1. Man accused of bashing two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich to death says her mum did it, not him.
A Victorian man has denied bashing a two-year-old to death saying he only helped hide her body in the roof after his former girlfriend murdered her daughter.
John Clifford Torney’s lawyer claims that his de facto wife Peta-Ann Francis was the killer of her two-year-old daughter.
Ms Francis reported Nikki missing after she discovered her little girl’s bed was empty in August last year. The toddler had spent the morning at home with Torney while her mother ran errands.
Her body was discovered several hours later after a police officer noticed dirty fingerprints on a manhole cover in the hallway and climbed on a chair to investigate.
The court heard she may have been alive for more than an hour after she was bashed. The prosecutor said Nikki had injuries to her kidney, liver and skull and had lost one third of her body’s blood volume.
The former lovers who lived just doors from each other have turned against each other, with Ms Francis now the main witness against Mr Torney, reports The Herald Sun.
The prosecution claims the pair smoked cannabis and had sex either before or after he killed two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich.
Defence counsel Julie Condon used her opening address in Torney’s murder trial to claim that Ms Francis was a liar.
“She’s not (a truthful witness). What you will see when you listen to her evidence and you observe her is a woman who has spun so many lies about this. Not little white lies — big bad lies that relate to the most fundamental of questions in this trial.”
Ms Condon said Ms Francis told Torney she had thrown the girl on the bed, and asked him to hide the body and go along with the missing person’s story.
John Torney has pleaded not guilty.
2. Coalition moves to allow controversial weapon into Australia.
The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull along with NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, have opened the door to allowing the controversial Adler A110 shotgun to be imported into Australia.
State ministers are considering giving the shotgun a higher classification but their talks have stalled. The federal government has extended an interim ban on imports of the gun until an agreement is reached.
Mr Grant, the NSW Police Minister, will today take to state cabinet a proposal for NSW to back a tighter reclassification of the weapon so that the ban on its importation can be lifted. He will ask the Baird cabinet to make the gun available only to farmers and any professional shooters they hire to get rid of feral pests.
The Adler, which uses a lever action to load fresh cartridges and is capable of firing eight rounds in as many seconds, is classified as category A firearm, the least restrictive classification.
Nationals MP Mark Coulton says the heated debate is actually about reclassifying the Adler lever-action shotgun so that its use is covered by tougher restrictions that it is now.