‘Flirty’ prison officer’s relationship with inmate exposed by leg tattoo

A “flirty” prison officer has been jailed for ten months after bosses found a secret tattoo on her leg dedicated to an inmate she was in a “relationship” with.

Scarlett Aldrich was 20 when she had the armed robber’s prison cell number inked into her upper thigh as a symbol of her affection.

But their romance was exposed when officials found the body art during a compulsory medical examination.

At the time, Aldrich, whose mum and stepdad are both police officers, was a trusted member of staff at maximum security Full Sutton jail, near York.

She also wrote love letters to the convicted robber and smuggled in a mobile phone and SIM card, Hull Crown court heard, The Sun reports.

RELATED: Honeytrap dates catching cheating boyfriends

On Wednesday, Aldrich, 22, who has a number of other tattoos, appeared for sentence via video link from Her Majesty’s Prison New Hall, Wakefield, where she is being held.

Jailing her for 10 months, Judge John Thackray QC said he had considered a suspended sentence “because immediate custody would have a devastating effect on you and your loved ones”.

But he said the offences were so serious the least he could impose was 10 months’ custody with half to be served.

He told her: “Your offending is obviously very serious committed while you were acting as a prison officer in a high security prison.

“You did receive the training about the obvious dangers of developing close relationships with inmates.

“Despite this, you developed a relationship with an inmate serving a sentence for robbery.

“You allowed yourself to be taken in by him.”

He added: “You put the safety and security of the prison in jeopardy.

“This was a high security prison where mobile phones and SIM cards can be used as currency, providing power, influence, and disrupting prison life.

“You breached the trust that had been given to you.”


The judge accepted she had provided the phone and SIM card only to for the inmate to speak to her and there was no evidence they had been used to commit any form of crime.

“But I have to consider not only the intended harm but the actual harm. In a maximum-security prison the risk of harm was high,” he added.

Aldrich, from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, showed no emotion as she was jailed.

She admitted misconduct in public office and smuggling a mobile phone and SIM card into prison at a previous hearing.

In his cell, officers found love letters from Aldrich. They also intercepted a sext snap sent to the prisoner, referred to only as “Jones”, of a tattoo on her upper left thigh of his jail cell number.


Suspicions began in August 2019 when Aldrich and Jones were seen chatting together for up to two hours in the prison workshop.

Prosecutor Ayman Khokar said: “It was noticed that the defendant would enter the workshop, greet other prison staff, before going to sit with Jones and chat with him for up to an hour at a time.

“These visits became more frequent and other prisoners commented on the closeness between the two.”

Aldrich’s time with Jones in the workshop increased to two hours each day.

A colleague spotted they were “being flirty” and confronted Aldrich about her behaviour.

Mr Khokar added: “She was warned about what her behaviour looked like – but the defendant returned to the workshop and chatted with the prisoner.”

Prison bosses were alerted and jailers found the phone which included a text sent on September 9 saying: “Abi is coming over so won’t be able to call. Miss you. Will try and get credit. Sending all my kisses.”

Another message a day later read: “At my mums. I’m not ignoring you. I have got you a voucher.”

On September 18, 2019, Aldrich was suspended and confessed to governors that the relationship started following a violent row with her ex.

Susanna Proctor, mitigating, “She had a cut on her face. He was providing comfort towards her and that led to the relationship she is now in court for.”

She underlined there was no sexual activity between the two and that Aldrich had no contact with Jones in his cell.

“She brought the phone in so he could contact her,” said Ms Proctor. “She understands that this man was not interested in her at all and was just using her to obtain that mobile phone.”

Mr Khokar added: “She explained she had been vulnerable due to her partner assaulting her which left a mark.

“Jones noticed the mark. He contacted her and made threats towards her partner. She admitted she brought in the mobile phone and SIM card.

“She was then asked by the prisoner to hold onto £5000 ($8900) at her home which would be collected by a gentleman nicknamed Ginger Scouser. She became concerned and blocked the prisoner’s number.”

In her first interview with police, Aldrich denied the relationship with Jones, claiming he had called her home and threatened her family.

However, a letter addressed to Jones was intercepted by staff at HMP Full Sutton which contained a photograph of a tattoo inside.

The tattoo was of Jones’ cell number and while Aldrich was in police custody, a nurse carrying out an examination of her body found the same tattoo on her upper left thigh.

