Former public servant an unlikely hitman

David Eastman emerged as a suspect in the murder of Colin Winchester early in the investigation.When n Federal Police Assistant Commission Colin Winchester was shot twice in the head outside his Canberra home in January 1989, the instant speculation was it had been a mafia hit.
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After all, the mafia did that sort of thing, and not just in the movies.

In July 1977, anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay was shot dead in Griffith.

The subsequent Woodward Royal Commission found he was murdered on the orders of an offshoot of the Calabrian crime group Ndrangheta.

Colin Winchester was involved in investigating organised crime involvement in cannabis plantations outside Canberra.

Yet the comprehensive investigation into his death – of the most senior policeman to be murdered in – found no evidence of mafia involvement.

Very early on, one man emerged as the prime suspect and a most unlikely one at that – former Treasury official David Eastman.

Now 73, Mr Eastman has twice faced trial for the Winchester murder.

In November 1995, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

This week, a second jury found him not guilty after a lengthy retrial.

Mr Eastman resigned from the Treasury in 1977. When he wasn’t immediately snapped up by high-paying financial firms, he set about returning to the public service.

The public service clearly had no desire to have him back as he had proved to be a difficult employee, supremely intelligent but with an abrasive personality and an inability to get on with workmates and many others he encountered in daily life.

Yet he was persistent, engineering his return by steadily overturning a series of administrative decisions.

By the end of the 1980s, his long-sought goal was closer than ever – with one sticking point.

In December 1987, he had been charged with assault over an altercation with a neighbour over a parking spot.

Mr Eastman believed an assault conviction would bar his return to the public service and set about having the charge dropped, lobbying politicians and police and ultimately Mr Winchester in a meeting on December 16, 1988.

He was told the case would proceed.

Prosecutor Murugan Thangaraj SC said Mr Eastman had developed a murderous hatred of police, who he believed were acting corruptly, and that hatred focused on Mr Winchester.

Mr Eastman was first interviewed by police the day after the murder and only because of his meeting with Mr Winchester.

Significantly, he could not account for his whereabouts at the time of the murder.

He said it was his habit to drive around and have a takeaway meal but couldn’t say where he had been the previous night.

Meantime, police embarked on a detailed examination of the crime scene, starting with a pair of spent .22 cartridge cases and identifying the murder weapon as an American-made Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle.

That weapon has never been found but police narrowed it down to a single rifle sold by Queanbeyan man Louis Klarenbeek.

Cartridge cases from when Mr Klarenbeek test-fired the rifle, plus those provided by a previous owner, matched those found at the crime scene.

Mr Klarenbeek, who’s since died, never identified the buyer and said it wasn’t Mr Eastman.

But in 1993, another man came forward to identify Mr Eastman as the man he had seen at Mr Klarenbeek’s home.

There was more. Police bugged Mr Eastman’s apartment home and recorded him muttering supposedly incriminating admissions.

Mr Eastman’s first trial proved far from smooth as he abused the judge and repeatedly fired, hired, then again fired, a succession of lawyers.

The prosecution case was mostly circumstantial, though some evidence – such as gunshot residue in his car boot matching that from ammunition at the crime scene – appeared damning.

Mr Eastman was never going to do his time quietly and mounted a series of appeals and legal challenges, culminating in the Martin inquiry, which in 2014 recommended his conviction be quashed, specifically citing dubious evidence about gunshot residue.

Nineteen years after being jailed, Mr Eastman walked free and there it might have ended.

But it was decided there should be another trial, which started on June 18.

That featured none of the antics of the first trial. Mr Eastman sat quietly throughout.

He didn’t give evidence, but his lawyer George Georgiou SC mounted a solid defence, nibbling away at the prosecution evidence and raising the possibility it was the mafia all along.

Again the prosecution case was wholly circumstantial, with Mr Thangaraj stressing the many pieces of evidence which he said, when taken together, formed a compelling case that Mr Eastman murdered Mr Winchester.

But the jury wasn’t convinced. Almost 30 years after the murder, they found Mr Eastman not guilty.

