many parents are outraged that the error had occurred, calling it an unwelcome distraction during what should be a time of intense study.

“It’s a problem for everyone going into the final week of exams, as it has just taken the focus off studying this weekend,” one Brisbane mum told The Courier Mail.

QCAA chief executive Chris Ridler has since apologised for the “error” and stated that any results “recently accessed online are preliminary only”.

3. Four-year-old girl drowns “in a matter of seconds” at public pool in New South Wales.

A family and community are in mourning after a four-year-old girl was found motionless on the bottom of a pool at the Orange Aquatic Centre on Saturday afternoon.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mia Harrison was not yet able to swim and drowned despite being surrounded by other adults and children at the public swimming facility.

The girl’s family and lifeguards made attempts to revive her at the scene before she was taken to Orange Base Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.


Her mother, Mekaela Harrison, has described her daughter’s death as a “terrible accident” and is unsure whether her daughter “slipped” or was “knocked over” before she drowned.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the thoughts of the community were with the family.

Staff have been offered counselling as local police review CCTV footage, urging any witnesses to come forward.

“If I can save one other child by telling parents not to take your eyes off them for one second, and teach them to swim as soon as you can, when they are babies,” Ms Harrison told The Daily Telegraph.

“If I can stop this from happening for anyone else, that’s one tiny thing I can take from this.”

4. It turns out Bachelor winner Anna Heinrich didn’t Photoshop her Insta pics. It was just an optical illusion.

Our very first Bachelor winner, Anna Heinrich, was trying to have a delightful weekend at Derby Day in Melbourne.

Being the fashionista she is, she decided to share a snap from the day to her 303,000 Instagram followers…only to be accused of Photoshopping the picture.

You see, Anna is slinging a handbag over her shoulder in the snap, but some were quick to point out that the portion of the strap at the front of her arm had mysteriously disappeared.

Cue cries that the 30-year-old had digitally altered her snap.

But the winner of Tim Robards’ heart was quick to nonsense the claims, sharing on her Instagram story that it was all a trick of the eye.


The original pic had been saved as a Live Photo, which captures three seconds of video each time a photo is taken – essentially creating a moving picture. And in it, yep, the strap is missing. Trippy.

5. Rates of gonorrhoea among young heterosexual men and women have soared by 63 per cent in just five years.

Rates of gonorrhoea among young heterosexual men and women have soared while the numbers of new HIV cases have remained “stubbornly” stable over the last five years, a new study has found.

The latest surveillance report on Australia’s sexual health, released by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney on Monday, shows diagnoses of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea have increased by 63 per cent since 2011, AAP reports.

There has also been a resurgence of the STI syphilis, particularly among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in regional and remote areas of Northern Australia.

Associate Professor Rebecca Guy, head of the Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Program at the Kirby Institute says reducing the rates of STIs among Australia’s young adults must be a priority of national awareness campaigns.

“Up until recently, gonorrhoea had been uncommon in young heterosexual people living in major cities. Rising rates in this group highlight the need for initiatives to raise awareness among clinicians and young people about the importance of testing,” said Prof Guy.

The report shows there were 1013 new HIV diagnoses in 2016. This compares with 1027 in 2015 and 1084 in 2014. While HIV rates have not increased the data is still a concern for the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.


Of the more than 1000 new cases, 46 were identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This is more than double the rate in non-indigenous Australian-born people, says AFAO CEO Darryl O’Donnell.

Experts say it’s essential that people establish a relationship with their doctor so they feel comfortable to ask for a sexual health check-up.

6. Trump’s former national security advisor could be the next person charged in the ongoing Russia investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has collected sufficient evidence to charge Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, and his son, NBC News reports, citing multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

On Sunday NBC News said Mueller’s team is looking at possible money laundering charges, lying to federal agents, and Flynn’s role in a possible plan to remove an opponent of the Turkish president from the United States in exchange for millions of dollars.

Mueller is increasing pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, NBC News said.

Flynn served 24 days as Trump’s national security adviser but was fired after it was discovered he had misrepresented his contacts with a Russian diplomat to Vice President Michael Pence.

Barry Coburn, a lawyer for the younger Flynn, declined to comment. Robert Kelner, Flynn’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NBC said that Mueller’s office also declined comment.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report.

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