EXCLUSIVE: Horrifying moment grandmother is grabbed off street by her suspected killer and forced into bush where her body was found next day – as police release image of man they want to speak to



Horrifying footage has captured the moment a woman was grabbed off the street by her suspected killer and forced towards the bush where she was later found dead.  

The body of Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, who lived in Chelmsford, Essex, was found in shrubbery near Little Heath in Romford at around 2pm on Tuesday.   

Security camera footage obtained by MailOnline captures the final moments of mother-of-two Ms Rawlings before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death.  

It comes as the Metropolitan Police released images and video this evening of a man they want to speak to in connection to the killing.

In the clip, the man is seen travelling on the 364 bus towards Dagenham at around 12.16am on Tuesday, around an hour after Ms Rawlings was last seen in the CCTV footage. 

Police said they believe the man has ‘significant information’ that could help with their ‘fast-paced investigation’. 

The CCTV of the alleged abduction, taken from a nearby house on the day before Ms Rawlings’ body was found, shows the grandmother walking on Barley Lane at 11.17pm on Monday. 

She had just left the nearby King George Hospital in Goodmayes.

Footage shows a male in dark clothing walking behind Ms Rawlings and quickening his step to catch up with her. When he reaches her, he forces his arm around hers.

She resists slightly but he forces her towards the shrubbery on a green near the busy A12. Just as they disappear from view a white car drives past.

Ms Rawlings’ body was found in the bush at 2pm on Tuesday by a man out walking his dog.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said after releasing the latest footage of the man on the bus: ‘I would urge anyone who recognises this man to contact police immediately. 

‘We are carrying out a fast-paced investigation and I believe this man may have significant information to help us with our enquiries. If anyone sees this man, I would ask them not to approach him but to call 999.’

A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary gave the preliminary cause of death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.

The homeowner who gave MailOnline his security footage did so in order to help trace the man seen with Ms Rawlings in the minute-long clip.

He has also appealed to the driver of the white car to contact police if he has a dash cam or if he saw anything untoward as he drove past.

The homeowner has given the footage to the Metropolitan Police and believes the man was seen walking away from the area at about 11.43pm.

Ms Rawlings lived 20-miles away from Little Heath in Chelmsford, Essex.

Her devastated family yesterday left flowers by the bush where her body was found, with a message attached to one bouquet reading: ‘Mummy. I love you now, forever and always. 

‘In this s*** world you made things brighter. Forever my angel. Your Big Baby.’

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Britney Spears to speak on conservatorship case in court in June… after being granted a request ‘address the court directly’



Britney Spears will speak in court on June 23rd 2021 regarding her controversial conservatorship case.

The pop star, 39, is set to appear before a judge after her lawyer Sam Ingham III expressed her desire to ‘address the court directly’ during a Tuesday hearing, according to Page Six. 

‘The conservatee has requested that I seek from the court a status hearing at which she can address the court directly,’ Sam Ingham III told Judge Brenda Penny.

Spears’ lawyer didn’t elaborate on what she plans on speaking on, but said it would concern the ‘status of the conservatorship.’

Mr. Ingham III told Judge Penny Spears asked that her appearance be scheduled ‘on expedited basis.’

The hearing will be on June 23rd at 1:30pm PT at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles.

The court appearance was originally set to discuss estate’s accounting documents on Tuesday, but will now review those matters during a separate July 14 court date. 

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Family of missing Melbourne woman speak out as her boyfriend is arrested


The family of missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka have spoken out about her mysterious disappearance.

The 36-year-old was last seen leaving a Woolworths store in Albert Street, Brunswick at 5.30pm last Saturday, April 10.

On Friday, a 45-year-old man believed to be her boyfriend and living with her was arrested.

On Saturday night, following a search at their Brighton home on Well Street, the man was charged with matters unrelated to Maryam’s disappearance.

It comes as the woman’s family expressed grave concerns for her welfare, after not being able to contact her for more than a week.

Maryam has not used her phone, social media or bank account since her disappearance, which her family said was “very out of character”.

Maryam’s family is pleading for help as fears grow as to her whereabouts.

