Thursday’s news in 5 minutes.

Video via Channel 7

1. A man killed his girlfriend’s five-year-old son in a drug-fuelled crash, then he married her and posed on the boy’s grave.

Dean Collins, 23, was high on cocaine and holding a mobile phone to his ear when he drove head-on into another car on a Cardiff road in September 2015.

Five-year-old Joseph Smith, the “footie-mad” son of his girlfriend Laura Bright, was a passenger in Dean’s car and was not in a booster seat.

The little boy was six inches too short to have been travelling without a booster seat, and was killed when he broke his neck in the accident.

Months after Joseph was killed, Dean and Laura married, posing at the little boy’s grave in their wedding attire. The couple are now expecting a child together.

Advertisement

This week, The Sun reports, Collins has been sentenced to six years behind bars for his role in Joseph’s death. He was also given four sentences of three years to run concurrently, for each person injured in the accident.

In sentencing, the judge told Collins he had “never acknowledged any fault” for his role in the smash despite “overwhelming evidence it was entirely your fault”.

“The general manner of your driving was impatient and a general disregard for road safety”.

2. Daily Mail ordered to pay Melania Trump damages after article hinted at sordid past.

Britain’s Daily Mail has agreed to pay Melania Trump an undisclosed sum and issue an apology after it published an article saying the US First Lady had offered “services beyond simply modelling” in her former job.

President Donald Trump’s wife, 46, had sued the publisher of the Daily Mail in Britain and also filed a $US150 million ($A200 million) lawsuit against it in New York, claiming the article had cost her millions of dollars in potential business.

A person familiar with the situation said the settlement was worth less than $US3 million, including legal costs and damages.

The Daily Mail, which runs what it calls the world’s largest English-language newspaper website, apologised for the article on Wednesday and issued a retraction on its home page.

“An article on 20th August 2016 about Melania Trump…questioned the nature of her work as a professional model and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling,” publisher Associated Newspapers said.

“We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them… We have agreed to pay her damages and costs.”

Accepting the apology at the High Court in London, Trump’s lawyer said the article, headlined “Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump”, was published as a two-page spread and accompanied by an old photo of Melania Trump standing naked with her front against a wall but looking back at the camera.

“Readers of the newspaper that day could not fail to miss the article”, John Kelly told the court.

“The article included false and defamatory claims about the claimant which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model.

“The suggestion that such allegations even merit investigation is deeply offensive and has caused a great deal of upset and distress to the claimant.”

3. Gravedigger accused of taking photos of dead bodies in Adelaide to show friends.

A gravedigger accused of taking photos of dead bodies and sharing them with friends did not commit a crime, police and law experts say.

7 News reports the allegations emerged last month about the former employee of the Cheltenham Cemetery in Adelaide’s west.

They caused Planning Minister John Rau to order the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority to prepare a report, which was handed to police to investigate.

“Police have no evidence of any criminal offence having been committed,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.

The gravedigger allegedly took photographs of bodies, skulls and bones while working at the cemetery and later showed them to friends.

Prominent Adelaide lawyer Craig Caldicott says while this is a ghoulish thing to do, it’s not technically illegal.

“I think it’s immoral and reprehensible conduct but in the eyes of the law it’s not an offence,” he said.

Mr Caldicott’s firm researched some potential charges relating to the accusations, including the production or exhibition of offensive material.

“But we formed the view that you wouldn’t be able to stick the charges,” the lawyer said.

He said it was an awkward area of law because people often take photos of their deceased loved ones in a coffin.

“And there are textbooks all over the place with pictures of dead bodies in them,” Mr Caldicott said.

He said lawmakers might wish to review the relevant charges to make this specific behaviour illegal in future.

The allegations were made during an unrelated investigation into the man, who later resigned from his job at the cemetery.

4. Wife who killed drunk husband with ‘single stab to the heart’ avoids jail.

A Perth mother who killed her drunk husband with a single stab to the heart after he assaulted her has been found not guilty of murder, AAP reports.

