Mum Karlie killed before daughter: cop

A mobile phone believed to belong to the man charged with murdering Karlie Pearce-Stevenson was in the Belanglo State Forest near the spot where the single mother’s remains were found, police will allege.

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Daniel James Holdom appeared via video link at Maitland Local Court on Thursday, charged with the murder of Ms Pearce-Stevenson, five years after her remains were found dumped in the notorious forest south of Sydney.

Police on Thursday also revealed they now believe Ms Pearce-Stevenson was killed a short time before her daughter Khandalyce Pearce was murdered.

The remains of the toddler were found in July, dumped on the side of a highway more than 1000km away in South Australia.

Holdom has not been charged in relation to Khandalyce’s death.

It’s understood police have been able to trace a telephone belonging to Holdom via pings off mobile phone towers in the Belanglo State Forest, which put the phone near the location where Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s remains were found, at about the time of her death.

Police believe she was murdered on either December 14 or December 15, 2008.

At a media conference in Sydney before Holdom’s first court appearance, Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said Ms Pearce-Stevenson “sustained certain injuries to her body” but refused to add details as investigations are ongoing.

Det Supt Willing said police believe the Alice Springs mother, who was last seen alive in Charnwood in Canberra, was murdered before her daughter.

“We believe that Khandalyce was murdered at some point after Karlie but we are trying to establish the exact time,” he said.

“Now we know that others have knowledge of what occurred to Karlie and Khandalyce and we need those people to come forward. The time to do that is now.”

Asked if his client had indicated if he had known Ms Pearce-Stevenson, lawyer Peter Cleaves replied: “No.”

Holdom, 41, did not apply for bail and it was formally refused, with Mr Cleaves, later saying “extensive” enquiries would be necessary before a plea could be determined.

“He’ll await advice,” Mr Cleaves said outside the court.

Mr Cleaves said he had spoken with Holdom for about 20 minutes.

Holdom, who was dressed in matching shirt and trousers and had short-cropped hair, said little during his brief appearance.

A request by Mr Cleaves for Holdom to not appear was refused by Magistrate John Chicken.

“Given the nature of the charge … I think it’s appropriate he be brought on screen,” Mr Chicken said.

The court appearance came after police on Tuesday revealed Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s identity, bank account and mobile phone were used for years after her death to mislead family and defraud social services.

Her skeletal remains were discovered in August 2010 in Belanglo State Forest.

Inquires are continuing into the murder of her daughter, aged two at the time of her death.

The toddler’s remains were found with a suitcase close to a highway near the town of Wynarka, about 130km east of Adelaide.

Holdom will next appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on November 12.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to face most serious kind of court-martial in Army desertion case

Army Sgt.

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Bowe Bergdahl will face general court-martial in connection with his 2009 disappearance from his base in Afghanistan, the service announced on Monday, raising the possibility that the soldier could face life in prison after being held captive for five years.

Bergdahl, 29, is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He has been a political lightning rod since he was exchanged in May 2014 in a prisoner swap approved by the White House in which five Taliban officials were released from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and kept under supervised watch in Qatar.

The decision was made by Gen. Robert Abrams, the four-star commander of US Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It came after Bergdahl broke his silence last week by participating in the popular podcast ‘Serial’. The weekly podcast obtained 25 hours of recorded conversations between Bergdahl and film producer Mark Boal with Bergdahl’s approval.

The decision is more severe than what was recommended by an Army officer, Lt. Col. Mark Visger, who oversaw a two-day hearing for Bergdahl’s case in September, according to Bergdahl’s lawyer. Visger recommended that Bergdahl face a lower form of judicial proceeding known as a special court-martial, which would have come with a maximum penalty of 12 months of confinement.

An arraignment hearing will be held at a later date at Fort Bragg, Army officials said. Bergdahl is currently assigned to Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, with a desk job.

General court-martial is the highest level of trial in the military justice system. If convicted, Bergdahl could face anywhere from life in prison to no confinement. Desertion can carry a death penalty, but Army officials have said that will not occur in Bergdahl’s case. No U.S. service member has been executed for desertion since World War II.

Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, said Monday that Abrams “did not follow the advice of the preliminary hearing officer.” Bergdahl’s defense team “had hoped the case would not go in this direction,” Fidell said.

