A man accused of the notorious murder of two police officers will have to continue the fight for his freedom from behind bars, after Victoria’s highest court knocked back his plea to be released on bail.
Jason Roberts, 40, has already spent more than half his life in prison over his alleged role in the killings of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller in 1998, but still maintains his innocence.
Late last year, his convictions were overturned and a new trial was ordered after it was revealed that a key piece of evidence used to convict him was fabricated.
He applied for bail a short time later in the hopes of firming up his defence while in the community, but his request was knocked back by the Supreme Court which said that if he were to be found guilty again, he would have only served a “mere fraction” of his sentence.
Mr Roberts challenged the decision in Victoria’s Court of Appeal, but today that was also knocked back.
“The appeal must be dismissed,” wrote Justices Chris Maxwell, Richard Niall and Karin Emerton.
“Put simply, he was in prison serving a sentence which was valid until it was set aside,” the justices said.
“At no point during the period after his conviction was he in custody awaiting trial. In no sense were the prosecuting authorities slow to bring him to trial.”
Today’s decision means Mr Roberts will remain in Victoria’s maximum-security Barwon Prison.
The slaying of the two police officers, which is known as the Silk-Miller murders, has been one of Victoria’s most well-documented crimes.
On August 16, 1998, Sergeant Silk and Senior Constable Miller were lying in wait for two unknown men who police believed were responsible for a series of armed robberies in Melbourne’s south-east.
Shortly after midnight, they pulled over a car outside the Silky Emperor Restaurant on Cochranes Road in Moorabbin, when they were shot and killed.
After a four-and-a-half-month trial, a jury convicted Mr Roberts and another man, Bandali Debs, over the murders of the two officers in 2002.
Mr Roberts has always maintained his innocence.
He was 17 at the time of the killings and was ordered to serve 35 years before he was eligible for parole.
He now admits he was committing the armed robberies.
Debs was sentenced to life in prison without parole, with the sentencing judge telling him: “Life means life.”
By 2005, Mr Roberts had already exhausted all his avenues for appeal, including in Australia’s High Court.
In 2019, Victoria’s Parliament passed a new law which allowed a second appeal if there was fresh and compelling evidence, a provision which Mr Roberts’s lawyers seized on.
A key piece of evidence used to convict the men was a collection of statements from police officers on the scene who heard Senior Constable Miller declare that two men were responsible for the shooting.
But in 2019, Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) uncovered that one of those statements, prepared by Senior Constable Glenn Pullin, was made months — and not hours — after the shooting.
The statement was backdated, and did not explain that Senior Constable Pullin was not listening carefully to what later became known as the “dying declarations” of Senior Constable Miller, but was instead comforting him.
The discovery was significant because prosecutors relied on Senior Constable Pullin’s evidence to back the suggestion there were two offenders, and corroborate other police accounts.
Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and seeing this article regarding “News in the City of Melbourne titled “Jason Roberts bail application denied, as accused murderer awaits retrial over Silk-Miller killings”. This article was presented by MyLocalPages as part of our local and national events & news stories services.
The bodies of Iuliana Triscaru, 31, and Cory Breton, 28, were discovered in Scrubby Creek in Logan by police in February 2016.
The pair was last seen alive 18 days prior.
On the first day of their Supreme Court trial in Brisbane, Stou Daniels, Davy Taiao, Waylon Walker and Trent Thrupp pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.
Mr Thrupp pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of manslaughter but his plea was not accepted by the crown.
Mr Daniels, Mr Taiao and Mr Thrupp also pleaded not guilty to two counts of torture.
Prosecutor David Meredith said the crown would allege Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru were lured to a unit at Kingston over a drug dispute, where they were physically assaulted and bound with zip ties and tape.
Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and checking this article regarding “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” titled “Men accused of ‘barbaric’ toolbox killings plead not guilty to murder of Iuliana Triscaru and Cory Breton”. This news update was posted by My Local Pages as part of our local events, news and stories aggregator services.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a new investigation into alleged extra-judicial killings carried out by security forces in Russia’s Chechnya. Reportedly, at least 27 people were killed in the region’s capital, Grozny, in January 2017. In the first part of the investigation, published on Monday, February 15, correspondent Elena Milashina references official documents allegedly obtained from the Chechen Interior Ministry, which indicate that law enforcement officers did in fact detain a number of the deceased. According to police officials in the region, however, these arrests never took place. Meduza summarizes the main findings from the investigation.
Thank you for spending your time with us on My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking this article involving the latest Russian News items named “Executed in Russia. ‘Novaya Gazeta’ investigation reveals evidence of extra-judicial killings in Chechnya”. This article is shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our national news services.
