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Mum Samantha Palmer behind bars until January


A Sydney mother accused of repeatedly stabbing her son in her multimillion-dollar property is set to spend Christmas behind bars after a flagged bail application did not go ahead.

Samantha Palmer, 55, has been charged with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (domestic violence-related) after she allegedly stabbed her 22-year-old son Hugo Ball at the weekend.

Emergency services were called in the early hours of Saturday to the sprawling home at Drumalbyn Rd in ritzy Bellevue Hill, in the city’s eastern suburbs.

Police documents tendered in court and seen by news.com.au on Wednesday allege Ms Palmer wounded Mr Ball in a brief window of time between 1.30am and 1.40am.

According to property reports, the home is less than one kilometre from the elite private school Scots College, attended by Mr Ball, and has views of Sydney Harbour. It last sold in 2012 for $3.15 million.

RELATED: Son allegedly told mum he had murdered someone

COURT APPEARANCE

Ms Palmer faced Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday and was listed for a bail review at Central Local Court on Wednesday.

But when asked by Magistrate Robert Williams whether he was making a “release application today?”, Ms Palmer’s barrister Nicholas Baltinos replied: “No, Your Honour.”

Earlier, Mr Baltinos had said it was “not necessary” for his client to be brought up on screen.

“I’ve got my instructing solicitor talking to her (Ms Palmer) now,” he told the court.

He asked the magistrate to make an order for the service of the brief of evidence from police.

Mr Williams did so and adjourned the case to January 20.

He formally refused bail and noted Ms Palmer would appear via video link on the next date.

Mr Baltinos told reporters outside court he would not comment in the interests of his client.

DRAMATIC ARREST

Ms Palmer was arrested at the scene on Saturday morning and taken to Waverley Police Station where she was charged later that day.

The 55-year-old, married to Mr Ball’s stepfather Jamies Tilley, was heard yelling “Jamie, Jamie, darling” and “I love you Jamie” as she was led away by officers to a paddy wagon.

“I’m the mother of this child for God’s sake,” she said.

Police said a knife was seized at the home and it was taken for forensic examination.

Mr Ball was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a serious condition and underwent surgery on Saturday after allegedly being stabbed in his upper body.

“Initially he had very low blood pressure, indicating that he’s got a significant amount of bleeding going on,” NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan told 9News.

“And also the locations of the wounds can certainly be fatal.”

The Daily Mail reports he had been discharged by Tuesday night and is staying at his father Ian Ball’s $5.5 million terrace in Paddington.



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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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Former Wallabies prop Dan Palmer says hiding his homosexuality left him ‘desperately sad’


Retired Wallabies and Super Rugby prop Dan Palmer has revealed the toll hiding his homosexuality took on his mental health during his playing career.

In an article written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Palmer described the inner turmoil he endured, even amid his achievements on the field.

Palmer made 46 Super Rugby appearances for the Waratahs and Brumbies — becoming a vice-captain for the latter side — and played a Test for the Wallabies against Scotland in 2012.

He is one of a handful of male professional rugby union players to come out worldwide, the highest profile being former Wales and British Lions international Gareth Thomas in 2009.

Palmer said he was “incredibly frustrated, angry and desperately sad” during his career, adding that he was “trapped in a false narrative and could see no way out”.

“I fantasised about disappearing, changing my name and starting my life all over again,” Palmer wrote.

“After overdosing on painkillers and waking up in a pool of the previous day’s food, it was clear to me that I was rapidly self-destructing and that something had to change.”

Palmer flew to London to see a friend and spoke about his sexuality.

“He was the first person I told that I was gay in my 25 years on the planet,” Palmer wrote.

“Telling him removed a weight I had been carrying for as long as I could remember. I am forever grateful that he was there for me that day.”

He retired soon afterwards in 2014, shifting his focus to university study following his time at French rugby side Grenoble.

He made a short comeback in 2015 for a Brumbies’ Super Rugby trip to South Africa but then retired for good.

Palmer has since completed a double degree in science and psychology at the Australian National University in Canberra, and achieved first class honours in neuroscience.

He is now working on his PhD.

He said he never felt directly discriminated against during his career, and that “the battle for me was primarily with myself rather than with obvious external pressures or discrimination”.

Palmer said he was inspired by Thomas’s public statements, even though he didn’t feel he had the strength to do the same at the time.

