Woodville North shooting victim hospitalised as police hunt for gunman

A man has been taken to hospital with gunshot wounds after an incident in Adelaide’s western suburbs.

Police earlier cordoned off Owen Street in Woodville North, after receiving reports of a gun being fired about 12:30pm.

A short time later, a 45-year-old man presented at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with gunshot wounds to his legs.

His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening and he has since been transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in a stable condition.

A nearby resident heard the gunshots and went to investigate, describing the incident as “full on”.

“I quickly ran outside to see,” she said.

Police earlier said they were searching for a shooter and have urged members of the public to stay away from the area.

STAR Group officers and police dogs have been called in to assist Western District detectives.

Officers are speaking to residents and police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police have not yet made any arrests but said the attack was not believed to be random.

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Tom Starling victim of ‘brutal’ assault by NSW Police, claims lawyer

Following the court proceedings, Singh-Panwar told the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age the CCTV footage from the restaurant showed Starling being punched and elbowed to the face by police while restrained.

Shortly after the incident, pictures emerged of Starling with a bloodied face, which required medical treatment from Gosford Hospital.

“The essential part of the defence case is what we consider a brutal assault by police,” he said.

“I can only speculate that they [the police] simply didn’t consider any of the evidence before lying charges; in particular, they didn’t view the CCTV footage or they were not aware it existed during the time of laying charges.

“There was no justification given for the original charges.”

Starling’s case was in Gosford Local Court on Thursday, where six out of the seven charges laid against him were dropped by police. Credit:NRL Photos

Singh-Panwar said he believes the officers involved will be subject to an official investigation as a result.

“I have no doubt that his reputation has been affected as a result of the original charges, and he’s deserving of that reputation being reinstated out of the police, now that the police accept that there’s essentially no evidence to support any of those allegations,” he said.

After the original charges were laid in December, sources close to Starling told the Herald the Raiders star became involved in the brawl to assist his brother after a bouncer made a comment to his mother.

It was subsequently reported the Raiders hooker reached for a gun of one of the officers but Starling vehemently denied the allegation.


“The families were understandably upset that these charges were laid when there was no foundation for them,” Singh-Panwar said.

“He has never accepted that he was involved in any wrongdoing, in particular, he denies that he ever assaulted police arrest or reached for a firearm and was involved in any unlawful violence.”

Starling and his brother were at the venue celebrating the birthday of the brother of Newcastle player Connor Watson with Kalyn Ponga and Jack Johns also in attendance.

Shortly after the incident, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart came out in defence of his player saying he would have been more disappointed in Starling if he hadn’t intervened.

“His version of events is a lot different than what’s been publicly stated,” Stuart said at the time.

The case will return to court in March where the CCTV will be used by his lawyer in an attempt to have the seventh charge dropped.

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Reedy Marsh alleged murder victim named as former government driver Mike Hawkes

Tasmanian political figures have expressed their shock at the news of the death of former parliamentary driver Mike Hawkes, 70, who was allegedly murdered in the state’s north on Tuesday.

Robert Gerard, 47, of Waverley, appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with murder.

He did not enter a plea and has been remanded in custody to reappear in court later in January.

Mr Hawkes’ body was found at his Reedy Marsh home west of Launceston just before 6:00pm on Tuesday.

His wife was treated for lacerations and released from hospital.

Former Liberal MP Bob Cheek said he was devastated to learn of the death of his old friend.

“When I was leader of the opposition and leader of the Liberal Party, Mike became my driver and we spent a lot of time together,” he said.

“When you’re getting home late from functions and travelling long distances, you become very close, we talked a lot, talked about our personal lives and families.”

A police car at the entrance to the Reedy Marsh property where Michael Hawkes’ body was found.(ABC News: Jessica Moran)

The highly respected driver retired several years ago.

Mr Cheek said Mr Hawkes was almost part of the family because the pair were travelling together so much.

“I really liked the guy. I really respected him,” Mr Cheek said.

“They say when you go into politics, make sure you get a dog, because that’s the only friend you’ll have.

“Well, I probably had my dog, but I also had Mike, and that’s why I’m devastated to hear the news.”

Mr Cheek said the former driver had a guesthouse where he had stayed three or four times.

“He used to have all the wild animals around his house and he’d put the spotlights on them — wallabies, bandicoots and everything else you could imagine used to come around the house and he was very proud of that,” he said.

