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Australian News

Bellevue Hill mother Samantha Palmer accused of stabbing son Hugo Ball


A mother accused of stabbing her own son multiple times at their family home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs screamed “I love you” as she was escorted into the back of a police van.

Officers were called to a home on Drumalbyn Rd in Bellevue Hill just after 1.30am on Saturday where they found 22-year-old Hugo Ball suffering life-threatening injuries.

It is alleged he had been stabbed in his upper body.

He was treated at the scene before being rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in a serious condition. His condition has since stabilised following surgery.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan told 9News Mr Ball had extremely low blood pressure suggesting he had lost a lot of blood

“The location of the wounds can certainly be fatal,” he said.

His 55-year-old mother Samantha Palmer was arrested at the home and taken to Waverley Police Station where she spent 13 hours before she was charged with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (domestic violence).

She could be heard screaming “I love you” as authorities whisked her away into the back of a police van.

“I’m the mother of this child for God’s sake,” Mr Palmer could be heard saying.

She was refused bail and will front court on Sunday.

A knife was seized from the home.



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Local News - Victoria

Bail for Christian school teacher accused of raping student


Magistrate Luisa Bazzani said it was “very difficult” to decide whether or not to grant bail, and sternly warned Mr Mellody that if he contacted either of the alleged victims it would be revoked.

Some of the worst imaginable offences against children are alleged against you.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani

“You are before the court in relation to 59 separate offences. Some of the worst imaginable offences against children are alleged against you,” Ms Bazzani said in a late Melbourne Magistrates Court sitting on Wednesday.

Ms Bazzani said she was particularly concerned about the vulnerability of the alleged victims given at least one of the children, according to police, has blamed herself for the charges brought against Mr Mellody.

“It is rare to see this number of charges and such serious charges levelled against the one individual,” Ms Bazzani said.

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“I’m really worried about [Mr Mellody] making contact with these children.”

The alleged offending against one of the children lasted over a period of 18 months, according to police.

Ms Bazzani granted Mr Mellody bail because he had no prior criminal history and because his family had promised the court they would support and supervise him. Mr Mellody can only use the internet while supervised and is not allowed to be in a room alone with a child under 18.

In a November 6 letter sent out by the school to parents and obtained by The Sunday Age, the school said they were “deeply shocked and appalled” by the allegations, that they had sacked Mr Mellody and intended to conduct their own internal investigation after police had completed theirs.

The letter also said they had extended counselling services to students and will review their child safety policies.

Police allege he persuaded the girl to sneak out of her parent’s home at night and would regularly take her to the college, where she studied and he had worked as a sport coordinator for the past seven years.

He faces 23 charges of sexual penetration with a child under 16, 16 of conduct contrary to community standards, eight of sexual assault against a child, six of sexual penetration of a child under his care, four of rape and two of grooming.

Mr Mellody was arrested on October 20. On October 29 another student from the same school came forward and told police he had raped and sexually assaulted her, and gave police an extensive statement.

Mr Mellody, who recently became a father and is barred from visiting his baby alone, is accused of raping the second student during a camp at an alpine resort in August 2019.

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Local News - Victoria

Accused are cowards, not part of a ‘warrior culture’


The ‘‘kill count’’ was rewarded by higher command – and so the sickening and cowardly executions of innocent Afghans and prisoners of war became routine. Please do not call that a ‘‘warrior culture’’. There is nothing brave about shooting a prisoner or an unarmed civilian. They are the true cowards.
Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe, Ascot Vale

When will the Afghans be compensated?

I watched Australian Defence Force chief, General Angus Campbell, trying to explain what had happened in Afghanistan, and how the accused and their families will now need support (7.30 Report, 19/11). I then read that Kerry Stokes has vowed through a spokesman to help members of the SAS who were accused of war crimes (The Age, 20/11). I wondered where were the real victims of these alleged murderous actions.

It seems the Afghan victims and their families have been sidelined in an effort to protect the reputation of our defence personnel. No doubt the federal government will follow through with its undertaking to provide compensation to the Afghan families, but how much and how soon? Or will this have to wait until various court cases are finalised, which some suggest could be years.
Bruce MacKenzie, Kingsville

Weren’t we there to befriend and support?

