August, 2019

Ex-NT police chief faces criminal charges

Former NT police commissioner John McRoberts is accused of derailing a major criminal investigation.The former NT police commissioner John McRoberts ordered his detectives not to raid a travel agency because it was owned by a woman he was having an affair with, a court has heard.
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Monday was the first day of the jury trial for McRoberts, who sat in the dock and pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

McRoberts, the Territory’s police chief from 2010 to 2015, was having an affair with Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis at the time, a travel agent and Crime Stoppers NT boss.

Prosecutor Michael McHugh SC told the court McRoberts was undermining his own police force’s investigation out of self-interest because he knew the seizure of Ms Kamitsis’ phone would have revealed intimate messages between the pair.

One of those messages was read out in court, in which Ms Kamitsis says “good night sweet dreams … I will always love you”.

Ms Kamitsis was one of a number of travel agents being investigated, and was later charged for defrauding a government pensioner travel concession scheme.

That included dishonestly invoicing the NT government for flight discounts for pensioners and pocketing the cash.

Current police commissioner and then deputy Reece Kershaw declared the defrauding of the travel scheme a “major crime” and the Director of Public Prosecutions encouraged police to lay charges.

However McRoberts met with then Chief Minister Adam Giles and other senior figures, telling them there was not enough evidence to charge and non-criminal civil financial penalties should be pursued to avoid damaging the NT’s reputation, the court heard.

Mr Roberts should never have been involved in an investigation involving Ms Kamitsis, which breached various police rules around associations, and also improperly spoke out against investigator Jason Blake’s abilities, the court heard.

“The accused did a number of different things, that is engaged in conduct intended to frustrate and deflect a criminal investigation,” Mr McHugh said.

“In so doing (he) was perverting the course of justice.”

Defence lawyer Tony Elliott denied McRoberts was even involved in the investigation and said just because a witness made allegations or had recollections from several years ago didn’t make it true or prove it.

The six-week trial will be a who’s who of Territory politics and power, with former chief minister Adam Giles, current police commissioner Reece Kershaw and former health department CEO Prof Len Notaras to give evidence.


Army apprentices to lead Anzac march

More than 600 former army apprentices will march in one of the biggest Anzac contingents this year.Nine years is a long commitment for a 15-year-old to make to the Army, but for thousands of apprentices it was one they made to serve their country.
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This year marks 70 years since the n Army Apprentices School was formed and to mark the event they’re leading this year’s Anzac Day march from the n War Memorial in Canberra.

More than 600 former apprentices, retired and still serving army members, will march in one of the biggest leading contingents in recent years.

Tim Wilde was one of those who made the lengthy commitment.

For 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, the apprenticeship scheme was their way into the army while they were still officially too young to join.

He signed up as a gas fitter and turner and after two to three years learning the trade he and other apprentices went into the regular army to learn the practical side of things.

“It was a way to build a trade base for the army and also for the building of the nation, so to speak,” he told AAP.

“Once we were qualified if we decided to leave and go out into the workforce we were well trained, well disciplined, young ex-soldiers that were good tradesmen.”

The scheme began in 1948 and, beginning with Vietnam, apprentices have served in every conflict since.

More than 1000 served in Vietnam, 678 in East Timor, 288 in Afghanistan and 227 in Iraq.

With an air of disappointment, Mr Wilde revealed he continued beyond the nine-year commitment, moving through the ranks, but left the army the year before Timor.

“You train for that sort of thing and not being able to put it into use is a bit of a downside but the era I was in there wasn’t that deployment, there wasn’t that activity in the world at that stage,” he said.

Those who did deploy overseas weren’t out of harm’s way. While in Canberra for Anzac Day, members will gather for a Last Post Ceremony to remember their fallen colleagues.

Mr Wilde now works as a senior project manager.

Other apprentices are spread far and wide across the globe in a range of industries, but still share a lot in common.

“When we get together with apprentice mates we joke about who still polishes their shoes, irons their own clothes,” he said.

The training college closed in 1995 but more than 400 former apprentices remain in the army.


NAB advisers ‘impersonated customers’

The banking royal commission will continue to hear more evidence about poor financial advice.NAB financial planners have impersonated customers, forged their signatures and withdrawn money from their accounts, the banking royal commission has heard.
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The inquiry has started dealing with cases of NAB advisers incorrectly witnessing binding beneficiary nomination forms for superannuation funds, which potentially affected the validity of the forms for about 2500 customers.

In a statement to the commission, senior National Bank executive Andrew Hagger said NAB financial advisers have engaged in improper or dishonest conduct.

It included forging customers signatures, impersonating customers and making unauthorised withdrawals from customer accounts.

Mr Hagger, the chief customer officer for NAB’s consumer and wealth management division, will continue giving evidence on Tuesday.

The commission earlier on Monday heard evidence about inappropriate advice given by ANZ and AMP advisers.

ANZ admitted the growth of its financial planning business was put ahead of customers’ best interests before changes to financial advice laws.

ANZ changed the bonus system for its directly-employed financial planners following the Future of Financial Advice reforms that banned commissions for advisers.

ANZ executive Kylie Rixon said before the introduction of FOFA in July 2013, ANZ Financial Planning had a culture of emphasising the growth of business more than the best interests of the client.

“Prior to 1 July 2013, when ANZ determined the financial rewards to advisers it placed greater emphasis on how the financial adviser had grown business as opposed to the quality of services provided to clients,” Ms Rixon told the banking royal commission.

“Incentives could be achieved on an adviser’s financial performance, even if that adviser did not meet basic requirements in respect of matters such as training.”

Ms Rixon, the chief risk officer for ANZ’s n wealth division, said that was no longer the case with incentives now assessed against new factors such as client satisfaction and service delivery.

