Father on trial for murder in NSW Supreme Court after allegedly throwing baby daughter into Tweed River

A Queensland man accused of killing his daughter by throwing her into the Tweed River thought he was sacrificing her to save the world, a Sydney court has heard.

The 49-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to murder after his daughter’s body was found on the beach at Surfers Paradise in November 2018.

The nine-month-old was found by a teenager attending schoolies and police allege she was carried there by the tide after being thrown into the Tweed River.

During an opening address, Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell told the New South Wales Supreme Court the man and his partner lived an “erratic and itinerant lifestyle” before the alleged murder.

The parents were living in a van and tent between Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay, regularly attracting the attention of police with episodes of domestic violence.

The court heard the man had a history of drinking, drug use and acute mental health presentations, and stopped taking his antipsychotic medication two years before the alleged murder.

Mr Campbell said there had been attempts to give the baby girl away before a large storm swept over Tweed Heads on November 17, 2018.

The family sought shelter in a shopping centre and the accused was observed acting erratically, the court heard, before he took his daughter out in the torrential rain.

“He carried her to the banks of the Tweed River and cast her in,” Mr Campbell told the judge-alone trial.

The father was arrested around the same time the daughter’s body was found on the beach, about a day later.

His “utterances” were recorded in a police cell, the court heard.

“He stated that if she had turned one, it would have meant the end of the world,” Mr Campbell said.

The trial heard the accused made admissions to an undercover police officer, declaring he was “sacrificing her to save all the children of the world”.

In a police interview, he said he believed it was “his prophecy to take her life”.

Mr Campbell said a psychiatrist who examined the man believed he was suffering from schizophrenia and “did not know that his act was morally wrong”.

Appearing via a video link wearing prison greens, the man sat quietly listening to the proceedings and spoke only to enter his plea of not guilty.

The trial, before Justice Helen Wilson, is set down for three days.

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How an accident led to one Tweed couple winning lotto

A TWEED couple have won more than $600,000 after mistakenly buying the “wrong” lottery ticket while on holiday.

The Hastings Point pair scooped up a $621,000 Saturday Gold Lotto prize as one of the eight division one winning entries across the country on September 12.

Each entry won a division one prize of $621,499.92.

The winning entry was purchased at newsXpress Central Highlands in Emerald.

The happy pair did not register their entry to a player card, so officials from the Lott had to wait for them to come forward.

When the couple checked their ticket last Friday, they discovered they had hit the jackpot.

“Oh wow! Oh my god!” the winning man said.

“Can you believe I was actually meant to buy a ticket into another draw? This was actually the wrong ticket.

“It was a complete mistake, a very good mistake.

“I am glad I bought this ticket. I am very, very, very happy.”

The man said “it will make the world of difference” to his family and “take a lot of pressure off”.

“I just can’t believe it. I only remembered to check my ticket when I saw on TV that someone won Powerball last night,” he said.

“I am flabbergasted.

“You’ve made our day, our week, our year.”

The duo said they already had a few ideas about how to spend their winnings.

“We’ve been living in our caravan in Queensland for the past few months, so this means we can update it and get a new one,” he said.

“We will also share it with our family and use some for more travelling.

“The rest we will save for the future.”

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Popular Tweed Coast cafe reinvents itself with new menu

RIPPLES licensed cafe at North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point is turning eight years old this month and they are ready to celebrate after a tough year.

Famous for their buffet breakfast, Ripples has been forced to adjust and adapt their practices to meet the COVID-19 restrictions but that has led to a creative new menu.

Marketing Manager Lisa Collier said she was proud of how the team had worked together to overcome a serious challenge and flourish.

“We firmly believe the longevity of Ripples has stemmed from our long-term commitment to continually adapt to suit the needs of our guests,” Ms Collier said.

“There has never been a time in North Star’s history when this has been more important.

“The team has always been willing to accept change and with restrictions around dining and food service constantly evolving, the next logical step was the introduction of a contactless ordering platform at Ripples.

“The new system streamlines dining, allowing guests to choose, order and pay for meals via their mobile phone from the comfort of their table, bringing an additional level of hygiene and safety on top of our already comprehensive COVIDSafe plan.

“The platform can also be used by locals or in-house guests wishing to order takeaway.”

