Crime Files Network

www.crimefiles.net/info.

Archive for the ‘COURT CASES’ Category

DAY one of the Jayde Kendall murder trial has wrapped up after the jury heard evidence from the 16-year-old’s father and brother.

Bruce Morrissey described his daughter as a quiet girl who was “determined to do her studies”.

“… She was very conscientious. She would always, always dedicate herself to her studies,” he said.

He said the teenager worked at McDonald’s since 2014 and was paying him every week “without fail” after he helped her buy a new car.

But he said she suffered from anxiety in 2013, which involved some self harm.

“She had cut herself a couple of times. I asked her about it and she did show me they were just like, scratches,” he said.

Mr Morrissey told how he sent Jayde two text messages while he waited outside McDonald’s for her to finish her shift. But she never made it to work that day.

Her younger brother, Brandon Morrissey, told a police officer in a recorded interview played to the jury that she had no reason to run away.

“She was like really happy with her family and that,” he said.

The trial continues tomorrow.

3PM: THREE women will give evidence that murder accused Brenden Bennetts strangled them during rough sex, a Supreme Court jury has been told.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury QC has finished her opening address to the jury in the trial of Bennetts, who is accused of killing 16-year-old Jayde Kendall two years ago.

Ms Loury revealed towards the end of her address that three women would give evidence about rough sex with Bennetts.

She said the women would talk about occasions “where he was having sex with them… where he put his hands around their throats and squeezed, strangled.”

Ms Loury has called her first witness in the case, which is Jayde’s father, Bruce Morrissey.

EARLIER: Jayde Kendall’s cause of death is a mystery, but the last person to see the Gatton schoolgirl alive has admitted he killed her.

Brenden Bennetts, 21, has pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to manslaughter in relation to the death of Jayde on August 14, 2015.

But the prosecution has not accepted his plea and this morning opened its case for murder, a charge to which Bennetts has pleaded not guilty.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury QC told the jury 16-year-old Jayde’s day began like any other.

Her father took her to school in the morning, via McDonald’s to drop her uniform off ahead of a shift that afternoon.

“But sadly she would not make her shift at McDonald’s and she would never make it home, she died that day,” Ms Loury said.

“And she died at the hands of Brenden Bennetts.

“(He) drove her to an area south of Gatton… killed her by some unknown means and dropped her dead body in agricultural land.”

Jayde was reported missing when her father, Bruce Morrissey, went to pick her up from McDonald’s about 9pm that night and was told she never clocked on.

Thirteen days later, her body was found on a property at Upper Tenthill covered in grass.

She was still in her Lockyer District High School uniform.

“… Her body was too decomposed for the pathologist who performed the post-mortem on her to determine her cause of death,” Ms Loury said.

It is alleged Bennetts picked Jayde up from school in his red Toyota Corolla on August 14 after they exchanged a series of messages – including 48 pictures on Snapchat – since the day before.

Ms Loury said in a message on the day Jayde went missing, she indicated she was “nervous”.

“All those messages had been deleted from his (Bennetts’) phone, but the computer analyst was able to retrieve them,” she said.

The Snapchat pictures can’t be recovered due to the nature of the app, Ms Lourey said.

The court was told there was CCTV footage of Bennetts using Jayde’s ATM card to withdraw $70.

Data from Google Maps also places him in the area where her body was found, Ms Lourey said.

Ms Loury’s opening address to the jury will continue this afternoon.

The trial is expected to run for two to three weeks.

Henry Sapiecha

Berlin: A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two of his patients is believed to have killed at least 86 others entrusted to his care, officials said Monday, in what they described as an imagination-defying series of crimes.

The nurse, identified as Niels Hoegel, was sentenced to life in prison in February 2015, after a court in the northern town of Oldenburg found him guilty of administering overdoses of heart medication to some patients in an intensive care ward in Delmenhorst.

He was convicted of two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and causing bodily harm to patients and is serving his sentence.