When Australia joined in the war in Afghanistan, we never asked ourselves why we were there and then sought an honest answer to that question. Does the redacted portion of Justice Paul Brereton’s report deal with the political decision to enter the war as a nation, which was done on a captain’s call? At the time and later, Australians at large were told that we were there to befriend and support Afghanistan, build schools and chase out foreign insurgents.
John Marks, Werribee

Support for the Afghans who are in Australia

I am deeply appreciative of The Age’s reporting into war crimes perpetrated by special forces soldiers. However, I was disturbed that at the bottom of your articles, details for services which support current or former ADF members, or a relative, were included, and none which support people who have been victims of military violence.

While there is no doubt that many involved in the defence forces have been traumatised by war, the atrocities committed have been most keenly felt by Afghan people. I encourage those Afghans who are in Australia, and others who feel traumatised by the accounts of military violence, to seek support from organisations such as the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.
Jessie Richardson, Richmond

How could the higher ranks not have known?

In any military organisation the culture starts at the top and is passed down. To believe that warrant officers, lieutenants, captains, majors and lieutenant colonels did not realise that there was a disturbing, illegal behaviour amongst the other ranks is ludicrous. These senior ranks are trained managers and if they did not know what was going on they should not have been in the job.
Adrian Tabor, Point Lonsdale

Wrong time to spend money on war memorial

That excessive and wasteful $500million upgrade to the Australian War Memorial is looking even more inappropriate. It is a time for a rethink on this, Scott Morrison.
Cynthia Humphreys, Toorak

THE FORUM

My lessons in killing

Congratulations, Cathy Wilcox, on being named the political cartoonist of the year by the Museum of Australian Democracy (The Age, 20/11). Your four-part cartoon yesterday, on how soldiers are trained, could not have put it better. As an ex-technical clerk of The Royal Army Ordinance Corps in England, even I, a lowly clerk, was taught how to attack, kill and disembowel an enemy with a rifle and a bayonet.
Barry Austin, Mooroolbark

Teaching young boys …

Bravo, Wilcox, for your cartoon which brilliantly sums up the armed forces’ disgrace in Afghanistan. But all of society must bear some responsibility for the aggressive, macho attitudes that are encouraged in boys. I wonder how many youngsters will receive toy guns, swords and other weapons for Christmas.
Edna Russell, Ocean Grove

…to do the dirty work

More than 500,000 of our Australian citizens marched against military involvement in the Middle East. The young, fit, aspiring and impressionable men sent to do the dirty work in Afghanistan and Iraq are now the fall guys for the real war criminals who drove this incredibly costly debacle: George W.Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair and John Howard.
John Poppins, Mount Waverley

Reforming the culture

It is no wonder our young soldiers returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder if they were subjected to murdering helpless Afghans while they were on duty overseas. The details on 7.30 were shocking in the extreme. How can that culture now be reformed?
Elaine O’Shannessy, Buxton

How to create monsters

Why are we surprised that when we ask our sons, nephews and brothers to do monstrous things, some of them turn into monsters?
Andrew Johnston, Kallista

Tarred by association

Apart from the Brereton report’s horrific findings, one of its more disturbing aspects is that the alleged perpetrators are allowed the protection of anonymity. This places the whole of the SAS under a cloud. It is bad enough to know that such a toxic culture existed without unfairly extending it by implication to all honourable and decent members of the force. Simply reforming and rebranding the regiment may satisfy the Defence Force, but it sends the wrong message to the public.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale

Learn to say ‘no’ to US

It comes as no surprise to learn about the atrocities committed in Afghanistan, given the war-mongering history of this country’s leaders. When will Australia spawn a party and leader who has the intellect and courage to say to the United States: Enough is enough. We have followed it to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – with what result? War crimes, thousands of Australians killed and wounded, carnage wreaked upon the innocent and their cultures decimated.

Scott Morrison, who is crawling over broken glass to sign a new military treaty with Japan, ignores the history of Japanese atrocities committed against Australian prisoners of war. In true war-mongering spirit, he again aligns Australia with the US and now Japan, knowing there is a potential for a war with China. Many of our native species have become extinct. Why not lemmings?
Trevor Monti, Williamstown

Standing up to China

Nothing quite encapsulates the disdain towards Australia on the part of the Chinese regime than that expressed by its Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian (The Age, 19/11). Is it really so surprising to him that we should have the temerity to want to find answers to a pandemic that began in China and has had disastrous consequences for the whole world? I urge the Andrews government to reconsider Victoria’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative. Why do business with those who hold us and other nations in such contempt?
Jane Grano, Blackburn