The court heard Aldrich, who has no previous convictions, joined the prison service after finishing school because she wanted to help people and follow in the footsteps of her mum and stepfather, who are police officers.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Source link

Why NSW Police never interviewed Christian Porter

NSW Police have revealed why they never interviewed former Attorney-General Christian Porter over a 1988 rape allegation and confirmed the alleged victim tried to deliver a statement via Skype during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Outlining new information about how the case was handled, police have confirmed the woman who accused Mr Porter of rape asked to deliver her witness statement via Skype during the COVID-19 pandemic – a request the NSW Police resisted and her friends and family were never interviewed after her death.

The woman ultimately decided to withdraw her complaint after COVID delayed the meeting with detectives and died by suicide at home just 24 hours later.

Mr Porter strenuously denies the allegations that relate to a 1988 debating conference in Sydney. He has launched defamation action against the ABC over the reporting of an anonymous letter sent to the Prime Minister setting out allegations against a member of Cabinet.

He subsequently self-identified himself as the target of the allegations.

RELATED: NSW Police never got letter outlining allegations

It was the woman’s decision to withdraw the complaint that resulted in police not interviewing Mr Porter after her death, according to NSW Police.

“It is current standard practice that once a signed victim statement has been obtained from a victim and further corroborative enquiries are made, the formal allegation can and should be put to the person of interest as per procedural fairness principles for investigators,” NSW Police said.

“On June 23, 2020 the (alleged) victim clearly communicated to investigators that she no longer felt able to proceed with the report. The NSWPF did not have a signed statement from the (alleged) victim, hence no formal allegation to put to the person of interest. In keeping with the (alleged) victim’s wishes no further investigation took place and the person of interest was not interviewed.”

NSW Police established Strike Force Wyndarra in February 2020 after receiving information from Mr Porter’s accuser.

Detectives from Strike Force Wyndarra were due to travel to Adelaide to take the woman’s formal statement in March 2020 but their trip was postponed after the COVID-19 outbreak.

RELATED: Accuser’s family begs media not to identify daughter

On Wednesday June 24, 2020, the woman’s body was located at a home at Adelaide by South Australia Police. She had committed suicide just hours after telling police she did not want to proceed with a formal complaint.

In answers to questions on notice, NSW Police confirmed the complainant did ask to provide a formal statement over the telephone or via video.

“Yes. On April 1, 2020, the (alleged) victim requested that she commence her statement by way of Skype,” the response states.

“Investigators consulted with the (alleged) victim on April 2, 2020 by way of teleconference. Options were presented to the (alleged) victim in relation to obtaining her statement. A joint decision by all parties was made not to conduct the interview remotely. There were a number of reasons which led to this decision. The (alleged) victim was understanding and supportive of this decision.”

NSW Police also confirmed they made six telephone calls to the woman which were not answered.

RELATED: Porter, Reynolds moved in Cabinet reshuffle

The alleged victim also made two telephone calls to investigators which were not answered. On both occasions the woman’s missed calls were returned within seven minutes and five hours and 26 minutes respectively.

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge said the responses from NSW Police demanded further explanation.

“These answers raise yet more questions about the response of the NSW Police,” he said.

“When you speak to experienced investigators who have dealt with historical allegations they will tell you it’s not perfect but sometimes it’s the only option to take a statement by phone or video link.

“What is very distressing here is that this was an option that was requested by the complainant and open to police but for whatever reason was taken off the table.”

The answers provided also detail the Australian Federal Police decision to brief the NSW Police on the letter outlining the allegations rather than send it to investigators in full.

The letter requested urgent action be taken by the Prime Minister to investigate the 1988 alleged rape.

RELATED: Details of Porter’s ABC defamation suit

It urged the Prime Minister to set up an independent parliamentary investigation into the matter, similar to that commissioned by the High Court into allegations against former Justice, Dyson Heydon.

“When news of [the complainant’s alleged] rape becomes widely known to the public (as it most likely will), legitimate questions will be asked as to who knew what, when they knew and what they did,” the letter states.

“This is occurring today in relation to Brittany Higgins. The loss of respect for our political institutions will be exacerbated.

“There will be considerable damage to community perceptions of justice … and the parliament when this story becomes public if it is simultaneously revealed that senior people (like yourselves) were aware of the accusation but had done nothing.

“Failing to take parliamentary action because the NSW Police cannot take criminal action would seem like wilful blindness.”

The South Australia Coroner is yet to determine whether to conduct a public inquest into the woman’s death.

