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‘I’ll never tell’: Lawyer laundered $400,000. But where is it from?

28/09/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

A Melbourne lawyer has been found guilty of laundering dirty money allegedly given to him by a man accused of playing a part in the notorious Richmond road gang robbery of 1994.
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John Anile’s barrister Peter Billings said it would be a “miracle” if his client ever practised law again after a jury found 58-year-old Anile guilty of money laundering and obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Police say the $400,000 John Anile laundered was given to him by a man accused of playing a part in the notorious Richmond road gang robbery of 1994. Photo: John Woudstra

The Williamstown solicitor appeared in the Melbourne County Court on Friday for a plea hearing where the court – filled with his family and friends – was told helaundered $400,000 allegedly given to him by former kickboxing champion Percy Lanciana in 1994.

The case against Anile was part of Operation Tideland, a taskforce that investigated an organised crime syndicate responsible for serious crimes, including the 1994 Richmond heist, where syndicate membersdressed as road workers to allegedly hold up an Armaguard truck to steal $2.4 million.

Mr Lanciana was charged with the Richmond robbery last year. He is contesting the accusations at a committal hearing in October.

The prosecution in Anile’s case did not specify the laundered money came from the heist, stating instead that the cash came from a serious offence and Anile knew it was dirty.

“That alone makes it a very serious offence and it calls for an immediate custodial sentence,” prosecutor Matt Fisher said.

According to court documents, Anile was caught in a covert recording in 2013 saying to a witness; “I know exactly where the f—ing money came from”.

“I will never tell you where the money came from. You can put a gun to my head and I will never tell you. All I can tell you is that the $400,000 cash was a small proportion of it,” he said.

In another meeting, the witness speculatedthe money came from a train robbery, to which Anile replies: “You don’t have to be a genius. They had a bunch of cash and they did not work.”

Anile wenton to say: “He wasn’t into drugs, whatever it was, whether it was stand-overs or robberies, whatever it was, it wasn’t drugs”.

Anile had pleaded not guilty to laundering the money and deception.Police said he boughta vacant lotin Williamstown using $400,000 of “under the table”cash and avoiding stamp duty and taxes by underquoting the sale.

Mr Billings told the court his client had an unblemished record before and since, but his reputation wasnow lost and he hadsuffered substantial hardship.

He said the Legal Services Commissioner had taken over his client’s firm and he will be required to hand in his practising certificate.

“Unless a miracle occurs, he’ll never practise law again,” Mr Billings said.

He said Anile had suffered an “enduring campaign” from the press where it was alleged the money came from the Richmond Armaguard heist.

“As your honour knows, that’s not the basis of the prosecution case,” Mr Billings said.

He asked Judge Phillip Coish to consider a suspended sentence or community corrections order and take into account his client’s remorse and likelihood he wouldn’t reoffend.

He argued the delay in proceedings – Anile was arrested in 2014 and the offence was 23 years ago – should also be a factor in sentencing.

Mr Fisher said Anile has had a lifetime of freedom.

“It’s a period of time in which the accused man has lived his life, worked, been an active member of the community,” he said.

Anile will be sentenced next Friday.

The Age

State of the NationSaturday, June 24, 2017

28/09/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

State of the nationNeed a national news snapshot first thing –well, we have you covered.
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►NSW:In sporting parlance, nobody digs deeper than parents helping their kids chase their athletic dreams.Themums and dads may not be the ones ‘giving 110 per cent’ on the pitch, but they’re paying a tidy sum to keep their kids registered and kitted with the latest gear. The NSW government willlighten the load from January 1, 2018, offering $100 rebates for parents to enroll their kids in sports.Read more.

► BALLARAT, VIC:For many victims of sexual abuse, the thought of visitingSt Patrick’s College remains a deeply painful one.On Tuesday afternoon the College will take the momentous step of officially apologising to those victims as part of the school’s journey to providing practical support to victims at the Sturt Street campus.Read more.

