Gang member’s claim he was kept in tiny cell borders on inhumane: judge

Tuesday, 13. November 2018

Justice Peter Hamill was unconvinced: “What, [must I] give them 50 years and just hope they are not locked in a cage for that period?”
Nanjing Night Net

In the midst of sentencing submissions for three members of the once-feared Brothers for Life gang, Justice Hamill was presented with an affidavit from the youngest, Jamil??? Qaumi???.

Jamil, 25, claims he has spent much of his 3?? years on remand under extremely onerous conditions, including being kept in a tiny cell for 24 hours a day and being placed in handcuffs during meetings with his lawyers.

Jamil and his brothers Farhad – the former leader of the gang’s Blacktown chapter – and Mumtaz Qaumi were convicted over a string of violent crimes carried out during the group’s reign in Sydney in 2013.

The crimes included the manslaughter of Mahmoud Hamzy in Revesby Heights, soliciting to murder Brothers for Life member Michael Odisho and shooting a teenage girl.

Farhad, 34, and Mumtaz, 32, are also being sentenced for organising the murder of debt collector Joe Antoun at his Strathfield home in December 2013.

The Crown has submitted Farhad and Mumtaz should be sentenced to life behind bars, while Jamil should attract a substantial prison term.

In an affidavit, Jamil said that, when housed on remand at Silverwater Correctional Centre, he is restricted to his cell 24 hours a day because there are Brothers for Life (Bankstown chapter) members in the main population.

“I cannot use the library, access common areas or education facilities or gain employment within the correctional centre,” he said.

For the past two years he has been in segregation. His cell has a two-by-two metre “yard”, which consists of a concrete floor with concrete walls and bars.

“It is not large enough to run and I can only walk approximately three steps before reaching the edge of the ‘yard’,” he said.

He is restricted to two phone calls a day, is handcuffed and locked in a “glass and metal cage” when meeting lawyers and can only receive pre-approved visits from family members.

On Wednesday, Justice Hamill said he found Jamil’s complaints “extraordinarily troubling”.

He called on the offenders’ lawyers to provide the court with further evidence as to their incarceration and, in particular, the likelihood of such onerous conditions continuing once their sentences had been determined.

“If I have some evidence that someone is locked in a two-by-two metre cell and can only take three steps and ??? they are locked in that cell 24 hours a day and the evidence is unclear whether those conditions will continue ??? I think that is bordering on the inhumane,” he said.

In considering either life imprisonment or a sentence of “incredible magnitude”, Justice Hamill said he must be given more information as to the conditions in which the men would be kept.

Crown prosecutor Philip Hogan said Jamil had not always been kept under such strict conditions, and his conditions might be relaxed once he is sentenced and classified by Corrective Services.

“What, give them 50 years and just hope they are not locked in a cage for that period?” Justice Hamill said.

Jamil said he understands much of his sentence may be spent in segregation because the non-association order is unlikely to be lifted.

“I would like to be able to get a job whilst I am in custody but as I am in segregation and have non-association orders, I am unable to work. If my non-association orders are not lifted I may never be able to work whilst in custody,” he said.

Justice Hamill ordered the offenders’ lawyers to provide the court with further evidence about their custodial arrangements. Another hearing will be scheduled in May before sentence is imposed on June 16.

The judge noted the three brothers have chosen not to attend court on several occasions. While he said it was important the men were in court when sentence is handed down, he also noted there were concerns about the safety of Corrective Services officers involved in transportation between the jail and the court.

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Maitland’s most-loved Groovin artists

Tuesday, 13. November 2018

Maitland’s most-loved Groovin artists PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL
Nanjing Night Net

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Boy and Bear PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Boy and Bear PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Golden Features PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Danny Brown. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Danny Brown. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Danny Brown. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

The Rubens PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

The Rubens PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

The Rubens PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Shelby Craig of New Lambton and Sophie O’Brien of New Lambton PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Elizabeth Banney and Simon Strath of Nelson Bay. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Twenty One Pilots. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Twenty One Pilots. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Calvin Vidigal and Tayla Craig of Sydney. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Calvin Vidigal and Tayla Craig of Sydney. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Aiden Gazi and Shannon Jennings of Penrith. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Abbey Mesnforth of Glen Valley and Jess Wells of Eleebana. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Abbey Mesnforth of Glen Valley. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Monique Cooper of Singleton and Tenille Oliver of Rutherford. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Emira Harris, Reiana Murphy and Shannon Motley all of Forster. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Monique Cooper of Singleton and Tenille Oliver of Rutherford. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

