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Porn due to stress: Muirhead doctor

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STRESS, not sexual gratification, was the reason former ABC presenter Andy Muirhead looked at child pornography, a court was told yesterday.
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The former host of the Collectors television show has pleaded guilty to accessing and possessing child pornography, and is waiting to be sentenced.

Dr Janet Haines, a psychologist who treated Muirhead, told a pre-sentence hearing in the Supreme Court in Hobart that stress had led to the 36-year-old accessing child pornography.

Dr Haines saw no indication that Muirhead had a sexual interest in children throughout the 20 sessions conducted with him.

She concluded that he fell into a small category of people who access child pornography for other reasons – in this case, work-related stress.

“(He worked) to the point where he was exhausted, where he didn’t have any balance in his life . . . (and) that level of pressure increases people’s stress levels and increases their level of arousal,” Dr Haines said.

Initially, Muirhead looked at adult pornography for sexual gratification, but Dr Haines said that wore off quickly and he then stumbled upon child pornography.

“His response to it was shock,” she said, and this shock acted as a stress relief.

Prosecution barrister Maitland Lincoln argued there was a serious risk of reoffending based on the fact Muirhead had looked at more than 12,000 child pornography images, of varying seriousness, over 16 months.

He also used peer-to-peer software and accessed videos with titles like “Girls play with young boys”.

“If one skips over that, and ignores it, the court does that at its own peril,” Mr Lincoln said.

Police also submitted a further 5840 images found on Muirhead’s computer that Mr Lincoln argued strengthened the case.

He said the pictures weren’t classed as child pornography but did depict children “in various stages of undress, wearing underwear, bikinis and swimwear, but with no sexual posing”.

Defence counsel Kim Baumeler said the prosecution had accepted the experience and expertise of the witness, and had chosen not to seek a second psychologist’s opinion.

“Despite her (Dr Haines) having that information (about the number and type of image, as well as length of offending) she has still come to this conclusion (that it was not for sexual gratification),” Ms Baumeler said.

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said: “You ask me to believe he didn’t have it when obviously most people (guilty of child pornography offences) would have a sexual interest in it.”

Chief Justice Crawford remanded Muirhead in custody to reappear before the court on October 1 for sentencing.

Andy Muirhead

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All in blue for cause

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WAGGA was awash with blue yesterday as more than 50 businesses and countless residents across the city rallied behind Blue Day.
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Run by the Wagga and Region Suicide Prevention Network (SPN), the second annual day of blue was all about fund-raising and increasing awareness.

One of the places this was achieved was at Bunnings Warehouse, with people gathering around for a chat at a barbecue manned by SPN members.

“Things have been going fairly well, we want to bring awareness to suicide prevention and we have been handing out these crisis cards,” SPN chairman David Schultz said. “This year’s theme is It’s All About Living.”

Bunnings activities organiser Marion Roache said the cause meant a lot to her and her co-workers after they had lost a team member to suicide.

“We’ve supported the SPN throughout the year, it’s an important cause,” she said.

According to Wagga psychologist and SPN member Dan Hayes, a stall in the Marketplace and a barbecue at CSU also saw large crowds yesterday. “To reduce the loss of lives in the community we need to focus on prevention intervention and postvention,” he said.

“Suicide can affect anyone, it’s not just a certain group so while it would be nice to sometimes ask for help, sometimes you need someone to look out for them and offer that helping hand.”

To keep in touch with the latest information on the SPN like their Facebook page at www.facebook南京夜网/WWRSPN.

If you need help:

beyondblue 1300 224 636

Lifeline 13 11 14;

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800;

Sunflower House 6931 8770;

GSAHS Carer Assist 6925 9399;

Community mental health access line: 1800 800 944

Riverina Headspace: 6923 3170

CAMPAIGN CALL: Wagga Region Suicide Prevention Network chairman David Schulz hopes to raise funds for and spread awareness of suicide prevention through this year’s Blue Day. Picture: Oscar Colman

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Coles plans Christmas opening at Southgate, Tamworth

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THE rejuvenation of Tamworth’s Southgate shopping centre is beginning to take shape.
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National Buildplan project manager Mark Walton told The Leader building works at the site were on track for completion in December.

