news

Thursday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Man given 45 years in jail for ‘suffocating newborn son with baby wipe’.

A man who suffocated his seven-week-old son by “shoving a baby wipe” down his throat after beating him in a drug-fuelled rage has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The Herald Tribune reports Florida man Joseph Walsh, 36, was offered the plea deal after the baby boy’s – named Chance – mother took her own life in prison.

Kristen Bury, 33, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in baby Chance’s death – she removed the wipes from his throat but did not call 911 – but took her own life in September last year.

Her evidence against Joseph on how he treated their seven-week-old son before his death became inadmissible after her suicide.

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According to court records, Joseph beat his newborn baby during a “drug-fuelled” rage before he suffocated Chance, leaving him to “gasp for air for several hours” before he died.

Neither Joseph or Kirsten called for medical assistance on the day Chance died, and his body was left to decompose in his crib for several days after his death.

His parents then borrowed a friend’s car and used a broken shovel to bury Chance’s body in a remote area, before attempting to flee the state.

After Walsh was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse and handed his sentence, the family of baby Chance had a few moments to speak to him before he was taken away.

“We had a moment to tell him what we thought about him,” Chance’s grandmother, Sally Susino, told The Herald Tribune.

“I told him he was an abomination to mankind, that he was a useless waste to society.

“We’re not happy but we are glad it’s over. We would have preferred life or the death penalty.”

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

2. Sydney man jailed over the beating his teenage girlfriend to death.

It took Darryl Biles 15 to 20 minutes to murder his teenage girlfriend by savagely beating her with his fists.

Maleeta Hart’s blood was spattered on every wall of their bedroom and on the ceiling, her face was unrecognisable, and blood poured from her face and soaked her hair, AAP reports.

“To kill another human being in this manner required sustained, persistent savagery,” said Justice Des Fagan as he jailed Biles for at least 18 years.

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In March, a NSW Supreme Court jury sitting in Dubbo found Biles, now 26, guilty of murdering Ms Hart, 18, on April 25, 2015 at Brewarrina in the state’s northwest.

They had been in a relationship for about three and a half years and Biles had a history of violence towards the teenager.

“Those earlier assaults, like the sustained assault which killed her, were cowardly and disgraceful,” the judge said on Wednesday.

Biles had breached an AVO, been jailed and given opportunities to receive counselling and to correct his behaviour.

“He abused and disregarded those opportunities,” Justice Fagan said.

“It is difficult to see what more could have been done by the authorities to curb and correct the offender before he became a murderer.”

The couple lived at Weilmoringle, a small settlement about 100km north of Brewarrina, and had travelled to that town to pay their respects after the death one of Biles’ relatives.

They both drank for about six hours before Biles punched Ms Hart repeatedly to the head and possibly kicked her in the head with sufficient force to break her jaw and render her unconscious.

Women in the house heard her screams and moans but when they went to the closed door and asked what was happening, Biles said they were either having sex or going to bed.

“He was sufficiently in control of himself to fob these women off with false explanations while he continued to batter Maleeta Hart unconscious behind the closed bedroom door.”

Victim impact statements demonstrated how widely Ms Hart had been loved by her family and friends, and how she had been a “spirited and appealing young woman, full of life”, the judge said.

He found Biles’ prospects of rehabilitation to be poor and set a maximum term of 24 years.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

3. Sex worker on trial for manslaughter of FIFO worker in ‘robbery gone wrong’.

Greg Hudson was awake for days, snorting cocaine and regularly visiting a sex worker before he was targeted and robbed, a manslaughter trial has heard.

The West Australian man was found bound and naked in his friend Simon Grezlo’s Gold Coast townhouse where he’d been bingeing on a cache of cocaine in October 2014.

A Supreme Court jury on Thursday heard he had levels of cocaine in his system that were in the lethal range for someone without his heart condition.

But three people, including a sex worker, who prosecutors say conspired to rob the 57-year-old, are on trial for manslaughter after he was gagged and restrained in a violent home invasion.

Benjamin Samy Ghobrial and sex worker Milan Chante Walker have admitted to stealing from him. But they and the third accused, Lee Benjamin Feld, deny a charge of robbing Mr Hudson in company with personal violence.

