Author Archives: churchc

Gruesome text trail sheds light on death of disabled teenager

Courier Mail Tom Snowdon, Rhian Duetrom 28 July 2015 pp 8-9

Courts documents reveal two teenagers plotted a murder in a series of gruesome text messages that discussed luring Jake Lasker out of his family home at Toowoomba and dumping his body in November 2012.

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Mount Isa caravan explodes

Brisbane Times Jorge  Branco 28 July 2015

Police have confirmed three people are dead after a gas explosion in a caravan in Mount Isa.  A police spokesman said remains had been found at a home on Deighton Street, Mornington, and the caravan was destroyed.

A 39-year-old man and two children, aged four and seven, were believed to have been inside the caravan at the time, police said.

A police spokeswoman said the explosion happened about 7am and police had set up an exclusion zone under the Public Safety Preservation Act as they attempted to make sure the scene was safe.

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Sophie Collombet killing: DNA found under victim’s fingernails most likely to be from murder accused Benjamin James Milward, court hears

ABC News 27 July 2015

DNA found under the fingernails of murdered French student Sophie Collombet was 1.1 million times more likely to have come from her accused murderer Benjamin James Milward than anyone else, a Brisbane court has heard.

Amanda Reeves, a forensic biologist at Queensland’s John Tonge Centre, told the court DNA found underneath Ms Collombet’s right-hand fingernails was analysed, linking Milward to the crime.

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French student Sophie Collombet’s accused murderer to stand trial in Queensland Supreme Court

Perth Now Sherine Conyers 27 July 2015

On Monday, a Brisbane court heard Benjamin James Milward had consumed a cocktail of drugs and alcohol the day he is alleged to have killed Sophie.

A forensic scientist told the court DNA taken from under the fingernails of murder victim Ms Collombet was likely to have come from Milward.  Amanda Reeves, a forensic scientist at Queensland’s John Tonge Centre, said she analysed a “tape lift” taken from Ms Collombet’s hand.

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Tasmanian grandmother jailed for a brutal murder but, did she do it?

Australian Women’s Weekly Susan Horsburgh 27 July 2015

Tasmanian grandmother Sue Neill-Fraser has spent six years in prison for a crime some legal experts believe she didn’t commit.   Susan Horsburgh investigates the case described as the biggest miscarriage of justice since Lindy Chamberlain.

The case is currently being reviewed by former West Australian assistant police commissioner and criminal lawyer Barbara Etter with a view to appeal under proposed Tasmanian legislation.  The case is supported by  expert opinions from Victorian Police Forensic Services Department.

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Queensland authorities continue to monitor property at centre of Hendra outbreak

ABC News | Qld Country Hour Craig Zonca 27 July 2015

Queensland biosecurity authorities continue to monitor a far north Queensland property where an unvaccinated horse contracted the Hendra virus.  Despite acknowledging criticism of the vaccine and the adverse reactions some people had reported in their horses, Queensland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Alison Crook said she was convinced of its safety.  The current permit for the Hendra vaccine, which includes instruction for a six-monthly booster, expires on August 4.

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Research finds urine from black flying foxes poses biggest Hendra virus risk to horses, following confirmed Hendra case in far north Queensland

ABC News | ABC Rural Marty McCarthy, Eliza Rogers 27 July 2015

One of Australia’s leading bat researchers says scientists are closer to understanding how the deadly Hendra virus spreads to horses.  Dr Hume Field said a recent study of 3,000 bats from Charters Towers in north Queensland, to Sydney in New South Wales, indicated urine was the most likely link.

Dr Hume said researchers had also identified which species of flying fox were more likely to pass on the disease.

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