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Thursday afternoon's news in under 5 minutes.

charles mihayo sentenced
Indianna, 3, (left) and Savannah, 4, were at the centre of a bitter custodial dispute. (Photo: Supplied)

1. Charles Mihayo gets life in prison

Trigger Warning: This post deals with issues of domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.

By ABC NEWS

A Melbourne man who murdered his two young daughters by smothering them with a pillow has been sentenced to life in jail.

Charles Mihayo, 36, smothered his daughters Savannah, 4, and Indianna, 3, at his unit at Watsonia in April.

He pleaded guilty to the killings in August and was today sentenced in the Supreme Court to a minimum of 31 years in jail.

Prosecutors said Mihayo was locked in a bitter custodial dispute with the girls’ mother, his former wife, at the time and had acted out of revenge.

To read more about this case, see this post or this post.

The court heard Mihayo sent a text message to his former wife shortly before he killed them suggesting she had “won”, and he was giving up his rights to see the girls.

He told her he wanted to see them “one last time” and when she took them to see him, he dressed the girls up in new dresses he had bought for them.

He then filmed them dancing to music, before smothering them with pillows.

Mihayo will serve a minimum of 31 years in prison for murdering his daughters. (Photo: AAP: Julian Smith)
Mihayo will serve a minimum of 31 years in prison for murdering his daughters. (Photo: AAP: Julian Smith)
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After killing them, Mihayo bathed them, then redressed them in ballerina dresses.

He then phoned triple-0 to report a double murder and when police arrive he said: “It’s done, I’ve killed them. I’ve killed my kids.”

Mihayo was arrested at the scene and confessed to police, telling them “there was no good reason” for the killings but it “made sense at the time”.

When police asked why he had killed his daughters, he told them “you’d have to ask her”, meaning his ex-wife.

In sentencing, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the conflict with his wife had inexplicably motivated his “hideous crimes”.

“I simply do not understand why, when the continuing argument was between you and your ex-wife about these children, you made them pay with their lives in order to inflict pain and loss on your ex-wife,” he said.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and it has been republished with full permission.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478). In an emergency, always call 000.

2. Queensland MP condemns #IllRideWithYou campaign

By JONATHAN HAIR and staff at ABC NEWS

North Queensland MP George Christensen has stood by his comments on social media that the “pathetic left-wing” #illridewithyou campaign portrays Australians as racists who will attack Muslims.

charles mihayo sentenced
A screenshot from the #IllRideWithYou campaign.

The hashtag, which began trending worldwide on Twitter on Monday, was created to counter a potential anti-Muslim backlash over the Sydney siege.

Users tweeted messages declaring they would ride with anyone who was scared to take public transport because they were wearing religious dress.

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But Mr Christensen, the federal Liberal MP for Dawson, which covers Mackay to Townsville, said he thought it created a false set of victims and took the focus away from the two slain hostages, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

On Twitter he called it a “pathetic left-wing black arm band brigade campaign” that casts “Aussies as racists who will endanger Muslims”.

He elaborated further on his public Facebook page.

“So Twitter has erupted with a typical politically correct, left wing response to the Sydney siege with these hashtag campaigns #weridetogether & #illridewithyou going viral,” he wrote.

“These campaigns falsely portray Aussies as thugs who terrorise Muslims and, in doing so, create victims where there are none.

“How about we just focus on the real victims of the Sydney siege (who, in my view, are more heroic that the left-wing twitter clicktivist keyboard warrior army combined): Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.”

This post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with permission.

3. Melbourne actor arrested over child sex charges

Trigger warning: This post deals with child sex abuse and may be triggering for some readers.

By ABC NEWS

Melbourne actor Jeremy Kewley, best known for his role in the 1990s ABC television series Janus, has been arrested over 100 child sex offences.

The 54-year-old from Brighton was arrested this morning and faces 103 counts of indecent acts with a child under 16 and two counts of possessing child pornography.

The child sex offences allegedly occured in 2011.

He was due to appear in Melbourne magistrates court.

Kewley started his acting career in Fred Schepisi’s 1976 film The Devil’s Playground.

He appeared in multiple episodes of hit series Neighbours, Stingers and Blue Heelers, and was also the warm-up man for the AFL Footy Show.

This post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with full permission.

If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse) here.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478). In an emergency, always call 000.

4. AFP take responsibility for innacurate information about Monis’ gun licence

By ANNA HENDERSON

The Australian Federal Police have taken responsibility for inaccurate information about whether Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis had a firearms licence.

Yesterday during a media conference Prime Minister Tony Abbott repeatedly said Man Haron Monis had a gun licence.

charles mihayo sentenced
A screenshot from Man Haron Monis’ website. There was some confusion this week over whether Monis had a gun license.
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The Australian Federal Police has now admitted to being the source of the information, which it provided to Mr Abbott in a briefing yesterday morning.

But police said further inquiries have revealed that Monis was not a registered firearms licence holder after all, and has never held a New South Wales gun licence.

“The information provided at the time was based on a manual entry in the National Police Reference System in the category of ‘Firearms Licence Holder’,” the statement said.

“The AFP has been working closely with CrimTrac, federal and state partners to establish the source of the entry, and to identify and any shortfalls within the current system.”

NSW Police Minister Stuart Ayres also said thorough checks showed Monis did not have a licence.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished here with permission.

5. Scott Morrison allows 31 babies born to asylum seeker parents to remain in Australia.

asylum seekers
Scott Morrison. (Image: The ABC)

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has allowed 31 babies who were born to asylum seeker parents to remain in Australia.

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They will now not be sent to Nauru.

“This commitment is limited to a specific group of 31 babies and their immediate families,” Mr Morrison said.

“Along with those 31 babies, I am also allowing their immediate family members to have their protection claims assessed in Australia,” he added.  “This includes their mothers, fathers and siblings. That is, around 80 family members.”

Mr Morrison emphasised that asylum seekers found to be refugees would still not be granted permanent protection visas, but would be granted temporary protection visas or safe haven enterprise visas.

He also said that pregnant asylum seekers who have not yet given birth will also be “returned to Nauru, with their babies, at an appropriate time.”

katrina dawson
Siege victim, Katrina Dawson.

6. Katrina Dawson killed by gunman: preliminary report

A preliminary ballistics report suggests Katrina Dawson was killed by gunman Man Haron Monis.

Several shot gun pellets fired by Monis were responsible for her death, according to a tweet from Channel Seven reporter Robert Ovadia.

There has been some speculation over Ms Dawson’s death, with suggestions she may have been struck by bullets fired by police as they entered the Lindt cafe early on Tuesday morning.

The post-mortem on both Dawson and fellow hostage Tori Johnson have now been completed and their bodies will be released to their families this evening, News.com.au reports.

Read more: Katrina Dawson’s family remember her at Martin Place today.

Catch up on more headlines in this 90-second news update from the ABC:

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