That creativity has seen Ripples invent a creative new menu in place of their beloved buffet with a focus on produce from Tweed and the Northern Rivers.

“The Big Breakfast and Eggs Benny are on the menu, joined by some ‘insta-worthy’ creations like the Acai Granola Bowl, a morning burst of goodness with coconut yoghurt, fresh fruit, chia seeds and honey,” Ms Collier said.

“For a hearty, on-trend kickstart to the day, chefs have combined potato, chorizo, cherry tomato, spinach and capsicum with a white bean hash, topped with fried eggs and served on toasted flatbread.”

To experience the new menu and celebrate Ripples turning eight, visit www.rippleslicensedcafe.com.au or find Ripples on Instagram and Facebook.

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North Queensland couple charged in Tweed Heads after crossing state border in allegedly stolen car and ramming police

A Queensland couple have been arrested and charged in New South Wales after using a ute that was allegedly stolen from a car dealership in north Queensland to ram police cars at Tweed Heads in northern New South Wales.

New South Wales Police said that about 2:00pm on Saturday, highway police were notified about a stolen Holden Colorado travelling south on the Pacific Highway.

Police began chasing the car but soon gave up for safety reasons.

The ute was later spotted in an underground car park in Tweed Heads.

New South Wales officers blocked the driveway with two police cars and approached the stolen vehicle.

They said a 20-year-old Mackay man, whose licence had been suspended, allegedly drove the ute at police and smashed it into their car.

Police said the driver reversed before smashing onto a second police car and driving off.

The man and woman charged over the incident have been remanded in custody.(Supplied: NSW Police)

The car was found abandoned and an 18-year-old woman was arrested nearby.

The man was later arrested at a Tweed Heads hospital.

Police alleged the car was stolen from a Mackay dealership last Wednesday, then driven without proper number plates to Tweed Heads, more than 1,000km away.

The woman was charged for being a passenger in a stolen car, while the man was charged with six offences relating to allegedly stealing a car, evading police, using a weapon to avoid arrest and other offences.

Both were remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court in Lismore tomorrow.

It’s unclear whether the couple crossed into New South Wales before or after the border closed at 1:00am on Saturday.

More than 150 vehicles denied entry

Since the Queensland border was closed to traffic from New South Wales, only residents in approved postcodes are permitted to travel into Queensland.

Queensland residents returning home are required to fly into the state and pay for their hotel quarantine, at a cost of about $200 a night.

As of this morning, police had checked 5,596 vehicles at the border, and 159 vehicles had been turned around, since the road crossing was closed to unauthorised travellers.

Queensland Police said they were not pursuing the couple for extradition as they have been charged in New South Wales.

Due to the pandemic, interstate police have been making border exchanges of prisoners, although it’s not clear how that would work under the new border restrictions that came into effect yesterday. 

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Nathaniel Bower: Tweed Byron Police trying to find boy, 12, who went missing on Thursday, July 16

TWEED Byron Police are desperately trying to find a 12-year-old boy who went missing two days ago.

Officers have appealed for public assistance to track down Nathaniel Bower, who was last seen entering a bus at Tweed Centro Shopping Centre about 6.15pm on Thursday, July 16.

There’s serious concerns for Nathaniel’s welfare because he requires regular medication and due to his young age.

media_cameraNathaniel Bower, aged 12, was last seen getting onto a bus at Tweed Centro Shopping Centre at about 6.15pm on Thursday, July 16. Picture: NSW Police

Police began inquiring about Nathaniel’s whereabouts once officers were alerted.

Nathaniel is described as being of caucasian appearance, about 155cm tall with a slim build, light brown hair and hazel eyes.

He was last seen wearing a black Fila hat, black shorts and a black T-shirt with white writing.

Police have urged anyone who spots Nathaniel to phone Tweed Heads Police on 07 5506 9499 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is treated in strict confidence.

Originally published as Police trying to find boy missing since Thursday

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Four Great Dishes in Tweed City – Good Food Gold Coast

With over 140 shops, Tweed City Shopping Centre services locals and visitors alike. Located only five minutes’ drive from the Coolangatta Airport, the centre also houses cafés, restaurants and a food court enabling shoppers to shop and dine without leaving the centre.  No matter what time of the day it is, there are great meals available at Tweed City. We have picked four great dishes that between them cover a range of meals and occasions:

Ginger Root is a ‘hidden treasure’ of a café with a strong base of return customers. Alina has owned the café for seven years, running it with her sister Kamilla. Making everything in house, local favourite dishes include rosti, eggs bene, club sandwich, cakes and scones. We try the Haloumi Breakfast of haloumi and smashed avocado with feta, semi-dried tomatoes and two poached eggs on Sol organic sourdough, drizzled with pesto. In keeping with the rest of the menu, it’s a generous, well-priced dish, freshly made from top ingredients.