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Renew Newcastle hopes liquor licence, Supercars kick-start station revival

READY TO GO: Steven Johnson’s Ford Mustang, the leader of the Touring Car Masters series, parked on the platform at Newcastle Station on Thursday. Renew Newcastle boss Christopher Saunders hopes the organisation’s efforts to revive Newcastle Station are back on track after finally securing a liquor licence for the venue this week.
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Mr Saunders said on Thursday that Renew had been operating with one hand tied behind its back since The Station, as it is now branded, reopened with a well attended launch party two months ago.

He admitted the organisation had received internal criticism from the state government’s Revitalising Newcastle program, which is also its landlord, about a lack of activity at the site.

But he was now hopeful the liquor licence, which was delayed after objections from some nearby residents, would provide the group with revenue to stage concerts, performances, movie nights and other activities.

The next major event on The Station’s calendar is this weekend’s Newcastle 500 Supercars race, where Renew will host a trackside viewing area, bar and barbecue run by New Lambton Football Club.

The venue, which has christened itself The Station-Masters Bar for the weekend, will be inside the race precinct and open from Friday to Sunday.

Vehicles in the Touring Car Masters series have set up their pit garages on the station’s platform.

How to enter the station bar during the Newcastle 500 this weekend.

Renew Newcastle, agrassroots, non-profit cultural organisation with a celebrated record of reviving vacant commercial spaces on a shoestring budget, seemed astrange bedfellow for the government’s pro-development revitalising program when it was announced as the winning tenderer for The Station in December.

Two months into Renew’s 18-month lease,the venue has largely failed to live up to expectations it would be a lively entertainment space.

Mr Saunders said this was due to an absenceof public funding for Renew, which had once received up to $150,000 a year in local and state government grants.

It had received some sponsorship from Hunter Water in September, without which it would have folded.

“For an organisation that’s been going for 10 years, a non-profit that is providing a civic service for the whole community, let’s face it, this is the first year we have not had any funding,” he said.

“Why does a small, under-funded, under-resourced organisation face this expectation that we will deliver this major project for the city for nothing?”

The lack of funding has clearly been a source of tension between Renew and its government masters, and Mr Saunders has been keen to protect his organisation’s reputation during what has been a difficult two months.

He posted a message on Facebook last week which read: “Just clocked up my 200th volunteer hour at The Station. That’s 200 hours on top of my 36 hour week.

“This whole venture has been made possible because people are giving their time to make this work for Newcastle.

“The Station can be the city’s playground but we are all going to need to play nicely together and pitch in to make it work. Hope to see you down here sometime soon.”

On Saturday, he posted another missive showing an empty Hunter Street Mall at 5.55pm and a crowd at The Station at 6.05pm with the words: “I remember a couple of years back when Renew had the Mall activated.

“I wonder if The Station will prove to be a more sustainable activation.”

Mr Saunders said on Thursday that liquor sales were always intended to be The Station’s main revenue stream, but Liquor and Gaming NSW delays in granting the licence seemingly contradicted the government’s desire for the venue to help revive the city’s nightlife.

Public submissions on the application closed in August, and the licence was granted on Wednesday.

Itrestricts The Station to staging live, amplified outdoor music to 12 times a month, but Mr Saunders said this should be enough to make the venue viable.

Newcastle City Council approved a development application in September for the “temporary activation” of the former rail terminus, including a cafe, technology laboratory, rehearsal spaces, concerts, outdoor movies, food trucks and markets.

The application drew 20 objections from residents, including one from Newcastle East Residents Group, concerned about noise and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Saunders said he hoped this weekend’s car race would help kick-start revenue for more activities at The Station.

It will host a Big Al’s pop-up restaurant on the platform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week and a Renew Newcastle 10thbirthday celebration the following Sunday, December 9.

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Letters to the editor November 24 2018

NO PROTECTION: A reader argues that stronger penalties should apply to those who harass victims of sexual assault. For support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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TO Kerry Redman, George Garnsey, Garry Blair and Don Fraser (Letters, 16/11):I have a daughter going through a sexual assault case. She now has few friends, no social life, no school to go to next year, no self esteem andwill have to stop playing sport due the merciless abuse and attack on her character.

Everyone for some reason supports the male even though none of them have seen the evidence. Sorry, Kerry, but there are no laws in place to protect them. Don, please don’t get your daughters or grand-children to scream from the rooftops or I fearthe same will happen to them.

