Captured fugitive gets life
A man who eluded police for seven years by living in the bush was yesterday sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murders which prompted his life on the run. Malcolm Naden, the nation’s most wanted fugitive until his capture in a remote cabin in northern New South Wales early last year, had pleaded guilty to strangling two young mothers, Kristy Scholes and his cousin Lateesha Nolan, in separate incidents. Supreme Court Justice Derek Price said the murder of Scholes, who lived next door to Naden’s grandparents, where he lived, was a “cold-blooded merciless killing that was sexually motivated” and required a life sentence. The judge found that the murder of his cousin after she had driven him to a beach to go fishing had not been premeditated, but that the woman had suffered a prolonged period of pain and terror before she died.
Host sacked after gay probe
A radio host was sacked on Thursday after asking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard whether her live-in partner, Tim Mathieson, is gay. Howard Sattler posed the question on the premise of clearing up rumors and things “you hear.” Speaking on Perth’s 6PR, Sattler told Gillard he would offer her a chance to clear up “myths, rumors, snide jokes and innuendo,” then asked: “Tim’s gay?” Gillard replied: “Well that’s absurd.” “But you hear it,” Sattler said. “He must be gay, he’s a hairdresser. It’s not me saying it.” The prime minister dismissed the claim, saying: “I don’t think that in life one can look at a whole profession full of different human beings and say: ‘Gee, we know something about every one of those human beings.’” Sattler persisted, apparently seeking a direct denial: “You can confirm he’s not [gay]?” Exasperated, Gillard said: “Oh, Howard, don’t be ridiculous. Of course not. Let me bring you back to earth.” Sattler was suspended by Fairfax media following widespread public condemnation of the interview.
Man jailed for whipping
A man who whipped a Muslim convert as a religious punishment for drinking alcohol was sentenced yesterday to at least 16 months in jail. Wasim Fayad, 45, was convicted earlier this year of the 2011 attack on Christian Martinez. Sydney Central Local Court Magistrate Brian Maloney sentenced Fayad, who had been Martinez’s spiritual mentor, to a maximum of two years in jail for assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The attack happened after Martinez called Fayad to admit he had spent a night out drinking and doing drugs. Fayad showed up at Martinez’s Sydney home and whipped him 40 times with an electric cord while three other men held him down on his bed.
Authorities will next year introduce a total ban on bestiality, which until now has only been illegal if cruelty to the animal could be proven, the government said on Thursday. “The government is now tightening the rules surrounding bestiality so there will be no doubt about the fact that it is prohibited to inflict suffering on animals,” Minister for Rural Affairs Eskil Erlandsson said in a statement. “There should be no doubt that bestiality is unacceptable.” Until now, bestiality was illegal in Sweden only if it could be proven that the animal had been subjected to suffering. From Jan. 1, any sexual act with an animal will be punishable by a fine, a maximum prison sentence of two years, or both, even if the animal shows no sign of injury or suffering.