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A 20yo NSW swim teacher has been charged over sexual abuse of two young girls, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

Warning: This post features details of alleged child sexual abuse that could be triggering for some readers.

1. A 20yo NSW swim teacher has been charged over sexual abuse of two young girls.

A 20-year-old swimming instructor accused of molesting two girls during swimming lessons did not apply for bail when his case was briefly mentioned in a Sydney court.

Kyle James Henk Daniels is charged with two counts of intentionally sexually touching a child under 10 years and one count of having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.

“It’s alleged one of the incidents occurred inside the pool,” Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec told a media conference, news.com.au reported.

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“We’ll allege that they occurred over two separate days probably about a week and a half apart.”

Daniels was arrested on Tuesday and bail was formally refused on Wednesday at Manly Local Court. The case is scheduled to return to court on March 20.

He had been an instructor at a lower north shore swim school for two years and had previously attended Sydney’s prestigious Knox Grammar School.

Investigations began after the girls – aged six and eight – told their parents of the alleged sexual assaults, which are alleged to have happened in February.

Detective Superintendent Kerlatec praised the girl’s bravery.

“These young, brave kids put their hands up to mum and dad and said ‘something happened’, that is exceptionally brave,” he said.

“He was engaged in teaching these young girls how to swim and it’s alleged that the offences took place during those lessons.”

Police allege the assaults occurred on two separate days some 12 days apart in and around the pool used for swimming lessons.

If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse) here.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24- hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).

2. Cardinal George Pell’s new reality of life behind bars.

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Visibly affected by his first two weeks behind bars, George Pell has returned to prison knowing he could be there for the rest of his life.

Jailed for a maximum six years by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd on Wednesday, the disgraced cardinal will be 80 when his minimum non-parole period expires in three years and eight months.

Any chance of freedom before then will be pinned to his appeal application, to be heard in Victoria’s Court of Appeal in June.

A bail application was foreshadowed when his conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996 became public.

Pell sat emotionless and looking visibly thinner through more than an hour-long sentence hearing where the judge noted he would spend a “substantial portion” of his remaining life expectancy behind bars.

“I am conscious that a term of imprisonment … carries with it a real, as distinct from theoretical, possibility that you may not live to be released from prison,” he said.

He pointed to the brazenness of Pell’s offending from a position of power and authority as the newly-installed Archbishop of Melbourne.

“Your obvious status as Archbishop cast a powerful shadow over this offending,” he said.

Pell hadn’t delivered threats to secure the boys’ silence, clearly feeling he didn’t need to, the judge said.

“In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance.”

Pell, who was until late-February the Vatican’s treasurer, is the most senior member of the Catholic Church to be jailed for child sexual abuse.

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Former prime minister John Howard was one of 10 people who provided character references that spoke of Pell’s life dedicated to service.

“Self-evidently you have experienced an exceptional career with the Catholic Church. You are clearly an intelligent and hard-working man,” Judge Kidd said.

His life behind bars will be more difficult with concerns over his safety given his notoriety and high profile, the judge noted.

A Corrections Victoria assistant commissioner provided a statement on Pell’s first days in custody, noting he had been assessed as an “immediate risk of serious threat”.

That risk may be reduced by time in protection and in time, Pell may be able to mix with a limited number of heavily vetted prisoners, the commissioner noted.

3. Queensland police appeal for information about missing five-year-old boy.

Queensland Police are desperately searching for a five-year-old boy who has been missing from his Brisbane home for a week.

Cassandra Standley, 38, and Shannon Adams, 35, were last seen with the boy on March 6, and were reported missing to police today.

Police have issued an Amber Alert and say the pair are known to the boy, who may be at significant risk.

The Ms Standley and Mr Adams are known to the boy, and all three are thought to be in the Aspley area.

The boy is about 120cm tall, and described as Caucasian in appearance with a fair complexion and short blonde hair.

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Ms Standley is approximately 165cm tall, described as Caucasian in appearance with a slim build, light brown hair and brown eyes.

