WA man allegedly paid for live stream of child sex abuse in the Philippines


A 70-year-old man in Western Australia has been charged with more than 60 offences after allegedly paying to live stream child sex abuse from the Philippines.

Australian Federal Police alleged the Geraldton man ordered “live-distance child abuse” and made more than 860 payments to multiple entities in the Philippines, partly to procure children to be sexually abused.

“This abuse (was) allegedly committed on camera for him to watch live from his home,” police said in a statement on Thursday.

“Records allegedly show the man sent more than $443,000 overseas but it is still being assessed how much was allegedly spent on child abuse material.”

He was initially charged by the West Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team on September 21 last year after allegedly being identified from financial data collected during a separate investigation in South Australia.

When officers searched his home, they allegedly found child abuse material on two devices and records of Skype chats.

The man was charged at the time with two counts of possessing child abuse material via a carriage service.

He was granted bail with conditions, including only being allowed to use the internet for banking, legal or job purposes, and no unsupervised access to children.

Analysis of the devices led officers to arrest him on Wednesday and charged him with 68 additional offences.

He was refused bail and is scheduled to face Geraldton Magistrates Court later on Thursday.

The new charges include 39 counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child outside Australia, seven counts of procuring a child outside Australia for sexual activity and 12 counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography.

He has also been charged with six counts of using a carriage service to solicit child pornography and four counts of using a carriage service to procure a child for sexual activity.

Some of the charges face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years.

Authorities are now working to identify the victims and identify any alleged child abuse facilitators.

“We work closely with partners around the globe to bring to justice to anyone who preys on children, no matter where in the world they are hiding,” AFP acting inspector Joel Van Den Brun said.



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SA’s compulsory vaccinations query for quarantine


The South Australian state government has sought legal advice to see if COVID-19 vaccines should become mandatory for medi-hotel workers.

Advice has also been sought to determine if staff who aren’t vaccinated should be moved into other roles.

Earlier this week it was revealed 15 per cent of the state’s medi-hotel workers had not been vaccinated, with some people deciding against getting the jab.

While the state government is “exploring its legal options”, Premier Steven Marshall said the commonwealth advice was that making vaccinations mandatory was not required.

“We’ll continue to listen to that advice … and if we need to adjust that we certainly will,” Mr Marshall said on Thursday.

He said SA had a different medi-hotel arrangement compared to other states because it had a dedicated quarantine facility for COVID positive patients.

According to the Premier, all staff at the dedicated facility have been vaccinated.

SA Health deputy chief public health officer Emily Kirkpatrick said advice on the matter was also sought from AHPPC to see if the commonwealth would set a direction for all jurisdictions.

“We are aware there are other jurisdictions that have looked at this and implemented processes around vaccination for the quarantine pathway workers,” she said.

“Particularly, we’re interested in the work, health and safety legislation around this.

“We need to look at the legal requirements and make sure we are prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our staff.”

Ms Kirkpatrick said authorities received feedback from medi-hotel staff, with a number of employees claiming they want to see sites being fully vaccinated.

“It’s a high risk setting. We know international arrivals are our biggest risk so of course you could understand workers onsite would like everyone to be vaccinated,” she said.

It was also announced two additional vaccination hubs will be established in Adelaide’s northern and southern suburbs.

The old Masters building in Noarlunga Centre and the Playford Civic Centre in Elizabeth will become dedicated facilities that will administer 3000 jabs each week.

Both sites are anticipated to be dedicated Pfizer facilities which are due to open in early June.

As of 5pm on Wednesday, the state has 23,010 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in stock.

More than 100,000 South Australians have been vaccinated to date, with numbers expected to scale up as the clinics open.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said if there were issues with Pfizer supplies, the hubs could facilitate AstraZeneca vaccinations.

“It’s all part of making sure we make vaccines available, particularly to the Phase 1A and 1B cohort initially, then moving to other cohorts in time,” he said.