Locals will pay the price

I understand that pushing workers back into the CBD will help businesses there, but aren’t we robbing Peter to pay Paul? While working from home, we have been giving our coffee and takeaway food business to our local shops. Their business will decline when we return to the office in the city.
Chrissie Schubert,Windsor

Crown’s dirty cash

At last, a vindication for the long-term gambling reform activists, Tim Costello and Andrew Wilkie, and, more recently, whistleblower Jenny, as a result of the inquiry into Crown Resorts (The Age, 19/11). Evidence of many irregularities has been revealed including money-laundering, child sexual exploitation and dodgy visas for high rollers to come to Australia to gamble. Thankfully, the NSW gambling regulator has blocked the opening of Crown Resorts’ Sydney casino next month until the inquiry into its licence is completed next year. The outcome will be interesting.
June Roberts, Eaglemont

Power of Crown’s money

The Victorian government has jumped in to rescue Crown casino, stating that its licence will not be suspended in Melbourne (ABC, 19/11). ‘‘There is a sacred trust when it comes to these licences and they need to be complied with,’’ Daniel Andrews said.

Sacred trust? Are you kidding, Premier? With Crown casino donating $35,000 to Victorian Labor and $30,000 to the Victorian Liberals in 2018/2019, we know at which table the politicians worship. Meanwhile, serial bleater Michael O’Brien proclaims that the Victoria Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation was ‘‘asleep at the wheel’’.
Leonie Ashton, Maribyrnong

Make use of old railway

Re the Suburban Rail Loop (The Age, 17/11): The Outer Circle Railway was designed and built under the instruction of Sir Thomas Bent, who later became premier, in the late 19th century. A significant portion of the railway remains as a reserve from Hughesdale to Fairfield stations. It would make sense to use this land and save million of tunnelling dollars for the same cross city railway.
James Parton, Clarinda

Isolate, but remotely

How can we truly isolate those with a very infectious virus by placing them in the centre of a large, busy city? It has been shown that only one small error can start transmission through transport, medical, retail and social systems. Perhaps the 19th and 20th century administrators better understood the meaning of strict isolation. Quarantine buildings and their on-site staff were in areas of true separation from the general community.

The success of antibiotics has also made us complacent about bacterial infection. Already, there are bacteria which have become resistant to known antibiotics. People with such infections also need a form of isolation to prevent spread. Remote quarantine stations need to be established. The cost would be minimal compared with the human and economic stress such epidemics impose.
Elizabeth Meredith, Surrey Hills

Humane and effective

It is welcome news that a predator-proof fence will be built at Wilson’s Promontory (The Age, 18/11). Fences are the most humane, long-term way to protect native animals and their habitats from human-introduced animals such as foxes, deer and cats. They eliminate the need to use cruel poisons and mass shootings to protect native animals. Erecting fences in vulnerable areas could also provide people with practical work skills and introduce them to the joy of working outdoors for a worthwhile cause.
Jan Kendall, Mount Martha

A man of many denials

Was Rupert Murdoch too clever when he set up a double negative by denying he is a climate science denier (The Age, 20/11)? His media outlets prove he supports denial of facts. His influence on the government’s climate inaction is evident.
Peter Logan, South Melbourne

AND ANOTHER THING


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Afghanistan

I have no words.
Barbara Abell, Essendon

Angus Campbell. Hero.
Paul Burchill, Carlton

There should only be one rule of war: no wars.
Andy Wain, Rosebud

If they’re jailed, may it be in Afghanistan with surviving family members as their warders.
Doug Clark, Hampton

Wilcox, you’ve done it again (20/11). Your cartoon on war nails it.
Liz Riordan, Newtown

The US

I’m looking forward to Trump’s return to reality TV – on The Biggest Loser.
Bill Gray, Albert Park

Hang in there, Mr Biden. Pope Francis will be 84 next month and Rupert is … 89.
Peter Angelovski, Hoppers Crossing

Memo to Donald Trump and Pete Evans: snake oil has a use-by date.
Bernd Rieve, Brighton

Coronavirus

SA needs people with expertise on COVID-19. Let’s send them O’Brien. He knows everything.
Mick Hussey, Beaconsfield

I guess we’ll hear from O’Brien how draconian SA’s lockdown is.
Bruce McQualter, Richmond

When will the SA Premier announce an inquiry into their hotel quarantine failure?
Denis Liubinas, Blairgowrie

Melburnians feast on double doughnuts while our Adelaide cousins nibble humble pie.
Don Phillips, Fitzroy

