In handing down her sentence Thursday, Magistrate Winnie Lau said that while “an egg is not a weapon of mass destruction,” the throwing of such items at a police station provoked “discontent” with the force, undermined officers’ law enforcement actions, and endangered society, according to public broadcaster RTHK.
The large number of prosecutions, as well as pressure for tough sentences, has put judges in a delicate position, particularly as Beijing has tightened its grip on the semi-autonomous city this year. In July, Chinese authorities introduced a national security law for Hong Kong, bypassing the city’s legislature to criminalize secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces.
Judges seen as overly lenient or sympathetic toward protesters have come in for criticism from Chinese state media and pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong. Writing in the state-run China Daily in September, one commentator said that “in theory, judges must not take political sides in a court of law, but in Hong Kong many members of the public now see some judges as ‘yellow judges’ who practice political favoritism for offenders from the opposition camp.”
In a statement this week, the Hong Kong Bar Association said it “deplores irrational and unrestrained attacks on the Judiciary and members of the Judiciary” and urged media to stop speculating on the political beliefs of judges.
Some judges have also come under fire for showing alleged bias against protesters. In May, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma removed District Court judge Kwok Wai-kin from protest cases after he described a man who had stabbed three people at a pro-democracy “Lennon wall” as a “victim” whose livelihood had been affected by people “behaving like terrorists.”
“Judges have a responsibility under the Basic Law, owed to the community, to exercise independent judicial power by adjudicating on cases fairly and impartially, without fear or favour,” Ma said in a statement.
Hong Kong has long prized its independent judiciary and rule of law, characteristics which set the city apart from mainland China, where courts are subject to the whims of the ruling Communist Party, and some 99% of cases end in a guilty verdict.
This independence has become all the more important as political dissent has been increasingly curtailed by the new security law. Last week, the entirety of the democratic opposition resigned from the city’s legislature after authorities in Beijing moved to expel several lawmakers.
Meanwhile, RTHK reported Thursday that the Hong Kong government would soon require all civil servants to swear an oath of allegiance.
And there are signs Hong Kong may be moving toward a more-politicized judicial system too. Since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, during which large numbers of mostly young people came out in support of increased political representation, the government has been accused of waging “lawfare” on activists and protesters, bringing large numbers of prosecutions and demanding tough penalties. The Beijing government has also intervened in several cases in recent years, exercising a previously rarely-used constitutional power to rewrite the city’s laws.
Earlier this month, Zhang Xiaoming, one of the top Chinese officials in Hong Kong, said that “reforms” were needed for the city’s judiciary, and that “the word ‘patriotism’ should be added before the core values of democracy, freedom and human rights advocated by Hong Kong society.”
“We must defend the city’s rule of law, but we must also safeguard the national constitutional order,” Zhang said, adding that many “problems” had been exposed in the city’s de facto constitution that needed to be addressed.
Speaking during her annual policy address on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the national security law was already having the desired effect.
The law had been “remarkably effective in restoring stability in Hong Kong,” she said, and had brought an end to protests.
Lam added that the city’s Department of Justice “will continue to showcase that Hong Kong remains a neutral and effective international legal hub”, but also announced a new bill that will allow local courts to “deal” with lawmakers who might break the oath-taking process when being sworn in as legislators.
The national security law has already greatly altered the judicial system, creating specialized courts for hearing sensitive cases and allowing for some defendants to be transferred to the mainland for trial.
In September, a veteran Australian judge resigned from the city’s Court of Final Appeal. James Spigelman, who did not respond to a request for comment, told Australia’s public broadcaster ABC at the time that his decision was “related to the content of the national security legislation.”
Many distinguished foreign jurists sit on the CFA as non-permanent judges, bringing both legal expertise and a sheen of independence to the court, long seen as the final bulwark against pressure from Beijing.
That may shift as a result of the law, however. Chinese officials previously expressed skepticism about whether foreign judges could be trusted to hear national security cases, while in a report this month, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had begun consultations on whether it was appropriate for UK judges to continue to serve on the court.
“Hong Kong’s independent judiciary is a cornerstone of its economic success and way of life,” Raab wrote. “The National Security Law provides that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, rather than the Chief Justice, will appoint judges to hear national security cases. In addition to the provisions in the National Security Law that allow the mainland authorities to take jurisdiction over certain cases without any independent oversight, and to try those cases in the Chinese courts, this move clearly risks undermining the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary.”
