Geelong’s Gary Rohan offered two-match ban, AFL admits umpiring error


Geelong forward Gary Rohan is facing a two-match suspension for striking Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale during the Cats’ controversial one-point win over Brisbane.

The incident occurred behind play during the opening term of Friday night’s drama-filled match at Kardinia Park, and was part of the build-up to a heated exchange between Cats coach Chris Scott and Lions players at quarter-time.

Rohan’s strike was assessed by the AFL match review officer as intentional conduct, medium impact and high contact.

Neale went to ground and then taunted Rohan with a three-finger gesture that suggested the Cat would receive a three-match suspension.

Scott defended Rohan in his post-match media conference and accused Neale of instigating the confrontation.

“Neale strikes Gary on the chest and then Gary struck him on the chest,” Scott said.

“The vision is clear. I am certainly not saying he (Neale) did the wrong thing, that’s footy, but I have had a pretty good look at what Gary did and I’m comfortable with it.”

The quarter-time exchange between Scott and several Brisbane players, including Harris Andrews and Joe Daniher, will be reviewed by the AFL on Monday.

“I was walking onto the ground and Lachie Neale just said to me something, I couldn’t understand exactly what he said, but something about Gary Rohan,” Scott said.

“I said, ‘I’m happy to have the conversation with you if you like, I have seen the vision, and I am comfortable with it’.

“I suspect he didn’t hear all of that. That is all that was said.

“A few of the Brisbane players … were not paying me compliments but I didn’t say anything after that.”

Brisbane goal sneak Charlie Cameron was also charged with striking Geelong’s Shaun Higgins.

Cameron was offered a $2,000 sanction for the second-quarter incident, which was assessed as intentional conduct, low impact and body contact.

The Cats won the match 12.9 (81) to 11.14 (80) after Brisbane’s Zac Bailey was denied a free kick close to goal in the dying stages.

The AFL admitted on Saturday a free kick should have been awarded to Bailey.

Bailey laid a tackle on Mark Blicavs a few metres out from the Lions’ attacking goal and spun the Cats defender, who then appeared to get rid of the ball illegally.

But umpire Robert O’Gorman called play on and Geelong hung on for a controversial one-point win.

If the free kick was awarded, Bailey would almost certainly have kicked a goal and won the match for the Lions.

Instead, the Brisbane side sits 0-2 after two rounds.

“Upon review, we acknowledge that it was a missed free kick on this occasion,” AFL head of umpiring Dan Richardson said.

“By attempting to evade the player with the ball, that’s prior opportunity, and as a result the call should’ve been holding the ball.

“Footy is a game filled with split-second decisions from players, coaches and umpires.

“At any given match, umpires are required to make anywhere between 800 and 1,000 decisions per game.

“In this instance, we didn’t quite get this one right.”

Richardson said the AFL’s umpiring department would “wrap the arms around” O’Gorman this week.

There will be no sanction for the experienced O’Gorman, who made his AFL umpiring debut in 2014 and was named as the emergency umpire for last year’s grand final.

O’Gorman will officiate as planned in round three.

“What I know and have seen of the umpires so far is they’re a resilient bunch, Rob included,” Richardson said.

“He understands we’re all human, we make mistakes, and he’s comfortable with us addressing [this issue] on his behalf today and we’ll move on.”

Blicavs said after the match that Bailey had laid a good tackle, but claimed it did not deserve a free kick.

“I didn’t have prior [opportunity]. It was tough,” he told the ABC.

“I picked it up and there was pressure all over. I tried to get it through (for a rushed behind) but the tackle was bloody good, but yeah, we’ll say play on.”

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan refused to buy in post-match, saying he would not comment on the umpiring.

“I haven’t in the four years I’ve coached, so I’m not going to start now; I don’t think it’s constructive,” he said.

Scott said he felt for umpires trying to make tough calls in the heat of battle.

“I haven’t had a good look at that, I’ll reserve my opinion on that one until I have a look at it,” he said.

“I got caught up in the emotion right towards the end. I’m a big subscriber to the theory that the game is very hard to umpire.”

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Porsche driver Richard Pusey admits to filming the scene of fatal crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway


Porsche driver Richard Pusey has pleaded guilty to outraging public decency after filming the scene of a crash where four police officers died.

Lawyers have been at loggerheads for months over the obscure charge, with a County Court judge even questioning whether it applied to Pusey’s actions.