Speaking to 7NEWS, Maryam’s sister Amel Hamka, said she was worried.

“She’s very close with my (other) sister who just had a baby,” Amel said.

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Prince William and Harry ‘speak on phone’ as Kate acts as ‘peacekeeper’ between brothers


Prince Harry has reportedly spoken to brother William on the phone since landing in the UK – and Kate Middleton is set to act as “peacekeeper” between them at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

The brothers, who have had a difficult relationship in the last two years, will not see each other in person until Saturday, as Harry is required to isolate.

But insiders say they are putting their differences aside in order to support the Queen following their grandfather’s death.

Kate is said to be “hopeful of a resolution”, The Telegraph reports, as the family puts on a united front.

An insider told the newspaper: “Being so close to her own siblings, Pippa and James, and having witnessed first-hand the special bond between William and Harry, she has found the whole situation difficult and upsetting.”



William and Harry have not met face-to-face in more than a year

And they added: “She is certainly someone who shies away from conflict, and will be hoping to sooth the tensions.”

During his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry described his relationship with William as “space” and claimed his brother was “trapped” in the royal family.

And wife Meghan alleged that Kate had made her cry, questioning why reports suggesting it was the other way around were not corrected by royal aides.

They will finally see each other on Saturday morning, before the funeral at Windsor Castle, which starts at 3pm.



Kate is said to be troubled by the rift between the brothers
Kate is said to be troubled by the rift between the brothers



Harry and Meghan made a string of bombshell claims about the royal family in their interview with Oprah Winfrey
Harry and Meghan made a string of bombshell claims about the royal family in their interview with Oprah Winfrey

It will be their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year, after Harry and wife Meghan quit the UK for America, eventually settling in a mansion in California.

Another source told the Telegraph that they would be “keen to spend time together as a family”, and said: “They know it is not about them on Saturday – it is about honouring their grandfather’s memory and supporting their grandmother.”

William and Kate are at Amner Hall, their home in Norfolk, and are not due to be in London until later this week, while Harry is quarantining in Frogmore House, Windsor, awaiting the results of a Covid test.

Harry wasn’t joined by wife Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with a girl, or their one-year-old son Archie.

They remain at home in Montecito, California, after doctors advised the duchess not to make the long journey due to her pregnancy.



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Parramatta Eels speak out after Tahleya Eggers slams Scott Morrison


“Tahleya was responding to a social meme that was not of her making,” an official statement from the club read.

“The club is comfortable with her clarifying her personal position and we consider the matter closed.”

When contacted by the Herald, Eggers said she did not wish to discuss the issue further and had been requested to direct all inquiries back to the club.

On Saturday, the Eels’ official Twitter page uploaded a photo of the Prime Minister in the sheds and wrote: “He’s ours now @Cronulla_Sharks”.

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In recent weeks, the Morrison government has been criticised for its handling of numerous allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual assault within the walls of parliament.

Most recently, Queensland MP Andrew Laming announced he would not contest the next federal election after a string of allegations were levelled against him over poor behaviour towards women.

After addressing Laming’s behaviour on Saturday, Morrison went on to watch the game at Bankwest Stadium.

The debate over whether to introduce an 18th man to the game was reignited after the Sharks had no players on the bench by half-time. Cronulla lost Wade Graham, Briton Nikora and Will Kennedy to concussion, while winger Sione Katoa suffered an MCL injury.

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Queensland female MPs speak up about harassment in the House


One of Queensland’s most senior ministers has told Parliament she was groped by an international judge at a conference two years ago.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told the House the alleged incident happened at Parliament while she was the attorney-general.

It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk moved a motion condemning the harassment and assault of women, which has cross-party support.

Last week Ms D’Ath posted her experiences of harassment as a teenager on social media, after attending the women’s March 4 Justice rally.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms D’Ath revealed how “keyboard warriors” replied with aggressive and dismissive comments, including: “It must have been a blind man”, and: “No way, she’s way too ugly for this to be true”.

“If they want something current — well how about two years ago, as the attorney-general, that I was groped by an international judge at a conference in this Parliament?

“This is still happening today — it has to stop.”