► BURNIE, TAS:“Looking at this makes me want to be sick.”Those were the words of Emma-Jo Alison Mason, 28, of Burnie, after her employerconfronted her with incriminating evidence.On Friday, Ms Mason pleaded guilty in the Hobart Supreme Court tocounts of stealing, forgery and inserting false information as data. Read more.

► NEWCASTLE, NSW:Newcastle is a construction zone, with more than $1.6 billion worth of development set to change the city’s skyline.Construction activity in the city centre has ramped up in recent months as work on the light rail network coincides with a number of major projects.Nearly $900 million worth of construction is already underway. Developers say the activity taking place is “unprecedented” in Newcastle’s history.Read more.

► MALLEE, VIC:Member for Mallee Andrew Broad has billed taxpayers more than $2300 for three charter flights on the day of the federal election last year.Mr Broad chartered a small plane and pilot to take him from Mildura to Stawell, and then to Horsham followed by a flight back to Mildura on July 2.Read more.

► NT:A new partnership is spreadingan anti violence message in Northern Territory prisons.Northern Territory Correctional Services andCatholicCare NT launched the No More campaign, aimed atreducingfamily and domestic violence in Katherine.Read more.

► WOLLONGONG, NSW:A man has been found guilty of burning down aConiston house sohis ex-wife wouldn’t get it in their divorce.Krste Kovacevski claimed he still owned the Coniston home in the early hours of August 4 last year, as he poured fuelthrough its rooms, dropped a lit piece of paper, and retreated to his granny flat to watchit burn.But on Friday a Wollongong magistrate ruled otherwise: Kovacevski destroyed the uninsured, owned-outright home after losing it in divorce proceedings. Read more.

National news► Two young Melbourne men who pleaded guilty to separate terror-related offences will spend more time behind bars, after the Court of Appeal agreed their original sentences were too lenient.

► German discount supermarket Aldihas amassed a property portfolio worth close to $2 billion in Australia, providing it with security of tenure and significant capital gains.Aldi is one of the country’s biggest retailers, with $10 billion in annual sales from its469 stores.

►Victoria Police has taken the extraordinary step of immediately cancelling all fines issued by speed and red-light cameras hit by a computer virus.Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther made theannouncement on Friday afternoon.About55 cameraswere affected by the theWannaCryransomware virus between June 6 and June 22.

National weather radarInternational news►BRITAIN:’Independence day’ in the UK, exactly a year since Britain voted to leave the European Union, has been greeted with bitter howls and smug celebration, showing the wounds left by the Brexit referendum are still raw.A year ago on Friday, the country divided itself almost down the middle, pitting old against young, city against country and the well-educated versus the less-educated. Narrowly, but not so narrowly as to be contestable, Britain voted Leave.

On this dayJune 24, 2010: The world’s longest professional match in history was won at Wimbledon. The Isner–Mahut match was a first round men’s singles match, in which the American 23rd seed John Isner played French qualifier Nicolas Mahut. It started at 6.13pm on June 22. It continued on and off for the next two days. The final set alone lasted 8 hours, 11 minutes – longer than the previous longest match – before Isner won. In total, the match took 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 for a total of 183 games. It is the longest match in history, measured both by time and number of games.

Faces of Australia: Mark HollowayIf not for Eggy Morrison, Bendigo’s longest serving coppermay never have joined the police force.

“He was an oddball at school, a year or two older than me, turned up at the mardi gras day at the end of the school year when I was in form 4 at Colac, in uniform,” sergeant Mark Holloway says.

“He was one of those kids you didn’t talk to, he was a bit rough.”

Though they only spoke for a short time that night,the 15-year-old’s interest was piqued.Read more.

Dylan Perry into British Amateur finalvideo

28/09/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Dylan PerryAberdeen’s Dylan Perry was overwhelmed but focused on playing more patient golfafter reaching the British Amateur final at Royal St George’s in England.
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Perry never trailed in hissemi-final against Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti to win 3 and2 and become the first Australian to reach the final since 2011 winner Bryden Macpherson.

Perry, whose home club is The Vintage,will faceEnglishman Harry Ellis in the 36-hole decider from 5pm Saturday (AEST).