Mr Adams is approximately 175cm, described as Caucasian in appearance, of a medium build, with short brown hair and blue eyes.

4. Infamous Snowtown serial killer seeks release date.


Snowtown serial killer Robert Joe Wagner will apply to have a date set for his release from prison, but victim advocates say his bid for eventual freedom will retraumatise the families of those he murdered.

Wagner is serving 10 consecutive life sentences over the infamous “bodies-in-the-barrels” killing spree, and has applied to the Supreme Court to have a non-parole period set.

The ringleader in the murders, John Justin Bunting, is similarly serving life without parole.

In a handwritten letter to the Supreme Court Wagner said the setting of a non-parole period would improve his mental wellbeing.

“Even if the non-parole period was lengthy, just having a date would be beneficial for me,” he said.

“I have done almost 20 years in custody and I hope that this can be taken into consideration.

“My behaviour in prison has been reasonably good.”

Wagner said he would like the chance to spend more time with his 21-year-old son.

“I have been in custody since he was 18 months old and would very much like the chance to spend time with him in the community,” he said.

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But Homicide Victims Support Group founder Lynette Nitschke said the possibility of parole would retraumatise Wagner’s victims.

“You just want them to go away and not hear about them,” she told The Advertiser.

“One of the hard things is going through all of this over and over again.”

Two other men, Mark Ray Haydon and James Spyridon Vlassakis, are also behind bars over the killings; Vlassakis after pleading guilty to four murders and Haydon for helping Wagner and Bunting dispose of the bodies.

Their killings were were exposed in 1999 when police found eight dismembered bodies in acid-filled barrels in the vault of a disused bank in Snowtown, north of Adelaide.

Two more bodies were found buried in a backyard at suburban Salisbury North while detectives later linked two further deaths to Bunting and Wagner.

After a trial lasting 170 days, Bunting was found guilty of 11 murders and Wagner, who had pleaded guilty to three, was convicted on a further seven charges.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in relation to one of the killings.

Bunting and Wagner had claimed they were taking action against pedophiles but also tortured their victims and accessed their bank accounts to drain them of welfare payments.

Wagner’s application for a non-parole period will be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday.

5. Saudi women’s rights activists, who campaigned for the right to drive, to stand trial.

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Several Saudi Arabian women rights activists are on trial for the first time since a group of them were detained last year in a case that has intensified scrutiny of Riyadh’s human rights record after the murder of a prominent journalist.

Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan and Hatoon Al-Fassi are among around 10 women appearing before the Criminal Court in the capital, Riyadh, where charges will be presented against them, court president Ibrahim al Sayari said.

He was speaking to reporters and diplomats, who were barred from attending the session on Wednesday.

The women are among about a dozen prominent activists who were arrested last May in the weeks before a ban on women driving cars in the conservative kingdom was lifted.

At the time of the arrests, the public prosecutor said five men and four women were being held on suspicion of harming the country’s interests and offering support to hostile elements abroad.

State-backed media labelled them as traitors and “agents of embassies”, unnerving foreign diplomats in the key US ally.

Hathloul’s brother tweeted late on Tuesday that the family had been informed that the trial had been moved to the criminal court from the Specialised Criminal Court, which was set up to try terrorism cases but is often used for political offences. It was not clear what was behind the decision.

Three dozen countries, including all 28 EU members, called on Riyadh last week to release the activists. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his British counterpart have said they raised the issue with Saudi authorities during recent visits.

Activists say some of them, including Hathloul, were held in solitary confinement and subjected to mistreatment and torture, including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault. Saudi officials have denied those allegations.

Hathloul had advocated an end to the driving ban and the kingdom’s male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male relative for major decisions.

Nafjan and Yousef participated in a protest against the driving ban in 2013.

Activists and diplomats have speculated that the arrests may have been aimed at appeasing conservative elements opposed to social reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The prince has courted the West to support his reform drive. But his reputation was tarnished after Saudi agents killed Jamal Khashoggi, a royal insider-turned-critic, last October at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

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