Archive for September, 2018

Stolen Medicare cards used to amass pain-relief tablets, court told


A WOMAN who allegedly used a number of stolen Medicare cards to amass a bounty of pain-relief medication was granted bail on Thursday.
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Fiona Medling, 31, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court accused of fraudulently using three card numbers over five months at a number of medical practices across Victoria.

Medling, of Bacchus Marsh, was allegedly in possession of an array of prescription medication tablets,

including oxycodone and codeine, at her home on February 8 when it was searched by police.

Leading Senior Constable Yvette Brown told the court Medling received almost 1000 tablets from 48 prescriptions off one victim’s card over three months.

Leading Senior Constable Brown opposed Medling’s bail, suggesting she would continue to reoffend as she had allegedly been refused prescription medication by a number of local doctors when using her real name.

Medling faces a number of charges, including obtain property by deception, make false document and commit an offence while on bail.

The court heard Medling was on bail for a number of related charges and Leading Senior Constable Brown said she had concerns for the accused’s welfare if released on bail.

“There were prescriptions and pills everywhere (at Medling’s property) and police are concerned if she gets out she will take those,” Leading Senior Constable Brown said.

Jacob Kantor, for Medling, said his client had developed an addiction to pain-relief medication after suffering a workplace injury in 2012.

“She’s had long-term pain issues related to discs in her back,” Mr Kantor said.

He said Medling would hand over the remaining medication found at her property to Bacchus Marsh police if released.

In granting Medling bail, magistrate Peter Mithen said the accused must forfeit the remaining medication at her property and only use an agreed doctor to obtain medication.

Medling will reappear at court on February 20.

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Man bailed despite police evidence of ‘shocking’ domestic violence


Kyle Cobby, 22, was remanded in custody in Warrnambool Magistrates Court two weeks ago but made a successful bail application yesterday.A HAMILTON father charged with assaulting his 21-month-old son and heavily pregnant partner has been released back into the community.
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Kyle Cobby, 22, was remanded in custody in Warrnambool Magistrates Court two weeks ago but made a successful bail application yesterday.

He has been charged with intentionally causing injury to his son and false imprisonment and intentionally causing injury to his 19-year-old partner, who is 37 weeks pregnant.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said although it was a relatively strong police case, there was now a family member Mr Cobby could live with at Cavendish and a $3000 surety was put in place.

Mr Cobby was bailed to reappear in court on March 25.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Kevin Mullins vigorously opposed bail, saying that Mr Cobby was alleged to have seriously assaulted his partner and son in a shocking case of domestic violence.

He said Mr Cobby hog-tied the woman and, during a recorded interview with police, openly threatened to kill her.

Detective Sergeant Chris Asenjo, of the Warrnambool police child abuse investigation team, told court the incidents happened on January 27 and 28.

He said Mr Cobby punched his partner to the face and head a number of times and put a belt around her neck, which he pulled tight and choked her.

Detective Sergeant Asenjo said the next morning Mr Cobby tended to the toddler who was crying and his partner heard Mr Cobby slapping their son.

She told police that Mr Cobby then took their son to a bathroom and placed him in a cold shower before she again heard slapping sounds.

Detective Sergeant Asenjo said the toddler was then placed screaming in his cot and Mr Cobby put a blanket over the child.

Mr Cobby then went back to the main bedroom, got a tie and a belt and tied up the woman before he left the home.

The woman told police she took about half-an-hour to free herself, took the child to a neighbour’s home and sought medical treatment, which led to police involvement.

Detective Sergeant Asenjo said a paediatric assessment indicated that the child had up to 60 unexplained bruises and injuries which were not caused accidentally.

The toddler has since gone to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for assessment and there is an indication he suffers from a blood condition which could affect bruising.

Detective Sergeant Asenjo said there was a 40-minute recorded telephone conversation between Mr Cobby and his partner during which Mr Cobby was alleged to have made some admissions.

The police officer told the court that investigations into other claims made by Mr Cobby’s partner had not been completed.

Those claims involve Mr Cobby allegedly hitting his son with a wooden spoon and flogging his son and the woman with a belt.

Queensland courts also have a warrant out for the arrest of Mr Cobby, who has been charged with possession of dangerous drugs, implements and weapons.

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Unanderra station lift gets Liberal support


Alex Traill from Spinal Cord Injuries Australia at Unanderra station. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR
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The Liberal candidate for the seat of Wollongong has thrown his support behind the campaign to install lifts at Unanderra train station.

Unanderra is an island platform only accessible by two sets of stairs. This makes it hard for senior citizens and parents with prams to catch a train there, and impossible for the wheelchair-bound.

Liberal candidate Cameron Walters said the lifts were “one of the key issues” in the electorate.

“It’s been there for a long time and it’s something the community needs in Unanderra,” he said.

“I’ve lived in the local area for the past eight or nine years and it’s an issue that’s close to my heart.