Source link

Royal Society of NSW fellows back scientist calls for pardon

A group of 66 Royal Society of New South Wales fellows has added new weight to calls by scientists to pardon convicted serial baby killer Kathleen Folbigg.

Folbigg is serving a 30-year jail term for killing her four children, who were aged between 19 days and 18 months when they died in separate incidents between February 1989 and March 1999.

The fellows, led by society president Ian Sloan, have written to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley and Attorney-General Mark Speakman in support of a petition presented last month by Australian Academy of Science fellows and scientists, arguing there are medical and scientific explanations for the death of each child.

The push to free Folbigg comes after a peer-reviewed paper by an international team of 27 scientists last year found the wrong conclusions had been made about genetic evidence in the case.

Professor Sloan, a mathematician, said he hoped the petition would add strength to the case to pardon Folbigg.

“It’s a statement from me, as president, and 65 other fellows of the Royal Society who feel there has not been enough attention paid to the science in this matter,” Professor Sloan said on Monday.

“The science has been evolving and there is now rather compelling evidence in the view of the signatories that the combination of genetic abnormalities and medical conditions can explain the death of the four children.

“The science as you view it now is very, very persuasive that she should not have been imprisoned and should now be pardoned.

“We really urge the law to take a backward step, look at the evidence and pardon Kathleen Folbigg.”

The letter hails the new research as “significant” in supporting natural causes for the infants’ deaths.

The research found two of Ms Folbigg’s daughters both carried a previously undiscovered variant in a gene likely to cause sudden unexpected death.

The researchers also said Ms Folbigg’s two sons carried a rare genetic defect known to cause fatal epilepsy in mice.

Folbigg’s convictions, based largely on her diary entries, have been upheld through numerous legal challenges.

An inquiry into her case in 2019 again affirmed the guilty verdict.

That decision was upheld by the NSW Court of Appeal last month.

Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of murdering her babies Patrick, Sarah and Laura and of the manslaughter of her 19-day-old son Caleb in four separate incidents over a decade, starting in 1989.

She is due to be freed from jail in 2028.

Source link

Jasmeen Kaur murder investigation update after woman found in shallow grave

Police are hunting for multiple missing items as they probe the murder of a young Adelaide nursing student who they now believe was ‘taken by force’.

Jasmeen Kaur’s body was found in a ‘shallow grave’ in outback South Australia on Monday.

She was last seen at Southern Cross Homes on Marion Road at Plympton North about 10pm last Friday night.

Miss Kaur, 21, was reported missing on Saturday before major crime detectives interviewed a 20-year-old man known to the victim on Sunday, who led them five hours out of the city to Moralana Creek, where Ms Kaur’s body was found.

Police said he denied any responsibility for the death despite knowing where the woman’s body was buried.

The man was arrested on Monday and has since been charged with failing to report a death and murder.

Police are now trying to locate Miss Kaur’s brown handbag, her work ID tags and her black slip-on shoes.

They are also trying to find a plate and knife, which is “associated with the driver” but their importance to the investigation could not be detailed.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, police revealed what they believed Ms Kaur’s final night looked like, alleging she had likely been kidnapped and multiple items were missing from her person when her body was found.

Major Crime Investigation Branch officer in charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray said the nursing student’s car was found at her workplace after she was reported missing, which led police to believe she had been kidnapped after finishing work.

“We believe it to be extremely unlikely that Jasmeen left willingly with anybody, and are investigating the possibility that she was taken by force,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Police are also gathering evidence to show Miss Kaur was being stalked, according to Superintendent Bray.

He said officers were aware of how she died and the motive, but could not elaborate further.

Superintendent Bray said it was “too hard to say” if the alleged killer specifically chose the location to bury Ms Kaur or if it was random.

“I don‘t think you’re driving to that sort of place at random with that sort of distance.”

Superintendent Bray said Ms Kaur was inside a 2009 blue metallic coloured Commodore which travelled from Adelaide, through a number of safety cameras along the route to and from the gravesite.

These sightings included one at Virginia at 10:46pm, at Two Wells at 12:09 and at Port Wakefield at 12:40am.

“What we think happened there, is the offender’s travelled down South Road and missed the turn off at Virginia, has gone the wrong way, then done a U-turn, come back up Port Wakefield Rd and travelled north.”

“We’d like to know whether, in fact, the offender immediately turned right to travel to the Flinders, or whether, perhaps, went to a service station in Port Augusta to get fuel or drinks and the like.”

Superintendent Bray said the Commodore left Sterling North at 3:07am, with the entire trip totalling about 11 and a half hours.

