Jail guard returned to work to assault again, commission told

A prison guard was re-employed after assaulting a young Aboriginal detainee only to attack another youth, the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory was told on Tuesday.

The second assault, on Dylan Voller, the detainee who appeared in the notorious Four Corners footage in a spit hood and manacled to a chair, was considered serious enough by authorities that police were called to investigate.

The former acting general manager of Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, John Fattore, said the two attacks took place several months apart.

However, he absolved himself of blame for the re-employment of the guard, saying he trusted senior staff with their assessment of the officer.

Counsel for Voller, Peter O’Brien, attacked Mr Fattore for not personally interviewing Voller even after he had seen video of footage of him being assaulted by the guard.

Mr O’Brien accused Mr Fattore of “fundamental failure” in his role as the senior officer in not acting quickly to protect detainees.

The commission also heard allegations that another jail worker at the Territory’s other youth jail, the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre, had been the subject of claims he was “flirtatious” with detainees and made numerous remarks of a sexual nature to male and female detainees.

Among the comments contained in an email chain referred to commissioners, the staff member was alleged to have told detainees, “you just want to touch my dick, your gay” and when cautioned, he told supervisors “I am not the only (guard) talking like this to detainees”.

But the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) only became involved in addressing his behaviour after he was alleged to have sexually harassed a female member of staff.

“There was all of this information that was circulating, but the incident that actually sparked your investigation concerned the sexual harassment of this man of another staff member, is that correct?” counsel assisting the commission Peter Callaghan asked.

“That is correct,” Mr Fattore said.

Earlier, Trevor Hansen, a former shift supervisor at Don Dale, told the commission that detainees routinely threatened they would attack his children.

“A lot of the time we got spat at. We got things thrown at us,” Mr Hansen said.

“A lot of the times they would want to punch you. That was basically daily life.

“A lot of the times the detainees would say I am going to blah blah your daughters and all this sort of stuff, and you had it thrown at you just about every day.”

Derek Tasker, a former officer in charge at the Territory’s second youth jail, the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre, said there had been about 20 escapes.

Late on Tuesday, Commissioner Margaret White issued a warning concerning reports that young people, both in jail and out, were being intimated not to give evidence to the royal commission.

She said if true, such actions were against the law.

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Funnel-web risk on Mid North Coast

Keep an eye out: Funnel-web spiders are frequent in Port Macquarie, especially around koala corridors. Photo: Getty Images

Bellingen Shire residents are urged to take caution around their homes, and at parks and grass areas around the Mid North Coast.

It is likely that you will notice holes in the grass or in trees and logs, which oftenhousesthe deadly funnel-web spider.

Funnel-webs make their burrows in moist, cool, sheltered habitats, like under rocks, in and under rotting logs, some in rough-barked trees.They can be found in higher numbers around koala corridors.

They are commonly found in suburban rockeries and shrubberies, in lawns or other open terrain. A funnel-web’s burrow characteristically has irregular silk trip-lines radiating from the entrance to trap prey.

Unlike some relatedtrapdoor spiders, funnel-webs do not build lids to their burrows, which is another telltale sign when identifying a spiderhole. Redback spidersare also common at this time of the year.

Spider bites are best considered in three medically relevant groups: big black spiders, redback spiders and all other spiders.

Big black spiders are funnel-web spiders and any large black-looking spiders that may be a funnel-web spider. Patients bitten by big black spiders must be managed as a medical emergency.

Redback spiders are fairly easy to identify and their bites do not cause rapidly developing or life-threatening effects but many cause significant pain and systemic effects.

All other spiders in Australia are more or less harmless.

There are 40 different types of funnel web spiders located up and down the east coast of Australia.

Like many funnel web spider species, both sexes of the ‘Port Macquarie funnel web’ have a shiny black carapace, dark brown to black legs and abdomen.

ThePort Macquarie funnel web should be treated with care as its venom is slightly more toxic than the Sydney funnel web.

If bitten, wrap with a compression bandage and immediately dial triple-0.

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Mid North Coasters on song at NSW Life Saving titles

Tahlia Kollen (photo: Stephen Chu)IN ANevent that boasted arguably one of the strongest start lists of the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships held at Blacksmiths Beach at the weekend, Urunga’s Tahlia Kollen finished fourth in the U19 Ironwoman.

Max Shaw from Bellinger-Valley North Beach also became a finalist when he raced to 5th position in the U15 Beach Sprint.AndFinn Askew from South West Rocks was the lone medallist from Tacking Point when he won silver in the U15 male 2kmBeach Run.

Cudgen Headland was the best performed club from the area finishing an impressive 15th place overall but showed signs that the coveted top 10 is not beyond their reach.

Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland) earned two gold medals during the competition winning individual gold in the U15 Board Race and then joining her teammates Paige Leishman and Sophie Watson to take out the U15 Board Relay.

The competitors from Kingscliff also picked up a number of silver medals throughout the 3-day competition with Scott McCartney (Open Board), Nadi Canning (Open Ski), Luke Chaffer (U19 Board), Rory Matthews (U17 Board), and Kai Onley (U17 Surf Race) all earning a place on the podium.

Byron Bay’s Brad Hunt secured bronze in the U17 Male Beach Sprint Race while the Cabarita duo of Claudia Crawford (U17) and Cahrizma Macdonald (U15) were both finalists in their respective Beach Sprints.