The 42-year-old ended the stalemate on Wednesday, formally pleading guilty to three charges, including reckless conduct endangering serious injury by driving at high speeds in the lead up to the quadruple fatality on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway.

He also admitted later to possessing MDMA and is expected to plead guilty later to a charge of speeding, held up by an administrative delay.

Senior Constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King and Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney died in the crash, after a truck ploughed into their stationary cars on the side of the road.

The charge of outraging public decency related to Pusey’s actions after the crash, which included filming the scene while making comments including “Amazing. Absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and eat my sushi and now you have f**ked my f**king car”.

His barrister Dermot Dann QC said the largest portion of any sentence handed to Pusey would be for the driving offences rather than outraging public decency.

He said he would ask that Pusey be released after a pre-sentence hearing on March 31, noting his client had confronted some “very difficult circumstances” in the previous two weeks.

Judge Trevor Wraight said there was significant benefit in Pusey’s plea.

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Canberra pub owner arrested after discovery of old videos admits to rapes, other sexual offences | The Canberra Times


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A Canberra pub owner has admitted to repeatedly raping one former partner and illegally sharing intimate images of another, as well as committing sexual offences in the presence of a two-year-old child. The 35-year-old man was arrested in June 2020 after the mother of his first victim, who had been going through family photos, found disturbing evidence of some of his crimes on an old camera memory card. Police documents tendered in court at the time alleged the man had filmed and photographed himself sexually attacking his “heavily unconscious” then-partner during the early hours of New Year’s Day in 2011. Investigators raided three properties on the day they took the man into custody, seizing evidence including cameras and a USB drive. They trawled through vast amounts of graphic material and ultimately charged the pub owner with 45 offences. The man cannot be named for legal reasons. When he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court over the phone from Canberra’s jail on Tuesday morning, he sounded defeated as he pleaded guilty to 22 charges. In relation to the first victim, he admitted to four counts of sexual intercourse without consent and eight counts of committing an act of indecency without consent. Those charges encompassed a total of six rapes and 22 acts of indecency. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of committing an act of indecency in the presence of a child as part of the same series of charges, which stemmed from incidents in 2011 and 2012. The 35-year-old further admitted to seven counts of distributing intimate images of another sexual partner without her consent. Those charges, laid over incidents that occurred in 2017 and 2018, took into account 17 different incidences. The remaining charges were withdrawn as a result of negotiations between prosecutors and defence lawyer Peter Woodhouse. Mr Woodhouse told the court there would be some “tweaking” of two statements of facts before the documents outlining the offender’s crimes were finalised. After taking the pleas from the pub owner, who has been behind bars on remand for almost nine months, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker committed the man to the ACT Supreme Court for sentence. His case will be mentioned there for the first time later this month.

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Samuel Paty: French schoolgirl admits lying about murdered teacher



The student admits she was not in class when Samuel Paty showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Nathan Buckley admits he was ‘dismissive’ of Héritier Lumumba’s claims of racism at Collingwood


Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley admits he inadvertently became a part of the “systemic racism” at the club when he dismissed claims made by former Magpies player Héritier Lumumba in 2017.

Buckley was speaking a month after a report — compiled by an independent review commissioned by Collingwood — was made public in which the club was found guilty of “distinct and egregious” systemic racism.

The report said there was a gap between what the club “stands for and what it does” and found its processes for dealing with internal reports of racism were inadequate.

Lumumba’s personal allegations of racism were a key driver to the review being launched.

Former Magpies players Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer have come forward in recent days to detail their own experiences of racism at the club.

Buckley said he regretted the comments he made in 2017 after the release of the Fair Game documentary that focused on Lumumba’s fight to call out racism at the club.

He said he was “dismissive” of Lumumba’s claims of experiencing racism at the Magpies and he needed to be “better than that”.

“What I now understand is that is a form of systemic racism,” Buckley told the AFL website.

“The dismissing and denial of experience is not a direct act but in many ways it reinforces the pain and trauma that Héritier felt and that Andrew and Leon have spoken about.

“Our internal environment has improved but clearly there’s still work to do and as I said, it’s not about my experience, it’s not about anyone’s experience from a white privileged background, it’s actually about hearing the experiences of people who feel like they’re not being honoured the way they should be.”

Buckley, who played with and coached Lumumba, said the review illustrated it was “long overdue” for the Magpies to acknowledge they needed to overhaul the club’s culture.