I have been told that this is just society andthe way it is. If that is the way it is, what a disgraceful society we live in.No wonder girls andwomen are too scared to come forward andreport sexual assault. Something needs to be done, anddone now.

People who attack sexual assault victims need to be held accountable as I consider them just as bad as the perpetrator.

Name withheldWATCHDOG WAS ON GUARDI WRITE regarding the Jan Davis opinion piece (‘Dirty deeds done at Rutherford while watchdogs slept’, Newcastle Herald,16/11).The NSW Environment Protection Authority strongly rejects assertions that pollution at the Rutherford Truegain site and its impact on residents has been ignored.

The EPA has issued 18 penalty notices since 2000 and on each occasion the company has been forced to make improvements. The EPA has also successfully prosecuted the company twice in the NSW Land and Environment Court, for water pollution in 2003 and for failing to operate in a competent manner in 2014. The company’s licence was revoked earlier this year.

Suggestions that EPA officers have not been vigilant in monitoring Truegain closely and pursuing them for breaching their environmental licence, and for odour offences, are false.

Details of regulatory action taken by the EPA are available on the EPA’s public register.

Even with the best efforts of EPA investigators, insufficient evidence has sometimes been available to prosecute, including witnesses who have been unwilling to make formal statements to the EPA.

Prosecuting environmental crimes requires the EPA to put evidence before the court to the criminal burden of proof, that is, beyond reasonable doubt.

It is important that community and government work together to detect and prosecute environmental crimes. I encourage anyone with information about this or any other site to contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131555.

In June 2017, the EPA ordered the landowner to remove all liquid from the premises’ spill containment system and lawfully dispose of it, and then do so again within 48 hours of any rainfall event.

The landowner’s contractor has commissioned an EPA-licensed mobile waste treatment plant and is treating the contaminated water.

The EPA is also continuing to investigate any other potential sources of PFAS in the Stony Creek catchment and is targeting industries where PFAS chemicals have been used or stored.

The public should have complete faith that the NSW Environment Protection Authority promptly investigates pollution and takes appropriate and effective action to protect the community and the environment, including holding the polluters at Truegain to account.

Mark Gifford, NSW Environment Protection Authority associate chief executive and chairBENEFITS ARE YET TO EMERGEWE are stillwaiting to find out the benefits of Supercars to Newcastle.

We have been asked to believe that our lord mayor and councillors were not privy to the contents of original agreement before it was signed with Supercars (‘Supercars services deed kept secret from councillors’,Herald,9/6).

We need to look at the inconvenience over many years, not just over a weekend but for weeks every year.

It affectsthose who reside in the east end and those who would like to access the beaches and businesses in our beautiful city.

We also have suspicions about the numbers attending the Supercars weekend as recently revealed by mobile phone records (‘Phone data counters Supercars crowd tally’, Herald, 16/11).

The benefits to businesses in the area is questionable. The amount paid to Supercars has never been made public. We have a right to feel deceived and not consulted about a major event in our city and we are still paying for it and will be for a very long time.

So now we are asked to be happy about this event?I don’t think so.

Denise Lindus Trummel,MayfieldPLAN TO INVESTIGATE ITI BELIEVE the call for an ICAC investigation into mining planning approvals in this state (‘Planning department corruption allegations referred to ICAC’, Herald,22/11) is well overdue.

The formerjudgewho ledthe ICAC investigations that exposed Obeid, McDonald and Maitland, David Ipp QC,repeated his lack of confidence this year when he describedevents surrounding the Ridgelands Resources approval as a “Claytons” process (‘David Ipp, QC accuses NSW government of ‘elaborate Clayton’s’ mining licence procedures’, Herald,20/3)

He said thatwhen government “doesn’t respect its own laws it’s a recipe for corruption”.

Those of us who live in the ever-increasing shadow of mining approvals know this very well.

It is time for the NSW government to allow the truth to be known.

The banking royal commission was similarly opposed by government, and we now know what a hotbed of lies and corruption that exposed.Independent investigation must happen in this case, and soon.

Judith Leslie,BulgaKEEP TRACK OF MISTAKESNEWCASTLE, we’ve done it again. Or should that be, it’s been done to usagain!