During his trial, the former nurse confessed to intentionally inducing cardiac crises in 90 of his patients, 30 of whom he said had died. That prompted officials to launch an investigation into the deaths of some 130 of Hoegel’s former patients. The results were presented Monday in Oldenburg.

At least 84 of the convicted killer’s former patients were found to have died after suffering from injections of five different forms of medication, Johan Kuehme, chief of police in Oldenburg, told reporters.

Authorities are waiting for the results of another 41 toxicology reports, the results of which could drive the number of confirmed deaths even higher, he said.

“The realisation of what we were able to learn is horrifying,” Kuehme told reporters. “It defies any scope of the imagination.”

Former nurse Niels Hoegel stands in the courtroom wearing handcuffs and covering his face with a file at the district court in Oldenburg, Germany image www.crimefiles.net

Hoegel, now 40, told the court at the time that he had enjoyed trying to revive the patients. But his efforts did not always succeed, leaving some to become his victims.

Former nurse Niels Hoegel, accused of multiple murder and attempted murder of patients, covering his face with a file at the district court in Oldenburg,Germany

The special commission, launched in October 2014, combed through evidence that included more than 500 patient files. It based its conclusions in part on toxicology tests on the remains of 134 possible victims, who were exhumed to see if they contained traces of the chemicals the nurse had confessed to using.

It found that Hoegel had administered lethal injections to patients at a hospital in Oldenburg, where he worked from 1999 to 2001.

In October 2016, prosecutors brought charges against six employees of the hospital in Delmenhorst, on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, for failing to take action despite their suspicion regarding the nurse’s actions.

A related investigation into hospital personnel in Oldenburg is continuing, but no one has been charged.

Niels Hoegel, face covered, was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders at a clinic in the northwestern town of Delmenhorst.Germany.

A live-streamed trial for former Perth man Henri van Breda, charged with murdering his family with an axe, will appear in a South African court on Monday

The van Breda family image www.crimefiles.net

Teresa van Breda, 55, her husband Martin van Breda‚ 54‚ and their eldest son Rudi‚ 22, were found dead at their home on the De Zalze Golf Estate in January 2015.

Mr van Breda was found there with minor injuries alongside sister Marli, then 16, who survived massive head injuries and a severed jugular. She now has brain injuries retrograde amnesia but is reportedly on the list of more than 100 people to testify in the case.

Mr van Breda, 21, handed himself in to Stellenbosch Police station with his attorney in June. He was charged with three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and another of obstructing justice and was released on bail.

The case has attracted global attention, with the first appearance given rolling coverage from South Africa’s News 24 and other local outlets.

Australian media was also at the Western Cape High Court on on Monday, where Judge Siraj Desai has granted an application by Media24 to live-stream the trial, which will begin about 8.15pm Perth time.

EB7I

HS Signature Red on black

Beijing: A senior Chinese policeman has been jailed for 17 years for embezzling money to buy two Australian homes for his two daughters.

The Australian real estate purchases were among a huge property portfolio, with no obvious legitimate source of funding, Chinese prosecutors said.

Wang Jun Ren police chief of Guta District of Jinzhou City image www.crimefiles.net

One of the homes is a four bedroom, two bathroom house in Revesby Heights in NSW, Australian property records show.

Wang Jun Ren, 59, was the police chief of Guta District of Jinzhou City in Liaoning province, when he began asking a local property developer for millions of Chinese yuan to pay for the Australian real estate purchases for his family.

In return, he outsourced up to 20 construction projects to the property developer, including the construction of police stations, Chinese court documents show.

In 2008, documents showed Wang took 2.36 million Chinese yuan (440,000) from a Beizhen city property developer to buy a property for his oldest daughter, Wang Ju, and her husband, Jin Jing, in Australia.

In August and December 2011, Wang reimbursed 101,911 Chinese yuan in airfares for his wife and daughters’ return travel to Australia from a police bureau bank account, the court was told.