About 50 workers remain on site each day, and that will continue for the next three months.

“At the moment we are painting the exterior and completing the work on the car park,” Mr Walton said.

“In the coming weeks work will begin on the cladding at the front of the building and it will start to take more shape.”

It is hoped staff from Coles will come in at the beginning of next week to start installing the supermarket shelving and refrigeration.

Over the next eight to 10 weeks the centre’s new car park will be finished and shade sails will be installed.

It is expected the supermarket, accompanying Liquorland and several specialty stores in the complex, will be open for trade before Christmas.

PROGRESSING NICELY: Tamworth’s new Coles supermarket at Southgate is really beginning to take shape. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 300812GOC01

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Bendigo TAFE cleared in High Court

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Bendigo TAFE has been cleared of taking illegal retaliatory action against a union official, allaying fears a lower court ruling had bestowed “protected species” status on union representatives.
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The High Court decision delivered yesterday was welcomed by employers and the federal opposition as a victory for commonsense and means union officials who misbehave may be disciplined like any other employee.

A spokesman for Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said he would consider the judgment and take advice on the detail before responding, but legal experts say it resolves a key complaint put by employers to a recent Fair Work Act review.

In the decision, the High Court full bench unanimously found the action by Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education (BRIT) to suspend a teacher on full pay did not amount to adverse action under the 2009 act.

The act prohibits an employer from retaliating against employee union officials who take part in industrial activity.

Gregory Barclay, a senior teacher and delegate of the Australian Education Union (AEU), emailed AEU members at BRIT in January 2010 alleging serious misconduct by unnamed persons involving the production of false or fraudulent documents for an upcoming audit.

But he failed to report the allegations immediately to BRIT management and did not provide details when asked. BRIT chief executive Louise Harvey sent a letter asking him to show cause why he should not be disciplined and he was suspended on full pay pending a disciplinary investigation.

Mr Barclay and the AEU went to the Federal Court, arguing the college had contravened the act.

Dr Harvey said she took the action because of the way Mr Barclay had raised the allegations, not because of his union activities.

The Federal Court ruled for BRIT, but the full court of the Federal Court ruled for Mr Barclay and the union.

However, the High Court found the action against Mr Barclay did not occur for a prohibited reason.

Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said commonsense had prevailed.

“It is highly disappointing that Labor intervened in the High Court on the side of the union boss, Mr Barclay, arguing that it was the intention of the Fair Work Act to make union bosses untouchable even if they did the wrong thing,” he said in a statement.

“This decision will provide some much-needed comfort to the employers who have to put up with thuggish behaviour from some union bosses often on a daily basis.”

Cleared: Bendigo TAFE. Picture: File

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Garage sale to raise money for Braddy-White inquest

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A monster garage sale is being held this weekend to raise funds for the Braddy-White inquest.
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Bendigo teenagers Maureen Braddy, 16, and Allan Whyte, 17, vanished in 1968 and an inquest into their disappearance is still ongoing. Maureen’s family are holding the sale to pay for legal costs associated with the inquest.

Jodie MacDonell said the sale would have “something for everyone”. The sale is being held from 7.30am today and tomorrow at 29 Derrimut Road, White Hills.

“We’ve got toys, clothing, plants, books, furniture, bedding, household goods, beds, jars and antiques,” Ms MacDonell said.

“Our lovely neighbour works for the Comfort Inn at Kangaroo Flat and her boss has donated a night’s accommodation. So everyone who spends more than $5 will go into the draw for that.”