ON A DARK evening in November, Dan Lethbridge, a Cornish sheep farmer, came across a blood-soaked lamb. Disconcerted, he fetched his quad bike to survey his flock. Soon he had counted 18 carcasses. Some had missing ears and mutilated faces. Others were hanging limp from electric fences. They had clearly been attacked by a dog. There was another vicious canine slaughter in January, when Mr Lethbridge lost three ewes. Both culprits are still at large.
Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android.
Attacks on sheep were rising before covid-19 struck because, according to NFU Mutual, a rural insurer, more dogs were left alone to rampage around the countryside. Lockdown, which has trapped people at home with their pets, should have mitigated that problem. Yet the cost of dog attacks on farm animals increased by a tenth in 2020 to £1.3m ($1.8m). Single episodes can have a big impact. In January, a farmer in Monmouthshire lost 50 pregnant ewes, each carrying at least two lambs, to a dog.
Britain’s sheep are the victims of two seemingly innocent covid-19-related trends. The first is a boom in rambling. A shortage of other entertainments has led many Britons to take to the nation’s footpaths. Stuart Roberts, deputy president of the National Farmers Union, says visitors on his land have trebled. On one day he counted 3,000 walkers.
Their arrival has disturbed an ancient but delicate relationship between farmers and wanderers. British walkers have unusually free access to farmland, through a network of footpaths that often cut through fields in which animals graze. Farmers sometimes resent this, but tradition and the law require them to put up with it. Now the impact has become more troublesome. Footpaths are getting wider, crops are being trampled and gates left open. “They don’t know how to respect the land,” says Mr Lethbridge.
Lockdown has also led to a boom in dog-buying, with the result that many virgin ramblers are accompanied by new pooches. First-time owners may be ignorant of the ways of both dogs and the countryside. NFU Mutual’s survey found 64% of owners let dogs roam free, but only 40% knew they could kill livestock. “Most people don’t realise that their lovely little fluffy pet, which is adorable at home, can suddenly get in among sheep and just go ‘Death’,” says Tobin Bird, a sheep farmer who runs “Sheep Proof Your Dog”, a training course for dog owners. He teaches them “to be top dog” and to go easy on positive reinforcement, because: “a treat means nothing when a dog is in full flight.” Whenever a local farmer shoots a bloodthirsty mutt, demand for his services rises.
This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “Killing fields”
Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and seeing this post on United Kingdom and Political news titled “Country life – More killings of sheep by dogs shows a delicate rural balance out of kilter | Britain”. This post was brought to you by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local news services.
Northern Territory Police are investigating a spate of cattle and buffalo killings on properties along the Arnhem Highway, south-east of Darwin.
WARNING: This story contains details and images that readers may find distressing.
The NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) said three brahman cattle and two buffalo were targeted with a similar weapon in the past few weeks, prompting it to renew calls for a dedicated stock squad to be established within the NT Police.
Police confirmed two cattle were shot with arrows on Annaburroo Station, about 120 kilometres south-east of Darwin, on separate occasions this month.
Station manager Adrian Phillips said a bull, worth $6,000, was targeted on the roadside on January 2.
“All of my family know this bull very well — my daughter calls him ‘Dopey,'” he said.
“He can walk up to you and lick you in the paddock, he is that quiet.”
Mr Phillips said the bull seemed to have been shot in the lung and had probably died a slow and painful death.
He said one of the station’s heifers, worth about $1,200, was also shot with arrows on January 16.
The culprits beheaded and partially butchered the animal.
“I am pretty passionate about this job, I do it 365 days of the year,” Mr Phillips said.
NT Police Deputy Commissioner Murray Smalpage said the incidents at Annaburroo were under investigation.
Breeding herd buffalo shot
Two buffalo at the Beatrice Hill Research Station, 65km south-east of Darwin on Arnhem Highway, were shot with a similar weapon between Christmas and the end of last year, according to the NT Buffalo Industry Council.
Chief executive Louise Bilato said the buffalo were part of a valuable breeding program at the research facility.
“They’re 100 per cent riverine buffalo, so when they’re sold to dairy farms around Australia they can fetch [up to] $3,500,” she said.
“The purpose of that riverine herd at the research station is very much for future research, and their genetics have been developed for an extended period of time.
“So it is very distressing for us to hear about those animals being killed.”
NTCA acting chief executive Romy Carey said incidents such as these were callous and cruel but not uncommon.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” she said.
The NTCA receives up to 10 reports of stock theft or unlawful slaughter a week, according to Mrs Carey.