Mr Marshall reassured the public vaccine supply was not a concern and said 100,000 Pfizer doses were received in the country each week, which were distributed across all jurisdictions.

After recent announcements that Pfizer was recommended for people under 50, he said a decision on how many vaccines were distributed to the state was yet to be determined.

“We know there is a steady flow of Pfizer into Australia.

“The logistics are handled at the national level.

“We’re going through that recalibration period … and we need to take some time to get that recalibration right but I don’t think it will take too much longer.”

The two newly announced hubs will operate in conjunction with other vaccination sites at the Adelaide Showgrounds, Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier and Kangaroo Island that are yet to be established.

The hub at the Wayville showgrounds is due to open on April 30.



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Cocaine Cassie Sainsbury confirms return to Adelaide in TikTok AMA


She was released early on parole in Colombia because of the strain on prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic – but Cassandra “Cocaine Cassie” Sainsbury has revealed she will be returning back to Australia “really soon”.

The former personal trainer from Adelaide was jailed for six years after being busted for attempting to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine out of the country in 2017.

In April 2020, she was released after serving less than half of her sentence due to concerns of overcrowding in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a new post on her Instagram Stories, the 26-year-old told followers she would be returning to South Australia “really soon”, though didn’t reveal a date for her arrival.

She added it would be “sooner rather than later” in a second post.

RELATED: ‘Cocaine Cassie’ Sainsbury selling photos on OnlyFans

Since leaving prison 12 months ago, the convicted drug smuggler has been enjoying freedoms of life on the outside, joining TikTok and earning money on OnlyFans selling racy content.

She’s also undergone a physical transformation, morphing into someone completely unrecognisable to the defeated woman pictured in handcuffs leaving court.

In a new TikTok video, Sainsbury is seen with a new longer hairdo, her fresh blonde locks cascading down her chest.

She’s also visibly slimmer since ditching her prison meals.

Posing for the camera by moving her head from side to side, Sainsbury appears to be pleased with her new look.

In another video Sainsbury, who started dating women during her stint inside, makes a joke about the fact she would rather go back to prison than date men again.

People first noticed Sainsbury’s weight loss earlier last year when she spoke about her life after prison in a candid Instagram Live.

“Exercise and diet. That’s what you need to do,” she said, in response to a query about her figure.

She was also said to have started selling explicit images of herself after “falling on hard times” after a provocative snap of her started circulating online.

While the racy image didn’t show Sainsbury’s face, she was identified by her distinctive flower tattoo that snakes her right hip.

She initially denied selling X-rated pictures on OnlyFans but now openly promotes her subscription membership on her Instagram account.

During her time in prison, Sainsbury started a relationship with Venezuelan woman Joli Pico, with the pair later getting engaged.

But the relationship broke down after her release from jail, the 25-year-old said.

“Unfortunately things with Joli didn’t last,” she told Stav, Abby and Matt.

“Basically, I came out of prison and she became a different person, and she got with somebody else inside as well.

“It was difficult, I didn’t know if it was going to work until at least one of us was on the outside.”

Sainsbury has long claimed her attempt to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine out of Colombia was done under duress.

She claimed a man threatened the lives of her family if she didn’t complete the job and sexually assaulted her, but has never been able to provide evidence of this.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au





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Charges laid after Ivy-Rose Hughes killed in McLaren Vale crash


A 21-year-old woman has been charged over a fatal crash which killed a teenage girl who was “adored by everyone”.

Ivy-Rose Hughes died in a car crash on February 24, after the Mazda SUV she was a passenger in collided with a Mitsubishi ute in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide.

Seven other people were injured and taken to hospital.

The driver of the Mazda was arrested by SA Police on Wednesday and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

She was granted bail and will appear at Christies Beach Magistrates Court next month.

Hundreds of family and friends gathered at a funeral service in March to remember the 19-year-old Adelaide woman tragically killed in the crash.

Ms Hughes was described as a “cheeky” person.

