Hit and run ‘reveals human nature’

A WOMAN whose car was run into on her way to the Anzac Day march said she’s appalled the driver fled the scene.
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Gail Butler was turning through a roundabout from Somerville Street on to Williamson Street about 10am Thursday when a ute drove into the back of her car.

By the time she pulled over to assess the damage to the rear of her car the driver had sped off.

She said she was disappointed the person did not stop, and said she feared there were too many instances where people were not showing consideration.

“I was really upset,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been quite upset if he had have waited and talked, or checked on the car.

“It just makes you sad that this is probably happening to a lot of people.”

Mrs Butler was driving to the Bendigo Anzac march in honour of her father.

“My dad John William McMaho, was actually one of the last remaining of the Rats of Tobruk. It was really special to me to be able to go in the march after he passed away last November. It was quite emotional to have lost him.”

Mrs Butler was helped by a woman who let her use her phone to call police.

“I walked along and found a house and a lovely young lady called Meghan took me in and gave me a drink,” she said.

“It restored my faith a bit. There was one horrible incident but then immediately seeing someone so kind,” she said.

Mrs Butler said she believed the driver of the car who left the accident was in his 20s and was driving a dull-red coloured ute with a tan dog chained in the back.

She said she would like to see more people speak out about thoughtless accidents.

“I just want to be proactive. There’s got to be so many people that this happens to. It’s just not right,” she said.

Anyone that witnessed the incident can contact Bendigo Police on 5448 1300.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bendigo showgrounds killing: A tragic life leads to tragic death

VERONICA Hudson’s life “reads like a horror story’’ Justice Betty King told Melbourne’s Supreme Court during sentencing yesterday.
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Justice King said that on December 26, 2011, Hudson and her partner Edward Heron were staying in a tent at the Bendigo showgrounds.

“It was not a proper tent in that it was just hanging from a tree, it having been donated to you but without any pegs or sufficient poles to erect,’’ she said.

“The circumstances in which you were residing were very poor. ‘’

The court heard Hudson and Heron started drinking at 10am and that sometime after 3pm they were seen arguing.

“At around 4.20 in the afternoon you were seen to push the deceased man with one hand and when he fell over you jumped onto the deceased, straddling him across the stomach and chest area and you stabbed him with a knife,’’ Justice King said.

Heron died from a single stab wound to the chest.

Witnesses said Hudson was frantic and screaming “I’ve killed him and I want him to live”.

She then handed her phone to a witness to phone triple 0.

Justice King told the court Hudson was arrested and taken to the Bendigo police station, where she was so distraught she was found unfit to be interviewed.

She said while the crime appeared to be motivated by alcohol and anger on first view, “what must be understood in dealing with this matter is the long history both relating to your (Hudson’s) personal history and the history of the relationship between yourself and Edward Heron’’.

Hudson and Heron, who was 16 years older than his partner, were both of Aboriginal descent.

Heron was removed from his family at a young age and placed in foster care before spending most of his early years in the youth justice system and prison.He had a long history of prior convictions, including robbery, violence, the manslaughter of his first cousin and had spent five years in jail after a brutal attack on Hudson in 2006.

Hudson was one of five children to an Aboriginal father, whom she never met.

She was a ward of the state, sexually abused as a child and had a neglected education before working as a prostitute in Kings Cross at the age of 13.

Hudson fled her first violent relationship and gave up a heroin addiction when she fell pregnant to a son.

He was born while Hudson was in custody.

Hudson fled to Alice Springs soon after her release, where she became involved with a violent man for eight years, who during that time pushed her in front of a four-wheel-drive, causing her to spend 16 months in hospital learning to walk again.

Her relationship with Heron started one month after that relationship broke down and was described to the court as “appallingly violent’’.

“You described him as cutting your arms, hand, throat, pulling your teeth out with pliers, that he was very jealous, very suspicious, always believing that you were having sex with any male that you met, including with your son, your son’s friends or any male around the area,’’ Justice King said. “The more he drank the worse the jealousy was.’’

Justice King told the court that on March 1, 2006 a domestic violence order was taken out against Heron, but six days later he waited near Hudson’s unit and assaulted her.

“To describe it as assault is to downplay the significance and the horror of the injuries and suffering that he inflicted upon you,’’ Justice King said.

The court heard a summary of relevant transcripts from the assault, which said Heron struck Hudson several times to her face whereupon she fell over.

He then kicked her in the face and back, bent down over her and bit her above her left breast before placing both feet together and jumping up and down on her face, back and head.

Hudson remained on the ground until 7am the following day, pleading with Heron to get her help.

She was too scared to get up.

