The devastated families of a young couple callously shot dead on a remote South Australian property have come face-to-face with their killer in court.
Lukasz Klosowski, 19, was shot and killed along with his girlfriend, Chelsea Ireland, also 19, on a property at Mount McIntyre, near Millicent, in the state’s southeast earlier this year.
Mr Klosowski’s father, Pawel, has pleaded guilty to both of their murders.
Family and friends of the couple packed the Supreme Court in Adelaide on Monday morning for his first court appearance in the city.
But Klosowski, who was wearing a suit and had a shaved head, stared straight ahead and did not make eye contact with those sitting in the public gallery.
The early timing of his guilty pleas means he is eligible for a sentencing discount of up to 40 per cent.
However, prosecutor Kos Lesses said the Director of Public Prosecutions would argue a lesser discount should apply.
Mr Lesses said a “hot off the press” decision handed down last week by the state’s Court of Criminal Appeal is likely to “loom large”.
In that case, the court extended the sentence of Hamzeh Bahrami, who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a public toilet in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
He had initially been allowed the full 40 per cent discount, but the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled a 30 per cent reduction was more appropriate.
Two years were added to Bahrami’s sentence, meaning he must now serve a five-year non-parole period.
In their reasons, the three justices said Bahrami was “grossly undeserving” of the maximum, and made clear that it was not an automatic entitlement for offenders.
Recent changes to state law have revised the maximum discount down to 25 per cent for serious offences, but Bahrami and Klosowski come under the old regime because of the dates their pleas were entered.
Mr Lesses also said the prosecution’s brief of evidence was still being finalised and was yet to be provided to the defence.
Justice Anne Bampton ordered a sentencing report that would examine Klosowski’s personal circumstances, including his family and employment history.
Nick Vadasz, for Klosowski, said his client would also be assessed by a neuropsychologist in the new year.
Justice Bampton remanded Klosowski, 46, in custody ahead of another appearance before the court in March.
The families of the victims made no comment as they left court, while Mr Vadasz told reporters the Bahrami judgment was “very relevant to the application of discount in this matter”.
Klosowski, also known as Paul, shot the young couple about 11.30pm on August 22 following a family gathering at the property.
The court has previously heard two of his stepchildren witnessed the incident.
Tributes flowed for both Mr Klosowski and Ms Ireland in the aftermath of the tragedy.
The couple had been dating for years and were both university students.
Ms Ireland studied mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide, while Mr Klosowski studied journalism.
The Ireland family remembered their daughter and sister as having “great plans that would change the world”.
Ms Ireland’s father, Greg, said his daughter was a compassionate, strong, selfless and fearless young woman.
“The impacts she’s left is beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” he said.
“We haven’t just lost a daughter and sister, we lost a best friend.
“We’ve lost our baby girl … our hearts will forever remain broken.”
He said Lukasz became a member of their family, and the pair were “an amazing couple” who were “best buddies”.
“He brought smiles to our faces and laughter to our home,” Mr Ireland said.
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 mother and son have been jailed for supplying and trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine after police busted a drug syndicate that allegedly used airline cabin crew to import heroin.
The 57-year-old woman, from Deer Park, was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years behind bars for trafficking a commercial quantity of meth, while her 28-year-old son, from Sunshine North, was jailed for a maximum of 12 years.
He had been charged with a string of offences including trafficking illicit drugs and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
The pair were arrested as part of Operation Sunrise, which sought to take down a large-scale heroin syndicate operating in Melbourne in 2018 which allegedly imported about $20 million worth of illicit drugs using international cabin crew from multiple airlines.
Police say the mother had facilitated the sale of one kilogram of methamphetamine to a co-accused person, which was delivered by her son, on December 2018.
The son then provided an additional five kilograms of methamphetamine to the same person on January 8, 2019. He was arrested at his home on the same day, and his mother two months later.