“If you take out travelling time, that leaves about eight hours to bury Jasmine … it’s a considerable amount of time unaccounted for.”

It is believed Ms Kaur was killed in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The vehicle, with the number plate S267CJ, belonged to the accused man’s friend, police said.

It has since been seized.

The man charged over Ms Kaur’s death is described as an Indian national with a neatly trimmed beard and a moustache.

He appeared in the Port Augusta Magistrates Court on Tuesday afternoon by video link over Miss Kaur’s death, where it was revealed the man is in Australia on a student visa and has this year spent time in a mental health short stay unit.

Anyone who has seen the blue commodore or a man who fit the description waiting in the carpark of Southern Cross Homes, or who has dashcam footage of the vehicle while on its journey to and from the Flinders Ranges is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Source link

Chinese vice premier meets Swiss finance minister via video link

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with Swiss Federal Councillor and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer via video link on Wednesday.

The two sides exchanged in-depth views on practical cooperation in finance and other fields during the meeting.

China-Switzerland relations feature mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, said Liu, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Under China’s push for the establishment of a new development pattern and high-quality development, China-Switzerland financial cooperation has a broad prospect and will enhance the well-being of the two countries and the two peoples, Liu added.

Maurer said Switzerland will use its advantage to deepen cooperation with China in multiple fields, including sustainable finance, stock exchange interconnection and wealth management, and advance the bilateral ties to a higher level.

Source link

Facebook ‘is this you’ phishing scam could infect 500,000

Security researchers have uncovered a large-scale Facebook messaging scam they think has targeted around 500,000 people.

The large-scale phishing campaign is a variation of a classic “Is that you?” trick.

It involves a victim receiving a message from who they think is a friend and the supposed friend sending them a video or image and asking if they’re in it.

The reality is that a hacker is posing as a friend and has sent you a malicious file.

RELATED: Tiny thing Instagram wants hidden

RELATED: Facebook’s crackdown to anti-vaxxers

If you were to click the video link you’ll be taken through a chain of websites that could infect your computer with malicious software.

Researchers at CyberNews have been investigating the scam.

They think a hacker could use it to determine a person’s location, the device they’re using and even the operating system on the device.

This could lead to more targeted attacks.

The malicious links first sent in the message also take victims to a Facebook phishing page were they’ll be asked for personal data.

Their device may even be infected with adware or malware.

CyberNews thinks the scam it spotted started in January 2020 and has mainly targeted people in Germany.

It’s thought 480,000 users have fallen victim to the phishing campaign.

CyberNews has published a full report on the scam.

It highlights why you should never open links in a suspicious message or give away private details to unofficial sources.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Source link

Boy, 10, will need leg amputated

A little boy mowed down by an alleged unlicensed driver will have to have his leg amputated following a horror fatal crash which rocked a regional community.

The 10-year-old was walking with friends when the group was run down in the tragic smash.

Two of his friends, brothers Shane Shorey, 7 and Sheldon Shorey, 6, from Queensland, died at the scene while their mother Shayleen Frail remains in a critical condition in Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.

She has no idea two of her sons will never come home.

Another boy, 9, was treated for minor injuries.

Now the family of the 10-year-old, who cannot be identified, has revealed the devastating news the little boy will need to get his leg removed.

His family were given the news by doctors on Thursday following the incident in Wellington, near Dubbo.

“He hasn’t been himself, he is wanting to see his little mates,” his mother told 7 News.

“He keeps asking about them.”

A Holden sedan allegedly driven by unlicensed man Jacob Steven Donn, 25, veered off the road and ploughed into the group while they were walking home from the local swimming pool.

Mr Donn remains behind bars and faces more than a dozen charges, including dangerous driving causing death.

He is accused of losing control of his girlfriend’s car seconds before the incident, before fleeing the scene.

He fronted Broken Hill Local Court on Thursday via video link from a cell at Dubbo Police Station. He will reappear in court on Tuesday.

The horrific crash occurred near the corner of Warne and Raymond streets in the town south of Dubbo in central western NSW.

Joseph Storey, Shane and Sheldon’s father, rushed down from Queensland to visit the scene.

He described the incident as living in a “nightmare”.

“I am totally shattered and heartbroken. It is like a nightmare,” he said on Wednesday.

He described feeling “hollow” and said it felt as though his heart had been ripped out.

Shane would have turned eight on Friday and had several parties planned for Wellington and his home town Emerald, in Queensland.