He added that London will “monitor the use of this requirement closely, including its implications for the role of UK judges in the Hong Kong justice system.”
The incident happened after ‘several hundred inmates grouped together around staff and refused to disperse’. Corrections officers deployed ‘nonlethal munitions’ including pepper balls and rubber bullets but it remains unclear what caused the riot itself.
A riot involving several hundred prisoners broke out at an Arizona jail where guards deployed ‘nonlethal munitions’ including pepper balls and rubber bullets into the crowd.
The riot broke out at Eyman prison’s Cook Unit in Florence, near Phoenix after ‘several hundred inmates grouped together around staff and refused to disperse,’ according to Arizona Department of Corrections spokeswoman Judy Keane, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Inmates were reportedly zip-tied and held on a yard as prison officials searched the prison, according to tweets reportedly emanating from inmates’ relatives.
Inmates also reported that windows were broken on the property in the riot, according to the outlet.
‘They came in with tear gas, flash bangs, pepper spray, and started shooting them at everyone. It was basically a war zone,’ one inmate said.
Keane said two specialized teams of Department security staff were involved in the incident.
‘The Designated Armed Response Team (DART) and Tactical Support Unit (TSU) responded to the incident and deployed nonlethal munitions to gain inmates’ compliance with instructions and secure the inmates inside their dorms,’ Keane said.
There were no reports of injuries among inmates or staff but the prison unit was locked down for further investigations to take place.
It was not clear what prompted the riot but local radio station KJZZ said inmates were unhappy with the conditions at the prison.
Some took to social media to express their shock over the incident.
An Aboriginal man who died in custody in Adelaide was subjected to “every historical and contemporary correctional failing of care”, a South Australian coronial inquest has found.
The inquest concluded that the man’s death could have been prevented by staff
The man was found dead inside a cell days after being transferred to the prison
The deputy coroner has recommended changes to correctional procedures
The man died in April 2015 at the Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide, where he was being held in custody over a domestic violence charge.
ABC News has chosen not to name the deceased at the request of his family.
The inquest heard the man died after an act of self-harm, and that he had also suffered a recent heart attack.
The court heard the deceased, who was on remand, had lifelong issues with alcohol and paranoid thoughts.
But there was no evidence he had ever attempted self-harm until he was taken into custody at Port Augusta Prison, prompting medical staff to express concern about his welfare.
The man was subsequently transferred from the Port Augusta prison to Yatala, in Adelaide, for an “urgent psychiatric assessment” which never took place.
The SA Coroners Court heard the assessment was meant to occur on April 15, the day after his arrival at Yatala, but was rescheduled to five days later, by which time the man had died.
The man was arrested less than a month before his death and was charged with the aggravated assault of his de facto partner.
The case was “unresolved” at the time of the man’s death and he had “little in the way of criminal history”.
Deputy state coroner Anthony Schapel found that Department for Correctional Services (DCS) staff at Yatala failed to adequately care for the deceased man, including not monitoring him closely, placing him in the mainstream prison population and leaving him alone in a cell without supervision.
“From the time the deceased was received into the custody of the DCS in Yatala the duty of care that is owed by DCS to prisoners in their custody was conspicuously neglected in his case,” Mr Schapel found.
The deputy coroner found there were multiple “missed opportunities” for the deceased to have been taken to the prison infirmary at Yatala, where he would have likely been subjected to constant observation.
“That the deceased was not kept in the infirmary when he should have been was one of a number of egregious circumstances that befell the man since his transfer from Port Augusta to Yatala.”
Prison staff criticised for multiple failures
Mr Schapel found that the man had complained of “very painful” chest pains on the morning of his death, but a clinical assessment was “superficial and inadequate”.
“The man was taken back to his cell, locked down and accommodated on his own despite the requirement that he be doubled up at all times,” he said.
The court heard that the doctor who examined the man’s ECG traces, Dr Allan Moskwa, never physically examined him or asked him questions about his pain, but gave evidence that while walking through the examination room he could see the man lying on the couch in “no apparent distress”.
The deputy coroner was critical of several staff at Yatala, finding that they provided contradictory and unclear evidence about their failure to accommodate the deceased in the infirmary.