LNP MP Deb Frecklington also stood up and said the issue was above politics, saying she had been treated by men in power with “disdain” and “disrespect” when she was opposition leader.

“Irrespective of what side of Parliament, it is not OK to be treated in the manner that at times the women on this Coalition side are treated by men in power from that side of the chamber,” Ms Frecklington said.

“I do not make that statement lightly.

“But I have sat in a position of power as leader of a major political party in this state and I have been treated with disdain and disrespect because I am a female that chose to represent a conservative political party in this state.

But Labor MP Ali King said politics was “at the very heart of this”.

“Winding back industrial protections makes us less safe, cutting domestic and family violence services makes us less safe,” Ms King said.

Education Minister Grace Grace put offenders on notice, warning “perpetrators beware”.

The debate came on the same day the Women’s Legal Service (WLS) accused the Queensland government of not adequately listening to sexual assault survivors in relation to its proposed changes to consent laws.

Debate is continuing on the Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.

The “mistake of fact” defence relates to whether a defendant did an act under an “honest and reasonable, but mistaken, belief that sex was consensual”.

The Queensland government referred the defence to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) for expert advice on how to change the law in 2019, resulting in draft laws introduced in August last year.

But WLS CEO Angela Lynch said the bill was a “disappointment” and “out of step”.

“They threw us a bone to quieten us down to some extent, but there was no real effective change,” Ms Lynch said.

“They [MPs] marched in the streets as well, but they actually have the opportunity to make real, practical change. They are in power, they have the opportunity to do that, and they’re not going forward with it.

“It is a missed opportunity”.

Ms Lynch said Queensland needed an “affirmative” model of consent — like in Tasmania and Victoria — that would involve a person taking reasonable steps to ensure there was consent.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the bill before Parliament was an important step forward in modernising and clarifying consent laws in Queensland.

“The first is [the bill] makes it clear that silence is not consent,” Ms Fentiman said.

“It makes it clear that consent that is given can be withdrawn.

“It makes it clear that a defendant who is voluntarily intoxicated cannot rely on that when considering whether his or her actions are reasonable.

“And it also ensures that juries can look at anything the defendant did or didn’t do, or said or didn’t say.”

Ms Fentiman said the QLRC report found current laws already had elements of affirmative consent, but acknowledged more work could be done.

“I understand there are some advocates that want us to go further, but amending the Criminal Code is something that needs to be fully consulted on, and that’s why the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce is the appropriate body to look at those amendments,” Ms Fentiman said.

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ASX set for gains as Wall Street advances; Powell set to speak


Stocks are mixed on Wall Street on Wednesday (US time) as another surge in bond yields caused big declines in technology stocks. Investors are cautiously awaiting remarks from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, who is expected to speak later in the day on inflation and what the central bank may do to combat it.

In mid-afternoon trade, the S&P 500 is 0.1 per cent higher, the Dow Jones is up 0.5 per cent while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 0.2 per cent.

Markets will be glued to Powell’s comments.Credit:AP

The ASX is set for a positive start to its session, with futures at 5.10am AEDT pointing to a gain of 16 points, or 0.2 per cent, at the open.

Bond yields moved upward again, after being relatively stable for more than a week. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note hit 1.67 per cent versus 1.62 per cent the day before. It’s now the highest since January 2020.

Rising bond yields gave banks a boost. They rely on higher rates to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Wells Fargo rose 1 per cent. Industrial stocks also made solid gains, with Caterpillar rising 2.6 per cent.

“What we’re seeing is very much aligned with what you would expect in a recovery trade,” said Brian Levitt, global market strategist at Invesco. “We were coming from pretty beaten up places.”

Investors are betting big that the economic malaise will dissipate as spring arrives and more Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The $US1400 ($1802) stimulus checks the Biden administration began sending to individuals last weekend is also helping. But faster economic activity could also translate into some degree of inflation.

Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s economic and interest rate projections, expected later in the day. Economists expect Powell will try to convince jittery financial markets that the central bank can continue providing support without igniting inflation. Those worries have recently pushed bond yields higher.

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Prince Harry and William speak for first time since Oprah chat


Inside details have been released surrounding the royal response to Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah, including his first awkward calls with William and Charles.