“There was a lot of questions, a lot of conversations, and those conversations are the right ones to have,” he said.

“It’s about the experiences of those that feel like they have been marginalised and discriminated against and felt lesser in the environment and that’s over a long period of time.

“There’s a lot of listening that needs to takes place to be acknowledged firstly and then to act on it.”

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire resigned last month in the wake of the report being leaked to the media.

He had labelled the club’s acknowledgment of the report’s findings as representing “a historic and proud day for the Collingwood Football Club” but following significant public criticism of his comments he stepped down from his position eight days later.

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Thomas Tuchel admits seeking Jurgen Klopp advice before Blues move ahead of reunion


Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he sought advice from Jurgen Klopp before making the move to the Premier League.

The Chelsea boss succeeded his compatriot at Borussia Dortmund back in 2015.

He and Klopp have since met on several occasions in European competitions.

They will now meet in England’s top flight for the first time with Tuchel admitting he discussed the league with Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

That meant that when Chelsea came calling he was primed and ready to take up their offer.

Klopp and Guardiola have won the league during their time in England and the Blues boss believes their teams are “the benchmark”.



Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp will renew acquaintances on Thursday

Chelsea and Liverpool are embroiled in a battle for the top four this term and a win for the Blues would see them move four points clear of the outgoing champions.

“No, it was pretty clear what I expected from the Premier League,” he said.

“I mean, I was talking to him and talking to Pep regularly and got their feelings about it when we would meet when I was the coach in Dortmund and in Paris and we’d meet in the Champions League or at [Uefa] coach’s meetings.

“The feedback was always pretty clear and so I stepped into this adventure without his advice.



The now Chelsea boss and Pep Guardiola were in the Bundesliga together
The now Chelsea boss and Pep Guardiola were in the Bundesliga together

“If I called him I hoped he would have called me back, because he does not want to play against me but I’m not sure! No, I’m just joking!

“It’s nice to meet him, it’s always nice to meet him. It’s super hard to play against him and his teams.

“For me Liverpool with Jurgen and Manchester City with Pep are the two teams who are the benchmark, the teams we have to close the gap to.

“This is our target and we are fighting hard for this. And I don’t feel like I fight alone. I have a strong club behind me, and a strong team at my side, so it feels good.”



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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs halfback Kyle Flanagan admits ‘heat is coming’ as he prepares for life in NRL furnace as chief playmaker


“He found me,” Flanagan said. “I was a bit stunned there. He was looking for me, but he has played State of Origin and he has played for Australia so it is always good going up against him.

“I felt that I am the dominant kicker on the team and I can feel the heat coming, but I will have to work on that in my own game and spread my kicking game and the workload across the whole team.”

Kyle Flanagan cops a big hit during the Bulldogs’ trial match against Cronulla on Saturday. Credit:Getty

Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett still has a call on who will partner Flanagan in the halves for Canterbury’s season opener against Newcastle.

Brandon Wakeham wore the No.6 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium with Jake Averillo racing the clock to be fit for round one with a minor injury.

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The Bulldogs have tried to prise Matt Burton from Penrith for this season after the five-eighth agreed to join the Bulldogs from 2022.

The Panthers have so far rebuffed all interest in Burton and even proposed a player swap with Dylan Napa, which Canterbury didn’t consider.

“We’ve got a few that will be racing the clock for round one,” Barrett said. “Averillo, [Ray Faitala]-Mariner, [Dylan] Napa so we’ve just got to get through the next week.”

Luke Thompson will miss the opening four matches of the season for an eye gouge in the final round loss to the Panthers last year.

Barrett was buoyed by the efforts of new boys Flanagan, Nick Cotric, Jack Hetherington and Corey Waddell as his side erased a 12-point half-time deficit to beat the Sharks thanks to a winning try from school teacher Brad Deitz.

“I thought Nick Cotric was pretty good, he had some strong backfield carries and I am still working on my combinations with Corey Allan,” Flanagan said. “Hopefully Jake Averillo comes back in the next few weeks for round one but I thought it was a good start.”

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Facebook admits snap Australian news ban ‘erred on over-enforcement’ as media code passes parliament


Facebook has admitted it “erred on the side of over-enforcement” when it abruptly moved to block publishers and users in Australia from sharing or viewing news content, but defended its initial opposition to the government’s media bargaining code.