Mr Schapel said “special mention” needed to be made about the acting supervisor of the prison ward where the man died, Michael Edwards, saying that in respect to his evidence “it was difficult to separate fact from fiction”.
“[The] multiplicity of Mr Edwards’s changes of story on important matters meant that I was not able to rely on anything he said,” he said.
Mr Schapel said it had not been possible to “determine with precision” why the deceased had been left alone in his cell, and concluded that “the man’s death probably would have been prevented” if not for the failures in the prison’s duty of care.
He made several recommendations including that the Department for Correctional Services revise its procedures for transferring prisoners and use formal handovers.
He also recommended more “effective measures” in monitoring prisoners, including not leaving them alone in cells and ensuring timely access to psychiatric appointments.
Department acknowledges ‘critical gaps’
A DCS spokeswoman said the department would give the coroner’s findings and recommendations “very careful consideration”.
“DCS acknowledges that there were critical gaps in the care and service provided to [the man],” she said.
“In 2015–16, comprehensive actions were taken in response to a DCS internal investigation to close these gaps.
“The department will closely assess these actions against the recommendations made by the coroner.”
Ana Diamond knows what it’s like to be convicted of espionage in Iran and to spend time in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
The British-Iranian citizen was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to death on espionage charges before eventually being released.
Ms Diamond’s experiences are remarkably similar to those of British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was on Thursday released by Iran after 800 days in custody – also on spying charges.
Ana Diamond was sentenced to death for espionage in Iran.
“My own feeling after my release was that of absolute fatigue and exhaustion. To have been fighting for my innocence and sanity for many months is a concept many are not familiar with,” Ms Diamond told SBS News.
“I can imagine that Kylie will be feeling exactly that, but there is also a state of gratitude, hope, and ultimately, triumph, to have overcome such injustice and terror, and that you are finally on your way home to your loved ones.
“As per my own experience, a new chapter has begun for Kylie, and I can imagine she is looking forward to it.”
British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert seen on Iranian state television.
Iranian State Television
Ms Diamond, who now runs the Families Alliance Against State Hostage Taking, urged Dr Moore-Gilbert not to feel rushed into giving media interviews or sharing her story, saying she herself took a full year of privacy before being ready to do so.
“She may be ready much sooner than that, but it varies from individual to individual,” she said.
“My advice would be to be honest with yourself, your feelings, and your needs. You do not need to rush to share your story until you are absolutely ready.”
She also encouraged Dr Moore-Gilbert to reach out for help.
“There is no shame in reaching out for help and support when you need it, that you are never alone, and were never alone, in this,” she said.
“She has the entire support of academic circles and the human rights circles behind her, and we are only a call away.
“But I think she would already know that. Kylie is an incredibly intelligent and brilliant young woman, she only needs time to regain her character.”
Dr Moore-Gilbert was released in exchange for three Iranians, state television in the Islamic republic reported on Wednesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) released a statement from Dr Moore-Gilbert on Thursday morning, in which she spoke of her love for the people of Iran and her “bittersweet feelings” about leaving the country.
“I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people,” Dr Moore-Gilbert said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to offer details on whether the Iranian prisoners involved in the swap were from Australia.
“I don’t go into any of these arrangements,” he said on Thursday morning.
A lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Dr Moore-Gilbert’s arrest was confirmed by Iran in September 2019 but it is believed she had been detained a year earlier.
She has strenuously denied the charges against her.
Friends, colleagues and supporters of Kylie Moore-Gilbert have expressed their joy and relief after learning the Australian-British academic is finally on her way home to Australia after spending more than 800 days in an Iranian prison.
Dr Moore-Gilbert was released on Wednesday night in exchange for three Iranians, according to state television in Iran.
She had served two years and three months of a 10-year prison sentence for spying.
“Phenomenal”, was how Ms Moore-Gilbert’s friend and colleague Dara Conduit described her feelings on Thursday morning.
“We are over the moon that our amazing friend and colleague Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert is on her way home after 804 days in prison in Iran,” said a statement by the Free Kylie MG group shared by Ms Conduit.
“An innocent woman is finally free. Today is a very bright day in Australia indeed.”
Mark Isaacs, president of freedom of speech group PEN Sydney, who has been active in the campaign for Dr Moore-Gilbert’s release, said he felt “amazed and extremely excited” on Thursday morning.