Thirteen ambulance crews and four specialist response teams worked to save Shane and Sheldon.

On Tuesday NSW Ambulance Zone Manager Superintendent Andrew DeGabriel described the scene was “heartbreaking”.

“These types of incidents are shocking for all emergency services and witnesses involved … We were confronted with an absolutely devastating scene in Wellington,” he said.

“It’s heartbreaking for this to happen to such a small community.”

A GoFundMe has been set up with donations to go to Mr Shorey to help him pay for the boys’ funerals.

Source link

Lincoln Lewis ‘catfish’ appeal case hearing date set

A Melbourne woman accused of posing as a Home and Away actor to “catfish” women will fight to clear her name a year after she was found guilty.

The 30-year-old was sentenced to two years and eight months behind bars for six counts of stalking in 2019 at the Heidelberg Magistrates Court but immediately appealed the decision.

Abdelmalek is appealing her sentence and conviction for conning other women into believing she was Home And Away actor Lincoln Lewis.

The hearing will start on June 15 and will run for up to six weeks, Victorian County Court Judge Claire Quin told the court.

However the judge wanted the appeal to start earlier but because of issues with witnesses and lawyer schedules the earlier possible date was in the middle of the year.

It comes after months of delays as cybercrime experts worked to finish a report after analysing computer evidence including emails and some text messages.

Prosecutors told the judge they wanted to play Ms Abdelmalek’s nine-hour record of interview in the hearing and would call the six alleged victims.

“That will take up a lot of the court’s time,” Judge Quin said of the lengthy record of interview.

During the brief hearing Ms Abdelmalek appeared via video link and dressed in a grey jumper but didn’t speak.

Up to 20 witnesses are expected to give evidence at the appeal, the court had previously been told.

Ms Abdelmalek remains on bail until her hearing.

Source link

Convicted child sex offender handed 58 supervision conditions by Supreme Court

A convicted sexual predator who once appeared to smile for TV cameras on his way to court has been handed a list of 58 rules to live by under an extended supervision order.

Arthur Alliband has served jail sentences for child sexual assault and sparked outrage in 2016 for abusing a teenage girl in a western Sydney park on the same day he was released on parole.

The State of NSW applied to put him on strict rules in the Supreme Court as Alliband’s parole term for the March 2016 assault approached expiry.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton on Friday ordered he be placed under a raft of conditions for the next two-and-a-half years to ensure he does not reoffend – and to aid his rehabilitation and for community safety.

Under the slew of rules, Alliband can‘t approach a school, children’s playground or sporting field, attend an amusement park or public swimming pool.

He can only go to public libraries during school hours to avoid interaction with children and cannot leave his house between 9pm and 6am.

If he views or accesses pornography he must tell his supervisors within 24 hours and must given them 24 hours notice if he intends to see a sex worker or visit a sex shop.

“It’s very important you do understand what’s expected of you because a breach of any one of those conditions exposes you to the risk of being punished criminally,” Ms Fullerton said.

Ms Fullerton said that could include being taken back into custody, something she was sure Alliband would be keen to avoid.

She said the conditions were critical to help him reintegrate into society and ensure the community could be “confident” that he would not reoffend.

Alliband appeared before the court via video link and sat in his lawyer’s office wearing glasses and a black hoodie.

The state had applied to have him bound by an extended supervision order under the High-Risk Offenders Act during a hearing on Tuesday.

Alliband was arrested in March 2016 after violating a 16-year-old girl on the same day he was released from jail. He was 26 at the time.

After he had served 18 months in prison for having sex with an even younger girl, 13, Alliband met his new victim on the train home.

He took the girl to a park in Seven Hills, buying dozens of pre-mixed alcohol cans at a bottle shop on the way, where he plied her with drinks and sexually abused her.

Police arrived at his Lethbridge Park home to arrest him the next morning, and he was later convicted of sexual intercourse with a minor without consent.

NSW courts set automatic parole dates for people given head sentences of less than three years, meaning Alliband did not have to go through the State Parole Board before his release in March 2016.

In 2017 he was sentenced to a maximum of four-and-a-half years jail, with two years and 11 months to serve as a non-parole period.

The parole body deals with the parole of all inmates serving head sentences of greater than three years and can set conditions upon their release.

Corrective Services NSW loses the power to monitor parolees once their head sentence expires, unless ordered by a court.