“The NTCA is continuing to call for an NT stock squad dedicated to dealing with crimes like these,” she said.
Mrs Carey said many crimes of this type were left unsolved because of the lengthy travel and lack of specialised skills required to investigate stock-related matters.
Thanks for dropping by and checking out this story on current Northern Territory News called “Annaburroo Station, Beatrice Hill Research Station report arrow killings of cattle and buffalo”. This news article is shared by My Local Pages as part of our news aggregator services.
Russian authorities have detained a man suspected of murdering dozens of elderly women in the republic of Tatarstan and nearby regions nearly a decade ago.
Unofficially known as the “Volga maniac,” the murderer has been linked to the killings of anywhere from 19 to 32 female pensioners, most of whom were strangled to death between March 2011 and September 2012. Investigators said that the suspect may have posed as a social services worker to enter the apartments of the women, who were between 75 and 90 years old and lived alone.
Radik Tagirov, 38, was detained by law enforcement officers in Kazan on Tuesday as part of a criminal investigation into 26 of the murders, the Investigative Committee that probes major crimes said.
Tagirov confessed following his detention, investigators said.
He had previously been convicted in 2009 for theft.
The Realnoye Vremya (Real Time) news website reported, citing law enforcement sources, that the suspect was identified using DNA evidence obtained from the crime scenes.
Nine of the murders took place in Kazan and the rest took place in Samara, Saratov, Chelyabinsk, Ekaterinburg, Perm, Izhevsk, Ufa and other cities.
In 2017, federal investigators announced a 3 million ruble ($40,000) reward for information that would help identify the killer.
The United Nations has once again voiced its consternation about the tense political situation in Indonesia’s Papua region, after months of escalating tensions between the authorities and pro-independence activists.
In a statement dated November 30, U.N. Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani pointed to a rash of violence and arrests that have taken place since the killing by separatists of 16 laborers working on the Trans-Papua highway in 2018.
“Military and security forces have been reinforced in the region and there have been repeated reports of extra-judicial killings, excessive use of force, arrest and continuous harassment and intimidation of protesters and human rights defenders,” the U.N. statement claims.
In particular, Shamdasani referenced a November 22 incident in which a 17-year-old was shot dead and another 17-year-old injured in an alleged police shootout in the Gome district of West Papua province. This came after a “disturbing” series of killings of at least six individuals in September and October, including activists and church workers. At least two members of the Indonesian security forces were also killed in clashes.
Indonesia’s Papua and West Papua provinces, which form the western half of the island of New Guinea, have seen a simmering separatist conflict since Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in a deeply flawed referendum in 1969. The Indonesian state’s attempts to quash the insurgency led by the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM) have resulted in a perennial crop of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, disappearances, restrictions on residents’ movement and freedom of expression, and even drawn accusations of genocide.
Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Despite its longevity, the situation in the Indonesian provinces of Papua rarely garners sustained international attention, in large part because the Indonesian government has made it hugely difficult for outside journalists and human rights monitors to gain access to the region.
Much of the recent discord has been linked to the Special Autonomy Law, which was passed in 2001 in order to give Papua and West Papua provinces more political autonomy and a larger share of revenue from the region’s rich natural resources.
The Special Autonomy Law is set to expire next year, and many independence-inclined Papuans have opposed its renewal, claiming that it has been used to short circuit aspirations for independence while doing little to improve the lot of ordinary people. In late September, police fired live ammunition in order to disperse crowds protesting against the Special Autonomy Law in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province. Demonstrators were also demanding a referendum on secession from Indonesia, something promised to the country at the end of Dutch colonial rule in 1962. Many were holding the Papuan national flag – the Bintang Kejora, or “Morning Star.”
The U.N. statement also pointed to the arrests of at least 84 people on November 17. These included Wensislaus Fatuban, a well-known human rights defender and human rights advisor to the Papuan People’s Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua, or MRP) and seven MRP staff members. The arrests came ahead of a public consultation organized by the MRP on the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law. Fatuban and the other council members were released the following day.
The recent violence is just the latest sign of the wide gulf separating the national aspirations of the Papuans, press-ganged into the Indonesian republic in 1969, and the central Indonesian government, which has battled a rash of regional rebellions since independence, and views each as a potentially existential challenge to the integrity of the republic.
As the U.N. rightly points out, there is an “urgent need for a platform for meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua, to address longstanding economic, social and political grievances.” Absent this understanding, Papua will likely remain one of Southeast Asia’s most sadly intractable conflicts.
The FBI’s annual report showed that, broadly, hate crimes rose 2.7 per cent in 2019, after declining slightly the year before. Bias crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation stayed level, with 1195 reported incidents.
