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'My real beef is with netball bosses.' Liz Ellis clarifies her comments about Maria Folau, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. ‘My real beef is with netball bosses.’ Liz Ellis clarifies her comments about Maria Folau.

Netball great Liz Ellis has clarified her comments against Maria Folau, saying her “real beef” is with Super Netball and the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

On Sunday, Ellis tweeted about the response from netball bosses that said there was “no action required” as Folau did not violate her employer’s social media policy when she reposted her husband’s controversial appeal for money to support his legal case against Rugby Australia.

“Yeah nah not good enough,” former Australian Diamonds captain Liz Ellis wrote on social media in response.

“There is no room for homophobia in our game. Anyone who is seen to support or endorse homophobia is not welcome,” she said.

The former captain of the national team and the Sydney Swifts said while she loved watching Maria Folau play she did not want her sport endorsing the views of her husband.

Like everything related to Israel Folau, the tweet garnered thousands of likes and responses and sparked major debate on social media.

On Tuesday, Ellis clarified her comments in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, writing that she was disappointed by the response from netball bosses.

“Firstly, my beef was not with Maria Folau,” Ellis wrote. “Of course she is welcome to play in Super Netball. In fact, I am rapt that she does.

“She is one of the most mesmerising, enigmatic and skilful goal attacks ever to play our game. To watch her sink long bomb after long bomb from the edge of the circle under all sorts of pressure is nothing short of amazing.”

The Kiwi netballer, who moved to the Thunderbirds this year from New Zealand’s ANZ Premiership, remained quiet on her husband’s views for more than 10 weeks. While she did so, netball did not need to comment, but when she reposted his fundraising campaign over the weekend Ellis said Super Netball and the Thunderbirds were forced into a response.

“They must have understood that at some point netball would be dragged into this mess, and yet when it was, it took them more than 48 hours to respond. When they did, the response was insipid,” she wrote.

Ellis noted that legally, the sport’s governing bodies could not do anything “other than publicly slap her on the wrist” as her social media actions did not breach her contract. But she said they missed an opportunity to strongly condemn homophobia and discrimination.

“They could have given Maria her slap on the wrist, but combined it with something so much stronger. To say without equivocation, without weasel words, that homophobia is not welcome in our sport.

“To me, it was a lost opportunity to say to LGBTQI players, both in the league and in the suburbs, that they are welcome, they are wanted and they are supported.”

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Ellis’ article came on the same day ANZ, partner of New Zealand national team the Silver Ferns, said it did not “support the views of Silver Fern Maria Folau and have made our views known to her employer Netball NZ”.

Another sponsor, MYOB, said that it had reminded Netball NZ that it expects it to share and express its “values of diversity, tolerance and inclusion” but did not directly mention Folau, even when pressed by Stuff.

Netball New Zealand confirmed it would stand by Folau, who had not breached any of its policies.

In a statement, Netball NZ said it “values inclusion and diversity across all areas of the community and our sport whether its gender, ethnicity, socio economic status, sexuality, religion, and we take responsibility as role models for young New Zealanders very seriously.

“We acknowledge that people have differing views and beliefs. It is important those opinions and views are expressed in constructive and respectful ways.”

Folau will return to New Zealand this week to begin preparations for the Netball World Cup, taking place in Liverpool in just over two weeks time.

2. Anita Cobby killer Gary Murphy attacked in prison shower.


One of the five men convicted for killing Sydney nurse Anita Cobby has been attacked in a Sydney prison.

Gary Murphy was assaulted at the Long Bay Correctional Complex about 10.20am on Tuesday, a Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said.

She said Murphy was taken to hospital later that morning, where he remains in a stable condition.

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Police were investigating and “a number of possible assailants have been identified,” she said.

Murphy, now 61, was in 1987 found guilty of raping and killing Ms Cobby, along with his brothers Leslie and Michael Murphy, Michael Murdoch and John Travers.

All were sentenced to life in prison, never to be released. Michael Murphy died in jail in February of this year.

Ms Cobby, 26, had been walking home from Blacktown train station when five men dragged her into a stolen Holden Kingswood in February 1986.

They drove her to a secluded paddock where she was raped and beaten, then had her throat slit and was left to bleed to death.

3. Community search for lost Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez continues in Byron Bay.

theo hayez missing
Theo Hayez. Image: Facebook.

Locals are continuing to piece together the final known movements of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez as they blanket Byron Bay with new posters.

The 18-year-old was last seen on CCTV walking through the seaside NSW town after leaving the Cheeky Monkey's bar about 11pm on May 31.

The last "ping" from Theo's phone was recorded on June 1 in the area around the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Searches have failed to locate his clothing or phone, which volunteers feel could be key to learning Theo's fate.

