news

News in 5: Father believed baby was 'possessed'; Details emerge about Jarryd Hayne's alleged assault; Bali Nine smuggler released.

-With AAP

1. Father of baby found dead on Gold Coast beach thought she was ‘possessed’.


The father of a baby girl found dead at the beach on Surfer’s Paradise claimed she was ‘possessed by demons’.

Friends of the family told 7News the baby was shuffled back and forth between Queensland and New South Wales before the nine-month-old’s body was found washed up on the beach on Monday.

One friend said the girl was a “beautiful baby”. The baby’s father is believed to have told police she was possessed by demons.

Police have since established that the girl actually died across the border in NSW.

Queensland’s Department of Child Safety has been slammed following the tragedy. The department knew that the child and her parents were homeless.

“If this baby was living in a tent, on a beach, and child services knew about it, what the hell were they doing leaving that child there?” Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington told media.

Queensland Minister for Children Di Farmer would not reveal what the department knew about the family’s circumstances.

The baby’s four-year-old brother is with the Department of Child Safety, according to 7News.

Police divers were conducting searches at Tweed Heads on Tuesday, after the nine-month-old’s body was found early on Monday.

It’s understood post-mortem results show the little girl drowned and may have been placed in the water at Tweed Heads, with her body eventually washing up 30 kilometres north at Surfers Paradise.

The baby’s 47-year-old father is being extradited from Queensland by NSW Police on Wednesday. He will be charged on his return to NSW.

Her 23-year-old mother remains in custody but has not been charged.

2. Disturbing details emerge about Jarryd Hayne’s alleged sexual assault.

Prosecutors will claim Jarryd Hayne bit the woman he is charged with sexually assaulting so badly she required hospitalisation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Daily Telegraph reported prosecutors will also claim the NRL player told a taxi to wait for him outside the woman’s home on the night of the incident, before emerging 20 minutes later and leaving.

Hayne is believed to have been in the Hunter Region on September 30 – NRL grand final day – and started conversation with the 26-year-old woman on social media, then went to her home.

The woman said Hayne entered a bedroom in the house and undressed her. Police will allege he then bit her, causing profuse bleeding and injuries so bad she required hospitalisation.

It is understood the woman’s mother was also at the home at the time.

Hayne has been bailed on a surety of $20,000 and will report to a Sydney police station three times a week after being charged with aggravated assault. He has also handed in his passport.

He is forbidden from contacting the woman or anyone she has a domestic relationship with.

Police confirmed they began investigating after the woman took her allegations to the NRL Integrity Unity, which passed on the information to detectives.

3. Bali Nine’s Renae Lawrence to be released.

After more than 13 years behind bars, Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence is preparing to leave Indonesia and head home to Australia.

The Bali Nine member, 41, is expected to be released from Bangli Prison in Bali’s mountainous east on Wednesday and board a flight to Sydney after completing her jail term for drug smuggling.

Lawrence, the only woman in the failed 2005 plot to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin into Australia, is the first to be released from prison.

She was originally given a 20-year sentence but served 13 years and seven months after numerous reductions for good behaviour.

The governor of Bangli Prison, where Lawrence spent the final years of her sentence, said he was unsure exactly when the Newcastle girl would be taken to the airport.

ADVERTISEMENT

No commercial flights to Sydney are due to depart Denpasar airport until late evening.

That may mean Lawrence swaps jail for immigration detention before her overnight flight home.

Prison governor Made Suwendra praised her for being co-operative and quiet, and contributing to prison life in Bangli.

He said he hoped she would be helped to integrate back into Australian life.

But before she reintegrates, Lawrence may have to answer to NSW police first over two arrest warrants that have been outstanding since her arrest in Bali in April 2005.

One alleges the former panel beater was involved in a high-speed chase in a stolen car on the Central Coast in March 2005.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller indicated a deal with her lawyers was more likely than handcuffs on the tarmac.

“From our perspective, we will make a time reasonable with her legal team to bring her in to have those warrants satisfied,” he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Lawrence, who informally farewelled Bangli inmates and guards on Monday, is the only Bali Nine member to be freed.

Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in 2015, Tan Duc Thahn Nguyen died of cancer in May this year, and five more men are serving life sentences.

4. Transgender bill passes Tasmanian lower house.

Transgender rights reforms that allow parents to choose whether to include their baby’s sex on a birth certificate are a step closer in Tasmania.

The legislation, put forward by the Labor opposition and the Greens, was voted through the state’s lower house Tuesday night after lengthy debate.

The bill also allows people aged 16 years or older to change the sex listed on their birth certificate by filling out a statutory declaration.

ADVERTISEMENT

The changes were passed by the casting vote of rogue Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey, who voted against her party and with Labor and the Greens.

Liberal Attorney-General Elise Archer believes the amendments are deeply flawed.

“This amended bill contains legally untested, unconsulted and highly problematic changes that we could not support,” she said in a statement.

Transforming Tasmania, a transgender and gender-diverse rights group, has lauded the changes, as have Labor and the Greens.

“These changes will make people, who we should all care about, feel happier, safer and more included,” Greens leader Cassy O’Connor told parliament.

The bill must pass Tasmania’s upper house, comprising mostly independents, before becoming law.

5. Baby girl’s death treated as suspicious.

The death of a baby girl is being treated as suspicious, with a man and a woman being questioned by police, just a day after another baby girl was found dead on a beach.

Police say a woman, 35, and a man, 37, are assisting with their inquiries into the death on Tuesday of the four-month-old infant from the Logan District.

She was taken to Queensland Children’s Hospital on Monday morning with life-threatening injuries and died there on Tuesday.

Detectives from the Logan Child Protection and Investigation Unit as well as homicide detectives are investigating.

It comes just a day after another baby girl was found dead on a Gold Coast beach in a separate incident.

The nine-month-old’s body was found washed up on the beach at Surfer’s Paradise on Monday, with her 48-year-old father and 23-year-old mother in custody but are yet to be charged.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???