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Archive for the ‘CHILDREN’ Category

A drug addict who bludgeoned his mother and a young relative to death as they attempted to escape his ice-fuelled rage has been jailed for at least 30 years.

Dressed in prison greens, Lance Rhodes, 36, did not appear to react as he was handed a maximum of 40 years in jail in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

He continued to stab her as she lay helpless on the ground. Rhodes then picked up a 28-kilogram concrete statue and repeatedly hit her on the head with it, smashing her skull.

Rhodes returned to the home, grabbed a young child relative by the neck of his shirt and stabbed him in the chest before bashing his head against a wall.

Justice Stephen Campbell said Rhodes was in the grip of an “ice-induced psychosis” when the “terrible events” of September 8, 2015 unfolded.

After consuming a cocktail of substances, Rhodes stabbed his mother Linda Adams, 63, in the back as she tried to run away from him after he grabbed a large knife from the kitchen of the Lalor Park home they shared.

The boy managed to escape, but Rhodes caught up with him outside and bludgeoned him to death with a stone.

“Die, just fucking die, I don’t care,” Rhodes was heard to say.

Covered in blood, Rhodes attempted to attack another woman, Annabelle Saludo , by getting into her car. He hit the windows, yelled “F—ing open up” and then ran after the car and tried to lift it as the woman attempted to escape.

When Senior Constable Steve Lewis arrived, Rhodes picked up a water meter cover and walked towards him, saying, “Let’s go”.

Ms Adams’ body was found only two metres from the front door of her neighbour’s home. The boy’s body was found near a tree in the yard of the home he had fled.

Justice Campbell said “doubtless this offending would never have occurred” but for Rhodes’ self-induced intoxication

.The child, who can not be named for legal reasons, who was killed.

The court heard that shortly before the killings, Rhodes had returned to his home and said, “We’re going to have some fun tonight”.

“They are in the house … they are in the house … don’t worry I’ll get rid of them,” he was later heard saying.

While Justice Campbell accepted that the attack commenced “impulsively”, he said Rhodes had persisted with it and it was “accompanied by determination”.

The court heard Rhodes had a troubled childhood and started using cannabis when he was a teenager before moving onto heroin, speed and ice.

Before the double murder, he had been consuming ice for nine months.

Rhodes told police he could not remember killing his mother and the child and repeatedly said he was unwell.

“I know I clicked it. I’m insane. I need real professional help,” Rhodes told police in an interview. “I was in a different world.

“Everything was spacey. It was like being in a dark cloud.”

A drug addict who bludgeoned his mother and a young relative to death as they attempted to escape his ice-fuelled rage has been jailed for at least 30 years.

Dressed in prison greens, Lance Rhodes, 36, did not appear to react as he was handed a maximum of 40 years in jail in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

In a lengthy on-air monologue, TODAY host Karl Stefanovic attacked the Daily Mail for its coverage of women on the program.

Justice Stephen Campbell said Rhodes was in the grip of an “ice-induced psychosis” when the “terrible events” of September 8, 2015 unfolded.

After consuming a cocktail of substances, Rhodes stabbed his mother Linda Adams, 63, in the back as she tried to run away from him after he grabbed a large knife from the kitchen of the Lalor Park home they shared.

He continued to stab her as she lay helpless on the ground. Rhodes then picked up a 28-kilogram concrete statue and repeatedly hit her on the head with it, smashing her skull.

Rhodes returned to the home, grabbed a young child relative by the neck of his shirt and stabbed him in the chest before bashing his head against a wall.

Lance Rhodes at the crime scene, on the night he was arrested.

Lance Rhodes at the crime scene, on the night he was arrestedPhoto: TNV

Covered in blood, Rhodes attempted to attack another woman, Annabelle Saludo , by getting into her car. He hit the windows, yelled “F—ing open up” and then ran after the car and tried to lift it as the woman attempted to escape.

When Senior Constable Steve Lewis arrived, Rhodes picked up a water meter cover and walked towards him, saying, “Let’s go”.