Cheeky Monkey's manager Colm Brennan said Theo had been at the tourist bar for just a few hours and only had two drinks before he was asked to leave.

"He sat down, he chatted, he had a dance and that was it," Mr Brennan told AAP on Tuesday.

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"He left okay, he just walked down the street."

Mr Brennan, himself a former backpacker, said Theo's disappearance from the holiday hotspot was "very sad".

"He was just starting out - just 18 - and he's vanished."

Locals had hoped the bar's regular photographer may have snapped the young man in the crowd but the photographer did not work that night.

Volunteers distributed pamphlets, posters and letters around Byron Bay on Tuesday.

The volunteers also asks the local community for any CCTV footage which may include Theo.

Searches were suspended over the weekend amid heavy rains and have yet to resume.

Theo's mother, who arrived in Australia in the last few days, was expected to meet with volunteer search coordinators in Byron Bay on Tuesday.

4. Accused Claremont serial killer was venting 'pent up anger' when he attacked a stranger.


Mental health assessments of the man accused of the Claremont serial killings concluded he was venting pent up anger when he attacked a woman he'd just met in 1990, a Perth court has heard.

Bradley Robert Edwards was convicted of assault over the crime at Hollywood Hospital, which involved him grabbing the victim from behind, putting material over her mouth and attempting to drag her into a toilet, but she broke free.

Cable ties were found in his pocket.

He apologised and was sentenced to two years probation.

A West Australian Supreme Court directions hearing on Tuesday heard details of psychological and psychiatric reports on Edwards following that offence.

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Superficially, there was no provocation other than the victim speaking to him in an irritable tone.

The former Telstra technician was unable to offer an explanation for his actions or what he planned to do.

But he pointed to frustrations about not being able to fix equipment that day and pressure from his girlfriend, who, after announcing her love for him, revealed she was still sleeping with an ex-boyfriend, which sparked an argument.

"It is likely this source of agitation played a role," the psychologist said.

He said Edwards' "usual practise is to suppress or bottle up his emotions", he had a strong need to feel secure in a close personal relationship and had "quite a fragile self esteem".

"Being betrayed by his girlfriend left him feeling hurt," the psychologist said.

The psychiatrist said Edwards was "emotionally constricted" and it was unlikely the sources of frustration he cited were "the entire explanation".

The psychologist similarly reported Edwards had a "displacement of feeling", which Justice Stephen Hall said was essentially the prosecution's "emotional upset" argument.

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo agreed.

"Something wrong is done to him (by someone) close to him ... and he then takes it out on someone he doesn't know," Ms Barbagallo said.

She has previously argued the breakdown of Edwards' relationship in early 1996 coincided with the disappearance of Sarah Spiers, who was the first murder victim, and there were no more killings after he met someone new.

The court also heard on Tuesday that a Telstra van was spotted four to five times in October 1995 at the same cemetery, Karrakatta, where Edwards allegedly raped a woman in February that year.

Justice Hall asked if Ms Barbagallo was suggesting the rapist would go back to the scene of the crime and Ms Barbagallo replied yes, adding it "must be for malevolent purposes".

"Seeking opportunities to abduct, sexually assault and murder young women in those areas," she said.

"He sits around waiting for opportunities."

The evidence was consistent with other sightings of a Telstra van in the area, including a man offering girls lifts, Ms Barbagallo said.

She said the Karrakatta rape could be proved "beyond reasonable doubt on DNA alone".

The prosecution says Edwards' DNA was also found on the third murder victim, Ciara Glennon, and on a kimono he allegedly left behind after attacking a woman while she slept in her Huntingdale home in 1988.

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The court also heard Edwards said "you're assuming I've done it" in a police interview.

The officer responded "I'm not" then went on to say "science speaks for itself".

The case will return for a pre-trial conference in August.

5. NSW man allegedly shot dead over a barking dog.


An 18-year-old is believed to have shot dead his neighbour in central western NSW because the man's dogs would not stop barking.

The 25-year-old victim was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Monday afternoon, after emergency workers were called to property in Parkes just before 5pm. He later died.

Nathan Joseph Price was arrested at the scene and taken to Parkes police station, where he was charged with murder.

The shooting is believed to have followed an argument about the victim's dogs barking.

Superintendent Chris Taylor told reporters the men were "not great friends" but confirmed they lived on the same street and knew one another.

Police are not aware of any previous incidents between them, the ABC reported.

Price was also charged with firing a gun in a public place and possession of an unregistered, unauthorised gun in public.

He did not apply for release when his matter was called at Orange Local Court on Tuesday and it was formally refused.

He was ordered to reappear at Parkes Local Court on August 19.

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