“We will continue to defend Sgt. Bergdahl as the case proceeds,” Fidell said. “We again ask that Donald Trump cease his prejudicial monthslong campaign of defamation against our client. We also ask that the House and Senate Armed Services Committees avoid any further statements or actions that prejudice our client’s right to a fair trial.”

A spokesman for Abrams, John Boyce, said that the decision to go forward with a general court-martial now has nothing to do with Bergdahl’s participation in the “Serial” podcast.

Bergdahl left a tiny combat outpost June 29, 2009, just before midnight in an area in which the Taliban were known to operate. He wanted to cause a large enough crisis to get the attention of a general officer and relay concerns he had about his leaders, according to a senior officer who investigated his case, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, and Bergdahl in the recording released through ‘Serial’. The designation is known as a DUSTWUN, an acronym short for “duty status-whereabouts unknown.”

Bergdahl was captured within hours, and moved within days over the border into Pakistan. His loss prompted a monthslong manhunt that ran American troops in the region ragged and spawned operations in which their lives were put in danger, Army officials allege.

Bergdahl, meanwhile, was held by the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban. He was moved several times over the next five years, tortured and kept primarily in the dark and isolated from other people.

Bergdahl said on a ‘Serial’ episode released last week that within 20 minutes of him leaving his base, Observation Post Mest-Malak, with plans to go to the larger Forward Operating Base Sharana, he had second thoughts. He realised he would face a “hurricane of wrath” from commanding officers, and deviated from his plan to find intelligence that he hoped would make the Army go easier on him, but got lost in some hills and captured by Taliban on motorcycles, he said.

“Doing what I did is me saying that I am like, I don’t know, Jason Bourne. . .. I had this fantastic idea that I was going to prove to the world that I was the real thing,” Bergdahl said. “You know, that I could be what it is that all those guys out there that go to the movies and watch those movies, they all want to be that, but I wanted to prove that I was that.”

Dahl, the investigating officer of the case, said during the preliminary hearing in September that Bergdahl had outsize perceptions of his own ability as a soldier, and judged others unrealistically harshly. Other soldiers in Bergdahl’s unit did not see the same problems with leadership that he did, Dahl said.

A panel of psychiatrists found that Bergdahl was suffering from a mental defect when he walked away from his base, Fidell said during the hearing.

A former enlisted specialist in Bergdahl’s infantry company, Jon Thurman, said in a phone interview on Monday that he wasn’t surprised by the Army going forward with a general court-martial. Thurman, who also was interviewed for ‘Serial’, speculated that Bergdahl’s comments in the podcast could hurt his case.

“When that first episode aired, I mean, he sort of hung himself by saying that he walked off and was kinda thinking about doing his own Jason Bourne thing,” Thurman said. “The guilty verdict might come from just that.”

Thurman doesn’t know what will happen during the coming proceedings but just wants to see Bergdahl punished.

“I want to see him serve time for what he did,” he said.

Another soldier in Bergdahl’s battalion, former Capt. Nathan Bethea, said that he was dumbfounded when he heard Bergdahl say on ‘Serial’ that he deliberately walked away, even though his legal team had acknowledged it previously.

“Hearing it his own voice, hearing him say I deliberately caused a DUSTWUN, it’s hard for me to get away from saying, ‘Hey, this is desertion and misbehavior before the enemy,'” Bethea said. “After I heard it, there’s no way to get away from it.”

A spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., whose office has closely tracked the case, questioned whether Bergdahl participating in the podcast may have forced the Army to seek the most serious form of trial.

“He came across nuttier than anyone could have foreseen, and there was already consensus he wasn’t all together to begin with,” said the spokesman, Joe Kasper. “There has to be little sympathy left, where there was some to take.”

Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, expressed frustration that the case continues to be politicized. Republicans in the House Armed Services Committee accused the White House in a report released last week of having an ulterior motive in exchanging Bergdahl for Taliban officials: closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The report said that the congressional committee will “remain abreast of the disciplinary process which is underway” and “ensure that standard procedures are properly implemented and administered.”

The case should be handled by the courts, not politicians, Fidell said.

“That’s not their role at all,” Fidell said of the committee. “This is a dog whistle.”