Wednesday night I was reading the Supercars website and saw their lead headline announcing “tram tracks to be covered for Newcastle 500” (‘Tram tracks to be covered’, Herald, 22/11)

I love Supercars andI’m proudly from the Hunter but I’m not a Newcastle street circuit fan.

With that declaration made, I believe rightly or wrongly thatthis once again makes us look stupid as a city. I’m increasingly disappointed that others’ mistakes make Novocastrians look like buffoons.

Garry Blair,MaitlandLETTER OF THE WEEKThis week the pen goes to Adam Walton, of Toronto, for his letter on giving the light rail a chance.

SHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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Marcus Harris wins China Test call-up

Justin Langer has likened likely Test debutant Marcus Harris to a little brother, insisting the opener who once shunned his mentorship can help halt n cricket’s malaise.
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Harris, who was included in ‘s 14-man squad for the first two Tests against India, is set to debut at Adelaide Oval on December 6.

A baggy green will cap a remarkable turn of events for Harris, whose career has gone from strength to strength since he walked out on Langer-coached Western to join Victoria in 2016.

Much has been made of Langer lamenting at the time how Harris’ “performances have been mediocre with flashes of brilliance”.

But the former Test opener, now in charge of the national team, says talk of bad blood is incorrect and hurtful.

“I love him. He makes me laugh every time I see him. When I read those things it’s like a dagger to my heart,” Langer told reporters.

“It’s absolute myth and I hate myth.

“Marcus Harris is like my little brother.

“I used to throw millions of balls to him.

“And then he’d get 20 and I’d want to shake him every time and say you’re getting 20, that’s mediocre … what he’s done to his great credit is become consistent.”

Langer sent Harris a congratulatory message after he scored an unbeaten 250 in the Sheffield Shield last month. Another text followed the recent selection meeting.

“He said ‘welcome to the brotherhood you little bastard’,” Harris told reporters.

“It (the mediocre comment) didn’t really wind me up … I understood that if you put a lot of time into someone and they leave the state, you’d be upset. That was fine by me.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him … we ended on good terms.”

Langer agreed.

“I tried to talk him into staying … we had a big hug and we’ve been in touch ever since,” he said.

Former coach Darren Lehmann is among the good judges to have likened Harris, who has scored 1951 Shield runs at 47.58 since joining Victoria, to Langer.

Harris and Langer’s shared history predates their time at the WACA. Both openers started their career at Perth club Scarborough.

“Everywhere I looked he was on the TV or down at Abbett Park. I definitely watched him,” Harris said.

“I haven’t tried to copy him at all, it’s just the way it’s ended up.

“We had the same batting coach, that probably had a bit to do with it.”

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns noted it wasn’t just Harris’ recent innings that caught the eye of selectors.

“He made plenty of runs, he’s displayed the mental application we believe is required … he has performed in high-pressure matches, including Sheffield Shield finals,” Hohns said.

Harris’ Victoria teammates Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Chris Tremain and Peter Siddle were also included in the squad.

Usman Khawaja was selected and has overcome a knee injury, seemingly leaving Harris and Handscomb locked in a battle for the final spot in the XI.

squad: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle, Peter Handscomb.

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Storm hope Bellamy return locks Smith in

The Storm say Cameron Smith’s future should be sorted once Craig Bellamy returns to work.Melbourne Storm boss Dave Donaghy is counting on the return of coach Craig Bellamy to resolve a contract stalemate with Cameron Smith following reports the skipper is demanding a two-year deal.
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Bellamy and long-time football manager Frank Ponissi are due back at work next week after a post-season fact-finding mission in the UK and Europe.

Initially seeking a one-year deal which would see him surge pass the 400-game mark, it’s reported Smith is now seeking a two year contract.

Donaghy said the 35-year-old wasn’t holding the Storm to ransom with the extension but added the NRL club wouldn’t be walked over.

“It’s not a case as if Cam’s walked in and said ‘I want two years or I’m walking out’,” Donaghy told SEN Breakfast radio.

“It’s also not a case that we’ve said, ‘Here’s two years and would you like a foot rub as well’.

“For us it’s about ensuring the decisions we make into the future are in the best interests of the football club and collectively we all understand that.”

Donaghy said the club would consider the longer deal if it “worked for everyone”.

He said the club needed to balance the value of their ageing great and the financial worth of young stars.