The FBI’s hate crimes data is the most comprehensive in the country, but critics say it offers an incomplete portrait of bias incidents due to the small percentage of police agencies that report such crimes to the FBI.
Last year’s data also marked a downturn in the overall number of police agencies providing crime data to the FBI, from 16,039 to 15,558. And within that smaller figure, only 2,172, or 14 per cent, reported one or more hate crimes occurring in their jurisdiction. Advocates say that suggests these types of crimes are still underreported.
Margaret Huang, the president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which tracks hate groups, said the figures “do not tell the full story. Hate crimes are consistently underreported due to the federal government’s failure to mandate hate crime data collection at the state and local levels.”
The August 3, 2019, shooting in El Paso left 22 dead and injured dozens of others. The man charged in that shooting confessed after his arrest and, according to authorities, said he was targeting “Mexicans.” Officials said the accused gunman wrote an online statement beforehand that denounced immigrants.
A 23rd victim of the shooting, 36-year-old Guillermo Garcia, died this year from injuries sustained in the shooting. Garcia was at the Walmart to raise money for his daughter’s soccer team, and was shot three times while attempting to protect his family from the gunfire, according to local reports.
The accused gunman, who was 21 years old at the time of the shooting, has been charged in both state and federal court, and faces the prospect of the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.
The El Paso shooting was one of 18 bias-motivated incidents that resulted in death last year, according to FBI data, compared to 13 the year before. Even without the Texas spree shooting, the number of people killed in bias attacks last year still increased, from 24 to 29.
The data also show how mass shootings have played a large role in hate-motivated murder and manslaughter in the last two years. In 2018, nearly half of those killed in hate crimes were due to a single incident: a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in which officials say the gunmen set out to kill Jewish people.
Michelle Bachelet called for an inquiry into reports that scores and maybe hundreds of people had been stabbed and hacked to death in Mai-Kadra (May Cadera), a town in the South West Zone of Tigray.
There have been long-standing tensions between Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls Tigray, the country’s northernmost state.
Prime Minister Abiy ordered a military operation against the TPLF earlier this month after he accused them of attacking a military camp hosting federal troops – claims the TPLF also deny. There have since been a number of clashes and air strikes in Tigray.
The conflict has forced thousands of civilians to cross the border into Sudan, which says it will shelter them in a refugee camp.
An unexpected revelation by the RCMP about the early moments of a murderous shooting spree last April in Nova Scotia has prompted fresh criticism from families of the victims and their lawyers.
Although police initially said the gunman fled the scene of the first killings about nine minutes after officers arrived in the rural community of Portapique on the evening of April 18, they’ve now revised this description of events.
The RCMP told Global News in emails that the gunman is now believed to have escaped roughly 19 minutes after the first responding officers arrived at the scene. The emails were sent in response to questions for a 13-part investigative podcast launched by Global News on Nov. 9.
Three families whose relatives were killed in the shootings told Global News police didn’t tell them about the new information. A lawyer representing the families in a proposed class action lawsuit also said she only learned the new details about what happened in Portapique from Global News.
Story continues below advertisement
“This is news, I think, to all of us,” said Jon Farrington, whose parents Dawn and Frank Gulenchyn were killed in Portapique.
“It makes no (sense) how something like this could happen with police presence right around him.”
Son of Nova Scotia shooting victims upset by lack of information from police
Son of Nova Scotia shooting victims upset by lack of information from police
Farrington’s parents were among the 13 people killed in Portapique, where the gunman, Gabriel Wortman, owned a cottage and had spent most of his time during the early weeks of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The gunman would go on to kill nine other people after he escaped Portapique in a 13-hour-long spree, burning multiple homes and vehicles to the ground.
Meanwhile, court documents reveal that a man told the first officers who arrived at the scene in Portapique at 10:26 p.m. on April 18 that a neighbour named “Gabe” had shot him.
Story continues below advertisement
The witness also told police that the gunman was driving what looked like a real police vehicle and that he’d just lit the Gulenchyns’ house on fire.
Another eyewitness who lives near Portapique the night of the shootings told Global News that police did not block off the highway the gunman used to escape the area until after 10:45 that night.
Laurie George said he saw the fires burning from his backyard and went to investigate, driving past the intersection of Highway 2 and Portapique Beach Road. He saw RCMP vehicles, but said he was not stopped by police initially.
Story continues below advertisement
George took photos of fire burning at what appears to be the gunman’s cottage based on its location and proximity to the water. The photos are time-stamped at 10:40 p.m. — roughly 14 minutes after police first arrived on the scene.