Budget deficit blows out to $37.4 billion

The federal budget deficit for the 2015/16 financial year is now forecast to be $37.

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4 billion, but the Australian economy is heading in the right direction, Treasurer Scott Morrison insists.

“Strengthening our nation’s finances is a core component of our national plan for jobs and growth,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.

It compares with the $35.1 billion deficit predicted at the time of the May budget, the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook released on Tuesday shows.

The result is down to “considerably weaker” tax receipts from falling commodity prices, low wages growth and weaker equity markets.

Mr Morrison said government spending as a share of GDP had been pared back to 25.9 per cent and will fall to 25.3 per cent.

All policy decisions taken since the budget, including the cost of Senate negotiations, had been more than offset by the savings measures in MYEFO by almost $400 million.

“These results better the average of market expectations that have been reported over the last few days and are the result of the government focusing on what it can control rather than on the things it can’t,” the treasurer said.

“We have adopted a measured approach that avoids extreme responses that would place a handbrake on household consumption and business investment growth and unnecessarily threaten the fresh new momentum emerging in our transitioning economy.”

Journey to surplus ‘like a family holiday’

Mr Morrison likened the journey back to surplus to a family holiday.

“The family saying are we there yet, are we there yet?” he said.

“The path back to budget balance is similar to that. We need to take a safe and careful route and one that does not put at risk our jobs and growth.”

The government’s plan was about restraining expenditure while supporting economic growth to lift revenue, Mr Morrison said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government had stuck to its fiscal discipline.

A key savings measure was a crackdown on welfare cheats by using better data matching to ensure payments were within the rules.

“Importantly, the spending reductions that we have been able to achieve are sensible, they are measured, they are focused on improving consistency, integrity and efficiency across commonwealth government payments,” he said.

They also help the government continue to head in the right direction and get the budget back into balance as soon as possible.

KEY SPENDING SINCE THE MAY BUDGET

$1.1b over two years for Roads to Recovery programResettling of 12,000 Syrian refugees ($909m over four years)New medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme ($621m over four years)Management of illegal boat arrivals in Australia ($500m over two years)Innovation programs ($459m over three years)

KEY SAVINGS SINCE THE MAY BUDGET

Recovering money from welfare cheats ($704m over three years)Changes to bulk-billing ($639m over four years)Streamlining funding across health workforce programs ($595m over four years)Childcare system changes ($441m over four years)Aged care funding changes ($472m over three years)

Morrison says economy on right track

The Australian economy is heading in the right direction, Treasurer Scott Morrison insists.

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Mr Morrison on Tuesday released the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook which revealed a 2015/16 budget deficit of $37.4 billion, up from the $35.1 billion forecast in May.

“Strengthening our nation’s finances is a core component of our national plan for jobs and growth,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.

Mr Morrison said government spending as a share of GDP had been pared back to 25.9 per cent and will fall to 25.3 per cent.

All policy decisions taken since the budget, including the cost of Senate negotiations, had been more than offset by the savings measures in MYEFO by almost $400 million.

“These results better the average of market expectations that have been reported over the last few days and are the result of the government focusing on what it can control rather than on the things it can’t,” the treasurer said.

“We have adopted a measured approach that avoids extreme responses that would place a handbrake on household consumption and business investment growth and unnecessarily threaten the fresh new momentum emerging in our transitioning economy.”

Mr Morrison likened the journey back to surplus to a family holiday.

“The family saying are we there yet, are we there yet?” he said.

“The path back to budget balance is similar to that. We need to take a safe and careful route and one that does not put at risk our jobs and growth.”

The government’s plan was about restraining expenditure while supporting economic growth to lift revenue, Mr Morrison said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government had stuck to its fiscal discipline.

A key savings measure was a crackdown on welfare cheats by using better data matching to ensure payments were within the rules.

“Importantly, the spending reductions that we have been able to achieve are sensible, they are measured, they are focused on improving consistency, integrity and efficiency across commonwealth government payments,” he said.

They also help the government continue to head in the right direction and get the budget back into balance as soon as possible.

Bob Dylan inspires medical scientists

Bob Dylan’s lyrics have inspired a generation including, it seems, medical scientists.

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It’s just been revealed that they’ve long been referencing the American troubadour’s words in their published papers.