The Revesby house was bought by Wang Ju and her husband for $840,000 in September 2011.

The house in Revesby Heights.image www.crimefiles.net

In September 2013, Wang used public funds to convert currency into $20,000 to visit his family in Australia.

The same year he took another 4million Chinese yuan from the same property developer to buy an Australian property for his second daughter, Wang Ting. The money was transferred directly to her bank account in small amounts by the property developer’s employees, the court was told.

Wang was arrested in August 2015, confessed and returned some of the money last year. He was originally convicted in August 2016.

Around the time of the trial, his daughter moved out of the Revesby house. She has kept it as an investment property, and purchased another home in Sydney’s Castle Hill for $1.7 million.

But a 17-year-jail sentence and 1million Chinese yuan fine was handed down to Wang after Linghai City prosecutors appealed what they said was the earlier, lenient sentence. His wife has been on bail since December.

Wang was convicted of corruptly taking 174million yuan by himself, and another 24,800 yuan with his wife, taking bribes of 680million yuan, and having a huge amount of property of unknown source. That trial was held in December.

The jail sentence comprised of four years for corruption, 12 years for bribe taking, and four years for the unknown funding source of a huge number of properties.

The court heard evidence from the property developer detailing how he transferred the money to Australia, was told that Wang returned the favour to the property developer by outsourcing the construction projects to his company, including the construction of police stations.

The property developer’s son was employed as Wang’s driver at a police station.

LIONEL Patea has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal killing of his ex-girlfriend Tara Brown on a suburban Gold Coast street. Queensland Australia

LIONEL Patea-murdered-tara-brown-gets-life image www.crimefiles.nettara-brown-murdered image www.crimefiles.net

Earlier, the court heard Patea had ordered his aunt — the mother of singer Ricki-Lee Coulter — to deny Tara Brown access to their child in the days before he brutally killed his ex-girlfriend. A court has also heard Patea phoned the child’s daycare centre to ask one question before carrying out his brutal slaying.

Coulter’s mother, Loretta Sheerin, was babysitting Ms Brown’s young daughter in the days before she was killed.

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane image www.crimefiles.net

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Patea has pleaded guilty to Ms Brown’s murder and will be sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court this afternoon.

The court was told during sentencing submissions this morning that Patea commanded his aunt, named in court as Ms Sheerin, not to let Ms Brown see their child while he was in Gladstone for work.

But Ms Sheerin allowed Ms Brown to stay the night and visit the child.

In the days following, Ms Brown applied for domestic violence and child custody orders and was living in a safe house away from the Gold Coast.

vkjuybkooo

On September 6, she returned to the Gold Coast to stay with a friend and was looking for a rental home to “get her life back in order”.

Interim custody orders with Patea were finalised soon after, and the court was told they were served on Patea’s lawyer on September 7.

About 8am the next the day, Patea phoned Aria’s childcare and asked if she would be attending today.

“It was confirmed that she was,” crown prosecutor Carl Heaton QC said.

Patea chased Ms Brown as she drove away from the daycare, ran her off the road and bashed her to death.

Justice Debra Mullins will hand down her sentence from 2.30pm.

Guilty plea in Tara Brown murder trial

EARLIER: Triple 0 call reveals horror of Tara’s death

LIONEL Patea has pleaded guilty to the murder of his former girlfriend Tara Brown.

Ms Brown, 24, died after Patea ran her off the road in a suburban Gold Coast street in September, 2015.

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.image www.crimefiles.net

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.

As she lay trapped in the car, Patea viciously beat her with a cast-iron water hydrant cover.

Ms Brown had just dropped their daughter, Aria, off at childcare when the shocking attack unfolded.

Patea entered guilty pleas to murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful use of a motor vehicle shortly after 10am this morning, before his trial was scheduled to start.

