News in 5: Jayde Kendall’s dad issues warning; Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster brother sentenced; unvaccinated children childcare ban in NSW.

1. Dad’s emotional warning as his 16-year-old daughter’s killer is sent to jail.

The father of murdered Queensland schoolgirl Jayde Kendall has warned the parole board to “think about your own children” when considering releasing her killer Brenden Bennetts in the future.

Bennetts, 21, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday after a jury took just four hours to reach a guilty verdict for murder, AAP reports.

Jayde was last seen alive getting into Bennetts’ distinctive red Toyota Corolla after school about 3.20pm on Friday, August 14, 2015. And prosecutor Vicki Loury QC argued it was likely Jayde was dead not long after 4pm.

Loury said Bennetts was a “very good actor” and destroyed all things linking himself to Jayde, including her belongings and text messages showing the pair were meeting up for sexual activity. “He let her family search for her in the vain hope she was alive,” Loury told the court.

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The trial heard Bennetts withdrew money from Jayde’s bank account and had searched YouTube for “best way to dispose of a body” the day before he killed her.

Justice Ann Lyons said Bennetts had betrayed the trust of an inexperienced girl, telling him: “Your ability to calmly detach from events around you is alarming and concerning as is your calculated web of lies and deception.”

Outside the court, Jayde’s father Bruce Morrissey sent a message to the parole board who may one day decide to release Bennetts back into the community.

“Think about those that you love and care about around you and then ask yourself would you feel safe, him being around your daughters, your children,” Morrissey said. “I just want her to be remembered for the spirt that she was – a kind, innocent girl who was taken too soon. There was no need for it. No need for it.”

2. Police want your help locating a 10-year-old girl missing in regional Victoria.

A 10-year-old Victorian girl has been missing for about three weeks, police say.

Cecilia Johnson-Brown was last seen at Bendigo Railway Station and she is believed to be in the company of a relative.

Investigators think she remains in the Bendigo area and are urging anyone with information to come forward.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Mildura Police Station on 03 5018 5360.

3. Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster brother sentenced to four years jail for incest and involvement in her murder.

The moment Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster brother confessed to having sex with the 12-year-old, the Brisbane schoolgirl’s fate was sealed, a court has heard.

Trent Thorburn, 20, confessed to his mother in late October 2015 he’d had sex with Tiahleigh amid fears the young girl was pregnant. Within hours it is alleged Tiahleigh was murdered.

On Thursday, Thorburn was given a head sentence of four years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to four charges including incest at the Beenleigh District Court. With time already served, Thorburn’s sentence will be suspended for five years on January 20, 2018.

The court heard Thorburn had sex with Tiahleigh on at least one occasion in October. Concerned she was pregnant, Thorburn confessed to his mother, an action crown prosecutor David Nardone said was the “catalyst” to Tiahleigh’s death.

Judge Craig Chowdhury said Thorburn engaged in “a sustained, immoral and disgraceful plan” with other family members to cover up Tiahleigh’s death.

4. Children in NSW must be vaccinated to attend childcare, new laws say.

Unvaccinated children will be banned from NSW childcare facilities from January after state parliament passed legislation.

The NSW legislation, which passed on Wednesday night and scraps the “conscientious objector” option, means directors of childcare centres will face a fine up to $5500 if they break the rules. This comes after figures released in June revealed the NSW north coast’s vaccination rate trailed the rest of the nation.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard says the majority of the NSW community has achieved “outstanding” vaccination rates. However, “all it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness”.

The rules will not apply to children on a recognised catch-up vaccination schedule and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

5. Selena Gomez receives a kidney transplant.

Pop star Selena Gomez has revealed she underwent a kidney transplant over the summer in an Instagram post that shows her in hospital beside her friend, who donated the organ.

In the post, shared on Thursday, the Good For You singer said that fans had been wondering why she had been “laying low” over the summer.

“I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health,” she said.

The singer also shared images of a post-operative scar on her lower abdomen.

To read more of this story, click here.

6. Teaching at religious schools will not be affected if same-sex marriage is made legal.


Federal coalition MPs who back marriage equality have assured religious institutions and faith-based schools they will not be affected if same-sex couples are allowed to marry.

Minister for Education Senatory Simon Birmingham says the ‘Coalition Parliamentarians for Yes’ will respect the final decision of Australians. But parents of children at faith-based schools should not be fazed.

“Sexual discrimination act provisions that allow for faith-based schools to teach according to the doctrines of their faith will in no way be changed,” he said.

Liberal senator Kelly O’Dwyer said the same applied to churches, mosques and synagogues which will not be forced into marrying same-sex couples.

Both Birmingham and O’Dwyer  have pledged to vote ‘yes’ in ongoing survey, which began on Tuesday with a result expected on November 15.

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