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Archive for February, 2011

Teens stabbed

after leaving Sydney pub

Stephanie Gardiner
February 15, 2011

Two teenagers have been stabbed in the stomach after leaving a pub in Sydney’s north-west, police say.

The 19-year-old men were involved in an altercation after leaving a hotel on Junction Road, Winston Hills, about 10.45pm yesterday, police said.

They were taken to Westmead Hospital.

Police said the circumstances of the attack were “unclear”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

MAN SHOT IN BACK OF VAN

Posted by Henry under MEN, SHOOTINGS, WEAPONS

Another night,

another Sydney shooting

February 15, 2011

Sydney isn’t a crime capital like New York or Los Angeles, despite a recent spike in gang-related crime, says NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

He said it was important for people on the ”periphery” of shootings to come forward to help investigators, ABC Online reported.

”These crimes are not random attacks,” Mr Scipione said. ”Generally they’re targeted and so they will always stay silent.”

Police inspect a van which was shot at overnight in Leppington.
Police inspect a van which was shot at overnight in Leppington. Photo: Nick Moir

Mr Scipione has complained about a “wall of silence” in the aftermath of such shootings. But appeals for witnesses today have so far produced no response, according to a police spokeswoman.

Mr Scipione said the “violent criminals” involved in recent shootouts represented only a small percentage of the community.

It also was important to remember that the state’s gun crime trends had been falling over the past 10 years, and when such incidents did occur it was over drugs, personal matters or to do with organised crime, he said.

There were 513 crimes involving a type of gun in the year to September 2010 compared to 1128 offences in 2004.

“This isn’t a place like Los Angeles or New York, if you look at the gun crimes, the number of homicides in those place,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

But Mr Scipione said he was worried about Sydney’s recent shootings.

“My greatest concern is the propensity of organised crime to rely on the use of a firearm to resolve an issue seems to be increasing,” he said, adding that criminals were getting their hands on guns by stealing them.

The guns were then recycled through the “criminal fraternity” and police were tracking them, he said.

NSW Police Minister Michael Daley described the shooting at Old Guildford in western Sydney on Sunday night as targeted, and said the victims had refused to co-operate with police.

It is believed that up to eight men were involved in a fight at The Promenade, Old Guildford about 8.20pm (AEDT).

One of three men injured in the shooting is believed to be a member of the Ibrahim family.

In the latest shooting on Tuesday, a 39-year-old man was shot in the stomach at Leppington when a van he was sitting in was sprayed with bullets.

Police are once again urging the community to dob in criminals or at least tell them where their guns can be found.

But NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said today that Labor government was not facing up to the growing crime problem in Sydney.

“The premier, the minister for police reciting crime stats, suggesting that there is no problem whilst on the streets of western Sydney, people are being shot at,” Mr O’Farrell told reporters in Sydney today.

“It’s unreal, it doesn’t reflect what’s happening in western Sydney.

“If you can’t admit to a problem you will never fix it.”

His comments follow a series of shootings in Sydney’s west and southwest in recent days.

Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher said the creation of a six-person police strike force to deal with the problem was inadequate.

The latest inicident came when a man was shot in the back of a van in Sydney’s south-west early today.

Three men were in the van at the intersection of Cowpasture Road and Camden Valley Way, Leppington, about 1.15am today, when shots were fired into the vehicle, police said.

A 40-year-old man was hit in the abdomen.

The men drove the van to nearby Heath Road, Liverpool duty officer Inspector Greg Tetley said.

“The victims drove there, just away from where the shooting was, to seek refuge.

“They just tried to get away from there and they just stopped … and called the police.”

The injured man was taken to hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

The other men in the van were not injured, police said.

Herald photographer said the green-coloured van was “peppered with holes”.

Inspector Tetley said police were looking for a white Subaru.

He said the attack was not connected to a shooting in Old Guildford on Sunday, which has been linked to the Ibrahim family.

“As far as we know it’s definitely not connected,” Inspector Tetley said.

