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Woman allegedly set fire to mattress, killing young family


Her son, Harley, told Nine News on Friday that his mother was allegedly unaware the young couple and their three-week-old baby were asleep upstairs when she visited a man who was temporarily living at the property in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Abbey Forrest, her boyfriend, Indi, and baby Ivy.

Abbey Forrest, her boyfriend, Indi, and baby Ivy.

“As far as I know, from what I’ve been told by my Mum … this person she has gone to see has taken her money [and] left the house with her in there. So her being in a rage – she’s been walked over a lot before by a lot of people – her being in a rage [she] set a mattress on fire and she left the house,” he said.

Harley said he got a message from his mother about 4am, which said, “I think I did something stupid,” with a photo of the burning mattress.

“She got to my house later that morning … she told me ‘I think I did something stupid, I set fire to a mattress, I’m worried it’s going to spread and hurt other people’. She didn’t know anyone else was in there. She wasn’t aware of it.”

He said his mother did not know about the deaths of the young couple and their newborn until she was arrested.

“She had no idea at all. I know she will never be able to forgive herself for what she’s done.”

Part of the second storey of the townhouse was completely destroyed in the blaze.

Part of the second storey of the townhouse was completely destroyed in the blaze.Credit:Paul Jeffers

Harley said Ms Hayes was a “really loving mother” who had done everything she could to take care of him.

“She hasn’t always made the perfect decisions but she has always done what she thought was right. And what’s always been best for me,” he said.

“I just want [people] to know she didn’t mean to do what she did.”

Harley says his mother did not know about the deaths of the young couple and their newborn until she was arrested.

Harley says his mother did not know about the deaths of the young couple and their newborn until she was arrested.Credit:Nine News

After her arrest, Ms Hayes was remanded in custody and faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday night. She did not appear during a brief hearing, instead remaining at Richmond police station. It is Ms Hayes’ first time in police custody.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani heard that Ms Hayes is on two types of medication and ordered she be assessed in prison to manage a pain condition.

“I’ve been told that her state in prison is poor,” the magistrate said.

“Yes, Your Honour, that about sums it up at the moment,” lawyer Erin Byrt replied.

Harley holds a photo of himself with his mother Jenny Hayes.

Harley holds a photo of himself with his mother Jenny Hayes.Credit:Nine News

Ms Hayes will be served a brief of evidence in January and is due to appear in court on March 1 next year. Police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the blaze.

Ms Forrest and Mr Singh moved to the townhouse in Totem Way less than a month ago, after the birth of Ivy, who would have been three weeks old on Friday.

Ms Forrest’s devastated sister, Emily, went to the scene of the fire on Thursday.

Abbey Forrest (left), her sister, Emily, and their parents.

Abbey Forrest (left), her sister, Emily, and their parents.

“It should be the perfect time of their life, and now this awful tragedy has happened,” she said.

Ms Forrest had loved being a first-time mother. “She did a fantastic job; she really showed me up, that’s for sure,” Emily said, smiling through tears.

“She was absolutely smitten; she was so over the moon to become a mum and she did so well.”

Emily said she and her sister were inseparable as children, with just four years between them.

“She had the biggest, boldest personality. She was great. I’ll always cherish the memories that I had growing up with her. She was my only sibling,” she said.

Emily had the chance to meet her niece, Ivy, who was born on November 13, only twice, but she said she would treasure the memories.

Abbey Forrest's sister, Emily, and her partner lay flowers and a small toy outside the remains of the house on Thursday, "just to symbolise our niece, her daughter, who didn't get to live her full life".

Abbey Forrest’s sister, Emily, and her partner lay flowers and a small toy outside the remains of the house on Thursday, “just to symbolise our niece, her daughter, who didn’t get to live her full life”.Credit:Rachael Dexter

“I came home from a camping trip early and snuck into the hospital and got in a quick little visit despite COVID, and then we had a beautiful family dinner a week or so ago, so we got to meet everybody and our son got to meet his cousin, so that was really beautiful.”

She said her sister’s 28-year-old partner, who was known to the family as Indi, loved her dearly.

“He loves their daughter just as much, so to see this is just heartbreaking,” she said.

Emily said she was now trying to support her devastated parents. “Burying your own child is something no one wishes upon anyone.

“I was in a lot of denial yesterday and only hearing some things on the news … I just needed to come and see that something had actually really happened.”

She wanted to thank all the neighbours who had tried to save her sister’s family.

“It just makes me feel at ease that there were decent people around who were trying to help her. To risk your own life to try and help save someone in that horrible situation.”