Sawtell and Coffs Harbour led the way for clubs from the North Coast Branch with Lachlan O’Reilly (Coffs Harbour) surging to an impressive silver medal in the U19 Surf Race. He then teamed up with his brother Sean and Jack Pavey to help their U19 Taplin Relay side qualify for the final where they finished in 5th spot in what was a tough field.

The U15 Female Board Relay team from Sawtell which consisted of Aoife Carey, Alyssa Golding and Kate Murray also picked up a medal behind Cudgen Headland in a race that highlighted the strength of country athletes in that age group.

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon felt that despite a challenging start due to the conditions, the State Championships put an exclamation point on what has been another successful summer for the sport.

“I would like to congratulate everyone for what was an extremely successful Open Championships and can safely say that we were all treated to a wonderful few days of racing that while extremely competitive was always conducted in the right spirit.

“There’s a lot to like about the performance of our athletes and I think that next month’s Australian Championships is shaping up to be a big one for NSW competitors.” Mr Pidgeon said.

2017 Open Championship Club Point Score:

Newport SLSC 425

Manly LSC 343

Wanda SLSC 202

North Cronulla SLSC 174

Cronulla SLSC 144

Umina SLSC 128

Redhead SLSC 115

Avoca Beach SLSC 112

Freshwater SLSC 93

Elouera SLSC 89

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Be prepared for a drenchinglive radar

Photo: Ivan Sajko, Port News.With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting heavy rain for northern parts of the Mid North Coast, the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) is encouraging residents to prepare for heavy downpours and possible flash flooding.

The wet weather is being generated by a low pressure system and associated trough which hasdeveloped over the northern inland of New South Wales. Very unstable conditions to the east of thelow mean that widespread thunderstorms with heavy localised falls are expected develop over thecourse of Wednesday and continue through until Friday.

The NSW SES advises residents to take the following actions to reduce the threats to property and personal safety during this weather event:

Never enter flood water – this is the leading cause of death and injury during floodsPark cars under cover away from trees, power lines and drainsListen to your local radio station and other media for information, updates and advice.Maintain yards, balconies and outdoor areas by securing or putting away items that could bepicked up and blown around in strong winds.Locate and check your home emergency kitShould thunderstorms develop – unplug and avoid using electrical equipment connected tomain power, landline phones or modems.Stay clear of swollen creeks, drains, causeways, gutters, streams, fallen trees or power linesIf you need to drive please drive to the weather and road conditionsNSW SES Mid North Coast Region ControllerTony Daysaid there is the possibility thatnorthern parts of the Mid North Coast will see cumulative rainfall totals of over 200mm by the endof this week.

“At this stage we are not expecting any significant riverine flooding however we areencouraging residents that live close to rivers and creeks to closely monitor weather warnings, toprepare now and to be ready to act early should conditions deteriorate,” he said.

“We have placed a number of volunteer NSW SES crews on standby should theresidents require emergency storm and flood assistance. In the past we have received greatcooperation from the community in terms of people not driving through flood waters.

“We are againlooking for this community assistance and for drivers to choose an alternative route should theyencounter flooded roads or causeways and thereby avoid situations that pose a risk to their safety and the safety of volunteer SES flood rescue technicians, if it’s flooded forget it.”

For information on how residents can prepare for this weather event please visit the NSW SESwebsite at 苏州美甲美睫培训ses.nsw.gov419论坛.

For emergency assistance in storms and floods call the NSW SES on 132 500 or in life-threateningsituations call 000.

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Simon Gittany’s ex-girlfriend Rachelle Louise turns up at Gordon Wood case

Gordon Wood was on his way to the dentist in 2013 when he inadvertently walked past a media pack outside the trial of balcony murderer Simon Gittany???.

On Tuesday, Gittany’s former girlfriend Rachelle Louise turned up to Wood’s malicious prosecution case against NSW, and sat in the back row of the public gallery, among court watchers and students.

Ms Louise walked into the courtroom on the ninth floor of the NSW Supreme Court late in the afternoon, ahead of anticipated evidence from Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, who prosecuted both men.

Mr Tedeschi prosecuted Mr Wood in 2008 for the murder of his girlfriend Caroline Byrne by throwing her off a cliff at The Gap in June 1995.

Mr Wood was originally found guilty, but was acquitted by the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2012.

He is now suing the state for millions of dollars, claiming there were serious errors in the police investigation and prosecution.

Mr Tedeschi was also the prosecutor at the murder trial of Gittany, found guilty of throwing his girlfriend Lisa Harnum?????? off the 15th storey balcony of an city apartment building during a jealous rage in July 2011.

Gittany lost his appeal against his conviction last year, and is serving a minimum sentence of 18 years.

Ms Louise was also spotted at the Lin family murder case. Mr Tedeschi was the prosecutor in the first three of Robert Xie’s four trials.

About 45 minutes after court was adjourned in Mr Wood’s case, Ms Louise left the law courts building and covered her face with a black umbrella.

During her defamation suit against Nationwide News in 2015, Ms Louise said she and Gittany remained close but were no longer romantically involved.

“I think it’s very difficult to sustain a relationship with someone who is in jail,” she said at the time.

Mr Tedeschi is due to begin his evidence in Mr Wood’s case on Wednesday.

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