Trigger warning: The first post deals with details of a child abuse case.
1. Dad jailed for impregnating his 12-year-old step-daughter so her mother could raise the baby.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 3, 2017
A UK man has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars for repeatedly raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter in order to get her pregnant, The Mirror reports.
The girl’s mother had been sterilised, with the court hearing the couple, aged in their 30s, used the pre-teen as a “surrogate mother”.
The girl became pregnant and gave birth to a baby which is now in government care.
The mother – who cannot be named to protect the young girls’ identity – “actively encouraged” her daughter to get pregnant.
“The girl says her mother told her they wanted her to get pregnant by him, and her mother is on record as describing the pregnancy as a Godsend,” Prosecutor Steven Bailey told the court.
She and her partner were charged when the girl told a teacher at school she had been “sacrificed” so her mother could have another baby.
The girl’s mother was jailed for six years after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rape and child cruelty. Her husband admitted two charges of rape and was jailed for 18 years.
“This was not just rape, but rape with the intention of ensuring the pregnancy of a 12-year-old child,” Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told the court.
2. Search resumes for mother and two children feared drowned in Tweed River.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) April 3, 2017
The search for three people feared dead in a northern NSW river will resume with police divers from Sydney heading to flood-hit Tumbulgum, AAP reports.
It’s feared a mother, son and daughter were in a car when it was swept into the swollen Tweed River on Monday afternoon.
A 10-year-old girl was able to escape as the vehicle was washed into the water.
“She was screaming her mum, little sister and older brother had gone into the river in the car,” witness Thomas Grinham told the 7 News.
Police say the local community will no doubt be affected by the news.
“We’re concerned it is a tragic event that will unfold over the evening and we understand that it is going to have a major impact on the family and the Tweed community,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy told the ABC.
It’s the latest tragedy in what’s been a devastating few days for flood-hit northern NSW residents, with two women aged 36 and 64 confirmed dead and a man dying of a heart attack.
A massive clean-up operation is under way as communities pick up the pieces of ruined homes and businesses.
Lismore, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads residents have been given the all-clear to return home after floodwaters washed through the region over the past three days.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited flood-hit communities on Monday to reassure locals they’ll be given support.
3. Former One Nation candidates and members describe party as a ‘brutal dictatorship’.
— ABC News (@abcnews) April 3, 2017
Dumped One Nation candidates and former party loyalists say Pauline Hanson has been running a “brutal dictatorship” that discards anyone who raises questions.
The party has been accused of putting financial pressure on candidates to pay for their own election campaigns and disendorsing them if they refuse.
There were a number of One Nation candidates who quit or were disendorsed before the WA election in March.
Former candidate for the seat of North West Central, Dane Sorensen, has told Four Corners an agreement form required candidates to pay upfront fees and a quarterly donation if elected.
The contract also included a financial penalty described as an “administration fee” of $250,000 payable to One Nation if an elected candidate quits the party.
“It doesn’t bear any relationship to the costs of you being elected, it’s a punitive measure designed purely to intimidate and frighten people,” he said.
Mr Sorenson complained and was disendorsed by Senator Hanson who said he was being “belligerent and abusive”.
Former candidate Sandy Baraiolo said she was promised there would be no preference deal with any other party only to hear of the deal with the Liberal party on radio.
“No preference deal. She told all of us candidates the same thing,” Ms Baraiolo said.
“You can’t trust Pauline Hanson…She’ll sell you one thing and she’ll do something completely different.”
Ms Baraiolo complained on Facebook and was also promptly disendorsed.
Four Corners also revealed that Employment Minister Michalia Cash drove Senator Hanson to a “secret” dinner with Mathias Cormann before One Nation struck the preference deal before the WA election.
Senator Hanson and James Ashby also allegedly tried to keep donations to the party a secret, contravening regulations.
“You’ve got to declare everything,” former One Nation treasurer Ian Nelson said.
“And she [Pauline] just kept calling me an obstructionist, you know.”
Mr Nelson says Mr Ashby rang him, questioning the way he’d declared the donations to the Queensland Electoral Commission, saying party matters should be “confidential”.
4. Death toll rises to 11 after a subway bombing in St Petersburg, Russia.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 3, 2017
Russia’s top anti-terror agency says the death toll in subway bombing in St Petersburg has reached 11.
The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said another 45 people wounded in Monday’s explosion are being treated at hospitals.
Officials previously had said that 10 people were killed and about 40 were wounded when an explosive device rigged with shrapnel went off on a subway train in the centre of St Petersburg.
City authorities shut the entire subway system after the blast. Law enforcement agents found an unexploded bomb at another subway station and defused it.
The Interfax news agency reports that police are searching for two suspects suspected of involvement, while the Fontanka news outlet showed a grainy photo of a middle aged man with beard and black hat.
Interfax cited unnamed sources as saying the bomb, packed with shrapnel, may have been hidden in a train carriage inside a briefcase.
Russia has been the target in the past of numerous bomb attacks, frequently targeting public transport. Most are blamed on Islamist rebels from Russia’s North Caucasus region. The rebellion there has been largely crushed, but security experts say Russia’s military intervention in Syria has made Russia a potential target for Islamic State attacks.
The Australian government urged travellers in the city to avoid affected areas and the metro, but did not change it’s level of advice for the country.
5. Man charged with murder after a man was fatally stabbed in Brisbane.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) April 3, 2017
A man is due to appear in court charged with murder following a fatal stabbing in Brisbane, AAP reports.
Paramedics were called to Birdwood Road in Holland Park West just after 3pm on Monday where two men had become involved in an argument before one was fatally stabbed in the abdomen.
Police and paramedics attended to 43-year-old Inala man at the scene, but he was later declared dead.
A 25-year-old Calamvale man was taken into custody by police a short time later and has been charged with murder.
Yesterday, a neighbour told The Courier-Mail they “were not surprised” to hear a man had been killed at the house.
“There were only a couple of fellas living there but there were always cars hanging around, four or five cars at a time,” he said.
6. Teenager who ‘spanked’ stripper at his 18th birthday party avoids conviction.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) April 3, 2017
A Victorian teenager who slapped a stripper on the bottom at his birthday party has been spared a criminal conviction after being found guilty of sexual assault.
Joseph Nader, 19, was given a 12-month good behaviour bond in the Victorian County Court on Monday, bringing to an end an ordeal that began on the night of his 18th birthday party, AAP reports.
A stripper had been booked by Nader’s older brother as a surprise, the court heard.
Most of the guests at the party were young people of both genders and some relatives were present too.
At 10pm, Nader was called inside and told to sit on a chair. The stripper entered and started talking with the DJ about what music she wanted for her performance.
While her back was turned, Nader noticed the waiting crowd was losing interest, so he walked over and slapped her over the skirt.
“Since she was paid to put on a show, you didn’t think she’d mind,” judge Howard Mason said.
The woman described it as a “hard” and “nasty” slap, which was basically “skin-to-skin” seeing she was only wearing a G-string underneath.
She told Nader to “keep your hands to yourself”.
Later examination revealed a big welt on one of her buttock cheeks.
The act was “entirely inappropriate and unexpected” by the woman, who was entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, Judge Mason said.
However Judge Mason acknowledged Nader had not done it with malice, but was intoxicated and thought he was behaving in the context of the “erotic and lewd” performance to follow.
The judge said Nader had suffered stress and anxiety as a result of the court case but that he had to consider the deterrence of violence against women.
Because a criminal conviction would adversely affect the young man’s work prospects and potentially cause “great unfairness” throughout his life, the judge chose not to record a conviction and handed Nader a good behaviour bond.
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