Wednesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Childcare worker caught on video ‘torturing’ eight-month-old baby, who later died.

A 23-year-old US daycare has been arrested after she “tortured” an eight-month-old girl during nap time, which led to the infant’s death.

According to CBS Baltimore, Leah Walden faces numerous charges in relation to the incident, including first and second-degree murder.

Baby Reese Bowman died on May 23 after officers were called to the Baltimore childcare centre on reports a baby had stopped breathing.

Medics performed CPR on the eight-month-old, who was pronounced dead after being transferred to a nearby hospital.


When Walden was questioned after the girl’s death, she said she had simply put the baby down for a nap and found her not breathing when she checked on her 45 minutes later.

Police were later contacted by the owner of the facility, who had discovered “disturbing video” of Leah Walden’s actions towards the baby.

The video allegedly shows Leah snatching baby Reese Bowman by her arm several times, and placing pillows over her face. Reese was also covered with excessive blankets, picked up by one arm several times and was “swung at” like she was being slapped by Leah.

The 23-year-old also disappeared off camera holding the baby numerous times during the video.

“Reese Bowman in my opinion was tortured,” Col. Stanley Branford of Baltimore Police told CBS Baltimore.

“Just evil, what motive could you possibly have to treat a baby that way.”

Walden had been working at the daycare centre for more than two years, and her bio on the centre’s website said she “loved caring for babies who love me as much as I love them”.

2. Three people have died in a light plane crash in South Australia.


The loss of three people killed in a plane crash in regional South Australia was a “profound” loss, the charter flight company says.

Rossair confirmed it owned the Cessna Conquest which crashed a few kilometres from the Renmark Aerodrome at about 4:30pm on Tuesday.

A search party found the wreckage a few kilometres from the Renmark Aerodrome about 7:10 pm, AAP reports.

Local media has reported a pilot, an overseer pilot and another person were on board during the training flight.

A Rossair spokesman said the loss was “profound” for the families concerned and “all company employees”.

The spokesman confirmed the plane had earlier departed from Adelaide, and was on a return trip from the Riverland region.


Families were being contacted by the company, the Rossair statement said.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the fixed wing aircraft sent out a distress signal shortly after taking off from the unmanned regional airport west of Adelaide.

“We became aware there might be an issue shortly after take off when a distress signal was detected,” she said.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill said the crash was “tragic news”.

“I offer my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who have died,” he said on Tuesday.

Renmark-born South Australian Senator Anne Ruston tweeted her condolences.

“Horrible, horrible news. My thoughts & prayers with loved ones who have tragically lost family members tonight in a plane crash in Renmark,” she wrote.

The local Liberal MP for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the news was devastating.

“My warm, heartfelt feelings go out to the family and friends of those involved,” he said.

Major Crash investigators are making their way to the scene north-east of Adelaide to assist the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Around 20 SES members aided in the search, and more volunteers were requested before the wreckage was discovered.

No details about the pilot or passengers have been released.

3. Sydney high school teacher found guilty of having sex with three teenage students.


A Sydney high school teacher has been found guilty of having sex with three teenage students over six years, AAP reports.

Cameron White faced a District Court trial over sex offences relating to a male and two female students from three Sydney school campuses between 2007 and 2013.

The 39-year-old on Tuesday looked towards supporters in the Downing Centre and shrugged after he was found guilty by a jury on 14 counts of aggravated sexual intercourse and five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under care.


During his trial White said allegations he’d offered to give one of the female complainants a reference if she had anal sex with him were “totally false”.

The same complainant said she was scared, tense and “didn’t want to be there anymore” as she lost her virginity to White at his Sutherland unit in late 2010.

The woman, who cried as she detailed the sex in court, said she and White arranged over Facebook to meet at a railway station before going to his home where White told her to “relax”.

“It hurt, a lot,” she said.

The male victim testified he had a “major crush” on White, was ecstatic when he started messaging him online, and first had sex with the teacher in his car in 2007.

