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Sydney wife allegedly murdered in 'absolutely shocking' attack by husband, & more in News in 5.

CONTENT WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following post contains images and mentions of deceased Indigenous persons.

-With AAP.

1. Sydney wife allegedly murdered in ‘absolutely shocking’ attack by husband.


A 73-year-old man is behind bars after being charged with the stabbing murder of his wife in their western Sydney home.

Vincenzo Coluccio did not apply for bail and it was formally refused when his matter was briefly mentioned in Fairfield Local Court on Tuesday.

Coluccio drove himself to Merrylands police station late on Monday night and was taken into custody after a conversation with officers.

Detectives went to the couple’s Merrylands home, where they found the body of Coluccio’s 63-year-old wife Elia Culoccio, who had suffered a stab wound to her chest.

Police took Coluccio to Granville police station, where he was charged with murder.

He did not enter a plea on Tuesday and is due back in Fairfield Local Court on April 3.

Coluccio appeared in court with his police jumpsuit undone and a blank face, according to 9News.

The courtroom was packed, but no one was there to support him.

Forensic officers were examining the home on Tuesday, while detectives canvassed the area and interviewed residents.

A neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said the couple always kept to themselves and she never heard a raised voice from them.

“It’s absolutely shocking,” she told AAP on Tuesday.

“It’s always been a quiet street.”

2. Police launch probe into Qld flood deaths.

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An investigation has been launched into the conduct of police officers in the lead-up to the deaths of two men in floodwaters in Townsville.

The bodies of Troy Mathieson, 23, and Hughie Morton, 21, were found about noon on Tuesday as the water receded in a large open stormwater drain running through Aitkenvale Park in Townsville.

The Ethical Standards Command will now investigate the police who had been searching for the men after an attempted break-in at a nearby Dan Murphy’s liquor store at 3am on Monday.

The police probe will be overseen by the state’s Crime and Misconduct Commission and a report will be prepared for the State Coroner.

A relative of the men, Kandace Wyles, told the Courier-Mail the family was devastated.

“They (the family) are not coping at all,” she told the newspaper.

“They were beautiful boys.”

A local resident, who did not want to be named, saw police recovering the bodies.

Man-sized pipes spill into the drain where the pair were found, he said.

“It’s a direct line from Dan Murphy’s to where they found them,” he told AAP.

“There’s a drain just outside Dan’s and if they were sucked in there, they never stood a chance.”

3. AFL legend Adam Goodes and his partner are expecting their first child.

 

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AFL legend Adam Goodes and wife Natalie Croker have announced they are expecting their first child.

The 39-year-old retired Sydney Swans champion told the Daily Telegraph they were “very excited” to meet their baby in July.

He said they were not going to find out the sex of the baby as they wanted to keep it a surprise.

The couple secretly married in front of just 20 guests on the NSW south coast in 2016.

4. ‘Find a new vocation’: NRL bans Barba.

Ben Barba has been told it’s time to find a new career after effectively copping a life ban from the NRL.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg deregistered Barba on Tuesday and said he couldn’t foresee any way back for the former Dally M Medallist.

His hardline stance came after the NRL integrity unit viewed CCTV footage of a physical altercation involving Barba and his partner Ainslie Currie at a Townsville casino over the Australia Day weekend.

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The 2016 premiership winner had already been sacked by North Queensland over the incident which is under police investigation.

“His registration with the game is no longer and I can’t see a time, at any time, in the future that he’ll be welcomed back,” Greenberg said.

The life ban for Barba after a brilliant career marred by off-field controversies may mark a watershed for the NRL with Greenberg promising an escalation in penalties, particularly for indiscretions involving violence against women, after an off-season littered with ugly headlines.

Player misbehaviour will again be on the agenda when the ARL Commission meets for the first time in 2019 at Rugby League Central on Wednesday.

An emotional Greenberg, who knew Barba from his time as his club CEO at the Bulldogs, said he had not spoken to the 29-year-old but had sent a message to Currie through a third party to offer support and counselling.

The English Super League and Australian Rugby Union have both said they won’t offer Barba a career lifeline, leaving European club rugby union as his only option if he wants to continue playing professional football.

“I’m not going to call for (a worldwide ban) but what I am going to say is that in the jurisdiction that I uphold, there’s no place for him,” Greenberg said.

“It’s probably time for Ben to find a new vocation.”

Having debuted in 2008, Barba won the 2012 Dally M and led Canterbury to the grand final that year before his career first spiralled out of control.

He was stood down by the Bulldogs to seek help for alcohol and gambling issues, amid rumours of a domestic violence incident.

News Corp published photos of his partner with cuts and bruises to her face, however, she made no complaint to the NRL or the club.

After a stint at Brisbane in 2014, Barba played a leading part in Cronulla’s 2016 grand final win, scoring a decisive try in the first-half.

But trouble soon followed as he was suspended for 12 weeks when he recorded his second illicit drugs strike after the Sharks’ premiership celebrations.

He landed in French rugby union before he rebuilt his career in the English Super League, winning the Man of Steel award last year, and was offered a one-year deal by the Cowboys.

However he was sacked without ever playing a game for the Townsville-based club.

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5. Uni students to now complete ‘respectful relationships’ program.

Universities are warning students about their conduct as they head to orientation week around the country over the next fortnight.

Universities Australia will also start trials of a new online respectful relationships program it is developing with Our Watch, the leading agency dedicated to preventing violence against women.

The university peak body’s chairwoman, Margaret Gardner, urged students to look out for each other during orientation events.

“O Week is meant to be a time for new friendships and fun experiences before getting into study for the year – but we also want all students to be safe,” she told AAP in a statement.

“I want to be very clear once again: to any student who thinks it’s okay to have sex without the other person’s consent, think again. It’s not.”

The new relationships education program will be developed specifically for students in Australian universities based on research from experts in violence prevention and online learning.

Students will test it over the next 18 months.

It is part of universities’ ongoing work to prevent and act on sexual assault and harassment after a 2016 Human Rights Commission report found half of all students had been the victim of sexual harassment that year – a quarter in a university setting – and one-in-15 had been sexually assaulted.

“Sexual violence affects every country in the world — preventing it is a global challenge and our universities have stepped up to play their part,” Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said.

“No single program on its own can bring about change and that’s why this training will work in concert with a comprehensive university sector-led program to enhance counselling services, reporting policies, training for staff and wider violence prevention efforts.”

Our Watch is also helping universities develop a broader respect and equality program, including a new set of workplace standards, training packages, resources and toolkits for university leaders, staff and students to promote gender equality.

The tertiary education regulator last week said universities were responding comprehensively to the challenge of tackling assaults and harassment.

All now offer counselling services and report incident data internally, and almost all have set up a sexual assault and harassment task force and are collaborating with an external counselling provider.

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