Friday's news in 5 minutes.

1. “I hoped they’d shoot me in the head to make it quick.” Australian couple tied up, attacked at gunpoint on holiday.

Queensland couple Jayson Peter Kelly and Kirsten Smith were eight weeks into a nine-month long backpacking trip when their dream holiday turned into a nightmare.

In an interview with, 25-year-old Jayson has told of the moment the tour bus they were travelling on in Guatemala was hijacked by a gang and they were held hostage.

“They commandeered our shuttle and jumped into the back and held a gun to my head. They had been shooting at the van like cowboys and once that hot gun was at my head, I thought that was it,” Jayson told


The three men then dragged the tourists out of the bus – which had been organised through a legitimate tour company – and tied them up with their shoelaces while they were robbed.

They still had guns pointed at their heads while their phones, computers, money and jewellery was stolen. Jayson said he and Kristen, also 25, believed they were going to die.

“I actually hoped they would shoot me in the head to make it as quick and painless as it could have been,” he said.

“Kirsten…thought that we were going to be shot one by one.

“She was actually tied up next to me and at one point looked at me and asked if we were going to be OK. I had no idea what to say back. I just told her I loved her.”

Jayson said that all the female tourists, including his girlfriend, were sexually assaulted by the men.

“Having to witness that but being helpless was just absolutely terrifying,” he said.

The couple was able to free themselves form their constraints and help untie the fellow passengers once the men had fled the scene. Now, they are safe in Costa Rica and plan to continue their dream holiday.

“When we were tied we whispered to each other that if we got out alive we were getting on the next plane home,” Jayson said.

“However our dream to travel has been one that’s been planned for over two years so we are trying to move on and continue our dream together.”


2. Pregnant woman accused of trying to murder ex-husband allegedly told him to “cover his eyes” before stabbing him.

A pregnant Sydney woman repeatedly stabbed her ex-husband after telling him to cover his eyes because their young son had a “surprise”, a court has heard.

AAP reports the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of trying to murder her former partner when he came to pick up their four-year-old son from her Neutral Bay home in September 2015.


The Crown alleges the woman said the pre-schooler was playing hide and seek and told the man to close his eyes numerous times.

It’s alleged she said “he’s got a surprise for you” before putting a tea towel over the man’s eyes.

“A short time later (the man) … felt the sensation of a warm liquid flowing from his chin area,” prosecutor Glen Porter said in the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday.

“He saw the accused bring the knife down … at least once, maybe more.”

The Crown alleges the attack was unprovoked and the woman screamed “you’re never going to take (our son) from me”.

Defence barrister John Korn called the man’s version of events “ludicrous” and said the pair had argued after he entered the house.

Mr Korn said the woman was blinded when her glasses fell off as they pushed and shoved, and she was also punched in the head during the fight.

In a panic, she allegedly grabbed a 25-centimetre knife from where she had been making a cheese and avocado sandwich and, unable to see, wielded it in front of her, the court heard.

Mr Korn said she did not know she had injured her former partner until he said words to the effect of “what have you done?”

He also said the jury will hear evidence the former husband was a “controlling, manipulative individual” with a history of lying to suit himself.


“His carefully constructed facade went out the window the moment he punched a six-month pregnant woman in the face,” Mr Korn said on Thursday.

“He knew he was in trouble.”

The man had surgery after suffering wounds to his chin, collar bone and neck. The woman was also taken to hospital with two golf-ball sized lumps on her head, the court heard.

The trial will continue on Monday.

3. Seventeen-year-old boy arrested for making 74 hoax bomb threats to schools.


A 17-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly making 74 hoax bomb threats to various educational facilities across Victoria, NSW and South Australia, AAP reports.

The teen was arrested in Victoria for allegedly making the threats between May 2016 and April this year.

An investigation by Victoria Police’s e-crime squad detectives, NSW Police’s fraud and cybercrime squad, and detectives from South Australia’s electronic crime section let to the teenager’s arrest.

The teen’s electronic devices were seized during his arrest.

The boy was charged with nine counts of making a bomb hoax in Victoria, 13 counts of using a carriage service to make a hoax threat in NSW and 49 counts of the same charge in South Australia.

The boy appeared in court on Thursday afternoon and was bailed until June 26.

4. United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from overbooked flight.


United Airlines has a reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month in an incident that sparked international outrage, an attorney for the passenger says.

Dr David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was hospitalised after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from the city’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.

United has taken “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago,” Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement announcing the settlement on Thursday.

“We are pleased to report that United and Dr Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411,” United said in a separate statement.

“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the centre of everything we do.”


5. A 70-year-old father has been jailed for trying to murder his ice-addicted son.

A 70-year-old Perth father of six has been jailed for five years and six months for attempting to kill his methamphetamine-addicted son by repeatedly striking his head with a hammer, fracturing his skull.

Ronald James McDonald attacked his son as he slept on the sofa at his Dianella home on the morning of August 15 last year, AAP reports.

He was frustrated and depressed by the 23-year-old’s ongoing drug dependence and the family turmoil caused by his aggression and abusiveness.


The Supreme Court of WA heard McDonald was on good terms with his estranged wife, who lived with the victim and called him for help that day because their son had been screaming and threatening to smash things.

After pacing around outside thinking about what to do, McDonald went inside the house and hit his son on the temple with a claw hammer, then struck him three or four times more.

“You believed at the time that was the only option available to you and your family,” Justice Katrina Banks-Smith said in handing down her sentence on Thursday.

“You felt you could no longer deal with your son’s erratic behaviour. You lost it.”

The son woke up after the first blow but McDonald grabbed his jumper to prevent him escaping.

He managed to break free and was rushed to hospital while McDonald almost immediately called authorities and made admissions.

Justice Banks-Smith said McDonald’s defence lawyer had eloquently described the case as the “other side of the methamphetamine equation”.

She said while there was room for significant sympathy and empathy for the father’s predicament – in which he was not alone – violence was not the answer.

Justice Banks-Smith took into account McDonald’s depression, which impaired his ability to make rational decisions at the time of the offence, age, remorse and the risk of his re-offending being low. She also noted the violence was uncharacteristic and the fact he had empathy for the victim, who partly blamed himself for what happened.


But the offending was aggravated by the fact the attack was on a defenceless victim, involved multiple blows and a degree of premeditation, and could have been fatal.

“You could have stopped during the attack but you did not,” she said.

McDonald waved goodbye to his family, who were present to support him, as he was led out of the dock. He was made eligible for parole.

6. Toddler born with three legs given ‘new life’ after surgery in Australia.


A Bangladeshi toddler is getting ready to return home after undergoing surgery in Melbourne to remove her third leg.

Choity Khatun, 3, was born with a condition where part of a twin develops in a child’s perineum, and was brought to Australia last July to undergo a complex operation.

Caudal twinning is a rare condition, with many children dying in the womb or shortly after birth, AAP reports.

Choity was initially treated at a children’s hospital in Bangladesh, where she underwent an operation to ensure she wouldn’t die of a bowel obstruction.

She underwent an eight-hour operation in Melbourne in November, with a medical team reconstructing much of her anatomy.

The little girl is now eating normally after having a colostomy bag removed, the ABC reported on Thursday night.

“She’s now able to walk and run and go to the toilet, and this is going to make a big difference to her life back in Bangladesh,” Monash Children’s Hospital head of surgery and associate professor Chris Kimber said.

“She’s a very bright and challenging young individual, and to watch her run because she doesn’t have that mass in between her two legs is a real privilege.”

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