The Victoria Joint Organised Crime Taskforce, which is made up of officers from the Australian Federal Police, Border Force, Victoria Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission had launched their investigation into the pair in December 2018.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
The dad of an autistic teen with dreams of joining the air force and becoming a police officer who was found dead after a two-day search in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges has given an emotional tribute to his beautiful son.
William Wall, 14, went missing after he left his Launching Place home to go for a 15-minute walk about 6.45am on Tuesday but was tragically found dead about 34 hours later.
His disappearance sparked a massive search effort across a 10km radius of dense bushland east of Melbourne between Launching Place and Warburton, with police confirming the teenager was found about 1km from home on Wednesday afternoon.
William’s dad Shane Wall gave an emotional tribute to his “beautiful and caring son” on Thursday morning.
“I wish I had better news regarding our beautiful and caring son and brother William Wall, unfortunately he is no longer with us,” Mr Wall posted on Facebook.
“We don’t know how to begin to thank everyone who searched and supported us in the last 48 hours.
“The list is endless. We are so fortunate to live in an amazing and supportive community.”
Mr Wall told reporters on Wednesday his son had aspirations of becoming a Victoria Police or Australian Federal Police officer and joining the air force.
He said William loved dogs and exercise, was very energetic and athletic.
“He loves exercise, 15 minutes to an hour, it’s not unheard of, he’s a decent-sized kid, very energetic, athletic,” Mr Wall said.
“He’s a kid that sticks to himself, does all his school work, so this (his disappearance) is really out of the ordinary.”
William was found just before 5pm on Wednesday off residential Victoria St in Yarra Junction.
“His death is not being treated as suspicious, and police will prepare a report for the coroner,” police said in a statement.
Friends took to social media to share their grief and pass on their condolences to Mr Wall and William’s family, which includes two older brothers, Harrison, 18, and Jake, 21, and sister Sophie, 10.
“I’ve got no words, we are thinking of you all, and will treasure the memories of Wil as a little boy,” Maria Niksic posted.
Michael Hartigan said Mr Wall had been an “amazing pillar of strength” over the past two days.
“I can’t even comprehend what you are all going through. All of our love to your family, take care brother,” he posted.
Tony Carden said Mr Wall was one of the “most dedicated dads” he knew.
“My heart breaks for you and your family,” he said.
“This is the cruellest blow to one of the most dedicated dads I know. Know that Will and you are loved by many.
“I wish you and your family all the very best in drawing on your great strength to move forward.”
Colleague Andrew McCathie said it was “hard to describe the sense of immense sadness and despair … our hearts go out to you”.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also passed on his condolences at his daily media briefing.
“On behalf of all Victorians I would like to send our love and support, our condolences and best wishes to the family of William Wall,” he said.
“This is a terrible tragedy and one that has touched every single Victorian.
“To every member of William’s family we say how sad we are, we’re sharing your grief, your loss and any support that we can provide to you we stand ready to do that.”
Mr Andrews also paid tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who searched for William and stepped up when they were called on.
Carvana has yet to post a quarterly profit since going public in 2017, but it’s made Ernest Garcia II and his son Ernest Garcia III two of the richest people in America.
The elder Garcia is the largest shareholder of Carvana, the online retailer that sells cars out of massive vending machines. His son, Ernest Garcia III, is the company’s chief executive officer. Together they’re worth $US21.6 billion ($30.1 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Shares of the company surged 31 per cent after it projected record revenue and profit margins, sending the Garcias’ collective wealth jumping by around $US5 billion ($7 billion). The stock has rallied almost 150 per cent this year as Americans have turned to buying household essentials, entertainment and, increasingly, used cars online.
“COVID-19 is prompting consumers to seek out used cars, and CVNA is a key beneficiary of this trend,” said Alexander Potter, an analyst at Piper Sandler, in a research note Tuesday.
A father with schizophrenia who killed his five-year-old son sought serious psychiatric care for weeks but was repeatedly dismissed by numerous health care workers, a new investigation has revealed.
