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Archive for August, 2011

Elderly man found dead in pool

of blood after train beating

Dan Proudman

August 29, 2011 – 12:03PM

CCTV footage shows the elderly bashing victim calmly waiting for the train on which he was fatally attacked.CCTV footage shows the elderly bashing victim calmly waiting for the train on which he was fatally & brutally attacked.

An elderly man waits at Newcastle station to board the Sydney-bound train, a journey that would ultimately cost him his life.

Strike Force Ploughman detectives have launched a murder investigation after the 76-year-old man died in John Hunter Hospital on Saturday night, less than two days after he was savagely beaten on the lonely ride somewhere between Newcastle and Fassifern stations.

Homicide squad members have joined Lake Macquarie investigators in their hunt for the man’s attackers.

Detectives last night released the closed circuit television footage of the victim waiting patiently near the guard room on the Newcastle station platform shortly after 3am on Friday.

Less than an hour later he boarded the 3.59am service to Central Station, and less than 30 minutes after that he suffered severe head and facial injuries in a beating that was to prove fatal.

Commuters found him in a pool of blood minutes before the train was due to stop at Fassifern about 4.27am.

Strike Force Ploughman detectives are continuing to trawl through security vision from a series of train stations and on board the service.

The service is known to have stopped at Civic, Wickham, Hamilton, Broadmeadow and Cardiff stations before it arrived at Fassifern.

Detectives are yet to confirm the man’s identity, although he is believed to be from Sydney.

He is described as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance and 160 centimetres tall.

He was wearing a dark grey sloppy joe, dark pants and brown leather boots.

Investigators are also keen to piece together the man’s last movements before he boarded the train at Newcastle and believe people may have seen him in the central business district in the early hours of Friday.

Early reports that the man was homeless are also yet to be confirmed.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Lake detectives on 4942 9999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Newcastle Herald


NEUROSURGEON FOUND GUILTY IN DEATH OF NAKED CALL GIRL

Sydney neurosurgeon Suresh Nair – who used to be known as “Sex Rash” at university – has been sentenced to a minimum of five years and three months in jail over the death of a second female escort from a cocaine overdose in his Elizabeth Bay flat.

Nair, 43, who had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Suellen Domingues-Zaupa, 22,  on November 21, 2009,  stood with arms folded and eyes lowered as the sentence was read in the NSW District Court today.

He also pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine to another prostitute, Victoria McIntyre, 23, who died at his flat in February 2009.He further admitted supplying cocaine in January 2010, when he broke his bail conditions by being found with cocaine in the company of two naked escorts.

Suresh Nair ... pleaded guilty to manslaughter.Suresh Nair … pleaded guilty to manslaughter. 

The court had heard that Nair had done nothing to help Ms Zaupa as she lay dying from a cocaine overdose, which he had given her.

He failed to call an ambulance or take her to hospital.

The death occurred less than a year after another female escort he had hired died from a cocaine overdose in the same apartment.

Justice Robert Toner said the manslaughter charge was on the basis that Nair had been grossly negligent when he did not call for an ambulance when Ms Domingues-Zaupa was having convulsions due to her voluntary cocaine use during the sex session.

He said Nair had also ingested a large amount of the drug, which had diminished his capacity to render assistance to her.

Since mid-2004, Nair’s cocaine use had led to a string of conditions, including urine tests three times a week, being placed on his medical registration.

But the judge said drug addiction did not explain Nair’s behaviour, leading him to conclude he was driven by self-indulgence and self-gratification.

“It is hard to underestimate the fall of the prisoner,” he said.

Nair was sentenced to a maximum term of 10 years which was reduced to five years and three months because of his early guilty plea, his remorse and contrition, and the serious assault he suffered in Silverwater prison this year.

He will be eligible for parole on April 30, 2015.

– with AAP


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Wanted man arrested over

vicious Maylands killings

Garry Edmund Brown - Maylands double murder suspect.