When a restaurant is named after a menu item, you’d expect that dish to be a standout, and it is; the Beef pho at Bay Pho in is magnificent! The soup is hypnotic, its ‘layers of meaning’ not often found in pho in Australia. A squeeze of lime and some bean sprouts and the dish is complete!

“We cook our pho broth for 15 hours to get the depth of flavour,” Paul tells us. “The brisket is cooked in the soup, but the rare beef version with noodles has the hot soup poured over the beef.”

Besides the two beef versions, there’s also a chicken, tofu and Bay Pho combination noodle soup available.

Brisket is well known for its ‘fall apart’ tenderness, and the brisket at Bucking Bull in Tweed City Food Court is no exception. Dubbing themselves ‘The Roast Experts’, Bucking Bull’s menu includes roasts, burgers and sandwiches, loaded fries, fish and stacked spuds. Although we’re partial to a roast beef sandwich with salad, the Pulled Brisket Burger on a sesame bun with slaw and gravy is a real treat!

Bringing premium chocolate from Spain to the Tweed, the most difficult thing about dining at San Churro is making a choice! From churros and dipping pots to bowls and sundaes, desserts and cakes to coffee and chocolate drinks, San Churro Tweed City is the place where locals indulge their love of chocolate.

We share a San Churro Chocolate Bowl, the churro bowl filled with three types of chocolate ice cream, milk chocolate and chocolate fudge topped with whipped cream and chocolate flakes. Pure delight!

Tweed City Shopping Centre, 54 Minjungbal Drive Tweed Heads South

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Taste Tweed Farm Tour in a Box – Good Food Gold Coast

Foodies may have had a difficult time coping with isolation during the pandemic, but now the abundant produce of the Tweed Region is coming to you in a virtual farm tour.

In a first for the Tweed area, Mount Warning Tours operator Michael Simmons and Taste Tweed Festival organiser Jayne Henry have partnered to produce Taste Tweed Farm Tour in a Box, bringing the Tweed to your door.

From the Tweed Shire to you, Taste Tweed Farm Tour in a Box takes us on a unique journey through the stunning Tweed Shire, an abundant food bowl of produce grown in the area’s rich volcanic soil.

In a feast for the senses, a virtual farm tour, locally produced produce and a complimentary bundle of extras are bundled up into one box.

“This is a unique way to show just what we have to offer on the Tweed,” Mr Simmons says. “While people may not be able to come here at present, we hope this package will entice those who purchase it to come once restrictions are finished.”

What’s so special about the box? It contains film, experience and produce. The USB contains interviews with thirteen different growers and producers of the local region on a virtual farm tour, a Tweed River cruise voucher lets you experience a tour of the area, and the many unique products included in the box bring you a first-hand taste of regional flavours.

Overflowing with local goodness, the Taste Tweed Farm Tour in a Box includes tastings from Husk Farm Distillery (North Tumbulgum), Tropical Fruit World (Duranbah), Madura Tea Estates (Clothiers Creek), Bucks Farm (Chillingham) The Chilli Chick (Cudgen), Dona Cholitas (Burringbar), Flutterbies Cottage Cafe (Tyalgum) and Tyalgum Honey Thieves (Tyalgum), Tweed Shire and farm tour documentary, recipe cards and shopping list and a Mount Warning Tours Rainforest Cruise voucher (valued at $50) with an open validity date.

Valued at $175, the purchase price includes free delivery Australia wide, Taste Tweed merchandise, a livestream cooking workshop, rainforest cruise voucher and more. All purchasers of the Taste Tweed Farm Tour in box receive access to the members only section of the Mount Warning Tours website where you will find interactive photo trails and exclusive content only available to members.

To experience the unique Tweed area and its produce from the comfort of your own home, the Taste Tweed Farm Tour in a Box can be purchased online at the Mount Warning Tours website.

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