Emily Forrest has set up a GoFundMe page to help her family with the funeral costs.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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Police hunting for Lamborghini hoon spotted allegedly speeding in Sydney


Police are on the hunt for the hooning driver of a Lamborghini after the car was spotted on a quiet suburban Sydney street allegedly speeding Saturday morning.

Video shows the blue Lamborghini travelling at speed on a street on Roberts Rd in Telopea in western Sydney. As the car travels along the street it passes close by two pedestrians on the side of the road.

The incident, which occured about 8.45am, was reported to police and Cumberland Police Area Command are investigating.

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NSW Police have asked for public assistance to identify the driver of the blue Lamborghini.

The vehicle is described as being dark blue with dark tinted windows, and black and white registration plates.

Investigations are continuing and officers are appealing for anyone who has information about this vehicle, or has vision of the incident, to contact Cumberland Police on (02) 98974199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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Sydney man allegedly caught at double speed limit in Lamborghini


A Sydney man was allegedly driving at more than double the speed limit in a Lamborghini on one of the eastern suburb’s busiest roads last month, a court has heard.

Daniel Tigerr Evans’s license was suspended after police caught up with him on October 20, having allegedly clocked up 170km/h in an 80 zone on Syd Enfield Drive, Bondi Junction.

Mr Evans, 27, did not appear at Waverley Local Court when his matter was briefly mentioned on Wednesday.

His lawyer asked for a month-long adjournment to take further instructions with his client facing charges of driving more than 45km/h over the speed limit an dangerous driving.

Court documents allege the Sylvania man was driving a grey Lamborghini LP610-4 Huracan – with the number plate TIG3RR – at high speeds between 6.17 and 6.20pm on Tuesday, October 20.

Police will allege in court officers attempted to stop the vehicle when it accelerated and changed lanes, forcing another vehicle to take evasive action to avoid a collision, before coming to a stop on Oxford Street.

Mr Evans was issued with a court attendance notice for November 18.

He will next appear in court on December 16, when a plea is expected to be entered.



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Woman arrested, cars, pedestrian allegedly hit


Terrifying footage has emerged of the moment a white ute allegedly hit a pedestrian and rammed several cars during a road rage incident in Newcastle’s CBD.

The video, shared on Facebook by tradie working nearby, initially shows the ute driving at a pedestrian and ramming into the side of a yellow hatch.

An approaching ambulance sounded its siren but that failed to stop the ute driver who sped off down Hunter Street.

About a dozen tradies then chased after the single cab ute, which had stopped at a red light at the intersection of Hunter Street and Stewart Avenue.

The workers banged on the ute’s windows and demanded the driver get out so they could make a citizen’s arrest, but the driver was having none of it and rammed into the stationary car in front.

The tradies backed off as the ute spun its tyres, causing smoke to come from the wheels. The driver eventually barged between the cars in front, through a red light and into the intersection.

It was there he crashed into another car before the driver sped off along Stewart Avenue.

NSW Police said they were called to Hunter Street after reports a pedestrian had been hit and several vehicles damaged by a white ute about 6.20am on Friday.

Police said the pedestrian, a 55-year-old man, sustained minor injuries to his arm during the alleged road rage incident and was taken to John Hunter Hospital for treatment.

They said no one else was injured.

Officers found the ute abandoned on King Street a short time later, and it was seized for forensic examination.

Police then visited an address in King Street and arrested a 29-year-old woman about 9.15am.

She has been taken to Newcastle police station for questioning.

jack.paynter@news.com.au



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Employee allegedly stabbed on York Street


Three men have been charged and police are searching for another two after an alleged stabbing at a lingerie bar in Sydney’s CBD.

Police allege a group of five men had been drinking at the Concourse Bar in Wynyard about 6pm on Thursday when a staff member asked them to stop smoking in a non-smoking area.

A heated argument broke out before one of the men allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the 34-year-old employee twice in the ribs and back as horrified onlookers watched on.

In video filmed by a witness, a woman can be heard shouting “Leave him alone” before a man appears to take a wild swing at another person as bystanders gasp and scream.

All five men left the scene.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Detective Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan alleged the men had been drinking alcohol before things escalated into a “push and shove” and the incident turned bloody.

“For reasons unknown this man has (allegedly) produced a knife and in a rather aggressive manner approached a staff member and in a double roundhouse motion … I would describe it as, stabbed him twice,” he alleged.

The staffer was treated at the scene by paramedics before he was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in a critical condition with stab wounds to his back and side. He is now in a serious but stable condition.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan said the man had suffered two collapsed lungs, which could have been fatal if paramedics hadn’t arrived within minutes.

When first responders began treating him, he was awake and saying that he was struggling to breathe.

“The intensive care paramedic on scene managed to decompress and reinflate the lungs, allowing the gentleman to breathe again,” Inspector Buchanan said.