The bite wound became infected, and Hudson was flown to Darwin for treatment to a broken jaw.

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Related coverage:

‘Horror story’: Hudson sentenced for Bendigo showgrounds killing

Reason for women’s violence often masked behind danger

Editorial:Still much to learn about gender equality

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Justice King told the court that when Heron went to prison, Hudson was “passed back” to the previous partner who had assaulted her.

“Until the deceased was released from prison, at which stage he tracked you down, found where you were living and you returned to him instantly out of a combination of love, fear, lack of choices and hopelessness,’’ Justice King said.

“From the material it appears that all the family members of both families, yours and Edward’s, expected that you would be the one who died as a result of this relationship.

“There was much discussion in the statements about the deceased man’s extreme jealously and constant infliction of violence upon you.

“You came to accept that you deserved to be punished by Edward Heron as well as the other men in your life.

“You accepted punishment was appropriate because you made them angry, or upset them.

“In relation to Mr Heron, you believed to a large degree he protected you and this was just one of the prices you paid for that protection.”

Justice King read several statements to the court from Hudson’s son, Harley, who told of being too afraid to protect his mother from Heron.

“I was aware of him biting her, cutting her throat, and giving her constant black eyes and injuries,” the statement read.

“She used to hide it from me all the time because she knew I hated it and I disapproved. “I think she was also worried that if she got help from anyone, he would pay her back worse next time.

“Even though Woody was a little bloke, he was very unpredictable and I was definitely afraid of him.’’

Harley also wrote of looking forward to spending time with his mother free from alcohol and family violence.

“Strangely, I think being in gaol has actually been quite a positive experience for her,” the statement read.

“She has been cooking and gardening and making art, not drinking or using drugs and she has had a chance to focus on getting her life back together.”

A witness at the showgrounds had also spoken of seeing Heron assault Hudson on a daily basis.

“I have seen the man hit the woman just about every day,’’ she said.

“This would involve punches and slaps but I also saw him poke her in the face with his fingers, in the face a number of times.

“She would just sit screaming at him but not hitting back at him.”

In sentencing Hudson to six years’ jail, with a non-parole period of three years, Justice King said it would appear from all the material that the prisoner was “subject to constant violence by this man and everyone appeared powerless to prevent it’’, including Hudson herself.

‘TRAGEDY’: Veronica Hudson is led from court. Picture: Jodie Donnellan

“Your life clearly has been one where you have lacked the power to do much to make it better or worth living,’’ she said.

“Your life is a tragedy in the true sense, as to a degree was Woody’s.’’

Justice King said she believed Hudson had a strong chance of rehabilitation.

“You are incredibly remorseful for what you have done,’’ she said.

“Despite the problems in your relationship it was clear that you loved Woody a great deal.

“The two of you shared a most tragic life resulting in a most tragic death.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dress to impress for the gold cup carnival

WITH one week to go until the Wagga Gold Cup, Myer Wagga is hosting a series of workshops today to have racegoers looking their best on race day.
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The two workshops will showcase fashion trends for both men and women.

Myer designer Leona Edmiston advises ladies to wear attire to suit autumn.

“Remember, ladies, to dress for the season; incorporate gloves and hosiery into your look and have fun with different textured fascinators drawing from felt, velvet and leather leave your straw fascinations at home until spring,” she said.

The designer said women should avoid wearing new shoes.

“Remember the races are about sophistication and elegance, ladylike dress is a must, and something I’ve learnt from experience is don’t wear brand new shoes,” she said.

Ms Edmiston also shared her thoughts on men’s trends.

“For men, conservative dress is important but don’t be scared to move away from charcoals and blacks and get adventurous with a textured look incorporating autumn hues,” she said.

“A camel suit can be teamed perfectly with deep colours like plum, burgundy and teal.”

Former Miss Universe Australia Laura Dundovic has been announced as a judge for a highlight of the Gold Cup Myer Fashion on the Fields.

Racewear fashionworkshops

Where: Myer Wagga

When: Today at 12.30pm and1.30pm

What: Racewear fashion workshops showcasing menswear and womenswear trends for racegoers for the Wagga Gold Cup.