“I am overwhelmed, that’s for sure,” said Perry, who has played and trained with The Sanctuary Cove club on the Gold Coast this year.

“I’ve been patient all day, all week really. It’s nice to get the outcome and get into the final tomorrow. I’m stoked.

“Anyone is going to be nervous playing in The Amateur Championship final but I am just going to play like I have been all week. I’ll be patient and just enjoy it. It’s an experience in itself. I’ll go out tomorrow and do what I’ve done all week and see what happens.

“I won the Riversdale Cup in March and it would be unreal to follow that up with a win here. It would definitely top the year – that’s for sure.

“I had never played with him (Alejandro Tosti) before and he was definitely a gritty competitor. It’s always a good win to beat a player of his standard.”

Ellis defeated European Amateur champion Luca Cianchetti 3 and 2 to make the final against Perry.The winner receives exemption into the British Open at Royal Birkdale,the 2018 US Open andMasters.

Perryled at thefourth hole after Tosti made bogey. The Argentine got to square on the fifth, but Perry led again at the sixthand maintained his advantage.

The 22-year-old extended his lead at the eighth with par then birdie three at the ninth. Tostipulled one back at the 11thbut Perry regained his three-hole edge when Tosti hit two out of bounds at the 14th.

In the morning quarter-finals, Perry beat Norwegian Jarle Kaldestad Volden by one hole.

Australia’s Dylan Perry & England’s Harry Ellis reach final of The 122nd Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s. https://t.co/r0538sbzA6pic.twitter南京夜网/wAiAtIveGg

— The R&A (@RandA) June 23, 2017

The ‘unprecedented’ building boom changing Newcastle

28/09/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

The ‘unprecedented’ building boom changing Newcastle TweetFacebookNewcastleHeraldcan reveal more than $640 million worth of development is still in the pipeline, with private sector investment in residential projects set to overtake government-funded projects over the next two years.
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Among the big-ticket projects slated to start are the$222 million redevelopment of Hunter Street Mall, the $73 million Verve Residences in Newcastle West and the $71 million Railway Lane Apartments in Wickham.

According to Cordell property data, a further $274 million worth of other projects have either been approved, waiting approval or in the planning stage.

Major residential projects currently under construction include the $44 million aged care facility and $26 million Holiday Inn Hotel, both on King Street, the $13 million Aero Apartments on Hunter Street and the $10 million Bishopsgate Apartments in Wickham.

TOOLBOX TALK: Workers on site at the Aero Apartments development. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The hive of activity, however, is not limited to high rise.

The Newcastle Interchange at Wickham is inching closer to completion and work has begun on a light rail depot across Stewart Avenue, in the place of the former Wickham train station.

Work to prepare the track for the Supercars race later this year has crews busy along Wharf Road and Watt Street.

And Newcastle council’s $36 million Bathers Way project continues at South Newcastle beach, King Edward Park and up to Strzelecki Lookout.

Colliers International, a leading property manager in the Hunter, said the city should expect to see cranes in the sky for at least the next five years.

“There has never beenso many tradies in town,” Colliers’ Newcastle director Chris Chapman said. “The coffee shops used to be full of young professionals; now they’re filled with tradies. And this is only the beginning, we’re only just getting started.”

Property Council Hunter director Andrew Fletcher said demand for residential property in Newcastle was “the strongest in history”.

“We’ve seen nearly $2 billion of private investment since the heavy rail line was truncated,” Mr Fletcher said.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the growth was because the council had fostered “strong partnerships” between various levels of government and the private sector. “No other council has been able to do it, but this council has,” she said.

As new works get under way, all eyes are on how long the current period of growth can be sustained, and whether Novocastrians are comfortable to wear the inevitable pain before the gain.

‘Things are really taking off now’ BEFORE: Core Project Group directors Tom Elliot and Jamie Lind are riding the wave of Newcastle’s construction boom. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Fora long time, Newcastle had “flat feet”. Now it’s running full steam ahead.