“I live one suburb along at Mount Kembla so I’m close to the train station. Everyone in the area uses the train station, from Farmborough and Cordeaux Heights to Unanderra and Mount Kembla.”

Mr Walters said he would take the issue to Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian before the state election on March 28.

He has also arranged a meeting with residents, who have been campaigning for the installation of the lifts for close to a decade.

“I just want to open the discussion up and understand the group’s ideas,” Mr Walters said.

“This is to give the community a voice in State Parliament and take the fight to the Transport Minister.”

Vocal campaigner Richard Kramer greeted the news of Mr Walters’ meeting warmly – and suggested it could lead to a few more votes for the Liberal candidate.

“I was quite pleased that he took the initiative himself,” Mr Kramer said. “My vote’s available. If you want to give me a lift, I’ll give you my vote, no worries. If they want my vote and many others, give us a lift.”

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Serendipity helps teen’s star rise


Blown away: Shell Cove teenager Emilia Burford hopes to head to Los Angeles to pursue her career in music.Picture: ANDY ZAKELIFor Shell Cove teenager Emilia Burford, it was a chance meeting at the ARIA Awards that led to a music deal, a performance at Sydney’s New Year’s Eve festivities and corporate sponsorship.
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Representatives from LA-based Capitol Records had watched the 17-year-old perform on Schools Spectacular in their hotel room while in Australia and were impressed with her singing chops.

Serendipity soon intervened and brought Ms Burford, who was at the awards, in contact with the Capitol Records team on the red carpet.

“They must have noticed me … they came straight over and said ‘we know you, you’re the girl we saw on TV’,” Ms Burford said.

“I was blown away, what are the chances that they would track me down? They watched some of my videos, called my old singing school and it all went from there.”

Ms Burford, aka Emalia Rose, got an international artist development deal last year with Creative Dreams Entertainment, a Sydney-based label connected to Capitol Records. The deal is a precursor to a record contract, aiming to connect the teen with producers while she works on her first album.

Since then, the Wollongong High School student has been busy juggling her HSC with songwriting and recording.

“I try and get in the studio in Sydney or Newcastle or even at home as much as I can,” she said.

“It’s not easy with school and it can get stressful but it’s all about time management and factoring in things that are a priority.”

The deal has already yielded opportunities, including a gig with DJ Northie at the Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations and sponsorship from fashion label Arnhem Clothing.

Once she’s finished her HSC, Ms Burford is keen to head to LA.

“I just want to gig as much as I can,” she said. “I really need to focus on getting my name out there as much as I can at the moment; my parents have always said I could sing the alphabet before I could speak so I know this is what I’m meant to be doing.”

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Tourism deal seeks to bridge bitter rift


Picture: SYLVIA LIBERA long, bitter dispute between Kiama Municipal Council and Kiama Tourism has reached a conclusion with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations.
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However it is clear some deep wounds will take some time to heal after final shots were fired at this week’s council meeting.

In 2014, Kiama Council halved its contribution to Kiama Tourism to about $160,000 after a review of how the council spent its tourism funds.

The review was sparked after the Kiama Tourism board appeared to be having problems.

The council has since used funds previously allocated to Kiama Tourism to appoint its own tourism manager.

In October, both organisations gave in-principle support for a draft memorandum, with further meetings to take place to finalise the details.

On Tuesday night the memorandum had yet to be signed, although Kiama Tourism subsequently met on Wednesday to consider the latest draft.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Cr Dennis Seage successfully moved that if Kiama Tourism did not sign the memorandum by Friday, then all council funds would be pulled from the organisation.

“Throughout this whole business I feel certain that the Kiama Tourism board has treated us with contempt,” Cr Seage said.

“I think the meetings have been difficult, the points raised I believe were very pedantic … the time has come to draw a line in the sand.”

Cr Andrew Sloan expressed concern that such wording would be “like a red rag to a bull” and the two organisations should be building bridges.

In response, Cr Seage said that “there are times to be a feather duster and times to be a hammer … I’ll leave it at that”.

Cr Reilly said the wording was harsh, but “it needs to be”.

“We have been talking about this for 18 months with no resolution … all we have had is a series of insulting innuendo from the board.”

Kiama Tourism chairman Brian Longbottom said Kiama Tourism had agreed to sign the memorandum on Wednesday night.

He said the rhetoric from some councillors was uncalled for.

The delay in signing the memorandum came down to wording, Mr Longbottom said.

He said criticism directed at his board about members meeting the council was “pretty ordinary”.

“We are all volunteers on the board and all work and have businesses … the meeting in January was obviously during a busy period for everyone,” he said.

Mr Longbottom said with the memorandum now in place both organisations would work together. How well they worked together would be for others to judge.

“I hope all this silly stuff gets left behind – time will tell,” he said.

Mr Longbottom said Kiama Tourism was “going OK” without the council funds.

“We previously employed a tourism manager, now the council employs a tourism person, so funds we were previously paying they are now paying,” he said.

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