“There’s many factors that go into decision making around signing a player, whether it’s a one-year, two-year, three-year deal, you’ve got to weigh up our list balance and salary cap,” Donaghy said.

“The reality is you pay players on what they’re delivering into the future, not what they’ve delivered.

“If everything is stacked up and it was a deal which worked for everyone and physically, mentally, Cameron was in a position that he was absolutely confident to continue at the age of 37, we would certainly give it strong consideration.”

Smith isn’t due back at training until early January, while as well Bellamy and Ponissi, Donaghy has also been overseas.

Signing a three-year deal in July to remain head coach for a remarkable 19 years, Bellamy will no doubt have the final say on his roster.

“It’s been challenging just by matter of circumstance and logistics,” Donaghy said.

“Craig and Frank are in the air flying back in from Europe so it’s been challenging finding a time for everyone to sit down and talk the future through but that will happen sooner rather than later.”

Donaghy admitted the Storm were still to complete a deal with star five-eighth Cameron Munster but insisted the outcome of the Smith contract wasn’t related.

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‘Hazardous’ air as dust storm hits Sydney

A thick line of dust that has smothered much of NSW and Sydney has caused air quality to reach a ‘hazardous’ level with another wave of dust set to come.
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Strong winds from a low pressure system have whipped up masses of dirt across the drought-stricken state, which headed towards the coast on Thursday.

The storm stretched more than 500km from the Victorian border, through Canberra and up towards Queensland.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Simon Louis says more dust is expected to be pushed to the coast late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

He said the dust should not be underestimated despite its grey, hazy appearance with the majority coming from lake beds in South .

“Even though it may not have looked quite so red and spectacular (as 2009) the air quality has dropped significantly,” Mr Louis told reporters in Sydney.

Environmental health director Richard Broome said people should stay inside as much as possible due to the air quality between Sydney and the Hunter reaching a ‘hazardous’ level.

“It’s important for the rest of the day people should be cautious,” he told reporters in Sydney.

He said dust particles can get very deep into people’s lungs and cause heart and lung conditions, asthma and emphysema to worsen.

NSW Ambulance Assistant Commissioner Tony Gately said there had been a “significant peak” in call outs with 90 people needing assistance due to asthma or breathing difficulties on Thursday morning.

Extra paramedics and call takers have been put on to meet the demand with up to eight calls coming in every hour.

“Anyone prone to respiratory distress needs to be absolutely vigilant,” Mr Gately said in a statement.

“This warning cannot be underestimated, conditions like asthma can be deadly and to take risks in the current conditions would be very ill advised.”

NSW Health has urged children, older people and those with respiratory conditions to take extra care.

The gusty winds which brought the dust have also affected flights at Sydney Airport with up 40 departing flights cancelled and delays across all airlines.

The Sydney Airport tweeted on Thursday afternoon both international and domestic flights have been effected as they are forced to operate on a single runway due to the weather.

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Homes of the HunterBeach sets scene for luxurious stylePhotos

Homes of the Hunter | Catherine Hill Bay | Photos Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth
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Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

TweetFacebookDoctor Who – bigger on the inside than the outside.

You wouldn’t realise the two-storey, five-bedroom, three-bathroom house is as spacious and magical as it is until you walk inside.

“They pulled out the ceilings and walls (making) that big open living area,” Suzie says. “We spend a hell of a lot of time there, and it sort of flows in and out onto the deck; it’s just stunning.”

They have a portable air-con but they hardly ever use it because the sun and the sea breeze keeps everything at the perfect temperature most days.

“It’s a big social home; you can sit 18 people around the table, and it’s got its own area downstairs. We’ve got the beach and the community,” she says.

The spotted gum hardwood floors are Tung oiled and a prominent part of the house. The builder picked the trees up at a plantation in Rockhampton after a cyclone; they were all blown over and knocked around. Baxter’s brother used them to build the floors, decking and structural posts.

While the renovations were happening, Baxter was in New York, and he’d come back and check it out from time to time.

“Kirk’s brother made it into a beautiful home; we’ve just maintained it and put our fluff in there,” Suzie says.

Their “fluff” is quite intriguing, particularly the artwork. They have a large collection from the many facets of their life.