A light rain shower sends everyone running for cover. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

A light rain shower sends everyone running for cover. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

A light rain shower sends everyone running for cover. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

osh Lamb of Nelson Bay. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Rhea Ashton of Scotts Head and Riley O’Keefe of Coffs Harbour. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Rhea Ashton of Scotts Head and Riley O’Keefe of Coffs Harbour. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Skye Allen of Port Macquarie, Briony Lane and Blake Clarke of Forster. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Miles of smiles at Groovin The Moo Maitland. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Fans watching British India. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Fans watching British India. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Fans watching British India. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

British India performs. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

British India performs. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

British India performs. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Blinged up for Groovin the Moo Maitland 2016. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Safia performs. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Safia performs. PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

PHOTO BY MARINA NEIL

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

Picture: NICK BIELBY

TweetFacebookMaitland top streamed tracks1) Snakehips –Don’t Leave2) PNAU –Chameleon3) Amy Shark –Adore4) Milky Chance –Cocoon5) Snakehips –All My Friends6) Amy Shark –Weekends7) Allday – In Motion(feat. Japanese Wallpaper)8) Hilltop Hoods – 1955(feat, Montaigne, Tom Thum)9) Thundamentals –Something I Said10) Milky Chance –Stolen DanceMaitland top streamed artists1) Snakehips2) Allday3) Amy Shark4) PNAU5) Milky Chance6) Tash Sultana7) Thundamentals8)The Wombats9)The Smith Street Band10) Dillon FrancisRelated contentGroovin the Moo dates set

Groovin the Moo lineup announced

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Carole Wilkinson’s Dragonkeeper to become an ambitious animated film

Tuesday, 13. November 2018

Josh Lawson in the short flim The Eleven O’Clock Photo: NoneThe first of Melbourne writer Carole Wilkinson’s six Dragonkeeper children’s fantasy novels is to become an animated film.
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An ambitious co-production between Spain and China, announced at the Beijing Film Fair, is to be directed by Ignacio Ferreras (Wrinkles) and co-directed by Zhang Bo. It is being seen as the first movie in an international franchise.

Set in ancient China during the Han dynasty, the novel centres on a slave girl named Ping who journeys across the country with the last imperial dragon while pursued by a ruthless hunter.

“I am thrilled that Dragonkeeper is being made into a movie, and especially pleased that there is such strong Chinese involvement, ensuring that the ancient China represented in the movie will be authentic,” Wilkinson said in a statement.

The animation will be carried out in Illion Animation Studios in Spain and by China Film Animation and several studios in China.

Chinese films headed this way

The Dragonkeeper deal is not the only new Australian connection to Chinese film. A visit by an Australian delegation to Beijing has triggered a slew of announcements about films that will shoot in this country.

One is the Australian-Chinese co-production At Last, about a Beijing couple who find themselves caught in an art heist while visiting Australia. It is written and directed by Yiwei Liu, with casting underway for a shoot in Queensland that is expected to start in mid-July.

Sydney Films has also announced a slate of 14 films that are being developed as Chinese-Australian co-productions, with Dalei Guo’s comedy A Trip to Australia, about three aspiring rock’n’roll musicians who accidentally end up in Australia, and Once Upon A Time In The Northeast, a comedy about a former child star and an animator who accidentally make a hit film, expected to shoot in NSW later this year.

They follow the Chinese-Australian co-production Guardians of the Tomb, formerly Nest, which shot in Queensland, and the Jackie Chan film Bleeding Steel, which shot in Sydney.

St Kilda’s Palais ready for festival

The newly restored Palais Theatre will be ready to host the St Kilda Film Festival next month.

Ten days of screenings will be the first event in the historic venue after refurbishment, with more than 2700 guests expected on the red carpet on May 18.