Folau’s views the exception, not the rule, says Palmer

Palmer reserved stinging criticism for former rugby union star Israel Folau, who was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 for breaching the players’ code of conduct.

Folau made a number of controversial Instagram posts, including one proclaiming hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators”.

Israel Folau wearing a suit and looking up in a media scrum.
Israel Folau took Rugby Australia to the Fair Work Commission after they tore up his multi-million-dollar contract.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

Palmer said that while the Folau saga dragged on, he began to feel a responsibility to say something — although he emphasised it was not his primary reason for revealing his story.

“He will never see the impact he has had on these young people, but if he could, I doubt he could live with himself.

“Thankfully, from my experience in rugby, views like Israel’s are the exception, not the rule.

“It is a slow grind, but we need to build a culture, both in and out of sport, where people are comfortable being themselves, whatever that may be.”



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WA legal bills continue to rise for Palmer, Claremont serial killer cases


Western Australia’s legal fight with mining magnate Clive Palmer over a stalled iron ore project has so far cost taxpayers more than $900,000 in fees, a parliamentary hearing has heard.

Unprecedented legislation passed through parliament in August in a bid to block an almost $30 billion damages claim from Mr Palmer regarding the Balmoral South project in the Pilbara, prompting him to launch multiple court actions in various jurisdictions.

At an estimates hearing on Thursday, state solicitor Nicholas Egan revealed a breakdown of the legal costs so far.

He said it included $390,000 in counsel fees, $283,000 for law firm Clayton Utz, $74,000 for court action in NSW, $50,000 for Queensland proceedings and $117,000 in the Northern Territory.

Attorney-General John Quigley said if the state was successful in its legal disputes with Mr Palmer, it would seek to recoup costs.

“Mr Palmer’s hobby, as he has stated in Who’s Who, is litigation,” Mr Quigley said.

“The state must meet his many claims and seek costs.”

The estimates hearing also heard the long-running Claremont serial killer case had cost almost $12 million in just two years.

Bradley Robert Edwards, 51, was last month found guilty of murdering Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon, but was acquitted of killing Sarah Spiers, whose body has never been found.

Prosecutors spent $5.1 million in the previous financial year, while another $2.8 million was budgeted for this year.

A further $3.5 million was spent on Edwards’ Legal Aid defence and that figure is expected to increase for his sentencing.

It has previously been revealed prosecutors needed an entire floor to house all of the evidence for the trial.

Director of Public Prosecutions Amanda Forrester told the estimates hearing “every single piece of paper that has notes on it” must be properly ordered after the sentencing process is completed.

“It is not the sort of case that only one fresh copy of the brief can be kept and we can throw the rest into the shredder,” she said.

Ms Forrester said the huge amount of material would go to the Iron Mountain storage facility.

“Obviously, with the one acquittal, there is always the option of going back one day,” she said.

“So there would be every need to make sure that this case is meticulously filed, packed up and stored with integrity in a secure way, so that if we ever need to go back to it, we can.”

Edwards, a former Telstra technician, will face a sentencing hearing on December 23.



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What impact will billionaire Clive Palmer have


Any hopes Clive Palmer had of repeating his so-called 2019 federal election “success” in this month’s Queensland election have long been dashed, according to a leading political commentator.

Mr Palmer, who founded the United Australia Party, formerly known as Palmer United Party, is estimated to have spent at least $60 million on campaigning in the lead-up to the Morrison Government’s victory in 2019, claiming Labor leader Bill Shorten’s loss as his own success.

Now, in Queensland, Mr Palmer wants Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk out and LNP leader Deb Frecklington to win on October 31, and seems to be throwing everything he can to oust Labor, entering family members and former employees as candidates for his party in 55 electorates.

UAP leader Greg Dowling said the aim of the candidates was to “shake up the two-party duopoly and deliver a new deal for the state that brings economic prosperity for the long-term benefit of all Queenslanders.”

“The current government is out of ideas, it doesn’t listen, it’s not interested in big projects,” Mr Dowling said.

However, political scientist and senior lecturer at Griffith University Paul Williams said it was unlikely Mr Palmer’s campaign would prove fruitful, ruling out any chance of “replicating the Palmer effect of 2019.”

In last year’s federal election, Palmer’s UAP failed to pick up any seats, doing its best in the seat of Herbert, in Townsville, where the party scored 5.7 per cent of the vote.