Furthermore

Murdoch is a climate change-denier denier.
Jonathan Morris, Clifton Hill

So I should spend some of my savings to fund my retirement (20/11). Gee, what a radical idea.
Lindsay Zoch, East Melbourne

A $50 billion rail loop that buses service but no airport-rail link. Where are the government’s priorities?
Doug Springall, Yarragon

Re our anthem. Why not do as Spain has done? Just music and no words.
John Simmonds, Collingwood

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Australian News

John Howard says accused SAS troops are ‘innocent until proven guilty’


Former Prime Minister John Howard has urged Australians to remember that the nation‘s SAS troops are “innocent until proven guilty” and have a right to due process in the wake of the Brereton report.

“As the Prime Minister who committed Australian forces to Afghanistan in 2001, following the terrorist attacks of 11 September, I remain intensely proud of the bravery and professionalism of those forces in the years that followed,” he said in a statement.

“Forty-one members of the Australian Defence Force have died in the Afghanistan conflict. All Australians should be grateful for the service of our forces in what has proved to be a long and difficult engagement.

“None of this diminishes the distress that I and so many others feel about the contents of the Brereton Inquiry released yesterday. Its findings are damning of the behaviour of a small group of Special Forces personnel who it is claimed, amongst other things, were responsible for the unlawful killing of 39 Afghani citizens.

RELATED: Up to 3000 Australian troops could lose awards after war crimes report

RELATED: The reaction to war crimes exposes Australia’s shame

“The report explicitly states that none of them lost their lives in the heat of battle. Such conduct is totally at odds with the values, beliefs and practices of our military forces.”

Mr Howard said the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), General Angus Campbell, responded candidly and directly to the chilling conclusions of the Brereton Inquiry.

“The CDF did not diminish in any way the serious issues raised by it, and demonstrated true leadership qualities,” he said.

“Due process must now be followed. If charges are laid against individuals they must be handled in accordance with Australia’s criminal justice system. Any personnel charged should enjoy the presumption of innocence.

“A long road lies ahead. In the meantime, we should remember the continuing service of our military personnel and, where appropriate, extend a helping hand to them and their families.”



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Business

Australian accused of promoting alleged $US2.5b BitConnect Ponzi scheme charged


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BitConnect was an online currency platform with a market capitalisation of $US2.5 billion. It held glitzy events around the world that showcased the benefits of investing in its platform, including large seminars in Australia. One video of a conference shows money raining from the sky as the Star Wars theme plays.

BitConnect collapsed in early 2018 wiping out that investment.

Mr Bigatton, from the southern Sydney suburb of Carss Park, is yet to enter a plea. He has been charged with four counts of making a false or misleading statement affecting market participation, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years for each charge. He has also been charged with one count of operating an unlicensed scheme and one count of providing unlicensed financial services.

ASIC alleges Mr Bigatton operated an unlicensed managed investment scheme in Australia as part of the broader BitConnect network.

“ASIC further alleges that during four seminars conducted by Mr Bigatton, he made false or misleading statements which were likely to induce investors to apply for, or acquire, interests in the BitConnect Lending Platform,” ASIC said in a statement.

The matter will return to court on February 2, 2021.

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Local News - Victoria

King Street murder accused fronts court following manhunt


A second person charged with murder over a stabbing death in Melbourne’s CBD has appeared before court after spending several days at large.

Benjamin McCartin appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with murdering Ricky Rowlands, 46, who was fatally stabbed during a brawl in King Street last Saturday night. Mr Rowlands died in hospital on Sunday.

Benjamin McCartin, 40, was apprehended on Wednesday,

Benjamin McCartin, 40, was apprehended on Wednesday, Credit: 

Mr McCartin, 40, who hunched over with his arms folded as he appeared via video link from custody, had spent several days on the run after police said during the week he was wanted for questioning. He was arrested on Wednesday afternoon.

The Melbourne man is the second person charged over the killing after Candice Harper, 43, appeared before the court on Monday charged with murder and affray.



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Local News - Victoria

King Street murder accused fronts court as manhunt launched


During the brief hearing she yelled over the phone: “You know I’ve got a child out there and an injured partner.”

Ms Harper was remanded in custody to reappear on February 15.

Wanted man Benjamin McCartin, 40.

Wanted man Benjamin McCartin, 40.Credit: 

Meanwhile, detectives are hunting 40-year-old Benjamin McCartin, who is wanted for questioning over the fatal brawl.

