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Archive for October, 2016

A Queensland Australia couple have each been given life in prison for the sadistic torture and murder of mother-of-four Tia Landers.

Drug supplier John Edward Harris and his partner Linda Eileen Appleton were sentenced in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Friday after pleading guilty to murdering Ms Landers in a brutal and bloody encounter at their Brighton home in June 2014.

Tia Lander-murder-victim-qld-australia image www.crimefiles.net

Tia Landers’ body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket, in a shallow grave at Beerburrum State Forest with 30 wounds. Photo: Facebook

Harris will have to spend at least 27 years behind bars before being eligible for parole, while Appleton must serve at least 23 years.

Justice Jean Dalton ordered their parole eligibility to be set beyond the statutory 20-year minimum for the “sadistic” killing, where Ms Landers was cut with a machete, bashed, kicked, stomped, and then twice shot in the head.

“The offending involved a protracted, sadistic and brutal torturing of Ms Landers over a period of hours,” Justice Dalton said.

The motivation for the killing, she said, stemmed from Appleton’s suspicion Ms Landers was having an affair with Harris, and stealing her clothes and jewellery.

Justice Dalton said Appleton was so obsessed with the idea of revenge that she began plotting it from inside jail seven days before Ms Landers’ killing.

A letter of apology from the 43-year-old was given to the Landers family on Friday, but Justice Dalton said she had great difficulty reconciling it with the evidence.

Appleton and 44-year-old Harris, who at one point held hands in the dock during sentencing, initially pleaded not guilty to the murder but reversed their pleas after five days of evidence in their trial.

It followed guilty pleas to interfering with her corpse and depriving the liberty of two men, Jake McKenzie and Ryan Morgan.

During the trial, Mr McKenzie told the court a fight had escalated at the couple’s home after Appleton slashed open Ms Landers’ leg with a machete.

Harris eventually retrieved a gun and shot her in the head, but she was “still alive enough to say no” before being fired on a second time.

During sentencing, the court heard Harris had previously been jailed for manslaughter in a case with striking similarities to Ms Landers’ murder.

In that case, the victim’s body was also wrapped up and dumped in the Beerburrum forest.

In a powerful victim impact statement read out in court, Ms Landers’ mother Mary said it was difficult to convey how the brutal crime had affected her life.

“There are no words adequate to describe the pain, anger and despair that I have felt from her murder,” she wrote.

“I have lost my faith and trust in people. I have trouble finding joy in the simple pleasures of life.”

Outside court, Haley Matthews said no sentence for her cousin’s brutal killing would be enough for her family.

“While Harris and Appleton were handed life sentences … this in our opinion is not justice,” she said.

“The only people who have received life sentences today are those who loved Tia, especially her children.”

AAP

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The Australia state’s highest court has dismissed former stripper Robyn Lindholm’s attempt to reduce her prison term, with judges saying her 25-year sentence was “merciful” given what she had done.

Lindholm pleaded guilty to murder after enlisting her lover Torsten Trabert and another man, John Ryan, to kill Hawthorn gym owner Wayne Amey on December 10, 2013.

Femme fatale stripper Robyn Lindholm image www.crimefiles.net

Femme fatale stripper Robyn Lindholm’s application for a reduced sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Photo: Supplied

This was one day before Lindholm and Mr Amey were due in court to address a dispute they had over a farm they owned in Bittern.

The trio last week appealed their prison terms, arguing they were “manifestly excessive”.

Torsten Trabert killer image www.crimefiles.net

Torsten Trabert Photo: Justin McManus

Lindholm is serving 25 years, Trabert 28 years and Ryan 31 years in prison for Mr Amey’s murder.

Court of Appeal Justices Mark Weinberg, Simon Whelan and Phillip Priest unanimously dismissed Lindholm’s right to challenge her sentence and refused Ryan and Torbert’s appeals.

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The judges said in a joint decision that Lindholm’s sentence was comparable with other similar cases where people were motivated to kill because someone had taken legal action against them.

“It is difficult to overstate Lindholm’s moral culpability for this crime. She pleaded guilty but the [sentencing] judge found that she was not remorseful…” they said.

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John Ryan  Photo: Justin McManus

“In our view, the sentence imposed upon her was a merciful one in the circumstances.”