Vainerii Taungaroa Emile-Bruning has been on trial in the District Court of WA for the past week, charged with the murder of Alan Bruning at their Manning home on April 10 last year.

The court heard Mr Bruning, a 41-year-old fish filleter from New Zealand’s North Island, had brought some work colleagues back to the house to continue drinking after they’d been to a tavern and their BBQ plans at a park were rained out.

The men had been playing a slapping game in the garage in a bid to see who could endure the most punishment while the drinking progressed to sipping sprits straight from the bottle.

The play became more rambunctious, with the deceased knocking one of the men unconscious during a tackle.

Afterwards, the couple became embroiled in an argument about cleaning up that escalated to Mr Bruning physically assaulting his wife.

It ended when the accused woman’s 13-year-old son intervened.

Defence lawyer Anthony Eyers said his client then ran into the adjoining kitchen and grabbed the first weapon she could find – a filleting knife – because she feared her husband would keep hurting her and could kill her.

The court heard she had long been frustrated by his excessive drinking, but was terrified as she had never seen him that enraged with a “look of hatred” in his eyes, nor had he previously assaulted her that seriously.

 

Mr Eyers said his client did not thrust the knife at Mr Bruning, but rather he ran at her and impaled himself on it, arguing his client acted in self-defence.

Prosecutor David Thiering said Ms Emile-Bruning deliberately stabbed her husband, having decided to “hurt him as he had hurt her”.

A jury took just two hours to acquit her on Wednesday.

Mr Eyers said Ms Emile-Bruning’s reaction to the verdict was one of quiet dignity.

She went immediately home to take care of her eldest son, now aged 15, another son aged 14, and a six-year-old girl whose father was Mr Bruning.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

5. Fears for a Melbourne mum and her children, aged 4 and 2, missing since Valentine’s Day.

Police have appealed for help in finding a mother and her two children who have been missing for almost two months, the Herald Sun reports.

Thuy Thi Tran, 27, and her two children, four-year-old Caysy Nguyen and Emily Nguyen, 2, were last seen in St Albans, Melbourne on February 14.

Police are concerned for the welfare of the trio as the two young children require medical attention.

Authorities have released CCTV images and photos of the mother and her two children in hopes that someone knows their whereabouts.

They believe the trio may be around Avondale Heights, St Albans, Sunshine and Richmond.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

6. Backlash at Ksubi founder Dan Single’s GoFundMe campaign for hospital bills.

The founder of fashion label Ksubi has been labelled “disgusting”, a “disgrace” and “pathetic” for asking the public to raise $250,000 to help cover his medical bills after he fell from a Paris balcony.

On his GoFundMe page, Dan Single said he shattered “every bone from my feet to my hips and pelvis” from the 35-metre fall out of his hotel room in March.

“I have been in a coma for two weeks, had eight operations and am covered in pins and bolts in my bones,” said Mr Single who is married to Australian model Bambi Northwood-Blyth.

His fundraising target of $250,000 will “help fund the hospital bill, rehab bill, early flights home, being unable to make bread and work over the next months and all the incedentals (sic) the family is covering at the moment.”

But the fashion designer’s request has been met with backlash and a bunch of $5 donations.

Alana French, who donated $5, said “Who the hell do you think you are? You’re asking for a quarter of a million dollars when it was your fault that you jumped off that balcony!”

“I’m here to tell you that you are a disgusting human being and you should be punished for setting this page up,” she said.

An anonymous donator said “How come you can fund partying, drinking and overseas trips but not your own recovery?”

“I’ll give you $5 with the sole intent of telling you what an idiot everyone thinks you are.”

Another person said “You are pathetic” and “Fund your own recovery. You’re a disgrace.”

His fundraising page had received $405 since April 10. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Single has since removed the the fundraising plea from GoFundMe’s site.

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
FROM OUR NETWORK