“Police have a number of follow-up inquiries to make in relation to another man who is believed to be involved and remains outstanding,” a police spokeswoman said.

A third man – a 42-year-old from Melbourne – is fighting for life in hospital after being found at the bottom of a fire escape with critical injuries hours after the brawl.

A man has died in hospital after allegedly being stabbed in Melbourne's CBD on Saturday night, with police investigating whether the attack is linked to another incident early on Sunday morning. 

A man has died in hospital after allegedly being stabbed in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday night, with police investigating whether the attack is linked to another incident early on Sunday morning. Credit:Nine News

At 3am on Sunday emergency services were called to treat a man found at the base of a fire escape at a King Street hotel.

Police were told the injured man had fallen, but the spokeswoman said detectives were investigating if his injuries were linked to the stabbing.

Mobile phone footage of the aftermath of Saturday’s brawl showed a blood-soaked footpath near the intersection of King and Bourke streets as bystanders rushed to assist the injured man.

Police photograph a knife at the scene of the CBD incident.

Police photograph a knife at the scene of the CBD incident.Credit:Nine News

When one man yells “Is he alright?”, a woman leaning over the injured man replies “nah”.

Hours later forensic officers were seen removing a number of knives from the nearby area while officers from the Critical Incident Response Team combed the city streets.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Man accused of horrific attack has ‘low IQ’, court hears


A man accused of the horrific rape of a woman along a public walking trail only has an IQ of 63, a court has been told.

Joel Russo is fighting 17 charges in Melbourne Magistrates Court relating to the alleged rape on the night of December 3 last year.

He is accused of attacking a woman who was jogging along the Coburg section of the popular Merri Creek trail, strangling her, and “holding her head underwater, placing her in danger of death,” documents previously released by the court state.

Russo is facing 16 charges for different acts of sexual violence – some that are too graphic to print – and one charge of robbery.

But the 26-year-old may argue he could not be found guilty due to mental impairment, his lawyer Tanya Skvortsova told the court on Friday.

Russo’s alleged IQ of 63 puts him well within the intellectually disabled range of 70 and below, the court heard.

The average IQ score is between 85 and 115, with 85 to 70 considered below average.

The court previously heard he also has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

A committal hearing in December will determine if the case against Russo is strong enough to proceed to trial, with witnesses to be called including two women who allegedly saw him about 90 minutes before the 6.30pm attack.

The man they saw was speaking in a stilted and odd manner, the court heard.

“He would say a sentence and then stare at me,” one woman told police afterwards, Ms Skvortsova said.

The other woman said she saw a man who looks like Russo “walking towards me with an unsteady gait,” Ms Skvortsova said.

The lawyer said a Victoria Police doctor did not consider Russo fit to be interviewed when he was apprehended in the early hours of December 4.

Ms Skvortsova will grill the police officers who arrested him on his manner at the time, including “his speech, his eyes … how stable he is on his feet”.

DNA evidence matching Russo’s to samples taken from the alleged victim could also be contested, she said.

Russo appeared from prison and said little at Friday’s hearing, which was held over audiovisual link.



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Frank Abbott accused by neighbour


Dramatic scenes erupted in court on the penultimate day of the William Tyrrell inquest as a woman who heard a child’s scream from the bush the day after the boy disappeared told her paedophile neighbour “You know something”.

William was wearing a Spider-Man suit and pretending to be a tiger when he disappeared from his foster grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive in the quiet northern NSW town of Kendall six years ago.

An inquest has been underway since March 2019 before deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame, who is tasked with unravelling the mystery of what happened to William on September 12, 2014.

Convicted paedophile Frank Abbott, who lived in northern NSW before he was jailed for child sex offences, has been representing himself at the inquest from prison.

On Wednesday, he confronted his former neighbour, Anna Baker, over her evidence that she had heard a child scream in the bush the day after William went missing.

The skirmish played out remotely in the Lidcombe courtroom as Abbott, appearing over video, questioned Baker, who had phoned into court to face his follow-up questions.

She told the inquest on Tuesday she was tending to her strawberries when she heard the scream and immediately stood straight up, believing it was a male child.

But she did not think it was related to William, and did not tell the police until 2018 when a friend told her Abbott was living just across the paddock.

The exchange became tense as Abbott suggested she could not have heard a scream coming from his place.

“I heard the noise coming from the bush. Not your place,” she said.

“You’re the only person close to that bush. And you’re a paedophile.