The judges said: “This was a truly terrible crime. Lindholm had tried to have Mr Amey killed for two years, including trying to persuade others to kill him for her.

“Trabert and Ryan callously, ruthlessly and violently carried out her wishes.”

Lindholm had continued to arrange for Mr Amey to be murdered even after she was given a community corrections order for breaking into his apartment.

The judges said the sentencing judge had given her prior criminal history “markedly favourable” treatment.

Lindholm’s lawyer, Scott Johns, had argued that her sentence was “unmistakably outside the range” available, and that the sentencing judge had not given enough weight to her guilty plea.

The judges dismissed Trabert and Ryan’s respective appeals, saying that while Lindholm “might well be seen as having greater moral culpability than them”, she had pleaded guilty, while they had maintained their innocence.

The two men were also “the ones who actually carried out the killing”.

They said there was not enough of a difference between their prison terms and Lindholm’s to warrant intervention.

Trabert and Ryan both argued that their sentences should be lowered because they had less responsibility for the murder than Lindholm.

Trabert’s lawyer had claimed his client’s motivation to kill was sex.

Ryan’s lawyer said he had entered into the arrangement at a later stage, thinking they were going to beat Mr Amey for mistreating Lindholm.

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Chicago: Six people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend as the number of murders this year climbed to nearly 200 above the same period last year.

Six people were shot in just one hour between 4am and 5am on Sunday – an average of one person shot every 10 minutes, according to according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune.

Is Chicago the Murder capital of the USA.?

Chicago: 37 people shot in one weekend

Last weekend in Chicago, 6 people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings, as gun violence continues to soar in the US city.

The hour ended with the city’s most recent homicide. At 5am on Sunday, 29-year-old Jason Balboa was found with several gunshot wounds near 28th Street and Pulaski Road in Little Village. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead a few hours later.

The last shooting on the weekend was reported around 7.45pm on Sunday when a 16-year-old boy was wounded in the Gresham neighbourhood.

Extended overnight periods without gun violence have been relatively rare since last winter, say police.

It’s ‘normal’ weekends like this one – combined with mass shootings like at those in Florida and Dallas – that prompted the American Medical Association earlier this year to call gun violence a “public health crisis”

The AMA, which lobbies on behalf of doctors, urged that Congress fund research into the problem.

Its president, Dr Steven Stack, called gun violence crisis “unrivalled in any other developed country.”

Some of the many guns confiscated by Chicago police image www.crimefiles.net

Some of the many guns confiscated by Chicago police. Photo: AP

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theatres, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” he said.

In some parts of Chicago, gun violence is the norm. So far this year, there have been at least 614 murders in the city, with at least 3,560 people wounded as a result of gun shots.

Autumn Dawson lost her brother, Deionte Harris, to gun violence on the South Side of Chicago image www.crimefiles.net

Autumn Dawson lost her brother, Deionte Harris, to gun violence on the South Side of Chicago last year. Photo: AP

This time last year, there were 416 homicides and at least 2,495 people shot.

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Quetta: At least 59 people were killed and 117 critically wounded when gunmen stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the south-western city of Quetta, government officials said on Tuesday.

Some 200 trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday, officials said, and some were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted five hours.

Many dead at Pakistan police academy

Dozens of police cadets are dead and scores more wounded after gunmen stormed in on a police academy in the city of Quetta.

Most of the dead were police cadets.

Mir Sarfraz Bugti, home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, had confirmed early on Tuesday that five to six gunmen had attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but one of the top military commanders in Baluchistan, General Sher Afgun, told media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

“We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan,” General Afgun told media, adding that the al-Alami cell of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind the attack.

Baluchistan, particularly against  minority Hazara Shiites. It was unclear what motive the group would have in attacking the police academy, a home ministry official said.

Police, military and paramilitary personnel arrived at the training centre within 20 minutes of the attack and launched an operation which last around five hours, the home ministry said.

Pakistani volunteer medics rush an injured person to a hospital in Quetta after the police academy attack image www.crimefiles.net

Pakistani volunteer medics rush an injured person to a hospital in Quetta after the police academy attack.  Photo: AP

A Reuters photographer at the scene said authorities carried out the body of a teenage boy who they said was one of the attackers and had been shot dead by security forces.