The Times They Are A-Changin’ tops the list with 135 articles, while Blowin’ In The Wind comes in second with 36.

Other popular titles include All Along The Watchtower, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and Like A Rolling Stone.

The unusual research, published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ, flows from the disclosure last year that a group of scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet had been sneaking the lyrics of the singer-songwriter into their papers as part of a long-running bet.

That inspired a Karolinska librarian and two colleagues to investigate the use of Dylan’s lyrics in titles of biomedical papers further afield over the years.

They did a search of all his song and album titles, as well as looking for truncated versions of a selection of Dylan’s most popular songs to find modified titles.

In all, 213 of 727 references were classified as unequivocally citing Dylan.

The earliest reference was in 1970 in the Journal of Practical Nursing, but only a handful continued the practice until 1990.

“However, since then, the number of articles has increased exponentially,” wrote librarian Carl Gornitzki.

The authors suggest the reason is “that some of the young and radical students of the 1960s who listened to Dylan ended up as medical doctors and scientists and, perhaps more importantly, as editors of journals in the 1990s and onwards”.

“A more liberal attitude towards eccentric article titles in general could also partially explain our findings.”

DYLAN INSPIRATION

* Blowin’ in the Wind – The BMJ editorial title about the risk of hang gliding

* The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Burns journal article starts by paraphrasing Dylan with “Come editors and authors throughout the land”

* Like a rolling histone – used in review of epigenetics

* Knockin’ on pollen’s door: live cell imaging of early polarisation events in germinating Arabidopsis pollen

Wests Tigers cubs need to step up: Brasher

Balmain great Tim Brasher says it’s time Wests Tigers cubs Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks and Curtis Sironen start fulfilling their talent.

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The Tigers are in need of inspiration following the Robbie Farah scandal and the departure of Martin Taupau which have threatened to derail their 2016 NRL campaign before a ball is kicked.

Coach Jason Taylor’s one-season tenure has been fraught with controversy and he goes into next season under pressure after the Tigers’ second-last finish this year.

The Tigers have invested heavily in highly-touted youngsters Moses, Brooks and Sironen and Brasher says they need to lead the way for the Tigers if they’re going to improve on last season’s dire showing when they finished 15th.

Brasher himself was a teenage prodigy, debuting in 1989 while still at high school and playing in Balmain’s famous grand final loss to Canberra that year.

Speaking at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic in the Hunter Valley, Brasher said the talented trio needed to start showing why they had been earmarked as NSW State of Origin prospects.

“They’ve all been touted as future NSW players but they’re not playing like it,” Brasher said.

“I’m not saying individually but as a team they’re not. If they can get that teamwork together and work together they’ll be fine.

“They really need to get their on-field stuff together and not worry about who’s coaching.”

Brasher had some strong words for Taylor, describing his first year in charge as “terrible” and his decision to ask Farah to leave the club as “horrible”.

“He’s got a shovel and he’s digging a hole for himself,” Brasher said.

However he said Brooks, Moses and Sironen needed to lead from the front and it was up to the playing group to put the club’s off-field dramas to the side and unite.

“I think (Brooks, Moses and Sironen) have to do it this year, they’ve got to start making inroads this year into what it’s believed their potential is,” Brasher said.

“They’re definitely players who can do it.”

Turning a siege into a force for good

A year ago Louisa Hope stepped into a cafe for a cup of coffee and her life changed.

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She was one of 18 Australians who became unwitting players in a day-long siege at Martin Place in the heart of Sydney.

“It was an ordinary day and then the next minute it was insanity,” she says.

“For a split second, I thought it was a bad joke. But then a man pulled out a gun and I realised it was very serious.”

At the end of the 17-hour siege, gunman Man Haron Monis used Ms Hope and her 73-year-old mother as human shields when police stormed the Lindt Cafe in a hail of gunfire.

“I thought I was going to die,” she says.

“The firestorm that was the end – it was quite terrifying.”

She was shot in the foot. The gunman and two of the hostages, cafe manager Tori Johnson and lawyer Katrina Dawson, lay dead.

Ms Hope spent three months in hospital and has since endured innumerable appointments and physiotherapy sessions to allow her to walk again.

But rather than dwell on her misfortune, Ms Hope, 53, is using her experience as a force for change.