“There’s nothing to indicate there’s any connection at all.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Liverpool police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Stephanie Gardiner and AAP

Wheelchair-bound woman

dead after being set on fire:

Police

Stephanie Gardiner

February 15, 2011

Wheelchair-bound woman set on fire

Wheelchair-bound woman died after being doused in methylated spirits and set on fire.

A wheelchair-bound woman has died after being set on fire during a domestic argument, police say.

The 50-year-old woman was allegedly doused in methylated spirits and set alight in Narromine, in the state’s west, last night.

A man fled before neighbours rushed to the house and doused the flames.

The woman was flown to Sydney’s St George Hospital with serious burns to her face, arms and torso, and died this morning.

A 57-year-old Narromine man was arrested and charged with attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Police said the charge was expected to be upgraded to murder during a court appearance at Narromine Local Court today.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Son found guilty of murder

as father tries to take the blame

Leigh Ritchie
February 14, 2011

A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of murder despite his father’s efforts to take the blame for his son’s crime.

Kenneth John Smith was yesterday found guilty over the murder of 23-year-old Jarrad Fitzpatrick in Bunbury more than one year ago.

His parents, Colin John Smith, 41, and mother Tanya Louise Smith, 39, were found guilty on a lesser charge of manslaughter for their involvement in the fatal attack.

The court heard the three family members attacked Mr Fitzpatrick as he tried to leave the home of Kenneth’s ex-girlfriend, Renee Kipling, after midnight on November 28, 2009.

The court also heard Colin Smith tried to take the blame for his son, claiming he stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick when the pair were falling and grappling.

State prosecutor Dave Dempster said the Smiths had been in a “furious rage” after Kenneth had several arguments with Miss Kipling.

He said after an escalating phone argument between the pair, the Smiths drove to Miss Kipling’s home to cause her harm.

Arriving about 12.15am the family confronted Mr Fitzpatrick who was stabbed in the upper chest with a flick-knife as he walked to his car.

According to police Mr Fitzpatrick was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After a five-day trial in the Bunbury Supreme Court a jury found it was Kenneth who dealt the fatal blow to Mr Fitzpatrick who suffered a 7.5cm gash to his upper chest and was dead within minutes.

Speaking outside the court today, Mr Fitzpatrick’s mother said the trial had been a gruelling experience which no parent should have to go through.

All three family members will face Perth Supreme Court for sentencing on May 16.

– the Bunbury Mail  

Hosni Mubarak’s estimated

$70 billion fortune makes

him richer than Carlos Slim

and Bill Gates

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is likely the world’s richest man, with an estimated fortune of $US70 billion ($70.07 billion).

Mubarak’s family fortune could be as high as $US70 billion, much of it in Swiss banks or tied up in real estate in New York, Los Angeles and London, media reported.

The $US70 billion would put the 82-year-old comfortably ahead of Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, worth about $US53.5 billion, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the richest American with $US53 billion.

Bill Gates ... the Microsoft founder could well have $17 billion less than Hosni Mubarak.Bill Gates … the Microsoft founder could well have $17 billion less than Hosni Mubarak. Photo: Reuters

According to Princeton political science professor Amaney Jamal, quoted by the ABC network in the US, Mubarak’s three-decade rule in Egypt had kept him in a perfect spot to get a piece of any government action.

Mubarak, his wife and two sons were able to also accumulate wealth through a number of business partnerships with foreigners, Christopher Davidson, professor of Middle East Politics at Durham University in England, told ABC. Egyptian law requires that foreigners give a local business partner a 51 per cent stake in most ventures.

Meanwhile, Egyptian press reported that investigators were looking into the hidden wealth of Mubarak’s allies, which ranged from the $US3 billion of party insider Ahmed Ezz to the $US1.2 billion of former interior minister Habib Ibrahim El-Adly.

Extraordinary wealth ... former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.Extraordinary wealth … former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Photo: Reuters

Five hated cronies of Mubarak each amassed fortunes topping $US1 billion, according to military prosecutors preparing criminal cases against them in the latest government concession meant to defuse the two-week-old Egyptian crisis.