Ms Adams’ body was found only two metres from the front door of her neighbour’s home. The boy’s body was found near a tree in the yard of the home he had fled.

Justice Campbell said “doubtless this offending would never have occurred” but for Rhodes’ self-induced intoxication.

The court heard that shortly before the killings, Rhodes had returned to his home and said, “We’re going to have some fun tonight”.

“They are in the house … they are in the house … don’t worry I’ll get rid of them,” he was later heard saying.

While Justice Campbell accepted that the attack commenced “impulsively”, he said Rhodes had persisted with it and it was “accompanied by determination”.

The court heard Rhodes had a troubled childhood and started using cannabis when he was a teenager before moving onto heroin, speed and ice.

Before the double murder, he had been consuming ice for nine months.

Rhodes told police he could not remember killing his mother and the child and repeatedly said he was unwell.

“I know I clicked it. I’m insane. I need real professional help,” Rhodes told police in an interview. “I was in a different world.

“Everything was spacey. It was like being in a dark cloud.”

But Justice Campbell was sceptical that Rhodes had no memory of the events, saying his repeated concern to present himself as a paranoid schizophrenic was an attempt to provide justification for his behaviour.

Outside court, Ms Adams’ daughter Tina Rhodes said she loved her mother and the child.

“No matter how long the sentence is, it will not bring back two beautiful people we have lost,” she said.

Rhodes will be eligible for parole in 2045.

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Young children are being armed with guns and forced to carry out violent executions of prisoners as junior jihadis, according to a disturbing new ISIS [Daesh] propaganda report.

Isis-child-soliders-killers image www.crimefiles.netA chilling article entitled The Lions of Tomorrow, published in the official magazine of terror group, boasts of Daesh using of “the children.. of jihad” in its bloody insurgency in Syria and Iraq. It’s illustrated by two young boys holding guns in accompanying photos.

“It is these young lions to whom the Islamic State [ISIS or Daesh] recently handed over two agents caught spying for Russian Intelligence and an agent caught spying for the Israeli Mossad, to be executed and displayed as an example to anyone else thinking of infiltrating the mujahideen [jihad fighters],” the article states.

In the first photo, what appears to be the dead body of a bearded man in orange clothing with a blood-spattered face lies in the foreground. An armed pre-pubescent boy in camouflage clothing, a black bandana and a backpack stands behind him, staring straight ahead.

In the second photo, an even smaller boy with shoulder-length black hair – who looks as young as six or seven – stands with a gun behind an identifiable person kneeling on the ground with their hands behind their back.

The terror group attempts to justify its use of children in warfare with references to the Islamic faith. It has previously released video footage of children being trained at terror camps, which experts say is an attempt to make its influence and might appear stronger.

“As the mujahideen of the Islamic State continue their march against the forces of [infidels] there is a new generation waiting in the wings, eagerly anticipating the day that it is called upon to take up the banner of man [higher level of faith],” states the propaganda article.

“These are the children of the [nation] of jihad, a generation raised join the lands of [fierce battles] and nurtured under the shade of Shari’ah, just a stone’s throw from the frontlines.”

The article in the latest issue of Dabiq, an online magazine produced by ISIS’s media wing Al Hayat, says institutes have been established to train and hone the military skills of these “lion cubs”.

The use of child soldiers, who are often brainwashed, desensitised to violence and death and irrevocably traumatised by their experiences, is a well-established tactic by terror groups.

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What is ‘Daesh’?

Earlier this year Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he will use the term ‘Daesh’ instead of ‘Isil death cult’ when referring to the Islamic State terrorist organisation.

Australia’s allies in the Middle East have reportedly encouraged the move saying that the terrorist group reportedly loathe the moniker Daesh – which is also an acronym, but of the Arabic words that mean the same thing as ISIS: Al Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham.

Pronounced Da’ish – with a long emphasis on the long “e” – Mr Abbott aims to further neuter the term by mispronouncing it “Dash”.

“Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive ­appeal to me,” the Australian prime minister told the Herald Sun.