“Our first thoughts go to Kylie and her family and all her colleagues and friends who I’m sure will be over the moon about her release,” he told SBS News.
“And we’re just excited as an organisation because we work with imprisoned writers all the time and it’s so rare to see a good outcome.
“We’re very happy to hear this news.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he “was just so very pleased” to receive the news late on Wednesday night that Dr Moore-Gilbert was safe and with Australia’s Ambassador to Iran, Lyndall Sachs.
Mr Morrison spoke with the academic on Thursday morning and said she sounded “remarkably well” despite her ordeal.
“We are very happy, she is obviously thrilled. But she is processing it all as you would expect,” Mr Morrison told Sunrise on Thursday.
“There will be an adjustment to Kylie, she has gone through a terrible ordeal. An absolutely awful ordeal, the injustice of her detention and conviction…”
“I’m so pleased she is coming home.”
“I must say, for someone who had just been two years in an Iran prison in all sorts of different circumstances of that period of time, she sounded remarkably well under those circumstances.”
Mr Morrison refused to offer details on whether the Iranian prisoners involved in the swap were from Australia.
“I don’t go into any of these arrangements,” the prime minister said.
More to come…
Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25). More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au.
A MAN who punched a Byron Bay police officer with such force he was thrown backwards will appeal his prison sentence.
Jamie Bloomfield, 25, from Loganlea in Queensland, was last week sentenced to 12 months behind bars.
He was subject to a warrant, dating back to a mid-2019 assault matter for which he failed to appear in court, when police found him heavily intoxicated in the Main Beach carpark in Byron Bay in the early hours of Sunday, November 15.
He was taken to Byron Bay Police Station as a result of his intoxicated state and while he was being moved from the police vehicle, he punched a constable between the eyes.
According to court documents, this strike caused the officer “immediate pain and discomfort” and knocked him backwards.
Bloomfield pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty when he went before court last Monday.
Magistrate Karen Stafford sentenced Bloomfield to 12 months’ prison.
Ms Stafford was also sentencing Bloomfield for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, over an incident involving his brother-in-law in Sydney last June.
He failed to appear in court the following month and there was a warrant issued at that time.
At the time of the June 2019 assault, he was already carrying out a community corrections order for another assault, against another brother-in law.
A notice of intent to appeal against the sentence imposed by Ms Stafford has been filed and Bloomfield is expected to face a hearing before Lismore District Court on January 19.
When the matter went briefly back before Byron Bay Local Court on Monday, he did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.
from the behold-the-motherfuckery-of-your-tax-dollars-at-work dept
Another horror story involving the government and a drug-testing lab is finally coming to a close. And the owner of the drug lab is going to jail.
Unlike others we’ve covered, this drug lab didn’t contain employees who falsified drug tests that landed people in jail. But the outcome for the innocent was nearly as miserable. Faked drug tests performed by Brandy Murrah, the owner of A & J Lab Collections, resulted in parents losing their children.
As Ozark police continue to investigate reports of falsified drug and paternity cases involving a company contracted by the Department of Human Resources, families are coming forward with claims forged documents impacted their homes.
Jennifer Seavers is one of them.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t cry, and I just want to bring my babies home as any parent would want to do,” Seavers said.
Seavers says she used the Department of Human Resource’s Pike County drug testing vendor, Brandy Murrah of A & J Lab Collections, as part of her custody battle for her youngest girls, Madilyn and Jennifer Grace.
Seavers said Murrah provided false positive drug tests, which prompted a judge to order restrictions on her access to her children – further complicating the custody battle.
This victim dug into the lab work supposedly performed by Murrah and found her test had been faked. The doctor that supposedly signed off on it had never seen the paperwork or reports generated by Murrah, who forged the doctor’s signature on the documents.
The county also began digging into Murrah’s drug testing and found more of the same.
Murrah had an agreement with the Dale County Department of Human Resources to perform drugs test on individuals involved in dependency, or custody, cases. She was not involved in any criminal cases.
Investigators said they launched their probe May 2 after evidence of drug screening reports that were provided to the Dale County Department of Human Resources by Murrah were found to be falsified. Ozark police Sgt. Cody Evans said multiple other drug screening reports provided to DHR are also believed to have been forged by Murrah.