Lyn Ireland, Jenny Braddy, Gayle Tuddenham and Jodie MacDonell. Picture: Peter Weaving

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Teen who stole car from Bendigo train station fined

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A 19-year-old Melbourne man who stole a car from Bendigo train station in a spontaneous decision to drive to Queensland has escaped with a $210 fine.
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Daniel Robertson, 19, avoided conviction in the Bendigo Magistrates Court over the botched theft, which ended with Robertson abandoning the car near Coles supermarket in Bendigo.

The court heard Robertson had travelled via train to Melbourne but didn’t have enough money to get a train home.

Robertson and a co-accused decided to steal a car and try to make their way to Queensland.

After leaving the stolen vehicle, both men went to Coles supermarket where they were identified by police and arrested.

The court heard Robertson and his accomplice were both under care of the Department of Human Services and had not met before that day.

Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said the theft was out of character for Robertson.

He escaped without conviction and was ordered not to committ any further offences and to comply with restrictions of the DHS.

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Thieves take off with Grogans’ tractors 

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TWO tractors worth a combined $60,000 were stolen in a brazen theft at Grogans Machinery in Epsom on Thursday.
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The theft of a $45,000 Kubota tractor and an RTV worth $15,000 was discovered yesterday morning after employees found damage to the firm’s fence.

The thieves had used bolt cutters to cut through two fences to steal the vehicles.

The police visited the scene and dealers in the area were notified of the serial numbers of the stolen vehicles.

Grogans Machinery apprentice, Lance Sendall, said at least two people must have been involved because they had moved a heavy crate to take the RTV.

He said they must have also visited the site before the theft to know the layout of the sales yard.

“It’s pretty cheeky,” he said.

“They would’ve had to have done it in the rain (and they) would have had to come here before.”

Owner Jill Grogan said she felt “awful” when she found out about the theft.

“We got the RTV off the truck at 5pm the night before,” she said.

Robbed: Jill Grogan from Grogan’s Machinery in front of the fence the thieves broke through. Picture: Jodie Donnellan

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Homeless program helps Bendigo families

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AN innovative program to prevent homelessness has helped 15 Bendigo families maintain rental tenancies since operations began in July.
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Back on Track is a joint collaboration between several Bendigo-based agencies who work with real estate agents and landlords to identify and support “at risk” tenants to prevent them from falling into homelessness.

Victorian Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell met with Haven chief executive officer Ken Marchingo on Wednesday for an update on the pilot program, which received $1.57 million as part of the state government’s Homelessness Action Plan.

Minister Lovell was impressed with the program’s early success.

“I was most impressed with the collaboration,” Ms Lovell said.

“It is an innovative approach. They are working with the local real estate agencies and it’s about getting them before they fall through the system.

“It’s early days yet, but it’s already had strong success.”

Ms Lovell said preventing homelessness would cost the state less in the long term.

“We need to support people and we need to address underlying reasons for people being unable to pay their rent and prevent them coming into the homeless system.”

Haven communications and marketing director Sue Masters said the initiative was getting results despite not being fully set up, and was on track in its aim to help 300 Bendigo families by the time the pilot program ended next year.

She said an information sharing session was held between the agencies and 45 real estate agents on Wednesday. “We have the major Bendigo real agencies on board,” she said. “We are currently giving them information and helping them with early identification so people are not falling out of private rental.

“They’re on board, it’s not going to work unless it works for them.”

Mr Marchingo told Ms Lovell the next step was to build up referrals and target private landlords to join the program.

Positive: Wendy Lovell MP and Ken Marchingo from Haven getting an update on the pilot project “Back on Track” which they praised as innovative and effective. Picture: Jim Aldersey

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Time to travel after 32 years

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SHE has been the personal assistant to five general managers, has seen editors come and go, and contributed enormously to The Northern Daily Leader.
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Donna Gill, after 32years of service with the newspaper, has retired.

She was formally farewelled by her workcolleagues at a special afternoon tea andpresented with a gift in appreciation of herdedication to duty. Managing editor John

Sommerlad said there would never be another Donna Gill at The Northern Daily Leader.