“(We have) lots of art from travel; it’s a creative space,” Suzie says. “My husband has a thing for bulls; he’s a Taurus, so he’s got a connection with it.”

They have artwork from a friend in Spain, an artist named Alvaro Sotomayer. He paints a lot of bulls, and he’s also an activist fighting and protesting the Running of the Bulls and the suffering of animals.

The roomy ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom has a summer feel of fun and fresh with blue tiles and lots of space.

The downstairs bathroom has a luxurious tub, and it opens into a private courtyard; she calls it the “Bali area”.

Of course, it’s just a two-minute walk to the beach.

It’s certainly idyllic for a holiday, so it makes sense that the pair rent the place out from time to time.

When they aren’t renting it out, they love to visit. She says Catherine Hill Bay is a delightful community. When she and Bernard moved in 15 years ago they made three documentaries about the area. They interviewed a lot of the older miners in the town who have since passed away.

It appears that the film folks from Sydney have truly set up the perfect scene for themselves in ‘Catho’.

Have a home that could feature in Weekender?We’d love to see it.Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Qld strawberry accused granted bail

A Queensland woman accused of sparking a national food safety panic by inserting needles into strawberries allegedly mentioned the idea of doing so two years earlier.
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My Ut Trinh, 50, has been granted bail after being charged with food contamination offences earlier this month. Police allege they identified her DNA on a needle found in a strawberry punnet in Victoria.

Prosecutors allege the former strawberry farm supervisor was seeking revenge over a workplace grievance when she contaminated the fruit.

She allegedly told a co-worker: “If I hate anyone, I would put the needle in the strawberry and make them go bankrupt”, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

The co-worker claimed she made the comments “one or two years ago”.

Trinh’s lawyer Nick Dore argued the evidence was circumstantial and statements against her were “littered with hearsay and innuendo”.

“There is no motive. There has been no suggestion why this would occur,” Mr Dore said.

“That’s the strength of the case – a conversation that maybe occurred maybe one or two years ago.

“They say it’s to create financial harm. In the statement by the complainant … there’s no threat, ‘I’m going to do this’. There’s not, ‘if you don’t pay me X, I will do Y’.

“Where’s the disagreement? He (the complainant) in fact says there’s no disagreement.”

Trinh was working at Berrylicious in her hometown of Caboolture, north of Brisbane, between September 2 and 5 when she allegedly inserted needles into the fruit.

She was charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss.

DNA found on one of the needles was “100 billion times likely” to be Trinh’s, police prosecutor Cheryl Tesch told the court.

Growers like Trinh’s boss suffered financial losses of about $160 million, according the prosecution, as they were forced to destroy crops.

“It’s alleged the offences committed by the defendant had serious economic consequences … not just for the complainant farmer in this case … but for the n economy as a whole,” Ms Tesch said.

The first needle was discovered on September 9 when a man bit into a contaminated strawberry he bought at a supermarket.

Trinh almost immediately became a person of interest to police, the court had previously heard.

As more needles were discovered around the country – with many believed to have been planted by copycats – strawberries were stripped from shelves.

Police have said 230 needle contamination incidents were ultimately reported nationwide, affecting 68 strawberry brands.

Trinh will relinquish her passport and has been barred from speaking to former farm worker colleagues as part of her bail conditions.

She faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

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Newcastle’s light rail trips up R2-D2

Artificial Intelligence: R2-D2 after tripping over the light rail tracks in Newcastle. Tram lines are great for people usinglight rail, but not so much for droids.
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This recent photo shows the risks involved. R2-D2 came a cropper and was unable to get back up. Poor robot.

Cyclists will no doubt feel empathy, given one or two of their kind have had stackson the light rail track.

Topics hears adroid action group is gathering signatures for a petition to take to the city council.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp and cycling advocates recently raised concerns about the lack of a dedicated cycleway on Hunter Street. But what about a dedicated droid-way? Droids are a minority group who clearly need help. We know we can count on Tim to take the concerns of droids to Parliament.

We also read in the Herald on Thursday that Supercars will be given special treatment. The tram tracks will be covered up at Watt Street to prevent damage to racecars. This is clearly a case of droid discrimination.

Glen Fredericks, of Empire Coffee Co at Honeysuckle, is R2-D2’s owner and guardian. We reckon he’d be the most likely candidate to form a droid action group.