She was on her way home from a concert at a winery when the collision happened.

RELATED: Teenage role model remembered and adored.

Katie Iles, who was Ms Hughes’ pastor at Journey Uniting Church, said the aspiring teacher loved children and was “adored” by everyone who knew her.

“She was passionate about being the change,” she told mourners at the service last month.

“Ivy was completely comfortable in her own skin. She knew who she was, (and) who she aspired to.

“She was cheeky, curious, energetic, honest and a simply wonderful friend and daughter.”

A letter written by Ms Hughes mother, Paula, was also read.

“Wherever your journey took you in life, you touched and taught every person you met in some way. You left an everlasting impression,” the letter read.

“I will miss you terribly but I am at peace knowing that although you lived 19 years, you had a full life and you’re with all of us now with your angel wings up above, working on making the world a better place.”

Ms Hughes was a keen netballer who played for the Matrics Netball Club.

One of her friends from netball, Lucy Austin, said she found it difficult writing a eulogy for her best friend and instead wrote a speech as if it was Ms Hughes 21st birthday.

“You have taught me to find the humour in anything and everything because even if you have to look very deep to find it, there is always something to smile about,” Ms Austin said.

Her former high school teacher, Paul Jones, from Banksia Park International High School said Ms Hughes was a “dedicated student” who “always strived to do her best”.

A group of five friends also wrote and performed a song called ‘Dear Ivy’ at the service.

After the teenager’s tragic death, Matrics Netball Club posted a statement on Facebook honouring the “incredible young woman”.

“The entire netball community has been saddened by this news,” the post read.

“Our thoughts are with Ivy’s family and loved ones at this time, along with the entire netball family who are feeling the impact of this great loss.”



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Former Labor MP Annabel Digance and husband charged with blackmailing Opposition Leader


A former Labor MP has been charged with blackmailing South Australian Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas.

Following an investigation, former Labor MP Annabel Digance, 63, and her husband Greg were both arrested by Major Crime detectives at their Adelaide Hills home at about 7am on Wednesday.

The couple, from Strathalbyn, were both charged with blackmail, which has a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment if convicted.

According to SA Police, the couple threatened to make allegations of alleged misconduct by Mr Malinauskas for personal gain.

SA Police clarified the allegations did not relate to any criminal behaviour by the Opposition Leader.

“He is not being investigated by SAPOL for any criminal offence and is not suspected of any criminal offence,” police said in a statement.

Mr and Mrs Digance were refused police bail and appeared separately via video link in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.

They were each granted $5000 bail by the court to reside at their Strathalbyn home under “special circumstances”.

Under the conditions, the couple cannot contact Mr Malinauskas and must surrender their passports.

Magistrate John Wells told each defendant they must obey their bail conditions otherwise they could face further prosecution.

During the appearance, Mr Digance asked if he could go to Victoria to bring back cars he had purchased there.

Magistrate Wells immediately responded: “No.”

“That’s a matter for the future,” he said.

“It should not be a focus at this particular point.

“If you have any more questions I recommend you speak to your legal representative.”

Steven Millsteed QC, who represented the Digances, told reporters after court he was glad his clients were granted bail.

They will reappear in court in June.

Mrs Digance represented the local seat of Elder from 2014 to 2018.



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SA Police officers charged with aggravated assault over arrest


Two South Australian police officers who allegedly repeatedly kicked a man and slammed his head into a concrete footpath have each been charged after an investigation by the state’s corruption watchdog.

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Ann Vanstone made a public statement on Wednesday detailing the allegations and said the Director of Public Prosecutions charged each officer with one count of aggravated assault.

The offences are aggravated because of the “abuse of the officers’ positions of authority,” according to the Commissioner.

As part of the investigation, it was found in the early hours of October 19, 2019 a number of police patrols engaged in a pursuit of a man who was suspected of driving a stolen vehicle.

After dumping the car, the man ran through a number of properties before hiding.

