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Eurydice Dixon's rapist and murderer may one day walk free from jail, & more in News in 5.

This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.

1. Eurydice Dixon’s rapist and murderer may one day walk free from jail.

Sexual sadist Jaymes Todd, who was a teenager when he raped and murdered Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon, may one day walk free from jail.

Nanette Rogers SC told the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday that the Crown didn’t want to see Todd jailed for life, even though she claimed he’d “stalked his prey” and killed her to satisfy a macabre sexual fantasy.

Todd, who enjoyed strangulation and snuff porn, murdered Ms Dixon to realise a long-held sexual fantasy of violent rape culminating in a female’s death, she argued.

In “chilling” post-murder behaviour, Todd even searched Google on his iPad for violent, strangulation pornography and “emo girls”, just hours after he’d murdered the 22-year-old.

But Dr Rogers also argued the mildly autistic 20-year-old, who has since been diagnosed with sexual sadism disorder, shouldn’t be imprisoned for life.

“A non-parole period is appropriate due to his age, his lack of prior convictions and his willingness to plead guilty at a very early stage,” Dr Rogers told Justice Stephen Kaye on Tuesday.

“We’re not saying Your Honour cannot give him a very lengthy head sentence and non-parole period.”

Justice Kaye previously indicated he would consider imposing the maximum sentence – life without parole – if he found Todd premeditated the murder.

Todd, dressed in a grey button-up shirt and grey jeans, sat with his eyes downcast throughout Tuesday’s hearing, which was a final chance for lawyers to make submissions before he is sentenced later this year.

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Dr Rogers argued that Todd premeditated his murder of Ms Dixon, who he attacked as she walked home barefoot through Princes Park on June 12 last year after stalking her for almost an hour.

Eurydice Dixon
Eurydice Dixon was murdered last year when walking home barefoot through Princes Park in Melbourne. Image: Facebook

She said Justice Kaye should reject Todd's claims that he left Ms Dixon "unconscious" in the park and that his decision to kill - rather than rape alone - was "impulsive".

"There was always a sense of control and power, and it always culminated in the death of the female," she said of Todd's depraved fantasies.

"He intended to hurt her and he knew he was hurting her."

Justice Kaye said if Todd's motive to murder was to satisfy a sexual fantasy, "then that elevates this case to one of the very highest order".

Defence barrister Tim Marsh argued it was impossible to know when Todd decided to murder Ms Dixon, saying the killer didn't know if he was capable of completing his fantasy.

"He didn't know how far he would take it," Mr Marsh said.

"This is a most difficult case. It will take a bit of time for me to think about," Justice Kaye said before adjourning the plea hearing for sentencing at a later date.

2. Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test following a delayed concussion from a ball to the neck.

Australia are confident they can retain the Ashes in Leeds without Steve Smith, who has been officially ruled out of the third Test because of concussion.

Smith, suffering a delayed concussion after being struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord's, will not take the field when the series continues in Leeds at Headingley.

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Australians held their breath when Smith hit the ground. Image: Getty.

Smith is in far better spirits than on Sunday, when he became the first concussed cricketer to be substituted out of an international match, but the tight turnaround was always going to count against him.

The former skipper failed to train on Tuesday, when the touring party had their first session since arriving in Leeds.

Smith had a long chat with coach Justin Langer while inspecting the pitch and talked with team doctor Richard Saw, cutting a dejected figure in both conversations.

Shadow batting and walking was as rigorous as it was to get for Smith, who debriefed with mentor Mark Taylor after finally giving up hope of facing England.

Cricket Australia's concussion and head trauma policy dictated the only opinion that mattered in Smith's selection battle was that of Dr Saw.

The absence of the talismanic run glutton shapes as a major blow to Australia's hopes of retaining the urn with victory in Leeds.

Marnus Labuschagne, having delivered a match-saving 59 while filling in for Smith on day five at Lord's, will need to step up again.

The pressure will also rise on Travis Head, who has been Australia's best-performing batsman on the tour outside Smith.

"It (the Lord's draw) showed that without Steve, we were able to get the job done which is a positive," Head said.

"Steve is obviously in great nick and playing beautifully at the minute.

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"But obviously, Marnus came in and played beautifully. He has been fantastic over here in the county season - got a lot of hundreds.

"Wadey got a hundred at Edgbaston, so I think we have got guys who are in form ... we have got the batting in the sheds that can do the job."

Dr Saw was kept busy throughout the second Test as Australia held on to a 1-0 series lead despite their batsmen suffering a stack of blows to the body, arm and head.

The medico will continue to assess Smith regularly and remains in sole control of his gradual return to activity.

"The doc has been doing a fantastic job so far on tour with everyone. He had a busy week," Head said.

"I know he's looking after him pretty well - he is in good hands."