“Few people really know how much she does for this newspaper and its operation,” he said at the farewell.

“Throughout the 32 years she has been with the newspaper she has been a tower of strength. The assistance she has provided to the business is a contribution it could not have done without.

“Donna is a true professional – dedicated and committed – and has been of invaluable service to the newspaper and its staff.

“She has also been a de facto member of many community organisations and causes. As busy managers took on community roles on committees, she did much of the work.

“She has assisted the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Committee, the Joy and Slim Statue Committee, service clubs and a long list of other organisations.”

Donna started at The Leader in the accounts department but her skills saw her quickly rise to the management floor. She also took on a heavy burden of responsibility by administratingoccupational health and safety at The Leader.

With time on her hands, and a lot less to worry about, Donna and her husband Peter plan to do some travelling.

DEDICATED SERVICE: The Northern Daily Leader’s Donna Gill was farewelled after 32 years’ service to the newspaper. Photo: Barry Smith 300812BSF15

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No clear cause of death in Inch inquest

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A CORONER said yesterday he was unable to say if Wagga man Ross Inch would have survived car crash injuries but for the incorrect placement of a cannula into his chest by a paramedic.
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Findings of an inquest into the death of 38-year-old Mr Inch were handed down by magistrate Tony Murray.

Mr Inch, a popular registered nurse in Wagga Base Hospital’s emergency department and father of three girls, died on August 16, 2009, after being involved in a motor vehicle accident on Yarragundry Road west of Uranquinty.

An uncle, 52-year-old Ken Pettifer, was a passenger in a utility being driven by Mr Inch and died at the scene of where the ute mysteriously left the road and hit a tree.

The inquest heard that in trying to save Mr Inch’s life, senior paramedic Eamonn Purcell inserted two cannulai into Mr Inch’s chest at the accident scene under trying circumstances and correctly followed NSW Ambulance Service protocol for a procedure which Mr Murray said was so unusual that even a highly-qualified paramedic such as Mr Purcell might never perform it in the course of their career.

One cannula pierced Mr Inch’s heart, resulting in Mr Inch swearing, blood spilling from the end of the catheter and an abnormal heart rhythm being detected on a monitor.

Paramedics at the scene were greatly concerned about these signs, but the inquest heard they did not pass the information on to trauma staff at Wagga Base Hospital when they handed an unconscious Mr Inch over to them.

Surgeon Stephen Jancewicz, who operated on Mr Inch, told the inquest had he known this information he would have explored Mr Inch’s left chest first and repaired the heart.

“One … area of concern was the lack of communication between the treating paramedics and the specialist trauma team waiting at (the) Wagga hospital,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray said there was substantial disagreement among the medical experts who gave evidence at the inquest about what effect the insertion of the cannula had on Mr Inch’s chances of survival.

“I am of the view that I am unable on the basis of the evidence given by such experts to form an opinion on the issue.”

Mr Murray said a matter that caused him a great deal of concern was the exchange of treatment information by the paramedics to the treatment team, especially the reactions of Mr Inch to the insertion of the cannula.

“From an external lay observer, I found it incredible that detailed records were not kept of such important information,” Mr Murray said.

“It appears from the other expert evidence that this behaviour is commonplace in trauma units in New South Wales.”

Mr Murray said he was satisfied Mr Purcell under extremely difficult circumstance cramped conditions in the back of an ambulance and Mr Inch thrashing around followed the then applicable protocol of inserting the cannulai.

“It is common ground between all the experts that the decision of Mr Purcell to undertake such a procedure in the light of the physical injuries sustained by the deceased could not be criticised and that such procedure was completed against a very, very difficult background and chain of events,” the coroner said.

“I am satisfied that such procedure was undertaken by Mr Purcell as he formed the view … that such procedure was necessary to save the life of Mr Inch, but to everyone’s great regret and sadness Mr Inch subsequently died.”

Following Mr Inch’s death the Ambulance Service introduced a new protocol for inserting cannula into the chest of patients.

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