Gayle King, famous friend of both Oprah and Meghan, revealed on CBS This Morning she had called the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over the weekend “to see how they were feeling” as the fallout continues.

It’s believed Prince Harry hopes to repair the relationship with his brother before the unveiling of a memorial to their mother, Princess Diana, later this year.

King revealed Harry had spoken to the Duke of Cambridge, William, and Prince Charles since the Oprah interview aired but the talks were “unproductive”.

Prince Harry said during in his chat with Oprah that William and Charles were “trapped” in the palace due to their responsibilities as royal heirs.

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” Harry said. “And I have huge compassion for that.

“My brother can’t leave that system, but I have.”

The trio have reportedly “barely spoken” to each other since Harry and Meghan announced they would depart the royal family more than a year ago.

Asked if William wanted to leave, the Duke of Sussex replied: “I don’t know, I can’t speak for him…but I will always be there for him, I will always be there for my family.

“I’ve tried to make them see what has happened. We’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience, but we are on different paths.”

RELATED: Meghan and Harry accused of ‘hypocrisy’

RELATED: How Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview tricked viewers

‘CONVERSATION NOT PRODUCTIVE’

King also revealed the couple were still upset at the palace and claims no one from the royal family has reached out to Meghan, describing it as “frustrating”.

King said the royal family needs to “acknowledge there are issues” and said “right now, no one is”.

“Houston, we have a problem here. That’s really all they want. They want a conversation. They both want a conversation.”

“I’m not trying to break news, but I did actually call them to see how they were feeling, and it’s true, Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too,” King said.

“The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation.

“I think what is still upsetting to them is the palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still.”

The insider details came as Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, emerged from a London hospital after a four-week stay and was reunited with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

William, just days ago at his first appearance since the interview, had said he had not spoken to Harry “but I will do” as he defended the royals and said: “We are very much not a racist family”.

MEGHAN IGNORED

King said the frustration from the couple came from the fact that the palace was saying one thing to the public but doing another in private.

“No one in the royal family has talked to Meghan yet, at this particular time,” she said.

“I think it’s frustrating for them to see that it’s a racial conversation about the Royal Family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant.”

King said it was “hard to move forward” for Harry and Meghan without a positive response from the family.

“Until you can acknowledge that, I think it’s going to be hard to move forward. But they both want to move forward with this and they both want healing in this family.

“At the end of the day, that is Harry’s family.”

The palace previously announced it would launch an investigation after The Times London reported that a former aide had made a bullying allegation against the Duchess of Sussex during her time as a working royal at Kensington Palace.

The investigation will now be led by an external law firm rather than the initial in-house inquiry the palace first announced.

On March 2, the outlet alleged that Meghan drove out two personal assistants and left staff feeling “humiliated”. Ms Markle’s team strongly refuted the allegations.

Then on March 3, Buckingham Palace said it was “clearly very concerned” about the allegations, and that the palace human resources team “will look into the circumstances outlined in the article” and would seek to speak to current and former staff.

King defended Meghan against the claims, saying “anyone who has worked with her will tell you exactly who she is”.

“You know, she’s really a very sweet, caring person. And as I say, Meghan has documents to back up everything that she said on Oprah’s interview. Everything.”

A statement from the Queen the day after the interview said she wanted the family to deal with the situation “privately”.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement read.

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”



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Groundbreaking new research to help stroke victims speak



Imagine recovering from a debilitating stroke but not being able to form the words to communicate properly with your loved ones and your healthcare professionals.

This is the reality for nearly one third of people recovering from a stroke in Australia.

But now, thanks to Southern Cross University speech pathology lecturer Dr Kirstine Shrubsole, it could soon be a problem of the past.

Dr Shrubsole is breaking new ground with her research into aphasia, a neurological disorder caused by damage to the portion of the brain that is responsible for language and commonly affects 30 per cent of stroke victims.

During 10 years working as a speech pathologist, Dr Shrubsole said she faced this disorder on a daily basis, seeing great improvements in some patients while others remained stuck, some indefinitely.