Smith's setback increases the likelihood of under-pressure Cameron Bancroft retaining his spot at the top of the order.

However, selectors are likely to consider promoting Mitch Marsh or Marcus Harris in place of Bancroft.

3. A man who murdered his brother with a sword is facing additional charges of attempted murder after he stalked a man with a hammer.

After two years spent hiding in plain sight, Jonathan Dick has faced court charged with murdering his brother with a sword and trying to kill an old school friend with a hammer.

Police had been looking for the 41-year-old since he allegedly killed his brother with a samurai sword at Doncaster's Westfield Shopping Centre in February 2017.

The two-year manhunt ended on Monday in Melbourne's CBD, following a dramatic citizen's arrest involving a man Dick was allegedly stalking.

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Dick briefly faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday, sporting a bloodied and bruised face and stitches around his swollen eyes.

He was charged with the attempted murder of former classmate David Cammarata over an August 2018 hammer attack, as well as murdering his brother, David Andrew Dick.

Court documents also allege Dick stalked Mr Cammarata to his place of work on Monday morning "with the intention of causing physical or mental harm".

Mr Cammarata was with a colleague in a car park on Flinders Street, near Hosier Lane, when he spotted Dick and managed to restrain him until police arrived. The two men sustained minor injuries.

The court heard it was Dick's first time in custody and he suffered no health or mental health issues, other than the injuries sustained during his arrest.

"He looked like he's had a rough time physically," magistrate Luisa Bazzani noted, ordering he be assessed by a doctor for his injuries.

Dick was composed and polite as he answered Ms Bazzani's questions.

He said "thank you" as he was ushered back to the cells, where he will stay until a committal mention on December 10.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said there had been sightings of Dick "all over Victoria", including the Mornington Peninsula and Fitzroy, where he slept rough, took food from community gardens and was careful to avoid CCTV.

"It's hard. We don't have facial recognition technology like in Bourne Identity that finds people and plucks them out," he told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said police were investigating whether Dick had a hit list of people he wanted to harm.

Mr Cammarata and his colleague are eligible for a $100,000 reward issued for information leading to Dick's arrest.

Dick's mother Carol Cloke was not present in court on Tuesday. In a statement on Monday, she said she was grateful her surviving son was found alive.

Police had released CCTV of Dick in a bid to find him, as well photos of his tattoos: a Wolverine versus Sabretooth tattoo on his right thigh, and an Incredible Hulk tattoo on his left calf.

4. A nail has been found in a punnet of strawberries in SA.

A nail has been found in a punnet of strawberries purchased at a store north of Adelaide.

Both the packaging and the nail are being forensically examined.

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Police have not ruled out accidental contamination and say no other strawberries at the same location were found to contain foreign objects.

The strawberries were purchased in Gawler on August 15 but there have been no reports of similar incidents.

In 2018, Australian strawberry growers were rocked as police across the country investigated more than 100 reports of their fruit being contaminated with needles and other objects.

Many of the reports were found to be fake or copycat incidents but the scare prompted the federal government to rush through tougher penalties for so-called "food terrorists".

The industry also received a $1 million relief package, including $350,000 to invest in tamper-proof containers, marketing and training.

5. Debate on NSW abortion bill continues as opponents protest outside parliament.

The NSW upper house is set to continue debating a bill to decriminalise abortion but will not reach a final vote on the draft legislation this week.

Thousands of opponents of the bill protested near state parliament on Tuesday as the first day of debate in the upper house continued into the evening. It followed an earlier rally by pro-choice activists.

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A petition calling for upper house members to vote against the bill, signed by more than 77,000 people, was handed to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak at the rally. Mr Borsak will table it in parliament on Wednesday.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies told the gathered crowd they had been given a "stay of execution".

She asked them to "gather a tsunami of opposition to this bill" and direct it to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and upper house MPs.

Speaking after the rally, federal Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce said people had turned up to because they are angry.

"If you keep on working on angry people, they vote for somebody else and the next thing you know, you've got another job," he told AAP.

His message to Ms Berejiklian was to be "really focused on this".

"You though the greyhound debate was bad - the greyhound debate was for the bush, this is one for the city."

The debate is set to continue on Wednesday.

Some had hoped the bill would go to a vote within days but Mr Barilaro confirmed that won't happen amid reports his boss had given in to pressure from conservatives.

He said a number of proposed amendments had been foreshadowed and the reality was that MPs wouldn't have time to get through the upper house debate this week.

Don Harwin, the leader of the government in the Legislative Council, said coalition MPs supported taking more time to consider potential amendments and a report into the private member's bill.

But shadow treasurer Walt Secord said women had waited 119 years for abortion to be removed from the criminal code "and now the premier is delaying it to save herself".

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

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