“You know something, Frank Abbott.”

When Abbott protested he wanted to find William, saying “I’m in the same boat as you”, Ms Baker shot back, “I’m not in your boat mate”.

The massive police investigation had 26 investigators at its height, but that number has now dwindled to five, Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw told the court.

There are also two intelligence analysts working the case, making a team of seven.

“Have you given up?” counsel assisting Gerard Craddock asked him.

“No,” the inspector replied. “We never will.”

He confirmed police had not excluded anyone from the investigation, including William’s mother, father, foster parents and several high profile persons of interest.

“We haven’t closed the door on anybody,” he said, later adding “We’d be remiss if we did”.

Dr Helen Paterson, a memory expert and lecturer in forensic psychology at the University of Sydney, told the inquest:“Our memories are not perfect … we don’t remember things like video cameras,” she said.

“Many people think memories are reproductions of what we saw. But every time we recall an event we reconstruct it.”

She examined two pieces of potentially crucial eyewitness evidence, including from William’s foster mother who told the inquest two unfamiliar sedans had been parked on the quiet, rural street the morning William disappeared.

The woman initially told police she had not seen any suspicious cars but remembered them two days later, insisting to police the picture was “burnt into my brain”.

It has not been corroborated by other witnesses.

Dr Paterson said on Wednesday: “I can’t say if it’s a genuine memory or a false memory. I can say that it is possibly a false memory.”

She offered several possibilities: The foster mother could have genuinely seen the cars that morning, she could have seen them on a different day, or a leading question or photograph could have planted the notion in her mind, generating a false memory.

Dr Paterson said confidence was not always a good indicator of accuracy, and sometimes people who were very sure of a memory and often repeated it to others could have a “confidence inflation” effect over time.

She said this effect appeared to be present in the testimony of Kendall man Ron Chapman, who said he saw two cars drive past his house erratically that morning in 2014.

The first car was driven by a woman and William Tyrrell was standing unrestrained in the back seat, dressed in his Spider-Man suit, Mr Chapman told the inquest last year.

“Originally, he wasn’t very confident at all,” Dr Paterson said.

“He wasn’t sure if it was a dream or whatever and he became more confident over time that he had seen William Tyrrell in the vehicle that went past.”

Mr Chapman had relied on “script” memory – or what typically happens – in his interview, she said, noting he had misremembered his relatives had been in town and it had not been an ordinary day.

Dr Paterson assumed for her report that neither Mr Chapman nor the foster mother were lying, and each was trying their best to give an honest account.

Broadly speaking, humans were very bad at telling if people were lying, particularly based on their demeanour, Dr Paterson said.

She told the court it was possible to experience “inattentional blindness” in which you do not notice and cannot recall something that happens right in front of you.

This has been measured by experiments, she said, the most famous involving a person who is asked to watch a video and focus on three people in white shirts passing a ball to each other.

A person focused on the task tended to miss a “very obvious” person in a gorilla suit who walks into the middle of the game and beats his chest, she said.

The court will hear statements prepared by William’s family and his foster parents on Thursday.



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Just-retired Port Adelaide AFL player Jack Watts accused of hit-and-run crash



Recently retired Port Adelaide AFL player Jack Watts will appear in court after allegedly crashing into a car in Adelaide’s west, then driving off.

Police allege the 29-year-old drove into a parked car on Coral Sea Road at Fulham on September 20 and failed to stop and report the incident to police.

He has been reported for driving without due care and will appear in court at a later date.

No-one was injured, police said.

They only made details of the incident public this evening.

The Power play Geelong in the first qualifying final on Thursday after finishing top of the AFL ladder.

Retirement after troubled career

Watts announced his retirement from the AFL last Thursday, September 24, after playing just 21 games for the Power since making the move from Melbourne in 2017.

He was drafted by Melbourne with pick number one back in 2008, playing 174 AFL games in total.

He battled a number of injuries, including a serious leg injury early last year, but the club said he would be missed.

“He fought through adversity on a number of occasions — his last game at the level was probably his best one for us and as I say he leaves the club in a more broader sense in a better place,” general manager of football Chris Davies said.

Last year, Watts admitted a video of him snorting white powder at Oktoberfest celebrations was “a pretty shocking look” but said the substance was not an illegal drug.

The Adelaide Crows’ Brad Crouch and Tyson Stengle were stopped by police and allegedly caught in possession of an illicit substance in the Adelaide CBD on Monday morning.



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