Police car at entrance of rural road.
Mr Hawkes lived on Larcombes Road at Reedy Marsh.(ABC News: Jessica Moran)

During the final years of Peg Putt’s time as Tasmanian Greens leader, Mr Hawkes was her driver.

Ms Putt said she was devastated by the news of his death.

“He was a top bloke and such a safe pair of hands. He also showed me his bush property with pride,” she said.

“I especially remember the two tribes of native hens, one of which he christened ‘the Taliban’.”

Mr Hawkes was also the driver for Burnie Mayor and former Labor MP Steve Kons, who described him as very athletic.

“He was a giant, over 6 feet tall, and very motivated with his fitness,” Mr Kons said.

Burnie Mayor Steve Kons
Former Labor MP Steve Kons said Mr Hawkes took a keen interest in politics.(ABC News)

Mr Kons said they spent hours on the road together, driving between Burnie and Hobart, and Mr Hawkes took a keen interest in his portfolios.

“He always cared about other people, cared about doing his job properly,” he said.

A neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, described Mr Hawkes as a friend.

“He and Judy were a close couple, with a long marriage,” he said.

He said the Reedy Marsh property had a number of houses on it and Mr Hawkes had lived there since the early 1990s.

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Robbery victim had foot imprint on his face, court told

A Northern NSW man charged over an alleged robbery has been refused bail.

Jarrod Steven Skimmings, 36, from Tweed Heads South, faced Byron Bay Local Court via video link from a cell at Tweed Heads Police Station on Monday.

Defence solicitor Riley Owen lodged not guilty pleas on Mr Skimmings’ behalf to charges of robbery and possessing implements to enter or drive a conveyance and committing a Section 114 offence having a previous conviction.

Police will allege he robbed Andrew McPherson of his wallet and mobile phone in Tweed Heads South shortly before midnight on January 1 this year.

He is further alleged to have possessed a key belonging to a vehicle on January 8.

Mr Owen also entered guilty pleas to allegations his client tried to stalk or intimidate a woman in Tweed Heads last December, as well as drug possession charges relating to January 8.

In applying for bail, Mr Owen said his client could live in South Grafton address and was willing to abstain from alcohol and drugs and submit to a curfew if released.

“At this stage the robbery (charge) appears to be wholly reliant on the statement of a witness, or the alleged victim who, on the fact sheet, was intoxicated at the time,” Mr Owen said.

He said the account of Mr McPherson was not backed up by other witnesses.

Regarding the charges of possessing a key, the court heard Mr Skimmings came to possess this “without any nefarious means”.

Mr Owen said the father-of-five would benefit from being released so he could care for his sick partner.

He said there was no allegation he was violent during the alleged robbery.

But Magistrate Michael Dakin said the alleged victim gave an account of being “punched and kicked” and there was the “impression of a sole imprint on his cheek”.

Mr Dakin refused bail, citing the defendant’s “history of violence”.

He said he was “not persuaded” bail conditions could mitigate risks posed to the community if Mr Skimmings was released.

The case will go before Tweed Heads Local Court on March 1.

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AFL 2021: Jordan De Goey indecent assault charge, court case, wants AFL interview with alleged victim, Collingwood Magpies

Collingwood player Jordan De Goey wants the AFL to hand over documents relating to its investigation into indecent assault claims against him, including an interview with the alleged victim.

The star forward is charged with indecent assault over an incident at Kew, in Melbourne’s leafy inner east, in June 2015.

His lawyer Tony Hargreaves told the court he wanted the AFL to hand over all material related to their internal investigation.

In particular, a recorded interview with the alleged victim was sought. It was conducted by the AFL’s head of integrity Tony Keane, Mr Hargreaves said.

Round 1
Jordan De Goey resumed training for the Magpies this month ahead of court appearances in relation to an alleged indecent assault in 2015. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

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Fairfield murder victim identified as gang figure

Kettule, a member of the True Kings, is the brother of Dyllan Kettule, who was also shot dead six years ago.

Police attended the scene of the brazen shooting in Downey Lane, near William St, in Fairfield at 2.40am today, just blocks away from the police station.A spokesman said Kettule, who lives in southwest Sydney, had been peppered with bullets and, despite attempts to resuscitate him, he died at the scene. A source this morning said is was believed Kettule was killed as a result of an ongoing feud between the True Kings and another street gang, DLAST HR.Both gangs are based in the Fairfield area, where the killing occurred. Amar Kettule’s 19-year-old brother Dyllan was gunned down in front of a block of units in Canley Vale. At that time, Amar raced on the scene and had to be restrained by police. Kettule is well known to police and has links to various Sydney bikie gangs including the Nomads.