Well-coordinated attack

An injured Pakistani commando lies down on a bed at a local hospital image www.crimefiles.net

An injured Pakistani commando lies down on a bed at a local hospital, who was transferred after gunmen attacked a police training center in a suburban area of the provincial capital of Quetta, Pakistan, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Gunmen stormed a police training center in the restive southwestern province of Baluchistan Monday, leaving scores of people killed and many wounded, authorities said. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt) Photo: ARSHAD BUTT

Monday night’s assault was the deadliest in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed more than 70 people in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta in August.

The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency ward of the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier that day.

Pakistani troops enter the police academy in response to the terror attack in Baluchistan province image www.crimefiles.net

Pakistani troops enter the police academy in response to the terror attack in Baluchistan province. Photo: AP

Monday night’s attack also appeared well coordinated, with senior law enforcement agencies saying that assailants had fired at the police training centre from five different points.

The attackers then entered the centre’s hostel, where around 200 to 250 police recruits were resting, security officials said. At least three explosions were reported at the scene by local media

Supporters of a Pakistani religious group suggest that August's suicide attack in Quetta was carried out by RAW, the foreign intelligence agency of neighbouring India image www.crimefiles.net

Supporters of a Pakistani religious group suggest that August’s suicide attack in Quetta was carried out by RAW, the foreign intelligence agency of neighbouring India. Photo: AP

Quetta has long been regarded as a base for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has regularly held meetings there in the past.

The Afghan Taliban’s new leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, openly taught and preached at a mosque outside Quetta for 15 years, until May this year. Akhundzada’s predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed by a US drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.

Members of Pakistan's Shiite minority flagellate themselves with knives as part of their ritual morning for Ashura in Quetta image www.crimefiles.net

Members of Pakistan’s Shiite minority flagellate themselves with knives as part of their ritual morning for Ashura in Quetta earlier this month. Photo: AP

Baluchistan province is no stranger to violence, with separatist fighters launching regular attacks on security forces for nearly a decade and the military striking back.

Militants, particularly sectarian groups, have also launched a campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations of minority Shiites.

Reuters, EFE

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“Extremely huge” bribes involved in handing out procurement contracts

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The former manager of a Chinese state-owned coal-mining firm has been found guilty of accepting bribes and given a death sentence.

From 2005 to 2011 Yu Tieyi was in charge of supplies to Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co Ltd, during which time he was accused of taking bribes in exchange for handing out bloated procurement contracts, according to a Monday report from Xinhua. In delivering the guilty verdict, the court in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang granted Yu Tieyi “leniency” for good behaviour, by giving him a two-year reprieve before the sentence is carried out.

The verdict stated the amount of Yu’s bribes was “extremely huge” and the state had suffered “a great loss,” both warranting the most severe penalty — death sentence without reprieve.

However, the court showed leniency because Yu had behaved well during investigation, reported the crimes of his accomplice, and returned most of the bribes.

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has cracked down on deep-rooted corruption since 2013 – with dozens of senior officials investigated or jailed. Known by its Orwellian title, the “Central Discipline Inspection Commission” has netted a number of big fish, including Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) who in September 2014 came under investigation. Oilprice.com named a number of other prominent oil industry figures swept up by the state that year, including:

Bo Qiliang, PetroChina vice president in charge of CNPC’s overseas business, detained on or around May 13;

Zhang Benquan, general manager of CNPC’s Iran subsidiary, detained in April;

Yan Cunzhang, general manager of PetroChina’s foreign cooperation department, detained in April;

Li Hualin, former CNPC deputy general manager, reportedly a target of a Communist Party corruption probe;

Wang Daofu, former PetroChina chief geologist, under investigation along with Ran Xinquan, former general manager at PetroChina subsidiary Changqing Oilfield Co.;

Sun Weidong, former deputy manager of PetroChina subsidiary Yumen Oilfield Co., under investigation;

Yang Guoling, assistant general manager and senior accountant at Yumen Oilfield Co., indicted for corruption.

In March of this year the deputy general manager of Chinese coal conglomerate Kailuan Group came under investigation for “serious violations of discipline”, Reuters said.

www.www-globalcommodities.com

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