Gold Coast lawyer Campbell MacCallum made a statement outside court on behalf is his client.

In the statement, Patea said he accepted “full responsibility” for his actions.

“I do this with the full support of my family who have encouraged me in my decision to face up to my actions and provide closure for the Brown family,” Mr MacCallum read.

“I do not want to cause Tara’s family further pain.

“I accept without hesitation the punishment imposed upon me by the justice system.”

Earlier, in court, Ms Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton wept as Patea was brought into the dock wearing a navy suit, white shirt and black tie.

It is understood Ms Brown made a harrowing Triple 0 call before her death, which was to be a key piece of evidence in the trial.

The young mum suffered critical head injuries and died the next day in hospital.

Patea’s sentencing hearing has begun, with evidence heard of the brave witnesses who attempted to stop Patea’s brutal actions.

One man, who lived in a nearby home, had helped Patea to get into the car after he ran Ms Brown off the road, believing he was trying to help her. He couldn’t have imagined what would happen next.

Crown prosecutor Carl Heaton QC has told the court Patea began beating Ms Brown with the cover of a water hydrant

tara-brown-murder-victim image www.crimefiles.net

Ms Brown was on the phone to Triple 0 at the time and the attack was recorded.

Mr Heaton said 16 “thumps” are heard on the audio, and then a female witness can be heard saying: “what the f**k are you doing”.

There are another 13 “thumps”, Mr Heaton said, “followed by silence”.

The female witness jumped on Patea’s back at one stage and later stood between him and Ms Brown as she lay trapped in the car and told him to “piss off”.

The male witness had tried to pull him from Ms Brown and phone police, to no avail.

Her death sent shockwaves through the nation, and that grief was compounded when just two days later a Karina Lock was murdered by her husband at the Helensvale McDonald’s.

The domestic violence murders sparked calls from the community for the State Government to act.


National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800 RESPECT.

In an emergency call triple-zero.

CLUB LIBIDO BANNER MASKED WOMAN ON BLACK

hs-sig-red-on-white

When Justice Elizabeth Fullerton and Robert Xie saw each other, it was usually when the judge was sitting at the grand, elevated bench, and he was below her in the dock.

So it must have come as quite a surprise when Justice Fullerton saw Xie walking along Elizabeth Street during an adjournment in the final weeks of his murder trial.

Lian Bin 'Robert' Xie was arrested almost two years after the Lin family deaths image www.crimefiles.net

Lian Bin ‘Robert’ Xie was arrested almost two years after the Lin family deaths

Justice Fullerton raised the sighting in court and the defence explained that Xie had become locked in the downstairs hallways while going to the toilet, and had to take the Elizabeth Street exit.

The judge accepted the explanation.

The dark, labyrinth-like corridor below the courts in the historic King Street complex is painted in public hospital pastels.

It leads to toilets, mediation rooms and old cells with imposing metal bars, then to court number 5 and out onto Elizabeth Street, across from the shiny facade of David Jones department store.

Xie was on bail during the course of his trial, and while his being on the street in court hours was perhaps unusual, it was not in breach of his conditions.

It is standard practice for accused people on bail to use abundant caution and stay within the court building during a trial so they don’t come into contact with anyone involved in the proceedings.

Guilty Robert Xie arrives at the NSW Supreme Court image www.crimefiles.net

Xie’s bail was revoked on December 22 in a decision unrelated to the incident, but in anticipation of the jury retiring to consider its verdict.

When the trial resumed after Christmas for the end of the judge’s summary, defence barrister Robert Webb asked for Xie to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton, who presided over Robert Xie's trial. image www.crimefiles.net

Mr Webb produced a medical certificate and said the prison diet was aggravating a possible stomach ulcer.

Though Xie was charged with five murders, he was granted bail in late 2015, after the jury in his third trial could not reach a verdict.

Justice Fullerton noted that being in custody for more than 4½ years without a conviction had taken a heavy toll on Xie’s mental wellbeing.