Detective Inspector Dave Bryson holds up a photo of Garry Edmund Brown who was taken into custody in relation to a double murder in Maylands earlier this morning.

A 47-year-old man has been arrested over the brutal murder of a couple in a Maylands unit early this morning after being released on bail three days earlier over an alleged aggravated robbery.

The vicious murder of Chris Stoodley, 36, and Jenni Garrett, 29, just after 6.30am today sparked a manhunt across Perth, with police scouring trains and the CBD for any sign of a man seen fleeing the property just after the incident occurred.

Less than two hours after the murder police disclosed the identity of 47-year-old Garry Edmund Brown as a person of interest in the double homicide.

Police have cordoned off Tenth Avenue in Maylands.
Police have cordoned off Tenth Avenue in Maylands. Photo: Lucy Rickard

Channel Nine reported Mr Stoodley and Ms Garrett both were repeatedly stabbed to death.

Earlier this week Mr Brown had been taken into custody after going to his father’s house, where he allegedly stole five licensed guns belonging to his elderly father, the Perth Magistrate’s Court heard.

He told the magistrate he had taken the guns because his father suffered from dementia and had used towels to conceal them as laundry when his daughter collected him from his father’s property.

8 Tenth Ave, Maylands, WA, Australia, 6051

He said he had also gone to the property to confront his father about being sexually molested at the age of 11.

Mr Brown was a self-confessed recovering heroin addict who had gotten “clean” on a methadone program while serving jail for four years, the court heard.

He was released in 2003 and said he was doing “everything right” ever since, even applying for an extraordinary driver’s licence so he wouldn’t be caught driving on a suspended licence.

The elderly man reported the alleged robbery and threats made against him by his son to police, who swooped in on an Ellenbrook address Mr Brown was living at with his daughter. The guns were seized and Mr Brown was arrested for one count of aggravated robbery and taken into custody.

When he faced the Magistrate’s Court on Monday he refused legal advice and insisted on applying for bail that morning, which was granted for $5000 and $5000 in surety to be paid by his sister who was in court.

Today, he was spotted by a member of the public and was taken into custody without incident at a Nollamara home about 9.40am.

Detective Inspector Dave Bryson from major crime squad described the murder scene as “gruesome” and said it was a brutal murder.

He said Mr Brown along with the two victims had spent the night at the unit, which was being rented to another man. This man was believed to have witnessed the murder, however he was not injured. He has been assisting police with their inquiries.

Detective Inspective Bryson said it was “very early days” and there was no known motive for the murders.

“It was very graphic, a very graphic scene,” he said.

“Early information that we’ve got is that they were all friends.

“All four people were at that address during the course of the night.”

Ambulance officers were called to a three-storey block of units on Tenth Avenue in Maylands just before 7am following reports of a serious assault.

Police arrived a short time later and cordoned off the street between Railway Parade and Coode Street. Officers have since been doorknocking for witnesses and all neighbours attempting to leave the street were interviewed by police.

Reports that the suspect was seen boarding a train at the nearby Maylands station forced the closure of the Midland line for about half an hour as police searched the station and several trains in the area.

The police helicopter and the police canine unit were called in to assist in tracking the suspect.


Finally, the Libyan revolution ended the way it was supposed to.

“A few quick victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colorful entry into the capital,” as Evelyn Waugh would have put it. That was the Western policy for the war—except that the war went on longer than it was meant to, and it might not be over yet, either. On Monday, the rebels reached Green Square and declared victory. On Tuesday, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the regime’s dauphin, was driving around Tripoli in an armored convoy, declaring that the rebels had been drawn into a clever trap.

But then, that’s the problem with wars and revolutions: They have a way of diverging from the policy and confounding the planners. They continue even when they are supposed to be all but over. They spill into other areas and lead to new conflicts. Even wars that end with solemn surrender ceremonies and elaborate peace treaties sometimes have unexpected afterlives. World War I begat World War II, World War II begat the Cold War, the Cold War begat the Korean War, and so on.