That’s the view of Tom Elliot and Jamie Lind, who are a success story from the city’s building boom and responsible for millions of dollars worth of construction in the West End.

The duo head up local firm Core Project Group, which was established six years ago, quickly rising to become one of the city’s leading builders.

The company’s major projects are clustered within a short walk from each other – a $44 million aged care building, $4 million five-storeychild care centre, bothon King Street, and a $21 million office block on Stewart Avenue.

They say they are projects that will reshape the West End, bringing people and jobs for years to come.

Mr Lind said the level of construction activity in Newcastle was “unprecedented”.

“Newcastle has got a really positive vibe about it at the moment,” he said. “We had flat feet for a while there, but things are really taking off at the moment. For so long, Newcastle hasn’tbeen led well, but the state and federal governments put their money where their mouth is and kicked it all off.”

Mr Lind said the redevelopment of the Newcastle Court House,which was followed by the light rail project and new university building, sparkeda flurry of construction activity in the city centre.

AFTER: What Core Project Group’s Stewart Avenue development will look like.

“People realised there was investment happening here, and they wanted to be where the action was,” he said.

But with renewed investmentcame increased competition, particularly from out of town firms, which puts pressure on builders to remain cost competitive.

There is also pressure to attract skilled labour, Mr Lind said.

“There’s a shortage of it over the state,” he said, adding that builders were adapting their techniques in response.

Mr Elliot said it was his hope that healthy development activity continued beyond the next five years.

“We should keep the momentum going, but we shouldn’t necessarily be relying on the government to do that for us,” he said.

“We need to keep promoting Newcastle as a great place to live and work.”

Pain before gain: business chamber DIVERSION: Hunter Business Chamber has warned of pain in the CBD as new projects take off. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

THE Hunter Business Chamber has warned of “difficult days” ahead for CBD businesses as the city undergoes intense construction activity.

But chamberpresident Bob Hawes, who was formerly thehead of the Hunter Development Corporation, says other businesses will flourish as a result of increased demand for construction material.

It is the double-edged sword the business chamber is trying to manage as concern grows amongst CBD retailers about their survival once new major works begin.

With Supercars and Bathers Way works in full swing, this week East End businesses met to discuss the financial situation confronting them.

Mr Hawes admitted many Hunter Street retailers could experience a similar situation, particularly after street blocks begin to close for light rail works,but said there was no “one size fits all” solution.

“Businesses who rely on the regularity of foot traffic, that’s where you will see disruption and some concern,” he said. “[But] it’s a like a fitness program, it will be the pain before the gain.”

A map showing development activity in the Newcastle CBD. Picture: Colliers International

Mr Hawes said it was key businesses knew what was coming and when.

Meanwhile, the Property Councilhas signalled that Newcastle may be experiencing “two-speed” growth.

The industry advocacy group said there was a deficit of 30,000 homes in the Lower Hunter.

“Despite all the inner-city apartments, we still have a chronic housing shortage across the Hunter,” Property Council Hunter director Andrew Fletcher said, adding that the “biggest threat” to Newcastle’s growth was housing affordability.

Police don’t believe Bali jail escapee Shaun Davidson is in East Timor

28/09/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Shaun Edward Davidson, right, going into a holding cell after being sentenced to a year’s jail minus time served in September last year. Photo: Amilia RosaEast Timorese police do not believe Kerobokan jail escapee Shaun Davidson is in East Timor, saying only two of the four foreign prisoners who escaped crossed from Indonesia.
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Davidson, a 33-year-old from Perth, and Malaysian Tee Kok King remain at large a day after two of their fellow escapees werearrested in a luxury resort in Dili, the capital of East Timor.

Bulgarian DimitarIliev, who was serving seven years for ATM fraud, and Indian Sayed Mohammad Said, jailed for 14 years for drug offences, were arrested on Thursday at the 4½-star Novo Turismo Resort and Spa.

Bali police chief PetrusReinhard Golose flew into Dilion Friday to make arrangements for their return to Indonesia.