The case has grieving family members asking if “prisons are the new asylums”, as they claim some people with a mental illness are falling through the cracks and becoming the perpetrators of violent crimes.
The report, from ABC’s Four Corners, looked at the current mental health care model in Australia since the removal of asylums in the 1990s.
One man, who the investigation called Michael*, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20s.
Michael had a son with his partner Anne* in 2012, and he was doing well, he had a job and was on medication. However, after a series of failures in his treatment, Michael killed his five-year-old son in 2018.
Before this, when Michael needed help coping, he’d receive treatment at a hospital, where health professionals would adjust his medication and discharge him when he’d recovered.
His partner knew he had schizophrenia and Michael lived a fairly normal life.
“He was very good, he loved his son. He took him everywhere. He used to pick him up and put him over his shoulder. He was so proud, he was a father,” his mother said.
When his son started school in 2018, Michael became unwell and he was sent to Hornsby Hospital, in Sydney, to have his medication reviewed.
However, during his hospital stay, Michael’s doctors made mistakes in his treatment — presuming he’d stopped taking it — which they believe had triggered a psychosis.
However, according to the report, his doctors erred and prescribed Michael a lower dosage of antipsychotic medication than he’d previously been prescribed.
Michael’s condition improved while in hospital, however once he was discharged, his condition worsened, and as he sought help over the following weeks, health care providers failed him.
His family described his behaviour as “confusing” and said he began talking about “the devil” and “god”.
He didn’t improve, despite continuing to take the medication he was given in hospital.
In the week following his discharge from hospital, Michael connected with his local healthcare provider numerous times, however when he reported feeling unwell, they again assumed he wasn’t taking his medication and prescribed the same dosage again.
Michael wasn’t seen by a psychiatrist during this period because the health district he lived in was under-resourced, the report claimed.
For the following weeks Michael’s condition worsened, before he attempted to admit himself back to hospital.
“I said to (the nurse), ‘he’s just come out of the hospital and he’s having thoughts that his son is the devil’,” his mother said.
“I pleaded with her, I’ve never pleaded so much in my life,” she said.
He was told the wait time could be up to 24 hours, due to a “bed block”.
Michael tried again to be admitted to hospital the following day, however the mental health worker was, according to the report, distracted due to competing demands.
The next day Michael killed his son.
Michael’s mother said she believes the killing could have been avoided if Michael got the help he was seeking.
“He would have got the help he needed. He would have had his medication sorted out. He would have been fine.”
Michael was found not guilty of the killing due to his mental illness.
Statistics show that people with a mental illness are far more likely to be the victim of crime than to perpetuate violence against another person.
However, people with a mental illness can become involved in violence.
Data from the Australian Institute of Criminology data found that “around one in ten homicides in the past decade” were committed by a person with some from of mental illness.
In the early 1990s an investigation into the human rights of people with a mental illness recommended the removal of asylums and for disabled people to be integrated into the community.
Over a number of years asylums around Australia were closed down and the states and territories made commitments that the money previously spent on these facilities would be funnelled into other forms of care.
However, a number of mental health care advocates now say people with a mental illness are being failed across the country.
Of particular concern are individuals with high risk mental illnesses, according to the report, who have become unable to access the help they need.
A young man will stand trial over the death of his baby son after pleading not guilty to a charge of murder.
Joseph William McDonald is alleged to have fatally injured seven-week-old son Lucas late last year. Lucas was admitted to a hospital in Benalla on October 25 and was then transferred to the Monash Children’s Hospital, where he died on October 29.
On Monday, the 23-year-old from Benalla appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court and pleaded not guilty to a single charge of murder. He opted to waive his right to a pre-trial committal hearing.
Mr McDonald was remanded in custody and is due to appear before the Supreme Court on September 15, when a tentative date for his trial will be discussed. Jury trials are currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In online tributes at the time of Lucas’ death, the baby boy was remembered as a “precious little angel” and family members said they were heartbroken at their loss.
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