“I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims for itself [Islamic State], because I think this is a perversion of religion and a travesty of governance.”

Joseph Bahout, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Huffington Post that the word Daesh in Arabic “sounds like something monstrous” and is a way of “stigmatising” the organisiation.

The terror group’s leaders have threatened to “cut out the tongues” of those who refer to them as Daesh or DAIISH, according to international media reports.

In a move that is aimed at legitimising the group and removing the word “Islamic” from their title French president, François Hollande, is also pushing the use of Daesh when referring to the group.

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An Australian fighter for Islamic State, thought to be disillusioned with the fanatics’ cause, reached out to Australian government

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In news that will make you sick in the stomach, an Australian baby has been murdered by Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East.

The Daily Telegraph reports it was a revenge execution after the baby’s Aussie father tried to flee the war zone and return home.

Intelligence agencies believe it was payback by Islamic State when it was discovered he was planning to leave.

A spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis said the Government condemned “any parent who takes their family to the conflict zone”.“The government has consistently said going to the conflict zone puts yourself and others in danger,” the spokesman said.

The Daily Mail reports there are currently more than 100 Australian terrorists fighting overseas for terrorist organisations.

Authorities would not confirm the baby’s age, gender or how child was killed.

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WARNING: Graphic content.

GIANT rats have eaten a three-month old baby girl alive after her mother left her home alone to go partying.

The 26-year-old woman — who has been arrested for child neglect — returned to her ‘shack’ in Johannesburg at dawn to find the remains of her daughter in her blood soaked bed, reports The Sun.

The mother reportedly took the baby’s twin brother, named Lucky, with her on the night out and the boy is now in the custody of his father.

A neighbour was alerted by the screams at dawn and rushed inside the home to find the bloody scene.

The neighbour said: “The baby could only have died a painful death. The infant’s tongue, eyes and fingers had all been eaten.

“Besides the missing body parts, the remains of her body had bites and wounds all over that were inflicted by the sharp teeth of the rats.

“This woman must rot in jail. She does not serve to be a mother.”

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In 2011, baby Lunathi Dwadwa was eaten alive by rats in Cape Town. Picture: Supplied

The disturbing incident happened in a township area of Katlehong in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the weekend.

Angry locals who gathered after the police took the mother away said she had been drinking all night at a local bar.

Noluthando Mtshali, the daughter of the landlady who rented out the shack to the mother, revealed the baby twins had been taken to hospital last week.

She said: “The only thing this woman likes is going out partying.

“I just could not bring myself to go in and see what happened to this poor child.

“She has been a tenant since the beginning of the year and her twins were both in hospital last week but we do not know why they had been taken to hospital.”

Noluthando described hearing the mother returning home to find her dead child.

She said: “She came back in the early hours of the morning with a new boyfriend and they tried to break into the shack since she had lost the key and they found the baby girl dead.

“They were claiming that the child was burnt.”

The landlady, Mama Sesi Mtshali, said the mother came running out of the shack at about 6.30am local time screaming after discovering her baby.

She said: “We have lots of rats in the area. She leaves the children alone all night long and they cry themselves to sleep.

“She would not say she left the baby alone.”

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South African police confirmed the baby girl had been eaten by rats and that the baby’s mother had been arrested for child neglect. Picture: AFP/Philippe Lopez

After the woman’s arrest, the father of the twins, aged 28, came to fetch the surviving boy who is now in the care of his new girlfriend.

He said: “My ex-girlfriend gave birth to twins a boy and a girl and on Friday she took the boy and left the girl in the shack.

“When she came back the following morning at about 6.30am the baby girl was dead”.

The new girlfriend of the grieving father said she had witnessed the neglectful mother’s love of partying.

She said: “The mother always comes here drunk and locks the infants inside alone.

“When Lucky came to us he looked like he had not eaten for days but he is fine now”

Katlehong police spokesman Capt Mega Ndobe confirmed the arrest of the woman.