The two prisonerswould be processed for illegal entry and then handed over to Indonesian authorities.

Chief Superintendent Henrique da Costa from the East Timor police said “only two” of the escapees had crossed to Indonesia and confirmed they had split up in Indonesia.

Iliev and Said had come on a charter boat from the Indonesian island of Alor in East Nusa Tenggara on June 21 and did not pass through immigration.

“They found some place to get out and then came to the hotel,” Mr Da Costa told Fairfax Media.

He said East Timor police had been keeping an eye on foreigners entering Indonesia, in part due to information from Indonesia.

“We suspected them as foreigners, that’s why we asked to see their passports. When they showed their passport to us we found out their passport did not contain a stamp for entering the country.”

The receptionist at Novo Turismotold Fairfax Media the men had checked in using a Russian passport under the name of Nikolas Georgios.

“They looked like normal tourists,” he said. “They went to the restaurant, to the pool. We didn’t talk much, just said ‘hi’ when they passed by.”

Mr Da Costa said after the men were arrested they had received information from the Indonesian attache in East Timor thatthey were prisoners who had escaped from Kerobokan.

He said the two recaptured prisoners “don’t know” what happened to Davidson and Tee Kok King. They had also not talked about how they escaped.

“We only focused on the illegal entry,” he said.

The four prisoners were discovered missing from Kerobokan jail at the 8am head count on Monday.

They escaped by breaking a hole in the ceiling of their cell block and then crawling through a fetid 13-metre tunnel that was thought by prison authorities to be a septic tank.

Davidson had just 10 weeks to serve of his 12-month jail sentence for using another man’s passport.

He had an outstanding warrant in Australia for drug charges and had told fellow prisoners he intended to “do something” before his sentence ended to avoid being deported back to Australia.

The chief of police of the Badung regency of Bali, Yudith Satriya Hananta, said the two remaining prisoners were still on the run.

Bali corrections chief Surung Pasaribu said once the prisoners recaptured in East Timor were back in Indonesian custody, authorities would find out the route they used to escape.

“As the head of the investigation I can’t conclude the internal investigation until I meet with them face to face,” he said.

Mr Pasaribu said patrols were now deployed inside and outside Kerobokan prison’s walls to ensure there was not another underground escape. “Every square inch of the land is being inspected carefully,” he said.

Suzy warns Hunters it’s time to fire up in finals race

30/08/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

SUZY Batkovic has challenged the Newcastle Hunters to fight their way out of the corner they have painted themselves into.
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The defending Waratah Basketball League women’s champions are in danger of missing the finals, and a chance to defend the breakthrough title they secured in 2016, after their 83-50 loss to Bankstown last Sunday left them languishing in sixth spot with a 4-7 win-loss record.

CHALLENGE: Suzi Batkovic.

Newcastle need to win their final five games of the regular season and hope for favourable results from games involving teams above them on the ladder if they are to sneak into the semi-finals at Maitland on August 12.

The first of those five assignments are the Illawarra Hawks, the team they defeated in the title decider last year, at the Snakepit in Wollongong on Saturday.

Illawarra (1-10) are in worse shape than Newcastle, sitting at the bottom of the ladder, but Batkovic said the Hunters were taking nothing for granted.

The triple Olympic medallist and five-time Women’s National Basketball League Most Valuable Player hopes her young teammates embrace the challenge facing them in the next five weeks.

Both teams were beaten by Bankstown last weekend, as the Bruins disposed of the Hawks 57-38 just 24 hours before blitzing Newcastle.

“We’ve put ourselves in a tough position after last week’s loss to Bankstown, so every game is must-win for us now, starting with this one against Illawarra,” Batkovic said.

“We’re a young team so we need to be more composed at both ends of the floor and be prepared to compete hard for 40 minutes.”

Newcastle men’s coach Darren Nichols remains upbeat despite Bankstown inflicting an eighth straight loss on his team last Sunday.

The 10th-placed Hunters (2-12) are only one spot behind Illawarra (4-9), and are keen to avenge a 77-64 loss to the Hawks at Broadmeadow on March 26.