“For an accused person to remain in custody for five years or more is impossible to view as fair and commensurate with a fair and just criminal process,” she said at the time.

Xie was found guilty of five counts of murder in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

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

www.goodgirlsgo.com

CLUB LIBIDO BANNER blonde x 5 in pink

hs-sig-red-on-white

 

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.

ooo

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.

John Ryan killer image www.crimefiles.net

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.

www.club-libido.com

www.clublibido.com.au

www.goodgirlsgo.com

CLUB LIBIDO BANNER BRUNETTE THROWS KISSES

hs-sig-red-on-white

 

Two ex police officers get life sentences after court finds them guilty of executing Jamie Gao.

Roger Rogerson, left, and Glen McNamara during the trial.image www.crimefiles.net

As grey-haired killers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara waited to learn their fate for murder, each of them took turns in shutting their eyes for several minutes at a time.

But the former policemen, 75 and 57 respectively, were wide-eyed and standing when they were given a life sentence for the “heinous” and “audacious” murder of university student and drug dealer Jamie Gao, 20.

>>>>SEE OUR EARLIER CRIMES FILES STORY ABOUT THIS MURDER HERE

Rogerson, McNamara trial: What happened in unit 803?

The trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara over the murder of Jamie Gao heard three accounts of the university student’s death in a Sydney storage unit.

On Friday Justice Geoffrey Bellew found the pair had been “overwhelmed by greed” when they killed Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of ice.

He also said the pair had “a complete disregard for the life of another human being” when they murdered Mr Gao inside a southern Sydney storage unit in May 2014.

“The joint criminal enterprise to which each offender was a party was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution, and callous in its aftermath,” Justice Bellew said during his sentencing remarks before the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

The pair were also given a minimum nine-year sentence for the supply of a prohibited narcotic drug

Russian_Girl_1_728_90

Upon hearing the life sentence handed down, Mr Gao’s family released a statement, saying the life sentence was everything they had hoped for.

“To have these two men, who took Jamie from us, sentenced to essentially die in jail, is absolutely fitting,” they said.

“The courts can’t lessen the term of Jamie’s death or the impact that his death, the investigation and ensuing trial has had on our family. Unfortunately, there is no opportunity for a lesser sentence for Jamie or for those of us left behind.”

During his sentencing remarks Justice Bellew noted Mr Gao had been killed by two former police officers.

Jamie Gao. Photo Facebook image www.crimefiles.net

Jamie Gao.  Photo: Facebook

“Aspects of their commission of these crimes reflect the fact the offenders put to use, for all the wrong reasons, knowledge and experience that they gained as a consequence of their investigation of criminal offences when they were members of the police force,” he said.

Upon learning his fate, an apparently emotionless Rogerson hobbled down the stairs in his prison greens with corrective service officers to the cells below the historic Darlinghurst court complex.

The joint criminal enterprise … was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution and callous in its aftermath.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew

McNamara said to his teary family “be strong”: his daughter Jessica responded by blowing kisses.

During an 18-week trial, a jury heard how Rogerson and McNamara had spent months planning the murder of Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him.

Mr Gao was shot dead and stuffed into a silver surfboard bag then dumped at sea. His body was found floating off the shore of Cronulla several days later.

“The disposal of the deceased’s body at sea was both cruel and insensitive. It was done solely for the purpose of the offenders endeavouring to ensure that the deceased would never be found, rendering it all the more difficult for any responsibility to ever be attributed to either of them,” Justice Bellew said.

During the sentencing hearing the court heard how on the day of the murder, Mr Gao was captured on CCTV footage going into unit 803 at Padstow Rent-a-Space, with McNamara.

A little more than three minutes later, Rogerson walked into the shed.

At some point, Mr Gao was shot dead although Rogerson and McNamara blamed one another.

Rogerson told the court that McNamara told him there had been a struggle, and that Mr Gao had shot himself twice in the chest.