The student was 14 at the time.

He said White would call him “his bitch” and would “like me to say that I am his bitch”.

White denied having any sexual contact with him or that he called him “bitch”. He said he didn’t know the boy had a crush on him.

But when White was arrested police found his then former student’s number in his phone under “biatcha”.

White told the jury the young man had made the entry in his phone in that name after they ran into each other in 2013 – and he only discovered it from the police statement.

The jury, which had been deliberating for eight days, was unanimous on 16 of White’s 19 counts. The remaining three were delivered by an 11-to-one majority.


White was taken into custody after the verdicts. The matter is due back in court on a July 21.

4. Children have narrowly escaped after charity minibus crashes on cliff edge in Sydney.

More than a dozen students have been evacuated from a charity’s bus after it became stuck precariously close to the top of a 15-foot embankment in northern Sydney.

Fire crews were called to Batho Street in Curl Curl about 3.20pm on Tuesday after the 25-seat Stewart House bus left the road while trying to enter a driveway, AAP reports.


There were about 15 children – aged between seven and 12 – on the bus at the time, according to NSW Police.

The female bus driver, aged in her 50s, only left the bus after all her passengers were evacuated. The bus was secured using a tow truck within half an hour.

Stewart House chief executive Murray O’Donnell says the cause of the accident is being investigated.

“It ended up in a very precarious position but all the children and passengers are safe,” he said.

The school contacted parents to reassure them, he added.

The bus was taken to a mechanic to be looked at.

5. Teens who use their phones at night have worse mental health, study finds.


Teenagers who use their mobiles late at night sleep worse than those who don’t, leading to poorer mental health, reduced coping and lower self-esteem, West Australian researchers have found.

Students were asked what time of the night they received or sent text messages and phone calls, as well as their perceptions of their sleep quality, in the four-year study by Murdoch and Griffith universities, AAP reports.

The study surveyed 1100 students from 29 schools, starting in Year 8 and following them until Year 11.

Head researcher Lynette Vernon said mobile phone use became a problem when prioritised over other aspects of life, such as time for sleep.

“We found that late night phone use directly contributed to poor sleep habits, which over time led to declines in overall wellbeing and mental health,” Dr Vernon said.

In Year 8, about 86 per cent of the students had a mobile phone, increasing to 93 per cent in Year 11.

For students who owned a mobile phone in Year 8, only 36 per cent said they never sent or received text messages or phone calls after lights out on school nights.

This decreased to about 22 per cent in Year 11.

6. Rolf Harris a free man after being cleared on four indecent assault charges.


Rolf Harris says he just wants to “spend my final years in peace” after being found not guilty on four indecent assault charges.

The 87-year-old entertainer was at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday to hear that the prosecution would not seek a further retrial on charges he groped three teenage girls.

The decision came after the jury of seven women and five men failed to reach a majority verdict on all four counts after deliberating for four hours and 47 minutes.


Accordingly, Judge Deborah Taylor discharged the jury and formally found Harris not guilty of the charges, meaning he no longer faces the prospect of further jail time.

He was released on bail from Stafford Prison on May 19 after serving time on previous convictions following his first trial in 2014.

The jury in his second trial in January this year found him not guilty of three indecent assault charges but could not reach verdicts on four, leading to the latest retrial.

After the hearing Harris’s solicitor Daniel Berke read a message from his client to waiting media outside the court.

“I am pleased it is finally over. I feel no sense of victory, just relief,” Harris said in the message.

“I am 87 years old with a sick wife (Alwyn) and I want to spend my final years in peace.”

Harris also thanked his legal and investigative teams.

“Above all I want to thank my wonderful friends and family who have supported me and Alwyn over this difficult period.”

After the jury was discharged on Tuesday, prosecuting lawyer Jonathan Rees told the court that prosecutors had “come to the firm view” not to seek a retrial.

He told the judge the prosecution would not offer any evidence and invited her to enter not guilty verdicts on the four counts, which she then did.

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