The Libyan revolution needn’t end in civil war. At the same time, there is no guarantee that it won’t. Either way, our ability to influence the course of events is limited. We can aid the rebels, as we have been doing all along: In fact, they’ve quietly received not only NATO air support but also French and British military training, as well as weapons and advice from elsewhere in Europe and the Gulf, most notably from Qatar. But we can’t fight their war for them, we can’t unify them by force, and we can’t write their new constitution. On the contrary, if we make ourselves too visible in Libya, either with troops on the ground or too many advisers in dark glasses, we will instantly become another enemy. If we try to create their government for them, we risk making it instantly unpopular.

What we should do instead—to use a much-mocked phrase—is bravely, proudly, and forthrightly “lead from behind.” When the NATO engagement started, I argued that Obama’s best weapon was silence—no false promises, no soaring rhetoric, no threats. Keep this their war, not ours. The result: The rebels who marched into Tripoli and waved at Al-Jazeera’s TV cameras looked like a Libyan force, not a Western one—because they were. Those pictures of them stomping on Qaddafi’s photograph looked a lot more authentic, and will play better in Libya and across the Arab world, than the pictures of Marines pulling down a statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003, his head draped with an American flag.

There was a price to pay for our silence. The absence of visible American leadership—indeed, the absence of any Western leadership—might have worked brilliantly for the Libyans, but it has been a disaster for the NATO alliance. Not by accident did the U.S. defense secretary, Robert Gates, lash out at NATO’s European members at the height of this conflict: After only a month of forays, the alliance’s weaknesses were on full display, as never before. European armies that joined the conflict ran out of arms and ammunition; most of those that stayed out didn’t have arms and ammunition to lend them. The two most prominent interventionists, the French president and the British prime minister, hardly spoke about Libya at all. There was no public support for the intervention in the West because it had so few public advocates in the West. That’s not a good sign for the future. But then, that’s our problem, not Libya’s.

Fortunately for us, leading from behind in Libya is not merely the only option, it’s certainly still the best option. This was their revolution, not ours. Now it’s poised to become their transition, not ours. We can help and advise. We can point to the experience of others—in Iraq, Chile, Poland—who have also attempted the transition from dictatorship to democracy and who can offer lessons in what to do and what to avoid. We can keep expectations low and promises minimal. After all, we have a lot to learn about the Libyan rebels, their tribal divisions, their politics, and their economics. And we have a lot of ammunition to replace back home.

The ‘Butcher of Brooklyn’ who has been charged with the killing and dismembering of Leiby Kletzky, 8, says it ‘hurts too much’ to think about the slaughter.

Levi Aron, who has been found fit to stand trial on murder charges referred to the death of the Brooklyn schoolboy as ‘the incident’.

In his first media interview, the 35-year-old told the Daily News: ‘I don’t know what happened, I just panicked.’

Leiby Kletzky, 8,
Levi Aron is arraigned in Brooklyn ol)

Levi Aron, 35, was charged with killing and dismembering Leiby Kletzky, 8. A leaked court-ordered psychiatric evaluation claims Aron suffers from a host of personality issues

When asked if he wanted to apologise, Aron looked away and remained silent. Moments later he nodded his head, but did not say he was sorry.

During the hour-long interview at Rikers Island infirmary, where Aron is being held on 24-hour suicide watch, he never once referred to Leiby by name and repeatedly answered ‘I don’t know’ to questions about what he did – and why.

The interview comes as a leaked court-ordered psychiatric evaluation revealed Aron is confused and apathetic, a ‘practically blank’ personality whose younger sister died while institutionalized with schizophrenia.

Details in the report from a psychiatrist and psychologist at Kings County Hospital show the suspect is deeply troubled, and has given authorities conflicting accounts of his life and his mental and physical history.

A psychologist diagnosed him with an adjustment disorder and a personality disorder with schizoid features.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disintegration of thought processes and diminished emotional responsiveness.

