'All gone.' Up to 20 homes have been lost in out-of-control NSW bushfires, & more in news in 5.

– With AAP.

1. ‘All gone.’ Up to 20 homes have been lost in out-of-control NSW bushfires.

As many as 20 homes may have been lost in an out-of-control bushfire burning in northern NSW.

As of early Wednesday morning, the fire is burning in the area of Rappville, Wyan, The Island, Myrtle Creek, Wineshanty, and Mount Belmore State Forest.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said a number of homes in the village of Rappville, with a population of around 250 people, were destroyed when the fire ripped through the town.

“I’ve lost the bloody sheds, the house, lost everything,” Rappville resident Danny Smith told reporters on the scene.

“We might have saved the second place but everything else has gone.”

Also losing his home in the blaze was 83-year-old John Duncan.

His daughter Carol has put together a GoFundMe page to help her father who she says “lost everything except the clothes he was wearing”.

“He has nothing. He’s been a battler his entire life. And what he did have is now a pile of ashes. I feel utterly helpless,” the page reads.

Ms Duncan says her father left Canberra after “experiencing the devastating 2004 bushfires and not wanting to go through it again”.

By Wednesday morning, the page had raised more than $8800.

An evacuation centre has been set up at St Mary’s Catholic College in Casino for those who were forced to flee the Busbys Flat fire.


RFS spokesman Greg Allan told AAP firefighters were not expecting until Wednesday to see a reprieve in the hot and windy conditions they were experiencing as they battled the fire.

A blaze at Long Gully Road at Drake also tore through more than 72,000 on Tuesday.

Despite a cooler weather forecast from midweek – with temperatures expected to drop to the mid-20s – continued dry conditions meant fire dangers would not immediately fall away.

2. “Her throat was sore and burning.” Queensland mum tried to kill young daughter because she was angry at her husband.

A former policewoman attempted to murder her nine-year-old daughter using barbecue gas because she was angry at her FIFO worker husband, a court has heard.

The mother-of-three from Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was frustrated at the length of time her husband spent at his job in Darwin in August 2016.

She also felt trapped because she was financially dependent, having previously been a police officer in her native South Africa, the Brisbane Supreme Court was told on Tuesday.

The woman has been jailed for eight years for attempted murder, with parole eligibility set at three-and-a-half years, and may be deported following her prison term.

Prosecutor Jodie Woodridge said the woman, 44, lulled her daughter with a medicine-laced milkshake designed to dull her senses before concocting a tale about the pair having a sleepover in the family’s bathroom for fun.

Once the girl was asleep she closed the door and window and opened the valves of two gas bottles.

“When the (girl) woke up she heard a hissing sound and felt the air was moist,” Ms Woodridge said.

“(She) was dizzy… Her throat was sore and burning and her muscles were aching.”

The court heard the girl asked what the gas bottles were for before shutting the valves.

“The defendant replied because ‘I’m trying to kill you (girl). I am trying to kill us’,” Ms Woodridge said.

The woman returned the bottles to the shed and warned her daughter not to say anything because she would be taken away.

After he returned, the girl’s father fired up his barbecue only to find the gas bottle empty. She later told her dad why.

“When speaking to police, the (girl) said she told her father because he said he was going back to work and she was worried her mother might try something again, saying ‘I don’t really want to die’,” Ms Woodridge said.


The court heard the woman suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, a personality disorder and severe depression.

Asked why she had tried to kill her daughter, the woman, who pleaded guilty, said she was sad they had to live as they did.

She also expressed discontent about the amount of money her husband gave her, Ms Woodridge said.

In sentencing the woman, Justice Sue Brown said her daughter would have to live with the knowledge someone she had trusted and loved tried to kill her.

“The circumstances that led you to do that are affected by mental health issues you were suffering … hopefully, in time, she is going to understand that,” she said.

“And understand that it wasn’t because she did anything wrong … nor because you didn’t love her.”

The court heard it’s likely the woman will eventually be deported for poor character under section 501 of the Migration Act in 2014.

3. Prosecutors lodge High Court documents for George Pell.

Prosecutors will oppose the grounds of a High Court appeal bid by jailed pedophile cardinal George Pell.

Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday confirmed they had filed a summary of their argument in response to a special leave application from Pell, lodged last month.


Pell, 78, was found guilty by a jury of the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996, but Australia’s most senior Catholic has always denied any wrongdoing.

His 12-page application to the High Court – the first step in his final bid for freedom – included that consenting judges overseeing his previous appeal erred in their finding.

Victoria’s Court of Appeal in August upheld Pell’s convictions by two votes to one.

But his lawyers say a mistake occurred because Pell was required to prove the offending was impossible, rather than leaving that onus to prosecutors.

Secondly, they argue the judges erred in not finding the jury’s verdicts unreasonable, claiming there was reasonable doubt about whether opportunity existed for the crimes to have occurred.

They also claim that changes in law over the decades since the crimes occurred make it more difficult to test sex assault allegations.