It’s unclear whether Murrah’s actions were prompted by animosity towards her victims or just plain laziness. It really doesn’t matter. Her actions ripped families apart and destroyed people’s futures. But in the end, at least some justice was served.
Judge William Filmore decided Murrah, the former owner of an Ozark lab test collection company, will spend 15 years in prison after hearing testimony from those who said she falsified lab reports that led to their children being taken away.
Murrah pleaded guilty in September, agreeing to 15 years on a felony charge of perjury and 12 months on each of 16 misdemeanor counts of forgery to run concurrently.
This will give victims some closure. But it will only provide limited comfort. Their lives went through serious upheaval. Seavers isn’t the only victim. Grace Newton went through the same nightmare. She fought through her drug problems to get her kids back only to have the state take away her three-month-old infant after a drug test handled by Murrah came back positive. This was reversed after a negative drug test, but for three weeks, the state became her baby’s new parent, thanks to Murrah.
But here’s the thing: it shouldn’t take citizens wronged by a government contractor to suss out malfeasance and wrongdoing. The system residents are paying for with their tax dollars needs to be more proactive with its oversight. Rigorous oversight is difficult. But, ultimately, it’s worth the time and effort. It’s better to be perceived as skeptical than as a group of public servants willing to throw the public to the subcontracted wolves.
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Filed Under: brandy murrah, drug testing lab, forged results, law enforcement Companies: a&j lab collections
South Australia is staring down a new coronavirus cluster, with four people outside of hotel quarantine diagnosed with COVID-19.
An 80-year-old woman and two of her relatives have tested positive for coronavirus in South Australia
A fourth positive case is believed to be linked to the family cluster
An Adelaide school will close on Monday due to a student being identified as a close contact of a positive case
SA Health said on Sunday an 80-year-old woman had tested positive after being treated at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
Two of her close contacts — a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s — have also tested positive for the disease.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said one of them worked in Adelaide’s CBD at one of the state’s medi-hotels — accommodation used by incoming travellers and local residents who could not safely quarantine at home.
One of the infected people is the elderly woman’s child.
Four other family members were showing symptoms, Dr Spurrier said.
Later on Sunday, authorities said a fourth person linked to the growing cluster in Adelaide had been infected.
An email from SA Correctional Services chief executive David Brown said an employee at Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide’s northern suburbs had tested positive.
The email said the person was identified as a close family contact of one of the positive cases reported on Sunday afternoon.
It is not yet known when the employee was last at the prison, or whether they had contact with the prisoners.
The Department of Corrections said it was in the process of activating a health rapid response team to assist with contact-tracing efforts at the prison.
All employees had been asked to remain at their posts to assist with this, it said.
The email said a female prisoner from a different Corrections facility had also been affected because she was at the Lyell McEwin Hospital emergency department during the time a positive case was there.
The email said the prisoner was still at the hospital.
Dozens told to quarantine, hotel suspected to be source
South Australia’s last positive case without a known source of transmission was reported on April 16 — seven months ago.
Dr Spurrier said in this case, the medi-hotel where one of the infected people worked was likely to be the source of the positive cases, but she said it was “very, very early information” and genomic testing would be undertaken to determine the source.
“Obviously this is where we’re considering the source to be,” Dr Spurrier said.
She warned more people were likely to be infected.
“Which is why I am absolutely warning South Australians: This is a wake-up call — if you have respiratory symptoms, you’ve got to get tested,” she said.
About 90 people who were in the hospital’s emergency department at the same time as the 80-year-old infected woman — between 5:30pm on Friday and 4:00am on Saturday — have been ordered to quarantine.
Dr Spurrier said the woman also visited the Parafield Plaza Asian supermarket between 10:30am and 11:30am on Thursday while she was infectious.
Anyone who was there at the same time should monitor themselves for symptoms.
On Sunday evening, an Adelaide primary school said it would close on Monday to undergo a deep clean due to a student being identified as a close contact of a positive coronavirus case.
The Department of Education said Mawson Lakes Primary School and Preschool, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, would close for at least 24 hours out of “an abundance of caution”.
The department said people who needed to self-isolate would be contacted directly.
WA changes entry rules for SA travellers
Following the news of the new cases, WA’s Police Commissioner, Premier and Chief Health Officer decided at an emergency meeting to test anyone arriving at Perth Airport from South Australia and direct them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Those affected included passengers from a Qantas flight to Adelaide from Perth that had just arrived in the city.