It comes as amended legislation for the world-first code clears federal parliament.

The government’s bill received the final tick of approval on Thursday when parliament’s lower house agreed to changes, which were made after negotiations with Facebook.

Facebook’s ban last week saw some non-news pages including domestic violence support services, government health bodies and emergency services briefly blocked. 

In a blog post titled ‘The Real Story of What Happened With News on Facebook in Australia’ on Wednesday night (AEDT), the tech giant said the snap decision to block news sharing “wasn’t taken lightly”.

“But when it came, we had to take action quickly because it was legally necessary to do so before the new law came into force, and so we erred on the side of over-enforcement,” Nick Clegg, a former UK deputy prime minister who is now Facebook’s vice-president of global affairs and communications, wrote in the post.

“In doing so, some content was blocked inadvertently. Much of this was, thankfully, reversed quickly.”

Sir Nick said while the decision may have appeared to come out of the blue, that wasn’t the case.

“We’ve been in discussions with the Australian government for three years trying to explain why this proposed law, unamended, was unworkable,” he said.

Sir Nick said that while it was “understandable” that some news publishers “see Facebook as a potential source of money to make up for their losses”, it would not have been fair to be able to demand a “blank cheque”.

“Facebook would have been forced to pay potentially unlimited amounts of money to multinational media conglomerates under an arbitration system that deliberately misdescribes the relationship between publishers and Facebook – without even so much as a guarantee that it is used to pay for journalism, let alone support smaller publishers.”

He argued it was “like forcing carmakers to fund radio stations because people might listen to them in the car, and letting the stations set the price”.

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Meanwhile, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims is confident the heavily amended code will still curtail the immense market power of digital platforms.

“Google and Facebook need media but they don’t need any particular company and that (previously) meant media companies couldn’t do commercial deals with Facebook or Google,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.

“The purpose of the code is to give them the potential for arbitration, which helps their bargaining position, and therefore helps them reach fair commercial deals.”

Both Google and Facebook signed deals with major Australian news companies before the negotiating rules were enshrined in law.

So far, large media organisations including News Corp and Nine have been the main beneficiaries of deals struck.

“In any situation like this you would expect deals to be done with the bigger players first and then work down the list,” Mr Sims said.

“Given this is supporting journalism, it’s naturally going to see more money going to those who’ve got the most journalists but I don’t see any reason why anybody should doubt that all journalism will benefit.”

Mr Sims expects the online giants to seal deals with smaller players in time.

“I just don’t see why Google and Facebook would leave them out,” he said.

“I couldn’t see why you wouldn’t do deals with them, given it’s not going to cost you that much compared to what it’s going to cost for those that employ the vast bulk of journalists.”

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Woman admits killing maid; starved her to 24kg and assaulted her almost daily in ‘utterly inhumane’ case


SINGAPORE: Five months into her new maid’s employment, a woman began abusing the domestic helper from Myanmar, punching and stamping on her and starving her until she was only 24kg.

In the days before the 24-year-old victim died of brain injury with severe blunt trauma to her neck, she was starved and tied to a window grille at night and assaulted if she tried to rummage for food from the dustbin.

Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Feb 23) to 28 charges including culpable homicide, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by starvation, voluntarily causing hurt by a heated substance and wrongful restraint. Another 87 charges will be considered in sentencing.

The prosecution is seeking life imprisonment – but the judge adjourned sentencing to a later date as he considers the case.

SHE CAME TO SINGAPORE FOR HER FIRST OVERSEAS JOB

The court heard that the victim, Myanmar national Piang Ngaih Don, came to Singapore to work for Gaiyathiri in May 2015 in what was her first job overseas as she was poor and needed to support her three-year-old son.

She agreed to Gaiyathiri’s conditions of employment – not to have a handphone or any day off, as Gaiyathiri did not want her to mix with other maids, in return for more pay and home rest.

Gaiyathiri grew unhappy with the victim soon after she began working for the household – which comprised Gaiyathiri, her husband, Gaiyathiri’s mother and co-accused Prema Naraynasamy, Gaiyathiri’s two children and two tenants.

Finding that the victim was slow, unhygienic and ate too much, Gaiyathiri established a strict set of rules that the victim had to obey. Initially, she responded to a breaking of these rules by shouting, but began physically abusing the helper from October 2015.