He was found by police and told to put his hands in the air and lay on the ground, which he complied with, according to the ICAC.

One officer from Valley View, 35, then allegedly kicked the suspect in the torso a number of times.

It is alleged shortly afterwards, the second officer, 35 of Lightsview, approached the handcuffed man, who was seated on the floor, and pushed his head into the concrete footpath.

Both officers are due to appear in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court later this month.



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Scott Morrison doubles down on Christine Holgate criticism but apologises for offence caused


Scott Morrison has doubled down on his outburst over Australia Post spending thousands on watches for senior executives despite its former chief executive accusing him of “humiliating” her.

Christine Holgate resigned in the midst of the scandal last year and on Wednesday demanded an apology from the Prime Minister for his remarks.

Mr Morrison in October declared the watch purchases were “disgraceful” and said Ms Holgate had been instructed to stand aside.

Speaking on Triple M Perth, Mr Morrison was asked if regretted his attack.

He said the government did not support the decision to gift Cartier watches to well-paid executives who already had existing performance bonus arrangements.

RELATED: Holgate says she was humiliated by PM Morrison

“I went pretty hard. I was pretty unimpressed by that behaviour, as I think most Australians would be,” Mr Morrison said.

“It is not my intention to cause distress to people and clearly that has to Christine, and I regret that distress.

“But the real point, though, is that these are things that shouldn’t happen in taxpayer-funded organisations.

“I don’t walk back from saying it shouldn’t be on.”

Ms Holgate on Tuesday told a Senate inquiry the comments were a public “humiliation” and left her position untenable.

She also claimed gender had a role to play in her ousting, which Mr Morrison flatly rejected.

“This was about the issues of taxpayers’ money,” he told The West Live.

“I don’t accept that there were any gender-related issues.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the Prime Minister “effectively sacked” the former chief executive and was attempting to avoid responsibility by suggesting she stand aside.

RELATED: Ex-Australia Post boss Christine Holgate demands apology over Cartier watches scandal

Mr Albanese was pressed on whether he regretted saying Ms Holgate’s position was “untenable” in the day’s following Mr Morrison’s outburst.

He claimed his comments mirrored those of Ms Holgate, saying the Prime Mnister “owned” the controversy.

“Scott Morrison’s comments in parliament made that position untenable. Scott Morrison effectively sacked Christine Holgate on the floor of parliament,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“After that answer, of course, how could she continue? That was the evidence that was given.”

Ms Holgate revealed the gifts under a grilling from Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, but Mr Albanese defended the line of questioning.

“Labor asked questions about taxpayers’ funds in Senate estimates. That is what Senate estimates is for, it is our job to do that,” he said.

During fiery testimony on Tuesday, Ms Holgate also lashed Mr Morrison for keeping men accused of “terrible atrocities” against women in his party while “humiliating” her publicly.

Mr Morrison was also grilled over why Ms Holgate did not have a job but disgraced MP Andrew Laming did.

He said an inquiry was established following the watch scandal, and that if Ms Holgate hadn’t resigned, then those issues “might have been able to be worked through” with the chairman.

“Ms Holgate resigned from her position, that‘s the key point,” Mr Morrison said.

“Andrew Laming was elected by his electors, and the Liberal National Party is not endorsing him for the next election.

“The only people who can ultimately remove any member of parliament are the people who elected them.”

Christian Porter also remained in cabinet despite an historical rape allegation levelled at the former attorney-general, which he vigorously denied.

Mr Albanese said it was “inexplicable” that NSW Police chiefs denied a request for detectives to travel to interview the alleged victim in South Australia.

“Scott Morrison has one too many people in his cabinet, and the name is Christian Porter,” he said.

“There needs to be at the very least an investigation into these matters … We need to know why that occurred.”



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Dust storm envelopes city, two hospitalised as visibility ‘practically zero’


Residents of Adelaide and surrounding areas have been advised to “stay inside” and keep doors and windows closed as thick dust blankets the city.