Festival director Paul Harris has announced a program that includes, in the top 100 short film competition, Derin Seale’s comedy The Eleven O’Clock, starring Josh Lawson and Damon Herriman in a story about a psychiatrist and a delusional patient; and Dave Carter’s comic animation Fish with Legs, voiced by Frank Woodley and Barry Otto and centring on a school of fish who grow legs.

The SoundKILDA program will feature music videos from the likes of Courtney Barnett, Client Liaison and Lisa Mitchell.

The Australian arm of multinational entertainment company Live Nation took on the restoration work after winning a tender for the long-term lease of the iconic theatre.

Twitter @gmaddox

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Famous Perth properties left on the shelf for months may finally be sold

Tuesday, 13. November 2018

Perth median house price drops but shows signs of stabilisationLuxurious Brisbane sky home sells to mystery buyerClassic yet contemporary: The hottest property on the market
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Prime pieces of property in Perth’s most sought-after suburbs that have been waiting months or even years for buyers may finally be snapped up as the local real estate market shows signs of stabilisation.

Australia’s most famous “superblock” is set to go under the hammer next month and expressions of interest in another famous address, the former site of socialite Rose Porteous’ mansion Prix D’Amour, are closing this week.

In the March quarter, Perth’s media house price had its lowest rate of annual decline in more than 18 months, according to Domain Group data.

The empty 6582-square-metre superblock landholding, at 2 Bayview Terrace, Peppermint Grove, once destined to be home to a $70 million Perth palace for Pankaj and Radhika Oswal with six bedrooms, a temple and parking for 17 cars, has been on the market since October.

The sprawling site sat incomplete since the couple left Australia in 2010 when the ANZ bank called in more than $US500 million ($648 million) in loans and appointed receivers to their Burrup fertilisers business.

The site, which is being marketed by Vivien Yap, of LJ Hooker Claremont, and William Porteous, of William Porteous Properties International, could see it either sell via auction conditions as a one super lot or purchased via individual parcels.

Mrs Yap said the uniqueness of the site was behind the decision to take the property to auction.

“The vendors amalgamated the site to a size that you seldom see this close to the city, let alone with the surrounding amenity and residential values,” she said.

“It’s near impossible to put a price on such a rare offering, so the vendors have opted for an auction to allow the market to decide what the site is worth.”

In February, selling agents announced a plan to split the block into six lots.

Mrs Yap said the auction, to be held on Saturday, May 27, could be held in two ways.

“Firstly, we will open bidding for the entire site; that will allow either single buyers or a syndicate of buyers to come forward,” she said.

“A single buyer may want the site for an iconic residential vision or a syndicate may wish to subdivide. Now that the former incomplete residence has been removed, the site presents an extraordinary blank canvas.

“If the sale of the site in its entirety does not eventuate, we’ll invite bidding for individual allotments on the site ranging in size from 1000 to 1151 square metres. This offering is unique in itself as most of the parcels throughout Peppermint Grove are around 1500 square metres in size: this is a boutique opportunity.”

In Mosman Park, a palatial house at another famous address is on the market with an asking price of about $15.25 million.

The house that replaced Rose Porteous’ Prix D’Amour at 149 Wellington Street has sprawling views of the Swan River, a glass domed elevator, underground gym, marble flooring, seven bedrooms and a four-car garage.

It is also being sold by Mrs Yap, with colleague John Hunter, of LJ Hooker Dalkeith and Claremont, with offers closing on Wednesday.

Owners John and Lilian Clinton, who purchased the lot in 2008, are selling because they have relocated to Los Angeles.

According to Domain data, the owners have been trying to sell the home since March 2015 via expressions of interest and later, an initial asking price of $18 million.

Mr Hunter said the home, which is set across a 1610-square-metre double block, was custom built by Zorzi Builders in 2010.

“It’s absolutely one of a kind in every aspect. You don’t have any other properties in that location that actually are on two blocks,” he said.

“So it’s an amazing location and the views are just phenomenal. You actually have a north orientation solar aspect while still having a river view. But the house itself is very grand.

“It’s over the top and really amazing.”

Described in its Domain listing as “Gatsby-esque”, the three-level art deco-style house boasts seven bathrooms, an underground wood-panelled cellar, a towering foyer with a glass chandelier, a horseshoe driveway, an alfresco area with a pizza oven and staff or guest quarters.