A person is more likely to have it if a close family member, such as his sister who died, has it.

Aron is reportedly being kept on suicide watch and the psychiatric evaluation recommends he remain hospitalizedAron is reportedly being kept on suicide watch and the psychiatric evaluation recommends he remain hospitalized

‘His mood is neutral, practically blank,’ the psychologist wrote in the report.

‘The only time he seems to show any emotional response is when he is asked difficult questions about the reason for his incarceration.’

The evaluation offers little details on a possible motive.

Aron admitted knowing the charges against him are serious, and acknowledged that people are angry with him.

‘He states he did not wish the boy harm but that he “panicked”,’ the psychologist wrote.

Aron, 35, has pleaded not guilty to murder and kidnapping in the death of Leiby, who got lost walking home from a Brooklyn religious day camp on July 11.

The boy’s severed feet were found in Aron’s refrigerator, the rest of the body was discovered in pieces in a suitcase elsewhere in Brooklyn.

During the evaluation, Aron, dressed in regulation pajamas and ‘well-groomed,’ gave conflicting accounts of most details of his life, including how many siblings he has and whether he sought mental health care previously.

He said he suffered a head injury as a child, though it wasn’t clear exactly when.

‘Mr. Aron is unable (unwilling?) to state categorically whether or not he was in prior psychiatric treatment,’ the psychologist wrote.

Aron also was unclear about the voices he says he heard during and after the boy’s death. He said he doesn’t remember anything stressful happening when he began to hear the voice.

‘He admitted to us that he began to hear a voice talking to him approximately one year ago, but cannot make out what it says,’ according to the psychiatrist, who had recommended Aron remain at Bellevue Hospital.

A judge disagreed and Aron is now being held without bail at a medical wing at Riker’s Island in solitary confinement.

‘He says he was too embarrassed to mention it to anyone,’ the report said.

Aron told the psychologist the voice does not command him to do anything, but he told doctors after his arrest that the voice commanded him to hurt himself and others, according to the records.

The psychiatric evaluation was ordered specifically to determine whether Aron would be fit for trial. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office had no comment.

Aron’s lawyer, Pierre Bazile, said the records obtained were accurate.

‘The evaluators agreed with us that Mr. Aron suffers from some psychiatric disorders and right now we are investigating whether or not his disorders are sufficient to meet the not guilty by reason of mental disease or mental defect threshold,’ he said.

The records filled in a few blanks about Aron’s life, which was lived mostly alone except for a few impulsive decisions, such as moving to Memphis to get married to a woman he met online and had met in person only twice.

Police have been removing items from Levi Aron's home as they look into Leiby's death
Leiby's mother Esther joined family members for a walk to 'escort his soul to its final resting place'

Ordeal: Police have been removing item’s from Aron’s home as they look for evidence. Leiby’s mother Esther joined family members for a walk to ‘escort his soul to its final resting place’

They divorced after a few years. Aron was employed as a hardware clerk, and earlier as a supermarket worker and a caterer.

Aron spent much of his time online, and made a lot of audio and video recordings of himself doing karaoke.

He lived alone in a home owned by his father and step mother, his brother lived in a separate apartment. His mother died about seven years ago.

Both the psychiatrist and psychologist described Aron as reserved, apathetic, sad and cooperative.

‘He did report having nightmares since the incident which led to his arrest and having difficulty “realizing what happened”,’ the psychologist wrote.

Leiby, lost walking home from camp, met Aron on the street and asked for help, prosecutors said. It was the first time the little boy was allowed to walk alone, and he was supposed to travel about seven blocks to meet his mother but missed a turn.

The boy first asked for a ride to a bookstore. But ‘on the way, he changed his mind and wasn’t sure he wanted to go,’ Aron wrote in his confession, according court papers.

Aron decided to take the boy to a wedding upstate but the boy refused to come in, so Aron left him in the car with the windows down.