Strong winds have whipped up the dust and sent it spreading across the state towards populated areas on Tuesday afternoon.

Dust storms have already been blamed for a four car crash in Balaklava, around 90km north of Adelaide, which has led two men to be taken to hospital.

South Australia Police said visibility was “practically zero” at the time.

So thick is the dust, the skyscrapers of Adelaide’s CBD can barely be seen from the inner suburbs.

RELATED: Coldest start to 2121, and it’s getting colder

SA Health said people in Adelaide should “stay indoors and keep their doors and windows shut”, particularly those with asthma and other chest conditions.

The organisation added that dust can aggravate emphasyma, bronchitis and other respiratory disease and is associated with an increased risk of cardiac events such as heart attacks.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned a cold front was pushing towards the state with strong to damaging winds ahead of the front.

Gale-force winds of almost 80 km/h were rerecorded at Port Lincoln. A gust of 67 km/h passed Edinburgh air base, in the city’s north, just after 2pm.

A road weather alert is in place for Adelaide for reduced visibility due to blowing dust.

South Australia Police has advised motorists slow down, take extra care, maintain a safe distance between vehicles and turn on headlights.

The BOM has said it’s a “strange day” for weather in Adelaide and South Australia generally.

While the southern states are wrapping up warm against the chill, in SA it’s fire, not frost, which is the main issue.

Dry air lingering in the wake of the fronts that swept through on the weekend combined with wind and warmer weather is building ahead of a coming cold front.

“It’s not that hot for South Australia, but it’s exceptionally dry with strong winds leading to severe to extreme fire danger,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

This week, Adelaide should settle into a run of 21C maximums with possible light showers until Thursday and then again from Sunday.

The mercury will drop in the early mornings from 14C on Wednesday to just 9C on Saturday.



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Council’s plan to charge for clean-ups


Ratepayers could be slugged up to $140 for council clean-up, as local governments look to start recouping growing costs.

The Mount Barker and Adelaide Hills councils in South Australia are each looking into the option of charging per collection.

Mount Barker District Council doesn’t offer hard rubbish collection but is discussing introducing the service after residents voiced their desire for one.

According to last week’s meeting agenda, the council’s preferred option to service the demand is to charge ratepayers up to $140 per collection.

If approved, those deemed to be disadvantaged, including concession card holders – which makes up about 20 per cent of the council area – will have a subsidised fee of up to $110.

The Adelaide Hills Council has also proposed to charge $43 per at-call collection, plus $23 per mattress collection.

It currently allows its ratepayers one free “at call” hard waste collection per financial year.

The move to charge for hard rubbish collections is under community consultation for both councils.

Mount Barker Council general manager infrastructure Phil Burton said he anticipated the community would largely support the user pays collection.

“(The service) ensures there is high resource recovery, or diversion of waste from landfill and equity for all ratepayers regardless of whether they choose to use the service or not,” he said.

“Other councils that do not charge for hard waste collection have built the cost of the service into their general rates.

“Our council has chosen not to increase rates to pay for this new service.”

Mr Burton said the council preferred the hard waste collection option because it would be available to all residential properties; it complemented existing services, and provided social and community benefits, including local employment.

Adelaide Hills Council acting chief executive Peter Bice said the demand for the hard waste service significantly increased in recent years, jumping from 1100 collections in 2017-18 to 1568 in 2019-20, with a similar figure expected for this financial year.

Mattress collections are also predicted to reach up to 700 in 2020-21 compared with 237 in 2018-19.

Mr Bice said it was difficult to gauge what response would be received but said ratepayers were “passionate” about sustainability and reducing waste to landfill.

“Residents who don’t use the hard waste service won’t be subsidising those that do through general rate payments – so the proposal may be attractive to them,” he said.

“Conversely, those residents that do use the hard waste service may have to make an additional contribution to the costs and therefore may not be supportive of this approach.”