At the opening of the trial, the jury heard Mr Hudson was regularly texting Walker on the final evening he was alive, trying to arrange for sex. Mr Grezlo said Mr Hudson had offered to pay her in cocaine.

Walker, however, had a different plan, crown prosecutor Philip McCarthy alleged.

Mr McCarthy said that in a text message exchange, Ghobrial instructed Walker to lure Mr Hudson from his bedroom.

“We’re coming in five mins. F*** him hard, play music. Very important,” Ghobrial allegedly texted.

Walker told police that while she was performing oral sex, two men burst in and she panicked and ran. What happened next is unclear but the sex worker said Mr Hudson was alive when she left, the court heard.

Hours later, Mr Grezlo came home from work and discovered his back door wide open and laptop missing. He found his friend dead in the spare room.

“I could see that Greg was naked, he was tied up and not breathing,” he said.

Walker, who had fled wearing only a large t-shirt she had taken from the house, returned to collect her heels and lingerie. She asked Mr Grezlo if “the old fella” was all right.

In the days after Mr Hudson died, “large sums” were drained from his bank account by a man in disguise who was using the correct PIN, Mr McCarthy told the jury. That, the Crown alleges, was Ghobrial.

Central to the case is Mr Hudson’s heart problems and the excessive drug use during the days before his death.

“Whilst it might be tragic, that does certainly not mean anyone is criminally responsible for such a death,” Walker’s defence lawyer Callan Cassidy said.

The trial continues.

4. Never too old for love: elderly couple marry after meeting in retirement village.

Hester and John Blackler are living proof that you’re never too old to find your soulmate.

The pair – aged 88 and 90, respectively – have just tied the knot after meeting in the retirement village where they live.

Despite the fact they have both lived in the facility for almost 20 years, they only met 12 months ago, when John asked if he could sit in the vacant seat next to Hester on the bus.

Hester told 7 News she was “surprised” when John popped the question a year later.

“It came as a bit of a surprise actually because I wasn’t expecting anything to happen,” she said.

The duo married in an intimate ceremony in front of 20 of their closet family and friends, and took a short honeymoon in Tasmania.

5. Man accused of shooting woman in the head five times says she was ‘already dead’.

A man who claims he is not the one who killed a 33-year-old Victorian mother will reappear in a court on the second day of his murder trial.

Wayne Marmo, who was 24 at the time of Simone Quinlan’s death, claims to be not guilty of her murder because she was likely already dead when he shot her in the head five times.

His lawyer Scott Johns told the Supreme Court of Victoria on Wednesday that Ms Quinlan’s boyfriend was responsible for her death instead.

He said the boyfriend beat her on the chest and face, striking her repeatedly with a hammer in a “violent, controlling rage” while most likely affected by the drug ice.

He argued Marmo was guilty instead of the lesser crime of attempted murder.

Witnesses, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have claimed to have seen Ms Quinlan’s death and the subsequent dumping of her body.

They are expected to give evidence this week about how they were present when Ms Quinlan’s body was wrapped in a blanket and placed in Marmo’s Hilux.

They then accompanied Marmo on the drive to Kangaroo Flat, near Bendigo, where the accused dumped Ms Quinlan’s body in a mineshaft and burnt it using petrol.

6. Facebook hiring 3,000 to monitor inappropriate live video content.

Facebook Inc will add 3000 people over the next year to monitor reports of inappropriate material on the social media network and remove videos such as murders and suicides, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg says.

Zuckerberg, the company’s co-founder, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the workers will be in addition to the 4500 people who already review posts that may violate its terms of service.

The hiring spree represents an acknowledgement by Facebook that, at least for now, it needs more than automated software to improve monitoring of broadcasts on Facebook Live, a service that has been marred since its launch last year by instances of people streaming violence.

Last week, a father in Thailand broadcast himself killing his daughter on Facebook Live, police said.

After more than a day, and 370,000 views, Facebook removed the video. Other videos from places such as Chicago and Cleveland have also shocked viewers with their violence.

Zuckerberg said: “We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner – whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”

Facebook is due to report quarterly revenue and earnings later Wednesday after markets close in New York.

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