She said: “I can confirm the little girl died after being eaten by rats.

“The mother has been arrested and is facing charges of child negligence and the case

will be heard in court next year”.

In 2011, two baby girls were killed and eaten in separate attacks in squalid South African townships.

Lunathi Dwadwa, 3, was killed in a shack outside Cape Town as she slept on the floor beside her parents.

Another infant was eaten alive in a shack in Soweto while her mum was out with friends.

The month before grandmother Nomathemba Joyi, 77, died when giant rats chewed off her face as she slept.

This story originally appeared in The Sun

Originally published as Giant rats eat baby girl alive

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Henry Sapiecha

At least 50 homicide-related charges have been brought against West Australian children in the past six years with five boys currently being held in detention facing murder charges over three unrelated deaths in 2016.

If any of the boys, aged between 12 and 17 years old, are convicted, they will become the first child sentenced for murder in WA in nine years following the convictions of two 17-year-old girls who strangled their friend to death in Collie in 2006

murdered-in-wa-aust-Kuol Akut (top left), Patrick Slater, (middle) and Alan Taylor (bottom left) were all allegedly killed by children. image www.crimefiles.net

Kuol Akut (top left), Patrick Slater, (middle) and Alan Taylor (bottom left) were all allegedly killed by children.

Three of the children in detention, aged 12, 14 and 17, are alleged to have been part of a group of eight males who fatally bashed Patrick Slater outside the Esplanade Train Station in the early hours of January 27.

A 17-year-old boy is accused of killing fellow-teenager Kuol Akut by throwing a brick at his head during an after-party street brawl in Girrawheen in April.

While the fifth boy, 17, is one of four charged with the “brutal” murder of Girrawheen father Alan Taylor in his home in April.

All are yet to enter pleas.

Police Minister Liza Harvey labelled violent attacks on any person concerning, especially when young people were involved.

“We have seen many lives shattered when young people leave home to have a good time and never return because of a violent incident,” she said.

“Police work closely with many community organisations to engage with youth.

“Youth violence is a complex social issue and we need a whole community response to help reduce the incidence.”

Since July 2010 statistics reveal more than 50 homicide-related child charge, which encompasses murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and driving occasioning death.

Relationship Australia executive director for youth programs Michael Sheehan said the increasing availability of alcohol to youths, coupled with changes to the family structure, were fuelling youth violence.

“Changing family structures, parents working longer hours – it means teenagers are bored and there’s less supervision meaning they’re more likely to get into trouble and mix with the wrong people,” he said.

His comments follow four boys being convicted of manslaughter in 2014-15 [financial year], including a 15-year-old Bunbury child who killed his newborn son during a hospital visit, and three teenagers who fatally bashed another boy, Quinn De Campe, in December 2013 after luring him into bushland to sell him cannabis.

More recently, a 12-year-old boy, in December, was convicted of unlawful wounding after he confessed to drinking alcohol with friends in Perth’s CBD and smashing a glass bottle over a man’s head who had just been “clotheslined” off his motorcycle by rope strung across the road.

He received a juvenile conditional release order after spending three months in custody awaiting his sentencing.

But it’s not just high profile cases coming through Perth Children’s Court.

In December last year, 120 children were being held in Banksia Hill Detention Centre, 25 convicted of offences against another person, 22 for robbery and extortion and 39 for break-ins and theft.

A further 975 sentenced youths were being managed within the community at the same time.

Around 10 per cent of the 15,340 charges against children in the 2014-15 financial year were violence-related.

Mr Sheehan, however, criticised WA’s criminal justice system, saying it was too heavily weighted to reactive responses to youth crime, rather than prevention and early intervention.

“They might be referred to a drug and alcohol counsellor on a community based order and that’s obviously helpful but if they’re still in an environment where their parents drink or they’ve still got access to alcohol or peer pressure, it’s still not the solution,” he said.

Peel youth services family support counsellor Tanya Langford agreed, claiming many parents struggled to deal with violent children and that government support for them was limited.