Source link

Angry Anderson delivers emotional statement about son Liam’s killing

Angry Anderson has told the man who killed his youngest child that he feels “no longer whole” and the lives of those who loved his son Liam will never be the same.

Mr Anderson, voice quivering and hands shaking, delivered an emotional victim impact statement in the Supreme Court on Tuesday as he described his profound grief at losing his “baby boy” Liam.

The Rose Tattoo singer said his son’s “light” had been snuffed out by the “darkness” lurking within his best friend Matthew Flame, who horrifically bashed him to death while in a drug-fuelled hallucination in 2018.

“On that Sunday morning, Liam’s heart was full of light. A light that came from deep within him, a light that was Liam,” he told Flame’s sentence hearing.

“That light was snuffed out by darkness that came from deep within his assailant. Drugs did not produce that darkness but only set it free. And that darkness is there still.”

Flame bowed his head in the dock during the hearing, as Liam was described as being the life of the party, a gentle joker who was full of love and passionate about his friends and music.

Flame was last month found guilty of the 26-year-old’s brutal manslaughter after a jury ruled he was not guilty of murder.

The 22-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the higher charge and claimed he was suffering from a psychosis sparked by an undiagnosed schizophrenia when he attacked his friend on Sydney’s northern beaches in the early hours of November 4, 2018, which the jury accepted.

During the trial the court heard a hallucinating Flame, then 20, believed his mate was a “demon” who wanted to kill him when he set upon Liam Anderson and beat him to a pulp in a quiet suburban park.

Flame had taken up to 10 MDMA pills, smoked cannabis and downed about a dozen drinks over a night of partying at a hip-hop event at the Burdekin Hotel in the CBD with Liam before they returned to a friend’s house in Queenscliff.

After Flame, a gym devotee and apprentice plumber, began to hallucinate and ventured away from their friends Liam followed and told him, “I’m not going to leave you”.

But the aspiring rapper’s kindness cost him his life.

His tearful father spoke eloquently when reading his statement before the court on Tuesday, saying he, Liam’s three siblings and their mother were forever “bound in grief”.

“Sadness now is our constant companion, such is our life now,” he said.

The 73-year-old said he had been deprived of the everyday moments with his youngest child that all parents took for granted, such as telling him to take out the bins or ask what he wanted for breakfast.

Nor would he be able to see the joy in his son’s eyes at the birth of his first child.

The manner of Liam’s death will “haunt me for the rest of my days”, he said, as will the phone call he received from his eldest son Galen informing him “something terrible has happened”.

“I see the sadness in (my family’s) eyes when we are all together knowing one of us will always be missing,” he said of his remaining children.

“I have a hole in my heart. I’m no longer whole. My youngest and baby boy is gone, and my life will never be as it was.”

Liam’s mother Lindy Anderson spoke directly to Flame when she appeared via video link on Tuesday.

It came a month after she embraced him on the delivery of the jury’s verdict.

She said that she had chosen to forgive him for “selfish reasons”.

“I did it for me. Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean I accept any of your wrongdoing, because no one has the right to end someone’s life,” she said.

“Forgiveness for me as Liam’s mother is to find peace in life.

“I will not hold on to the poison which will only eat me away and make me sick. I will not let you, Matthew, or anyone else destroy my inner peace.”

Sister Roxanne Anderson said Liam was her “best mate” and that she regularly watched his YouTube videos and listened to his songs because she feared forgetting his voice.

“Liam was kind and gentle. He was a lover not a fighter. He was funny and free spirited and people were drawn to his energy,” she said.

“The last thing he did before he died really showed you his character. His best quality was what cost him his life.”

Flame was supported in court by his own family and at one point blew a kiss toward the gallery.

His barrister John Stratton SC said Liam’s death was “from any point of view a very tragic case”, including for Flame who “killed someone who was his best friend”.

Mr Stratton said his client was at the time unaware of his “vulnerability” to schizophrenia, which was “triggered” by drug use that was “not out of the range” of his peers.

The jury’s verdict was inextricably linked to Flame’s mental state, the barrister argued.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Christofi said Flame’s psychosis was bought on by his drug use, and argued his mental illness did not cause the attack.

In challenging that submission Justice Robert Button used an analogy of the drugs as a “seed” being planted into the “soil” of Flame’s vulnerable mind.

“The planting of the seed caused the tree to grow, which is the schizophrenia,” he said. “But the tree would never have grown if it was thrown on the concrete.”

Regardless, the result was “catastrophic”, Mr Button said.

Flame will be sentenced on December 16.

Source link