news

News in 5: Confession of Zoe Buttigieg's murderer; Cyber safety training for kids; Maccas' baldness cure.

1. The never-before-seen confession of 11-year-old Zoe Buttigieg’s murderer: ‘It was like a bad movie.’

Zoe Buttigieg
11-year-old Zoe Buttigieg was murdered in 2015. Image via 9 News.

Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault and child abuse and may be distressing for some readers.

On the night of October 24, 2015, 11-year-old Zoe Buttigieg was asleep in her Wangaratta home, north-east of Melbourne, while her mother had four people over for a party.

At 11am the next day, Zoe's mother found her daughter's body, covered by her doona, in her room.

Bowe Maddigan, then aged 30, was later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, admitting he had entered Zoe's room during the party, coaxed her down from the top bunk, before indecently assaulting and murdering her.

Now, never-before-seen footage of Maddigan's interview with police has been aired by 9 News.

ADVERTISEMENT

After initially refusing to answer investigator's questions, Maddigan eventually admits to the crime, describing his actions that night as "like a bad movie".

You can watch the video below:

Video via Channel 9

"I couldn't stop the button, I couldn't pause the button, I couldn't rewind the button," he said.

"I had to sit through a horror movie."

When asked how he felt about what he had done, he replied that his actions "made him feel sick".

The new footage is accompanied by the first public interview with Zoe's mother, Janelle Saunders, since her only child's death.

Speaking to 9 News in an interview that is set to air tonight, she described her daughter as "an innocent child".

"I just thought, this can't be happening," she told reporter Lexi Daish.

She said when she noticed Maddigan was missing during the party, she and her fellow guests checked "all the rooms" in the house but Zoe's.

"That decision haunts me every day because if I'd opened that door, she'd still be here," she said.

"It's something that never goes away... this is something that will be there forever.

"There's such a big hole missing from my life, because she's all I had."

2. Sydney father-of-two dies after accidentally being given the medication of another patient.

Paul Lau hospital death inquest
Paul Lau was just 54 when he died after routine surgery. Image via 9 News.

A man who went into a Sydney hospital for a routine knee reconstruction died after he was given the medication of another more complex patient, a NSW coroner has heard.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to AAP, an inquest at Glebe Coroner's Court is looking into the death of father-of-two Paul Lau, who was 54 when he died following his day surgery at Sydney's Macquarie University Hospital in June 2015.

Counsel assisting, Kirsten Edwards, said she expected evidence that Mr Lau suffered an overdose after he was mistakenly given the medication of another patient who had surgery after him.

"It probably strikes fear in the heart of anyone who might be going for routine day surgery," she said during her opening address on Monday.

Ms Edwards suggested that hospital staff then missed more than 15 opportunities to detect the error and save Mr Lau's life, with his medical chart passing through many hands during his stay.

The inquest heard the initial mistake occurred when anaesthetist Orison Kim accidentally entered medications for another patient into Mr Lau's record.

Dr Kim told the inquest he was using the hospital's new electronic prescribing system and hadn't received or requested any formal training as of June 2015.

The anaesthetist accepted that he would have been alerted to duplicated medicines on Mr Lau's entry, and he would have had to override those alerts.

He said that when he saw Mr Lau later and noticed he was on a medication that he hadn't prescribed, he assumed someone else had previously prescribed it.

Ms Edwards said this was a serious missed opportunity to detect and reverse the fatal mistake before Mr Lau died.

"Paul clearly had two medical devices that hadn't been prescribed by Dr Kim," she said.

She said she expected evidence and submissions that other staff including several nurses also failed to review and inquire about Mr Lau's medication.

The court heard everyone involved in the inquest had been cooperative and the staff involved in Mr Lau's care had accepted they made mistakes.

Macquarie University Hospital had conducted an internal investigation and a number of disciplinary hearings and procedural changes had been made, Ms Edwards said.

The inquest continues.

3. Research suggests babies' hospitalisation rates are linked to pregnant mums' intake of antibiotics. 

pregnant woman holding belly
Image via Getty.

Children whose mothers took antibiotics during pregnancy face a greater risk of needing hospital treatment for infections, research suggests.

A study by the Melbourne-based Murdoch Children's Research Institute has found children born to mums who took antibiotics during pregnancy can have up to a 20 per cent higher chance of being hospitalised with an infection, AAP reports.

Those whose mothers who took antibiotics while pregnant and had vaginal births were at a greater risk of infection than those delivered by caesarean section.

The findings, published on Monday in the International Journal of Epidemiology, were based on a data from Denmark where about one-in-five mothers were prescribed antibiotics during their pregnancies.

The study's lead author Dr Jessica Miller said the findings highlighted the importance of using antibiotics sensibly to treat infections in pregnant women as the drugs can reduce the amount of "good" bacteria in the mother's gut's microbiome, which is passed on to babies during vaginal births.

"A healthy microbiome is important early in life for the developing immune system and possibly for preventing serious infection," she said.

About one-in-eight pregnant women in Australia are estimated to be prescribed antibiotics in pregnancy.