“The problem is that if the police go to the home and there’s youth violence and they don’t report it and they don’t tell the parents to report it – it doesn’t even get to the courts and that’s what’s happening,” Ms Langford said.

“This mum I’ve just been talking to, she called the police [on her violent son] and they’ve told her she needs to leave the home, she needs to go and give the kid some time to cool off.

“Or another option police sometimes use – they can do a removal order for the young person only if there is an alternative accommodation option available for up to 72 hours, but there’s often no one who will take them.”

Ms Langford said if more resources were not pumped into addressing the reasons children acted violently, the pattern would continue down to the next generation.

“We have to realise for these young kids, if they are using violence to get what they want, they are developing that passive behaviour so then there’s a really high likelihood that when they move into relationships with partners, they are going to be our future generation of domestic violence perpetrators,” she said.

“Kids are exposed to so much more aggression and violence now in games and on TV… and tied in with that we’ve got so many more single parent families, so mums are trying to raise boys that don’t have good male role models in their lives.”

Ms Langford believed a solution to the problem would be to initiate court-ordered intervention programs that violent children must attend, before it gets to the point where they are charged with an offence and go through the court system.

She said the limited invention programs currently available for families often struggled to maintain child participation, as they were not compulsory.

Department of Child Protection director general Emma White said although the department did not keep statistics on violent children, it worked with families and young people to provide early intervention strategies and prevent risks from escalating.

“Responding to youth criminal and anti-social behaviour requires a multi-agency approach, and strong partnerships are in place between the Department, the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Corrective Services and the Western Australian Police to target services toward youth who are considered most at risk,” she said.

“The department funds a range of services to assist families where youth criminal and anti-social behaviour may present including family counselling, parent-teen conflict and specialist family and domestic violence services.”

If you are experiencing family and domestic violence or concerned about becoming violent or abusive contact the state-wide 24 hour helplines.

  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline – free call 1800 007 339
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – free call 1800 000 599

KIDS STUFF

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Police have found three bodies at a house in Adelaide.

A man has been charged with murder after three bodies, two of them children, were found in a house in Adelaide’s north.

Police had been called to the address in Hillier, near Elizabeth, at 1.30pm on Monday.

When they arrived, police were approached by three men at the home. One was taken to the Lyell McEwen Hospital under police guard.

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The man was released into police custody and charged with murder overnight.

Police investigators, including forensic officers, established a crime scene and examined the home overnight.

Family members gathered at the property around 7pm, and a relative was seen removing the family’s dog from the home.

The Advertiser has named the woman as Adeline Yvette Rigney-Wilson, a 29-year-old mother of two. The bodies of children, a boy aged 5 and a girl, 6, were also found at the scene.

The address where the tragedy occurred is said to be about 30 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD and is situated on farmland.

The ABC reports that the deaths could be linked to a domestic dispute.

The man has been refused bail and will face Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

This story has been updated to include details of charges.

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Denver Police take girl into custody

An iPhone.

Denver: Police arrested a 12-year-old Colorado girl accused of trying to kill her mother twice by poisoning her with bleach for taking away her iPhone, authorities said.

Boulder County Sheriff’s Commander Heidi Prentup said in a statement that the mother drank the caustic fluid on one of the two attempts, which both happened within a week this month.

On March 2, the girl poured bleach into a breakfast smoothie that she had prepared for her mother, Sheriff Prentup said.

“Mom noticed an odor of bleach in the drink and thought her daughter had cleaned the glass prior to making the beverage and did not rinse all the bleach out,” the police statement said.
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A similiar incident followed four days later.

Sheriff Prentup said the mother reported the girl to police, and that investigators then gathered enough evidence to take her into custody.

The girl was taken to a juvenile detention facility on Friday where is being held pending the filing of charges.

Reuters

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Seven of the eight children found dead in a Cairns home were siblings and the other was a family member, police believe.

The family members were of Torres Straight Island origin

The children – who have not been formally identified – were aged between 18 months and 15 years old. Several of the victims were stabbed, police have confirmed.