Three of them, former Cabinet ministers, tried to flee the country over the weekend but were denied permission, Cairo airport sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s largest independent newspaper.

“There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain. This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators,” Princeton’s Jamal told ABC News.

Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu is worth approximately $US53.5 billion.Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu is worth approximately $US53.5 billion.Photo: AP

Protesters have cited government corruption as a reason they are demanding Mubarak’s ouster.

Mubarak’s family wealth reportedly dates back to when Mubarak was an air force officer and in a position to benefit from corporate corruption on military contracts, mainly through business partnerships with foreign investors.

Jamal told ABC that Mubarak’s assets are most likely in banks outside of Egypt, possibly in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

“This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition, she said. “These leaders plan on this.”

Meanwhile, Cairo tried to shore up one of its biggest sources of support – Egypt’s civil service – on Monday, by announcing a 15 per cent pay hike for six million government workers.

GNE

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Claremont husband-killer

gets life in prison

February 23, 2011 – 12:50PM

A Perth woman convicted of murdering her husband by stabbing him twice in the chest has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 18 years to be served.

Jennifer Sussan Russell-Miles, 47, was convicted in the WA Supreme court in December of murdering her husband, retired British Army Colonel Derek William Miles, in August 2009 at their home in Claremont.

The 64-year-old was stabbed twice in the left chest, resulting in his heart and lung being punctured.

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He was stabbed late in the evening of August 25, 2009, and died in his bed where the couple had been watching television in the early hours of August 26.

Russell-Miles maintained her innocence throughout the trial, suggesting her husband could have stabbed himself by accident.

During sentencing submissions, defence lawyer David McKenzie said Russell-Miles had never committed a criminal offence before the murder but had a history of self-harm.

He said she had been on medication for bipolar disorder and a borderline personality disorder for many years, but said any suggestion that it had been manageable were ”not necessarily” accurate.

Mr McKenzie said although ”everyone thought she was well-treated for her condition” she was clearly not managing it.

He said Russell-Miles had no obvious motive for her crime.

”What may be behind this is her condition,” he said. Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo argued a life sentence was appropriate because Russell-Miles had an ”intention to kill” her husband.

She said he was asleep when he was stabbed, which meant it was a ”cold and callous” killing and an ”enormous breach of trust”.

Ms Barbagallo said Russell-Miles had waited until Mr Miles was dead before calling the police, to which Russell-Miles shouted: ”That’s outrageous!”Russell-Miles shook her head when Ms Barbagallo said she had shown no remorse.

Ms Barbagallo said although she accepted Mr McKenzie’s submission that Russell-Miles had had a difficult life, the irony was that it was Mr Miles whose ”love and support” helped Russell-Miles out of that life.

In sentencing, Justice Peter Blaxell said it was a ”callous” murder which ”severely impacted” on Mr Miles’ family.

He said the couple, who met in 1999 and married in 2004, seemed to have a happy marriage.

It was the second marriage for both and they lived with one of Russell-Miles’ daughters, although she was not home on the night of the murder.

Justice Blaxell said Russell-Miles used a ”long and very sharp” knife that was kept in a sheath and used to cut fish.

He said the sheath was found in a bedroom draw, which was not its usual place, meaning Russell-Miles must have put it there at some stage before the murder, suggesting some degree of premeditation.

Mr Miles had no defensive wounds and all the blood was found in the bed, Justice Blaxell said.

Russell-Miles appeared to wipe a tear from her eye when she was sentenced to life in prison.

Outside court, Major Crime Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Greg McDonald told reporters it was ”frustrating” for the family because it was most important for them to understand why Mr Miles was murdered.

”The real motive is still unknown and may never be known,” he said.

Russell-Miles must serve a minimum of 18 years before being considered for parole.

She has had her sentence backdated to August 28, 2009.