In that case, candidate Greg Dowling was the third excluded from the count and 60 per cent of his votes went straight to Katter and Hanson parties through preferences in favour of the major parties.

Preferences will prove all important in the state election and any votes UAP receives in any of the 55 electorates it is contesting could make the difference between an LNP or Labor candidate win.

“There was a lot of exaggeration in the commentary around Palmer’s influence in 2019 — I don’t think he was as influential as we assume,” Dr Williams said.

“His influence runs a poor third in terms of distribution of preferences to where Hanson and Katter’s preferences are going.

“Given that campaign was a failure, he didn’t win a seat anywhere, his vote will be on the decline.”

The second bar to the Palmer party’s election bid could be the legislative change ensuring candidates are capped at $90,000 spending per seat.

In June 2020, the Queensland parliament passed a bill to reform election financing, by imposing caps on donations and election spending.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath at the time said the bill was “historic and nation-leading.

“My hope is that it will lead to politics being a battle of ideas, rather than a battle of bank balances,” Ms D’Ath said.

The caps came into effect in August, set at $57,000 for candidates endorsed by a political party, or $87,000 if independent, in addition to a cap on political parties of $92,000 per seat.

Third-party organisations including unions, political action groups such as GetUp and industry bodies have an overall cap of $1 million.

“At best, if Palmer ran for every seat, which he isn’t, he’d only be able to spend $30 million tops. That’s just not going to have the same effect as in 2019 where he spent more than $60 million,” Dr Williams said.

“We’re not going to be bombarded with television, radio and print ads. We’ll see some cheap, inexpensive ones online.”

Most recently, he took out a double page spread in the Monday, October 19 edition of the Courier Mail, where he once again smeared Labor and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“If she doesn’t make the decisions she shouldn’t be in the position,” one page of the ad read.

On the opposite page, “don’t risk a Labor death tax.”

“A death tax could be Labor’s plan,” the ad continued.

It comes after Labor complained to Twitter and Facebook about a video featuring Mr Palmer’s wife Anna Palmer, who is running for the UAP in the seat of Currumbin, claiming the Palaszczuk government would adopt a “20 per cent death tax.”

Ms Palaszczuk said it was “absolutely ridiculous.”

“It is definitely not true and I find it absolutely offensive that he would be doing this in the midst of an election campaign,” she said.

“What Clive Palmer is doing is irresponsible, it is wrong, and it is dishonest.”

Tweeting later on Monday, UAP said Labor had “made a complaint to social media platforms to “gag” deputy leader Anna Palmer.

Deputy premier Steven Miles on Monday said: “We asked them to remove your untruthful ads. Which you did. Your new ads might be tricky, the word could is tricky, but they still aren’t true.

“I mean, I could say that Deb Frecklington is a Russian sleeper agent. But she’s not and I won’t say that,” Mr Miles told reporters on Monday.

“But this is what Clive is doing with his ads, these are just more LNP lies and Deb Frecklington has to distance herself from them.”

Mr Miles said Ms Frecklington needed to denounce Mr Palmer and rule out doing any deals with the mining mogul.

“Deb Frecklington has to break up with Clive, has to distance herself from him,” Mr Miles said.

“The LNP knows the best strategy is to benefit from lies … to have Clive spend money to buy the premiership for the LNP.

“Palmer’s party is just the LNP in yellow.”

In tweets, Mr Miles told Mr Palmer he “should not be allowed to buy Deb Frecklington’s way in to office.”

“It’s time for her to show she’s a leader and call you out … if she doesn’t, she’s not fit to lead Queensland.”



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AFLW hopeful 14-year-old Tayah Palmer proves gender is no challenge in her dream of playing at the top


At just 5’3″, Tayah Palmer is one of the shortest players on the Chapman Valley under-16 side.

She is also the only girl on the team, because before this year the Great Northern Junior Football League (GNJFL) did not have a junior girls competition for her to join.

Already Tayah has advanced too far to play in the girls league, which debuted on the weekend, and the five-year veteran has been given an allowance by the club to not only play with the boys, but to play in the top division.

“The skill level with the boys is a lot different to the girls,” Tayah said.

Action shot of Tayah Palmer in the number 3 blue jersey, tackles a boy in a red jersey on a football pitch.
Tayah Palmer is not treated any differently on the field.(Supplied: Bec Devlin)

AFLW a dream for young footballer

Growing up, Tayah’s mum Bec Devlin said she always had a ball in her hand.