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A crime scene has been set up at a home in Murray Street in Manoora, a suburb about four kilometres from the CBD of the North Queensland city of Cairns.

Forensic investigators have spent the afternoon searching through the home, which is believed to be used for community housing.

Police were called to the property about 11.20am Friday, following reports of a woman with serious injuries.

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A 34-year-old woman who was the mother to seven of the victims is receiving treatment for serious injuries and is assisting police.

A second person is also in hospital, although their involvement in the incident and condition was unclear.

Cairns Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said on Friday afternoon that there were no formal suspects yet.

A 20-year-old brother of the seven dead siblings made the discovery in the house, AAP reported.

A cousin of the 34-year-old woman described the family and extended relatives as close-knit.

“We’re a big family and most of us are from the (Torres) Strait,” she said.

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“I just can’t believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies.”

Inspector Asnicar said police would be speaking with anyone who had dealings with the family during the last two or three days.

“We don’t have any persons that are formally suspects at the moment. It is very early days,” he said.

He said police are interviewing a man who was possibly the first person on the scene.

While several of the children were stabbed, Inspector Asnicar was unable to say if that was how all the victims died.

“We’re being assisted by the coroner and local pathologist. But until the deceased are removed and the post mortems are carried out, there’s no way I could confirm that,” he said.

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Detectives will only move in to the house after forensic investigators have completed their sweep, with a crime scene likely to remain in place for several days.

A mobile police hub housing officers from the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection and Investigation Unit, and Scenes of Crime and Scientific section is in place.

At least 10 police are also being sent from Brisbane to help local police.

“We have intelligence specialists, we have forensic specialists, we have homicide detectives…we have child trauma specialists…and any other staff we think that we need will be brought to the task,” Inspector Asnicar said.

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Earlier, he described the incident as “extremely distressing” but stressed that the 34-year-old woman was not in police custody while in hospital.

“As it stands at the moment, there’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than that it’s a tragic, tragic event. The situation is well controlled at the moment,” he told reporters.

“There shouldn’t be any concerns for anyone else out of this environment and as we progress further we’ll be sharing the results of our investigation.

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“This is not a small job; we’re not taking this lightly at all. We don’t do that here in the Far North, This will be done to the nth degree and we will cover every angle before this is finished.”

Torres Strait Regional Council mayor Fred Gela told Sky News that the family do not want the victims publicly identified until every member of the family has been notified.

Cr Gela told the channel he was a personal relative of the family and they were well known right across the Torres Strait.

Sky News reported that Cr Gela asked the media to be respectful of customs surrounding the naming of deceased Torres Strait Islanders.

Flowers are being dropped off at the scene, while locals have planned a vigil at Cairns’ Munro Martin Park at 6pm.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a statement on Friday afternoon, describing the incident as “an unspeakable crime”.

“All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened,” he said.

“These are trying days for our country. Tonight, there will be tears and prayers for these children.”

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Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he was “saddened and shocked” by the tragedy, and that his thoughts were with the family and friends of the victims.

“I’m also aware of the impact this will have on the emergency service workers and police officers who responded to the scene, and I have asked the acting ministers to make sure those individuals are receiving the support they need,” he said.

“Indeed, the whole Cairns community and the people of Queensland will feel the effects of this tragedy, particularly at a time of year when families come together.”

“I ask that all Queenslanders reach out to those who may need support in coming days and do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.”

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Queensland Opposition Leader Annastasia Palaszczuk said the deaths were “absolutely heartbreaking news”.

The Department of Communities is sending a team to Cairns to “deal with the human and social recovery”.

“It is similar to community recovery,” a spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman could not confirm whether the family was known to the department.

– with Amy Remeikis and AAP

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A Melbourne man who murdered his two young daughters by smothering them with a pillow has been sentenced to life in jail.

Charles Mihayo, 36, smothered his daughters Savannah, 4, and Indianna, 3, at his unit at Watsonia in April.

