Woman pimped daughter
A Thai-born woman was jailed on Tuesday for prostituting out her own daughter from the age of nine, marketing her to clients as the “new girl” in crimes condemned as “despicable.” The woman, 41, was jailed for nine years by the Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading guilty to 20 offenses, including child trafficking and prostitution for putting her daughter into sex work at her massage parlor and brothel. It started when the girl, then just nine years old, visited her mother on holidays from Thailand in 2004 and continued when she moved to Australia two years later through to September 2011. The court heard that her mother advertised her as the “new girl” and sent her on call-outs from as young as 11, threatening her with violence if she did not comply. She eventually complained to a family friend who reported it to police. Judge David Boddice said the woman had engaged in “systemic behavior of increasing depravity for financial reward,” regarding her daughter as a “commodity for use.”
‘Witch doctor’ convicted
A “witch doctor” who beheaded an 11-year-old boy and offered the head as a sacrifice to a goddess to improve his fortunes has been sentenced to death, police said on Tuesday. A court in impoverished Chhattisgarh state in central India convicted 32-year-old Dilip Rathia on Monday of murder and sentenced him to hang for beheading the boy, police said. “We proved the man beheaded the boy and his head was offered to the local goddess to obtain better luck,” police officer Praful Thakur said by telephone. The case came to light when police found the child’s headless skeleton in the tribal-dominated village of Barpali in Raigarh district. Forensic tests proved the skeleton was that of an 11-year-old boy named Praveen, who disappeared in February last year while visiting a village fair, Thakur said.
Handler killed by elephants
A handler at an elephant park was trampled to death while taking elephants out for exercise, the park’s owner said on Tuesday. The accident happened at about 7am on Monday at the Elephant Sanctuary near Hartbeespoort Dam, west of Pretoria. Craig Saunders, owner of the elephant sanctuary, said the handler, who had been working with African elephants for four years, slipped off the back of an elephant that was engaging in “boisterous behavior” with another elephant. The handler ended up in the midst of the altercation, which happened during an exercise program for the elephants that is closed to guests, Saunders said. Paramedics arrived within 10 to 15 minutes, but they were unable to revive the handler. “It was a pure chance accident,” Saunders said. “There was no maliciousness of any sort displayed by the elephants.”
Police seize mobile phones
Police have seized 49 mobile phones belonging to officers after they were used to photograph athlete Oscar Pistorius soon after his arrest for murder, the police ministry said on Tuesday. The phones — four official and 45 private handsets — were confiscated nearly a week after the Paralympian sprinter’s arrest for the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend. The confiscation was revealed in a written parliamentary reply by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday. It was the latest police blunder to hit the Pistorius case after it was revealed that the lead detective in the investigation, Hilton Botha, was also facing charges of attempted murder. He later quit the force.