People who had entered the state by plane were given the option of flying back to Adelaide on Monday after being told of the changes on arrival.
Passengers due to arrive on a flight later on Sunday were told about the new requirements and given the option to disembark.
Anyone arriving in Western Australia by road from South Australia will be told to follow the same self-quarantine and testing rules.
Anyone who arrived in the state from South Australia on Saturday or Sunday will be contacted by WA officials and will be required to be tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine until results are returned.
More than 500 cases in SA since pandemic began
From today, all staff at South Australian quarantine hotels would need to get tested for coronavirus every week, Dr Spurrier said.
A total of 526 coronavirus cases have been reported in South Australiasince the beginning of the pandemic, including 19 active cases.
Four people have died.
The Victoria Park drive-through coronavirus testing clinic has reopened after previously being closed because of lightning.
On a dark country road, after a night of drinking, Jarrod Leigh Turner was shot dead — murdered— by his friend, in what the sentencing judge called “cold-blooded”, “callous” and “in the worst category of the crime”.
Mr Turner’s killer, Shannon Duffy, has been sentenced to imprisonment for the term of his natural life, with a non-parole period of 18 years.
Shannon Duffy, 32, will be able to apply for parole from April 2037
He previously pleaded guilty to murdering his friend Jarrod Turner
Speaking outside the court, Mr Turner’s mother said he meant everything to his family
Duffy previously pleaded guilty to murdering his friend Mr Turner, whose body was found on Colebrook Road, near the southern Tasmanian town of Richmond on April 14, 2019.
Sentencing Duffy in the Supreme Court in Hobart on Friday, Justice Michael Brett said it was a “cold-blooded and callous killing carried out in the style of an execution”.
Justice Brett said Duffy shot Mr Turner with a 12-gauge shotgun at close range and left him to bleed to death on the side of the rural road.
Justice Brett said Duffy had agreed to another person’s suggestion to shoot Mr Turner, but not kill him, as punishment for a perceived grievance.
But he said that was not the motive for the murder.
Justice Brett said Duffy formed a plan to murder Mr Turner, when a 14-girl told him that Mr Turner had sexually assaulted her.
“You decided you would kill Mr Turner in retribution for what you believed he had done,” Justice Brett said.
“You arrogantly took it upon yourself to end the life of this man who was only 22 years of age … you committed this act to ingratiate yourself with her [the girl].”
Justice Brett said Duffy sent Mr Turner a text message on April 13, arranging to pick him up later that night to drink alcohol together.
“I infer that you arranged this as a ruse,” Justice Brett said.
“You betrayed your friendship with Mr Turner by using it to deceive him.”
At 2:31am on April 14, they were at Five Mile Beach where Mr Turner uploaded a social media video which showed the men drinking and acting in a friendly manner towards each other.
“On the return journey, after 3:36am on Colebrook Road near Richmond you asked the female driver to stop … so you and Mr Turner could urinate,” Justice Brett said.
He said while Mr Turner was urinating on the side of the semi-rural road, Duffy retrieved the shotgun from where he had hidden it in the car and shot Mr Turner very close to head under his right ear.
Attempts to resuscitate Mr Turner when paramedics and police arrived about two and a half hours after the shooting were unsuccessful.
‘It doesn’t bring my son back’
Justice Brett said the murder had profoundly affected Mr Turner’s family, and deprived his young children of a father.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Turner’s mother Michelle Bradley said Mr Turner meant everything to his family.
“The sentence Shannon Duffy received today doesn’t bring my son Jarrod home to us or his two boys,” Mr Bradley said.
“He [has] never done what he was accused of with that young girl.”
She said she wanted harsher sentences for murderers.
“Change murderers to life, no parole — they’ve taken a life so they don’t deserve a life either,” she said.
Mr Turner’s sister Lakeisha Pearce said her brother was her best friend.
In his sentencing remarks, Justice Brett said Duffy’s crime was in the worst category of murder, and he described Duffy’s criminal record as “appalling”.
He said Duffy had a dysfunctional childhood, had been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and a mild intellectual disability.
“Those aspects of your life deserve sympathy but they also suggest that there is little probability or home [for rehabilitation],” he said.
He warned that while he had given Duffy the chance to apply for parole, it did not mean it would be granted.