“It has taken, and continues to take, time to change this culture,” she said in a statement to the commission.

“This is especially so where this focus has existed within the financial planning industry for a long period.”

ANZ employs almost 280 financial planners through ANZFP and has another 600 who are authorised representatives through its aligned dealer group.

Ms Rixon on Monday said ANZ had changed its standards for financial planners, in part due to the increasingly onerous regulatory requirements.

She said it also reflected the bank’s desire to create a culture that had the client at its centre, which she admitted had not always been the case in the past.


Bogut heading home to NBL with Kings

Andrew Bogut’s NBA career is over after signing an NBL deal with the Sydney Kings.The NBL has received a massive boost with Boomers veteran Andrew Bogut returning to to play with the Sydney Kings.
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The Kings revealed the news on social media on Sunday night, adding that they will send a press release on Monday morning with details of the NBA championship-winning centre’s recruitment.

Bogut later retweeted the Sydney Kings’ post with the message “Bingo!”.

He became the first n to be the NBA’s first overall No.1 draft pick when he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005.

His signature is just what the Andrew Gaze-coached Kings need after finishing seventh last season with 11 wins from 28 games.

Their roster is shaping up nicely with their two guards – Kevin Lisch and Jerome Randle – who are both recent NBL MVPs, to run their backcourt.

Bogut’s long-time Boomers teammate and fellow 33-year-old Brad Newley is also one of the Kings’ key men.

Only last week, Bogut told Fox Footy’s On the Mark program that he wanted to help to spark more interest in n basketball.

“I think to come back and maybe play a season or two would be the icing on the cake for my career,” he said.

It’s been a long 13 years since the Kings won the NBL championship following three straight titles between 2003-2005 and they’ve missed the finals for the last five years.

It’s also been 13 years since Bogut debuted with Milwaukee as a 21-year-old.

After seven seasons with the Bucks, he was traded to Golden State where he won a championship with the Steph Curry-led Warriors in 2015.

The 2.13m Melbourne-born Bogut was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks the following year and after one season moved on the Cleveland, where he broke his left leg 56 seconds into his Cavaliers debut.

Late last year, Bogut signed with the LA Lakers but was waived by the club in January this year.

Last month, Bogut announced he wouldn’t return to the NBA for the ongoing 2017-18 season because he wanted to stay in with his pregnant wife.

Bogut was close to pulling on a Sydney Kings singlet in 2011 during the NBA lockout.

He was keen to play in the n league but the insurance required to cover his lucrative Bucks contract became a roadblock to the short-term stint.


2005-2012: Milwaukee Bucks (NBA blocks leader 2011)

2012-2016: Golden State Warriors (NBA champion 2015)

2016-2017: Dallas Mavericks

2017: Cleveland Cavaliers

2017-2018: Los Angeles Lakers

Career average statistics: 9.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks over 13 seasons

Total games: 695


Details of Wagga boy’s ghost friend verified in city archives

Beyond imagining: Lloyd and Ruth Slinn were surprised to discover their son Nicholas’s imaginary friend Bailey was the ghost of a 14-year-old Wagga boy, who died in 1944. What would you do if you found out your four-year-old was communicating with a ghost?
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That is the reality Wagga mother Ruth Slinn facedlast year, when her son Nicholas started talking about hisnew friendBailey.

Ms Slinn shared her family’s hair-raising reveal with The Daily Advertiseras part of anexclusive ghost tour, investigatingthe paranormal mysteries of the city.

Following last week’s campaign launch, the haunts of Wagga started surfacing, with residents revealing their own supernatural experiences.

Ms Slinn said Bailey had first appeared for her son after a hospital visit in August.

“My husband had a heart attack and we were visiting him,” Ms Slinn said. “I didn’t think much of it at the time, but Nicholas was saying, ‘Mum this is amazing’.”

Afterwards, the four-year-old began talking about a Bailey –a “boy who was naughty and got hurt and had died in the hospital”.

Chilling reveal: ‘My four-year-old son has a ghost friend’https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/Steff.wills/3f419d2d-31e3-4f1f-9cc7-1ccfce790ddc.JPG/r0_394_5184_3323_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgWhat would you do if you found out your four-year-old was communicating with a ghost?news, national, 2018-04-23T08:30:00+10:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5774642509001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5774642509001Ms Slinn said she was not one to believe in “that sort of thing”, but her son had such specific details about Bailey’s age and his death,she decided to contact the Historical Society anyway.

“They said: ‘We know exactly what you’re talking about’,” she said. “They didn’t think I was a weirdo at all.”

According to an archived DA article, the four-year-old’s friend, Frederick Bailey, had died at Wagga hospital in 1944, after an accident involving gelignite.

Chilling reveal: ‘My four-year-old son has a ghost friend’ TweetFacebook Daily Advertiser articles from September 1944Frederick and his friend,Colin Moiler, had been playing with the explosive material before the unexpected blast killed both 14-year-olds.

While Frederick had died in hospital, Colin was “blown to pieces”.

The resting place of 14-year-old Frederick Bailey and his mother.

“Naughty Bailey is not just an imaginary friend,” Ms Slinn said. “There are so many specific details …like the picture he drew with odd-looking hands.”

The Wagga womansaid they weren’t scared of Nicholas’ ghost friend, but she had contacted a ghost busting group for ideas on how to get rid of Bailey.

“We took him to his parents and thought we got rid of him,” Ms Slinn said. “But Nicholas says Bailey ‘hates’ his parents …that’s not a word he’sused before.”

According to Nicholas, the 14-year-old ghost now lives next door and comes to visit,for sleepovers.

Ms Slinn said she hoped to locate a living relative of the 14-year-old ghost to help him find his family.

“Hopefully naughty Bailey will want to stay with them,” she said.

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