Indianna, 3, (left) and Savannah, 4, were at the centre of a bitter custodial dispute image www.crimefiles.net

He pleaded guilty to the killings in August and was today sentenced in the Supreme Court to a minimum of 31 years in jail.

Prosecutors said Mihayo was locked in a bitter custodial dispute with the girls’ mother, his former wife, at the time and had acted out of revenge.

The court heard Mihayo sent a text message to his former wife shortly before he killed them suggesting she had “won”, and he was giving up his rights to see the girls.

He told her he wanted to see them “one last time” and when she took them to see him, he dressed the girls up in new dresses he had bought for them.

He then filmed them dancing to music, before smothering them with pillows.

After killing them, Mihayo bathed them, then redressed them in ballerina dresses.

He then phoned triple-0 to report a double murder and when police arrive he said: “It’s done, I’ve killed them. I’ve killed my kids.”

Mihayo was arrested at the scene and confessed to police, telling them “there was no good reason” for the killings but it “made sense at the time”.

When police asked why he had killed his daughters, he told them “you’d have to ask her”, meaning his ex-wife.

In sentencing, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the conflict with his wife had inexplicably motivated his “hideous crimes”.

“I simply do not understand why, when the continuing argument was between you and your ex-wife about these children, you made them pay with their lives in order to inflict pain and loss on your ex-wife,” he said.

Nothing can justify what Mihayo did: judge

Mihayo will serve a minimum of 31 years in prison for murdering his daughters.image www.crimefiles.net

Justice Lasry said Mihayo had given into the “basest of instincts”.

“You decided to demonstrate to your ex-wife that she did not have the control over the children and their relationship with you that she thought she had,” he said.

The judge said while Mihayo had taken responsibility for what he had done, he did not seem to regret it.

“I am not at all sure that you have a genuine sense or desire to amend the sin or wrongdoing such as to enable me to conclude you are remorseful,” he said.

“You do not appear to me to be crushed or broken in spirit by your wrongdoing.”

Family ‘can finally start healing process’

The girls’ family issued a statement after the sentence was handed down.

“There is no adequate punishment or jail sentence for filicide,” the statement said.

“Forever missed, loved and never forgotten.

“We would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank our family and friends for their ongoing support and the community for their thoughts and prayers during this devastating time.

“We ask the media to please respect our privacy so we can finally start the grieving and healing process.”

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The stench of the Taliban raises its ugly head again

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TALIBAN insurgents have killed at least 141 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack.

Chief military spokesman General Asim Bajwa said 132 students and nine staff were killed in an eight-hour onslaught at the army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School and six Taliban gunmen in government paramilitary uniforms went from classroom to classroom shooting children, some as young as 12.

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Family grief … The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, a teacher at the school. Picture: AP

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, calling it revenge for a major military offensive in the region.

The militants had been ordered to shoot older students, a Taliban spokesman said.

ATTACK: Taliban bomb blast near US Embassy and Kabul Supreme Court

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Massacre … Gunmen reportedly went from classroom to classroom shooting students. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Tragic … The wounded start arriving at a hospital for treatment. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A teenage survivor described how he played dead to escape the militants as they rampaged through the school, hunting for people to kill.

Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates ducked below their desks when four gunmen burst into their room.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me. This guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” Khan told AFP from the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.

Khan decided to play dead after being shot in both legs, stuffing his tie into his mouth to stifle his screams.

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” he said.

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Bloodshed … an injured student receives treatment at a local hospital after the Taliban attack that least 141 people dead. Picture: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad

Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance.

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Injured … Pakistani volunteers help carry injured students into hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal area close to Peshawar.

“We are doing this because we want them to feel the pain of how terrible it is when your loved ones are killed,” said TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani.

“We are taking this step so that their families should mourn as ours are mourning.”

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Heartbreaking … The bodies of those killed are already being retrieved from hospitals. AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Hospitals fill with injured … Those not killed receive treatment for their wounds. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Police officials said the attack ended around 6.30pm local time, some eight hours after it began, with all six militants dead.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Sharif vowed that the country would not be cowed by the violence and that the military would continue with an aggressive operation launched in June in the North Waziristan tribal area to rout militants.