But McNamara said he was by himself with Mr Gao inside the shed when Rogerson opened the door and demanded the victim hand over the “gear”.

Mr Gao pulled out a combat-style knife and, simultaneously, Rogerson produced a gun and fired two shots.

McNamara said Rogerson then aimed the gun at his head and threatened to kill him and his daughters if he did not help dispose of the body.

Justice Bellew rejected both of their accounts but said he could not find beyond reasonable doubt who had pulled the trigger.

“The deceased was executed in cold blood, just as the offenders had planned. Clearly, one of them shot the deceased. There is an obvious suspicion, arising from the evidence of the presence of gunshot residue on his clothing, that it was Rogerson who did so,” he said.

“Whilst I am satisfied that the deceased was shot by one of the offenders whilst in storage unit 803, I am unable to determine which offender was responsible.”

The jury accepted the pair were part of a joint criminal enterprise, finding them both guilty of murder and commercial supply of a prohibited drug in June.

Beautiful_Russian_3_300_250

www.policesearch.net

Henry Sapiecha

hs-sig-red-on-white

Congolese ex-rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been jailed for 18 years following a landmark conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and sexual violence.

Bemba, a former vice-president of DR Congo, was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003.

He was accused of failing to stop his rebels from killing and raping people.

Bemba’s lawyers have already said they will appeal against his conviction.

Judges announced sentences of between 16 and 18 years for five counts of rape, murder and pillaging, with the jail terms running concurrently. The eight years Bemba has already spent in custody will be deducted from his term.

His conviction was the first time the ICC had focused on rape as a weapon of war, and the first time a suspect had been convicted for crimes committed by others under his command.

Passing sentence at the ICC in The Hague, Judge Sylvia Steiner said Bemba had failed to exercise control over his private militia sent into CAR, where they carried out “sadistic” rapes, murders and pillaging of “particular cruelty”.

The BBC’s Anna Holligan, who is in The Hague, says two key issues remain – where Bemba will serve his sentence and the amount of compensation to be awarded to his victims.


Who is Jean-Pierre Bemba?

Jean-Pierre Bemba image www.crimefiles.net

  • A well-connected businessman and the son of prominent Congolese businessman Bemba Saolona
  • 1998: Helped by Uganda to form MLC rebel group in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2003: Becomes vice-president under peace deal
  • 2006: Loses run-off election to President Joseph Kabila but gets most votes in western DR Congo, including Kinshasa
  • 2007: Flees to Belgium after clashes in Kinshasa
  • 2008: Arrested in Brussels and handed over to ICC
  • 2010: Trial begins
  • 2016: Found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Profile: Jean-Pierre Bemba

More about DR Congo


Bemba was “extremely disappointed” with the sentence, his lawyer, Kate Gibson, told AFP news agency.

“Today’s sentence is by no means the end of the road for Mr Bemba, it merely signals that we are now moving to the next phase of the process which is the appeal,” she said.

In 2002 Bemba had sent more than 1,000 fighters to the CAR to help then president Ange Felix Patasse put down an attempted coup.

The court heard that his troops committed acts of extreme violence against civilians – crimes which the judge said Bemba was made aware of but did nothing to stop.

He had led the MLC (Movement for the Liberation of Congo) rebel group during DR Congo’s brutal civil war and after a 2003 peace deal he laid down his arms and joined an interim government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the sentence offered “a measure of justice” for the victims.

“Other commanders should take notice that they, too, can be held accountable for rapes and other serious abuses committed by troops under their control,” said Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, HRW’s international justice advocacy director.

The MLC is now a major opposition party in DR Congo and Secretary General Eve Bazaiba criticised the ICC ruling and sentence.

“We will never cease denouncing the selective justice of the ICC,” she told supporters in the capital Kinshasa.

f9

hs-sig-red-on-white

Subscribe to Crime Files Network