AAP


Speeding driver causes chaos: police

February 18, 2011

A motorist allegedly clocked at 70 kilometres over the speed limit in the NSW Southern Tablelands has been refused bail on charges of dangerous driving.

Police spotted a blue Toyota Camry causing chaos on the Hume Highway at Narambulla, near Marulan, about 9.45pm yesterday.

The driver was allegedly flashing his high beam lights at other vehicles, and veering in and out of lanes at speeds of 180km/h in a 110km/h zone.

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Police said they attempted to intercept the car, but the driver failed to pull over.

He eventually stopped Uringalla Creek and was arrested, police said..

A 50-year-old from Karabar, in Queanbeyan, was taken to Goulburn Police Station and charged with driving in a manner dangerous to the public, refusing to be breathtested, and driving dangerously while being pursued by police.

Bail was refused and he will appear in Goulburn Local Court today.

AAP

Taxi drivers ‘sexually target’

drunk women

Aja Styles
February 9, 2011 – 3:57PM

Sexual assaults on drunken females in taxis are on the rise, after a further four drivers were charged with a range of offences from up-skirting to rape.

Police and the Department of Transport are investigating whether cultural reasons are to blame for the offences since a number of taxi drivers charged this year have been of South Asian descent.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Hindriksen, of the sex assault squad, said they have been looking to extradite a number of taxi drivers who escaped overseas to face serious charges and it was not uncommon for those charged or those who learn they are being investigated to flee the country.

“There is some 4000 licensed or active drivers operating in the state and when you look at those charged and the allegations it is certainly a small minority creating problems for the whole industry,” he said.

He however conceded that sexual assault on the basis of cultural difference appeared to be a modern problem plaguing the taxi industry.

“Since my time in the sex assault squad we’ve noticed an increase in the last two or three years,” he said.

Up to three of the four drivers charged will face having their passports seized, the fourth being of Australian descent, and all of them have had their taxi licenses suspended pending the outcome of the judicial process.

All four men have been charged in recent days over the separate incidents after the women came forward to make the complaints, some of which are alleged to have occurred in 2009.

A Wembley man, 41, was charged with taking images up a woman’s skirt using his mobile phone while she was passed out in his taxi back in May 2009.

Police seized his computer and further claim he had gathered a two-year catalogue of similar images dating up to this year.

He has been charged with one count of an indecent act in public and will face the Perth Magistrates Court next week.

A Thornlie man, 36, is accused of twice sexually penetrating a 24-year-old woman who was drunkenly passed out in the cab of a fellow taxi driver on February 5.

The woman’s driver brought her to a park on the corner of Farrington Road and Progress Street in North Lake, where his friend met him and allegedly carried out the assaults.

He will face the Perth Magistrates Court on March 8.

A Bentley man, 24, has been charged with indecently touching a 19-year-old woman he picked up in Fremantle and took to Huntingdale just before 3am on January 23.

He will face an indecent assault charge in the Armadale Magistrates Court on February 18.

Another 24-year-old Bentley man is accused of threatening to rape a woman after they got into an argument on a taxi trip to her home in Daglish in the early hours of Monday night.

The argument spiralled after she refused to clean up dirt that had come from her handbag.

The driver has been charged with one count of threatening to harm and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on February 18.

Detective Hindriksen warned that women should make note of a taxi’s registration and driver ID and pre-book taxis so that drivers can be tracked down and charged.

Friends of those getting in to taxis drunk should consider seeing them home safely and make sure they are seated in the back seat of the taxi, he said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Man shot by police

in suburban street

Aja Styles

February 9, 2011 – 2:58PM

Police cars patrol at the scene of the shooting.
Police cars patrol at the scene of the shooting. Photo: Aja Styles

Police have locked down a residential street in Perth’s south-east suburbs after a man was shot by officers this afternoon.

The shooting occurred in the back yard of a house on Quenda Drive in Canning Vale after a woman returned to the address about 11am to find a man trying to break into the house.

She called police at 11.50am and two officers from Canning Vale police station who were patrolling nearby arrived on the scene about noon. When they confronted the man in the backyard, he allegedly produced a handgun.