If their results against second-placed Bankstown (10-4) last weekend are any form-guide, the Hunters are not without hope of ending their losing streak. The Bruins savaged Illawarra 97-57 last Saturday but Newcastle were significantly more competitive in a 92-77 loss the following day.

Nichols said the emergence of Youth League players Jacob Foy, Jakob Dorricott and Joel Rauch has been one of the highlights of a rebuilding season, and was proof there were better times ahead.

The women’s game is scheduled for a 4.30pm tip-off, followed by the men at 6.30pm

Easing swell of symptoms

30/08/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Options: Chia Yie Loh treats Janice Bellamy at Maitland Private Hospital with inflatable trousers used to reduce swelling. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.IT IS a chronic condition that can affect20 per centof cancer survivors, and one in 6000 people are born with it, yetmany sufferers are left undiagnosed.
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Lymphoedemais the accumulation of excessive amounts offluid that results in the swelling of parts of the body,caused by a mechanical failure of the lymphatic system.

Janice Bellamy, of East Maitland, did not realise she had the condition until 2014.

In her case, it was genetic.

“My arms, and particularly the legs, were the worst, and I had a little bit of swelling around the trunk,” Ms Bellamy said.

“They were getting quite big, and starting to harden.

“If left unattended, it can go hard, you can become immobile, and your skin can go rough and scaly as well.

“It’s very painful.”

Easing swell of symptoms TweetFacebook Lymphoedema treatment optionsJanice Bellamy with Maitland Private Hospital senior physiotherapist, Chia Yei Loh. Pictures by Max Mason-Hubers.Ms Bellamy wants to raise greater awareness of the condition, which she said could also affectcancer survivors who had lymph node surgery or radiotherapy.

She encouraged others with excess swelling to explore treatment options.

“Follow exactly what your therapist says to do, I’ve done that, and it does make a difference,” she said.

“I do a short lymph node massage morning and evening, keep active, do a little bit of exercise, and I try to do some hydrotherapy through the week. It all helps.”

Maitland Private Hospital is hosting a free seminar on lymphoedema on Tuesday, June 27.

While there is no cure for the condition, symptoms couldbe alleviated with appropriate management,senior physiotherapist, Chia Yei Loh, said.

“The true risk factor profile for lymphoedema is unknown, but there may be many factors that predispose an individual to developing it,” she said.

“These include surgery with lymph node dissection, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer, orthopaedic surgery, obesity, immobilisation, and prolonged limb dependency, and many more.

“Unfortunately, there are limited resources around the Hunter… It is important to ensure that lymphoedema sufferers are aware of self-management techniques and long term control of this condition.”

Bookings for the seminar are essential on 4931 2311.

Robert Dillon: Gagai’s exit from the Knights was logical for both parties

30/08/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

TRY TIME: Dane Gagai scored twice for Queensland in their great escape against NSW on Wednesday night. Picture: Getty ImagesDANE Gagai’s spectacular performance in Origin II was a reminder that his decision to leave the Newcastle Knights is, sadly, the logical outcome for both parties.
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Gagai has been a good player for Newcastle over the past six seasons and iseasily the best on their current roster.

But he has been an even better playerfor Queensland.

A large part of that, obviously, is the calibre of teammates around him.

Any player worth his salt would relish a spoton the end of a backline featuring names like Thurston, Cronk and Slater.Champions like that have a habit of lifting everyone around them to new performance levels.

Gagai has certainly thrived inthe game’s ultimate arena, scoring seven tries in six appearances for the Maroons, including a matchwinning double at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night and a memorable hat-trick in game two last year.

To put that in context, Gagai has equalled the record held by Darius Boyd for most Origin tries scored bya Newcastle player.

Toss in a try in each of the past two All Stars fixturesand it is clear that the26-year-old is a big-game player capable of rising to any occasion.

But perhaps there is more to Gagai’s Origin excellence than just being surrounded by some of the all-time greats.

For Queenslandhe has played exclusively on the wing, and from the evidence presented, Sporting Declaration hasreached the conclusion that flanker is his best position.