Hosted by: local fashion and racing identity Julieanne Horsman

Featuring: the female face of the Wagga Cup Nardia Pinto

Trends for men

#1 Heritage

– Textured tweeds

– Prince of Wales checks

– Camel, rust and mustard

– Plum, burgundy and teal

#2 Autumn tones

– Burgundy, caramel, wine and spice are the essential colours of the season in menswear

#3 Ivy League look

– Conservative style

– Clean cut

– Modern checks

#4 Modern luxe

– Dress to impress

– Deep dark tones – plum and burgundy; multitude of blues; steel, ink, indigo, teal and cobalt; greys, charcoals blacks

Trends for women –

– Leather

– Peplum

– Lace

– Bejewelled

– Winter florals

Female Face of the Gold Cup Carnival Nardia Cooper

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US adds weight to claims Assad’s forces used sarin

Washington: The White House says it believes ”with varying degrees of confidence” Syria has used chemical weapons against rebel forces on a ”small scale”, but emphasised US spy agencies are still not 100 per cent sure of the assessment.
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US intelligence services had been investigating reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical arms – a dangerous move Washington has said would cross a ”red line”, triggering possible military action.

”Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria,” United States National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

The assessment, which she said was based in part on ”physiological samples”, points to the possible use of sarin, a man-made nerve agent used in two attacks in Japan in the 1990s. It can cause convulsions, respiratory failure and death.

But Ms Hayden warned that the chain of custody of the weapons was ”not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions”.

”Given the stakes involved, and what we have learnt from our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient,” she said.

”Varying degrees of confidence” may indicate that US intelligence agencies have conflicting views on the reliability of the evidence.

The current assessment was ”not sufficient” to take action, Miguel Rodriguez, Mr Obama’s legislative liaison to Congress, wrote in a letter to Congress on Thursday.

The Obama administration is under growing pressure from some US politicians, Israel, France, Britain, the Syrian opposition and Persian Gulf nations seeking the Syrian President’s removal to start providing weapons to the rebels.

Some are also urging the creation of a no-fly zone over the country or sending in troops to seize Mr Assad’s chemical and biological weapons before they fall into terrorists’ hands.

”The Syrians crossed the line the President had said would be a game changer,” Republican senator John McCain said.

In remarks made on Thursday night at the Brookings Institution, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, said that there was now clear evidence that chemical weapons had been used in Syria and called on the US to take action.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking in Abu Dhabi, said the decision to release the intelligence report had been ”made within the past 24 hours” and warned that use of such weapons ”violates every convention of warfare”.

In London, the BBC reported British Prime Minister David Cameron as saying that growing evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime i “extremely serious”. Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had ”limited but persuasive” evidence of the use of chemical agents in Syria’s grinding civil war, which the United Nations says has left more than 70,000 people dead since it began in March 2011.

Earlier this week, an Israeli general in military intelligence alleged Syria had used chemical agents more than once during the protracted civil war, after Britain and France had voiced similar concerns to the UN.

Last month, during his visit to Israel, Mr Obama said the use of such weapons would be a ”grave and tragic” mistake on Mr Assad’s behalf and that it would be a ”game changer”.

Asked if the intelligence assessment meant that Syria had passed the declared ”red line”, Mr Hagel said that was a policy question and that his task was to provide the US President with ”options”.

Mr McCain said the key now was to ensure chemical weapons did not fall into the wrong hands.

”Some of them are in heavily contested areas and could easily fall into the hands of jihadist extremists,” he told CNN.

AFP, Bloomberg

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Where all is aglow

Lightning illuminates a cloud-laden sky as thunder echoes ominously through the deep gorges, which reach out like fractures in a giant glass pane through the surrounding bush.
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”This forest is not the safest place to be in a storm,” our guide for the night, Jenny, explains to the disappointed crowd of 30-odd torch-clutching mums and dads with keyed-up kids in tow.

We’ve all made the journey to Bundanoon in the NSW Southern Highlands to be dazzled by one of Australia’s biggest-known colonies of glow worms, and we aren’t going to let a few wayward lightning strikes stop us. We convince Jenny to wait 15 minutes and while the kids fidget incessantly with their beanies and the technologically savvy dads nervously check the weather radar on their smartphones, thankfully the storm skirts by. To a collective sigh of relief, Jenny finally declares it safe.

”People have been coming here for over 100 years, although the way down hasn’t always been this easy,” Jenny says as we set off down the manicured track. ”In the late 1800s, wide-eyed tourists would have struggled down into the enchanted forest by lantern.”

My five-year-old daughter, Sarah, joins the pack of kids snapping at Jenny’s heel, all wanting to be the first down. It’s soon clear that venturing into the unknown with a torch has a similar impact on kindergarten kids as a gobful of red cordial concentrate. It’s a half-hour walk down countless stairs; I wonder if (read: hope) they’ll tire.

Mercifully for the adults, Jenny stops, her spotlight steadily focused on a wombat that blocks the narrow path ahead. It’s as if the muscular marsupial is acting as sentinel, guarding the entrance into the grotto further below. Jenny eventually coaxes it out of the way and onwards we scurry.