The droids will no doubt be accused of wanting the revitalisation of Newcastle to fail. But they’ve got Luke Skywalker, Yoda and The Force on their side. So they should be well equipped, as they seek fairness and justice in Newcastle and the wider galaxy.

Imagine if droid and cycling advocates joined forces. They could get some real change happening.

Like many people, we’re disappointed that there’s no dedicated cycling lane on Hunter Street. Our sense of disappointment now extends to the droid community.

Speaking of minority groups who need attention, we should spare a thought for cafes and other businesses in Newcastle outside the zone thatGlen has dubbed “Supercars City”.

With the big event on again this weekend, Glen’sbeen asked whether it’s worth coming to hiscafe or othersin Newcastle.

“Please do,” he said, adding that Hunter Street,Honeysuckle Drive and surrounding streetswill be quietif it’s anything like last year’s event.Hunter Street, he said, may as well havehad“tumbleweeds going down it”.

Last year, the thousands of spectators stayed insideSupercars City, spending little in eateries outside the event zone,Glen said.He has no beefwith this.

“The great thing is, people going to Supercars use public transport.If you’re thinking of coming into the Empire or any cafe or restaurant around here, come on in. There was stacks of parking last year. The streets were fairly clear.”

“Come to a cafe, get yourself brekky and enjoy the rest of Newcastle while everybody is packed into Supercars Citydoing their own thing.”

The TimeLordCultThe cult phenomenon that is Doctor Who will land in Wallsend on Saturday.

Whovians from far and wide will descend on the town’s Heroes and More store.

The time-traveling doctor has long held the fascination of discipleswho like nothing better than losing themselves in mysterious, fictional, parallel universes. Most fans would surely admit that thetime-travel theme is what most grips them about the long-running series. If you can find thetime, you might want to attend the event. It’llinclude specially ordered stock, trivia competitionsand prizes for best dressed. It runs from10am to2pm.

First EditionWhile we’re on the fantasy theme, we hear Cooks Hill Books has in its possession ann first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in 1997. The book was thefirst in theHarry Potterseries and JK Rowling’sdebut novel. It can be yours for $150.

Shopper RageCharlestown Square has a bag library.

“If you forget your re-usable bag, borrow one on us. If you have too many bags, leave them at the bag library for your fellow shoppers,” the shopping centre said on its Facebook page.

It added that the bag library was located on the ground floor atthe supermarket entrance.

Quite a few people were chuffed with this, saying in the commentsection that it was a cute idea. Some said it was helpful as they often forget their bags.

Funny thing is, though, you can get plastic bags at supermarkets for 15 cents. What’seven funnier is that there’sa lot of shopper rage in society about having to fork out 15 cents.Guess Charlestown Square is doing its bit to dampen this rage. With Christmas coming, that has to be a good thing.

Jodie Whittaker stars as Doctor Who.

A Harry Potter first edition.

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Letters to the editor November 26 2018

IN LIMBO: The planned Newcastle cruise terminal has hit troubled waters after the government refused to exceed its $12.9 million pledge despite the Port’s requests. A MULTI-MILLION dollar cruise terminal may be nice, but will the ships stay any longer (‘Port urged to get started’, Newcastle Herald 21/11)?
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The usual practice of staying no more than 12 hours will never cover the cost of a fancy terminal, as most tourists would simply remain on boardto recover from motion sickness or not want the mad rush of seeing little and returning to the boat on time.

Unless a guarantee of at least 24 hourswith a sleep-over can be established, I believe building a terminal would be acomplete waste of money and time.

Apart from adding to the city’smust-have bucket list, I think Newcastle should save itsmoneyand invest in grey nomad accommodation.Places like Stockton havean abundance of large,level areasnot far from the passenger ferry offering easy access into Newcastle.

$17 million, the potential final cost of a terminal, would build a four-star destination for grey nomads not just for a few days a year as in the shipping terminal, but every day of the year.Does council actually have a tourism officer, or are most decisions the brainchild of a select few?

Carl Stevenson,Dora CreekA CITY IS NOT STATIONARYTHE two-month-plus struggle for Renew Newcastle to secure a liquor licence (‘Drink licence fuels Station’,Herald23/11) shows we still have a way to go in recognising the needs of the city versus the needs of a few.