Police and detectives at the scene of the shooting.
Police and detectives at the scene of the shooting. Photo: Aja Styles

It was unclear whether one of the officers produced a Taser, but the confrontation ended after three shots were fired at the man by one of the officers.

It is not known how many of the bullets struck the alleged intruder.

The Cannington man, aged 32, was shot in the arm and stomach. The officers at the scene rendered first aid on the man until the ambulance arrived.

His injuries are not considered life-threatening and he has been taken to Royal Perth Hospital. He is reportedly known to police.

The two officers did not sustain any injuries in the confrontation but have been offered counselling. The woman who called the officers was shaken but was not caught up in the gunfire.

The surrounding area has been cordoned off as detectives investigate the incident, with forensic ballistics experts called in. Internal Affairs officers are also at the scene to investigate the discharging of a police firearm.

Neighbour Jenny Davidson was one of the first on the scene and saw police speak to a male neighbour who the woman had run to for help, but said she had not heard the gunshots.

“I was worried about my kids because we had heard someone was trying to abduct children, and when we heard the police vehicles we thought there may have been shots fired near the school,” she said.

The house had only recently been built and the woman had moved in only in the past three months, Ms Davidson said.

She said the area had recently been plagued by hoon drivers, as well as a number of break-ins. There was about 2500 people living on the new estate built in the former industrial area.

The last person shot by police in WA was Daniel Rolph, who died in the garden of his Floreat home in January 2007 after stabbing a police officer during a violent confrontation. Mr Rolph had a history of mental illness.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Researchers able to lift fingerprints from clothing

By Paul Ridden

07:29 February 2, 2011


Promising early results from research undertaken by the University of Abertay Dundee and the Scottish Police Services Authority could lead to fingerprint evidence being obtained from clothing, for use in criminal prosecution. Refining an existing technique that’s been used to successfully recover print detail from smooth objects such as glass and plastic, forensic scientists have managed to create a kind of photo negative of fingerprint impressions on fabric. It’s a bit hit and miss at the moment, but even when clear ridge detail isn’t retrieved, the technique could still prove useful to investigators looking for other evidence.

The researchers used a method known as vacuum metal deposition that’s already been used to recover print detail on smooth surfaces like carrier bags, plastics and glass since the 1970s, but has not previously been applied to fingerprint detection on fabrics.

The fabric is placed in a vacuum chamber. Gold is heated and evaporated and spread in a fine layer over the fabric. Heated zinc is then applied, which attaches to the gold layer where the fabric has no fingerprints, leaving the original fabric to show through where contact has been made.

“One way of explaining it is like a photographic negative, where colors show up as their opposites,” said Abertay University‘s forensic sciences teacher and researcher Joanna Fraser. “Here the fingerprint ridges show through as clear fabric, but where there are no ridges we see the distinctive gray color of the metal. Previously it had proved difficult to reveal a clear fingerprint on fabric, but we’ve shown that this is now possible. This is great, but the challenge is to develop this further and confirm its effectiveness.”

The success rate for recovery is still quite low, with only around 20 percent of the public said to consistently leave good ridge detail or indicate target areas for DNA collection due to the presence of sweat. Folks who have drier skin prove to be poor donors, but the technique could still lead investigators to target areas of clothing for DNA procurement and may reveal other useful facts, such as the shape of a hand or an indication of whether a victim was pushed or grabbed.

Paul Deacon, fingerprint unit manager at the Scottish Police Services Authority, said that “an impression of a palm print on the back of someone’s shirt might indicate they were pushed off a balcony, rather than jumping.”

“The research is still in its early stages but we are starting to see results,” he continued. “We have shown that fabrics with a high thread count are best for revealing a print and have recovered identifiable fingerprints on a number of fabrics including silk, nylon and polyester.”

The research paper entitled Visualisation of fingermarks and grab impressions on fabrics. Part 1: Gold/zinc vacuum metal deposition has now been published in Forensic Science International.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha 

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