As we get deeper into the forest, the last of the grumbles of thunder are replaced by high-frequency buzz of microbats on the nightly feeding foray. We also spot a ring-tailed possum (they aren’t much bigger than your forearm).

After about 30 minutes we reach a junction in the track. To the left, Sarah’s torchlight shines on the vines hanging off giant coachwoods. Who knows what lurks down there. We may never know, for Jenny leads us down the other, steeper path.

Minutes later, Jenny asks us to turn our torches off and to be quiet. If you were a two-centimetre-long critter hanging onto the wall of a cave, would you appreciate a bunch of energetic kids shrieking at the top of their voices charging at you? Luckily for the stars of tonight’s show, the kids oblige. Well, as best as they can.

We creep down the last of the stairs, feeling our way along the rails. Due to Sarah’s overzealous attempts to make her way towards the front of the group, we are the first down the stairs and onto a platform at the bottom of the 200 million-year-old sandstone grotto.

”There’s the saucepan,” the lady behind me whispers. ”Hey, that looks like the Southern Cross,” says another dad to his preschooler who is next to join us in the front row. With torches off it’s pitch black, so I can’t see what direction they are pointing, but I don’t need to, for the wall of the amphitheatre ahead is covered in glowing specks. It’s like the sky has been turned sideways.

For a good five minutes we watch, mesmerised at the natural light show before Jenny explains it’s time to traipse back up the stairs. She also explains that the glow ”worms” are actually the larvae of the fungus gnat and that the bioluminescence of the larvae is the result of a reaction between body products and oxygen in the enlarged tips of the insect’s four excretory tubules. Or, more simply put (and much to the delight of the kids), ”basically they glow out of their bum”.

The glow is emitted by the larvae to lure prey into their delicate web nest, woven by the larvae in the nooks and crannies of the rock face. The larvae then sit behind the web and prey on the insects, such as mosquitoes, attracted by the glow. ”The hungrier the glow worm, the brighter the glow,” Jenny says. Given the intensity of tonight’s glow, we all agree they must be famished.

We take our time on the walk back up (it is uphill, after all). Along the way, Jenny tells us the grotto is a popular spot to visit by day as well. ”Although you obviously won’t see the glow worms, it is a pleasant walk through the forest.”

But I don’t think I can return here in the daylight. We’ve fallen under the night spell of Glow Worm Glen and want to remember it at its captivating best. I guess, it’s a bit like reading a great book and not wanting to see the movie in case it’s not as good as you’d imagined it.LOCAL SECRET

The day after our glow worm adventure, while driving along the Illawarra Highway between Sutton Forest and Moss Vale, a shriek of glee from the back seat of the yowie mobile startled me. My daughters claimed they had spotted Cinderella’s slipper in a paddock out the window. I told them to keep reading their fairytale books, but they were insistent they’d seen the famous footwear out the window and not in their book. After much coaxing, I turned the car around and, to my surprise, sure enough, there, in the grounds of the Sutton Forest Estate of Southern Highland Wines, was a giant silver platform stiletto.

Although not Cinderella’s, it turns out it’s not any old slipper, rather the very silver-sequinned shoe that took pride of place atop the bus in the 1994 cult film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The winery recently purchased the shiny shoe, which has also featured in a number of theatre performances around the globe and even popped up in the Sydney Olympics Closing Ceremony.SPOTTED

Despite enduring blustery and chilly conditions, last weekend Phil Nizette and his merry band of volunteers successfully finished construction of arguably Australia’s most unusual bird hide (It’s Only Natural, April 20). Carefully crafted from local timber and clay, the organic installation is now open to the public at Strathnairn Homestead, Friday-Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm. Strathnairn is at 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt.MAILBAG

The case of the dead tree

For a number of years this column has reported on the demise of the landmark kurrajong tree at Urambi Hills in Tuggeranong. Several readers who regularly walk through the area have lamented about its death and also the removal of the park bench that used to be underneath it. ”I really wish that park management would remove the sad old tree, perhaps plant a new one, and put that seat back so people can rest and contemplate the splendid view,” pleads Glenn Schwinghamer of Kambah.

I have some good news for Schwinghamer and others who step out in Urambi Hills. During the week, I was advised by Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) there are plans replace the bench by the end of next month. As to the tree itself, ”it will be assessed for safety in the next two weeks and if required, it will be felled”, reports my TAMS insider, who adds, ”at this stage there are no plans to replant the tree as there are several young trees already growing in the area.”CONTACT TIM

Email: [email protected]南京夜网 or Twitter: @TimYowie or write to me c/o The Canberra Times, 9 Pirie Street, Fyshwick.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.