At a media conference earlier this morning, acting commander Glen Fitzgerald said police were looking into whether Keattule’s brazen murder was connected to simmering gang feuds linked to low-level drug crime. Mr Fitzgerald said at 2.40am, Kettule had been in or near his car with a woman, who was seen sobbing at the crime scene.Several members of the man’s family arrived shortly afterwards.An older woman was wailing hysterically while hitting a police officer on the chest.Streets surrounding the central lane were blocked off by police tape on Sunday morning.Forensic investigators in hazmat suits and masks took pictures and scoured the area for evidence.Fairfield police will investigate the crime with the homicide squad.Acting Commander Fitzgerald said they were in the early stages of investigating the “targeted attack” but he would not rule out it had links to a spate of shootings last year. “It’s part of the investigation and the line of the inquiry but the cause and motive behind the shooting is very unknown, it’s still very early in the investigation,” he said.“We believe this is a targeted attack. He is well-known to police however this is a violent attack on a suburban street and is totally unacceptable behaviour.”“We are appealing to anyone in the vicinity who knew anything or who was there in the course of the night to contact Crime Stoppers.”A spate of shootings have gripped NSW in recent months, with bikie feuds and low-level drug spats erupting in suburban neighbourhoods.

Police vowed to come down hard on the violence in September last year after revealing there were 29 public place shootings the month prior, including 18 in Sydney and 11 in the regions.Police suspect a link between the execution of Comanchero stalwart Fares Abounder on August 30, 2020, and the botched attack on a Tur­rella businessman three days earlier.

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Suspected murder victim remembered as a lover of life

The shocked family of a woman allegedly murdered in Launceston on Boxing Day has remembered their “Mimi” as a woman who loved life and was always smiling.

Jingai Zhang’s body was found in a bedroom of a property on Wellington Street in Launceston’s CBD about 8.30pm on December 26.

Tasmania Police says a witness, police and paramedics tried to resuscitate the 49-year-old but she was declared dead at the scene.

A post-mortem concluded Ms Zhang had been murdered.

German national Tobias Pick, 27, has been charged with one count of murder and one count of stealing.

He did not enter a plea when he appeared in court on December 30 and was remanded to reappear on January 21.

Jingai Zhang and David Simmons were married for seven years.(Supplied)

Sister-in-law Leanne Beasley said Ms Zhang, known to her family as Mimi, was a much-loved wife, grandmother and auntie, who would be deeply missed.

Ms Beasley said Jingai Zhang was married to husband David Simmons for seven years.

“She got to spend Christmas with her husband and daughter-in-law and grandkids,” Ms Beasley said, adding that the whole family was in shock.

“Mimi is reunited with our parents. Mum passed away suddenly from a brain bleed in 2017, and Dad passed away from skin cancer in 2019.”

Ms Zhang was born in China but was an Australian permanent resident at the time of her death.

Ms Beasley said she would be cremated in case her family in China wanted her ashes returned.

“[She was] happy, always smiling, loved life and her family,” she said.

Jingai and her husband's parents.
Jingai and her husband’s parents.(Supplied)

A friend of Ms Zhang, who asked to remain anonymous, described her as extremely intelligent, bubbly, caring and “a bundle of energy”.

“She genuinely enjoyed life in Tasmania, and the lifestyle,” the friend said.

“I greatly miss her.”

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Victim of botched Chicago raid agrees to meeting with mayor

The attorney for a Black woman who wasn’t allowed to put on clothes before being handcuffed during a mistaken 2019 police raid on her home says his client has agreed to meet with Chicago’s mayor

CHICAGO — A Black woman who wasn’t allowed to dress before being handcuffed during a mistaken 2019 police raid on her home has agreed to meet with Chicago’s mayor, her attorney said Monday.

The woman, social worker Anjanette Young, plans to meet with Mayor Lori Lightfoot Wednesday at Progressive Baptist Church where she is a member, attorney Keenan J. Saulter said.

But Lightfoot said Monday that specific “details were still being worked out” on the meeting.

“It is certainly my hope that Miss Young and I meet and meet soon,” Lightfoot told reporters at an unrelated news conference.