For their study, the researchers looked at data collected from more than 776,000 infants who were born in Denmark between 1997 and 2009.

Eighteen per cent of the children were born to mothers with at least one recorded antibiotic prescription during pregnancy.

More than 222,000 children ended up being hospitalised with an infection by the time they turned 14, with boys more likely than girls to need treatment.

The researchers found that children born vaginally to mothers prescribed antibiotics in pregnancy had the highest risk for needing hospital treatment for gastrointestinal infections.

They suggested this could be because when a baby is born vaginally their gut microbiome is formed from their mother's gut and birth canal, and could have been affected by the antibiotics taken before birth.

The gut microbiomes of babies born by caesarean section are based on their mother's skin and hospital environment.

However the researchers acknowledged their study could have some limitations, particularly because an infection suffered by a pregnant woman rather than antibiotic exposure could play a role in the risk faced by children needing hospitalisation for infections.

They said details of infections the mothers in the study were being treated for were not available to them.

The researchers were also not able to tell whether the mothers who were prescribed antibiotics before and during pregnancy took them as directed.

4. "I want to say to Senator Bernardi: shame on you": WA Senator Lina Reynolds delivers blistering retort to suggestions army women should not serve in combat.

Cory Bernardi
Cory Bernardi. Image via Getty.

A retired brigadier turned Liberal senator has launched a stinging attack on upper house colleague Cory Bernardi for claiming that women should not serve in combat roles in the Australian Defence Force.

WA Senator Linda Reynolds, who was Australia's first woman brigadier in the Army Reserve, branded the Australian Conservatives leader a "complete and utter disgrace" after he said women in combat could pose risks to the nation's national security.

Senator Bernardi spoke against removing an exemption in the Sex Discrimination Act which allows discrimination against women being given combat roles.

"It's about blurring the lines between political correctness and sound tactics in the name of what I think is social justice," Senator Bernardi told parliament.

He said he had deep concerns about the dangers of women serving in combat roles.

"I don't believe incorporating women into combat units is in the best interests of Australia's national security," Senator Bernardi said.

Senator Reynolds made an impassioned speech targeting the South Australian senator over his comments, which she said were appalling.

"I want to say to Senator Bernardi: shame on you," she said.

"He could not have chosen a more insulting or demeaning topic, not only to all of our women who now serve in uniform, but all those women who want to put their hand up."

She said entry standards had not been reduced as part of a push to get more women in the ADF, including in combat roles.

"For the future of defence forces and the security of our nation we need more women," Senator Reynolds said.

The change is part of a largely non-controversial omnibus bill which makes technical changes to a wide range of civil justice legislation.

Liberal Senator David Fawcett, who served in the defence force for 22 years, said he had worked alongside women in the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit who were fantastic contributors.

While agreeing with Senator Bernardi any program driven by political correctness should be opposed, Senator Fawcett said denying women the right to serve in combat roles could limit the force's efficacy.

"If somebody is capable, willing and able to do the task to the required standard with the same amount of training and support that any other member has, then I don't think their gender should necessarily disqualify them," Senator Fawcett said.

5. Government announces cyber safety training for kindergarten students.

young girl on iphone smartphone
Image via Getty.

The federal Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor, will today announce that cyber safety training will be given to school students in from kindergarten to grade two.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the announcement comes after research showed children as young as four are being targeted by sexual predators and have uploaded explicit images of themselves online.

"Our law enforcement agencies are seeing shocking incidents of children as young as four producing sexually explicit material, uploading it to social media, and subsequently engaging with online child sex offenders," Mr Taylor said in a statement.

"As a parent, these reports are deeply concerning."

A spokeswoman for the AFP told The Sydney Morning Herald that its assessment centre had seen "an increase in referrals involving younger children" with many cases involving "unsupervised children playing with devices and accidentally loading images onto social media."

"Other instances are more sinister and are as a result of being groomed on platforms popular with young children, where they are encouraged to take naked or sexualised images of themselves and upload them," she said.

As part of the new program, state and territory police officers will be trained by the Australian Federal Police to deliver safety lessons at kindergartens, and for students in the first two grades of primary school.

Students in grades three and above are already being taught about cyber safety across the country via the ThinkUKnow program.

6. Um, a study has found that an ingredient used in McDonald's could actually cure baldness.

maccas mcdonald's fast food burger fries
Image via Getty.

Japanese scientists may have discovered that a cure for baldness lies in one of the world's most favourite fast food treats.

According to Newsweek, a stem cell research team from Yokohama National University determined that a chemical added to McDonald's fries to stop cooking oil from frothing, dimethylpolysiloxane, could be used to regrow hair on mice.

The scientists believe that the method was just as likely to work when applied to human skin cells.

The scientists discovered the use of dimethylpolysiloxane was crucial to the creation of HFGs, or hair follicle germs, the cells that drive follicle development. After mass-producing the HFGs, the cells were transplanted onto the back's of hairless mice, and soon black hairs began to grow.

Other fast food restaurants like KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza also use the chemical in their cooking methods.

The chemical, a type of silicone, can also be found in everyday products like contact lenses and shampoos.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???