Superintendent Dunstan said the man was “still not in a good way” but had stabilised on Friday.

“It was an extremely serious incident.”

A short time after the incident, police found three of the alleged offenders nearby.

Police are still searching for two others, including a 19-year-old man from sydney’s southwest who left his ID at the venue.

Superintendent Dunstan said it would be alleged the teenager was responsible for the violent stabbing but would not confirm whether he was known to police.

“We strongly recommend this gentleman hand himself in to his local police,” he said.

“It’s a horrific incident, and all staff deserve to feel safe in their workplace.

“The alleged situation escalated quite quickly and violently … to have a man (allegedly) thrashing around a knife and stabbing a man twice, it was quite a traumatic incident.”

Three men were taken Surry Hills police station where a 31-year-old Carlton man was charged with assault and affray. He was refused bail and will appear at Central Local Court on Friday.

A 29-year-old man from Narwee was charged with affray. He was granted conditional bail and will appear before Downing Centre Local Court later this month.

A 34-year-old man, from Ridgewood in Western Australia, was issued a criminal infringement notice for offensive language.

“The incident that occurred this evening is currently under investigation by Sydney City Police Area Command, and in order to assist them we are unable to make any comments,” Concourse Bar licensee Rob Di Francesco said.

NSW Ambulance said four crews were dispatched to the scene, including an intensive care paramedic on motorcycle.

“There can be more to a stabbing than appears at first glance, so it is very worrying whenever we are called to incidents like these,” NSW Ambulance inspector Kay Armstrong said.

“While these sorts of wounds may not look substantial on the surface, there can be more significant damage done at a deeper level.

“Our paramedics did an exceptional job in stabilising and providing treatment for this man who had suffered some pretty serious injuries.”

Another person who appeared to have been caught in the ensuing melee and got a cut to his forehead was also treated by paramedics.

Superintendent Dunstan did not confirm whether the man was another alleged offender, a patron or an employee of the bar.

Police will review CCTV and any information the venue has collected, given the men would have checked in due to COVID-safe protocols, as they search for the two men.

“It’s quite a tedious task but we are working through all the CCTV outlets,” Superintendent Dunstan said.



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Man shot after allegedly firing at police


An hours-long siege at a rural property southwest of Brisbane has ended with a man being shot by police after he allegedly opening fired on officers.

Police attended the property on Kingsley Street, Walloon, to conduct a welfare check just before 3am on Sunday.

They attempted to find the man who they believed was in a shed by himself.

The man was armed and allegedly fired several shots at police, leading them to declare an emergency situation around 8.45am.

Specialist police were in attendance and had negotiated with the man for more than three hours.

Several streets around Walloon were locked down, including Haigslea Amberley Road, Bell Street, Kingsley Street, Kinmouth Street, Station Lane, Short Street and Stocks Lane.

Police later said the man had been shot after he fired at them again about 11.35am.

“The man was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he underwent surgery,” they said.

“The Ethical Standards Command is investigating with the assistance of the Crime and Corruption Commission.

“The emergency declaration was revoked this afternoon.”



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Trial for allegedly staged car crash pushed back to 2021


Former deputy mayor Salim Mehajer’s long-awaited trial for his allegedly staged car crash has been pushed back to mid next year after he decided he wanted to be tried by a jury.

Mr Mehajer was set to face a judge-alone trial on Monday alongside co-accused Rafi Noori on Monday, with both men charged over the crash in Sydney’s west on October 16, 2017.

On Wednesday his barrister Anthony Strike told the District Court his client had “changed his position … and seeks to have a jury trial”.

It means the property developer’s estimated three-week trial will not go ahead until May due to a lack of courtroom and jury availability, after previously being scheduled for June this year.

The former Auburn deputy mayor was on the way to an unrelated court matter when his black Mercedes AMG smashed into another car at the intersection of Nicholas and Delhi streets in Lidcombe, in Sydney’s west.

Television crews at the scene captured a suited Mr Mehajer, now 34, being stretchered into an ambulance with his neck in a brace.

Police alleged Mr Mehajer and several others had staged the crash to avoid appearing at the first day of an unrelated trial.

He was arrested in January 2018 at his Vaucluse home and charged with a series of offences including negligent driving, making a false representation resulting in a police investigation and making a false ambulance report and other driving offences.

The court heard on Tuesday Mr Noori’s trial would proceed on Monday after it was severed from Mr Mehajer’s.

Mr Noori is also charged with making a false representation resulting in a police investigation and making a false ambulance report, crossing a dividing line and not stopping at a traffic signal.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Mr Mehajer will return to court for a readiness hearing on April 16, 2021.