“When you work in a hospital there are guidelines that tell us what we should be doing and when based on the research, but when I was working in the hospitals myself we often couldn’t implement them,” Dr Shrubsole said.

“There were so many barriers.

“We often didn’t have enough staff, or time, or resources (and) sometimes it was skills; we didn’t have the training to deliver a certain type of therapy.”

She went on to complete a PhD, researching aphasia and more specifically, the implementation of clinical guidelines and effective behaviour change techniques in order to improve speech pathology practice and aphasia treatment within the hospital system.

Dr Shrubsole’s goal is to improve the care delivered to stroke patients across Australia so that no matter which hospital they attend, they receive the same high-quality care based on the latest evidence.

She explains it’s a matter of approaching things from the top down and bottom up simultaneously.

“All of my research is based on trying to improve how the latest evidence is translated into practice,” Dr Shrubsole said.

“It’s called closing the evidence/practice gap.

Now Dr Shrubsole is passing on what she’s learned to Southern Cross University students, helping them understand the latest research and evidence.

Sarah Eenjes, a final-year speech pathology student, recently attended an Aphasia Camp on the Gold Coast, organised by the Australian Aphasia Association, to gain first-hand experience from patients working to improve their ability to communicate.

“It’s one of my passions, being able to help those with aphasia as not many people know about aphasia,” Ms Eenjes said.

“The camp was an invaluable learning experience.”



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Families speak of crushing pain of losing police officers in Eastern Freeway crash


The grieving widow of a police officer who was killed on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway has come face-to-face with his killer for the first time, telling a court about the anguish of breaking the news to their three children.

Sharron MacKenzie sobbed as she told Victoria’s Supreme Court that she still felt she could die from a broken heart, almost a year after her childhood sweetheart, Senior Constable Kevin King, was killed when a truck ploughed into him and three others.

Truck driver Mohinder Singh is facing a pre-sentence hearing after pleading guilty to eight charges, including culpable driving causing death and drug trafficking.

Flanked by members of the police force, Ms MacKenzie made a victim impact statement, telling the court about the depths of her despair.

The couple met when she was 13, and he was 15.

“Every single day, he would tell me how much he loved me and how he would always be there for us, and he always was.

“For me, it was always how he would kiss me goodbye before he left for work.

“We never thought anything like this would ever happen to us.”

On April 22, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and First Constable Glen Humphris pulled over Richard Pusey for allegedly driving his Porsche at 149 kilometres per hour on the Eastern Freeway.

Two other officers — Senior Constable King and Constable Joshua Prestney — then arrived at the scene and were standing in an emergency lane when a truck, driven by Singh, veered into the lane, killing all four of them.

Singh was facing 37 charges, but most were withdrawn by prosecutors.

Today, Ms MacKenzie told the court that she had lost her sense of self, and spoke of the anguish at having to break the news to her family.

“For the first time in my life, I understand the feeling of choking pain,” she said.

“When I had to tell my children that the man they absolutely loved and adored, their father, their hero, would not be coming home … there are simply no words to describe the shock, the disbelief and gut wrenching pain that followed.”

Ms MacKenzie did not address Singh directly in her statement, but told the court that she had not allowed him to have any of her energy.

“His actions of taking Kevin away from us have drained so much life out of my family,” she said.

“What little energy I have left, both mentally and physically, have been placed on honouring Kevin.”

Andrew Prestney, the father of Constable Prestney, told the court he had an inkling that something was wrong when he saw the news that night and heard there had been an incident.

He recalled sitting in the darkness at the front of his house and pacing the driveway, before seeing the headlights of a police car.

“Police step out. An officer. An inspector. All he says is, ‘Andrew, I am so sorry’. I fold on the footpath and scream, ‘No, not my boy,'” he said.

“Who am I going to talk crap with at the dinner table now?

“How did it come to this?”

Constable Prestney’s brother, Alex Prestney, spoke about the pride of seeing his brother wearing the same Victoria Police uniform.

But he told the court that he had not been able to return to the force’s Highway Patrol unit since the incident.

“My brother stepped out of the same car and wore the same uniform when he died,” he said.

“He died without dignity.

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