Closed-circuit television footage from cameras installed in the house to monitor the victim and the children showed the abuse carried out in the last 35 days of the victim’s life.

She was given only little food including sliced bread soaked in water, cold food from the fridge or some rice, and allowed to sleep for about five hours a night. She lost 15kg during her employment, losing about 38 per cent of her body weight in about 14 months. 

She was given no privacy – being forced to shower and go to the toilet with the door open while Gaiyathiri or Prema watched – and wore multiple layers of face masks as Gaiyathiri found her dirty and did not want to look at her face.

Gaiyathiri assaulted the victim almost daily, often several times a day, by slapping, pushing, punching and kicking her. She also stamped on the helper while she was on the floor, and attacked her with objects including a broom, a metal ladle and other hard objects.

She also lifted the helper up by her hair, grabbed it and shook her violently and pulled out a clump of her hair. On one occasion in June 2016, Gaiyathiri approached the victim while she was ironing clothes and pressed the hot iron against her forehead. Before shifting the iron to the victim’s forearm, Gaiyathiri said: “If you like to burn people thing, how would you like if I burn your hand”.

The court was shown multiple clips of the abuse. The victim appeared frail and with her hair tied up in knots that Gaiyathiri would hold onto while flinging her around. She was shown doing her chores, with Gaiyathiri approaching her and assaulting her, throwing her around like a ragdoll. The victim did not retaliate.

During the 12 nights before her death, the victim had her hands tied by a string to a window grille, so that she would not leave the room. She was not given medical treatment for her wounds, and was last taken to a clinic in May 2016 for a runny nose, cough and swelling on her legs.

When the helper removed her face mask and sunglasses in the clinic, the doctor saw bruises around her eye sockets and cheeks, but Gaiyathiri explained these away by saying the victim fell down frequently as she was clumsy.

She turned down the doctor’s suggestions for further tests of the victim’s swollen legs, as there could be underlying conditions.

THE NIGHT OF THE INCIDENT

The assault that led to the victim’s death occurred from the night of Jul 25, 2016 into the morning of Jul 26, 2016.

The helper was doing laundry at about 11.40pm on Jul 25, 2016 when Gaiyathiri felt she was too slow. She hit her with a clenched fist, pulled her hair and told her to move faster. When the victim began swaying on her feet at the entrance to the toilet, Gaiyathiri told her not to “dance”, before striking her head with a detergent bottle.

The victim fell backward, grew disorientated and could not stand up after her legs gave out from under her. Gaiyathiri called Prema over, and together they assaulted the victim, splashing water on her. Prema dragged the victim across the kitchen and living room to the bedroom, where Gaiyathiri kicked her in the stomach and Prema punched and strangled her.

When the victim asked Gaiyathiri if she could have dinner, Gaiyathiri replied that she had given her food earlier but she was too sleepy to eat at that time. She could now sleep without dinner, said Gaiyathiri.

She tied the victim’s wrist forcefully to the window grille just before midnight and kicked her in the stomach, before leaving her on the floor in wet clothes.

Around 5am, Gaiyathiri tried to wake the victim up, but she did not rouse. Angered, Gaiyathiri kicked and stamped on the woman’s head and neck repeatedly, lifted her up by her hair and pulled her head so that her neck extended backwards and strangled her.

Prema was also in the room and tried to wake the victim up. When the woman remained motionless, the two women grew concerned. Their attempts to revive her were futile, but they left her there until 9.22am when Prema propped the victim up and tried to feed her a cup of Nestum cereal beverage while warming her hands and legs.

After Prema suggested they call a doctor as the victim was not moving, Gaiyathiri called the clinic for a house call, lying that she had found the victim on the kitchen floor and believed she had fallen.

When the doctor asked her to call an ambulance as she could arrive only later, Gaiyathiri insisted on waiting. While Prema and Gaiyathiri waited, they changed the victim out of her wet clothes and carried her to the sofa.

When the doctor arrived at about 10.50am, she saw the victim lying on the sofa with a gaping mouth, no pulse, cold skin and fixed and dilated pupils. She told the two women that the victim was dead and asked them to call the police.

PRETENDED TO BE SHOCKED, CLAIMED VICTIM HAD BEEN MOVING

Gaiyathiri and Prema expressed shock and claimed that the victim had been moving minutes before the doctor arrived, and asked if they could call an ambulance instead. The doctor insisted that she would wait for the police to arrive and asked Gaiyathiri if she had fed or beaten the victim, as she was very thin, even thinner than her last clinic visit.