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Unlicensed driver allegedly crashed into house


An alleged unlicensed driver is accused of crashing an unregistered car into a house near Newcastle on Saturday night.

NSW Police were called about a “suspicious vehicle” in Raymond Terrace, 30 kilometres north of Newcastle, about 9.20pm on Saturday night.

A police spokeswoman alleged a silver Holden Commodore was spotted by police but drove away out of sight.

“A short time later, the Holden was located crashed into a home on Scott Close, Raymond Terrace,” she said.

The crash caused extensive damage to the front concrete veranda of the home, estimated to be valued at more than $40,000, police will allege.

The alleged driver, a 23-year-old man, was arrested and taken to John Hunter Hospital for mandatory testing.

He was later taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station and hit with three charges including dangerous driving.

He did not hold a driver’s license and the car was unregistered, police will allege.

The man was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Bail Court on Sunday.



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NRL player Tristan Sailor allegedly drugged, raped woman: court


Emerging NRL star Tristan Sailor allegedly drugged a woman before raping her, a court has heard.

The son of Brisbane and St George Illawarra great Wendell Sailor was on Sunday granted bail after being arrested on Saturday and charged with the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Sydney last weekend.

He will remain on bail on several strict conditions as he gets set to answer the charges, with police alleging in court the alleged victim was drugged and “discarded” by Mr Sailor.

Police prosecutor Shannon Ryan described Mr Sailor’s alleged actions as “predatory and planned”.

He told the court toxicology reports had detected a sedative in her bloodstream and there was evidence to corroborate her alleged injuries.

“The allegations before the court can be categorised as predatory and planned,” he said.

“The sedative given to the complainant without her knowledge is consistent with her account and the witness was found in an unconscious state.

“She in my submission was left and discarded in a vulnerable state.”

Barrister Richard Pontello SC said there was no proof that Mr Sailor had given her the sedative, sleeping tablet Doxylamine, and that there were any number of “reprobates” who could have been responsible.

He also pointed to several text messages exchanged between Mr Sailor and the alleged victim the following day.

The alleged victim in one text said: “Tristan I don’t remember anything after the Uber to mine, just need to know for peace of mind what happened? Did we have sex?”

The court heard Mr Sailor replied: “Sorry I was out, we were playing drinking games and yes we did have sex. I asked you and (the alleged victim’s friend) so everything was sweet. I pulled out and everything so it was sweet.”

Mr Pontello said that the texts were consistent with his version of events that any sexual contact was consensual.

“He asks how she is feeling,” Mr Pontello said.

Mr Sailor was granted bail by Registrar Cally D‘Arcy who said any community concerns could be mitigated by strict conditions, including that he report to police daily, abide by a curfew, not drink alcohol and surrender his passport.

Mr Sailor’s lawyers tendered five affidavits to the court including from NRL great and Broncos board member Darren Lockyer and former Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

Mr Sailor, 22, was arrested on Saturday after NSW Police raided the Wollongong home he shares with his parents on Saturday morning.

Police received a complaint from a 24-year-old woman that she was sexually assaulted at a southern Sydney home last weekend.

Police have alleged the woman sustained injuries during the alleged assault.

Officers from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad launched Strike Force Rouget before Mr Sailor was arrested on Saturday and charged with aggravated sex assault – inflict actual bodily harm.

Mr Sailor made five appearances for the Dragons in 2019-20 however has not been offered a spot on their 2021 roster under incoming coach Anthony Griffin.

He had been earmarked as a future representative player but has struggled for game time since making his debut in 2019.

The club’s decision not to offer him a new contract angered his father Wendell who said he was “disappointed” his son had been cut.



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Man allegedly stabbed French Bulldogs


A man is accused of breaking into a home and stabbing two French Bulldogs dogs in Sydney last month.

The 31-year-old allegedly broke into a Edmonson Park home at 5.30pm on Saturday, September 19 while the occupant, a woman, was home.

The two had a brief conversation, as the pair are said to be known to each other, before the man walked outside to the backyard where he found two French Bulldogs.

Police will allege he took a knife from his pocket and stabbed both dogs before leaving the premises, at which point police were called.

The man was arrested on Sunday, September 27 at a home in Roselands, at which point he was taken to Bankstown Hospital where he was admitted for a mental health assessment.

Police will allege he assaulted two security guards and a nurse at the hospital before he was transferred to Liverpool Hospital for treatment.

About 11.30am on Friday, he was released from hospital into the custody of police.

He was taken to Liverpool police station where he was charged with multiple offences including torture, beat and seriously injure and animal, common assault and destroying and damaging property.

He was refused bail to front Parramatta Bail court on Saturday.

The French Bulldogs are recovering from their injuries and remain in a veterinary hospital under care.



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