George then drove back to his home, about five minutes away, and picked up his wife, he said. They tried to return to the scene of the fires, but this time police turned them away, near the turn-off to Portapique Beach Road.
Global News asked the RCMP what time they set up a roadblock on Highway 2. The RCMP did not respond to this question.
The RCMP has previously said they set up a “four square kilometre” perimeter surrounding the area of Portapique where the killings occurred. Police have not said exactly when and where these perimeters were established.
Story continues below advertisement
As Global News previously reported, the RCMP’s only Atlantic-based helicopter was “undergoing routine maintenance” the weekend of the shootings and was therefore unavailable to assist with the manhunt.
Although the RCMP initially told reporters it requested air support as part of its response to the incident, it didn’t call on two nearby Air Force bases, which have helicopters capable of nighttime search and rescue missions.
The RCMP have told Global News they were eventually able to secure a helicopter owned by the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry to assist with the search.
Policing expert criticizes RCMP response to N.S. shooting
Policing expert criticizes RCMP response to N.S. shooting – Oct 22, 2020
Victims’ family members have identified this as a key failing of the RCMP’s response to the shootings in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the force and the province.
Story continues below advertisement
The families’ lawyers have also criticized the RCMP for not providing timely and meaningful updates.
“I think it has to raise some red flags about the response,” said the families’ lawyer Sandra McCulloch.
“Obviously, having twice as much time to assess the situation and make a response to the situation, it can’t but give rise to concerns about what was done or not done that night.”
Global News asked the RCMP when and why their description of how Wortman escaped Portapique had changed. The RCMP did not answer these questions.
The RCMP also declined a request to be interviewed for this story.
It’s not unusual for police or witnesses to provide conflicting descriptions of events during an ongoing criminal investigation. In this case, it isn’t clear whether police spoke to any witnesses who changed their description of events.
Police should provide more info
Farrington said what’s most upsetting about the new information about when the gunman might have escaped Portapique is that he learned it from the media.
This echoes comments made by other victims’ family members who’ve said they feel like they’re being kept in the dark and that the RCMP isn’t doing enough to keep them informed of the ongoing investigation.
Story continues below advertisement
“If you guys already know and the public already know, why not the families?” Farrington said.
‘It’s hurtful: Victim’s son criticizes RCMP communication about Nova Scotia shooting
‘It’s hurtful: Victim’s son criticizes RCMP communication about Nova Scotia shooting – Aug 27, 2020
Farrington said he knows the job police are tasked with is a difficult one, but he expected police would have done more to communicate with families about important developments in the investigation.
“A simple phone call, like, ‘Guys, how’s it going? No news.’ It’s better than being silent,” he said. “It makes us feel like, you know, you’re not working on the case at all.”
Darryl Davies, a criminology instructor at Carleton University, said it’s unlikely there’s anything the RCMP could have done to save the 13 people who were murdered in Portapique the night the shooting spree began.
“Because of the few officers there (in Portapique), I don’t think they had a snowball’s chance in hell of doing anything to save lives,” Davies said. “I think they were lucky they saved their own given the way this played out.”
Story continues below advertisement
Still, he said, he is concerned about other aspects of the police response, including the RCMP’s decision not to use the province’s emergency alert system to warn the public about the danger.
“The RCMP have failed in the last decade to bring about the kinds of changes that we need in Canada for this national police service to respond to these kinds of crises,” Davies said.
Could an RCMP cousin have done anything about the Nova Scotia gunman’s alleged crime, violence?
Could an RCMP cousin have done anything about the Nova Scotia gunman’s alleged crime, violence? – Oct 9, 2020
During a June 4 press conference, RCMP Chief Supt. Chris Leather said investigators would provide “timely and accurate updates in the coming days and weeks.”
That was the last press conference the RCMP held to discuss the Nova Scotia shooting and the last time investigators faced questions from the media in a public setting.
In July, the federal government and Nova Scotia announced a public inquiry into the shootings and the RCMP’s response to the tragedy, reversing an earlier decision.
The inquiry will look into a wide range of issues related to the killing spree, including the RCMP’s immediate response, the force’s decision not to use the emergency alert system to warn the public, and the way officers have communicated with victims’ families.
The inquiry must deliver an interim report by May 1, 2022, followed by a final report that is due six months later. The reports will first be delivered to the federal and Nova Scotia governments, which will then decide when to release them.
The RCMP have also said they assigned a family liaison officer to work with the victims’ families and to keep them updated with developments of the ongoing investigation.
This officer was assigned as part of the RCMP’s critical incident response immediately after the shooting spree. The RCMP said the family liaison provides information to victims’ families before giving it to the media.