“There’s no time to be wishing it all away,” she says as the anniversary of the siege, which began on December 15, nears.

“There’s a purpose for me being there that day. It’s my duty to work with that.”

But it hasn’t been straightforward.

She still has moments of distress.

“You’re fine and then, whoosh – in comes another piece of information or a new question,” she says.

“Did this, in my ordinary life, happen?

“It sort of takes you back and you are reminded again that, yes, this did happen to our country and I was there that day. That moment of reckoning.”

Reverend Bill Crews, who helped counsel some of the hostages, says the trauma of the siege will take a long time to overcome.

“This sort of thing takes years and a lot of talking through,” he says.

“The anniversary will be really traumatic for them because it brings it all back.”

Rev Crews, who led the funeral service for Tori Johnson, saw how the hostages clung to each other in the aftermath, even as the city opened its heart to them.

Martin Place was blanketed with flowers and cards.

Premier Mike Baird spoke from the heart when he told Sydneysiders: “The values we held dear yesterday we hold dear today – values of freedom, democracy and harmony. They define us yesterday, today, tomorrow.”

For him, the flowers represented the spirit of the city.

As the months wore on, Mr Baird reflected on how Sydney responded.

“It’s probably my proudest moment in this state,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it – never experienced anything like it – where people of all different faiths, backgrounds, ages, cultures came together as one.”

In Ms Hope’s view, Australia had to find a way forward.

“Our country was on a knife-edge,” she told AAP.

“I felt very strongly that we had to get something positive and good out of this scenario … that we cannot let ourselves be defeated.

“We could retreat and we could become suspicious,” she said.

“I would hope that doesn’t happen to us, because that is part of what makes us Australian, that generosity of spirit and open-heartedness towards strangers, visitors, friends and foreigners.”

Her sentiments are more than mere words.

She is determined to give back to the nurses who helped her through a painful recovery at the Prince of Wales Hospital.

With the $25,000 fee she received for an interview with the current affairs program 60 Minutes she founded the Louisa Hope Fund for Nurses.

It has now raised almost $100,000 for research and already provided for equipment such as a new monitoring device to measure patients’ vital signs.

“That will hopefully bring some good out of what happened,” Ms Hope says.

“How blessed am I to have that chance?”

* Donations to the Louisa Hope Fund for Nurses for the Prince of Wales Hospital can be made at 杭州桑拿,powhf杭州桑拿按摩,杭州桑拿网,

Two thirds of TV watchers admit bingeing

Binge-watching television shows is becoming the most common way to take in our favourite programs, with many viewers shunning their families to do it alone, new figures suggest.

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Research by telecoms firm ARRIS found that 67 per cent of the UK admits to binge-watching a TV show, with the average viewer doing so for more than three hours a week.

More than three fifths (61 per cent) choose to do it alone, taking advantage of the increasingly personal nature of many online streaming and catch-up services.

According to ARRIS, data on downloads of digital boxsets from the Sky TV Store suggested that subscribers will spend nine days watching US comedy Modern Family this winter, and six days watching fantasy drama Game Of Thrones.

About six per cent of those surveyed said they binge-watched every day.

Sandy Howe, senior vice president of global marketing at ARRIS, said: “Binge-watching very quickly has grown into a very popular way to consume media, and even more quickly has become a solitary activity.

“This isn’t just a passing trend in TV, this is the new normal, and it is fundamentally different.”

Howe said it suggested a very different TV future, “in which ‘prime time’ is whenever consumers want it, for as long as they choose, and increasingly they’re choosing to enjoy it alone”.

The rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Fire TV, alongside download and catch-up options from major broadcasters, has increased the availability of bulk numbers of episodes of major TV shows.

Statistics from Netlfix published earlier this year claimed users watched more than 10 billion hours of content every month.

Qantas on track for record annual profit

Qantas shareholders could be set for another windfall after the airline revealed it is on track for a record full year profit, just two years after its biggest ever loss.

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The airline said Tuesday it expects to more than double first-half pre-tax profit to between $875 million and $925 million when it announces its six-month results in February, not far off the $975 million it made in the whole of the 2015 financial year.