Gagai is a superb finisher with a God-given knack for getting across the stripe. He is safe under the high ball and courageous enough to take the tough hit-ups and kick-returns. In this year’s two Origins, he made 220 attacking metres and 189 metres respectively –on both occasions, the most yardage by any player.

You could not ask more of any winger thanGagai has shown in Origin.

Yet the dilemma, at club level, is you don’t want a player of suchclass waiting in the wings.

He needs to be playing where he has more opportunity and involvement. His salary demands it.

So the vast majority of his 118 NRL games for Newcastle have been split between playing right-side centre and fullback.

In those games, he has scored 28 tries, an average of about a try in every four appearances. Only four tries have come from his past 44 outings.

This is not delivered as a criticism, rather a statement of fact to highlight the quandary the Knights were facing recently when they spoke with Gagai about extending his contract.

If they were to re-sign him as a centre, his tryscoring strike rate had to be a concern, as did his tendency to be exposed in defence. As a fullback, he lacks the ball-playing nous that makes the likes of Boyd, Billy Slater and Lachlan Coote so valuable.

In addition, Newcastle have already signed a fullback for next season, North Queensland wunderkind Kalyn Ponga. That meant the only likely roleforGagaiwas in the centres.

Given the price tag he was entitled to command, re-signing him would have been akin to parking a luxury sports car in the driveway of a dilapidated house.

For a similar amount ofmoney, Newcastle may well be able to recruit ex-Rooster Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Brisbane’s Tautau Moga, which would seem like pretty good business.

Nonetheless, it is hard to deny thatlosing their best player to a rival club is a terrible look for the Knights.

Gagai is their only incumbent rep player. On the strength of his deeds for Queensland, he could well winKangaroos selection for the end-of-season World Cup.

As one Newcastle stalwart told me recently, he could have been an ambassador, promoting the club to other elite-level players. Instead now the question he will be asked is: “Why are you leaving?”

The suspicion is his decision to join South Sydney is not just about money.

Regardless of third-party sponsorships, surely no club in the NRL has greater capacity than Newcastle to pay top dollar.

For whatever reason, Gagai felt the Rabbitohs would provide the best environment to succeed and reach his maximum potential.

It would seem reasonable to assume that Souths’proudheritage of embracing indigenous players and the Aboriginal community was part of the attraction.

Above all else, who could blame Gagai if he has grown tired of getting beaten?

When he came to Newcastle midway through 2012, after being sacked by the Broncos, the Knights were a glamorous option, coached by Wayne Bennett and featuring a host of big-name players.

The following season, Gagai was part of a team who featured in three sudden-death finals.

Since then the play-offs have been a distant dream.

Gagai is in the prime of his career. Souths might be struggling, but presumably any rebuild at Redfern will be swifter than Newcastle’s.

Most athletes in Gagai’s situation, whatever the code, would have made the same choice.

Knights fans can only hope that, at some point in the future, other top-tier players feel no such inclination to follow suit.

14 years’ jail for killer

30/08/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Greg Gibbins
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A young apprentice chef also destroyed his own life when he fatally stabbed a stranger in the heart outside a NSW Central Coast pizza shop a little over two years ago, a judge says.

TRAGIC LOSS: Greg Gibbins, of Gwandalan, with his sisters Rhianna and Jenna. Greg loved rugby league and was a talented player.

Bradley James Brooks, 21, was convicted in March of murdering popular local rugby league player Gregory Gibbins, 28, and wounding his friend Adam Swindell with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Toukley in April 2015.

He was given a maximum sentence of 22 years and will spend at least the next 14 years behind bars.

‘‘Not only has Mr Brooks taken away the precious life of Gregory Gibbins, and destroyed the life of a number of other people, he has also destroyed his own life,’’ Justice Peter Hamill said at his sentencing in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

‘‘At the time of these violent and senseless crimes, Mr Brooks was a 19-year-old man who had never been in trouble with police before.’’