Prema replied that the victim “ate a lot”, and the doctor eventually called the police herself. Paramedics pronounced her dead at 11.30am, while the police asked Gaiyathiri why she had not called for an ambulance. Gaiyathiri replied that the victim’s condition was “not serious” and that she was “only weak”.

An autopsy found 31 recent scars and 47 external injuries on the victim’s body. She had died of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy – a type of brain injury – with severe blunt trauma to the neck. She was emaciated and in a poor nutritional state and would have died of starvation if it had been sustained further.

The doctor found that the repeated choking of the victim had led to the brain injury, and that Gaiyathiri holding the victim by the neck and shaking her like a rag doll is likely to have fractured the victim’s hyoid bone in her throat.

The fracture itself was not fatal, but indicated a very violent blow, and the degree of force could be the tipping point that led to irreversible damage in the brain, with the victim’s poor nutrition compounding her inability to tolerate the neck trauma.

Gaiyathiri was assessed multiple times by psychiatrists, with a 2019 report concluding that she suffered from major depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), both of which substantially contributed to her offences.

She qualified for the defence of diminished responsibility, with her OCPD a significant risk factor for aggravating the severity of depressive symptoms of peripartum onset. It would have worsened her depression to an extent that partially impaired her mental responsibility for her actions, the court heard.

PROSECUTION SEEKS LIFE IMPRISONMENT

The prosecution, led by Senior Counsel Mohamed Faizal, asked for life imprisonment, saying that this is the only sentence “that would speak to the harms that have been occasioned and the outrage felt by the community by such a shocking series of events”.

He said Gaiyathiri abused, starved, tortured and ultimately killed the 24-year-old helper in a manner that would shock anyone’s conscience.

“Words like heinous, cruel and ‘inhuman’ are often used in submissions like these. But rare is a case where even such hyperbole cannot fully capture the indisputable horror and monstrosity of the crimes by an accused person. This is a case where, simply put, words fail us,” he said.

“That one human being would treat another in this evil and utterly inhumane manner is cause for the righteous anger of the court; and the law must come down with full force to appropriately vindicate the fundamental values of society and human dignity that have been violated in this case.”

Defence lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Diana Ngiam asked instead for 14 years’ jail. Mr Sudheesan said “life imprisonment is not necessary”, adding that “anger is for the mob, but sagacity and temperance are for the court”.

He said his client’s story is “quite a tragic one”. She had suffered from postpartum depression from February 2015, which was exacerbated by an abortion she had a year later, and her rationality “was compromised”.

“She is very sorry. She begs this court for mercy and she promises this court that she will continue with all the treatments necessary for her well-being,” said the lawyer.

Parties will return at a later date for sentencing. The penalties for culpable homicide not amounting to murder are life imprisonment and caning, or up to 20 years’ jail, a fine and caning. Women cannot be caned.

Prema’s case is pending, while Gaiyathiri’s husband also faces pending charges for maid abuse.

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Australia’s David Warner admits he will face pain from his groin injury for most of 2021 ahead of Ashes series



Australia opener David Warner has admitted the groin injury that kept him out of half of the Test series against India over the new year might still be causing him pain for another nine months.

The 34-year-old, who sustained the injury in an ODI against India in November, missed the first two Tests against the tourists before playing partially fit for the remainder of the series as Australia slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

The left-handed batsman will be key to Australia’s hopes of retaining the Ashes when England tour at the end of this year.

However, Warner said he might not be playing pain-free until just before that series.

“I am almost back to full 100 per cent sprinting in a straight line,” he said while commentating on Australia’s first Twenty20 against New Zealand on Monday.

“This next week is getting back to fielding, picking up, throwing — very difficult that was, last couple of weeks, even trying to throw.

“Now it’s all about lateral (movement), running between wickets, building that up.

“It’s just the tendon that has got that slight tear in it now.

Warner, who was scheduled to captain Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in April, was selected for Australia’s Test tour of South Africa, but that was aborted because of health concerns.

He said he had spoken with other athletes who had suffered similar injuries.

“They have just said it’s a niggle,” Warner added.

“It’s just getting back that confidence to sidestep and run as hard as I can and dive around again. Once I get that, I will be right to go. It’s just not 100 per cent there yet.”

Reuters

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