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How Adelaide Hills in South Australia has recovered since the bushfires


It was just five days before Christmas 2019 when residents in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia were delivered a blow no one saw coming.

As much of the rest of the world was preoccupied with last-minute shopping and fussing with plans for the festive season, in the Adelaide Hills, thousands of residents suddenly found themselves in the fight of their lives.

A rapidly moving and uncontrolled bushfire ripped through the Cudlee Creek area in the Mount Lofty Ranges, destroying more than 25,000 hectares in a single day.

In an interview for a new video series supporting bushfire-affected communities, Open for Business, Adelaide Hills resident Carly said the catastrophic bushfire took the region by surprise.

RELATED: ‘Fifteen years of work gone in 10 minutes’

RELATED: Horror moment town had been waiting for

“We were all very unprepared,” she said.

“The fire was so wind-driven and so erratic. It was just moving so quickly.”

By the time the Adelaide Hills fires came under control, one person had died, about 80 homes in the region were lost, multiple businesses were in ruins and the entire population was shell-shocked and shattered.

“It was just devastation,” Mount Barker mayor Ann Ferguson said.

“It’s just so challenging mentally to comprehend that you’ve lost it all. It is just incredible when you think about these industries that have to bounce back.”

The Adelaide Hills, just east of the South Australian capital, is particularly famous for its wines.

About a third of the region’s wine production was believed to have been wiped out as the deadly flames ripped through vineyards, including at Simon Tolley Wines, where 90 per cent of the property was affected by fire.

The region’s famous apple and pear growers and other primary producers were equally devastated.

“About half a dozen growers lost a significant part of their orchard,” Cam Stafford, the owner of Stafford Orchards, said.

“And (they have) the challenge of whether they remove those or regenerate them somehow.”

The spirited local community rallied quickly around the region’s growers and farmers, as well as residents who had lost their homes and possessions to the bushfires. But local woman Carly noticed there was something crucial that was missing in the post-bushfire response.

“After the fires I felt there was so much help for adults in the mental health recovery, but I remember thinking, what about our children?” she said.

Worried about how the kids of the Adelaide Hills were coping with the trauma of the fires, she founded the Facebook group Bushfire Kids Connect to offer specific and unique support to them.

“(It’s) a community group that is actually led by our children, and what we do is we create fun events and educational workshops to assist and connect children in the Adelaide Hills region that helps in their recovery journey after the fires,” she said.

“Connection is the key to resilience, and so we’re connecting our children by injecting fun back into their lives.

“Without realising it, these children of Bushfire Kids Connect today will actually be mentors in helping children of future fires in Australia.”

More than a year on from the bushfire, the Adelaide Hills region is well and truly rebuilding itself back to life.

Simon Tolley Wines, which had almost all of its vineyard affected by fire, planned to open a cellar door this month in a signal of how it has thrived beyond the 2019 tragedy.

“We’re really looking forward to that, and that will really be a start of a real recovery for us,” owner Simon Tolley said.

Mount Barker mayor Ann Ferguson said it was clear locals were getting back on their feet.

“They are very aware of the value of what they have to give to the community through the produce they make,” she said.

“It’s so rewarding to see that we can be so resilient and helpful of one another to make sure they’re building better than what they had.”

And that’s where the rest of Australia comes in – there’s no better time to visit this once-again thriving community, and experience the towns, culture, jaw-dropping natural landscape and world-class produce of the Adelaide Hills region, just a stone’s throw from the Adelaide CBD.

“We want (people) to come pick our strawberries, we want them to come and taste our wine, we want them to eat our juicy pears and apples, devour our cheese and chocolates,” Carly said.

“We want them to come and support our local community.”

“There is nowhere like the Adelaide Hills,” Mr Stafford from Stafford Orchards said.

“There are some fantastic places here in the hills. There are beautiful views, but also fantastic little glens and things to explore – and don’t forget the personalities.

“We have every ingredient here for a fantastic holiday.”



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