Saulter said Young has also planned for a larger meeting with aldermen and Police Superintendent David Brown

The February 2019 wrongful raid on Young’s home has drawn wide criticism because police officers didn’t allow her to dress before handcuffing her. In police video footage, she repeatedly tells officers executing a search warrant that they have the wrong home. Lawmakers and civil rights activists have decried the incident, first aired by Chicago’s WBBM-TV, as racist and an affront to a Black woman’s dignity.

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Asbestos victim with mesothelioma from home renovations beats James Hardie liability appeal

An Adelaide man suffering terminal cancer from breathing in asbestos dust has defeated an appeal against his compensation claim — but will receive $850,000 less than in the original judgement.

Father-of-three Mathew Werfel will receive $2.23 million in compensation from the company that used to be James Hardie, instead of the $3.08 million awarded by the South Australian Employment Tribunal last year.

In a judgement handed down yesterday, the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia upheld the tribunal’s decision in favour of Mr Werfel that James Hardie owed a duty of care to people that used its products.

However, the court criticised Judge Leonie Farrell for copying reasons for her judgement from Mr Werfel’s claim.

James Hardie is now known as Amaca Pty Ltd.(File: AAP)

Mr Werfel, 44, said he hoped the Supreme Court’s decision would force James Hardie — now known as Amaca Pty Ltd — to undertake a public health campaign to ensure all Australians were aware of the risks posed by asbestos products.

“This case was never about me,” he said.

“From day one we were fighting on behalf of everyone across Australia who continues to be unknowingly exposed to James Hardie’s deadly asbestos products in their homes, workplaces and schools.

“The Full Court unanimously shared our view that James Hardie owed the community a duty of care to run an extensive public health campaign warning of the ongoing risks posed by their asbestos products.

“If I can prevent even one other person from contracting a deadly asbestos disease, this legal fight will have been worth all the energy we put in.”

Wide shot of the house that Mathew Werfel renovated
The house that Mathew Werfel renovated.(ABC News)

‘Third wave’ of asbestos victims

Mr Werfel was exposed to the deadly material while pulling down fences and renovating two homes between the late 1990s and early 2000s, unaware that they contained asbestos.

He was diagnosed with a rare form of mesothelioma in 2017 after he discovered a lump on the inside of his right leg.

A hole in an asbestos fence opposite a primary school in WA 7 March 2013
A fence containing asbestos.(Supplied: Asbestos Disease Society of WA)

There was no wheezing or shortness of breath because the tumour was not in his lungs, but one of the rare case where it develops in the testicles.

He has been given two years to live.

Mr Werfel’s lawyer, Annie Hoffman, described Mr Werfel as among the “third wave” of asbestos victims — those people doing renovations — after the first wave made up of miners and millers, and the second wave of tradespeople.

She said the decision extended James Hardie’s legal liability “to all those who may come into contact” with its products.

“The Full Court confirmed that James Hardie had a duty of care to the public to warn them of the ongoing risks posed by their asbestos products, and remains legally liable for the lives those products continue to destroy,” she said.

“This decision sets a precedent for any person who contracts mesothelioma due to drilling, sanding, cutting or handling James Hardie asbestos cement in their homes.”

Mathew and Jen Werfel
Mathew and Jen Werfel have three daughters.(ABC News)

James Hardie denies responsibility

Along with complaining about the judge’s reasons and the compensation figure, James Hardie denied that it had a relevant duty of care to Mr Werfel or that it breached that duty of care, or that any breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Justice Kevin Nicholson and Justice Mark Livesey said by 1980 James Hardie knew there was some risk from asbestos and by 1990 had a duty of care to people working with its products.

They said the fact Mr Werfel was a workplace safety representative “strongly supports the inference that he would have taken recommended precautions” if there had been warnings about the James Hardie fencing material he was working on.

However, they criticised Judge Farrell for copying 71 of 91 pages of Mr Werfel’s written submissions verbatim in giving the reasons for her judgement.

They reduced various aspects of Mr Werfel’s compensation, saying some of the calculations were “affected by error” and “manifestly excessive”.

“The appeal against liability is dismissed. The appeal against damages is allowed in part,” the judgement stated.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for James Hardie said the company was “not involved in the management of claims against Amaca or any of the other former group companies”.

“We are therefore unable to comment on this case or provide answers to your questions,” the spokeswoman said.

“Today’s case, and all such claims, are managed by the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund.”

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