The state-of-the-art kitchen overlooks the pool and the Swan River.

Mr Hunter said the layout of the home suited a family, in particular a multi-generational family because of the lift that accesses three levels.

Other features include smart systems, a Sonos entertainment system and remote-controlled curtains, lighting and front security gates.

Mr Hunter and Mrs Yap have estimated the replacement cost of the home would be more than $20 million. Mr Hunter said there had been strong interest from overseas buyers looking to relocate to Australia.

Across the river, 30 Jutland Parade, Dalkeith, has been on the market since November 2015. The character home, with panoramic river views, was first listed for sale by Anderson Davies Real Estate for $5 million and has now been reduced to $4.7 million.

The other superblock: Denby Roberts’ Mosman Park land has been on the market for more than four years. Photo: Supplied

Another “superblock,” at the corner of Hill Terrace and Johnson Parade in Mosman Park, also remains on the market since it was first listed in 2012.

The 3664-square-metre landholding is adjacent to the Swan River and is owned by Denby Roberts, the only daughter of the late Multiplex founder John Roberts.

Selling agent William Porteous, of William Porteous Properties International, said he was open to offers.

“But the offer has to be around $30 million and at the moment no one is going to pay that,” he said.

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Coca-Cola Life disappears from Australian shelves

Tuesday, 13. November 2018

Alison Watkins CEO Coca Cola, with new product, coke life, on their balcony in North Sydney. Thursday 30th October 2014 AFR photo Louie Douvis Photo: Louie DouvisThe Coca-Cola Company has dropped its Coke Life brand from Australian shelves after spending two years and millions of dollars trying to launch the reduced-calorie beverage as it tries to adapt to an increasingly health-conscious market.
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The soft drink giant launched the drink, made with the natural sweetener stevia, locally in February 2015 in an effort to lure back lapsed Coke drinkers with a product that was less unhealthy than regular Coke and tastier than the sugar-free Zero and Diet varieties.

Life’s launch was followed by heavy supermarket discounting by Coca-Cola and its competitors.

But less than a year later, Coca-Cola and Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil started experimenting with the Life recipe to try and reduce the sugar content further, suggesting the brand was failing to sell as expected.

The Life brand was finally axed as part of a branding overhaul in January, but its disappearance has gone largely unnoticed.

Life has been replaced by a new product called Coca-Cola with Stevia, which has 50 per cent less sugar than regular Coke, or about four teaspoons in each 375ml can instead of nine teaspoons. Life had 35 per cent less sugar than regular Coke.

A Coca-Cola South Pacific spokesman said the company had “changed the name to call out ‘stevia’ so as to better communicate to consumers that it is a lower sugar option”.

He said the new recipe hit a better balance between taste and sugar levels. The Life brand was also recently dropped in Britain, but is still available in other markets, including the US. Sugar hit

Coca-Cola Amatil, which has the licence to bottle and sell Coca-Cola products in Australia, has been trying to adapt its product range as consumers turn their backs on sugary drinks. It has invested heavily in water brands like Mount Franklin and Pump, sales of which are growing at about 19 per cent a year but are also under price pressure from private label bottled water.

The soft drink bottler, which is 29 per cent owned by global giant The Coca-Cola Company, reported that soft drink sales fell 4.7 per cent by volume in Australia last financial year, while scan data obtained by Fairfax Media earlier this year revealed the amount of soft drinks sold in major Australian supermarkets slumped almost 3 per cent in 2016.

Coca-Cola Amatil was hammered on the Australian Stock Exchange last week, with its share price falling more than 10 per cent after it downgraded its earnings because of weak local beverage sales.

The company said that all channels were “experiencing volume and price pressure due to competition and category trends”.

Coca-Cola Amatil is trying to cut costs, announcing in February it would close its South Australian beverage manufacturing plant and cut about 180 jobs as part of a $90 million supply chain restructure.

The US-based Coca-Cola Company on Tuesday revealed it would cut 1200 American jobs through to 2018 as part of a $US800 million ($1 billion) savings drive in response to a 20 per cent slump in profit and an 11 per cent drop in overall sales.

Coca-Cola Amatil generated a $257 million full-year net profit last year, down from $403 million the year before.

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