Qantas, which lost a record $2.8 billion in FY14, said improved revenue, cost cutting and continued lower fuel prices were all playing a part in its continued turnaround.

The first half of the financial year is typically stronger for Qantas because it includes Christmas travel, while the second half features a drop in business travel during the holiday months of January and February.

But even allowing for the seasonal variation, analysts expect Qantas to report pre-tax profit of about $1.6 billion, comfortably beating its 2008 record of $1.41 billion.

That puts it firmly in line to obliterate last year’s $557 million net profit and trump the all-time record $970 million net profit it reported in 2008.

“We’ve seen improved revenue in our domestic and international operations, reduced costs across the group through the Qantas Transformation program, and expect another record half-year result from Qantas Loyalty,” chief executive Alan Joyce said.

“This strong performance is underpinned by our continued focus on delivering the best service for our customers in all of the markets we serve.”

The vast majority of the $557 million full year net profit announced in August was handed back to shareholders in the form of a 23 cents per share cash distribution, and Merrill Lynch analyst Matt Spence said he expects Qantas to announce a buyback of between $500 million and $800 million.

“Qantas has the cash to accommodate up to $800 million,” Mr Spence said.

“It will more be a question of how hard the company goes in actually executing the program.”

Qantas shares were down 6.5 cents to $3.72 at 1410 AEDT.

The positive forecast by Qantas includes the $25 million hit sustained by its Jetstar service due to cancellations after a cloud of volcanic ash twice forced the closure of Indonesia’s Denpasar airport in July.

Qantas bounced back into the black in FY15 thanks largely to a hedging program that exploited falling fuel prices and a $2 billion transformation program that included 5,000 job cuts.

The same factors are in play this year, while the airline is wringing extra capacity out of its existing fleet by reducing turnarounds for its workhorse Boeing 737s to as little as 35 minutes through new ground procedures.

The airline, which said it has also renewed its frequent flyer participation in Woolworths’ supermarket reward program, reported on Tuesday that group domestic capacity for November was 0.9 per cent higher compared to the prior corresponding period.

QANTAS QUANTIFIED

* expected FY16 pre-tax profit: about $1.6 billion

* FY15 pre-tax profit: $975 million

* FY14 pre-tax loss: $646 million

* Record full year pre-tax profit: $1.41 billion in 2008

* Record first half pre-tax profit: $905 million in 2008

Qld women sue over foster child abuse

A Cairns judge has found child safety officers did not properly warn a family of teenage girls about a foster child, who sexually abused them after raping a three-year-old girl.

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The teenagers, who are now women, were awarded $800,000 on Tuesday, after successfully suing the Queensland government.

Cairns District Court Judge Brian Harrison found the abuse, committed in the girls’ family home north of Cairns in 2006, could have been avoided if officers from the Department of Child Safety (DOCS) had “exercised relevant care and skill”.

He heard the 14-year-old offender had been charged with raping a three-year-old girl at another foster home before he was approved to stay with the teens. He was later convicted of that crime.

The women argued DOCS had neglected their duty of care and put them at unreasonable risk of psychological or psychiatric harm by not giving their family all the information they needed to make an educated decision on caring for the boy.

But lawyers for the state government claimed two of the sisters contributed to negligence by not locking their doors, or telling their mother the boy was coming into their bedrooms.

They also said the mother, who had looked after the boy numerous times since 2003, knew of the rape and that the boy enjoyed the presumption of innocence when he was placed.

The teen, who had spent most of his younger years on Cape York, went on to commit numerous acts against the sisters.

Judge Harrison heard the mother had become close to the child since first caring for him and asked the department how she could arrange to have him live in her home in 2005.

But she claims she would not have taken him in if she’d known of a number of concerning incidents, including the teen touching a female staff member at a boys’ home.

“It was reasonably foreseeable to DOCS that the foster child … did present a risk to the teenage girls,” Judge Harrison said in his judgment.

“No effort appears to have been made to ensure that the third party (mother of girls) and her family were made fully aware of the risks.”

Judge Harrison awarded two of the sisters more than $350,000 and one close to $100,000 for psychological injury and loss of income.

He rejected the state government’s contention their mother should pay some of the damages, amid claims she had initially told the girls not to report the abuse.

The boy has previously been prosecuted for crimes committed against the sisters and three-year-old.