The Station is a key strategic site in the revitalisation of our city. It’s a beautiful heritage building that has enjoyed a stunning facelift and which now offers both young and old a wonderful event space in which to celebrate our city.

Yet Liquor and Gaming NSW has, following objections from just 20 people, limited the Station’s liquor licence to 12 days a month, effectivelythree days a week.

I’ve been advised that the majority of those objecting are concerned about noise. Noise in a city, day and night, is a good thing. It signifies activity, which is what our city needs in order to grow its population, attract investment and build a sustainable day and night-time economy. In terms of the Station’s liquor licence and supposed noise generating ability, let’s not forget this is a site that was until just a few years ago a train station. It’s also a site that to the south-east looks across to the recently reopened Great Northern Hotel and, to the north-east, the hotel at Customs House. It’s also located on the corner of Watt Street, one of our busiest streets in terms of traffic starting and stopping. It’s one of the noisiest parts of our city, which is what makes the Station ideally located as a place for public entertainment.

I appreciate for a select few that choose to live in the East End and CBD, noise is a burden. Yes, some of you may have made the city your home when it was less noisy,but it is the right of a city to change, to grow and to get noisier.

I encourage Renew Newcastle to apply for a less restrictive liquor licence and look forward to supporting their application with a submission on behalf of City of Newcastle.

Jeremy Bath, City of Newcastle chief executivePEDDLE FIXES FOR SUBURBSWHY anyone would choose to ride on Hunter Street where safe shared path exists 50 metres north, along the harbour, is beyond me. Honeysuckle Drive and King Street also have marked bike lanes.

Myselfand the majority of cyclists riding in the city, seem to be aware of these alternatives to riding on Hunter Street. Hunter Street has never been a safe place to cycle given the narrow lane widths and parked cars. The light rail hasn’t changed this.

How about focusing energy on advocating for improvements to cycling black spots outside the city centre where no safe alternative exists?

Thomas McNamee,MaryvilleRICHES MUST POUR DOWNNO-ONE ever made a fortune by honest work.Other people have to be exploited, especially through their ignorance of the circumstances of the situation.

Throughout history nations have exploited more primitive or less developed peoples; for example, slavery, underpayment for resources or manufactured goods and farm products.

Most nations exploited should have had a future fund set up with some of the profits made. Exploitation still goes on in countries where manufacturing textiles and electronic goods occur because wages are low.

In developed countries, those who handle the income and profits of companies vote large salaries and bonuses to themselves for underpaying employees. I believe the remuneration of everyone in the nation should relate to the wealth of the economy.

As the wealth increases through resources and manufacturing, so the return to the people increases according to their contribution and not the power of their lobbying.

In this country, I believe the Fair Work Commission in relation to the budget should set all salary levels, not just those of the lowest paid. It is not fair that the highest-paid people set their own level.

John McLennan,CharlestownHAVING A LEND OF USI AM somewhat astounded to see watchdogs includingASIC and Choice complaining about Afterpay (‘Consumer groups highlight Afterpay risks as ASIC prepares report’, SMH 16/11).I have never encountered a problem. In fact,this company has been a godsend to me helping me to afford presents for Christmas.

What smacks of hypocrisy is that there are so many unscrupulous companies such as pay-day lenders ripping people off with huge interest rates. They are everywhere, especially in the poorer suburbs, and I feel sick just walking past thinking of how many people are getting ripped off. They are even allowed to advertise in the media.

Where is the justice of going after a company who only charge a small fee if payments are late?I believe the onus is for people to regulate themselves to an extent.

Karen Starkie,WaratahSHOW RENAE COMPASSIONI HOPE common sense will prevail for Renae Lawrence’s outstanding warrants (‘Lawrence hands herself in’, Herald 24/11) and she can put her past behind her. It’s not as if she’s been on the run,and considering the original mess regarding the Bali Nine arrests (‘AFP defends its role’, SMH 4/5/15), it’s probably the least that n law enforcement could do.

She is now 41 and being held responsible and accountable for silly actions of a 25-year-old. The cost to the community, her family and her will be considerably less if everyone just lets her quietly assimilate back into our community and rebuild her life. Time for forgiveness and compassion.

Antony Bennett, Bar BeachSHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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