The incident raises questions about whether Leiby’s life could have been saved had he gone into the wedding and been noticed by other guests.

When they returned, they watched television before the boy fell asleep, police said. He remained there the next day while Aron went to work, authorities said.

By that time, the disappearance had sparked a major search effort in his insular community in Borough Park. The boy’s picture was plastered on light posts around the area. Aron panicked, according to court documents, and smothered the boy.

The detectives’ notes also outline alleged statement by Aron about how he carved up the body with knives and disposed of body parts, including the severed feet found wrapped in plastic his freezer.

A cutting board and three bloody carving knives were found in the refrigerator.

The medical examiner’s office said the boy was given a cocktail of prescription drugs. But Aron’s confession didn’t mention that, and he denied ever tying up the boy, though marks were found on his body.

A pretrial hearing is set for October 14

FAMILY ARGUMENT ENDS IN 8 PERSONS GETTING KILLED IN OHIO

A family argument in Ohio has ended in the shooting deaths of eight people, including an 11-year-old, US authorities say. Two people were wounded.

One person shot five people dead in one location, then two more were killed nearby before police killed the gunman, police chief Michael Mier told WKYC-TV.

The shootings happened in the wooded, residential neighbourhood of Copley Township, outside Akron. The area remained blocked off by police on Sunday afternoon.

Members of the Akron police department talk to an unidentified woman who claimed to be a relative at the scene of the multiple shooting in Ohio.Members of the Akron police department talk to an unidentified woman who claimed to be a relative at the scene of the multiple shooting in Ohio. Photo: AP 

Sergeant Eric Goodwin did not know the conditions of the wounded, but said he believed there were no more victims.

“As far as I know, everyone’s accounted for,” he said.

He gave no more details, including how the gunman and victims were related, their names or what led to the argument.

“That’s still under investigation,” he said.

Copley Township is a town of about 14,000 people outside Akron, about 65 kilometres south of Cleveland.

AP


POLICE PROSECUTORS QUESTION BIKIE LEADER ON KILLING

ANTHONY ZERVAS KILLING VICTIM

The president of the Commanchero Motorcycle Club, Mahmoud (Mick) Hawi, insisted today he had not been involved in the death of a man at Sydney Airport in 2009 despite being shown a photo that placed him at the scene of the fight.

Mr Hawi, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Anthony Zervas on March 22, 2009, said he did not even see the fight at the airport when Mr Zervas was hit by a bollard.

Five other Commanchero members have pleaded not guilty to murder before Justice Robert Hulme in the Supreme Court at Parramatta.

A member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, with which Anthony Zervas was associated, is standing trial for riot and affray.

Crown prosecutor Natalie Adams asked: “What I am suggesting to you is that a number of Commancheros assaulted the deceased and towards the end of the assault you were the one who hit him with the bollard.”

Mr Hawi: “No.”

Ms Adams: “Can you tell the court you had no idea he was being killed at the airport that day?”

Mr Hawi: “On my oath, Ma’am.”

Mr Hawi said he had been involved in a scuffle with Anthony Zervas and his brother Peter Zervas before the fatal fight and that was behind the check-in counter at the airport.

Eleven other Commancheros and five Hells Angels were there but the other Commancheros had all run away and he had been left fighting Peter and Anthony Zervas by himself.

He said someone had pulled off Anthony Zervas and he himself had run; he had just wanted to get out of the terminal.

Ms Adams: “Are you suggesting that not a single member of the Commancheros tried to help you?”

Mr Hawi: “Yes.”

Mr Hawi said that he believed that Anthony and Peter Zervas had tried to kill him and he had suffered a wound on his hand that had been bleeding.

Ms Adams put it to him that what had really happened was that there been a brawl between the Commancheros and Hells Angels behind the check-in counter and they had all “tumbled through”, including Anthony Zervas.

Mr Hawi: “No, Ma’am.”

Ms Adams: “And at some stage he [Anthony Zervas] managed to get away and he was chased?”

