Thursday’s news in 5 minutes.

Video via Channel 9

1. Couple charged with manslaughter over the ‘slapping therapy’ death of their six-year-old son.

A Sydney couple have been charged with manslaughter over the death of their six-year-old son almost two years ago, AAP reports.

The boy was found unconscious at a hotel in Hurstville, in Sydney’s south, after his parents took him to a self-healing conference at a nearby clinic.

It’s believed the boy – who had type 1 diabetes and required insulin injections every single day – was subjected to the controversial Chinese healing technique, which involves slapping the body until it bruises to rid the patient of toxins.

Emergency services were called to the scene in April 2015, where they found the boy unconscious. Ambulance staff said he could not be revived.

Advertisement

The child’s father, 56, and mother, 41, were both charged over his death, police said on Wednesday.

They were granted conditional bail and ware both due to appear before court on separate dates.

Police say inquiries into the incident are continuing and detectives are still looking to speak to a number of people.

2. Mother accused of killing her infant daughter told police her baby was “possessed”.

The mother accused of killing her 14-month old daughter told Victoria Police a priest said her baby was possessed.

Sofina Nikat will stand trial for allegedly killing her daughter Sanaya Sahib on April 10, 2016 after pleading not guilty to one charge of murder in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, AAP reports.

The 23-year-old had initially said her daughter had been snatched from her pram by an African man who smelled heavily of alcohol but later told police she had made up the story “because she was scared”, court documents show.

“Things got way out of hand on that day, and she couldn’t cope,” a summary of her police interview said.

Nikat told police she put her hand across Sanaya’s mouth and nose and hugged her tight until she couldn’t feel her daughter moving. She then walked down to the creek bed and dropped her daughter’s limp body in Darebin Creek near scrubland.

In the days before the incident, Sanaya had suffered a seizure and had been frothing at the mouth.

Nikat also told police her baby would “look at the roof and cry and growl”, and she had been advised by a priest that she and her baby were possessed and had negative energy.

She told police she had “no other choice as things were getting worse” and she couldn’t cope.

Nikat’s defence lawyer Christopher Dane QC told the court two psychiatric assessments by different psychiatrists had come to the conclusion what Nikat did was not murder but infanticide.

A report from consultant psychiatrist Yvonne Skinner found Nikat was not of sound mind during the time her baby died, Mr Dane said, because she had “not fully recovered from giving birth”.

“The balance of mind of Sofina Nikat was disturbed,” Dr Skinner wrote in the report, Mr Dane said.

“She is guilty of infanticide and not murder.”

He told the court if Nikat had been charged with infanticide, she would have likely pleaded guilty.

The prosecution argued that there was sufficient evidence to determine the crime was murder, and pointed to the psychiatric reports that described Nikat suffering from a depressive disorder.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani upheld the murder charge, citing that the psychiatrist’s evidence had not been tested. The case will return to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a directions hearing on Friday.

3. Chiropractor banned from practicing for three years after he acted inappropriately towards female patients.

A former chiropractor has been banned from providing health services to women for at least three years after he acted inappropriately towards five female patients between 2000 and 2013, The West Australian reports.

John Horner started a sexual relationship with a patient in mid-2000, which continued until 2012.

Horner had sex with the financially vulnerable woman at his practice during consultations, and often treated her without charge. He also gave her money to send to her relatives overseas and to use to pay for appointments so staff at his practice did not get suspicious about their relationship.

The State Administrative Tribunal found Horner also touched another patient’s breast without clinical justification, exposed the buttocks of two women during treatment and asked a teenager to remove her underwear during her consultation.

Horner has been disqualified from applying for registration for three years and has been banned from providing health services that involve consulting or touching females until he is re-registered.

He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in costs.

4. Russian blogger on trial for playing Pokemon Go in church.

An atheist video blogger is on trial in Russia for playing Pokemon Go in a church, Fox News reports.

Well-known 22-year-old blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky is accused of inciting religious hatred for playing the popular phone game in a Russian Orthodox church in August last year.

It is the same offense that sent two women from punk band Pussy Riot to prison for two years in 2012.

Sokolovsky was arrested on September 2 after he posted a video of himself playing Pokemon Go to Youtube on August 11.

If convicted, he could face up to seven and a half years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The blogger said he posted the video to draw attention to Russian legislation that criminalises actions that offend religious believers.

In the video, which has been viewed more than 1.6 million times, he catches a variety of Pokemon, but says he “didn’t catch the rarest Pokemon…Jesus.”

5. Police investigate after Australian woman says she was sexually assaulted in Bali.

Denpasar police are investigating a claim that an Australian woman has been sexually assaulted in Bali.

The Perth woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, left Paddy’s Bar in Kuta in the early hours of Tuesday and began walking along Legian Road near Bali’s popular tourist beach.

It is alleged a motorbike taxi driver – commonly referred to as an ‘ojek’ – offered her a free lift to her hotel before attacking her.

Security guards at Jayakarta Hotel, which is near the spot where the alleged assault took place, heard screaming. One of their officers ran to help but by the time they arrived the man had fled, the hotel’s security told AAP.

Several hours later the woman, along with her friends, went to Kuta police station to complain.

Denpasar Police Detective Chief Reinhard Habonaran Nainggolan said they are investigating the matter but are facing “difficulty” because the woman did not want to undergo forensic testing.

“She was stressed and crying [when she made the report],” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“She said she doesn’t want [to take the forensic examination] because she wants to go back to Australia. I told her this is very difficult to process her police report [without examination].”

It is not known whether the woman has already returned to Australia.

6. A seven-year-old boy has died after being hit by a road train.

A seven-year-old boy has died in an accident outside a roadhouse in Western Australia’s Mid West region.

Police say Michael Clark’s four-year-old brother witnessed the impact at the intersection of Midlands Road and William Street in Mingenew about 7.30pm on Tuesday.

The boy was rushed to Dongara Hospital by ambulance but died from his injuries.

The driver, who did not stop, was found on Wednesday morning and is speaking with police.

“At this time, we are not treating this as a hit-and-run incident,” a police spokeswoman said.

Police said the driver may not have realised they had hit someone.

Michael’s grandfather has described the seven-year-old as “the reason he woke up every morning”.

“Michael was my angel,” he told 7 News.

“It’s the world’s loss. The world has lost a beautiful human being.”

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]

FROM OUR NETWORK
JOIN THE CONVERSATION