He said Brooks looked like ‘‘a broken man’’ when victims read their statements to the court.

‘‘I realised that the case represents a tragedy from every possible perspective,’’ he said.

Mr Gibbins and two mates were helping a young woman who was being harassed by a group of people when the altercation quickly escalated.

Brooks pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed the Wyong Roos player and Mr Swindell in the chest.

As Mr Gibbins lay dying in a nearby gutter, Mr Swindell was chased around the corner and stabbed twice more.

Justice Hamill said he was not satisfied Brooks intended to kill Mr Gibbins, but he wanted to send a clear message ‘‘that the courts will not tolerate carrying of weapons and that those who do so, especially when they use them to the fatal effect, will be met with severe punishment’’.

Brooks’ youth, good character, the way he conducted himself during the trial and the lack of planning and premeditation when he committed the crimes were taken into consideration in the sentencing.

Justice Hamill imposed two individual sentences with a total of 22 years in jail and a non-parole period of 14-and-a-half years.

‘‘No sentence that I can impose could possibly appear to constitute justice in circumstances where they have to live with their grief, and their loss, for the rest of their lives,’’ Justice Hamill said.

Outside court Mr Gibbins’ father Barry, flanked by other family members, said they were not disappointed with the outcome.

“We came here today with pretty split expectations, obviously he could have got more but I think what the judge handed down was … fair, yes, I suppose,” he said.“When you look at the loss of our son, it’s not fair.

“We could have got a lot less. We’re just walking away with, you know a lot of people say the justice system is not working but I think today has showed, for us, it’s in our favour, on the higher scale.

“When someone is taken from you in the prime of their life, it’s veryheartbreaking and you keep asking yourself why, why, why, and there’sno answer there.”

Rugby league at risk due to ‘soft kids’

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

LONE RIDER: Group 4 boss Mick Schmiedel is known for calling it how he sees it, and has done so again – taking ‘lazy’ parents and ‘soft’ kids to task.Plain-talking Group 4 president Mick Schmiedel has bemoaned the dramatic drop in junior league players graduating to the senior ranks in the region –and has laid the blame on “lazy” parents and “soft” children.
Nanjing Night Net

With the league heartland in danger of becoming awasteland in the under-16 and under-18 ranks, the former long-standing player, who is aveteran administrator and coach, said parentsneeded to get “off the couch” and get their kids involved in league.

“I put the blame, and they won’t like this, squarely at mums and dads,” he said.

“I think a lot of mums and dads have just got too lazy now to take their kids to training or go down to the footy to watch.

pic.twitter南京夜网/tRzYSyWTqn

— Mick Schmiedel (@Mickysch68) June 13, 2017

“They’drather sit at home or … God knows what they’re doing.”

Schmiedel, who coaches Collegian Warriors’ first grade and under-13 sides, also unloaded of kids –telling them to harden up.

He said years ago if a player“got a spray”from the coach he“took it on the chin”.

“Now (it’s), ‘I’m not copping that. I’m going to another sport. I don’t deserve that’,” he said.

CONCERN: Leading league figures say the lack of junior players entering the senior ranks is hurting the region’s premier competition, First Division.

“Well, you probably did deserve it. You’ve been a little sh**at training, you weren’t doing what you were told, deal with it … And that’s the problem we’ve got.

“Personally, I think we’ve become such a cotton wool society that we’ve got to be so careful of people’s feelings that we don’t want to upset them.

“Hang on. Little Johnny has been a sh**of a kid, so I told him to pull his head in or he’s doing laps. Andhe goes home crying because the coach was nasty.”

Schmiedelsaid the situation was so dire there were only three under-16 sides and four under-18 sides this season.

“So that tells you there’s not a lot (of players) coming through,” he said. “I think there’s only four (under) 15 sides at the moment.”

He added: “The thing with sport in general is we’re competing in a market that everyone wants, and you’ve got rugby union and you’ve got AFL going strong and soccer going strong, basketball’s strong.

“So we’re all trying to dip into the same player pool … which makes it difficult.”

Northern Daily Leader