1. Coward’s punch laws
The NSW Government will release details of tough new ‘cowards punch’ laws today.
Fairfax Media report that the reforms will include a mandatory minimum penalty of eight years in jail, and a maximum sentence of 25 years, would apply to one-punch assaults resulting in death where drugs or alcohol were found to be a factor.
No mandatory minimum sentence will apply for fatal one-punch assaults that do not involve drugs or alcohol. However, under laws flagged last year by Attorney-General Greg Smith and modelled on West Australian legislation, a maximum sentence of 20 years will apply.
This is lower than the 25-year maximum sentence for manslaughter, but the proposed law will make it easier to secure a lengthy prison sentence than it is to secure a murder conviction, where the Crown must prove the attacker knew the punch would be fatal.
2. Terrorist threats to Olympics
Islamist militants have issued a terror threat to organisers of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. With 60 Australian athletes attending the games, Australian organisers are concerned about growing terrorist threats.
For more read this post here. “Terrorist threats overshadow the upcoming Sochi Olympics”
3. Schapelle Corby
Schapelle Corby is one step closer to parole after fulfilling two of the requirements.
She has been issued with a new passport and a confirmation letter that she can stay in Indonesia.
She has now fulfilled all the immigration requirements of a foreign prisoner serving parole – including a guarantee from the Australian embassy that she will behave well.
The two remaining hurdles are sign-off from a meeting of staff of the Corrections Department to confirm that all the paperwork is in order, and then political approval from Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin.
4. Accused baby basher faces court
A Townsville mother accused of punching her baby girl in the face has appeared in court.
Police say a passer-by allegedly saw the 29-year-old punch the crying baby, who was in a pram on a footpath.
The mother appeared briefly before the Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.