“She lives and breathes football,” she said.

“She’s forever kicking it around the house, kicking it at people when they aren’t ready for it.”

Tayah Palmer, wearing white T-shirt, stands next to West Coast Eagle Josh Kennedy, wearing black T-shirt.
The young footballer, here with Josh Kennedy, is a passionate West Coast Eagles fan.(Supplied: Bec Devlin)

The young West Coast Eagles fan has big dreams of getting a scholarship in Perth to boost her hopes of getting to AFLW.

She said watching the AFLW on television has made her even more determined to get there.

“It makes me want to play AFLW more and more,” she said.

“It makes me want to push harder and pursue my dreams of playing AFLW.”

Tayah is not the first AFLW prospect from the region — one her idols, Fremantle Dockers player Roxanne Roux, is from the neighbouring town of Dongara.

Gender not an issue

According to her coach David Kidd, Tayah has a strong chance of those dreams becoming a reality.

“She brings a lot of skill,” he said.

He said he encouraged her to play up an age group.

“I think for her, development-wise, it is going to bring her up and keep her going down this path,” he said.

“I think if she stopped and wasn’t given the opportunity to keep progressing it would have been a lot harder for her to grow.”

While Tayah boasts a small stature, her speed, balance, and ball handling skills are what makes her a future prospect.

She said while she was initially nervous to face-up against boys twice her size, after the first game she was no longer concerned.

“I am tackled,” she said.

“The boys just pretend I am a normal football player. I’m tackled, they tackle me, I tackle them like a normal game of footy.”



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Mining magnate Clive Palmer says top doctor deems travel to WA safe


Billionaire Clive Palmer’s push to barge his way into Western Australia isn’t over yet.

The mining magnate said his “particular love” for Australia’s westernmost state was driving the fight “so that truth prevails”.

In May, Mr Palmer was refused entry into Western Australia following the state government’s decision to shut borders to all but essential travellers.

He had planned business and political meetings, including one with Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, but the arch conservative’s exemption for travel was denied.

Following his refused entry, Mr Palmer lodged a writ in the High Court against the decision to grant him an exemption into the state.

In a separate Federal Court case heard this past week in Brisbane, Mr Palmer challenged the constitutionality of the state’s border closure.

On Friday, Mr Palmer made a statement outside the court divulging sworn evidence presented to the court earlier this week.

The evidence was from West Australia’s chief health officer Dr Andy Robertson who told the Federal Court there was no reason travel should be restricted between WA and South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT.

“Western Australians are entitled to know the truth,” Mr Palmer said.

“The Premier says he relies on the advice of the WA chief health officer when obviously he doesn’t.”

“I call upon the Western Australian Government to maintain restrictions against virus hot spots but not destroy the lives of Western Australians by misleading them with threats that don’t exist just to win an election.”

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said today harder borders had not had a negative impact on the state.

“Our border arrangement has worked reasonably well and protected the health of Western Australians,” he said.

“And according to the State of the States report our economic growth ranks second in all of Australia.”

CommSec’s recently released State of the States report revealed West Australia did, indeed rank second in economic growth, coming in just behind Victoria and commanding a rate of 22.7 per cent.



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‘No doubt in my mind Hydroxychloriquine is very effective’ against COVID-19: Palmer


Billionaire Clive Palmer says the reason he bought 32 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to combat coronavirus is because if Australia was going to be severely hit by the virus he “didn’t want to see our nation destroyed in the longer term”.

Mr Palmer acquired in March 32.9 million doses of the anti-malarial drug for treating Australians “free of charge” according to Sky News host Alan Jones.

On April 2 Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the drug will be made available to doctors to prescribe patients of COVID-19 in hospitals if they choose to do so.

The drug has been is being trailled to determine its efficacy in treating COVID-19, but the results so far have been inconclusive.

Mr Palmer told Sky News he is “a person that had the means, capability, and contacts to get the drugs” which is why he funded the entire project, as well as donating $11 million to fund clinical trials of the drug on coronavirus patients.

Given the drug has a shelf life of three to four years, Mr Palmer said he thought Australia “needed to make sure that we could survive regardless of what happened, and that’s why I did it”.

“There’s no doubt in my mind hydroxychloroquin is very effective”.

Image: Getty



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