They argue Pell should be acquitted of all charges for a number of reasons including inconsistencies in the complainant’s version of events.

But Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC has challenged Pell’s grounds in Tuesday’s summary.

The High Court will consider Pell’s special leave application documents in conjunction with Ms Judd’s submission and permit or deny the motion.

If leave is granted, Pell will need to lodge a formal appeal.

The process can take up to six months and is sometimes completed behind closed doors.

4. Sydney brothers deny mother’s manslaughter.


Two Sydney brothers accused of grossly neglecting their ailing mother, who developed infected bedsores while in her urine-soaked bed, say she died because of her own choices.

But the prosecutor at their trial said Shirley Thompson became extremely isolated after her husband’s death in 2012 and was totally dependent on her sons for her nutrition, mobility and personal hygiene.

Australian Federal Police diplomatic protection officer Phillip Thompson, 43, and his unemployed brother David Thompson, 40, have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of their 72-year-old mother, who died in Blacktown Hospital on September 2, 2017.

On August 23, the younger brother called an ambulance saying his bedridden mother couldn’t eat and had a wound on her backside, prosecutor Jeff Tunks said in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

But, he said, the men were aware in the preceding weeks of their mother’s deteriorating condition, including bedsores and the significant wound, and the need for medical attention.

The defence lawyers told Justice Des Fagan, who is hearing the trial without a jury, the case was about choices made by the mother, who had previously refused any medical care.

“We say Shirley Thompson died because of choices she herself made,” said Tony Evers, acting for the younger brother.

She made choices about when, if and what to eat, about using the bathroom and about not seeking medical help, Mr Evers said.

“It is true the house could have been cleaner, but of course he was not a professional. He was her son.”

Janet Manuel, for Phillip Thompson, said her client was employed full-time and had provided the income for the family while his brother looked after the household.

“The Crown is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Shirley Thompson lacked the capacity to make decisions for her own care,” she said.

Paramedic Megan Kuhner, who attended the Greystanes house after the triple-zero call, said Ms Thompson’s room had a stench and smelt “really poorly”.

Everything was filthy and when Ms Kuhner first looked at the floor she thought it was just dirt and not actually carpet.


The patient, whose pallor was almost greyish, was lying in bed on a towel smelling of urine.

“It was quite disgusting,” Ms Kuhner said. “It was just soaked in urine and faecal matter.”

Ms Thompson had bruises, pressure sores and a large open wound on her bottom, a wound which contained faecal matter.

When asked about medical treatment, David Thompson told her: “She doesn’t like to see doctors. She is very stubborn.”

Ms Kuhner noticed both sons were quite clean despite the house being filthy.

At one stage, Ms Thompson told her: “I am so thankful to have my sons.”

Triage nurse Lauren Cole said Ms Thompson was pale and generally unkempt and smelt of urine.

She had a deep, red inflamed wound on her bottom which was “the size of my fist and I could put my fist in it”.

In his police interview, David Thompson said his mother refused to seek medical help after he noticed “a thing on her backside like a sore”.

Asked why he didn’t just ring an ambulance himself, he said: “I love her and I didn’t want to upset her in any way.”

The trial continues.

5. Queensland stripper found guilty of glassing actor.


An exotic dancer who hurled a glass at the face of Neighbours star Scott McGregor in a Gold Coast strip club has been found guilty of assault.

Danielle “Ivy” Lee picked up a glass “in a fit of rage” and threw it at McGregor after a verbal spat at Surfers Paradise club in April.

The glass smashed into his face at the Hollywood Showgirls club causing a small cut, which needed three stitches.

Lee, 25, was in Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday trying to beat a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

She held back tears as she told the court McGregor verbally abused her after she approached him in the club.

She claimed McGregor told her he was there for a night out with friends before telling her to “f*** off”.

“He said: ‘F*** off you dirty slut. You are a piece of shit. I would never take someone as dirty as you’,” she told the court.

“He said: ‘I am better than that. I am better than you. F*** off’.

Lee said she had “no idea” who McGregor was and felt “utterly degraded.”

“I tried to walk away from the situation. I was so upset and mad and I felt so horrible.”

Lee said McGregor allegedly continued to yell abuse as she walked away.

She said that was the “last straw”. She picked up a glass intending to throw the contents, but instead threw the glass at the actor’s head.

“I was so furious that someone had abused me like that. I was so upset, hurt and angry, but I never meant to hurt anyone.”

Security footage played to the court on Tuesday shows Lee looking at the actor as he holds his bleeding lip but she makes no move to help him.

The first day of the two-day trial was held in August, when the Melbourne-based actor denied verbally abusing Lee and insisted she was the aggressor in the exchange.

Magistrate Mark Howden on Tuesday found McGregor’s evidence to be evasive, and that he had verbally insulted Lee.

But Mr Howden said Lee’s reaction was “disproportionate” to the offence and found her guilty before releasing her on a $1000 good behaviour bond.

No conviction was recorded and she was ordered to pay $80 for McGregor’s medical costs.

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