Mr Hawi: “I cannot agree with that.”

Ms Adams: “At some stage he hit the floor?”

Mr Hawi: “I cannot remember.”

Ms Adams: “He was chased by the Commancheros till he hit the ground? He was assaulted by a large number of Commancheros?”

Mr Hawi: “I did not see the assault.”

Ms Adams: “He fell to the floor and he was hit with bollards?”

Mr Hawi: “I did not see it.”

Ms Adams: “You went over there and you were part of the final assault?”

Mr Hawi: “No, Ma’am.”

Ms Adams: “You used a bollard?”

Mr Hawi: “Never used a bollard.”

Ms Adams pointed out that though Mr Hawi claimed to have been injured on the hand, he had not shown the injury to police when they charged him two weeks later and not one drop of his blood had ever been found at the airport.


SEVERAL SHOOTINGS IN SYDNEY AUSTRALIA CONCERNS POLICE

Five public shootings in as many days have prompted police across western Sydney to join forces in a bid to prevent an innocent bystander from being wounded or killed.

Five drive-by shootings have taken place in the Fairfield and Merrylands areas since Friday, leaving a number of homes and businesses riddled with bullets.

Detective Superintendent Peter Lennon, Fairfield Local Area Commander, said somebody’s child, mother, girlfriend or boyfriend would eventually fall victim to the violence.

“Very, very soon someone is going to be killed or seriously injured,” Detective Superintendent Lennon told reporters today.

Police from the two areas and detectives from State Crime Command established Strike Force Restore today to determine if any of the shootings were linked.

The most recent incident took place early today when the front of a pizza shop was shot up, just before a home in Lachlan Street, Bossley Park was sprayed with bullets.

No one was injured in either incident.

Police are also investigating a sixth shooting in Merrylands that was the result of a domestic argument between two men.

Officers called to Barcom Street by concerned residents about 10.30pm yesterday found a number of spent shell casings on the road.

At 10.35pm, two men in their early 20s arrived at Westmead Hospital with gunshot wounds. One had been shot in the face and shoulder, and the other had been shot in the back.

A 27-year-old Merrylands man is helping police with their inquiries.

Police are awaiting ballistic reports to determine if the same weapons were used in any of the drive-by shootings.

Detectives say they have a difficult task ahead of them because some members of the community are afraid of coming forward.

“The one issue that we do have as a police force is that there are victims, witnesses and members of the community who know what has taken place but will not come forward and assist the police,” Detective Superintendent Lennon said.

AAP


NO GO FOR PROSCECUTION OF FORMER IMF CHIEF ON RAPE CHARGES

New York prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss sexual assault charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Monday, a stunning reversal that could revive the political future of a man many had seen as the next president of France.

Prosecutors gave up hope they could convict Strauss-Kahn after losing confidence in their star witness, Nafissatou Diallo, 32, a hotel maid from Guinea who alleged that Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom of his luxury suite on May 14 and forced her to perform oral sex.

The motion to dismiss, filed after a brief meeting with the maid and her lawyer, showed prosecutors “no longer have confidence” that Strauss-Kahn is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because the accuser’s story kept shifting.

It urged the judge to drop all charges. Strauss-Kahn will appear in court at 1.30am Wednesday Canberra time.

Only three months ago, Strauss-Kahn was the world’s leading financial diplomat, confidant of presidents rescuing debt-ridden nations. His downfall was shocking. Pulled from a first-class seat on an Air France by police, he was thrown into New York City’s gang-ridden Rikers jail on charges of attempted rape.

Prosecutors in May had said the maid’s complaint was “truthful” and “consistent.” But the case began to crumble when prosecutors found Diallo had lied on her immigration forms about a gang rape in Guinea, lied on her tax forms and gave three different versions of events surrounding the encounter in the Sofitel Hotel in Times Square.

“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,” the court papers said.

“If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.”

Diallo’s lawyer Kenneth Thompson told reporters after meeting with the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance that the state has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case.

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