“The fight will continue. No one should have any doubt about it,” Sharif said.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack and promised America will stand by Pakistan in its struggle against violent extremism.

“By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity,” he said.

“We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region.”

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Innocents … Pakistani soldiers transport rescued schoolchildren after the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar. Picture: AFP

Teenage Nobel Peace laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ right to an education, condemned the attack.

“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us. Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” said Malala.

“I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”

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Worst nightmare … a Pakistani army soldier clears the area outside a school attacked by Taliban in Peshawar as anxious parent wait for news of their children. Picture: AFP

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani told AFP the death toll had reached 130, with a similar number wounded.

The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.

Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began.

“I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

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Violence … The students that survived were left bloody and injured. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Carnage … Rescue workers transport students from ambulances into hospitals. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A student who survived the attack said soldiers came to rescue students during a lull in the firing.

“When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.

“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians.

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Bloodbath … A wounded student said all the children had bullet wounds. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

The schools educate the children of both officers and non-commissioned soldiers and army wives often teach in them.

The attack began in the morning, with the Taliban shooting at random, said police officer Javed Khan.

Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen, he said.

Outside the school, shooting was initially heard along with one loud bang of unknown origin.

Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and pushing people back.

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On the scene … Pakistani army troops arrived quickly to conduct an operation at the school. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

Later, one of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, said that he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with a team of Pakistani army medics when the violence began for real.

When the shooting started, Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said nobody knew what was going on in the first few seconds.

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At the ready … Pakistani soldiers take up position. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” he said, speaking from his hospital bed.

“All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding,” Jamal added.

“This attack is a response to Zarb-e-Azab and the killing of Taliban fighters and harassing their families.”

Zarb-e-Azb is the official name for the army’s offensive against strongholds of the Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan.

The military has hailed the operation as a major success in disrupting the TTP’s insurgency, which has killed thousands of Pakistanis since it erupted in 2007.

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Safely out … A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from a nearby school during the attack. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Devastating … Families wait for news and their loved ones at the hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

More than 1600 militants have been killed since the launch of Zarb-e-Azb in June, according to data compiled by AFP from regular military statements.

Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was intended to weaken the military’s resolve.

“It is both tactical and strategic. The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity because the army are prepared,” Masood told AFP.

“So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”

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Taliban attack … A wounded Pakistani student receives treatment at a hospital. Picture: AFP

The semi-autonomous tribal areas that border Afghanistan have for years been a hide-out for Islamist militants of all stripes — including Al-Qaeda and the homegrown TTP as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which militants have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past but has seen a relative lull recently.

India has condemned the latest attack by Taliban militants.

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Awful … Pakistani parents react to the news of the attack. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the attack in the north-western city of Peshawar exposed the “real face of terrorism”.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on a school at Peshawar,” he tweeted. “This dastardly & inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism. My heart goes out to the families of those children who got killed by the terrorists in Peshawar.”

India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to rein in militant groups operating on its soil.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, and deadly attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants dealt a blow to tentative peace talks in 2008.

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Catastrophic … Parents rush to the hospital to find their children. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

French President Francois Hollande also condemned what he described as a “vile” attack on the school.

“No words can express the ignominy of such an attack against children in their school,” said Mr

Germany also spoke about the “cruel cowardice” of the Taliban attack.

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Bloody attack … a family member escorts children from the school. Picture: AP

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement he condemned the “criminal attack in the strongest terms”.

“The hostage-taking and murder of children exceeds in its cruel cowardice all that Pakistan, stricken by years of terror and violence, has known before.

“We mourn with the people of Pakistan the victims of this bloody terrorist attack. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. For the many injured we wish speedy recoveries.”

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Nation mourns … Pakistani children pray during a candle light vigil for the victims of the Taliban attack. Picture: AP Photo/Fareed Khan

Henry Sapiecha

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